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Anne & Big Bertha

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Chapter 1

 

Anne Lister had always been a rebel. She owned the toughest meanest looking motorcycle there ever was and she had named it Bertha. Some say she was a womanizer others who know her intimately know she has been through hell and finds it hard to be in a relationship. That’s why she has a different lover every week.

She chugs beer like most of us chug water on a hot day. She’s a chain smoker and while people keep warning her about how dangerous to her health it is she won’t listen. All she says is well, you’ve gotten die of something and the sooner  the better for me.

She had a very low opinion of herself. Even her favourite aunt couldn’t get her to look after herself. So, it would be hard for a partner to do that. Anne’s ideal fuck buddy was someone who would agree to her demands, never ask questions and do what she wants. She always laid down the law and she never too anyone to her place. They always went to a hotel.

She happened to be at the local pub when she saw the cutest girl sitting at the bar. She looked nervous. Anne sidled up next to her. ‘Hey cutie, do you want me to buy you a drink?’ The blond looked at her and wondered if it was the right thing to do. She was sure she knew who it was but didn’t want to say anything to upset this beast of a woman sitting beside her. ‘Y Y Yes p p please. That would be lovely.’

‘What’s your poison, missy?’

‘Sarsaparilla.’ Anne looked shocked. She wondered what this pretty young thing was doing in the pub on a Friday night.’I’ll have one sarsaparilla for the young lady here and a Jack Daniels on the rocks for me.’ Ann searched the room to see if she could see her cousins. They were the ones who convinced her it was a good idea to go out on a Friday night. Catherine told her they came here every Friday and hadn’t been ambushed by any weirdos.

Then the woman turned around and could see Ann was nervous. ‘What’s your name, pretty one?’

‘Ann..Ann Walker. What’s yours?’

‘Anne LIster!’ She said as she took a cigarette and placed it in her mouth. She found her lighter and was about to light up when Ann said. ‘That isn’t a nice way to impress a young lady, now is it?’ So, Anne not wanting to start out on the wrong foot return it to its packet and put it back in her pocket. ‘Goodness me. I really don’t have any manners. Do I?’ She had never stopped smoking for anyone but here she was contemplating the idea. Hell, I have only just met her and I am thinking about quitting this crazy life I live Anne pondered. She had always told herself she would never meet someone who would tame her wild ways and make her stop drinking and smoking. Yet, within a matter of moments Ann Walker seemed to be able to do that. ‘I am allergic to cigarette smoke.’ Oh shit, fuck, how the hell am I going to hook this one. Anne thought. ‘How did you get here tonight, Ann?’

‘My cousins, Delia and Catherine brought me.’ She looked around again to see if she could see them. No sign of either of them. ‘They were here a moment ago.’ Ann said.’How did you get here?’

‘I rode Bertha.’ Ann looked stunned. Who was or what was Bertha?

‘Bertha?’ Ann said surprised.

‘She’s my baby. She’s a Harley. The meanest looking motorcycle in town.’

;Oh goodness, I just realised who you are. That Anne Lister who rides hard and fast and who has a new girlfriend every week.’

‘Yeah, that’s me.’ Anne said but Ann saw that behind the bravado she could see a tear, behind all the noise and boastfulness she could see someone who wanted to be loved. Was it possible that she could tame the beast and show her much love, which is all Ann needed. ‘What are you going to do now?’ Anne asked. ‘Your cousins seemed to have deserted you.’ Ann went quiet. She had to think of something. She didn’t want to go home with this one. She was a little bit afraid of what Anne would do but she wanted to go for a ride on her motorcycle. ‘I don’t know. I guess I can get a taxi home.’ Anne could see Ann was hesitant to do that. So, she said. ‘How about you hop on my cycle and I will take you home. What do you think?’

‘I don’t know. As you can see I’m really not dressed for motorcycle riding. I have no helmet or leathers.’

‘Don’t worry, Miss Walker, I always carry a spare of everything in my saddlebags. I am sure they will fit you.’ As Anne & Ann were walking out of the pub Delia and Catherine yelled out to Ann. ‘Where are you going with that Bitch?’ Anne looked around she could see them. ‘Anne has offered to take me home on Bertha.’

‘No, stay with us here for a while longer.’ Delia said as she eyed Anne Lister.

‘No, you left me at the bar alone and went off to do your own thing. Now, I am . doing my own thing. So, fuck off and leave me alone. I’m busy.’

‘Okay. No need to use that language.’ Catherine said. Anne & Ann walked over to Anne’s motorcycle which she had chained and bolted to a pole. ‘For someone who’s so tough you sure don’t want someone to steal this.’ Ann said as Anne undid the lock and removed the chain. She reached into one of the saddlebags and pulled out a helmet. Ann tried it on and it was a perfect fit. Then she reached into the other saddlebag and pulled out leather pants and a leather jacket. Ann did her best to tuck her skirt into her knickers. When she tried on the pants and jacket they too were a good fit. Anne thought, this could be an omen. If, that was possible. ‘Now, what you need to remember is go with me when I lean Bertha. Okay!!’ She demonstrated what she meant. Ann nodded. This would be fun or the biggest mistake she had ever made in her life. Anne climbed on and waited for Ann to climb on behind her.’Now, remember what I said and hang on tight because I don’t go slow. Okay!!’

‘Okay!! What happens when you get pulled over by the cops?’ Ann said wondering if her cousin, Jeremiah was on patrol tonight. That was the last thing she wanted was to be seen by her cousin after he pulled Anne over for speeding.’

‘That won’t happen. I know all the hiding places around here. Plus I have never been caught.’ Anne said boastfully. She was an expert rider and had only ever had one accident. That was when she first obtained her licence but it wasn’t her fault. It was another motorcyclist who was weaving in and out of traffic to get where he was going quickly. She just happened to be in his way. He clipped her rear foot rest and they both landed on the road with traffic behind them coming to a screeching halt. She was lucky she had only a broken arm and a few bruises. He had to be taken to hospital. A few weeks later she found out who the other rider was when he came after her. It was Christopher Rawson. The leader of the Black Crows. A bikie group she tried to join when she was younger. She doesn’t know why now because she can raise hell on her own. ‘Anne, I am on. I live at Crow Nest. You do know where that is. Don’t you?’

‘I certainly do. Are you related to Christopher Rawson?’ Anne said gritting her teeth. Ann began to wonder if she should say no but she wasn’t one to lie because she knew any lie would come back and bit her on the arse. ‘Unfortunately, he’s my cousins. Just like his brother, Jeremiah.’

‘You mean you are related to Constable Rawson. He is still trying to catch me speeding. He hasn’t had much luck so far.’

‘Well, I hope he doesn’t catch us tonight because I don’t want my aunt to find out I have been on a motorcycle, and what’s worse it is with you.’

‘What’s wrong with me?’ Anne said feeling her anger bottling up inside her.

‘There’s nothing wrong with you, Anne. It’s everyone’s perception of you that’s wrong. You have been nothing short of kind and considerate towards me. I don’t wish to go home right now. Let’s go somewhere we can talk. Okay!!’

‘You wish is my command, dear lady. Hold on. Let’s get this beast moving.’

Anne kick started Bertha and off they rode. She didn’t go through town because if Constable Rawson saw her he would try to stop her which would result in her needing to speed to get away from him. She didn’t want to do that with Ann Walker on the back.

She rode out of town. Then she took them up a lane way which lead to a dirt track . After they had gone a few yards and Anne knew they were out of sight of passing traffic she stopped Bertha and helped Ann get off. Ann had never been to this part of the neighbourhood. She wondered where Anne had brought her. Anne took her hand and walked her to a clearing where they sat down on the grass. ‘This young lady belongs to me. It is part of the estate my uncle left me when he passed away about three years ago. I manage it with the help of my team of employees.’

‘What is the name of the property you own?’

‘It’s called Shibden Hall. It has been owned by another Anne Lister. A distant relative of mine. So, I feel blessed to be carrying her name. They say she was a bit of a badass like me.’

‘You seem proud of her. I wonder if she would be proud of you.’

‘I can assure you she would. She kept a journal filled with her exploits with women. They were written in crypt hand and what she wrote  in what she called plain hand was what she did on the estate. She sank coal pits. I don’t think people would like it if I did that.’

‘I’m sure they wouldn’t. What do you do?’

‘I am trying to create a parkland around Shibden. Somewhere for people to come and spend the day with fun adventures for kids and where adults can relax.’

‘Goodness! You do have a softer side, Miss Lister.’

‘Don’t tell anyone about that. I have a reputation to uphold. I don’t want that spoilt by you blurting out that I am soft.’ Anne said with a sly grin on her face. Ann could see she was messing with her but she knew more about Anne Lister than Anne could ever imagine.

‘The lights of Halifax look lovely from up here. How often do you come here just to look at the stars.’

‘Often. It’s my one place to find peace now that I am single and alone.’

‘You might be single but you are not alone. I am here with you now.’ Ann said as she leaned in close to Anne. ‘And I think you are beautiful and badass.’

‘Why, thank you. No one has ever told me that. I feel we could be good friends but we seem to be such polar opposites.’ Anne said as she looked at Ann with sad eyes.

‘Anne Lister, we have only just met. This could go from common friendship into a wonderful relationship. Just give us and it time. We have the rest of our lives. Don’t we?’ Ann said as Anne smiled then smiled more.

It was dark as they climbed back on Bertha. ‘Where would you like to go now, Miss Walker?’ Anne asked.

‘Wherever the road takes us, Anne. I have enjoyed being with you and you do realise you haven’t had a cigarette the whole time I have been with you.’ Anne didn’t realise that until Ann spoke those words. Yet, she didn’t feel the need but it was always there when she was alone.

‘I could take you to Shibden to meet my family. Would you like to do that.’

‘Anne, I would love to do that but won’t they be wanting to go to bed.’ Ann said earnestly.

‘They will be watching tv. Marian loves watching the Bachelor and Bachelorette. I think reality tv isn’t so real.’

‘Yes, but you can chill watching it. Reality shows are designed to allow you to watch without thinking.’

‘So, true but that can be dangerous too.’

‘How?’ Ann asked surprised. She had never thought of it like that.

‘You switch off and sometimes never switch back on. So , you don’t take in what is happening around you.’ Goodness, Ann thought. ‘You are so right. Let’s go so I can meet your family.’ Anne kicked Bertha started and off they went. As the wind whistled around Ann’s head she thought she could get use to this. She had been in deep thought when Anne drove into Shibden estate and stopped near the front door. ‘Hey, back there we are here.’ It seemed Ann felt so safe with Anne that she had dozed off. ‘Come on, sleepy head. I am sure a good strong cup of coffee with my aunt, father and sister will wake you up.’ Anne said as she helped Ann climb off Bertha. They walked over the gravel path as they opened the door to go inside they heard. ‘Anne, is that you?’

‘Yes, aunt, it is me. I have a friend with me, Ann walker. She has come to drink coffee with you.’ And wake up, Anne thought. It must be my driving.

They removed the leather gear they were wearing. Ann straighten her dress out as best she could. She was wearing a pretty green dress with yellow flowers and a bright red t-shirt. Anne was clad in shorts and a t-shirt. She didn’t like wearing leather gear when she was home.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2

 

‘Hello, Ann. It is so nice to see you again.’ Aunt Anne said.

‘I was only here a few hours ago, Aunt.’ Ann and Aunt Anne laughed. Then Anne realised it was Ann Walker she who her aunt was speaking to. ‘How often do you visit Shibden, Ann?’

‘Not as often as I would like to. I enjoy your family’s company. You are usually off somewhere with your latest girlfriend when I am here.’

‘Goodness me! Well, that needs to change. Right, aunt?’

‘Yes, that is so right. You do look well, Ann W.’

‘Thank you, Miss Lister. Now, where’s that cup of coffee you promised would wake me up.’ Ann said. ‘It seems as though I fell asleep on the back of Bertha.’

‘Goodness.’ Marian said. ‘That’s never happened before. No one is game enough to get on the back of Bertha with our Anne let alone fall asleep while riding on her. You must trust her a lot.’

‘You’re game.’ father said.

‘Oh, Ann.’ Aunt Anne said. ‘Do call me aunt. Everyone else does.’

‘Okay, aunt.’ Ann said as Anne took her by the hand and lead her into the kitchen. ‘You, Miss Walker, should sit there while I make us all a cup of coffee.’ Anne said. ‘You seem to know my family already. Why didn’t you tell me?’

‘Ah, that was my surprise for you. I love your home. It’s so dark and mysterious just like you. Yet, so warm and cosy like you.’ Anne blushed. She couldn’t look at Ann without wondering what she would be like between the sheets. She seemed so quiet and demure but Anne wondered if this was the kitten and there was a ferrous lioness hidden deep inside waiting to be let free. She had often hoped she would find someone who would match her bedroom escapades. She wonder if she had found that someone in Miss Ann Walker. She was prepared to wait for as long as she needed to.

She was brought back to reality when she heard the coffee pot go silent. Ann must have put the coffee grounds and water into the pot and set it going. She couldn’t remember doing that. Ann was standing next to her. ‘Anne, where were you just now? Ann said. ‘What were you think about?’ Us, Ann thought. She didn’t know how right she was. ‘Nothing much.’ They poured the coffees. Anne put them on a tray with a few biscuits Cordingley had bought during the day and walked back into the sitting room. Aunt and father were snoozing but they soon woke. Marian gave Ann a sweet smile. She could understand why Ann trusted her sister. She loved her and Marian could see that.

‘Aunt, father. Drinks and bickies for everyone.’ They woke. ‘Ann, I forgot to ask you while we were on the hill chatting. Where do you work?’

‘I don’t.’ Ann said a little hesitantly.

‘How do you spend your days?’ Anne said.

‘I am an artist. I paint and sketch. I help out with Marian in the local soup kitchen. We eat out together once sometimes twice a week. I give to charities not that that is important to anyone but me.’

‘Ann Walker, how do you pay your bills and keep food on the table.’ Anne said surprised that Ann Walker didn’t work but Anne didn’t know Ann’s story because she wasn’t interested in anyone’s life but her own.

‘Here’s the thing. I inherited Crow Nest after my brother and his wife passed away on their honeymoon. Well, they were on their way to Australia when the plane they were in fell out of the sky. No one survived. It was the saddest day in our lives. My sister, Elizabeth and I inherited Crow Nest. After our parents passed John inherited Crow Nest and then when he died we did.’

‘Where is your sister now?’ Anne asked sincerely.

‘She lives in Scotland with her husband, George and three little ones.’

‘Oh, I think I remember her. She was a grade or three behind me at school. Right?’

‘Yes, I think so.. Although, I don’t remember you then because you are so much older than me.’ Aunt looked surprised that Ann knew how old her niece was. ‘How old are you, little Ann?’ Aunt asked.

‘29.’ Ann said so softly hardly anyone heard but Anne.

‘What did you say. Did you say 29?’ Marian asked as if only partly hearing her word.’

‘Yes! Why?’

‘Our bikie here is 41. Does that bother you? Anne looked surprised that Marian was asking her a question like that considering they had just Anne and her today.

‘No, your friends should be across a spectrum of ages then you can learn so much about life.’

‘You are wise beyond years. I never had thought about it like that.’ Marian said. ‘You may think what you hear about my sister is true. Oh it is, she can be a rebel but she can also be a sweet person.’ Anne blushed. She didn’t’ know her sister saw both sides of her personality. ‘I know that, Marian. She told me what she is planning to do with the land around Shibden. I think it is a lovely idea.’

‘Did she tell you about our ancestor, Anne Lister and who she married.’ Marian said as she did air quotes.

‘No, she didn’t.’ Ann said and Anne blushed again. She didn’t know whether to tell her the story about her ancestor Anne Lister and Ann Walker. She wondered if that would drive Ann away because then she would want to know about them.

‘No, Marian, Let’s not get too mixed up with the past.’ Anne wanted a clean slate with this Ann Walker but as she had told Ann already she was a badass like her ancestor was and in truth her ancestor was a bit of a rebel too.

‘What is it about your ancestor’s past you don’t want me to know about, Anne?’ Ann looked at Anne wondering if she would tell her.

‘Maybe later, Ann.’ Anne said. ‘When we know each other a bit more.’ Ann wondered if she already knew what Anne was referring to but she kept her thoughts to herself. She didn’t want to spoil this new friendship. ‘Ann, are you ready to go home. That will mean you need to put on the leather gear again.’

‘Do I have to. Can’t I just stay here and sleep on the sofa?’

‘Won’t your family be worried about you, little Ann?’ Aunt asked.

‘No, I live alone. I have done for a long time.’ Ann said.’Didn’t I tell you that?’

‘No.’ They all said in unison. Even Anne was surprised.

‘You can stay here but you’re not sleeping on the sofa. I think we have a perfect good bed in the spare room you can sleep on. Do you need a nightie or pyjamas?’ Aunt Anne asked.  Ann blushed. ‘A nightie would be fine. She could take it and just put it on when she came down for breakfast. Miss Ann Walker slept in her birthday suit most of the time.

Anne showed her into the guest bedroom. It was small and quaint but enough for just one night. ‘ Anne left Ann there wondering if she would be able to sleep. Anne had forgotten to show Ann were the bathroom was. Ann snuck her head out the door. ‘Anne, where’s the bathroom?’

‘It’s the first door on your right. Here, let me show you.’ Anne walked to the bathroom door and opened it. ‘Thanks, Anne,’ Ann said softly.’Goodnight.’ She walked to the bathroom as Anne walked back past the guest room and into her bedroom. Their bodies brushed and Ann felt the heat from Anne’s body surge through her body down to her core.

She didn’t know how she was going to sleep with Anne Lister so close. She had heard the stories about how Anne Lister would love ‘em and leave ‘em. Ann had a feeling that wasn’t the whole story. Ann could see Anne could be vulnerable and so sweet. She could understand why she wore so much armour. It was her shield to protect her heart. Her suit of black armour, Helmet, leather jacket and pants. She looked formidable in that and riding around town on Bertha.

Only Ann Walker could see how vulnerable Anne was when she looked into her eyes. When she showed her true self to someone which Ann imagined didn’t happen that often. She lay there waiting for sleep to take her into dreamland. Only the more she thought about Anne the less she felt she could sleep. She wondered what Anne was doing. She thought maybe she is writing in her journal if she ever wrote a journal. Anne didn’t say. She only talked about her ancestor who was also named Anne Lister and how kept a journal.

Ann pondered on the idea of starting a journal .It suddenly seemed important to keep a record of your life. Some things you think are worth remembering long past the day they happened. Only Ann wouldn’t know what to write about. Her life wasn’t that interesting. What did she do? Paint and give to charity, help out in the soup kitchen with Marian. Nothing very exciting. What did Anne do? She raised hell on her motorbike. She was improving her home and making the land a parkland so people could come and enjoy it as much as she did. She felt her heart weep with sadness. How was it that she, little Ann Walker was sleeping in Shibden. Then tomorrow she would go home and be forgotten.

How would she deal with life after Anne? Would she ever see her again? She didn’t know.

Then she heard a soft knock on the door. A soft voice, ‘Are you awake, Ann? I am having trouble sleeping. Can I come in.’ Ann stood up quickly grabbed the nightgown and slipped it on. She went to the door and opened it. There stood Anne with books in her hands. ‘I want to show you something. I didn’t want to before but now I feel it is necessary you know about Anne Lister because she married Ann Walker.’

‘What?’ Was all Ann could say as Anne came in. Anne’s eyes bulged as she saw how beautiful Ann looked in her Aunt’s nightgown even if it was a little large and sliding down her shoulders exposing her delicate clavicle. By the moonlight shining in the window she could see Ann’s exquisite curves and it made her wet gazing at her.

Chapter Text

Chapter 3

 

Anne stood there staring at Ann. Her body was so beautiful, soft round curves. She was pulled from her thoughts by Ann who climbed back under the sheets after she had turned on the lamp. ‘What about our ancestors?’ Ann asked.

‘It’s all written here in Anne’s journals. The crypt code and the plain hand. I don’t know now many times I have read it and admired what she did to be who she wanted to be. I sometimes, wonder if I should just put it away because her life matches my life more than I ever imagined. Ann, would you like to see?’

‘I’m not sure. Doesn’t it feel like you are tempting fate? You are predicting a future that may not happen. Anne, I am fond of you but could we take this slowly. I want to get to know you more.’

‘Ann, I only want you to see that in the past my ancestor, Anne Lister was married to someone who could be your ancestor, Ann Walker. I am not saying this is what our life will be like. Okay!!’

Anne spent the next few hours reading entries from Anne Lister’s journal. Ann was listening with interest. She could see that Ann Walker Anne was reading to her about and her life had many similarities. Only she wasn’t ready to tell Anne that. She knew one day she would if their friendship was going to blossom into a relationship. For now Ann listened and Anne read until her eyes began to close. ‘Anne, I think you need to go to bed before you fall asleep on me.’ Ann wasn’t sleepy but thought she could sleep now. Anne stood up. ‘Goodnight, Ann. I will see you in the morning.’ .

‘Goodnight, Anne even though it must be 3AM. Sleep well.’

‘Goodnight.’ Ann slide the nightgown over her shoulders and laid it beside her in case Anne happened to visit her again.

Anne walked back to her room. She didn’t know whether to be embarrassed or laugh at herself. She never imagined she would speak out loud without realising she was doing that. Her body responded to seeing Ann Walker in her Aunt’s nightgown in a way she never had imagined it would. Little Miss Ann Walker who she vaguely remembered as a teenager, who seemed to be smitten by her seems to have over come those feelings but this is what happened to her ancestor and Ann Walker. Couldn’t it be possible that a bikie and an artist could have anything in common. She wondered. As soon as her head hit her pillow she was sound asleep.

She woke an hour later, sweating profusely. She had had a dream she was her ancestor, Anne Lister and was courting Ann Walker but it was the Ann Walker who was sleeping in the guest room. The Ann Walker who rode on her motorcycle up to the hill with her only a few hours ago. They were sitting up in bed. She was reading to Ann. Ann was lying down next to her with her hand on her belly making circles which were soothing and comforting. She put her book down.’Adney’ she hear herself say. Who was Adney? The only one she could see was Ann Walker. Then she remember her ancestor called Ann Walker Adney. Well, her Ann Walker. It must have been a nickname Anne gave her probably to avoid confusion. Was that possible? She didn’t know.

Then there was a knock on her door. It was Ann She had put on Aunt’s nightgown again. ‘Are you awake? I can’t sleep. I have been thinking about what you said. I wonder if we could talk some more, Anne? Can I come in?

‘Yes, please come in.’ The door opened. Ann walked in and closed the door.

’ Anne looked at her. She wondered again if this was possible that a rebel and an artist could be more than just friends.

‘Yes, we can do that.’ Anne said. Ann walked over to Anne. She sat on Anne’s bed. Anne reached for the book and turned on the light. She opened the book , Gentleman jack: The Real Anne Lister. Anne read the journal entry ‘How strange the fate of things, if after all, my companion for life should be Miss Walker. She was nine and twenty a little while ago. How little my aunt or anyone suspects what I am about.’ 27th September, 1832 .Anne smiled. She was thinking this could be their life. ‘You see, Ann. Doesn’t it seem possible that this could be us.’ Ann looked at Anne. She could understand why Anne thought and felt this way but she was unsure. They had only just met. ‘Can you find another entry in that book?’ Anne searched. She wanted to find one that showed her ancestor in a good way. She had wanted to find something then she realised that this Anne wasn’t her and maybe she should close the book and focus on the present.

So, she did. She looked up at Ann who seemed to have a puzzled look on her face. ‘Ann, we cannot focus on what happened in the past. This isn’t us. We may have the same names but I doubt if we are like them. Are we?’ Anne said. ‘I want something with you but if we rely on past lives to give us answers to questions about our future we’re not going to get them.’

For once Ann agreed with her.’Can I stay here with you? Can I lay beside you? I might be able to sleep better.’ Anne nodded. It was now 5AM. It did feel later.

Ann laid beside Anne in her bed. Anne didn’t know whether to snuggle into Ann or just lay there until Ann put her arm around Anne. She snuggled into Anne. They fell into a deep sleep.

When Ann woke a few hours later she felt disoriented. She knew she wasn’t in her bed at Crow Nest. The room she was in was dark and moody. Then as she moved she felt a body next to her. She opened her eyes to see dark brown ones staring back at her. Who are you? She thought. Where am I? She wondered. How did I get here? Then it came back to her. The pub, the loud music. The bikie offering to give her a ride home. The trip to the hill where they looked over Halifax. The black leathers she was given to wear. She was amazed they fitted her perfectly. She couldn’t believe it. And there was her name, Anne Lister. The woman beside her with tattoos she had never seen before adorning her body in places she suspected no one was ever allowed to view.

‘Miss Walker, what are you thinking about?’ Anne asked with a raspy, still half asleep voice. ‘I’m wondering why you brought me to your home when I asked you to.’Ann asked timidly.’I’m dull and boring, uninteresting.’

‘Come on, you need to think better of yourself than what you do. You need to remember that you’re not the only one who often has doubts about herself.’ Anne said still wondering how she had allowed someone into her bed when that had never happened before. How could she ever think that someone would want to be with her in a way that she wanted to be with them.

‘Anne Lister, I never imagined someone like you would ever think poorly of herself. I find that impossible to believe. Yet, I am sure you are only human and like everyone trying to live your life as we all are trying to do. Is that true? Anne, I can see your tats. Is that how you see yourself?’

‘What do you mean? How I see myself?’ Anne said wondering where this conversation was heading. Then she looked down. She could see what Ann was looking at. Her tattoos like her ancestor’s journal told the tale of her life. She could talk about every one as if they had a life of their own and could speak to her.

‘I think you know what I mean. A tattoo is a story in short version of where you have been. Sometimes, it could be where you want to be or who you want to love you.’ Ann said. ‘Who is M? What is the significance of the map of Europe? It’s just big enough to see. Why so many dots” Is it where you want to go or where you have been?’

‘Let’s say M, Mariana, what my first real love. It hurts when I think of what she did. Now, I am fucking stuck with her initial on my body. I want to travel and see the world. I have to start somewhere. I thought Europe would be great. My ancestor went there but I want to do it for me as well as to remember her. Is that okay?’ She was tempted to ask Ann if she would like to go with her but since they had only just met she doubted that was possible. ‘What did this Mariana do to you? Hey, traveling is the only way to really experience life and other cultures. I think we all get it into our heads that we are better than other cultures. Only once we travel we find out they only want what we want, a home, family, love and understanding. Someone to truly care for them. Isn’t that how it is?’ Ann said.’And as for the M. That could mean anything now. Couldn’t it?’

Anne pondered on the question about Mariana and what to tell Ann. It felt as thought what she would say could change them for the better or the worse. Anne thought for a moment. Then said. ‘This is were things might get a little creepy to you. I just want you to have an open mind about what I am going to say next. It’s possibly the hardest thing I have had to say to anyone.’

‘What Anne?’ The big bikie put her head between her hands and started to remember that day so vividly.’I had asked her to marry me when we had saved up enough. I was working as a brick layer at the time.’

‘Is that why you still have all those bulging muscles? Anne smiled at how Ann was able to see her. ‘Yes! She said yes. She was prepared to wait then we were involved in a car accident. She was driving. It wasn’t her fault. The fool ran a red light and plowed into the driver’s side. Hitting the front guard. She was lucky to be alive but barely.. She was taken to hospital. She was in ICU for months and months and months.’

‘Did she live?’ Ann asked tentatively. ‘’Were you injured?’

‘I had a broken arm and some bruising but she got the brunt of it all.’ Anne said. ‘Yes, she did. I visited her as often as I could. Only I didn’t know she had fallen for a doctor there. He had asked her to marry him. He could give her all she wanted. I never knew she was bi. She never told me. My world fell apart. I quit my job and planned to ride the highways to get work where I could.’

‘How long did that last, Anne?’

‘A month maybe two. I don’t really remember. What I do remember was I needed to come home to heal. I needed to be where I was loved because being alone I found had to deal with.’

‘Do you keep in touch with her? Ann asked. She really didn’t want to know the answer only she did. It was tearing at her insides to know.

‘Ann, we did for a long time. She would visit me at Shibden or I would visit her. I think she thought I was fair game because in those moments of misery I would given in and give her what she wanted. Then I would feel so dirty and disgusting after. So, I stop answering the phone when she called. I guess she got the messaged after three of four months of trying to get me to answer my phone. That was about five years ago. I have been single since then.’

‘Hey, what did you mean by a little creepy?’

‘Here’s the thing my ancestor, she not only married Ann Walker but she loved a Mariana. Her Mariana was Mariana Belcombe who married a Charles Lawton. My Mariana was Mariana Lawton who married a Charles Belcombe.’

‘Ouch!!! That is a bit creepy but hey, you didn’t plan it that way. Did you?’

‘No!’

‘Anne, are you and Miss Walker going to come down for breakfast anytime today?’ Marian called from the hallway. ‘Come soon before Cordingley clears the table and tell Miss Walker not to worry about eating our food. We love that she is here with you, Anne.’ Marian knew how Ann felt about being offer something she hadn’t contributed to.

‘Okay!! Give us ten minutes and we will be down.’

‘Good.’ Marian said.

Chapter Text

Chapter 4

 

Anne & Ann dressed. They descended the stairs. As they strolled into the dining room they could see all eyes were on them. Anne wondered why and Ann felt intimidated by that. Anne seated herself at the table. Ann found a perch next to her. ‘What would you like for breakfast, Miss Walker? We have eggs and bacon, toast and jam or porridge?’ Marian said.

‘I don’t know. I’m not that hungry right now. Can we just sit and chat for awhile. You can eat if you wish.’ Ann said. ‘I will have something to eat soon.’

‘Okay!! What do you plan to do today? I am sure Anne has work on the estate which needs attending to. Don’t you, Anne?’ Anne frowned at Marian. She hadn’t decided what she was going to do. Yes, there was work that needed to be done around the estate but it was such a lovely day she thought she would like to take Ann for a ride on her motorcycle into the countryside. Only she didn’t know if Ann was still willing to go with her.’Anne, what are you thinking?’, ‘I, Miss Walker, was wondering if you would like a trip to the country on the back of Bertha?’ Anne said.’but you need to eat because it could be awhile before we eat again.’

‘Anne, I would love to do that with you but don’t you have estate work you need to attend to.’ Ann said timidly.

‘Ann, the estate work can wait. This weather may not last very long and we should make the most of it. Shouldn’t we?’ Anne said with a smile on her face. Marian looked at her sister and could see what she was doing. Should she warn Ann about her sister or just leave it . she could see Ann Walker was a little bit in love with Anne.

‘I think I would like some toast and jam from breakfast.’ Ann said cheerfully.

‘Then we can leave as soon as you are ready. Anne.’ Anne smiled. She felt as though if she played her cards right Miss Walker could be her wife but this time she would take it slowly. She knew now she had rushed into a full on relationship when she was with Mariana and only weeks after they had met she asked her to marry her. Then the accident happened and her world was turned upside down. She didn’t want that to happen with Ann.

Cordingley cooked Ann two slices of toast. She spread them with butter and jam and ate greedily. She wanted to get going. She couldn’t wait to feel the wind on her body and the freedom that being on a motorcycle gave her. They returned to Anne’s bedroom to dress. ‘Why don’t you wear a pair of my shorts and a t-shirt under the leathers today. Leave your skirt here. You can collect it when we return. Okay!!’

Ann could only nod. Anne found a pair shorts and a t-shirt for Ann to wear. They were a size too big so Anne gave her a belt for the shorts and she could wear the t-shirt loosely over the shorts.

They wandered back down stairs to find Marian waiting for them. ‘Can I speak to Ann in private for a moment?’

‘Why, Marian?’ Anne said with a hint of frustration in her voice. She wanted to get going. She was afraid of what Marian would say to Ann.

‘I just want to ask her something.’

‘Okay, Spit it out. I think I already know what you are going to say to Ann.’ Ann looked at both sisters quizzically. ‘Ann, you do know what my sister is like with women?’

‘Yes, I have heard the rumours and I don’t believe them.’ Anne sighed. She was relieved. She knew Ann was different. ‘And what’s more your sister isn’t who others think she is.’

‘Okay, Ann, don’t say I didn’t warn you when she breaks your heart.’ Ann looked at her and wondered why Marian had a poor opinion of her sister.

‘I know she will never do that and anyway, we don’t know each other that well. So, you might be jumping the gun before it goes off.’ Ann said. She couldn’t look at Anne because she knew Anne would be near to tears.

They walked out to the hallway to put on their leathers. ‘Ann, forgive me if I seem too hasty at time but I would like you to be in my life for always. Yes, I will take it slowly. I don’t want you to feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to. You know that saying act in haste, repent at your leisure.’

‘I sure do. Once bitten twice shy is another one. Isn’t it?’ Ann said as she looked at Anne. She could see in Anne’s eyes that she was fearful of pushing her to do more than what she wanted but Anne didn’t know Ann wanted to be with her. She too would respect Anne’s wishes and take it slowly. Her friendship with Anne was more valuable than jumping into a relationship.

‘We are going now, aunt. Is there anything you would like me to bring home for dinner?’ Anne yelled from the hallway. Aunt Anne came out to see them off and said.’Bring something delicious because I have invited Miss Walker for dinner. Okay, Anne.’

‘Thank you, Miss Lister, Aunt. I would love to have dinner with you again. How does Chinese sound?’ Ann said.

‘It sounds like the prefect meal and get a tub of ice cream for dessert please, Anne.’ Anne was standing there checking of her invisible list as Ann and her aunt decided on their evening meal. They both hugged her and in that moment Ann didn’t want to live anywhere else but there. She knew Anne would like that.

They walked out the door wearing their leather gear with helmets in their hands. Ann never imagined going for one ride on a motorcycle but today she was going for her second ride. She had no idea where Anne was taking them but she was happy with that. She expected to be going home tonight and wasn’t looking forward to the day ending. As if Anne was reading her mind she said. ’Would you like to stay again tonight?’ Ann said she would think about it but she had already decided what she was going to do.

They walked over to Bertha, put on their helmets. Anne climbed on and started Bertha. Then Ann climbed on behind her. She wrapped her arms around Anne’s waist and off they went. Aunt Anne stood at the door and watched them leave. She took Marian’s arm and they walked back inside. ‘Aunt, do you think Anne would be able to keep Ann Walker and not stuff this relationship up?’

‘I don’t know, Marian. You know how she has been hurt in the past. It isn’t really her fault she has had women leave her to marry a man.’

‘I know, But she has had many one night stands. Yeah, I know. She is afraid to give her heart to anyone. Yet, she did bring Miss Walker home. She hasn’t done that ever.’

‘Yes, that is so true, Aunt.’

‘Anne grips the throttle as they cruise down the road. Ann understood now why Anne loved Bertha. Her motorcycle gave her freedom she wouldn’t have in a car. She could ride anywhere and as Bertha throbbed between their legs Ann smiled. She hadn’t felt this happy and content in a long time. They rode for what seemed like hours. Ann was starting to get hungry. She nudged Anne to let her know she wanted to stop for a moment. ‘What’s up?’ Anne yelled.

‘I’m getting hungry.’ Ann yelled back. ‘ Can we stop somewhere to eat. Two slices of toast and jam wasn’t enough to fill me up.’

‘Okay!! We can stop at the first takeaway we see. I suppose you don’t want Maccers. Do you?’ Anne yelled.

‘No. Just stop for a moment. This yelling is silly.’ Anne found a place to stop. She turned Bertha off and they climbed off. Anne could see Ann was walking funny. ‘Hey, are you okay?’

‘Yeah, I guess. I am use to riding horses but it is so different on a motorcycle. I know I will get use to it.’

‘Sit for a minute,’ Anne said as she walked Ann over to a picnic table which was close by. ‘I will go find something to eat. Would Subway be fine?’

‘Yes, It would if there’s one in this town.’

‘What’s that up ahead? Subway. What do you want to eat?’

‘Whatever you have minus the jalapenos.They are too hot for my palate.’

‘Okay,!! I will return in a few minutes. ‘ Ann was left by herself to think about what life would be like living as Shibden with Anne Lister and her family. She could see that her Aunt would encourage then to live together. Well, she must like Ann because she, not Anne, invited her for dinner. She also imagined Anne would like her to stay tonight. They could talk again. Maybe she could tell Anne about her anxiety attacks and her depression. She had anti depression tablets she took daily. It seemed strange that she had felt that she really didn’t needed them but her doctor insisted she take them. She did. She couldn’t remember if she took one this morning. She doubted it and hoped she wouldn’t be stressed too much.

Anne seemed to be taking forever. It seemed like ages since she had left and she couldn’t see her returning. She sat there looking up the road in the direction Anne had gone so often she thought she would get a crick in her neck. Just as she could feel tears rolling down her cheeks Anne appeared. She had a Subway bag on one handlebar. She climbed down and walked over to Ann. She took off her helmet and undid her jacket.

Then she looked at Ann and realised she was crying. ‘Ann, are you all right?’

Ann sobbed loudly. Anne cradled her in her arms. They stayed like that for a few minutes until Anne felt that Ann was relaxed again. ‘What is the matter, Ann?’ Anne asked with concern in her voice.

‘I forgot to take my tablet this morning and now, I feel a little low.’

‘Low!!! What are you taking?’

‘Anti depressants!’

‘How long have you been taking them?’ Anne asked softly. She didn’t want to scare Ann. She wasn’t sure if Ann had the courage to tell her the truth. She didn’t know how much Ann trusted her.’Ann, you can trust me. I think you are brave enough to even mention that you are on antidepressants.’

‘I have been on antidepressants for so long I don’t remember when I wasn’t.’ Ann said. ‘All I can say for now that having you near has helped me more than you can imagine. Can we talk about this later and just enjoy our day?’

‘Okay!! is there anything I can do for you, Ann?’’

‘Just a few more hugs and I will be fine.’ They ate their lunch in compatible silence. Anne giving Ann hugs whenever she thought Ann needed them. The more they hugged the more Anne could feel herself falling in love with Ann Walker. She wondered if that was the right thing to do.

‘What would you like to do now?’ Anne asked.

‘I’m not sure. What time is it?’

‘She’s just 22 minutes past one. We have been here for nearly one hour and 26 minutes. Do you want to look around town? I saw a museum as I was on my way to Subway.’

‘No, let’s get back on Bertha and ride for a bit longer. .Don’t forget we are buying dinner tonight, Chinese and ice cream. What a interesting combination!’

‘Yes, it certainly is. No, I haven’t forgotten. We will be able to ride to the next town. Then we will have to turn around and begin our journey back home.’

‘Okay!!! Just be careful and watch out for the idiots who don’t look out for bikies.’

‘Yes, I know that. I do it all the time.’

Chapter Text

Chapter 5

 

‘That’s good to hear. Then I won’t worry so much about you when you go out riding on your own.’ Ann said with a cheeky grin.

‘Miss Walker, what are you implying by that comment?’

‘Nothing, You are my friend and I would worry about you when you are riding Bertha and I am not with you.’

‘Well, to avoid that problem you will have to come with me every time I go out riding.’ Ann smiled. That’s what she had hoped Anne would say.

‘I think I may take you up on that offer. I never thought I would enjoy being on the back of a motorcycle.’

‘You didn’t. Then why were you so eager to go for a ride with me last night?’ Anne said with a smile on her face.

‘Miss Lister, if it was anyone else I wouldn’t have done what I did. Your smile and your voice gave me all the confidence I needed to get on Bertha and go riding with you.’ Anne looked shocked. She never thought she had that kind of hold over other women. It seems as though she had that hold over Miss Walker. She realised then that she had so much to learn about the woman who came home with her and seemed to want her in her life. Anne didn’t know what to say so she remained silent.

Ann looked at Anne. She could see the wheels turning in her head. ‘What’s up, dearest? You seemed to be miles away.’ Anne was pulled from her thoughts when Ann walked over to Anne and wrapped her arms around her waist.

‘What did you say, Ann? I didn’t hear it.’ Anne said.

‘That was because you seemed to be miles away. I said what’s up, dearest?’

Anne was quiet for a beat then said. ‘I was just wondering how I got to be so lucky when I found you.’ Ann smiled. She felt the same way.’I was thinking we would be good for each other. Wouldn’t we?’

‘Anne Lister, I have been calling you dearest. That should tell you how I feel.’Ann said. ‘Is it possible you feel the same way about me?’

‘Is it possible? You make me smile. You accept this bikie and more than just that. You want to go riding with me. What more could I ask for?’

‘I don’t know. I want to be with you but I wonder if you will want to be with me. You have done so much and been to so many interesting places. You zoom around on Bertha. I don’t do much with my life.’

‘Ann Walker, you are interesting. You are kind and loving. You have made me feel as though I have been seen. Thank you.’ Anne said. ‘Now, hadn’t we planned to go for a ride?’

‘I don’t remember but I would love to go for a ride. Can we do that?’

‘We certainly can. Let’s tell Aunt Anne what we are doing. If we leave and don’t tell her she will worry about us.’ They found Aunt Anne in the sitting room alone. She was watching a repeat of BGT. Anne couldn’t believe what she was seeing. ‘I didn’t think you liked watching reality tv, Aunt.’

‘This is different. They have had some good singers on the show this year. I have already seen this episode but I enjoyed it so much I am watching it again.’ Ann looked at Anne. She usually watched BGT with Aunt Anne but she didn’t tell Anne this. ‘Ann and I are going for a ride on Bertha. We should be back in time for dinner. Is that okay?’

‘Yes, just take care on the road. You can’t trust anyone these days and most drivers never look out for motorcycles, Anne. You know that.’

‘What do you mean by that, Aunt?’ Ann said with concern.

‘I think Anne needs to tell you herself. Let’s just say Bertha isn’t her first motorcycle. You have seen her tattoos. Have you? Did you see the map of Europe?’

‘Yes, I did. She told me she wanted to travel to Europe.’ Anne looked sad. She didn’t want Ann to know what happened to her because Ann would probably never get on Bertha with her.

‘It hides something. I had a feeling she wouldn’t tell you but I don’t feel I have the right to do that.’ Aunt Anne said as she looked at her niece who was holding back her tears. ‘Anne Lister, out with it. I want to know. I guess I need to know.’

‘I wasn’t just in a car accident with Mariana. After the cast was taken off my arm I went for a ride on Bertha one.’

‘So this is Bertha two.’

‘I guess you could say that. I was doing fine. I wasn’t thinking about how Mariana was in ICU in hospital. This was before I found out she was getting cosy with her doctor. I must have looked down for a second and plowed

Headlong into a huge tree. I broke my arm again. I had bruises but it would have been worse if I hadn’t been wearing leathers. I was thrown from Bertha onto the road. Bertha was a wreck. The front wheel had been pushed up into the motor. The handlebars were twisted. So, I decided to write it off and claim on insurance.’

‘You had motorcycle insurance.’ Ann said.

‘Yes, it’s more expensive than car insurance but after that happened I knew I had spent my money wisely.’ Anne said. She looked at Ann and wondering if she still wanted to go riding with her.’Hey Anne, when are we going for our ride?’ Anne smiled.

‘I didn’t think you would want to come riding with me after I told you about the accident.’

‘Anne, you were probably thinking about Mariana even though you didn’t realise it. I trust you. Let’s go.’ They both kissed Aunt on her cheek and told her they would be home in time for dinner.

They put on their leathers in the hall. Anne walked to the barn to get Bertha. Ann waited at the front door. She felt a hand on her back. ‘Ann, I hope you realise Anne would never have told you about the motorcycle accident if I haven’t promoted her.’ Aunt said. ‘She was ashamed of herself. She always talked about how alter she was when she was out riding Bertha. Please, stick with her. She is a good person underneath all that bravado.’

‘I know, Aunt. Here she is I had better get going. See you soon.’

‘Okay. See you later..’

They rode for sometime before Anne stopped. ‘I keep forgetting that the helmets have bluetooth enabled microphones.’ Anne said and she showed Ann where the volume control was.’

‘So, we can talk to each other while you ride along.’ Ann said.

‘Yes, but remember no distracting chatter.’ Anne said smiling.

‘Now, Miss Lister, would I do that?’

‘I don’t know you that well. So, who knows what you will talk about?’ After they had adjusted the volumes on their mics. They resumed their ride. Ann found it strange to talk to Anne like this but it was also fun. ‘Anne, where are we going?

‘Miss Walker, it wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you, now. Would it?’

‘I guess not.’

‘Good. So, be quiet and enjoy the ride.’ Anne said as she rolled the throttle in her hand and they sped off down the road. Ann was enjoying herself so much. As they rode along Ann was wondering how far this relationship would go. She still couldn’t believe she was on the back of  Bertha with Anne. She always had a crush on Anne. Only she wasn’t game enough to tell anyone. Not even her sister, Elizabeth. She had her arms wrapped around Anne and could feel her heart racing. ‘Are you okay, Anne?’

‘Yes, I haven’t enjoyed a ride on Bertha as much as I am today. It’s great to have someone to share this experience with. I am glad you are here, Ann.’

Anne was interested in history. Especially the history of her home town, Halifax. So, she took Ann to Banksfield Museum where there was a display of historical artifacts about the local area. Ann was surprised. She had lived here all her life and didn’t know it existed. What else would Anne show her she didn’t know about? ‘Ann, are you ready to go home? Anne said as she stood next to her. ‘It’s getting close to dinner time and we told Aunt we would be home in time for dinner.’

‘Okay!! Let’s get going.’ They walked out of the museum and back to Bertha. Just before they climbed back on to Bertha Anne leaned into Ann and gave her a kiss on her cheek. Ann blushed. She wasn’t expecting that. ‘Thanks for coming with me today after what I told you earlier.’

‘Anne, I have already told you I trust you. I wish you would realise this is in  everything we do together.’ She wanted to say I love you, Anne but thought it was too soon for that. ‘Let’s go home, Ann.’

‘Yes, let’s go home.’

Chapter Text

Chapter 6

 

As they walked in the front door Aunt Anne was waiting for them. She had a worried look on her face. ‘What’s up, Aunt?’ Anne asked.

‘I got a call from your Aunt, Ann. She is worried about you. She went to visit you and you weren’t home. I told her you were with Anne. She told me to tell you to call her as soon as you returned back here.’

‘She rarely visits me and when she does all she does it tell me what to do with my life and the day I am not there she decides to visit. I will call her but I need your support Anne. I need to remind her that I have a life and she should call to see if I am going to be home when she wants to visit me.’

‘You do have a  mobile phone, Ann?’

‘Yes and she has my number but she never calls me.’ Ann pulled out her phone and called her Aunt. Aunt Ann didn’t even say hello. All she said was you need to return to Crow Nest now. Get away from Anne Lister. She is a rough person and a bad influence on you.’

‘I am old enough to decide who is and isn’t a bad influence on me. You need to remember that I am not a kid any more and I won’t have you telling what I can and cannot do with my life. I wish you would remember to call me if you want to see me. Okay!!’ Then Ann hung up and breathed. She didn’t know she had the courage to do that. Of course, she knew her aunt would call back. She did only this time Ann didn’t answer. So, her Aunt left a message. ‘I am going to send your cousin William to Shibden to bring you home.’

‘What are we going to do now? Ann asked Anne and Aunt Anne.

‘Face him. He has no right to force you to do anything you don’t want to do.’ Aunt Anne said.

‘Thank you, Aunt. I have no idea when he will be here. If, he comes.’

‘What do you mean? If, he comes.’

‘Sometimes, he ignores Aunt Ann’s requests.’

Only this time he didn’t. He showed up at shibden the next day. Ann and Anne were taking a walk around the estate. Aunt and Marian were getting ready to go into Halifax. Aunt wanted to buy some more yarn and Marian had promised Ann she would get her some more water colours If Ann did her a painting of Shibden. Marian was in the barn warming up the car and Aunt was at the front door waiting when William and Eliza drove up in their car.

Eliza was the first to alight from the car. She strode over to Aunt Anne and demanded to know where Ann was. Aunt wasn’t going to tell her anything. ‘I have no idea where they are. I do remember they said they had to go into Halifax. Ann wanted to go to the drapers. She wanted to get some curtains for their bedroom. The ones there are a bit worn.’

‘When will they be back?’ Eliza said. William was standing next to her now.

‘I don’t know and it really isn’t any of your business where my nieces are. So, be kind and leave.’ At the moment Anne and Ann had walked around the barn and saw Eliza and William standing so close to their Aunt. They scurried into the barn where Marian was and climbed into the back seat. They laid down on the floor so Eliza and William wouldn’t see them. ‘You know you’re going to need to deal with them soon. Running away like this won’t change that.’ Marian said as she backed the car out of the barn. ‘Yeah, I know we will.’ Ann said. ‘Not today. We have a plan and hope it works. We will tell you when Aunt Anne gets in the car and you drive off.’

When Marian pulled the car up next to where Aunt Anne, Eliza and William were standing Ann could hear what they were saying and it wasn’t nice.’You call her your niece but she isn’t family. She is our responsibility and we need to ensure she doesn’t make silly mistakes like the one she had supposedly done.’

‘What’s that?’ Aunt asked with a stern look on her face. She already knew what Eliza was going to say. ‘Marrying your niece. The rebel who leaves carnage in her wake.’

‘You don’t even know Anne and you never will know the real Anne Lister. Will you? Because you don’t want to know her. All you’re interested in is the local gossip mill. Whatever they say about Anne you believe.’ Ann and Anne stayed on the floor. Anne had to hold Ann down because she wanted to smack Eliza for making false accusations about her Anne. ‘I need to go now. Marian is waiting for me and we are meeting Anne and Ann in town for lunch.’ Aunt said as she climbed into the car. She closed the door and they were off. As soon as they were out of sight of Eliza and William Anne and Ann sat up. ‘Do you think they will leave?’ Ann asked Aunt.

‘I don’t know they seem determined to take you back to Crow Nest.’ Anne wondered if their plan would work. She didn’t know how they would get around this problem that seemed to her fault but wasn’t. ‘Drop us off at the jeweller shop. We are going to buy a wedding band for Ann to wear. No, we aren’t married yet but it is the only way we can convince them we are really married.’ Anne said. Ann had other ideas. She was going to buy Anne a wedding ring which would seal the deal. Wouldn’t it. She thought just a plain wide band would suit her future wife. If, they ever did get married. She wasn’t sure if saying I will was something Anne would want to do after all the heartache she had been through. ‘Ann, we’re here. Come on, let’s go.’ Anne said. It brought Ann out of her deep dark thoughts. Anne was buying her a wedding ring even though they weren’t technically married and had only know each other for a short time.

They promised Aunt and Marian they would be at the cafe in an hour. They watched them drive off. Marian parked outside the arts and crafts store. Aunt waited in the car for her. She had asked Marian to buy her some yarn. Marian bought the water colours and more brushes for Ann. As she strode out the door she saw Eliza and William. ‘What do I owe the pleasure?’ Marian said.

‘WE are still looking for Ann. Do you know where she is?’ William asked.

‘No, and if I did you’re the last two people I would tell.’

‘She is in grave danger being with your sister. She will break Ann’s heart. Ann is a very sensitive girl.’ William said.

‘Ann is far from being a girl and as for being sensitive. I think we all are. If you think Anne would break her heart you are sadly talking about the wrong person. If, you take Ann back to Crow Nest you will be responsible for breaking her heart. Now, leave us alone for goodness sake.’ Ann and Anne had been standing close by listen to the conversation. Ann decided now was the best time to get involved. ‘Marian, where’s Aunt?’ Ann said loud enough for the whole street to hear. ‘Ann, you’re coming with us now or…’ Eliza said.

‘Or what? You will grab my hands and force me to go with you. I don’t think my wife would like that.’. They both held out their left hands and showed them their wedding rings. ‘I am 29 almost 30 and you treat me like a five year old. No wonder I have issues. You can’t keep your nose out of my life. I wish you would.’ Ann suddenly felt brave when Anne locked their fingers together. Was it possible that her bikie had give her strength to finally stand up to her family.

‘You cannot know what love is, Ann. You cannot possibly know this woman in such a short time.’ Eliza said as she reached out to grab Ann’s free hand. Thankfully Anne could see what Eliza was trying to do and took Ann’s hand in her hand. ‘I know more about Anne Lister than you know about me and you have know me all my life. Isn’t it amazing that the only time I see you is when you find it necessary to tell me what to do with my life, like now.’ Ann said.’Imagine if I did to you what you are trying to do to me. Just leave before I say some unpleasant things about you, Eliza. But I think we have already been there. Haven’t we?’ Eliza and William left again. They were probably going to get reinforcements. Anne and Ann didn’t want to think about what they would need to do next so Ann could relax. If that was ever possible. They returned to the car and showed Aunt Anne their wedding rings. She like them but she wondered if it was bad luck to wear wedding rings when they weren’t married. ‘Don’t stress, Aunt. They are called promise rings. We will buy each other a proper wedding ring when we eventually get married.’ Anne said. We are getting married. WOW!! Ann thought. Hey, Miss Walker you have got to stop thinking out loud. ‘Oh shit. Sorry. I am so excited to be marrying you. What are we going to do now about my tribe?’

‘I don’t know.’ Anne said. ‘Are you hungry? I’m hungry. Let’s go eat. I think the cafe is in the next street.’ Marian drove them around to the cafe and parked the car where no one would see it. Anne and Ann helped Aunt Anne inside. She wasn’t feel up to walking any distance. Her legs had been aching all morning. They wondered if it was stress from dealing with the Priestleys again. ‘I know you don’t want to jump into anything fast, Ann. But might it not be a good idea if we just left Halifax behind us for a while and went away somewhere together. I know you want to marry me but not right now. We could go to Scotland to visit your sister or go to France. We can take Bertha and get the ferry over. What do you think?’ They all looked at Anne. She was trying to come up with a solution to their problem. ‘Anne, running away doesn’t mean the problem will go away. It’s only going to be here when you return. Isn’t it? Then what will you and Ann do? Run away again? I hope not.’ Aunt said concerned that this next encounter would make life harder for both of her nieces. ‘Aunt, we need to do something. I thought this was our best option for now. I don’t want Ann to have to deal with them for now. You can see she isn’t her best when they are near her.’ Anne said. She often wondered what life would be like with someone who wanted to be with her for always. Now, it was happening and there was baggage to deal with.’I think Aunt is right. We can’t just pack up and leave as much as I would love to do that, Anne. We must deal with this problem now. Only how will we do that?’ They had tried everything to keep Eliza from separating them and no avail. Eliza was still doing her best to get Ann back to Crow Nest. Then Anne had a brilliant idea. ‘Why don’t I move into Crow Nest with you? Surely they can’t stop you from inviting me to live with you, Ann.’

‘We could try but I doubt if it would work. I am sure they would have you thrown off the property before you got a chance to move in.’

‘Don’t you and Elizabeth own Crow Nest? At least I thought you told me you did..’  Anne said.

‘Yes, but that doesn’t mean anything to William and Eliza. They think they own me because my parents died when I was young and they are my guardians. At least I think they are.’

‘I think you should call your sister to find out.’ Marian said. So, Ann retrieved her phone from her pocket just as the server came over to see if they were ready to order. ‘Can you give us about ten minutes then we will order.’ Aunt said.

‘Okay!’ And he walked off. Ann called Elizabeth who answered on the first ring.’Hi, I have been expecting to hear from you because William called and said you were married to Anne Lister. Is that true?’

‘i will tell you about that in a moment. Just a quick question. Are the Priestleys my guardians. Liz?’

‘No, I am until you get married. Are you really married to Anne Lister?’

‘No! We said that so William and Eliza would leave us alone but we do intend to get married just not right now.’

‘Okay!!  You do know what she is like. Don’t you?’

‘I sure do. She is kind, generous, good to me. What more do I need to know. I lover her.’ She had finally said the words she had wanted to say since her first bike ride with Anne. ‘Oh kay!! I hear different but you are with her. I do hope you told her about your anxiety and depression.’

‘I had to because I forget to take my pills and we went for a ride on Bertha. She went to get something to eat and left me with my thoughts. When she returned I told her and she held me and comforted me. I don’t think I have ever felt so relaxed with anyone in my life.’

‘Good. Now, come visit one day soon. I will deal with our cousins. You just remember if they ever give you anymore shit call me. It’s still my job to look after you too.. Hey, you are my kid sister. Aren’t you?’ Ann couldn’t speak. She had tears streaming down her face when Elizabeth said that. They said their goodbyes and Ann disconnected the call. She relayed to everyone what Elizabeth had told her and she told them Elizabeth was going to call the Priestleys. What Elizabeth didn’t say was that she was also going to call Aunt Ann and remind her that she was Ann’s legal guardian and to tell Eliza and William to leave Ann alone.

‘I wonder how long that will last.’ Marian said. ‘We need to come up with a back up plan.’

‘What, Marian?’ Anne said grumpily. She was getting fed up with feeling less just because she was different to everyone else. ‘We have tried everything we can think of.’

‘Why not just get married?’ Marian said.

‘We have only known each other for a few days. Wouldn’t it be foolish to do that. I have read that we got married on the second day in another tale. Why copy them?’

‘You read too much fanfic, Anne. Focus on us now please.’ Ann said. ‘that wasn’t us. That was another Anne and Ann. Wasn’t  it?’

‘I suppose so.’

‘Do you really want to marry me, Anne?’ Anne had to think about that for a long moment. She seemed to have Ann worried. The server returned. Their ten minutes was up. They ordered sandwiches to go because they need to go home and talk about their next move without half the town of Halifax hearing about it and reporting it to Eliza and William and the rest of Ann’s tribe.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 7

 

‘Do you really want to marry me?’ Ann asked Anne for the second time. They were back at Shibden. Anne knew the answer and whispered it into Ann’s ear. ‘Yes, my love. I do want to marry you if you will still have me. Only we need to fix this pickle before then. I want you to move into Shibden and be able to go places without fear that your tribe will come after you and try to take you back to Crow Nest.’ Anne said fearful of what might happen if they weren’t able to solve this problem. ‘Anne, dearest,  I hope there is a solution to our problem because if there isn’t we may need to move to another part of the country or overseas. Do you know what we can do?’ Then Ann’s phone buzzed in her pocket. They had been eating their sandwiches and talking through their problem. So, with a mouthful of food Ann answered her phone. ‘Hi Liz!’

‘Hi Annie. I called Aunt Ann to talk to her about your guardianship. It seems that we have a small problem. Yes, I am your guardian until you marry but Aunt Ann says I agreed to let Eliza and William be joint guardians for you because at the time we didn’t know what I would be doing in the future. Yes, there is a clause that you are our responsibility until you get married.’

‘Which means Anne and Ann need to get married soon. That isn’t what we want to do but if we don’t then they won’t leave us the fuck alone. Will they?’ Ann said.

‘You’ve got that in one package, Ann. Let me talk to Lister.’ Ann passed the phone to Anne. ‘She wants to talk to you, Anne.’

‘Hi Anne, I don’t know how you are going to get around this one. I know you are good at solving problems. At least, that’s what I have heard. Is it possible that you and Ann could get married. It would stop Ann’s tribe from interfering in her life the way they are trying to right now.’

‘I made  a promise to Ann that we wouldn’t marry for a while because we don’t know each other that much and I have been in relationships that have gone pear shape because I have proposed too soon. Then they have left me and married a man.’

‘I think you know Ann would never do that to you. She is very loyal and from what she has said. She loves you so much. Now, do what you need to do to put this problem behind you. Okay!! she needs that now. Can you give Ann her phone back?’ Anne passed Ann her phone. ‘Hi again, Liz.’ Ann said.

‘Hi, Ann. I think you might need to propose to Anne because she is too afraid to propose to you because she thinks she will and you will say yes to marrying her and then leave her for a man.’ Ann looked at Anne and wondering why she thought that way. She finished the phone call with Elizabeth and disconnected the call. Then she took Anne by the hand and lead her into the kitchen. ‘Anne Lister,  my sister tells me you are doubting my loyalty to you. Why?’ Ann said. She was feeling very sad that Anne would think that way.’Ann, I don’t know. My past keeps getting in the way of me having a life with someone like you. I am afraid that will happen this time.’ Anne said with tears rolling down her cheeks. Ann wiped them away with her fingers then pulled Anne in for a hug. When she pulled away she got Anne to sit down. She got down on one knee and smiled sweetly. ‘Liz says I should do this because she said you wouldn’t. So, will you marry me, Anne Lister? Will you make a life with me? Will you share your fears and worries. Your good times too with me. Will you?’

‘Ann Walker, yes, I will marry you and make a life with you. I love you, Ann.’

‘I love you too, dearest. I’m in love with you. I always have been.’

‘When and where and how?’ Anne said smiling at her very soon to be wife. She was still fighting with her demons to stop the barriers that they were trying to erect between her and her chance for happiness. ‘Anytime, Anywhere and anyway.’ Ann said. She still couldn’t believe it was happening. ‘Then we pack some gear and go on a honeymoon to Ireland. I know you would like to go there. Wouldn’t you, Anne?’

‘Yes, we can do that but I want to take Bertha.’ Anne said sounding disappointed. ‘There is probably a ferry we can take. Or we could go to Europe, ride around for a week and camp. Would you prefer to do that, dearest?’

‘Yes, what about last names? What do you want to do?’ Anne asked tentatively because she wanted Ann to take her last name. She had always wanted her wife to do that for as long as she could remember.

‘What about last names, Anne? Ann asked. She knew why Anne was asking her. She had figured Anne would like her to take her name. Only with them having the same first name it is going to be strange if they are both Anne Lister. With or without an E. ‘Ann.’ Anne said shyly. ‘I have always wanted my wife to take my last name but if you want to keep your last name that’s okay by me.’ Anne Lister, I can have a hyphenated name, Walker-Lister or Lister-Walker. What do you think?’ What do I think? Anne thought. Maybe it would work. I could be  Walker Lister. And you could be Lister Walker. Yet, that may still get confusing. ‘Why don’t we just stay as we are? Then there would be no confusion. Okay!!’ Anne said. She always knew Ann would be her wife no matter what name she took. ‘That’s fine by me. Of course, you can call me Mrs Lister if you wish and I will always answer to that.’ Anne’s smile was so wide it nearly swallowed her face. ‘You look happy, dearest. I wonder why.’

‘Mrs Lister, I think you know why.’ Anne said shyly. She had wanted to call her wife that and now Ann had given her permission. ‘Do you like it when I call you Mrs Lister?’

‘Do I like it. Mrs Lister, I love it nearly as much as I love you.’

‘Come on, love birds. I think I am going to puke if you keep this up.’ Marian said as she made a puking sound. ‘Come on, Marian. Let them be. Leave them alone. They are happy and in love.’ Aunt Anne said. ‘It’s great to see Anne has finally found someone who will stand by her no matter what and Ann Walker is going to do that.’  Anne and Ann were hugging each other with their heads on each others’ shoulder as Aunt Anne spoke those words. It was true Anne had truly found her forever wife and so had Ann. They held each other tight and sobbed softly. Anne had never felt so connected to someone in her life. Ann was someone she could love for always.

Anne and Ann must have stayed like that for a long time. When they parted Anne could feel the lose immensely and she shivered. Ann could see that. She grabbed Anne’s hand and held it against her chest. Anne could feel Ann’s heart pounding. It was as though she had experienced a shock. She never thought Ann would feel this way. Then Anne moved her hand from Ann’s chest still holding Ann’s hand and said. ‘Feel this.’ As she placed Ann’s hand near her heart. They were beating as one in that moment. They smiled.

Aunt Anne had gone to the kitchen to make them a cup of coffee for Anne & Ann. She thought after all the excitement they would be thirsty and hungry. She smiled as she set their drinks on the coffee table along with ham and cheese sandwiches and chocolate crackles which it seemed they both like.  They ate greedily. .Neither realised how hungry they were. When they were finished Aunt Anne had a few questions she wanted answered. ‘Where will you get married and when?’

‘We haven’t decided yet.’ Ann said shyly. She knew Aunt was just wondering. ‘Who will give you away, Ann?’

‘I was wondering if Anne’s father would. I would like that.’

‘Why don’t you ask him now?’ Aunt said as father walked into the sitting room. ‘Father, the brides were wondering if you would give Ann to Anne in marriage.’ Aunt asked. ‘Yes, I would be happy to do that, Ann.’ He sat down to read the newspaper and grab a chocolate crackle but he was soon distracted by the conversation going on around him.’Where will you live?’ Aunt asked tentatively. ‘Here, at Shibden. It will be lovely one day but for now. Ann loves it as it is.’ Anne said with trepidation in her voice. She really didn’t know if Ann wanted to live there even though she said she liked Shibden the way it was. ‘What about Ann’s tribe?’

‘What about Ann’s tribe?’ Anne said with more anger than she imagined she had in her. ‘Won’t they come to take her back home even though you will be married. ‘

‘Once we are married they have no claim to Ann. The guardianship becomes void after we have signed the marriage certificate.’

‘Good. One more question and this is for both of you. Is this what you really want? It seems as though you have both been pushed to make a decision to marry sooner than you wanted to.’

‘Yes, it does seem like that, Aunt Anne but, and I think I can speak for Anne, this is what we both desire. It would have happened one day but now this hand has been dealt and we need to play it. I know we will have a few hiccups along the way. All relationships do. Yet, I know we will do fine.’ Ann said hoping that what she was saying gave both of them the courage to continue on the path they were on. ‘Okay, If you say so. Who will be your bridesmaid and best man/woman?’

‘I thought Catherine since she was the one who brought me to the pub where I met Anne and I suppose Anne would like to ask one of her friends.’

‘I had thought of asking Tib but she is more often so drunk. I don’t think I would ask Mariana. She would have nose put out of joint. I might ask Marian.’ she said that as Marian walked into the room. ‘I heard my name. What might you ask me, sister dear?’

‘We were wondering.’ Ann said. If ….you would like to get gussied up and be in our wedding? We haven’t decide a date or time yet.’

‘I would love to as long as I don’t have to wear a dress.’ Marian said. She had always wanted to wear a suit and now was her chance. ‘No probs. Since you will be my best man. Well, in your case, woman. Catherine will be Ann’s bridesmaid. Is that okay?’

‘Yes!!; Marian said. ‘it is more than okay. Now, you need to decide when and where.’

‘Here at Shibden ASAP.’

‘ASAP.’ Marian said puzzled.

As soon as possible. When are you free?’ Anne asked.

‘Any day ending in Y.’ Marian said with a silly grin on her face.

‘Marian be serious for a minute or three.’ Anne said.

‘Sister, I am free anytime. Okay!!’

Chapter Text

‘Thank you, Marian.’ Anne said. Now she realised her sister would make time for her and Ann.’Now, we have to decide on a date.’ They had only known each other for a beat but Ann always felt she could speak her mind to Anne. ‘If we don’t hurry up, dearest  we could have more problems with my tribe than what we ever imagined. I wouldn’t put it past them to try again to take me home. I think they like to think they have control of my life.’ Father was still listening to their conversation and said. ‘Let them try. I think we can figure something out. Maybe my sister could adopt you.’

‘If push come to shove would you do that, Aunt?’ Anne asked.

‘Ann is family already. So, to make her my own would be great. Wouldn’t that take months to achieve?’ Aunt said hesitantly. ‘And wouldn’t your tribe do whatever they could to stop it?’

‘That is so true. I guess we will have to married soon. Let’s get a marriage licence and see if we can find a celebrant to marry us. Money isn’t an issue.’ Anne said looking at Ann who was nodding frantically in agreement. ‘Let me make some calls and see what I can find out.’ Anne made several calls after she did a Google search for marriage celebrants in the Halifax area. It seemed as though they were all busy until she remember her old and sometime bikie friend had said ‘When you get married give me a call  I will preform the ceremony for you.’ So, she called Tib whose phone went straight to voice mail. Anne wondered what she was up to but left a message. Tib, call me please. I have a favour to ask of you.’ Tib called half an hour later.  Anne answered on the second ring. ‘Hi Tib, how’s my old mate doing?’ Anne said cheerfully.’Hi Lister, what do you want from me?’

‘I’m getting hitched.’

‘You’ve finally got Mariana to leave Charles. That must have taken some persuading.’ Anne was squirming because she could see Ann was beginning to feel uncomfortable next to her.’No, Tib. Mariana is still with her bloody doctor husband. I have found someone who I don’t have to fight off a man to keep.’

;How did you do that, Anne?’ Tib asked curiously. She had been waiting for years for Anne to say I do to someone. She thought she would be the lucky one until she introduced her to Mariana Belcombe. She remembered the car accident Anne and Mariana were in and how after many  months  in hospital Mariana had announced she met and  married her doctor, Charles Lawton because he promised her a life filled with all the pleasures she could ever ask for which Anne couldn’t offer her. She knew from the look on Anne’s face that day that it would take her years to recover from the heartache Mariana had caused

Anne brought Tib from her musings. ‘I took her for a ride on Bertha. ‘ Anne said confidently. She was feeling better now. Ann wrapped her arms around her wife. ‘She went for a ride on Big Bertha and she is still there with you. Goodness. Wonders will never cease.’

‘That isn’t the only ride she has had on Bertha.’

‘She’s hooked then. Now, when are  you getting married?’

‘When are you free? Do you have a free day in the next month?’ Anne said wondering if a month would be long enough to organise it and short enough so Ann’s tribe can’t do anything to spoil it. ‘I have a free Thursday but it’s only just over two weeks away. I know you have always talked about wanting a fancy wedding. Is that time frame going to be enough?’

‘What’s the date? Ann had already done the maths in her head. She smiled but she wasn’t sure Anne would want to get married on her birthday. ‘20th of May, dearest.  It’s my birthday.’

‘Deal, Tib. We will visit you later today or tomorrow to seal the deal and talk turkey.’ Anne said.

‘Talk turkey?’ Ann said. ‘What the heck is that?’

‘Decide on price and what we want in the service, Ann.’

‘Okay!!’ They visited Tib the following day. She was busy in her office. The sign on her door said do not disturb. So, Ann knocked. She was trying to be polite. Anne screwed up her nose. She knew what Tib was up to. She didn’t want to mention it to Ann because she thought she would be embarrassed. Ann knocked again. Then they heard scurrying around inside. A door opened and closed. Then Tib was standing in front of them. ‘Can’t you read? Do not disturb.’

‘I’m not disturbing you because you are already disturbed. Aren’t you? And your shag can leave now. We have business to discuss. She can come back later when we leave.’ A tall brunette appeared next to Tib. She smiled and whispered into Tib’s ear then she left. Tib closed the door and offered them a seat. She held up a bottle of whiskey as if offering them a drink. ‘No, thanks but I will have a cup of coffee if you are offering to make one.’ Anne said. Ann nodded. ‘Yes, coffee would be lovely, thanks, Tib.’

‘So, this is the pretty young thing you are marrying.’ Tib said as she scanned Ann from head to toe. ‘Not bad looking but she looks too young for even you, Anne.’ Ann blushed. Anne squirmed. She knew Tib was probably right about her age but how old was she really. ‘You’re 21. Aren’t you, Miss.’ Tib asked Ann. ‘No, I will be 30 on our wedding day.’

‘OH!!! So, you are marrying her on her birthday. And how old are you, Lister?’

‘I turned 42 last month. Didn’t I? You bloody well know that. Don’t you?’

‘Yeah, but I do like giving you shit about it.’

‘Says someone who is much older than me.’ Anne said knowing Tib couldn’t one up her on that one.

‘Only by two or is it three years.’

‘Three years, Isabelle.’ Anne said. She could see Tib squirm because she never did like people calling her by her given name.  They finally got around to discussing price and the wording of their vows. Anne had wanted to write her own vows. Ann didn’t think she could do that until they started talking about it. Then she came up with what she wanted to say to Anne on the day. She wrote it down and handed it to Tib because she didn’t want Anne to see it. Tib placed Ann’s vows in the front of her notebook. She never used a bible because she thought it implied that she was a Christian which she wasn’t.

Anne had been furiously writing her vows out and passed them to Tib who placed Anne’s next to Ann’s in her notebook. She had scribbled AW on Ann’s vows so they wouldn’t get mixed up. ‘What do you want me to wear?’

‘We have decided to go casual. So, you can do the same. We don’t have time to shop for wedding attire much to Marian and Catherine’s disappointment but they have to live with that. It isn’t their wedding. Is it?’

‘Why are they disappointed?’ Tib asked.

‘They wanted to get all gussied up. Now, we are going casual they don’t like that.’ Ann said. She thought that Marian and Catherine were trying to sabotage their day. ‘What time?’ Tib asked. Looking from Anne to Ann. She couldn’t remember if Anne had told her where they were getting married. ‘Where?’

‘Shibden and maybe noon. Cordingley will probably cook us a meal if we ask her and Hemingway can bake us a cake. She loves baking cakes.’

Good!; Tib pulled out her diary and wrote the time and place in the date.  Anne looked at her. ‘If, I don’t write it down I will forgot. The mind isn’t what it use to be.’

‘Yeah, too much top shelve, Isabelle.’

‘No, old age,  Lister. Well, I will see you in about two weeks. Can I bunk with you the night before? Then I won’t need to rush to get there.’

‘Certainly.’ Ann said. ‘We can celebrate a bit the night before. Can’t we, Anne?’

‘As long as someone doesn’t drink too much. Tib!!’ Anne said.

‘I won’t. I won’t. I promise.’

‘I hope you can stick to that, mate. See you in the 19th then.’ Anne and Ann gave Tib a hug. Ann had paid Tib half and promised her the other half on the day of the ceremony.’

When they returned home Marian and Catherine were in the sitting room talking about Anne and Ann’s wedding. They seem to be scheming up something. Anne wondered what. She had told them they were going casual on the day but it seemed they still wanted to dress up. She thought it would look a bit weird if they were dressed up and everyone else went casual. They had to find a compromise to keep Marian and Catherine happy and have the wedding they wanted.

They had to say something to Marian and Catherine. Now was the best time before they ordered their outfits. ‘We need to talk to you two. As you already know we have decided to go casual because we don’t think we will have time to get fitted for and order our outfits.’ Anne said.’We do have a compromise.’

‘What is it.’ Marian asked.

‘If you wear casual we will pay two nights accommodation for both of you at a place of your choice. Think about it. You can give us an answer tomorrow.’

Marian looked at Catherine. She could see Catherine liked the idea. ‘Yes.’ They said in unison. ‘Let us know where on the day. You can go together or separate. That’s fine with us. Okay!!’ Ann said.

‘We had decided to go away together before you gave us this option. We were going on a three day trip to the Lakes District.’

‘Where are you staying?’ Ann asked.

‘A little B&B in Wast Water. I have stayed there before with Ann. Don’t you remember it, Annie?’ Catherine said.

‘I think I would much rather forget that. If you don’t mind.’ Ann said.

‘Why?’ Anne asked.

‘She decided to have a bit too much to drink. We tempted her to crawl across the table in her knickers and bra.’ Catherine said. ‘What a sight. Only no one had a camera or their phones because we didn’t want to be interrupted by the tribe.’

‘Miss Walker, I think I can one up you there. I swam naked in a fountain after having too much to drink. I started with some rum and lots of coke until the coke ran out and it was all rum. I don’t remember a thing but those who were there with me thought it was the best night they had had in a long while. My friends still rib me about it when we go out drink.’

‘Where was the fountain?’ Ann asked.

‘I don’t remember. Do you, Marian?’

‘No, but I am sure if we asked Tib she will remember.’ Ann said.

‘I remember now. It was the Fountain Des Mers. They even had photos until you got hold of them and destroyed them.’

Oh Anne, you a bit of a spoil sport.’ Ann said shyly.

‘Ann Walker, I was naked.’ Then she whispered so only Ann could hear. I do have one in my bedroom you can peek at later if you are a bad girl.’

‘What did you say, Anne?’ Catherine asked.

‘Nothing.’ Ann said. Nothing that concerns you, Catherine, Ann thought.

They had avoided what could have been a terrible mismatch style of clothes on the most important day of their lives. Anne was content and Ann was smiling broadly.’We need to talk to Cordingley now to ask if she would cook a meal after our wedding ceremony. Do you want to do that now, Ann?’

‘Yes, best to strike while the irons hot.’

‘Cordingley, where are you?’ Anne asked.

‘I’m in the pantry getting some vegetables for tea. What’s up?’

‘Ann and I are getting married on the 20th of May. We wondered if you would like to cook us a nice meal and ask Hemingway to bake us a fruit cake. Can you both do that?’

‘Yes, but Hemingway will need to start the cake now if you want it to be good on the day.’

‘Why?’ Ann asked.

‘The long the cake sits before it is eaten the better it tastes.’

‘Okay!!!’ Tell Rachel we will give her a bit extra for doing this for us and you will also get a bonus too, Elizabeth. Okay!!’

‘Thank you, ma’am. Rachel, I need you in the kitchen right now. You have to back a fruit cake for Anne and Ann’s wedding. There will be a bonus in it for you.’ Hemingway appeared at the door and was soon preparing the fruit cake to be baked.

Chapter Text

Chapter 9

 

Tib arrived early afternoon on the 19th. She seemed that she was just as excited about Anne and Ann’s wedding as they were. She was carrying a box filled with what looked like party streamers and hats. Anne wanted to know what was underneath but Tib wouldn’t tell her. All she said, ‘it’s a surprise. I want to make this evening the best. I don’t want you two thinking about tomorrow because if you do you will certainly have a bad attack of fear and want to run for the hills before we even get started.’

‘I won’t do that and neither will Ann.’

‘I don’t know about Ann but I do know you, Lister. You are incline to run when fear hits you hard.’ Anne looked at Ann shyly. ‘What is she talking about, Anne?’

‘It was a long time ago when I was young and stupider than what I am now. Tib had set me up with a blind date. It was good to begin with. I thought I could warm up to her. She was bloody dull.’

‘She wasn’t. You didn’t give her a chance.’

‘I did, Tib. She wasn’t my type. When I took her to a motel for a good time. She got scared and took off like a lizard drinking.’

‘She took off. She told me you abandoned her at the motel. Anne Lister, whatever happened don’t do it tomorrow. Okay!!’ Anne nodded. Ann planned to get the truth out of her wife later before they got married. Only she couldn’t wait that long. So, she grabbed Anne’s hand and took her into the kitchen. ‘Please explain to me what Tib was talking about. Are you going to do a runner on me?’

‘Ann, that was so long ago I had forgotten about it. Tib, likes to stir up trouble. I didn’t abandon her. We…well, we were mismatch. We are equals, Ann. I will not abandon you now we have got this far. You are going to be my wife tomorrow, Mrs Lister. Do you have your gear packed so we can leave after we have eaten and made speeches and cut cake.’

‘I am. Are you sure this is what you want? If not, I can wait.’ Ann said.

‘Oh, Miss Walker, this is the moment I have been waiting nearly all my life for. To finally have a dream come true is amazing. I love you, Ann.’

‘I love you, dearest.’

‘You have your usual room, Tib. Tea will be served in about an hour if you would like to go freshen up.’ Anne said.

‘I certainly would like to do that.’

‘Good.’ Ann said. Tib grabbed her gear plus her box of goodies and went up to her room. She was back down half an hour later. They sat at the table and Cordingley brought dishes out so they could eat. Ann and Anne always sat together. It was something they loved doing. Ann would always make circles on Anne’s leg. You could tell because she would always jump. That’s what she was doing on this particular night until Tib noticed. Then Ann stopped. She felt embarrassed. The way Tib was looking at her made her feel uncomfortable.

‘What’s wrong, Miss Walker? Tib said. ‘Am I embarrassing you. I couldn’t even see what you were doing.’ Ann blushed. Anne put her arm around her trying to comfort her. ‘Just ignore Isabelle. She loves to give everyone a hard time. It’s her way of saying you are her friend for life.’

They ate in relative silence until Tib asked where they were going to live. Anne had thought she had always told everyone that she wanted to stay here at Shibden Hall. ‘Ann and I are going to live at Shibden.’

‘What about Ann’s home? Doesn’t she want to live at Crow Nest.’

‘No!’ Ann said. ‘I have decided to let it out. Are you interested in leasing it, Tib?’

‘I know it’s a lavish property but I am happy where I am. Thanks for the offer. I don’t like offending people.’

‘Come on, Tib. You don’t like offending people. What were you doing a moment ago.’ Anne said.

‘I was merely making a comment. She can touch you all she wants it doesn’t bother me.’ Tib said.

‘B….but you said you didn’t see what I was doing to Anne.’

‘I told a whitie. Are you going to hold it against me?’

‘Nah, Tib. I don’t think so. I thought you might have been a little jealous that Anne was getting some attention are you weren’t.’

‘Then why did you blush?’ Tib asked not meaning to pry.

‘I don’t know. It just seems to happen.’ Ann said. ‘And I don’t seem to be able to stop it once it starts.’

‘Marian, are you happy they will be living at Shibden. With you?’ Tib asked.

‘Yes, I like Miss Walker what little I have seen of her. She seems to be good for my sister.’ There’s a knock at the door. Anne gets up to Answer it but is beaten by Cordingley who was sweeping the entrance after Anne had entered with her muddy boots on. ‘Miss Rawson. I have been invited to a night before wedding party. Well, that’s what I was told.’

‘Do come in. Please excuse the mess. Miss Lister tends to forget to wipe her boots when she enters the hall.’ Catherine walks in the direction of the voices. ‘Marian, how are you this evening?’ She asked as she sits next to her on the sofa. Anne and Ann are seated opposite her. Tib has taken a bean bag which everyone else had forgotten they owned. No one used it and Anne was thinking about selling it. It was a eighties fad that had died before it even caught on. But Tib looked very comfortable. Then she stood. ‘I’ll be back in a moment. I am going to collect my box of tricks.’

‘That box you came in with?’ Ann said puzzled and curious to see what was in it. She had a feeling it was going to make her cringe a little. Anne pulled her close and whispered in her ear. Oh, Tib is more than likely to try and make you blush again. Just ignore her and look at me. That will help you,’ I Hope Anne thought.

Tib returned to the sitting room. Anne and Ann were snuggled together on the floor now. Ann was frowning. She was still wondering what Tib had in her box of tricks. Tib placed the box gently on the floor so close to Anne and Ann that Ann could nearly see what was in it. ‘No peeking there, Missy.’ Tib said and she pulled out the first game they would play tonight. ;’I hope you are ready for this one.’ it’s my version of pin the tail on the donkey. You know how you loved it as kids. You did play it, ladies!’ Tib looked at everyone they seem to know what she was talking about except Ann. ‘I’ve never played party games because I never had a birthday party. Catherine and I would get together and watch re runs of our favourite tv shows.’ Catherine smiled. She remembered those times. ‘This game is similar but a little more raunchy.’ She pulled out a naked doll which she blew up and then found somewhere to hang it. Then there was a dildo and a mask. ‘You wear the blindfold. The idea if the game is to insert the dildo into the dolls pussy without her falling on top of you. As you can see she is just hanging by a thread. I will demonstrate.’ Tib stood up. Marian put the blindfold on her and handed her the dildo. Of course, this one was just a balloon shaped like a sausage. Only Tib made it look so easy and had it in after two tries. Then it was Anne’s turn. She was able to get it in one try. Ann always thought she had a knack with toys. Ann was meant to go next but was a little nervous. Tib hadn’t mention what would happen it the doll fell on top of her. So, she waited until last. Marian and Catherine seemed to be less apt at the trick. It took Marian five goes and Catherine four tries.

Then it was Ann’s turn. She didn’t want to do it but she could see the look on Anne’s face. Anne smiled at her and mouthed. ‘You will do fine.’ Ann wasn’t so sure. Anne put the blindfold on her. Then she realise why it was so easy. She could see through the blindfold. She approached the doll with the dildo in her hand. She reached out to grabbed the doll. Her hand hit air. Someone had move the doll. Who? She looked around no one had moved. She tried again. Her hand hit air again. She stood still, made to look as though she was going to grab the doll and saw a hand reach up and move it.

She removed the blindfold to see Anne’s hand in the dolls foot. ‘What are you doing, Anne?’ Ann said getting red faced and wanting to do what everyone had done. ‘Its a trick doll. She comes if you insert the dildo at the right angle. It seems everyone knew that expect you.’ She stood up and showed Ann. ‘And it is coloured to look like pee. So you think you get a golden shower.’

‘Oh is that what a golden shower is.’

‘Yes, when someone comes there are times when they pee too.’ Anne said.’I have never had that happen to me.’

‘Okay.’ Tib said. ‘Let’s move on. The next game is a bunch of questions. To see how well Anne and Ann know each other. Of course, everyone else can answer if you wish.’ Tib handed everyone a small notepad and pen each. ‘You don’t know me, Tib. We have only just met.’ Ann said.

‘Ah, Thanks to your cousin. She helped me with this one. Thanks, Catherine. I hope you got the answers right.

‘What is Anne Lister’s  favouirte colour?’ Everyone wrote furiously except Anne. ‘I forgot to say we will check the answers at the end of the game.’ Tib said. ‘I am asking questions about Anne Lister.’ Anne put her notepad and pen on her table near her. ‘When is Anne’s birthday and how old will she be?’ They wrote again. ‘If you were to met Anne in a pub what is the first thing she would say to you?’ Anne cringed when Tib asked that question. ‘Who is Anne’s favourite person in the whole world besides Ann?’ Ann felt she was getting all the questions right. She wasn’t sure about Anne’s age but she knew Anne was about 12 years older than her. ‘What does she sleep in? This one only Ann might know but everyone else can guess.’ Tib seemed to be having fun. The drinks were flowing by now. Anne had bought a carton of beer in cans so they wouldn’t be much cleaning up after. ‘Does Ann have any tattoos and if you know what are they?’ Ann smiled but while she knew Anne had tats she didn’t know how many. ‘Only a couple more.’ Tib said. ‘How many versions fo Bertha has Anne had?’

‘Isabelle Norcliffe!! I don’t want to be reminded about that.’ Anne said. ‘it wasn’t my finest moment.’

‘Don’t stress, Lister. I know Ann knows about it. Marian told me.’ Anne eyed Marian and nearly snarled at her when Ann brought up her hand to lay on Anne’s knee. It had an instant calming effect. ‘Last question. What is the best  wedding present you could give Anne Lister on her wedding day.’

‘That one is open to interpretation, Tib. I might not want anything.’ Ann looked at her wife in shock. ‘Except my wife which is a no brainer.’

‘The answers. It’s obvious her favourite colour is black. That’s all she wears.’

‘Yes, but I am trying to change that. I think she would look lovely in dark blues or greens.’ Ann said

‘Her birthday is 3rd of April and she turned 42 this year.’

‘Ouch, off by a year. I thought you were only 41 dearest.’

‘If you met Anne Lister in a pub she would offer to buy you a drink if you were cute.’

‘Right.’ Ann said. ‘I think that’s what she did for me. Only I don’t remember much before the bike ride.

‘She normally sleeps in her boxers and an old t-shirt unless….’

‘I don’t think Marian wants to hear that, Tib.’

‘Okay!!! The best wedding present you could give Anne is time with her wife. I am sure she would appreciate that.’

‘I said some more play toys.’ Catherine said. Marian had given her that answer. I said me.’ Ann said which made Anne smile. Marian hadn’t answered that question in case Anne guessed what she was getting her.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 10

 

Tib went on to ask questions about Ann Walker. This was going to be fun. She had learned so much about Ann Walker in the last few days. She had been sending questions in text messages to Catherine and getting answers. ‘Now, let’s see how much you know about Ann Walker?’ Tib said. ‘What is her favourite colour?’ Anne wrote furiously. She thought she knew. ‘How old is Ann and when is her birthday. You should all know that one. ‘What does Ann do when she isn’t sleeping?’

‘That’s a strange question to ask.’

‘Oh this is an obsession but she hasn’t done much since she met Anne here.’ Then Catherine realised what she was talking about and wrote it down. ‘What does Ann wear to bed? Ann blushed this time but she knew no one would know she slept in her birthday suit. That is no one but Anne now.’If you were to bump into Ann in the street how would she react.’ And at that Ann blushed. She rarely went into town because she didn’t want her tribe to see her and ask her their usual trite question. ‘What would be the best wedding present you could give Ann and it relates to one other question I have already asked.’

When they were done. Anne smiled because she thought she knew Ann Walker so much. ‘Answers please.’ Anne said.

‘Ann’s favourite colour is….’

‘Pink.’ Anne yelled out. Ann looked at her.’Wrong. My favourite colour was black when I was younger. There’s a bikie around these parts who always wears black. I hear she is a badass bitch.’ Anne smiled. ‘It was pink for a while before that but now my favourite colour is most shades of green.’

‘Okay!! I got that one wrong.’ Marian said. ‘I put pink too.’ Catherine didn’t need to answer. She smiled because she got it right.

‘Of course, Ann’s birthday is tomorrow their wedding day. She will be 30. I think we all got that right.’

‘I didn’t I thought she was younger.’ Marian said.

‘How young?’ Ann asked.

‘25. I thought Anne was way older than you. Sorry.’

‘That’s okay. Everyone I know thinks I am younger than what I am.’

‘What does Ann sleep in? A nightgown and fluffy socks in the winter when her feet get cold.’ Tib said.

‘Well, she actually sleeps….’ Was Anne could say when Ann’s lips hit hers and they kissed passionately until everyone coughed loudly.

They jumped apart so fast Anne fell forward into Ann’s lap.

‘Ann loves to paint and she does it as often as she can.’

Anne didn’t know that. So, she didn’t answer that one or the last question.

‘As you can guess from the last question Ann would like paints and brush as a wedding present. Not very romantic, isn’t it?’

‘I just want Anne. As long as she is there I will be happy.’ Ann said. ‘As long as you are there, Ann I will be happy too.’

‘Only a few hours to go. You can always call it off, Anne.’ Ann said. She still wasn’t sure if Anne was doing the right thing for herself. She thought Anne was only marrying her to get her tribe off her back. ‘Ann Walker, Stop over thinking. I am marrying you because I want to and no other reason. Tib, do you have anymore games in that box of tricks you brought.’

‘Yes, but I thought we would take a break. I see Cordingley was busy before making sandwiches and cakes for supper. Shall we partake of them now and play another game later.’ Tib said. They stood up and walked into the kitchen. Aunt Anne was waiting to join them for supper. She had promised they could have their fun and games. She would join them afterwards.

‘Are you ready for tomorrow, Anne and Ann?’ Aunt asked concerned. ‘You do know that this relationship has only just began. You need to remember it is really going to take a while for you to get to know each other. It requires patience and understanding from both of you.’

‘We know that, Aunt.’ Anne and Ann said together. Anne smiled at her wife.’Only a few more hours, Ann. I am so nervous I could scream.’

‘Yes, only a few more hours then I can really call you my wife. It’s going to be amazing. My big bikie wife. The rebel will be mine for always.’

‘Are you going somewhere special for your honeymoon?’ Marian asked.

‘We are going to get the ferry to France and take it from there. Wherever providence takes us. As long as Ann is with me I don’t care where we go. Do you, Ann?’

‘No, dearest. As long as we are together. It doesn’t matter.’

‘Are you taking Bertha?’ Catherine asked. She looked concerned because she hoped they weren’t. Bertha was a big beast and looked as though it would be hard to hold up right. ‘Yes, we are taking Bertha. Don’t worry, Catherine. Ann will be fine with me.’

‘How long will you be away, Anne and Ann?’ Marian asked.

‘We aren’t sure. I have some estate business to deal with before we go and hopefully that will keep the men busy for at least a month unless we are called back. You will tell me if you need us, Aunt? I wouldn’t want to stay away knowing you weren’t well.’

‘I will be fine, Anne. I have Marian to take care of me and Tib is hanging around for a week or two to help Marian out. ‘Is that why you have been eyeing each other all night. Don’t think I haven’t noticed that.’

‘Noticed what?’ Marian said. She could see the wheels turning in her sister’s head. ‘You and Tib. I might not be around here much but I do know when you are smitten with  someone.’

‘Me smitten with Tib. Anne are you crazy.’

‘No! I can see it so don’t deny it.’ Tib blushed and Marian had to hide her face. It had turned beetroot red. Ann tried to defend her sister-in-law. ‘Come on, Anne. You don’t know this. Marian probably likes her as a friend.’

‘Thanks, Ann. I won’t forget this.’ Marian and Tib said together.

‘Ah, see what I mean they even answered together. My goodness, what am I going to do with you two?’

‘Leave them alone, Anne.’ Aunt Anne said. ‘Can’t you see Marian is struggling with her feelings for Tib and Tib is having a hard time thinking she could be your sister-in-law one day.’

‘Ouch. I never thought about it like that. Sorry, Tib. Sorry, Marian.’ Anne said.’Are we going to play some more games?’

‘I want to go to bed, dearest. I am sleepy and we have a big day tomorrow.’

‘We certainly do. Thanks for the fun night, Tib. How much do we owe you for the service you are going to perform tomorrow?’ Ann asked.

‘It’s my wedding present for you and Anne. I hope we can stay friends, Anne. I really do enjoy your company and I would love to get to know Miss Walker more.’

‘Thank you, Tib.’ Ann said.’Yes, I would love to spend more time with you. Maybe we can get together after we return from our honeymoon. I am sure Anne will like that.’ Anne nodded. She couldn’t have asked for anything better than Ann and Tib becoming friends.

‘Would anyone like something to drink before we all go to bed?’ Anne asked. It was getting late but she was thirsty and hungry again. She imagined it was because she was nervous about tomorrow. She didn’t expect she would get an affirmative response from anyone. Ann followed her into the kitchen. They made the drinks and found something to munch on. Ann was hungry too. Ann was hungry for the same reason Anne was thirsty and hungry. She was nervous about tomorrow. They would be getting married. She was hoping that there would be no dramas to deal with before or after or even during their wedding ceremony.

They returned to the sitting room. Aunt & father had gone to bed earlier. Marian and Tib were chatting quietly. ‘Hey, turn on the telly. I think there’s a show on soon that I am sure you would like to watch. Have you heard of the L word?’

‘Didn’t they show the last season quite a few years ago. I loved Shane because she was well, a bit like me.’ Anne said. She could see Ann eyeing her and wondering what she meant. ‘Hey Ann, as you know I am not a skirt chaser now. I was a long time ago but now I have you I am not interested. This heart of mine is closed to any other romantic interests. You close it with your love for me, Ann.’

‘Anne Lister, why are you still worried that I will somehow get fed up with you and find a reason to leave you? Anne, listen to me and I will say this in front of others tomorrow but for now just in front of these people here. I love you, Anne. I’m in love with you. I always have been. There is only one person for me. That’s you. I do trust you, dearest. Okay!’

‘I guess that proves only one thing, Lister. This woman here is nuts about you or is just plain nuts.’ Tib said. She looked at Anne who was about to yell until Ann put her hand on Anne’s knee which seem to calm her down. Then Ann whispered into her ear.’Anne, my love, we both know I am a little crazy in love with you. But that’s our secret.’ Anne smiled. She didn’t want any foolish actions to spoil their evening. ‘Have you written your vows yet?’ Marian asked. She remembered Anne had said they were writing their own vows. They would reflect on how little they knew each other but how much they loved each other.

Only they were going to be private until they were revealed tomorrow. ‘Yes, but they are kinda private at the moment. I don’t know what Anne has written and she doesn’t know what I have written. Do you, dearest?’ Ann said.

‘No, we will find out like everyone else will tomorrow.’

Catherine had been quiet for sometime. ‘What happens if our cousins are there to spoil the day for you? What will you do?’ Catherine didn’t want to put a dampener on the evening but it seemed she had because Ann put her head on her wife’s shoulder and began sobbing quietly. Anne wasn’t annoyed with Catherine but she was a bit disappointed that she had brought this up. Anne wrapped her arms around her wife and whispered into her ear. ‘Adney, Catherine isn’t trying to hurt you. She is worried that if Eliza and William turn up again they will spoil the day.’

‘I thought Elizabeth was going to call them. She said she would call back only she didn’t.’ Ann said. Then her phone buzzed in her pocket. She answered. ‘Hi Liz.’ Ann was surprised she was calling so late at night. ‘Hi Ann, sorry I didn’t get back to you. I have been so busy with the kids. We are over at Crow Nest for the big event. Our cousins are planning on crashing. I told them to leave you alone. It’s a shame they won’t heed my advice cause I feel Anne will rage and that won’t be good for her reputation. Will it?’

‘No, it won’t. Do you want to talk to Anne? She’s right here.’

‘Yes please. I think we need to come up with a plan.’ Ann handed her phone to her wife. ‘Hi Elizabeth. Are you at Crow Nest?’

‘Yes, we are. Only so are Eliza and William.They have been hammering me all night to come over there to fetch Ann before she makes the biggest mistake in her life. I won’t because I know she knows you better than anyone does and I am sure she wouldn’t marry you if she didn’t feel safe with you. She didn’t know you loved her, which you do?’

‘Yes, I love your sister so much. What she is going through right now with your cousins is appalling. I wish they would just let her live her life.’ Anne said feeling anger rise in her voice. ‘I can tell you aren’t happy. What can we do tomorrow to stop them from destroying your day. Do you have any ideas?’

‘We could send Tib over to yell at them. Only I don’t think she wants to move from her comfortable spot and anyway she is sleeping.’ Anne said. ‘What do you think we should do without changing where we are getting married?’

‘No, Anne, don’t disturb Tib. There’s not much we can do right now. We will have to deal with them tomorrow if they should turn up. I hope not. They have just left promising they would.’

‘Shit! Ann just woke up when she heard us talking and wants to know what is going on. Should I tell her?’ Anne hadn’t realise Ann feel asleep until she had spoken out loud.

‘Yes, tell her.’

‘What’s happening?’ Ann asked. ‘Are we expecting interlopers at our wedding?’

‘It seems like it, Ann. Only we should go to bed and deal with it tomorrow. Is that okay? You seem very sleepy, Adney.’

‘I am.’

‘We are dealing with it tomorrow. We both need to sleep on it for now. See you tomorrow, Elizabeth. Bye.’

‘Bye. See you tomorrow. You’re right we can deal with it then.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 11

 

After Anne had closed their bedroom door Ann had her up against it. ‘I thought you were sleeping, Miss Walker.’ Anne said surprised. She didn’t think Ann was ready for this. ‘Yes, I was until I looked at you. You had a mischief smile on your face as if you were thinking something rather dirty.’

‘You, Miss Walker, have allowed your imagination to run wild.’ Then Anne leaned into Ann and kiss her passionately. Ann had her hand on Anne’s thigh. She was tracing circles on it and strange shapes. Anne’s mind was focused on one thing getting Ann naked and onto their bed so she could help her forgot about her cousins and what may happen tomorrow. ‘And if you are willing. I am able. So, allow me to remove your clothes and lay you on our bed. Then I can fuck you. If that is what you want.’ All Ann could do was nod. She was too worked up to do anything else.

Anne undressed Ann and left a trail of clothes from the door to their bed. What Anne didn’t realise was Ann was undressing her. She had been so focused on what she was doing that she didn’t realise Ann had undone the button and zip on her jeans nor that she had stepped out of them and then her boxer briefs. She only had on her bra and t-shirt when they both landed heavily on their bed. That was when Anne felt a chill between her legs and realise she was naked from the waist down. ‘How did you do that, Miss Walker?’

‘Dearest, you were distracted. So, I took advantage of that. And now all you need to do is remove your t-shirt and bra. Gotta ya!!’

‘You certainly did, you saucy minx, you.’ Anne said with a hint of pleasure in her voice. ‘Well, raise your arms so I can remove your t-shirt.’ Anne did as Ann requested. Then she rolled over so Ann could unfasten her bra. It was off. They both laid there naked for a beat. ‘Do  you think they will turn up tomorrow or are they just bluffing to scare me into going back to Crow Nest?’

‘I don’t know. You know them more than what I do, Adney?’

‘Not really, Anne. They are family only all they do when we are together is talk about me. I know they have children but I don’t know how many .’

‘Okay!!’ Anne said  as she wondered what they were in for tomorrow. ‘Hey, I thought you wanted me to fuck you, Adney.’

‘I do. So, let’s get on with it.’ Ann said with a cheeky grin on her face that Anne could only just see when the moonlight shone through the window. It was partly cloudy outside. ‘The cheek of some people. You are a bit demanding sometimes, Missy.’ Then Anne ran her hand down Ann’s body until she found her clit. She stroked it with her fingers then moved to Ann’s centre which was dripping wet. She inserted three fingers inside Ann. Ann squirmed. Anne curled her fingers inside Ann which made Ann moan loudly. She thrust her hips up to meet Anne’s thrust inside her.  Their lips met again and they kissed. This was how Ann had imagined being fucked by Anne would be. It was the best feeling in her life. Ann wished they could stay like this forever. Only she could feel her gut coiling and her desire to come. ‘Do you have a strap. Anne?’

‘Well, here’s the thing.I have quite a collection. Why do you ask?’

‘No reason. Just curious, dearest. ‘ Anne continued to fuck Ann relentlessly. ‘Would you like to try one out? Is that what you want for me to fuck you with a strap on, Adney?’ Anne said.’I could get it now. I have one that would suit you immensely.’ Anne removed her fingers from Ann’s centre and rose to get the strap on. Ann felt the loss instantly. She put her hand between her legs to rub her clit. She was doing fine until Anne noticed what was happening. ‘Either you remove your hand from where it is or I will sleep on the sofa tonight.’ Ann removed her hand so fast Anne couldn’t believe how quickly she did.

Anne went into the closet to retrieve the strap on. She inserted her legs into the harness and pulled it up around her hips. She tightened the harness and the cock stood at attention. She laid on their bed next to Ann whose eyes were so wide. She couldn’t believe that Anne had a strap on and was going to funk her with it. WOW!! Was all Ann could think. Then Anne rolled Ann on her back and kissed her again. She rubbed the tip of the cock on Ann’s centre. Ann squirmed and begged Anne to go inside her but Anne kept teasing her until Ann couldn’t take it any longer. So, Anne gently lower her cock over Ann’s centre. Then she pushed it inside Ann slowly and gently until it was inside Ann up to the hilt. They both moaned loudly. Anne pumped inside Ann. Ann’s hips rose to meet each of Anne’s thrust inside her. This was so much better than what Ann had ever imagined. ‘Oh Anne, fuck,, Anne, this is amazing, Anne. Go faster. Anne, fuck, you’re amazing.’ Anne went faster and harder. ‘Touch yourself, Adney. Touch yourself. Rub your fingers over your clit.’ Ann reached down to find her clit with a trembling hand she stroked her own clit until she came shuddering around Anne’s cock.Anne pulled out and Ann felt the loss. Anne stood up. She unfastened the harness and let it drop to the floor

Anne wrapped her arms around her wife. They laid there for a moment until Anne’s whole body began to shake. She was desperate for Ann to fuck her. ‘Anne, I need you inside me. Now!! Please, Ann.’

‘OH dearest. Let me attend to your needs. Here, lay down beside me.. Then Ann’s lips crashed with Anne’s. They were kissing furiously. Ann’s hands found Anne’s centre. She pushed three fingers inside Anne. Anne was so wet her juices were running down Ann’s arm. Ann kept up the pace. She thought Anne wanted this until Anne said.’I want your tongue on my clit. I want you to eat me up, Adney. Please darling.’ Ann trailed kisses down to her centre. She slid her tongue inside Anne. Oh Anne tasted so good. It was heaven when she was between Anne’s legs teasing her a little and loving her a lot. Then she brushed Anne’s clit with her tongue. Oh what a joyous feeling it was to have control over Anne fucking Lister, the bikie who stole her heart all those years ago. Only Anne didn’t know that until now.

Ann licked and sucked on Anne’s clit. Anne moaned above her, pushing her hips up to meet every lick and suck. Anne pushed another finger inside Anne. Oh it did feel wonderful to have Anne Lister like this, vulnerable and extremely sexy. Ann was caught up in her thoughts when Anne said. ‘come on, I am dying here, Adney.’  Fuck she thought. Then Anne said, ‘quite thinking out loud just do it. Okay!!’ Ann’s tongue made circles on Anne’s clit. Anne’s body shuddered as she came in Ann’s mouth. Ann pulled her fingers out and crawled up next to Anne. She kissed her gently on her left then right cheeks then her lips. Anne was so relaxed. ‘That was fun, dearest. Do you want to go again?’ Anne’s eyes shot open. She couldn’t believe what she heard. ‘I guess  you are horny again, Miss Walker and you want me to fuck you again. Don’t you? With or without the strap on?’

‘I’m not sure. I like it both ways.’

‘Are you being funny, Adney?’ Anne said. She could remember that from a song in the 70s. She thought. ‘Let’s go strapless this time.’

‘Give me a moment to relax. Goodness, Ann. Are you trying to kill me?’

‘Why the fuck would I want to do that? Then I wouldn’t have anyone to fuck me. Would I?’

‘Good point.’ .Then she was between Ann’s legs licking and sucking her clit. Oh it was heavenly for Anne too. Ann’s scent was intoxicating. Anne thought she would get drunk on it. Ann was so wet this tine., She had worked herself up into such a state. Anne wondered if they would ever leave this room to do anything. And they were getting married in less than twelve hours. Anne licked and sucked Ann’s clit until she felt Ann begin to squirm above her. Until Ann started moaning and groaning, lifting her hips to meet each of Anne’s gentle ministrations on her clit. Then her orgasm came crashing down around her. Wave after wave of sheer pleasure. Anne pulled out her fingers and crawled up next to Ann whose eyes were closed. Anne thought she had fallen asleep until she said. ‘Dearest, are we in heaven now because that was so beautiful.’

‘Yes, I think we are. Only we need to sleep now so we can be ready for our big day, Adney. When we make a commitment to each other and begin a new life together.’

‘Do you think they will turn up tomorrow, dearest?’

‘Who, Adney?’

‘You know who, my cousins to take me back to Crow Nest under false pretenses of saving me from you.’

‘I hope not because I think Tib has a plan to scare them away if they do.’

‘What is she going to do?’ Ann asked.

‘I have no idea. She wouldn’t tell me but she says Marian is in on the plan.’

‘Goodness me. What is she going to do. Now, I am curious. I guess we will find out tomorrow. Goodnight, dearest.’

‘Good night, Adney.’ They snuggled against each other and slept soundly. Which is what Ann did every night she was with Anne..

The following morning they woke to a loud rapping on their bedroom door. ‘Little Ann has  unwanted visitors. What should I do?’ Marian said.

‘Show them into the sitting room and tell Tib Eliza is her to spoil our day. She will deal with that. She said you were in on the plan.’

‘Oh that’s right. Go back to sleep. I will call you when they have gone.’ Ann heard Marian knock on the guest bedroom door to summon Tib. She didn’t like being woken up before 10AM. So, she was ticked off which was part of their plan. ‘Tib darling!’ Marian said loud enough for everyone to hear. It was what they plan to say when the Priestleys were there. ‘What, dearest Marian?’

‘We have visitors here. Anne and Ann are still asleep. I didn’t want to disturb them.’

‘Coming. This had better be good. You know I don’t like getting up before 10 in the morning.’ Tib said in what she wanted to sound like her angriest voice. Only she couldn’t help smiling. She was sure this would turn Eliza and William away for good. She dressed quickly and strode down stairs. Before she reached the bottom step Eliza wanted to know where Ann was. ‘No telling.’ Tib said. ‘I thought you had come to hear some more good news. Marian and I are getting married.’ Aunt Anne gave them a puzzled look because she knew Marian was still trying to get Thomas Beech to ask her to marry him but she let it slide. Marian sat on Tib’s knee and wrapped her arms around Tib’s neck. It looked as though their plan was working. ‘I didn’t think you were like that, Marian?’

‘Like what, Eliza?’ Tib said trying not to embarrass Marian or Aunt Anne too much. Then Catherine made her entrance at the wrong moment. She looked at Marian seated on Tib’s lap with her arms around Tib. ‘Hey, bitch. Are you cheating on me. I thought you were my woman not Marian’s.’

‘Sorry, old girl, but this one comes with a bigger dowry.’ Eliza and William had finally had enough. They rose and left in such a rush. Tib and Marian laughed so hard. ‘What was all that about?’ Aunt Anne asked.

‘i think it worked. Don’t you? I think we have convinced them to stay away or we will turn them gay too.’

‘I always thought Eliza was bi anyway.’ Aunt Anne said which shocked everyone in the room. ‘Didn’t she have a fling with your mother years ago, Catherine.’

‘No that was Ann’s mother. I think. Anyway.’ she yelled so Anne and Ann could hear. ‘The coast is clear. You can join us now if you want to.’

Anne and Ann made their way down the stairs and into the sitting room where everyone was laughing so hard they couldn’t ask why. Only Anne did. She wanted to know what was going on.’Marian her pretended to be Tib’s girlfriend. They told Eliza and William they were getting married but we both know Marian has the hots for Thomas Beech.’ Aunt Anne said as Anne looked at her sister who was blushing. ‘That’s what we all thought too.’ Ann said. ‘But I caught these two.’ She pointed at Marian and Tib, ‘snogging in the barn yesterday when Tib first arrived here. ‘What? Marian Lister, my sister is a lesbian.’

‘Not exactly, Anne.’ Marian said.’I dip my toes in both pools. I just love this one more.’ as she pointed to Tib.

‘Isabelle Norcliffe. You had better do the right thing by my sister. Can you do that?’

Chapter Text

Chapter 12

 

‘We are just having fun for right now, Lister.’ Tib said. ‘We still have a wedding to organise. I have to get gussied up. Cordingley is in the kitchen preparing our meal. Her and Hemingway have already made salads and cook two chickens and a leg of lamb. They are going to bake vegetables later.’

‘How many are coming, Anne?’ Aunt Anne asked.

‘I don’t remember. I think about fifty.’

‘You didn’t invite you know who. Lister? Did you?’ Tib asked.

‘Actually I did. To rub it into her face and believe it or not she is coming with her husband in tow. I am guessing she will try something on. Ann here has a plan of her own to wipe the grin of her ugly dial.’

‘Come on, that’s a bit rough. You thought she was the most beautiful woman in town when you were with her.’

‘She was until I spied this one drinking alone in the pub. Then all bets were off and this cutie won first prize.’

‘Oh, did she?’ Marian smirked at Anne.

‘Marian, you need to know one thing about today and it is important that you never forget this. I love Ann Walker. I am marrying her because I love her and for no other reason.’

‘Okay.’ Marian said as she raised her arms in self defence. ‘I believe you.Now, let’s get your bride ready for the biggest day in her life.’ Ann and Anne were only going to wear something casual. They didn’t want to make a big deal about this day but Marian wanted to make Ann look pretty. So, she took Ann up to her bathroom and showed Ann the make up she had. She had an extensive collection of lip gloss and nail polish. ‘Hey, what’s this, Marian?’

‘That’s pink hair dye. Why do you ask?’

‘I wonder what Anne would think if we dyed my hair pink for today.’

‘She might freak. Shouldn’t we ask her opinion.’

‘Call Tib. Tell her we need her advice on something.’ Ann said. Marian called Tib. ‘What’s up, ladies?’ Tib said with a serious tone in her voice.’Missy here wants to dye her hair pink for her wedding. What do you think?’

‘I would think Lister there would freak but I would do it. You never know she might like it.’ Ann was gamer than she thought. So, Marian washed Ann’s hair the set about dying it. Ann looked in the mirror. She liked it but it was a bit dark. ‘Get under the shower and rinse off the excess.’ Marian said. Ann did and when her hair was dry it looked amazing. Even Tib liked it. ‘I think Lister is going to go crazy when she sees that. ‘When I see what, Tib?’ Shit Ann thought this is a do or die moment. ‘Stop thinking aloud, Adney.’ Then Anne saw her wife. Her jaw hit the bathroom floor. ‘You had better pick your jaw up, Anne so you can say I will later today.’

‘I will once you tell me what you have done with my wife. This one looks so sexy now. Your pink hair is driving me wild. Ann Walker, why did you do that?’

‘It was a dare from Tib.’

‘Norcliffe, We should have you around more often.’

‘You might if things work out between me and your sister there.’ Marian smiled. She was hoping it would. ‘Now, everyone leave except Ann, of course, We need to get her looking good because in less than three hours she will be your wife, Anne.’ Marian said. ‘Now, shoo.’

‘We are going. I need to get ready too.’ Anne said as she strolled to her bedroom. The suit she had picked out was laying on their bed. She didn’t know what Ann was wearing. She hoped she wouldn’t be upstaging her wife. Then there was a soft knock on the door. ‘Can I come in. I want to talk to you for a few minutes before you get ready. ‘ Aunt Anne said cautiously. ‘Come in, Aunt.’

Anne had opened the door and Aunt Anne walked in. ‘What do you want to talk about?’ Anne said looking puzzled. ‘I have something I would like Ann to wear. It was passed down from your great grandmother to your grandmother then to me. It’s a gondola pin. I really don’t know how grandmother acquired it but I was told she had an affair with an Italian and he gave it to her so she would never forget him. She might have made it up. Who knows?’ Aunt said as she showed Anne the pin. ‘I think Ann would love the gesture, Aunt. You can show her. I am not allowed to see her until the ceremony. I have already seem more than I really should have.’

‘What do you mean?’ Aunt asked quizzically. ‘You’ll see when you see her, Aunt. I think they are still in the bathroom making her look pretty. They can’t do that because she is pretty already. Isn’t she?’

‘She certainly is.’ Aunt said as she wandered down the hall and into Marian’s bathroom. Then the whole house heard her scream. She had her hand on her heart. ‘Goodness, Ann Walker. Do you want to give this poor old woman a heart attack?’

‘Sorry, Aunt. Blame Tib.it was her idea.’

‘Isabelle Norcliffe;’

‘Coming, Aunt.’ Everyone jumped when Aunt Anne screamed their name. ‘What’s up?’ She said as she squeezed herself into Marian’s bathroom.

‘Are we aware that my niece has pink hair?’

‘Yes, we are aware that your niece has pink hair.’

‘Why?’

‘Because it was there. Marian and Ann wondered if they should dye Ann’s hair. So I said go for it and they did.’ Tib said. ‘Doesn’t she look good?’

‘She does but it was a bit of a shock to this old bird. You could have warned me.’

‘So, could have Anne.’ Then Aunt remember why she was there.’I have something I would like to show you. It was passed down from my grandmother to my mother then to me. It’s a gondola pin. If you like you can wear it today and keep it, Ann. Then if you and Anne have a girl you can pass it on to her.’

‘I would love to wear it, Aunt. It is so beautiful. I suppose a lover gave it to your grandmother.’ Aunt Anne blushed. ‘Yes, before she married grandad.’

‘She must have been a bit of a flirt.’ Marian said.

‘i think she was. I don’t remember her. She died when I was just a toddler. Your father might remember her, Marian,  if you ask him about her but not today. Okay!!’

‘I would be honoured to wear your family heirloom, Aunt. But won’t you want it back.’

‘No, Ann. As I said give it to your daughter. I know Anne desires above everything to marry and be a mum one day.’

‘We haven’t talked about children yet but I will keep it and pass it on if we do become the parents of a daughter. If not.I am sure there are other family members who could pass it on to their children.’ Marian blushed and so did Tib.  ‘Thanks for the pin, Aunt. Did you show Anne?’

‘Yes. I think she was hoping you would wear it.’ Aunt Anne said. ‘I will leave you to it. I have to get ready too. Put on my prettiest dress and comb my hair. Of course, I am sure you will look prettier, Ann. See you in an hour.’

‘Okay! Just remember the bitch will be here. So prepare yourself.’

‘Why the fuck did you invite her? Tib said as Aunt Anne left the room.’Language, Miss Norcliffe.’ Aunt said.

‘Oops. Why did you invite her, Ann? She could cause more problems than Eliza and William would have. She still thinks Anne is hers and won’t give her up to no one. Especially, someone who is years younger than Anne.’

‘Don’t worry, Anne and I have a few tricks up our sleeves and with your help I think we can put them to good use today.’

You don’t say, Ann.’ Marian said. ‘And what would they be.’

‘Well, the obvious one is sticking close to each other. If that doesn’t put her off we might need you to intervene. Tell her she should grow up and leave us alone.’

‘Any others, Ann?’

‘I don’t think she will do much because we invited Charles too.’ Ann said. ‘I don’t know what we will do if he doesn’t come. I doubt if Mariana told him about the invitation.’

‘She probably didn’t. That way she can do whatever she wants. Can’t she?’ Tib said.

'Probably,’ Marian said. ‘I think between the four of us we can deal with her. Can’t we?’ Ann smiled. She had never had so many people have her back and want to support her so much. She walked over and gave both Tib and Marian a hug. ‘I need get into my dress in your bedroom, Marian?’

‘Yes, just excuse the mess please.’

Father was going to give Ann away. He was waiting at the bottom of the stairs as Ann walked down. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. ‘Miss Walker, I like the pink hair. Was that Marian’s idea?’

‘No, Tib’s but she’s already seen it.

‘ Okay!! I do love it. Our Anne is going to go crazy when she sees you and the dress that is adorable, Ann.’

‘She always has and she did go crazy.Now, let’s get going. Anne is waiting to make me her wife. Isn’t she?’

There was gasps from everyone who had gathered there to celebrate this occasion. Anne heard it but didn’t turn around to look. She was waiting until Ann was standing next to her. Father joined their hands together. Anne turned to look at her wife. ‘Good grief, Adney. What are you trying to do torture me. That hair with that dress. You look simply stunning.’

‘Do I?’ Ann said tentatively. .‘It’s…..it’s…..it’s gorgeous, Adney and you look simply divine today.’

‘Thank you, handsome. I love your suit and no black.’ then she whispered to Anne.’Is the bitch here.’ they both look back. Mariana was seated in the back row minus her husband. ‘I guess she didn’t tell Charles. I wonder what she told him she was doing.’

‘Who knows?’

‘Let’s begin.’ Tib said. ‘I have know Anne Lister for the biggest part of my life and I never imagined I would be performing her wedding especially not to Ann Walker but life is strange and love is stranger.’

‘What do you mean by that?’ Ann asked Tib. She was surprised by Tib’s comment. ‘Just that I never thought this one here bikie as she is would settle down with someone like you who is sweet and beautiful.Okay!!’

‘Okay!!’ Ann said. ‘Let’s get married, dearest.’

‘Yes!’ Tib was watching Mariana. She had to say those words and she knew Mariana would stand up and object. But as Tib was about to say them she could see Charles standing behind his wife. She was sure he would stop her from protesting. ‘Does anyone here know why these two women should not be joined in marriage speak now or forever hold your peace?’ Just as Mariana was about to stand up and protest she felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked around to see who it was. There standing behind her was Charles. ‘What are you doing here? I didn’t even tell you about this wedding.’

‘No, you didn’t but you left your diary open and I found it. I realise I had to come because I knew what you were up to. So, give it a rest will you. She doesn’t want you in her life any more.’ Charles whispered angrily. Then he sat down beside her. ‘oh I am staying just in case you create a scene.’

‘Are we done back there?’ Tib asked.

‘Yes, I think we are.’ Charles said. ‘Let’s marry these two lovely ladies.’

Tib turned to Ann first. ‘Do you, Ann Walker, take Anne Lister to be your lawfully wedded wife. To have and to hold from this day forward for richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health forsaking all others and as long as you both shall live.’

‘I will!!’

Tib turned to Anne.’Do you, Anne Lister, take Ann Walker to be your lawfully wedded wife. To have and to hold from this day forward for richer, for poorer. In sickness and in health forsaking for as long as you both shall live.’

‘I will.’

‘Do you have vows you want to say to each other?’

‘Yes.’ Ann said. ‘I would like to go first please, Anne.’ Anne nodded. Ann had memorised this and didn’t want to wait. ‘From the first time you spoke to me in the pub that faithful night until now you have been the kindest most caring person I know. You have cared for me in ways I never imagined anyone would. I am so blessed to have you in my life. I can hardly wait to get on Bertha and go on our honeymoon, dearest. Oh one more thing. I love you.’ Anne tried to hold back the tears. She couldn’t. it was impossible. Ann leaned over and wiped the tears off her cheeks. Then Tib reached into her pocket for a hankie. She handed it to Anne who wiped her eyes and blew her nose. ‘Keep it. I have one for you, Ann, I know there will be more tears. Now, Lister, it’s seems to be your turn.’

Adney, from the moment you walked back into my life when I saw you at the pub that night to now I have never felt more alive. You, too, are the kindest most caring person I know. You have accepted this bikie even when others told you I didn’t deserve your love. You amaze me everyday in more ways than you can imagine. I love you, Adney for always.’ Then Tib reached into her pocket and handed Ann the other hankie she had. Ann was crying so hard. Anne put her arms around her wife and kissed her. ‘I was about to say you can kiss the bride. It seems like you beat me, Lister.’

‘Adney, we are married. Now, we need to sign the paperwork.’ Tib had it already in front of them on a table which appeared out of nowhere. Tib as their witness had already signed their certificate. Ann signed first. Then Anne. ‘Have you decided on last name?’

‘No. I think we will stick with our names as they are. Is that okay, Adney?’

‘Yes, dearest.’

‘I would like you to stand for the brides, Anne Lister and Ann Walker. May they have a wonderful like together.’ Tib said. Then looking at Anne and Ann whispered. ‘As long as you know who stays away from you two.’

‘Oh we can deal with her, Tib.’ Ann said with confidence. ‘She’s mine and I am hers for always.’

Chapter Text

Chapter 13

 

They grabbed Anne’s family and the members of Ann’s family who had bothered to turn up. They were getting photos taken. Mrs Rawson loved the idea of being a part of the family. She liked Anne even though Anne was an oddity to her. Why would a respectable young lady go riding a bloody big motorcycle like Big Bertha. Catherine and Delia thought it was an easy way to get a free meal. No work necessary and they could do whatever they wanted to do. Anne had invited Christopher and Jeremiah but they didn’t even reply to the invitations Anne sent them. Ann was glad the Rawson brothers hadn’t turned up.

They tended to maker her life more miserable than what it had been before she had met Anne again and If, the Rawsons brothers did come to their wedding, she knew her wife would deal with them if they try to cause trouble. Aunt Anne loved having her photo taken. Father was a bit put off by the whole thing but went along with it to keep his daughters happy. After all it was their special day not his. Marian had asked Ann if she could get a photo with her. Anne didn’t like the idea but as Marian said. ‘I already have one of us two together.’

‘But Marian, that was taken ten years ago. Don’t you want another one.’ And Marian complied but insisted it was with Ann too which Anne didn’t mind.

After what seemed like hour and seemed as though. hundreds of photos were taken they all sat down to eat in the courtyard. Anne had borrowed tables and chairs from the local knitters group which Aunt Anne was a member. Only she rarely went to any of their  knitting sessions. She said all they talked about were their aches and pains and if she wanted to her that she only had to sit in her doctor’s waiting room.

Cordingley and Hemingway had decorated the tables with pastels that Ann loved. Anne would have preferred darker, more subdued colours but she was happy that her wife was happy.  She smiled at Ann and reached down to give her a peck on the cheek. Ann was feeling better than she had for a long time.

Their meals were served by Cordingley and a few of her friends whom she had asked to help out. She said Anne promised them a gift voucher.

‘Are you enjoying your meal, Adney?’ Anne asked tentatively when their meals had been delivered. ‘Yes, dearest. I am having a wonderful time. I can’t imagine being anywhere else right now. Are you enjoying yourself, dearest?’ Anne looked at her wife. ‘I think so. Sometimes, I wondered what being married would be like. It’s not something that took up too much of my time but I did wonder.’ Anne said shyly. She wondered how Ann would take her comment.’And how do you feel now we have said I will?’

‘I am wearing a ring. I am sitting with the woman I love who is now my wife. I am imagining a future with someone which I couldn’t do years ago. I feel amazing.’ Ann smiled. She knew her wife would have to explain in great detail how she felt. ‘And you, Adney. How do you feel?

‘This is a dream come true. A dream that has been years in the making. Thank you for making my dream my wonderful reality, dearest.’

‘I didn’t know I did that. Ann Walker, you always seem to make me feel good. Thank you.’ Then they fell into a comfortable silence while they ate. Anne watched Ann with delight. Her aunt seated on her left.. Ann’s Aunt was seated on Ann’s right. They were comfortable chatting again between bites of the delicious meal which Cordingley and Hemingway had created.

When everyone had finished eating there were the speeches. Tib acted as MC. So , she made the first speech. It was brief since Tib rarely made speeches. ‘On behalf of the brides I would love to thank you all for coming. It has been a wonderful occasion to be here to not only witness it but to be a apart of it. Anne Lister and I have been friends of eternity and I am proud to say she has chosen for herself someone who loves her for who she is, my big bikie friend may your future be exciting for you and your lovely wife. Raise your glasses to the brides. To Ann and Anne.’ Everyone raised their glasses. Ann looked at Anne and they smiled. It was a moment they would never forget.

It was Anne’s turn to reply.’Thanks, Tib. That was a beautiful speech. On behalf of me and the misses.’ Ann kicked her shin. Anne just ignored her. ‘I would like to thank you all for coming. This was sudden but Ann and I realised we were meant for each other even though you all think we don’t have anything in common. Anyway, again thank you for coming to celebrate with  us as we begin new life together.’ Ann smiled at Anne. They had decided to forgo a DJ and had Marian download some songs onto a USB drive which they played through Anne’s laptop and a couple of speakers they borrow from Tib.

Marian put herself in charge of the music. Anne didn’t know what to think. Was she going to be made to listen to grunge music or something more appropriate for a wedding. ‘The first song is for Anne and Ann.’ Anne stood up and took Ann’s hand. ‘Would you like to dance with your wife tonight?’

‘Yes, dearest. I have been waiting for this moment for years.’ They walked onto the makeshift dance floor. Ann put her arm around Anne’s waist as Anne lead her in a slow dance. The music was Anne Murray’s Could I have this dance. It was appropriate for this moment. Anne smiled at her wife. Ann was holding her close. It was as if she would never let her go.

They stayed like that for the next four or five dances. Ann had lost count. She always felt safe in her wife’s arms. Then they both happened to look up to see Mariana coming towards them. Where was Charles? ‘Can I cut in?’ She asked. Ann looked at Anne hoping what they had said to each other earlier that day would stick. ‘No!!’ Anne said. ‘This is our day and you aren’t going to spoil it.’

‘Just one dance, Freddy.’ Ann looked at Anne. ‘She still calls you that and you let her.’ Ann said with a hint of anger. Why was this bitch trying to ruin their day. ‘I think you need to leave them alone.’ Tib said.’Because if you don’t I must ask you to leave.’ Mariana looked at Tib. ‘She let you down too. Didn’t she?’

‘Don’t come the raw prawn with me, Bitch. Maybe you should leave. She left me for you and you only treated her as a plaything. Now, she is happily married to someone who accepts her you’re jealous. Charming, isn’t it?’ Mariana stormed off. She found her husband and they left. Anne and Ann continued dancing as if nothing happened.

They were happy in each others’ arms. Ann was sure she could stay like this forever but life was destined to get in the way. She was sure that’s how it wold be when they returned from their honeymoon. Anne had a few things she needed to organise before they left for their honeymoon which Anne said would only take a day or two. She smiled thinking that they would be ride around Europe on Bertha. Ann couldn’t wait for it to be just Anne and her. ‘Adney, are you okay? You seem far away.’ Anne said as she moved from Ann’s embrace.. I was just thinking about our honeymoon. Our trip to Europe on Bertha. It’s going to be fun. Isn’t it?’

‘Yes.’ Anne said with a smile. ‘Are you ready to cut the cake I had Cordingley bake especially for this occasion.’

‘Is it a fruit cake?’ Ann asked. Then realised it would be.’Yes, dearest.’ Anne called Cordingley  to bring the cake out. It was beautifully decorated and on top stood two brides.They said the cake was being cut and everyone stood around it the table they had brought out just for this purpose.. Anne and Ann stood in front of the table. The two tiered cake was brought to them by Cordingley who passed them a knife. Ann put her hands over the knife’s handle. Anne put her hands over Ann’s. They made a wish and cut the cake. Then the cake was taken to the kitchen to cut  the bottom tier so everyone there could take a piece home.

’Do you know Cordingley said she had to search the whole country to find the two brides to put on top of our cake. Isn’t she a marvel?’ Anne said smiling again and again until her face ached. ‘It is lovely. Did you promise her and Hemingway a bonus for all the work they  have done for us today?’ Ann asked. If Anne hadn’t. Ann was going to make sure they got one. She was wondering if a trip or a massage would be a good gift to give. ‘Well, I hadn’t thought about that, Ann.’ Anne said sheepishly. ‘Do you have any ideas you will tell me about?’

‘i was just wondering and this is just a thought. We could send them on a holiday or give them a gift certificate for a massage. What do you think?’

‘I think either would do but we could give them both. You one and me the other. What do you think, Adney?’ Ann just smiled and pulled her wife in for a passionate kiss. Was it possible they would have a great life together.

The party seemed to be winding down. Everyone was heading home. Then Ann wondered what they were doing with the top tier of their cake. ‘Adney, that’s for our future just in case we have children. That will be their christening cake.’

‘Anne Lister, when have you been waiting to be a mum?’ Ann asked sincerely.’Not until I met you. I could visualise our children looking like their birth mum.’ Anne said tentatively. ‘Slow down we just got married. We need time to get to know one another. Don’t we?’

‘Adney, I don’t mean now.’

‘Okay, dearest.’ Ann said as they ushered the last of the guests out the door. They wanted to go to bed. It had been a long day. Ann seemed so tired. It looked like she didn’t have enough energy to climb the stairs to their bedroom. She flopped herself onto their bed. Anne stood back and smiled. ‘Are you that sleepy, Adney?’

‘Come over here and I will tell you.’ Ann scooted to  Anne’s side of the bed. Anne sat down next to her. ‘Now, ask me again, dearest.’

‘Are you that sleepy?’ Anne asked again feeling slightly silly. Ann pulled her into a deep, passionate kiss. It was all Anne needed to know her wife wasn’t sleepy at all. They both undressed and climbed into bed. Between the worry about Mariana and the worry about how well their day would go Ann was tired. She couldn’t find it in herself to do anymore than roll over and kiss Anne again.

‘Dearest, I know you will be disappointed when I say I am really tired. All I want to do is sleep. I know you wanted to consummate our marriage. Can that wait?’ Ann said shyly. ‘I need to sleep.’

‘Adney, it isn’t important we do that now. I want you to get as much sleep as possible. I know we can do that later.’  Tomorrow, Anne thought and without another word Ann was snoring softly next to her with her arm wrapped around Anne’s waist. It was so nice to be in this beautiful bubble. Anne wondered how long it would last.

It seemed to take Anne hours to fall asleep. She would close her eyes and feel as though she wanted to sleep. Then she would open them just to gaze at the sleeping form next to her. It still seemed like a dream. So, Anne kept pinch herself. It was hard for this big old bikie to understand the depth of the love Ann Walker had for her. It was while she was deep in thought that she felt kisses on her face and down her neck. Anne peeked over to see the time. It was just after 6AM. Ann opened her eyes. ‘Did we really say I will yesterday, dearest?’ Ann said her voice still rough with sleep. ‘Yes, Adney, we did.’ Ann smiled. They had done a lot of that yesterday. Now, there was more smiling. ‘And no one stopped us?’

‘No one tried to stop us. I think Charles arrived just in time.’

‘We need to call and thank him from that, Anne.’ Anne hadn’t thought about that not since yesterday.’And Tib, too. I think she is still here. She stopped Mariana from spoiling our dance. Didn’t she?’

‘Yes, she sure did.’ Which meant that Tib had their backs when they needed her to be there for them. ‘Have you thought about what we will give Tib for what she did for us yesterday?’

‘She said that was here wedding present for us, Ann.’

‘I know, dearest. She did organise our hen’s night. That was fun. Wasn’t it.’

‘Yes, more fun than I had had in a long time. You have brought light into my life, darling Adney Thank you!!’

‘Thank you for talking to me in the pub that night. I am finally where I want to be here with you for the rest of my life.’ Anne felt a tear roll down her cheek. Ann wiped it away with her thumb. ‘Dearest, you such a softie. Yet, you always want to show people how tough you are.’ Then another and another fell. Ann held her tight in her arms and kissed her softly on her cheek, her neck, her sternum. She had raised herself up on her elbow. Then she leaned onto Anne. She trailed kisses down to her centre. Anne smelt so delicious. ‘I want to eat you now. Can I?’ Anne smiled she could feel her arousal building up inside. She nodded.  For once Anne was speechless.

Ann put her head between Anne’s legs. She breathed in her arousal and lick her clit gently. She inserted two fingers inside Anne’s centre. Oh she was so wet for Ann and Ann loved it. She could hear Anne moaning above her. This was the best place in the world  for her. She would stay there all day if Anne would let her. ‘Adney, stop teasing me. I am going to explode and die if you don’t do something soon.’ Ann was there sucking on her clit and fucking her with her fingers. Anne was moaning and groaning. Screaming out her name. Adney darling, right there. Yes, right there. Fuck…..you…..fuck…. do .that …..fuck …so  well.’ Then Anne came over Ann’s face. Ann licked up Anne’s arousal. She pulled her fingers and crawled up to lay beside her spent wife. ‘Anne Lister, that was amazing. I love making love to you, Mrs Anne Lister.’ Then laid like that for a beat then Anne pushed Ann gently onto their bed. ‘Mrs Ann Walker, let me make love to you. Let me praise your beautiful body and make my come all over my face.’

‘I would love you to do that, dearest Anne. What are  you waiting for?’

‘Little miss bossy boots.’ Anne said as she mirrored what Anne had done to her. Ann was sopping wet when Anne reached her centre. It was more than Anne expected. ‘You are so wet, darling.’

‘Only for you, dearest.’ Ann said. ‘There is no one else for me. Only you.’ Anne sucked her clit and pushed three fingers inside, pumping inside Ann furiously while licking and sucking Ann’s clit. Ann was screaming out her name. ‘Anne, Anne, dearest, fuck that…fuck… feels….so …fucking….amazing. Go….faster, dearest.’ Anne complied. Ann kept screaming out her name until she came with a flood into Anne’s mouth. Anne pulled her fingers from Ann’s centre. She crawled up to Ann who had her eyes closed. They kissed passionately. Anne leaning in on Ann who was totally exhausted but so happy. ‘I think I need to rise and begin my day, Adney. I have so much to do before we go on our honeymoon.’ Anne said.

‘Dearest, it’s too early. Stay here with me for a while longer. I want to fall asleep in your arms.’ How could Anne refuse her wife. She wrapped her arms around Ann who was asleep in minutes. After half an hour Anne prized her arm gently from under her wife. She didn’t want to wake her. She got up and strolled into the bathroom. She showered and dressed. Ann was still sleeping when she walked back into their bedroom. She smiled. She kissed Ann on her cheek and went downstairs.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 14

 

She was greeted by Marian and Tib who were chatting quietly in the sitting room. The television was on but Aunt Anne had put it on mute and strolled into the kitchen to see what she could get for breakfast. Father had already had breakfast. He had gone into his office to sort through some letters he had got in the post last week. He needed to send replies. So, they won’t see him until lunch time. ‘Where’s your wife, Anne?’ Tib asked. ’Have you worn her out already?’ Anne blushed. ‘No, she is sleeping. We had a big day yesterday and it often takes its toll on her.’ Then Anne felt warm hands wrap around her body. ’Dearest, I thought you would come to me after you showered.’

‘I did but you were still asleep.’ Anne said. ’What would you like for breakfast?’

‘Toast and jam.’ Marian said before Ann had a chance to answer. It seemed Anne wasn’t the only one who was getting to know her. ‘Yes, please. Do we have strawberry jam?’

‘I think there is a jar in the cupboard. Come with me and we will have a look. What would you like for breakfast, Anne?’ Marian asked.

 ‘Eggs over easy please and one slice of just coloured toast.’

‘What do you mean by just coloured toast?’ Tib asked.

‘She likes her toast just cooked not dark brown the way I like my toast.’ Ann said.

‘How do you know so much about each other already?’ Tib asked. She looked at Anne, Ann and Marian. They seemed to have an interesting relationship. ’I have known Ann for a while now,’ Marian said. ‘She was a frequent visitor to Shibden and I would say Anne and Ann know each other so well because they talked to each other about their lives, past, present and future. I guess.’ Ann nodded. She wasn’t sure about the future but they would work on that as they worked on everything else, one day at a time.

Then Aunt Anne appeared and all thoughts of breakfast seemed to disappear. She smiled widely when she was Anne and Ann. ‘How was your night, girls?’

‘It was wonderful thank you  Aunt.’ Ann said. ‘What did you think of Anne’s speech?’

‘It was lovely. I still find it hard to believe you two met in a pub when you didn’t even want to be there, Anne.’ Aunt said as she looked at her eldest niece. ’No, I didn’t but you told me I needed to get out and live before I withered away to nothing.’ Anne said as she looked at Ann. She didn’t tell her this because she didn’t think that it was important. ’Anne Lister, you never told me that. I was there and you were there for similar reasons. I cannot believe the mighty Anne Lister was hiding from the world. That’s more my life. Why?’ Ann asked with concern.

 ‘I was at a point in my life when I didn’t feel I mattered to anyone. I knew my family loved me but I wanted someone special whom I could love and marry one day. So, it was a lovely surprise when I approached you and we talked. I knew you had a crush on me but I never imagine you would want to marry a bikie who smoked like a chimney. Ann, you have showed me that I don’t need any crutches to lean on. Thank you!’ Ann smiled. She had forgotten that Anne had been a smoker when they first met. It seemed she had given them up so easily but in reality it wasn’t but encouragement, love and understanding plus joining a quit group helped. They had been meeting online once a week and now, Anne felt she had beaten her addiction.

‘Thank you, dearest. I am glad I have made your life better. You have done the same for me. It’s a miracle we met when we did. Isn’t it?’

‘It certainly is. If you had been there five minutes later I think you would have missed me. Let’s get breakfast. Come on, Marian. You offered to make breakfast for Ann and me. Didn’t you?’

‘Yes.’ Marian said. ‘So, come on before I change my mind.’ They all walked into the kitchen. Cordingley was wondering what they wanted for breakfast when Marian told her it was all under control. ‘You can sit down, Elizabeth. I have this shift. You do more than your share yesterday for all of us, especially Anne and Ann.’

‘Thank you, Miss Marian. I could make drinks for everyone if you would like me to do that.’ Cordingley said tentatively. ‘Yes, please. Tea for me. You know what Aunt has and coffee for everyone else. Thanks.' Marian cooked toast tor Ann exactly how she liked it with strawberry jam. They managed to find the jar in the cupboard. She cooked eggs over easy for her sister and toast just cooked. It seems strange to spread butter on toast that only faintly looked like toast. She managed to make pancakes for herself and Tib.

They ate in companionable silence. Anne liked that. She was thinking through what she had to do before Ann and she went on their honeymoon. They would be away for at least a month. She wanted to show Anne her favourite places in Europe especially her favourite places in France and Italy. ‘Anne Lister, where are you now in Europe or here?’ Anne was stunned by how accurate Ann’s thinking was. ‘Oh, just thinking about the places I will take you when we go there.’ Anne said. ‘I need to talk to Pickels and the men so they know what to do while we are away. Okay!’ Anne stood up and kissed Ann on her forehead. I will be back in time for dinner. I hope.’

‘Yes, be back in time for dinner, wife or else.’

‘Or else what?’ Anne said sarcastically.

‘I don’t know. I just like the sound when I say wife. Have a good day. I will still be here when you return.’ She stood up and pecked Anne on her lips. What a different life she had now to the one she had only weeks ago. Anne left. Marian and Tib invited Ann to go into Halifax with them. Aunt Anne was low on yarn. Ann said she would love to go with them. She called Anne and told her what she was doing and asked if she needed anything. ‘Just come back in one piece, please, Adney.’

‘I will, dearest.’ Tib drove Marian and Ann into town. It was very quiet. Tib parked outside the art and craft store. Marian went inside to see if they had what Aunt Anne wanted when Marian had walked inside the store. Tib asked Ann, ’What would Anne think if I proposed to her sister?’

‘I thought she had a boyfriend.’ Ann said quizzically. ‘She did. She dumped him after a month. He was all for getting his hands in her pants and she wasn’t ready. That’s what she told me.’ Tib wasn’t sure if she should reveal too much. ’So, how close are you to Marian, Tib?’ Ann asked just as Marian climbed back in the car. ’Now, where to Marian?’ Tib asked. She didn’t get to answer Ann’s question. So, she would send her at text.later. ‘To the supermarket we need milk and bread. I want to get something for dinner. What would you like?’ Marian asked as Tib parked in the supermarket car park. ‘Whatever you want? Do you want me to come with you?’ Ann asked.

‘Yes please. Watch Aunt Anne’s yarn please, Tib.’ Marian said as if Tib was guarding gold.

As soon as they were out of range Tib sent Ann a text message. She didn’t want to embarrass Marian by talking about how she felt about Marian but she had to tell someone. She could trust Ann not to tell Marian. Ann’s phone buzzed in her pocket. ‘Why is Anne messaging you, Ann?’ Marian said thinking it would have to be her sister. ‘She’s just wondering when will we be home.’ Ann said. Then replied to Tib’s message.after she read the one Tib sent to her. Tib’s read. Does she seem to be into me?

‘I don’t know. You need to ask her.’

‘How?’

‘Just send her a message.’ Then Marian’s phone buzzed. ‘What does my sister want from me?’ She said until she read the message from Tib. ‘Come on. We have everything we need. Let’s pay for it. They had got the milk and bread but nothing for dinner and when Ann told Marian this she said they would order online and get it delivered.  When they reached the checkout Ann looked scared. Marian could see who was there.  ‘What are we going to do now, Marian? I don’t want to speak to Eliza Priestley. I don’t know what she will do.’

‘Ann, does she know you are married?’ Marian asked. She could see Tib walking towards them. She must have seen Eliza walk into the supermarket. Was it possible? 

‘I see you have surfaced after marrying that woman. ‘Eliza said as she walked quickly over to Ann and Marian. ’I hope you are satisfied that you have upset and disappointed all of your family.’ Then Tib strolled in and confronted Eliza. ‘Why are you trying to make Ann feel guilty because she happens to be married to the wildest craziest bikie in the district? You don’t even know Anne Lister, so , why are you spreading rumours about her?’

‘I am not spreading rumours about anyone least of all Anne Lister.’ Eliza said.

‘Oh, I have evidence, bitch, that you are spreading rumours and I can prove it. So, if you don’t mind we need to go home Ann’s wife is waiting for her. They are going on their honeymoon later this week.’ They paid for their goods and left Eliza standing there with her mouth open. She was going to say something but never had a chance. They were out the door and walking across the car park to Tib’s car.  As soon as Ann climbed in she put her head in her hands. She was trembling and crying hard. Marian climbed in the back seat beside her and gave her a hug. ‘When Anne finds out what Mrs Priestley did she is going to be furious.’ Marian said looking at Tib. ‘Please, don’t tell, Anne. She has enough to think about without having to deal with Eliza Priestley.’

‘Too late Ann. I just messaged her. I told her you had an incident in the supermarket with your cousin’s wife.’ Darn, Ann thought. Now, the shit’s going to hit the fan. ‘What did Anne say.’

‘She’s coming on Bertha to rescue you again. She has all your gear. You and her are going to see Mother Rawson.’

‘On Bertha?’

‘Yes. She’s here now. Ann looked out just as Anne stopped next to them.’

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 15

 

Anne was off Bertha and seated beside Ann in Tib’s car. She wrapped her arms around her wife and kissed her gently. ‘Adney, what happened?’ Ann couldn’t speak so Marian told Anne what happened. How rude Eliza had been. How she told Ann that she had upset her family when we know only a few members have gotten their knickers in a twist.’ Ann smiled when Marian said that. ‘It seems as though we need to get the big guns out. That’s why we are visiting Mother Rawson. Come on, Ann get your gear on.’ Anne went back to Bertha to get Ann’s leather gear.  Ann slide out of her jeans and into her leather pants. She stepped out of Tib’s car and put on her leather jacket and helmet. They climbed onto Bertha just as Eliza was walking towards them with her trolley. ‘Hang on, Ann.’ Anne said as she sped off before Eliza could say anything

They arrived at Stony Royd ten minutes later. They climbed down off Bertha and strolled to the front door. Anne knocked hard on the front door and when the butler opened it. Anne said. ’Miss Lister and Miss Walker to see Mrs Rawson..Is she in?’

‘One moment ma’am.I will check.’ Ten minutes later Mother Rawson was standing at the door to greet them. ‘Come in, ladies. What do I owe this pleasure?’ Anne explained what Eliza Priestley was doing and was hoping Nelly Rawson could bring an end to it. ‘I will do my best but I know she rarely listens to what I say and her feckless husband has no control over her. Would you like to stay for dinner? Just call home and tell them you are dining out with Mother Rawson.’  Anne called Aunt Anne and told her what was happening. Aunt Anne seemed excited. ‘Why are you excited, Aunt?’

‘Not saying, Anne. See you later.’

‘Okay!!!’ Anne said and disconnected the call.  She pocketed her phone.

‘It’s okay! We can stay here for dinner. Only Aunt Anne seemed to be excited about something but she wouldn’t tell me.’ Anne said. Both Ann and Mother Rawson looked at her in shock. ‘I wonder what secret she is keeping from us, Anne. I suppose we will find out when we go home.’ Ann said. Mrs Rawson led them into the sitting room. She sat down in her favourite chair and offered them a seat. ‘Now, what brought you to my home today? Mother Rawson asked. They went into great detail about how even after they married William and Eliza especially Eliza had been constantly berating Ann for being with Anne then marrying Anne. Mother Rawson had said she had often wondered why Elizabeth agreed to having Eliza and William as co guardians of Ann. She knew Eliza would like having control over someone’s life and wouldn’t want to relinquish that control. So, while she was the matriarch of the family she was just as puzzled as Anne and Ann were at to how they were going to solve this problem.

Mother Rawson had her chef create a special meal for them. Anne was delighted to finally know Mother Rawson had their back and was prepared to fix this problem but no matter what she thought she could do Nelly realised that every solution was also a problem in disguise. They sat at the dinner table in silence as they waited for their meal to be dished up.

Ann had just about given up hope when Mother Rawson said. ‘Do we know anything that Eliza has done which she wouldn’t want her family to know about?’ She eyed Anne and Ann. They were smiling brightly. She wondered what information they had on Eliza that was going to make her squeal like a pig if it was ever revealed. Then Ann spoke. ‘My mum told me once when she was being open about her life that she had been in a relationship with Eliza but it only lasted for three months. Eliza broke it off saying it was unnatural. Mum didn’t mind at the time but she always thought Eliza only married .William for his connections and his seemingly never ending bank balance.’

‘Is that so? Do you have proof, Ann?’ Mother Rawson asked.

‘I will need to go over to Crow Nest and look through our family photo albums. That might take days.’ Ann said wondering how she would do that.

‘Let’s eat. I think we can get others to help us. What about your sister, Anne? Would she help.’ Mother Rawson said.

‘I am sure she would. I will call her when we have finished eating.’

When they finished eating Mother Rawson called her chauffeur to bring her car around. She was going to Crow Nest with Anne and Ann. They met Aunt Anne and Marian there. When Ann had brought out the photo albums from her parent’s old bedroom closet they sat down and began to look through each album. It seemed as though it would take hours until Ann found what they were looking for. She took a photo of it with her phone and saved it for later. ‘Is there any correspondence between them that your mum kept?’ Aunt Anne asked ‘Because I am sure she will think the photo has been photoshopped. We know it hasn’t.’

‘I’m not sure. I can go and take a look. She had a drawer in her bedside table for her personal stuff, her diary and a place where she kept her wallet. I can look there if you like.’

‘I think that might be a good idea.’ Anne said. So, Ann stood up and went up to her parent’s bedroom. It felt strange looking into her mother’s drawer. especially this one it held her mother’s most intimate things. Ann pulled everything out and there hidden underneath her mother’s memories was an envelope. It was crumpled as if it had been screwed up in anger then flattened out again. She wondered if her mother was in love with Eliza but Eliza wasn’t in love with her. She put everything back as she found it and grabbed the envelope and wandered back down stairs.

Everyone eagerly awaited Ann’s return. James had brought in supper for them and they were munching away on ham sandwiches and drinking coffee. James hadn’t forgotten about Ann. He had made her a cup of her favourite tea. Ann smiled as she sat next to Anne on the sofa and opened the envelope. It was from Eliza.

Dearest Mary, I am so looking forward to seeing you this weekend. I hope we can spend this time together and plan for our future. I have never felt such a deep yearning to know someone like I have wanted to know you. Is it possible that we could get married and make a life together? I hope so. I know that sometimes you doubt how I feel about you. Society doesn’t make it easy. I wish it would see us and hear us. Then we could be more open about who we are. Will that happen? Probably not in our lifetime, I love you, Mary. Take care and I will see you soon.

Yours faithfully & affectionately

Eliza Paley    6/6/1980

‘Goodness, Ann. She dated it too. I guess she is hoping that your mother threw the letter away.’

‘Oh, there are at least five or six more. Let’s call her and see what she had to say.’ Marian said.

‘I will call her.’ Mother Rawson said and after they had gone through the formalities that usually occur when you call someone you know. Then Eliza inquired as to why Mother Rawson was calling her. ‘I think you know, Eliza and until you stop harassing my nieces i will show proof that you had an intimate relationship with Mary Walker before she married John.’ Eliza was stunned for a moment then she said. ‘You’re bluffing, Nelly. There is no proof.’ Deep down she was hoping that Mary got rid of all the evidence. ‘Well, Ann has in her possession a photo of you and her mother in a very intimate pose and a few letters from you to her. I can read one to you if you want me to.’ Eliza was horrified. She didn’t know what to say other than. ’It’s all lies.’

‘And in your handwriting I wonder how you would feel if we harassed you about this and William found out.’ Anne said. Mother Rawson had her on speaker phone. ‘What are you going to do, Mrs Priestley? Leave me alone so Anne and I can enjoy life like we want to.’

‘I still think you are making a mistake marrying that women.’ it was then that Aunt Anne spoke. ‘How dare you speak about my niece like that? You have no idea what she has gone through. Don’t you dare come near Ann again or else you will have to deal with the might of the Listers.’ Eliza disconnected the call. ‘I wonder if we will hear from her again.’ Marian said. ‘I certainly hope not. We have enough evidence to destroy her life but I know you don’t want to do that, Ann. Do you?’

‘Don’t tempt me. She has spent the last few weeks trying to destroy my life. I hope she finally stops.’

‘I hope she does, too,’ Anne said. ‘Now, I don’t know about anyone else but this calls for something stronger than tea or coffee. Is there anything here that would fit that bill. Darn, Bertha is still over at your place, Nelly.’

‘Oh leave her there. I am sure I can get someone to put it in the shed.’

‘Not possible. I have it locked. So, it can’t be moved ‘

‘Come home with me and unlock it, put it in the shed then I will get, Henry to take you home. Now, what is there on offer? Oh same with you two, ladies. She directed her eyes to Aunt Anne and Marian. They would leave their car there at Crow Nest and collect it tomorrow. ‘I have a bottle of whiskey which I know Anne likes a few bottles of beer and a bottle of scotch and rum.’

They drank heartily. Aunt Anne stuck to drinking tea. She didn’t like drinking alcohol of any kind. They had a joyous evening together.

It was early morning when they all arrived back at Shibden. They thanked Henry for being so patient with them and bringing them home. Anne said she would collect Bertha in the morning.

Anne and Ann climbed the stairs. Anne had just been able to close their bedroom door when Ann pushed her against it. She put her arm around Anne’s neck and pulled her into a deep, passionate kiss then pulled away. Anne reached back into kiss her, all she got was air. ‘How is my bikie doing? Thanks for coming to my rescue today. I don’t know what I would do without you, Anne.’ Ann looked at her wife as she spoke. It was Anne’s turn to be unravelled by her wife. How could someone so beautiful have doubts about her ability? ‘It was all you, Ann. We were only there to support you. Nelly certainly told her a thing or two I wonder if we will see Eliza again after that.’

‘I hope not, Dearest. I think we have had a life time of her in too short a time. Haven’t we?’

‘We certainly have. I forgot to mention. I have everything organised. I left Washington in charge. He only needs to call me if he needs to change plans or to tell me when something goes wrong. I hope they have a smooth run unlike my ancestor who went on the continent and had to come home due to an ill aunt. Then she found out that the pit the Mann brothers were sinking had flooded.’

‘Isn’t that when her Ann Walker came to her rescue?’ Ann said.

‘How do you know that?’ Anne asked quizzically. ‘I think I read about it somewhere. Let me know if you need financial help dearest. I will help you.’ Anne was hoping it wouldn’t come to that but she was glad Ann had given her that option. ‘Thanks, Adney. I hope I don’t need to ask you for help. Okay!’

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 16

 

‘Now, where were we?’ Anne said as she pulled Ann gently towards their bed and flopped her down on her back. She climbed on top of Ann. She leaned down and kissed her passionate. When Anne came up for air Ann asked. ‘How are we going to pack all our gear in the saddlebags on Bertha? I have so much I want to take but I don’t think we are going to have space.’

‘Ann Walker, why are you so concerned about that right now? I have it all under control. I forgot to tell you. I have a motorcycle trailer in the barn. I think that will have enough room in it for your gear and my gear.’

‘Okay, Dearest. Now, where were we?’

‘If you interrupt me again, Ann Walker I will spank your butt.’ Ann smiled. She wanted Anne to do that. As if reading Ann’s mind Anne gave her a light slap on her bottom. ’Is that the best you can do, Miss Lister?’ Ann said smiling cheekily at Anne. Anne smacked her butt again. ‘Oh come on, you can do better than that. You want me to come. So, just hit me harder.’ Anne smirked at Ann and then she smacked her a few times, harder each time. Ann’s butt was red and warm when Anne had finished. Only Ann wanted more and more. ‘You are insatiable, Miss Walker.’ Anne said as she put her hand between Ann’s legs. Ann was so wet it was pooling on Anne’s hand and dripping down Ann’s leg. ‘Adney, you are so wet. Is it all for me?’

‘Always all for you, Dearest.’ Ann said as Anne inserted two fingers into Ann’s centre. It was a warm and lovely sensation. Ann rolled her hips into each thrust of Anne’s fingers. ‘T T Touch mmmy cccclit pppplease, Anne.’ Ann said with a shaky voice. She was about to come and when she did her body shuddered. Anne extracted every drop of arousal from her. She pulled her fingers out and licked them. ‘God, you taste so good, Adney. I could do this all day with you. Only we need to sleep we are going to have a big day tomorrow.’ Ann’s bottom lip curled up in a pout. She had wanted to please her wife. ‘Anne Lister, let me give you pleasure, dearest.’ Anne nodded. She often finds herself speechless when Ann Walker offered to give her pleasure. She has never had someone who was remotely interested in giving her what she gave them.

Ann rolls Anne onto her back. She pulls Anne into a deep and passionate kiss. It only lasts for a moment. Anne gasps. She wants more. Then Ann trails kisses down her neck, between her breasts. She takes her nipples between her teeth and sucks on them gently until they are hard and Anne is moaning beneath her.

Ann continues to trail kisses down her body to her belly then to her clit. It is hard and throbbing, waiting for Ann. She wraps her lips around Anne’s clit. Oh yes, Anne tastes so good. Ann inserts two then three fingers inside Anne. Anne’s hips rise up to meet the thrust of Ann’s fingers and the suck of Ann’s lips on her clit. She cries out, Ann, yes, there, right there. Yes! Oh, it feels good. Yes, Ann, Adney darling. Yes…then Anne’s speech becomes just mumbles and groans. She is racing towards the edge of the cliff. She will fall over the edge into the river of her orgasm. Ann, hold me…I ammm about to….’ Then she goes falling. She can’t feel herself. Her orgasm has taken control. Her body shudders. She comes on Ann’s face. Ann slurps it up. Then crawls up beside her wife and holds her. They lay together until Anne speaks. ‘Adney, that was so beautiful. I am so happy that you did that for me. I know our life together won’t be perfect but it will be amazing. Won’t it?’ Ann smiles at her. She knows that no matter what the future holds Anne will always be there with her. ‘Yes, dearest I know nothing is certain but we can do our best to ensure that our love endures. I love you, dearest. I’m in love with you. I always have been.’

Then Ann looked at Anne. She could see tears rolling down Anne’s cheek. She reached down with her thumb and wiped them away. ‘Anne dearest. Remember this I can promise you that I will always love and respect you. I cannot promise a future. I can only promise now. This moment we have now which has stretched behind us and will stretch ahead of us. This moment is all we really have. Isn’t it?’

‘Yes, it surely is and in this moment, Ann Walker, I am glad I am here with you. Thank you for allowing me into your life.’ then they hugged and kissed gently. It was really time to sleep now. Tomorrow they will be preparing for their honeymoon to the continent. Anne smiled as she snuggled behind Ann. There was nowhere in the world she wanted to be.

Anne and Ann woke with their arms around each other. Anne leaned over and kissed her wife. She was so happy to be there in the moment. Anne was usually up and dress way before this moment. Only here she was taking in Ann Walker’s scent as if her life depended on it. ‘Anne, you are still her with me.’ Ann said tentatively. She couldn’t understand why Anne hadn’t risen and dressed for her morning walk. ‘I want to enjoy this moment with you before we rise and start packing for our trip on the continent.’ Anne said looking at Ann to make sure it was okay. ‘Don’t worry, dearest. I love having you in our bed. Let’s enjoy this moment while we can.’ Ann wrapped her arms around Anne’s waist. They stayed there until Anne began to get antsy. She wanted to get doing. Ann could feel her body movements. ‘Let’s get up and pack. You need to get the trailer connected to Bertha and bring it around the front so we can pack our gear into it.’

‘Good, Good, excellent idea.’ Anne said as she stood up and dressed. Ann did the same. They would pack them have breakfast with the family and leave. Ann had already packed some of her gear. Yet, it seemed as though she would have to remove some of her gear and replace it with what she really needed to take, her medication which they had collected from Crow Nest the day after Ann had moved into Shibden plus a couple of books Ann wanted to read. She thought that she might get to read at night. Anne just smiled at her when she said that.

Anne walked to the barn and hitched the trailer to Bertha. She smiled. She had decided to buy the trailer when she got Bertha 2 and even though she hadn’t used it until now she felt confident that it would be easy to tow. She rode Bertha around to the front door. Ann was waiting there with her gear. She was surprised at how much space there was in the trailer. She helped Anne pack her gear. She didn’t seem to be taking as much as Ann. She explained that they could buy clothes if they need to while they were away. Ann thought that was a good idea. She opened the second bag she had already packed to see if there was anything in there which she had to take. There was nothing her medication was in her other bag. So, Ann decided to return it to their bedroom. One less bag to load into the trailer meant she could buy more stuff while they were away.

They walked back into the hall after they had packed their gear into Bertha’s trailer. Ann was pleased they were going today. They walked into the dining room where everyone was waiting to share breakfast with them their last meal at Shibden for at least one month. Anne was hoping it would be longer but until they were there she wouldn’t know. She wondered if Ann could stand a month travelling around on the back of Bertha. It wasn’t a picnic in the rain and wind.

‘Do you have an itinerary written up so we know where you will be?’ Father asked. ‘Not really. It was all last minute. I can only say we will keep in touch and when we move from one place to the next we will let you know. How’s that’s?’ Anne asked as she eyed everyone who looked at her with fear in their eyes. No one wanted to mention how dangerous it was on a motorcycle. Ann was feeling brave. ‘We will be fine. I trust Anne to be careful on the road and I am sure she will take care of us.’

‘How long will you be in London before you cross the water?’ Aunt Anne asked. ‘I want you to visit a friend of mine. I have something I want to send to her if you have time.’ Aunt Anne looked at Anne and Ann. ‘Yes, Aunt. We will make time for you. We were going to be in London for at least two days. So, we can do that.’

‘Thank you. I will give it to you as you go to leave.’

They ate in silence. Anne could see her wife was a bit nervous. She placed her hand on Ann’s knee to calm her. There wasn’t much she could say. Ann smiled. It was enough for Anne.

It wasn’t long before they were donning their leather gear and giving everyone hugs. Aunt Anne held her hankie in her hand. She had been drying her eyes. They put on their helmets and climbed on to Bertha. With a last wave they were off. Ann looked back she could see Marian giving Aunt Anne a hug and father walking briskly inside to avoid being seen by the others. She knew he was worried about them but would never tell anyone how worried.

They rode in silence for a while. Anne worried Ann would be sick of being on the back of Bertha before they reached London. It was going to take them three hours and 47 minutes if they didn’t stop. She had planned one rest stop for them to get something to eat, something to drink and pee. Grantham seemed to be the logical place. It was about half way between Halifax and London.

Ann tapped Anne on her shoulder. She had forgotten to turn on her microphone and wondered if Anne would stop so they could do that and talk. Anne stopped. They talked for a minute. Anne turned on her mic and so did Ann. They tested them to make sure their headsets were working. Then they were off again chatting away amiably. Anne telling Ann where they would stay tonight and for the next few nights and Ann listening intently they had put the parcel Aunt Anne gave them into one of the saddlebags for safe keeping. They had planned to deliver it tomorrow for Aunt Anne and would call her when they had done so.

When they arrived in London nearly four hours later Anne rode to their hotel which was located near the Thames. Anne wanted to take Ann to the top of the London eye. ‘I have booked us three nights at the Clermont Charing Cross. It is close to the Victoria Embankment Gardens. Hopefully close to the London eye. Have you ever been for a ride on it, Adney?’ Anne asked tentatively. She had wanted to take Ann on the eye but she wasn’t sure if Ann was willing. ‘No, but I would love to give it a go.’ Anne said. ‘And the London eye is only a short walk from where we are staying. Isn’t that cool?’

‘Yes!’ Ann said. ‘Now, let’s go there. I would love to see parts of London before this day is over.’ Ann said tentatively and Anne nodded hastily. They were off again weaving in and out if the traffic. Big Bertha was much better than a car. Room for two with ease and she could go anywhere Anne pointed her. Ann smiled and even though her bum was sore she was enjoying every minute.

When they arrived at the Clermont Anne wondered where she could park Bertha. She was directed to an underground car park. She guided Bertha into a spot. They climbed off and grabbed their bags from the trailer then walked to reception and signed in. Ann held out her credit card for Anne. She was paying for their three nights and Anne was paying for their meals. They would split their sightseeing costs. Ann didn’t think it was fair that Anne paid for everything even though Anne didn’t see a problem with that.

Chapter Text

Chapter 17

 

They were given the key card to their room and directions on how to get there. Anne and Ann took the lift to the fifth floor. They had room 509. it was spacious and not too shabby for the price. Anne plopped her bag on the king size bed they would be sleeping in for three nights. Not that Anne had any thoughts of sleeping. ‘Hey Dearest. Where is your mind going right now?’

‘Nowhere.’ Anne answered with a silly grin on her face. ‘I was watching you eyeing that bed as if you were thinking about shagging me in it. Anne blushed. She rarely did that. ‘No!’ Anne said sheepishly. ‘I don’t believe you. I think you’re fibbing.’ Anne smiled. Ann knew she was. They decided to unpack later.

Then Anne remembered she had left her Aunt’s parcel in the saddlebag. She told Ann then went down to collect it. When she returned to the room she flipped it over to check the address and realised it was for her and Ann. Why did she say it was for her friend? Anne pondered. ‘

‘What’s the matter, dearest?’ Ann asked looking at Anne, who was frowning. ‘This parcel is address to you and me. I wonder what it is in it?’ Anne tentatively opened the parcel. It was wrapped so well she had to find a sharp knife to open it with. When they finally had it opened Anne was surprised. Ann didn’t seem surprised.

‘Did you know about this, Adney?’ Anne asked. She could see Ann smiled. ‘Well, kinda,’ Ann said sheepishly. ‘She told me she was buying us something I didn’t know what.’ Then they could see what it was. Travellers cheques  to the value of 500 pounds with a note to our lovely Anne and Ann. This is our contribution towards your honeymoon. Marian says spend it wisely. Your father says buy yourselves something you want. I say I know this will help you out. Take care and stay safe. Remember to call me when you deliver it. Then there was a smiley photo of all three. Anne grunted. ‘She didn’t need to include the photo.’

‘Anne Lister, she only wants us to remember them while we are away. It’s not illegal. Isn’t it?’ Anne smiled she guessed Ann was right. She reached in her pocket for her phone and called her Aunt. ‘Hi Anne. I guess you have opened the parcel to my friend.’

‘Yeah, I think we like your friend. Good one, Aunt. It seems I was the only one not in on the joke.’ Anne said with mocked humour. ‘So, you are in London?’

‘Yes, we are staying at the Clermont Charing Cross only a short walk from the London eye. Ann wants to see it. Then we might go to the Victoria Embankment Gardens. She seems to want to get photos. We will be here for three days then we get the ferry to Europe. The view from our room is amazing. I wish you were here to see it.’

‘I don’t think your wife would like that. Anyway, I will let you go. Ignore what Marian said about the money. Spend it however you like. She only contributed 100 your father and I put in the rest.’

‘Thanks again, Aunt. Of course, you didn’t need to but it was a lovely gesture. Talk to you soon. Bye!!’

‘Yes, talk to you soon. Love you. Bye!!!’ Anne disconnected the call.

‘Aren’t they thoughtful, Dearest. I didn’t imagine that would happen.’

‘Neither did I, Adney. We shall have some fun and maybe we can stay away a bit longer. Would you like to do that?’ Anne said sheepishly. All Ann could do was nod. She was here in London with her wife who just happened to be Anne Lister the bikie. ‘What do you want to do now?’ Ann asked.

‘Eat. I’m hungry. Are you hungry?’

‘Yes.’ Ann said as her stomach rumbled as if agreeing with her. What else should they do but find somewhere to eat? Anne did a quick Google search on her phone then decided to just call room service. She could see her wife was sleepy and probably didn’t wish to go anywhere whether they walked or rode Bertha.

It was the best hotel food they had eaten in a long time. Anne couldn’t remember if they had ever had hotel food. She was with Ann and nothing else mattered. There was a two seater love seat in their room. They adjourned to it and talked about what they would do over the next three days. Ann was excited to be in London. She couldn’t remember if she had ever visited London with anyone other than.her parents had brought her to London when she was a child. She doesn’t remember the visit that well because it seemed to be too painful a memory after they died. So, she had blocked it out. Anne could see something was bothering her. ’Ann, are you okay?’ Ann looked surprised and wondered why. ’Adney, you were frowning something fearsome.’

‘I was just thinking about mother and father. Our family had come to London when I was a kid. Only I don’t remember the trip because it wasn’t long after that trip my parents passed away.’

‘Ann, you haven’t told me about that.’ Anne said worried Ann was going to feel blue the whole time they were there. As if reading Anne’s mind she said. ’I’ll be fine I have been looking forward to this trip with you. Our honeymoon! Can you believe that? I am still pinching myself.’

‘Believe it, Anne. We are married. I only hope this trip is going to open up a new world to you.’ Ann smiled. She was hoping for the same. ‘I think it will. I am looking forward to being in Paris and Rome. Going to Venice and taking a trip in a Gondola. That will be fun.’

‘Yes, it will, Adney. Would you like to watch tv for awhile. Then we can retire to bed.’ Anne said tentatively. She had other ideas but was wondering if Ann was on the same page. ‘Oh, I don’t think watching tv on our honeymoon will satisfy our needs. What do you think?’

‘I think I should like to take a shower and clean the road dust off. I feel so dirty. Would you like to join me?’ Would I like to join you, Ann thought. Then she wondered if that was a good idea. They had been on Bertha for over four hours and she could feel a twinge in her back. She had forgotten to tell Anne about that. She didn’t want to bore her with her aches and pains. It was enough that she  knew about her anxiety and depression. They had had to make a trip over to Crow Nest to collect them. Thankfully no one was there to ask her how her back was fairing since she was riding around on Bertha.

‘I think I will wait until you have showered. Then I will shower.’ Ann said she could see Anne looked at her gravely. ‘Is there something wrong, Adney?’ Ann asked. She was sure Ann wasn’t telling her everything. ‘I’m fine.’

‘Well, come shower with me. I promise I won’t do anything.’ Anne said she was nearly in tears when Ann refused her for the second time. ‘Please, Ann. Tell me what is going on. I would have thought that sharing a shower with your wife would be fun.’

‘I j j just have this problem.’

‘What problem?’ Anne said as she wondered what her wife would reveal to her now. She realised it wasn’t her anxiety or depression. She knew about that and how she had gone over with her to Crow Nest to collect her medication. ‘You did remember to pack your medication.

’Yes Dearest. It’s not that.’ Ann said as she looked down on the floor to avoid looking into her wife’s eyes. Anne looked angry. This would be hard enough to talk about without having to deal with an angry wife or maybe an angry ex wife. Ann had to find some courage. She had to tell Anne in case her back did go out. That wouldn’t be a good way for Anne to find out Ann had a weak spine.

‘I have this problem with my spine. There are times when it. Well, when it goes out on me. I can’t do anything but take painkillers and sleep. When I wake I usually feel better.’ Anne looked at Ann for more minutes than Ann wanted her to. She took her time to process what Ann was saying then she spoke. ‘Ann, why didn’t you tell me? I would have brought the car instead of Bertha. This trip would have been more comfortable for you if you had told me. I could have done that.’

‘Anne Lister, I wanted you to bring Bertha. That’s one of the reasons I never told you. I love being on the back of your motorcycle. It’s fun.’

‘But Ann, it could also be painful. We have lots of trips I want to take you on while we are in Europe.’ Anne said exasperated. She looked at Ann and wondered what the hell they were going to do. Bugger, she had married Ann without knowing her full history. Yet, she could have asked.  Couldn’t she? ‘Hey, do you still want me to shower with you, dearest? I just need to be careful. My back is good now but one jolt and it could go out.’

‘I would like that but do you think you will be okay.’ Anne said looking at her wife as if she would break. ‘Please don’t look at me as if I am going to break. That won’t happen. I will tell you when my back is hurt.’

‘Good. Yes, I still want you to shower with me. Will you?’

‘Yes!’ Ann said as she quickly removed her clothes. She had shorts and a t-shirt on under her leather jacket and pants which she had taken off when they arrived at their hotel room. Anne had done the same.

Anne turned on the shower and they both climbed in. Ann turned to face Anne as the warm water gently hit her back. It felt so good. Maybe what she really needed was a good massage from her wife. ‘Would you mind giving me a gentle massage after our shower? That might help keep my back from acting up.’

‘I think I might be able to do that.’ Anne said smiling broadly at Ann. She felt she knew there would be a solution only she had no idea what it was but she liked the idea of giving her wife a massage. She thought it would help them bond more and relax Ann so much she would sleep well.

They rummaged through their bags to find their pjs after they had dried off. Anne wore her boxer briefs and a t-shirt. Ann wore a pj bottom and a t-shirt which was so old and faded they could hardly recognise the picture on the front. ‘Who are they?’ Anne asked when Ann pulled the t-shirt over her heard. ‘Oh, that’s ABBA. You do remember them. This was my mum’s and I wear it to remember her.’  Ann said with a hint of sadness in her voice. Anne was surprised she could do that. She had imagined Ann would shy away from things or events that reminded Ann of her mum. ‘Would you like me to give you a massage tonight?’ Anne said unsure if she was asking the right question. Ann seemed so sleepy after their long ride on Bertha. ‘Yes, I would love that. I have some baby oil in my toiletry bag.. It’s in the bathroom. You could use that if you wish.’ Ann said as Anne wandered into the bathroom to get it. ‘Oh, you can’t miss it. It’s in a pink bottle.’

‘Found it, Adney.’ When Anne returned to their bedroom Ann was spread out on their bed topless. She had her arms by her side with facing towards the door. ‘I might need to warm it up before I pour some onto your back because it is bloody cold.’ Anne did that then poured a thin line down Ann’s back and began massaging it gently. Ann was laying with her face into the pillows now. Anne could just hear her moaning. This was like foreplay, Anne thought. She wondered if Ann would allow her to make love to her after she had massaged her back. Anne kept up the rhythm massaging gently then running two fingers down Ann’s spine which elicited a long low moan from Ann. She discretely felt between Ann’s legs. Well, she tried to be discrete. Ann was so wet it was dripping down her thighs. ‘Anne, I thought you were giving me a massage.’ Came a muffled sound from Ann. ‘I am, I was. Oh dear. I get so worked up when I am around you.’ Anne said as she resumed massaging Ann. Then she had to stop because Ann was trying to roll over. ‘You know my back feels fine now. Thank you, Dearest.’ Ann said as she pulled Anne down into a searing kiss. ‘You are great at looking after me. Let me look after you now.’ Anne smiled. She didn’t know what Ann had in mind. Then Ann kissed her again. I wonder if you would lay on your stomach on the bed please, dearest.’ Anne did as Ann asked her. She still didn’t know what Ann was going to do.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 18

 

Then she felt Ann drizzle the baby oil onto her back. it was cool. That was how she liked it. Her skin was hot from the shower or was it from the intensity of the massage she had given Ann. Then Ann’s hands were on her back massaging it gently. Ann was humming to herself as she massaged Anne. Anne listened and realise Ann was humming an ABBA song. ‘Which one is it, Ann?’

‘Which one is what?’ Ann asked puzzled. She didn’t know what Anne was talking about. ’The tune you’re humming. It’s an ABBA song but I don’t know which one.’

‘I wasn’t humming.’ Ann said. Then she realised she was because she started humming again. ‘There you go again. Which song is it?’

‘I’m not sure.’ When she thought about it Ann did recognise the tune. ‘It’s Dancing Queen.’ Anne started humming along with her. Then she started singing. All Ann could do was flop onto their bed and listen. She thought her wife had the most divine voice ever. She knew her tough bikie had a soft side but she also knew she rarely showed it.

As Anne continued singing Ann continued massaging her back. There had never been a more blissful scene. When Anne stopped singing Ann leaned down and kissed her passionately. It was lovely being here with her wife.  She rolled her over onto her back and began trailing kisses down her neck, between her breasts and across her stomach until Ann found her clit. Anne’s body was withering beneath her. She couldn’t believe how wet Anne was. She knew it was all her that made Anne so wet. Her wife loved her and wanted her to make love to her. Ann couldn’t resist. She stroked Anne’s clit gently until Anne moaned, ‘Faster please, Adney. Faster.’ She couldn’t resist Anne’s pleas. So, Ann strummed faster and harder. Anne moaned louder. She was calling out Ann’s name. It was heavenly sounding in Ann’s ears. She inserted two or was it three fingers inside Anne. Anne moaned again. Ann could feel her climax building as she pushed her fingers inside her wife. She could feel Anne’s walls crushing her fingers. In and out she went while she stroked Anne’s clit. The tension in the air was too much for Ann. ‘Anne, Touch me please if you can.’ Anne reached down. She found Ann’s clit. It was hard and needing attention.

So, here they were stroking each others’ clit. Ann still deep inside Anne thrusting inside her until Anne’s hips came up to meet each thrust. Anne gave one last scream of Ann’s name then she came, her arousal on Ann’s hands. She pulled her fingers out and inserted them into her mouth. She tasted so divine. ‘Here, taste this.’ Ann said giving her hand to Anne who pushed her fingers into her mouth. ‘I do taste good. Don’t I?’ Sometimes we do need reassurance that we taste great. ‘Yes, dearest, you taste amazing.’ Then she whined She realised she wanted Anne inside her. ‘Dearest, I need you inside me and now pleased.’ She pleaded. What could Anne do but comply. It was hard to resist her adorable, sexy, shy and lovable wife. She certainly would never do that. Anne leaned into Ann and kissed her passionately. She pushed her tongue inside Ann’s mouth to find Ann’s tongue. They inhaled deeply. It was wonderful how they seemed to be so intuitive about each others’ needs.

Anne pushed three fingers inside Ann. Ann moaned loudly as Anne filled her. ‘It feels so good having you so deep inside me, dearest.’ Ann said trying to put her feelings into words. Sometimes she found that hard to do.  Anne thrust inside her. ‘Oh, Adney, you are so wet for me. Is this all for me.’ Anne said with a hint of worry in her voice. No one she had loved had ever given her all. ‘Yes it is, dearest. It is all yours always.’ Anne silently thanked the gods for bringing them together. It was a coincidence that they had met on that night. She hadn’t planned to go into the pub. It brought back too many memories of Mariana. That’s where they would meet. It was an out of the way pub. Mariana wasn’t out. She didn’t want to admit she was anything but straight. ‘Anne, you stopped. What’s the matter?’ Ann reached for her face and could see she was crying. ‘What’s wrong, dearest?’ Ann said sincerely. ‘I have never felt so seen until you came into my life. You see me as I am, as I have always been. You want to spend the rest of your life with me and you don’t want me to be anything less than who I am. Ann Walker, how do you do it?’

‘Do what, Anne?’

‘Put up with me.’

‘I don’t. I accept you and love you as you are. What more should I do?’

‘Nothing more. You do enough. Thank you!’ Anne said as she pushed her fingers back inside Ann while she stroked Ann’s clit with her thumb. ‘Go down on me. I want to feel your tongue on my clit, dearest.’  Ann said with a stutter. Anne trailed kisses down Ann’s body and stroked Ann’s clit with her tongue while her fingers were still deep inside Ann. ‘Anne, please put your tongue inside me.’ Anne did and the sounds that came from between Ann’s lips were so dirty. She couldn’t believe her wife was so shy and then so dirty. Anne lifted her head for a moment. ’How did you get to be such a dirty girl Miss Walker?’

‘It’s from hearing about your exploits. Although, I was never one to believe all I heard about you.’ Ann said frantically. Then Anne’s nose was near Ann’s centre her tongue inside her. She was thrusting in and out. Going from her clit to stroke it begin inside Ann’s centre. It was fun making Ann Walker squirm as much as she was.. She delighted it the exquisite sounds coming from Ann. ‘Oh Dearest. You….mmmmake mmmme feeeel sooooo good. I’m….about to….’ That was all Ann could say then she was squirting her arousal over Anne’s face and Anne lapped up every last drop. Anne crawled up to Ann. Her eyes were closed. Anne leaned down and kissed her. It feels so good. She held Ann close to her until Ann’s eyes opened. ‘Here she is my adorable, sexy, shy wife. How do you feel, Adney?’

‘Fuck, Anne. You make me feel so fucking good. That was amazing. I don’t know if you will be able to top that.’ Ann said shyly. ‘Oh I think I will, Adney. I know I will.’

‘Just don’t set yourself too high a standard that you need to continue to reach. Okay!! I love what you do, no matter what you do to me, dearest.’

‘Oh you do. How about this?’ Anne said tickling Ann. She knew where he ticklish spots where. Ann grabbed Anne’s hands trying to pull them away from her body. ’Well, you said no matter what I do.’ Anne said laughing. ‘Stop it. I will need to go pee now because I have laughed so much.’

‘You have laughed so much. Hey, you bring joy and laughter into my life every day, Adney. I love you.’

‘i love you, dearest.’ Ann said as she ran to the bathroom to pee and barely made it. ‘Thanks, Lister. I nearly peed on the bathroom floor.’

‘oh well,’ Anne said, ‘that’s the price you pay for saying I love what you do, no matter what you do to me.’

‘Okay!!! You win. Now what?’

‘I think we need to sleep. I am exhausted. What are we going to do tomorrow, Adney?’ Anne said as she put on her t-shirt and boxer briefs and flopped into bed. ’I think I would love to go see the London eye and maybe go for a ride on it.’ Ann said remembering it was hard for her to do this but with Anne she imagined anything was possible. ‘That’s a great idea. Only don’t you prefer to be on terra firma.’

‘Yes, but I really want to try this with you. Hey, I have been on Bertha and I never imagined I would get on a motorcycle let alone ride on the back of one with anyone. It is so different when I am with you, dearest.’ Anne looked at her. She was surprised that Ann Walker was even game to get on Bertha. Only she did and here they were in London then going by ferry to Europe for their honeymoon.

It was a wonderful feeling. Anne wondered why Ann felt so good when they were together. She could never understand Ann. She  wasn’t someone special. At least she didn’t think so. She was just someone who lived her life the way she wanted to. ‘That’s what inspires me about you, Anne Lister. You don’t take crap from anyone. Do you?’

‘Did I say that out loud?’

‘Yes, Dearest. You did.’ They were quiet for a beat. Ann put her t-shirt and pj bottoms back on. She vaulted onto the bed next to Anne and curled her arm around Anne’s body. It was cool to be here with Anne. The sounds of London vibrated around them as they drifted off to sleep.

Ann woke the next morning with the sunshine pouring in through the window, She rolled over to embrace Anne but found Anne’s side of the bed was empty. She looked around the room and couldn’t see Anne anywhere. She wondered if Anne had got fed up with her and decided to leave her there in London and ride Bertha back home to Halifax. Then she heard a door close. ‘Adney, are you still in bed?’ Anne said as she strolled into their bedroom.’ I have breakfast for us.’

‘What did you get?

‘McDonald’s. Two egg and bacon McMuffins with hash browns and coffee I also bought us a soft serve ice cream cone. I put them in the freezer so they won’t melt too much. Let’s eat.’

‘Really!’  Ann said as she licked her lips. I was hope you mean food and not. Well, you know.’

‘Not what, Adney?’ Anne said smiling broadly. ‘Say it, Ann. Say it. You need to do that.’

‘I cannot do that, Dearest. You know that.’

‘Come on, try.’ Anne said as she wrapped her lips around her McMuffin. ‘This is good for breakfast.’

‘I want to eat you out, Dearest. There I have said it. How do you feel now?’

‘Hungry, Ann!’ They ate in relative silence.  Ann put on a summery dress and her Doc Martens which she made her look a bit strange but Anne was happy as she eyed her from head to foot. They were walking to the London eye. London was vibrating with life. Anne had thought they would find somewhere close for dinner later. Or even a late lunch.

Chapter Text

Chapter 19

 

When they arrived at the London eye about half an hour later they had taken their time and taken in the view of the River Thames as they walked over the Golden Jubilee Bridge. And south towards the London eye. It was a lovely walk. Ann seemed to be enjoying herself more than Anne had imagined she would. They hadn’t booked ahead because it was a last minute decision as they were about to fall asleep last night. So, their tickets were thirty pounds each. Anne didn’t mind paying that much. It would probably be a once only trip. Especially if Ann got nervous as they neared the top of the eye. ‘How long is the ride?’ Anne asked the ticket collector as she paid. ‘Thirty minutes.’

‘Can we go again if we like it?’ Ann said hoping he would say yes. ’it’s you money, ma’am. I think you can go as many times as you wish.’

‘Good.’ Ann said as they were called to hop into the capsule and stood next to each other. They would have a 360 degree panorama of London when they reached the top. Ann grabbed Anne’s hand and wouldn’t let go when the door to the capsule was closed. When they reached the top they would be 135 metres above the ground. The view can extend up to 40 kilometres. ‘WOW!’ Ann said surprised that they would see that much of London. ‘This is currently the largest Ferris wheel in the world.’ Anne said. ‘I think you are very brave, Adney for taking this trip. If you want to go again later we can.’

‘I don’t know.’ Ann said. Her bravado had disappeared when she read how far up they would be when they reached the top of the eye. ‘That’s a long way up. Isn’t it?’

‘Yes, but we are enclosed and it is very safe. They wouldn’t let us go up if it wasn’t safe, Adney. Would they?’ Then the eye began to move. Ann shifted closer to Anne. Anne wrapped her arms around her wife. Ann was scared and excited about what they would see. Fifteen minutes later they were at the top. The view was amazing.  They could see across London in every direction, Big Ben and the houses of parliament, the Golden Jubilee Bridge they had walked across to get to the eye. . Ann had moved away from Anne and was snapping photos. She didn’t seem to be scared. ‘Ann, are you okay now?’

‘Yes, dearest. The view is amazing. I can’t believe we are here. It feels like we are getting a bird’s eye view of the city.’

‘It certainly does, Adney.’ Then they were on their way back down. ‘Do you want to go again?’

‘Not today maybe when we come back from Europe.’ Ann said. She felt once was enough for her first time.  They climbed down and began their walk back to their hotel. Anne was so pleased with Ann. She had been brave enough to go to the top of the London eye.

Ann had been snapping up so many photos with her camera she didn’t realise they were at the top until they were there. She did feel a bit of fear then she looked at Anne and smile because Anne had pride written on her face. ‘What now, Adney?’

I don’t know. Maybe we should go find somewhere to eat. All this walking and sightseeing is making me hungry. Are you hungry, Dearest?’ Anne had to think about it. She didn’t think she was then her stomach rumbled. ‘I must be. Where do you want to eat? We could go back to the hotel and get Bertha.’

‘No, I prefer to walk. If, you don’t mind I am enjoying the sights and sounds of London. Are you?’ Ann said looking at Anne shyly. She often wondered if she said the right things. ‘Yes, I am happy to walk but won’t you get tired.’ Anne said looking at Ann. She did look a bit sleepy. ‘I will let you know, dearest. Then we can get an uber back to the hotel.’

‘Good idea.’ Anne said. ‘Let’s go back to the hotel for a while. I am feeling a bit sleepy.’ Anne said looking for an excuse to get Ann to rest. ‘Then we can go somewhere later.’

‘Anne Lister, I know you’re not sleepy but I think that is a good idea.’ They returned to the hotel the way they came to the eye. It wasn’t long and they were back in their room. Ann flopped onto their bed after taking off her Doc Martens. She was rubbing her feet. ‘Are your feet sore, Adney?’ Anne asked with concern on her face. ’Just a little. I haven’t walked so far and so fast in a long time.’ Ann lay down to sleep. So, Anne reached into her bag for a book to read. It was lovely spending this quiet time with Ann. Anne never imagined she would want to stop and just read. She allowed Ann to sleep for an hour. When she woke her they would need to eat. She was sure Ann would be hungry. She was already feeling hungry.

‘Ann, Adney, wakey, wakey, sunshine. I am getting hungry.’ Anne said as Ann’s stomach growled. ’It seems like you are hungry too. What do you want to eat tonight? We could order in if you want to stay here and watch a movie.’

‘That sounds like a great idea. Can we order Chinese and get it delivered?’

‘We can see if that is possible, Adney.’ Anne said as she searched Google to find the nearest Chinese restaurant that delivered to the hotel. She found Joy’s Chinese Restaurant and they deliver. She called them. ‘Hello, Joy’s Chinese Restaurant. How can I help you?’

‘Do you deliver to the Clermont Charring Cross?’

‘Yes, we are you seven minutes away from your location. What would you like?’

‘What do you suggest we try? It’s a long time since we have eaten Chinese.’ Anne said.

‘I will send you a sample of four meals. You can share them. I will surprise you. Are you vegetarians or vegan?’

‘No!! How much will it cost us? Anne asked. Since she was paying she was keeping an eye on how much she was spending.’

‘A sample is half a meal. So about 30 pounds.’

‘Great.’ Anne said and relayed their address. ‘It will be there in about half an hour. Which room are you in?’

‘509 just knock twice and we will answer.’

‘I will. See you in about half an hour.’

As promised their meal was delivered half an hour later. Anne and Ann ate greedily. It was good. They loved Chinese. It was usually their go to meal when no one felt like cooking after they had given Cordingley the evening off. ‘Now, what do you want to do?’ Anne asked as they stoved the empty containers in the garbage bin. ‘What about a movie? There is bound to be a good movie on tv tonight.’ Anne turned on the tv and searched. She didn’t find anything interesting. She called room service. She thought they might know. ‘Room service Jack speaking. How can I help you?’

‘Jack, we are in room 509. I have been searching through the tv channels and haven’t been able to find anything worth watching. Is there anything you can suggest, Jack?’ Anne asked. She was wondering what else they could do. It was only five o’clock and very bright outside. ‘You could try iplayer or itv there are some good shows on those channels.’ Jack said. ‘If I think of anything else I will give you a call.’

‘Thanks.’ Anne said then hung up the landline. She did as she suggested and found Last Tango in Halifax on Netflix. So, they settled on the sofa and watched a few episodes until they were sleepy. ‘What do you want to do tomorrow, Ann?’ Ann smiled sweetly. ‘I want to go on our honeymoon. Let’s leave early if we can get a ferry to Calais.’

‘We could try. Do you want me to call them now, Adney?’

‘Yes please, dearest.’ Ann said excitedly. She wanted to get going. She couldn’t wait. Anne reached into her pocket for her phone and called the port of Dover to see if they could change their departure date from two days time to tomorrow. ‘Hello, Port of Dover, Fred speaking.’

‘Hi Fred Anne Lister speaking. I have a booking for two days time. Is it possible to change that to tomorrow?’

‘Yes, as long as you don’t mind what time you leave.’ Fred said. Ann was listening and nodded in agreement. ‘That will be fine. What do we need to do?’

‘Come to the check in desk and we will fix that for you.’

‘Thank you. We will do that.’ Anne said. She told Ann what they needed to do. ‘Let’s go to bed. I am very sleepy. We are going to have a long day tomorrow.’ Ann said.

 Ann laid down on their bed while Anne, who was wound up, decided to pack their gear ready for their trip on the ferry to Europe.

Anne sat on their bed. She read for as long as she could. Only there was a petite blond sleeping next to her whom she couldn’t keep her eyes off. She still found it hard to believe that someone so cute would want to be with her, .the gruff, tough as nails bikie. Only she knew Ann had peeled away her outer shell to reveal her soft side. She usually didn’t allow anyone to do that. But Ann seemed different. She had taken up residence in her heart and didn’t seem to worry that Anne was a complicated and complex human. Ann loved her no matter what. She constantly told her so. Here they were in London on their honeymoon. Anne smiled. It was a miracle. Their relationship was a work in progress and it would take time for them to get to know each other more than what they did already.  Then Anne woke. It was early morning. She still had her clothes on. She didn’t remember turning out the light but it was off. Anne had been wondering what they would do for breakfast when Ann woke. She leaned down and kissed Ann on the cheek. Ann pulled her into a tight hug. ‘Anne, I need you inside me.’ Ann said with the remnants of sleep still lingering in her voice. She was finding it impossible to keep her eyes open. Anne leaned down and kissed Ann on the lips. She was sure this would wake her. She waited. She was sure Ann was awake because she had hugged her. Then she wondered if Ann’s reaction to her hug and kiss was just muscle memory. She waited again. It wasn’t possible.  Ann was still asleep even after she had kisses Ann.  Then Ann had moaned. ‘Dearest do that again please.’ Anne smiled to herself. ‘Do what again Adney?’

‘You know what, Anne. Do it!’ Ann said. A frown was forming on her face. ‘Say it, Ann. I need you to use your words.’

‘Bloody kiss me again.’ Anne leaned down and locked her lips with Ann’s. The sensation drove Ann crazy. She pulled Anne in closer. ‘Come on, touch me please, dearest. I want you to do that.’

‘No can do. Not today. We need to pack our gear ready to head down to Dover to get the ferry to the continent. Have you packed everything you want to take with you, Adney?’ Anne asked as she began repacking her geart o pack in Bertha. ‘Yes, I think so. I will check.’ Ann did a walk around the hotel room. She found Anne’s toothbrush she must have used to clean her teeth but nothing of hers until Anne held up her shoes. ‘I think you might need these now. I don’t want you on Bertha without shoes on. Okay!!’

‘I was just about to put them on but thanks.’ Ann said coyly. When Anne had packed their gear into the trailer they set off on their trip to Dover to get the ferry. That will take them about one hour and 42 minutes. ‘I would like to get there before lunch so we can organise our ferry ride to the continent.’

‘Okay. I am ready now.’ Ann said as she grabbed her helmet from where she had sat it earlier. ‘I’m ready too. Come here. You have forgotten to zip up your jacket.’ Anne said. Ann walked over to her. Anne cupped Ann’s face with her hands and kissed her gently. Then Ann realised her jacket was zipped up. ‘You’re a beast, Lister but I do love it when you trick me into letting you kiss me.’

Chapter Text

Chapter 20

 

They had left London at around 9.30 AM. Ann was enjoying being with Anne on Bertha. She never imagined she could have so much fun on a motorcycle like Bertha They rode in silence to Dover. Anne rode Bertha so well. Ann loved the way she leaned Bertha into the corners. She hugged Anne tighter when Anne did that.  As they rode Ann wonder again how her future had been transformed so much on that one night.

She remembered not wanting to go to the pub and how Catherine and Delia had coaxed into a nice skirt and shirt. How they had dragged her out into the taxi that Catherine had called for. She also remembered how alone she felt when they abandoned her for their friends who appeared out of the blue. She remembered Delia saying. ‘I didn’t know you were coming tonight.’ Ann remembered sitting alone at the bar. She had wanted to go home but couldn’t find a reason to leave.

Then the town bikie had asked if she had wanted her to buy her a drink. Of course, she knew who she was. Ann had had a crush on the bikie for so long she had forgotten a time before Anne Lister. In fact if you asked her there wasn’t a time before Anne Lister. She knew that night when they met there wouldn’t be a time after Anne Lister.

She hadn’t realise Anne had pulled over to the side of the road and switched off Bertha. ‘Are you all right, Ann? You nearly toppled off back there.’ Anne said. ‘You need to be more aware of what’s happening. Motorcycles are a death trap at the worst of times and at the best, well, they are still dangerous.’

‘Sorry! I was reminiscing about the night we met and how you gave up smoking just for me. How you cared for me after my cousins left me alone after their friends had shown up when they told me they wouldn’t be there.’

‘Ann Walker, i would give up anything for you. You are the sweetest person I know. You changed my life completely that night and i will never forget it as long as I live. Now, let’s get to Dover and stay alert please. I can’t control Bertha and hold you up at the same time.’

‘I will concentrate harder but sometimes it is impossible when I have my arms around you.’ Ann said as she smiled. Yet, with Anne she knew she had to be aware for her surroundings. ‘Well, let’s get going or we will miss the boat and our honeymoon too.’

They rode the rest of the way to Dover in relative silence. Ann tries to keep her mind from wandering by singing her favourite song, symphony.. Anne doesn’t know it and she cannot hear her because Ann had purposely turned off her mic. Ann feels it is an anthem to their life.

They arrived in Dover and report to the check in counter. ‘Is there a chance we could get a ferry to Calais today?’

‘Yes, i am certain we can sort something out for you.’

‘Great. When and how much?’ Ann asked. She is itching to get to the continent soon so they can really begin their honeymoon. ‘In about an hour and it will cost you 250 pounds with your motorcycle and trailer There is a cafe in town if you’re hungry. They ferry starts loading in about twenty minutes. Okay!!’ Anne reached into her pocket for her wallet to pay but she wasn’t fast enough. Ann had already laid her credit card on the counter. ‘Blast. I’ll get you next time, Miss Walker.’

‘Oh, you will, will you? Hey, you have to get up early to catch me off guard.’ Ann smiled. They parked behind a line up of cars and waited. Bertha’s trailer seemed to be weathering the trip well. ‘I didn’t tell you but this is the first outing for Bertha’s trailer.’

‘Well, she and I are holding up well then. Aren’t we?’ Anne smiled. She knew what Ann meant. This was her first long trip on the back of a motorcycle. Ann smiled. Anne could see she was enjoying herself. As they stood there Ann could see Anne’s hands were twitching. ‘What’s wrong, Dearest?’ Ann said sincerely. Anne had to be honest. She knew if she wasn’t and Ann found out she wouldn’t be happy with her.

‘Oh, Ann, I have to confess. I have been nervous about our wedding and this trip.’ Ann looked at Anne with grave concern. ‘You haven’t been. You have. Haven’t you?’ Anne nodded. ‘Why, Anne? Why? You could have told me and i could have allayed your fears then this wouldn’t be happening. Come here.’ Ann pulled Anne into a tight hug. ‘My big tough bikie isn’t so tough after all, is she?’

Ann had to admit she felt so vulnerable admitting to her fears especially fears that involved other women. Only Ann wasn’t just any woman. She was someone who Anne was married to. Who had promised no matter what to be there for her in ways no one else ever had. She had never thought she would quit smoking for anyone. It was a pleasure she enjoyed. Only when Ann told her she was allergic to second hand smoke she quit. It wasn’t easy but she knew she could do it and since she had quit her food tasted better. She could breathe easier and she felt she had more energy. Yet, just this one time she had reverted back to her old habit and she felt guilty every time she sneaked off for a puff. It did calm her nerves. Only when she saw Ann she had to find a reason not to get close to her.

‘So, that’s why there were times when you didn’t want to be near me before we got married. I thought I had done something to upset you. Anne Lister, take a deep breath for me, relax. We are here on our honeymoon. We will be boarding this ferry in a few minutes on our way on the best adventure of our lives. You don’t need to smoke because well, you don’t. Do you?’

‘No!’ Anne says. ‘I don’t but when i get stressed I bloody well do what I shouldn’t. Don’t I?’

‘Is that all it is just stress. It isn’t a need in your very being to smoke. Isn’t it?’

‘I don’t know, Adney. I really don’t know. Sometimes, I wonder if i will ever get it out of my system. It’s hard to stop doing something that you have done for so long. Don’t worry. I didn’t bring any with me.’ Anne said looking at Ann. She wondered if Ann would trust her or want to check her bags for proof that she is telling the truth. Ann smiled. ‘I trust you but I wish you had told me sooner. I may not have been able to do anything for you but i would be here to listen to you.’ Anne smiled. Her hands wrapped around Ann to stop them from shaking her desire for a smoke gone.

Then they were called to board the ferry. It was only a 90 minute trip over to Calais. They would be there in time to find somewhere to stay for the night and check out the town. As they climbed off Bertha Anne made sure she had locked her steering and the trailer lid was locked they made their way up to the deck.  The view over the English Channel was amazing as the ferry headed towards the European coastline. Ann snuggled into Anne. They still had their leathers on and were holding onto their helmets. ‘Let’s go for a stroll around the deck. I am sure the view on the other side is just as amazing. What do you think, Ann?’ Ann nodded. They strolled around to the other side of the ferry and stood at the rail again looking out to sea.

‘I never thought this would be my life. Yet, here I am with Anne fucking Lister on our honeymoon.’

‘Hey, watch your mouth there, missy.’ Anne said as she laughed loudly. I am aware of my reputation but that isn’t me. Is it? I think you know me better than anyone else does now, Miss Walker. Yes, I know you love it when I fuck you. I wish I could do that now.’

‘Settle petal. You’ll get to do that soon. Won’t you?’

‘I hope so, Adney. We will be in Calais before you know it. I think we need to find somewhere to stay for a night unless you want to go straight to Paris.’

‘That would depend on how far away Paris was from Calais.’ Anne did a Google search to find out how far it was. She told Ann and they decided since it was only going to take them three and a quarter hours to get there they would go straight to Paris when the ferry dock. That would save them time. And they would get one extra night in Paris. There was so much of Paris that Anne wanted to show Anne. She had been there a couple of times in the past and there were times when it felt like the first time. Anne wondered if Ann would feel the same way about her favourite city.

Ann smiled as they climbed onto Bertha just after the ferry docked in Calais.. Ann wrapped her arms around Anne waist and off they sped into the afternoon on their way to the city of lovers. Well, that’s what Ann had heard it was called. Sometimes she wondered if that was fact or fantasy. Sometimes it was hard to tell truth from fiction.

When they arrived in Paris Anne rode past the Eiffel Tower. It was one place Ann wanted to go was to the top. She had heard the view from the top was amazing.  She read online that you could see most of Paris and it was a 360 degree view. Anne rode them to their B&B. It was quaint and small but all they need. It was basically just for somewhere to sleep. Anne could see Ann was sleepy and suggested she lie down in bed for a few minutes. Ann did. Anne lay down beside her.  The bedroom was located in a loft above the kitchen  

There were stairs to climb up to the bedroom. Ann seemed slightly nervous with the help of Anne was able to navigate the stairs. Ann had grabbed the handrail but it felt shaky so she was reluctant to trust it.

It was only a matter of minutes until Anne heard Ann’s snores. She stood up and walked into the kitchen to see if there was anything to eat. She was surprised to find a couple of frozen dinners in the fridge and a complementary bottle of wine. It wasn’t what Anne had in mind for their first meal in Paris.

Anne did a Google search to find out where the nearest restaurant was that delivered meals. Anne was having trouble finding a restaurant that delivered meals which was close to where they were staying. Anne decided that the frozen dinners would have to do for tonight. She didn’t know if Ann would be happy with that.

When Ann appeared in the kitchen Anne was seated at the dinner table with her phone in her hand still searching for somewhere to eat. She looked up as Ann reached her and wrapped her arms around her. ‘Why the deep frown Dearest?’ Ann said as she softly kissed Anne in her head. ‘I want to surprise you with a nice French dinner tonight. So, I did a search on restaurants in the area that delivered. I couldn’t find any. We have two frozen dinners which look very British and a bottle of plonk.’

‘What do you mean by plonk?’ Ann asked looked quizzically at Anne. ‘Cheap wine, Adney. Well, that’s what it looks like to me.’

‘I think we should open it up and see.’ Ann said as she went searching for a corkscrew. She found one. It was in the cutlery drawer.  Anne found glasses in the cupboard above the cutlery drawer. She opened the wine and poured a small amount into one glass. Ann took a sip and smiled. It was a delicious white wine but probably not meant to go with their free frozen dinners. Anne pulled the frozen dinners from the freezer. They were British meals, one was corn beef and cabbage, the other one was bangers and mash. ‘How are we going to heat them up?’ Ann asked when she couldn’t see a microwave anywhere. Then Anne looked down. There it was in the small island. Ann was surprised. They tossed a coin to see who would have the corn beef and cabbage. Ann won which meant Anne was left to eat bangers and mash. She didn’t mind them but would have preferred something better.’

‘Would you like to share with me? I can have some of your meal and you can have some of mine. How does that sound.’

‘That sounds good to me, Adney.’ Ann found two plates and shared the meals between them. She was so happy just to be in Paris with her wife. They ate in comfortable silence. Anne wondering what the next few days would be like then she remembered their bags were still in the trailer.

After they finished eating Ann washed the dishes while Anne went out to get their bags. She had Bertha parked where no one could see her. She had locked the steering and covered Bertha with a small tarp she had in one of the saddlebags. When she walked back inside the B&B Ann had turned on the television. She was watching a show in French. She didn’t understand one word of what they were saying. Anne wondered if it had English subtitles.  It did but it was hard to watch the action and read the subtitles.

‘Ann, do you want to go to bed now?’ Anne said as she watched as Ann’s eyelids drooped. ‘Yes, I would like to go to bed now.’

They brushed their teeth in the tiniest bathroom they had ever been in but it served its purpose. There was a small vanity, with the toilet opposite it and a medium size shower at the end. They made their way to the bedroom. Ann was feeling more confident with the handrail. She had used it to come down to find Anne early.  There was a small cupboard underneath the stairs which Anne and Ann missed until Ann saw it.

‘Well, open it, Ann.’ Anne said as she watched Ann open the cupboard. There was a washing machine and dryer inside. ‘Well, we will be able to do our laundry before we leave in a week’s time.’ Anne said. Ann looked puzzled. ‘I thought we were staying here longer than a week.’

‘We might but that will depend on whether we want to go to Italy or not. I thought you wanted to see the Louvre especially the Mona Lisa.’

‘Yes, I do but we have just arrived here and you are talking about leaving.’ Anne looked at Ann. She could see Ann was happy they were there and knew Ann wanted to see as much of Paris as Anne was willing to show her. They went to bed.

Chapter Text

Chapter 21

They had decided to spend the next few days exploring Paris. Ann had said she wanted to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower to take some photos of the surrounding city. Paris was huge with a population exceeding just over 11 million it could be seen as a mega city. Ann was in still amazed that she was here with Anne Lister. They were able to leave Bertha’s trailer behind safe in the knowledge that no one would steal it. Anne had found a sturdy pole to attach the chain that was attached to Bertha’s trailer.

Anne and Ann climbed on to Bertha. ‘Would you like to check out the sights of Paris before we take the lift to the top of the tower?’ Ann nodded. She had been longing to see the sights of Paris with Anne and this was the only way to do it. Anne was able to weaving Bertha in and out of traffic. The Arc de Triiomphe was the first place Anne stopped. Ann looked up in awe as they sat on Bertha so close to it that it seemed to overpower them. Ann took a couple of photos of it and returned her camera to the saddlebag. She smiled as she put her helmet back on. They rode off to their next destination.

Ann was enjoying their ride around Paris and seeing the places they would visit later. The Louvre; the tower, which seemed to extended so far into the heavens she was in a way feeling a bit of regret for having suggested they take the lift to the top. She didn’t know why Anne had suddenly brought Bertha to a standstill. ‘Are you okay? I felt you shake just a moment ago. She’s big. Isn’t she?’ Anne said as she pointed the tower. ‘You’re having second thoughts about going to the top?’

‘Yes, I suppose I am but the view from the top would be amazing. I don’t want my fears to over take me as they have done in the past. I know with you there with me I am sure we can navigate this together. Can’t we?’ Anne looked at Ann and smiled. ‘Yes, we can certainly do that. I think we all allow our fears to stop us from doing what we want to do and that makes life harder. Doesn’t it?’ Ann knew that was true. She had stepped outside her comfort zone when she married Anne against her family’s wishes. She knew Anne loved her and would do whatever she needed to do to keep her safe.

As they rode around Paris Ann was awestruck by the number of historical buildings and landmarks. Then her stomach rumbled. Anne could feel it before she heard it. ‘Do you want to go get something to eat, Ann?’

‘Yes please, Anne.’ Anne wondered where Ann would like to go to eat. She had a couple of restaurants in mind but they were expensive and even though they had the extra 500 English pounds for her family  gave them as what Anne and Ann imagined was a wedding present.  ‘Are you right, Anne?’ She could see Anne was trying to find a place which had good food but at a decent price. ‘I’m just wondering where we should go to eat.’ Anne said. Ann smiled. ‘How about we just go to the nearest supermarket and take it back to the hotel to eat. That would be fine by me.’ Anne looked at Ann and wondered if she was sure. Ann nodded as if she could read Anne’s mind.

They had stopped when Anne felt Ann’s stomach rumbled. Ann had snuggled so close. Anne. Anne loved the feel of Ann’s body against her back. It was so soft and supple. Every time Ann pressed her front against Anne’s back it made her core clench. Anne smiled. It seemed like an eternity since they had had intimacy and Anne couldn’t wait to get Ann back to the hotel to ravish her.

Anne seemed to hurry Ann back up to their hotel room. It wasn’t until Anne had closed the door and pushed Ann against it that she could see the desire in Anne’s eyes. Then Anne’s lips crashed against hers. They were soft and tender yet Anne was pushing herself against Ann. ‘I need you, Ann. I need you inside me now.’ Ann knew how impossible that was until Anne began to remove her leather jacket and pants. Ann follow suit. Knickers and bras were nearly torn to shreds. Ann didn’t mind if this was what Anne wanted she was willing to comply.

‘Hurry up, Ann. I am desperate.’ Ann inserted her fingers inside Anne. She was so wet and so ready for this. ‘If you hadn’t pressed so close to me while we were out on Bertha I wouldn’t feel this way.’ Ann wondered if she had overstepped the mark. She pulled away from Anne removing her fingers as she moved. Anne groaned. She was desperate. Ann knew this but why blame her. She was feeling the same way but for some reason she couldn’t explain how she had been able to damp it down.

Yet, right now her desire for Anne was raging inside her. She could feel her core clench. Her gut twisted in a way she had never felt before. Was it possible that one touch to her clit from Anne would send her over the edge? ‘Adney, are you okay?’ Anne looked at her wife with concern. ‘Did I overstep the mark when I sat close to you on Bertha? Was it too much?’

‘Adney, it is never too much. I am sorry if I gave you the wrong impression. I want you. I need you inside please.’ It was more a plea than a wish. Ann inserted her fingers back inside Anne and began pumping furiously. She crashed her lips into Anne’s and they kissed for what seemed an eternity. She rubbed Anne’s clit with her thumb making ever smaller circles around it until Anne screamed out her name.

This was heaven to Anne having her wife make love to her. Anne’s hips were rising to meet each thrust of Ann’s fingers inside her and the movement of her thumb on Anne’s clit. It was only moments until Anne felt her body fall into the deep pleasure of her arousal and into warm pool of her orgasm. Ann held her until her body stilled. ‘Hi Dearest. How was that?’ Anne smiled. She didn’t have to words to explain how she was feeling. Ann crawled down beside her wife and they hugged. ‘That was amazing.’ Anne said after a few moments. ‘Are you ready?’

‘When have I never been ready for you?’ Anne had to think about that one. She could remember at time when Ann had really rejected her advances. ‘Anne, I need you inside me now.’ Ann said as her hips rose to meet the air. ‘Come on, let’s get on with it.’ Ann said impatiently. ‘Why are you in such a hurry, Miss Walker? I think I will take my time with you and enjoy it so much.’ Ann squirmed. She knew her wife would make her beg for it. She would go so painfully slow it would make her crazy.

Ann could do very little to entice Anne to go faster even though she tried. Anne crashed her lips against Ann’s while she ghosted her fingers over Ann’s clit. They were so close she could feel them and so far. Ann tried to put her hand between their bodies so she could give herself some relief only Anne grabbed it and tutted her. ‘Miss Walker, keep your hands where I can see them or I will tie your wrists together we both know you don’t want that.’

Ann did as she was told. It was hard because Anne’s mouth was now trailing kisses down her body. She felt Anne’s mouth on her breasts and Anne’s fingers deep inside her. She moaned as she was pummelled and sucked on. Ann loved every minute but she still felt Anne was dragging it out just to frustrate her. She moaned loudly until Anne crashed their lips again. ‘You need to be quiet. We don’t want the people next door complaining to the front desk that the people in the next room can’t be quiet.’

‘I will do my best. Okay!!’ Anne resumed sucking Ann’s nipples. It was heavenly. Anne had never tasted anything so divine. She continued trailing kisses down Ann’s body until she rested her head on Ann’s belly. Ann groaned in frustration. Anne ignored her. This was her punishment for demanding Anne speed up.  It wasn’t going to happen. Anne rested there for what seemed to Ann a very long time. She still had her fingers inside Ann. Now she was teasing her clit with her thumb making ever smaller and annoying circles around it and not touch it. Ann moaned and groaned. Her hips rose urgently in time with the movement of Anne’s fingers and thumb. This felt like torture to Ann. She was needed to come. ‘Anne, I am about to come. Please give me some release. Anne hadn’t really ignored Ann’s request. She had only teased her and it couldn’t go on any longer because she could see Ann was desperate. Anne rubbed Ann’s clit faster and faster. Ann’s hips met every movement of Ann’s thumb. Then it was all over. Ann came in a shuddering heap. Anne held her close until her body stilled. Their lips met of a gentle loving kiss. ‘How can you tease a girl like that, Miss Lister. You knew what I wanted.’ Ann said with more anger than she intended. ‘Well, you got what you wanted in the end. Didn’t you?’ Anne said with the same amount of venom. ‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to snap at you. Yes, that was lovely.’ Ann said softly almost too softly because Anne didn’t think she heard what she said. ‘Sorry! What did you say?’

‘I didn’t mean to snap at you. Sorry, that was lovely.’ Ann said smiling at her wife. ‘I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have made you wait so long.’

I shouldn’t be so demanding, Anne.’ Ann said with sorrow in her voice. Here they were on their honeymoon yelling at each other after sex. ‘Let’s not let this ruin our night. Are you hungry?’ Anne said.

‘I think I have already eaten.’ She said as she licked her own arousal off Anne’s fingers which did nothing to quell Anne’s burning desire to go again. She whispered in Ann’s softly in Ann’s ear. ‘I’m ready if you’re willing.’

‘If I’m willing, you do ask strange questions, Anne Lister. I’m always willing.’ Ann said as she crashed their lips together again. They kissed passionately. Anne grabbed Ann’s hand and tried to push it down to where her need was the most. Ann resisted. ‘I have something else in mind for you this time, Miss Lister.’ Ann said as she trailed kisses down Anne’s body until she found Anne’s hard and throbbing clit. She wrapped her lips around it sucking it gently to begin with. She could feel Anne’s hips rising up to meet her gently suck. Ann inserted two fingers into Anne’s centre which caused Anne to moan loudly. Ann looked up at her. ‘Now, who needs to be quiet?’ Then she resumed what she was doing. She could hear muffled sounds from above. It seemed Anne had put her hand over her mouth. Ann continued sucking on Anne’s clit.  Now, she sucked harder and faster. She pushed her fingers inside Ann faster too. Then Anne’s hips rose higher. She screamed and came. Her body shuddered violently. Ann pulled her fingers from Anne’s centre and crawled up beside her. She peppered kissed over her neck and face. They wrapped their arms around each other.

When they did that Ann could feel her desire rising inside her again. It was only a few moments since she had come for Anne but it felt like weeks since they had been this close. Anne mewed in her ear. She licked it gentle. That gave Ann goose bumps. ‘I need you again, Dearest. I want you inside me again. This time with your tongue, please go down on me. I would love that.’ Anne began again trailing kisses down Ann’s body this time faster than before but just as gently. Anne sucked on her nipples until they were hard and erect. When she inspected them they looked so good.

Anne found Ann’s clit was hard and throbbing when she wrapped her lips around it to suck it gently. Then Ann reminded her that she wanted Anne’s tongue inside her.  Ann seemed desperate so Anne complied with her wish. She rolled her tongue in her mouth then pushed it inside Ann’s centre. Ann let out a loud moan then covered her mouth. She did her best to stay quiet while Anne’s tongue entered and exited her centre but it was beginning to be impossible when Anne sped up. Then Anne rubbed Ann’s clit with her fingers. That was too much. Ann’s hips thrust up and her body shuddered then she exploded and Anne relished the tasted of Ann’s arousal on her lips. She ate greedily then crawled up beside her wife.

They kissed softly and gently.  They wrapped their arms around each other and stayed like that for a few minutes until Ann’s stomach growled loudly. ‘I think we need to eat, Adney before your stomach flies out of your mouth and eats me.’ Ann laughed but she could see Anne’s point. She was ravenous. Anne rose from their bed and collected two bottles of water from the bar fridge in their room. She knew Ann should rehydrate after her intense orgasm. Ann drank thirstily. When her thirst was quenched she sat the bottle on her bedside table and moved over close to Anne who was still drinking. ‘Where would you like to go for a meal, Dearest? Do you know any great places near here so we can walk there?’ Anne had to think. It was impossible after what they had just done. She put her water bottle on her bedside table and grabbed her phone. She did a quick search and found a small restaurant only a couple of blocks away. They showered separately and dressed.

Chapter Text

Chapter 22                                                

The restaurant Anne found was quaint and small. There were only a handful of customers there when they arrived. They were guided to a booth in the back and ordered a bottle of white wine which would go with their meal.  They could drink as much or as little as they wish because no one was driving tonight.  They ordered their meal and talked about what they would do tomorrow. Ann wanted to see Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Anne thought Ann would like to go to the Louvre. It seemed to be the most popular museum in the world.

‘Can’t we do both, Anne?’ Anne looked at her astonished. ‘You do realise that we could spend all day at the Louvre and only see a small part of it.’ Then Ann had to reconsider what they would do. ‘I guess we can go to the top of the tower tomorrow. Go to the Louvre another day. Is that okay?’

‘More than okay, Ann. It’s perfect. What would you like to do now?’

‘I don’t know. I was thinking we could find somewhere to sit for a while and admire the city with a thousand faces.’ Ann smiled. ‘Is that what you call Paris? I had never thought of it that way.’

‘I can see the beauty of Paris. How people love to come here. Art lovers, history buffs who want to see places of historical importance and places of interest. I am glad we are here, Dearest.’ Anne smiled because Ann seemed to know how Anne felt about Paris. It was all that and more to Anne.

They made their way back to the B&B they were staying at. Ann raced in the door. She needed to use the necessary. Anne called out if she would like a drink. Ann said yes only something stronger than coffee or tea if they had that Anne looked everywhere but could only find the half empty bottle of wine. Anne didn’t think that was suitable.  She called out to Ann and said she was going back to the restaurant to buy a decent bottle of booze.

When Anne returned Ann was waiting for her in their bedroom. ‘Where are you, Adney? I got a bottle of red wine and a bottle of whiskey.’ Anne said as she walked through the B&B. ‘I’m up here sprawled out on our bed butt naked waiting for you .Bring up a couple of glasses when you come up. I want to drink myself crazy after you fuck me until I forget my name which I know will be impossible because it is your name too.’ Anne grabbed the glasses from the kitchen. She also grabbed something to eat. She climbed the stairs to find her wife sprawled out on the bed butt naked snoring loudly. In the time it had taken her   to collect the glasses Ann had closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.

Anne returned the glasses to the kitchen and put the whiskey and wine in the fridge. She undressed and climbed into bed next to her sleeping wife. Kissed her forehead and slept.

The following morning Ann woke early Anne was snuggled in beside her with her arm wrapped around her stomach sleeping peacefully. Ann tried to get up. She needed to pee only she couldn’t move. She didn’t want to wake up but found she couldn’t avoid it. ‘Anne Lister, wake up. I need to use the necessary before i soak the sheets with my... Come on, Anne.’ Anne removed her arm from Ann’s stomach and rolled over. Ann stood up and went to the bathroom. It was then that she remembered where Anne went and why. She remembered Anne returning. She looked down at her body. She was butt naked. She wondered how that happened.  Then she remembered calling Anne to bed. Anne saying she would get the glasses and come to bed. She couldn’t remember what happened after that.

She was washing her hands when Anne walked into the bathroom. Anne wrapped her arms around her and whispered in her ear. ‘Hey sleepyhead, what happened to you last night?’

‘What?’

‘When I walked into our bedroom you were lying on the bed butt naked and snoring.’ Ann eyed Anne in the mirror suspiciously. ‘You’re telling me I was snoring. I just closed my eyes for a moment and when I opened them it was morning. ‘

‘Yes, clearly you were sleeping. Even you admit it. I was so ready to give you what you want and get you so drunk you would forget your own name.’ Ann hung her head. She knew Anne was disappointed. ‘I’m so sorry, Anne. Please forgive me. I was so tired. I didn’t mean to do that to you. I will make it up to you.’ Ann said as she looked at her wife who seemed to be holding back a laugh. ‘You’re only teasing me. I will....’ Was all she could say Anne was tickling her so much all she could do was giggle.  Ann tried to push Anne’s hands away from her but Anne just held her tighter. She pulled Ann back into their bedroom and gently laid her on the bed and crawled up next to her.

Anne bounced on the bed next to her. ‘You looked so sweet while you were sleeping that I couldn’t wake you. Now, here we are. What do you want to do today?’ Ann smiled. Anne could see the wheels turning in Ann’s head.  ‘I don’t know, Dearest. What would you like to do?’ Ann said in a very sultry voice. Anne leaped on her and crashed their lips. Ann got her answer. She kissed back passionately. Anne didn’t waste time. She had her hand between Ann’s legs. She pushed them apart and found Ann’s clit. It was hard and pulsing.. Anne rubbed it with her thumb. Ann moaned loudly.

Anne trailed kissed down Ann’s body slow, agonisingly slow, agonisingly too slow for Ann. ‘Come on, Anne. Please hurry up.’ That had Anne go much slower and that frustrated Ann so much more Ann’s hips rose to meet every thrust of Anne’s fingers. She could feel Anne’s lips around her clit. Ann moaned louder. She screamed out Anne’s name. Her body shuddered and she was pulled into the deep pool of her orgasm. Anne crawled up beside Ann and wrapped her arms around her until her body stilled. ‘Hi beautiful, how was that?’ Ann smiled. She crashed her lips with Anne whose body was vibrating beside her. Ann leaned over and locked lips with Anne. Then she trailed kisses down Anne’s neck, across her collar bone, to her nipples. She sucked on them until they were hard. She continued trailing kisses down Anne’s body until she found Anne’s clit.

Ann wrapped her lips around it and gently sucked on it. Anne’s body was shaking violently. ‘Adney, I need you inside me now please. I need your fingers to fill me up.’ Ann inserted three fingers inside Anne who moaned louder than Ann had ever heard her. Ann kept sucking gently on her clit until Anne shakily asked her to go fast. Ann couldn’t refuse her wife. She didn’t. It was so much fun for Ann to feel Anne squirm above her. Ann kept sucking on her clit and pumping her fingers inside Anne. It was such a joy to know the woman she was fucking was a big tough bikie who it was said by others never showed emotion. Ann wondered what they would think if they saw that tough bikie now.

Anne was screaming out Ann’s name.’ Ann, Ann, Ann Walker, yes right there. Yes, faster please....faste....’ Then Anne fell into the pool of her arousal. She came over Ann’s face. Ann licked it off. Then crawled up next to Anne and kissed her softly on her forehead. ‘Now, what do you want to do?’ Ann asked. She looked at her wife. Anne had fallen asleep.

When Anne woke an hour later she found Ann downstairs scrolling through the television channels searching for something interesting to watch. She was seated on the couch with her legs tucked under her bottom. ‘How long have you been here?’ Anne asked yawning. ‘About half an hour. I waited for you to wake up and when it didn’t look like that was going to happen I came down here. I wonder how it will look with your family and friends that tough bikie Anne Lister fell asleep after her wife fucked her so hard she experience the biggest orgasm in her life.’

‘Ann, you wouldn’t do that to me would you?’

‘I think Marian would have a field day with this. Oh don’t worry my lips are sealed as long as you come over here and help me finish off what we started. What I started, Dearest.’ Anne grabbed Ann’s hand and they went back to bed. ‘You promise you won’t tell Marian I fell asleep on you during sex, Ann.’

‘Why would I want to do that to you? Anne,  You’re my wife the love of my life. I would never do anything that would hurt you darling. Why do you think I would do that?’ Ann said. She turned her face so Anne couldn’t see the tears rolling down her cheeks. Unfortunately she wasn’t fast enough. Anne spied them and instantly felt bad. She should have realised that her wife would never tell her sister something that Marian could use against her. ‘Ann darling, I am sorry I doubted you. I know you would never rat me out to my sister. Come here. Let me make it up to you, darling.’ Ann crawled over to Anne. She rested her head on Anne’s shoulder and they stayed like that for a beat.

Then Anne laid Ann on their bed.  She laid on top of Ann kissing her gently on her lips then traced soft kisses down her neck, across her collar bone, in between her breasts all the way down to her clit. Ann was squirming below her. She asked Anne to go fast. Only Anne wanted to enjoy this moment with her wife. It was heavenly to smell her sweet scent. Anne wrapped her lips around Ann’s clit and sucked on it slowly. Ann’s hips rose to meet each suck.

When Anne pushed two fingers inside Ann’s centre she screamed out Anne’s name. Anne was never happier than when she had her head between Ann’s legs and was covered in Ann’s arousal. The smell was intoxicating and she always craved for more. She had never had a lover who smelt so good. Ann seemed to be enjoying the way Anne was pummelling into her with her fingers. ‘Faster please, Anne. Go faster.’ Anne couldn’t refuse her this time. She licked and sucked Ann’s clit faster and pummelled her fingers into Ann faster. Ann’s hips rose to meet each thrust of Anne’s fingers. It was impossible to remember when someone who was almost over the edge looked so beautiful. Anne licked Ann’s clit then Ann went hurtling over the edge into the sweet pool of her orgasm. Anne crawled up beside her and wrapped her arms around Ann until Ann opened her eyes. She smiled and Anne kissed her gently.

‘Where did you learn to make love so passionately? That was so beautiful, Dearest. I love you.’

‘I love you too, Adney.’ Anne said. ‘I suppose years of practice. Are you okay with that?’

‘Yes. I trust you. I wouldn’t be here with you if I didn’t’

‘What do you want to do now?’ Anne asked. She thought Ann wanted to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. ‘Let’s get Bertha and go to the top of the Eiffel Tower.’ Anne smiled. She had been waiting patiently to show Ann the wonderful of Paris. ‘Well, come on then let’s get going.’ They grabbed their leather gear and helmets and walked to the underground car park. Bertha was quietly waiting for them. Anne   made sure Bertha’s trailer was secure and locked. Although Anne knew all their gear was in their room she didn’t want someone to steal the trailer.

The trip to the Eiffel Tower would take them nearly an hour. Ann never thought she would love been on a motorcycle. Yet, on the back of Bertha she felt safe. She knew it was Anne who made her feel that way. She wrapped her arms around Anne’s waist and closed her eyes. Anne bumped her with her arm to wake her. ‘Ann please stay here with me.’ Anne said into her eyes. That was when Ann remembered what Anne had said about the chances of them having an accident if Ann swayed the wrong way. ‘She could feel tears welling in the corners of her eyes. They flowed too freely until she was sobbing.

Anne pulled over to a rest area and coaxed Ann to climb off Bertha. ‘Are you okay, Adney?’

‘I just closed my eyes for a moment then you were digging my in the ribs. Thanks for waking me. I don’t; want to be the reason we have an accident. I don’t want to lose you.’

‘Nor I you, Adney. Are you tired? We could get something to eat. We are nearly there only a block or two to go. Do you think you will be fine.’

‘Yes, I think I can do that.’ Anne nodded. They climbed back onto Bertha and found their way to the Eiffel Tower. It looked so big in real life. Ann was surprised that it was so tall. ‘No wonder we can see all of Paris from the top of the Tower. WOW!! Let’s go up now.’

‘Hold on we need to find somewhere to park Bertha. Then we can go up. Okay!! Then Ann’s phone buzzed in her pocket. It was Elizabeth. Ann answered it. ‘Hi Annie, How’s the honeymoon?’

‘Great. We are at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. We are going to the top in a few minutes to take in the view. Anne says it’s amazing. ‘

‘That’s right she has been there before. Hasn’t she?’ Elizabeth said harshly remembering the rumours she had heard about Anne Lister from others. ‘Liz, what’s wrong? Aren’t you happy for me?’

‘Yes, I just can’t help remembering what Anne Lister was like when she was younger.’ Ann felt the tears pool in the corners of her eyes again. She remembered them too but she knew Anne Lister better than anyone and could throw those thoughts to the wind until someone mentioned them. Ann was silent longer than both Anne and Elizabeth thought was good. Anne tried to look at Ann only she kept turning her face away from her wife. Elizabeth listened. Her sister was sobbing loudly now. Anne took her phone from her. ‘Can she call you back, Liz?’

‘Yes.’ Anne disconnected the call. She pocketed Ann’s phone then wrapped her arms around her wife. ‘Ann, what did Elizabeth say to you?’

‘She was just concerned about me. She asked how our honeymoon is. I told her we are in Paris and just about to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. When I told her you said the view was great. Well, she remembered you had been there before. She was seeing a younger you. Anne, that hurts me because she doesn’t know you as you are now.’ Anne was fuming. ‘Why did she do that? Did she want to upset you? Adney, you are my wife and I would never cheat on you ever.’

‘I know that but Elizabeth doesn’t. Let’s go to the top now. I will call her later after I cool down. Okay!’

‘I don’t know how you could have loved me after all the things I did when I was younger. I wasn’t the perfect match for anyone. So; I always thought I would be alone for the rest of my life. How wrong I was.’ Ann looked at her wife. She had tears streaming down her face. ‘Anne Lister, it doesn’t matter about your past. All that matters is now. I know you are a good person. You always have been. You just got lost somewhere along the way.’

Chapter Text

Chapter 23

‘Thanks, Ann. I never imagined I would be good enough for you when I saw you in the pub that night.’ Anne said bowing her head to look at anything but Ann. ‘Anne Lister, we are married. Come on, are we going to the top or not?’

‘Yes.’ Anne said as she grinned broadly and locked Bertha’s steering. She held her hand out to take Ann’s helmet. ‘I can carry that, Anne.’ Anne looked confused. She thought Ann would want her to take it since she would want to place her arms around Anne.. Then Anne thought it would be a good idea to lock their helmets on Bertha. She suggested that to Ann. ‘Then we can hold hands or hug depending where we are.’

‘Okay!!’ Ann said with a broad grin on her face. ‘They would probably annoy other people if we insisted on carrying them to the top.’

That’s true.’ Anne said as she unlocked and then locked the helmet holders after stowing their helmets there. That made Ann wonder why she had never used them before since she had always stowed Ann’s helmet in Bertha’s saddlebags.

They walked to the ticket box and looked at the price board. ‘Which tour do you want to take, Ann?’

‘I don’t know.’ Ann said eying the box office assistant. ‘Which do you suggest we take? This is my first time here. It’s her second or third I don’t know.‘ Ann was grateful the assistant understood Ann’s English because her French was nonexistent. She would have to get Anne to teach her some conversational French if that was possible. ‘The first one is the most popular. Only two tickets, right.’

‘Yes.’ They said together. It was Ann’s turn to pay. At least she thought it was. She handed over her Euros and was given change. They waited for the tour guide to appear. As they waited Ann snuggled into Anne. Anne could feel the nervous tension racing through Ann’s body. She was shaking. She had never been to the top of The Eiffel Tower before. ‘Adney, you are shaking. Are you okay? We can get a refund if you don’t want to go to the top.’ Ann turned to look at her wife. ‘I want to do this, Dearest.’

Their tour guide appeared. They made their way to the first of two lifts. They would need to change lifts on the second floor and from there to the top. Then Anne decided they would take the 704 steps to the second floor. So, she dismissed their tour guide. She really wanted to show Adney the sights of Paris from the top of the tower herself. .

As they trudge up the stairs Ann wished they had taken the lift. ‘How many stairs are there Dearest?’ Ann said as she huffed loudly and stopped for the fourth time to catch her breath. ‘For a young lady you aren’t very fit.’ Ann stopped again and refused to go further. Anne looked at her and wondered what she needed to do to get Ann moving again. They looked at each other for a few moments Anne was three steps ahead of Ann. She descended the three steps and stood next to her wife. ‘How about we just go back down to the bottom and go up in the lift?’ Ann frowned. She had seen one of the lifts going up. It was full of people and she certainly didn’t want to be in a crowded lift.

She shook her head. Anne looked at her again. ‘What do you want to do, Adney?’ Anne was beginning to get flustered with her wife. ‘I want to go to the top but you are going so fast I am finding it impossible to keep up with you, Dearest.’ Anne wrapped her arms around her wife and for the first time since they started their climb to the top she realised why Ann kept stopping. Anne slowed her pace and walked up with Ann. When they reached the second floor they took the lift to the top. It was crowded but Anne stayed close to Ann and wrapped her arms around her to protect her.

When they reached the top Anne pulled Ann into her and whispered in her ear. ‘Wait for a moment. We will see the view soon enough.’  They stepped out of the lift last. People were mingling everywhere. Anne pulled Ann over to a spot away from the crowds. Ann pulled out her phone and filmed the view. Then she grabbed Anne’s hand and they walked around to the other side. She did the same all the way around the top. Then they were back where they started. ‘Is this as good as you thought it would be, Adney?’ Anne said eying her wife who was smiling so much Anne thought her face would split in two. ‘More, Dearest than I ever expected Paris is a beautiful city. Can we see the Louvre from here?’ Anne pointed in the general direction. Ann could just make it out. ‘How far is it to the Louvre from here, Anne?’ Anne did asked Google that question. ‘It’s three kilometres, Adney.’

‘Let’s go back down. I think I have seen enough for now.’ Anne looked puzzled. ‘I thought you would like to go back down to the first floor and do some shopping.’ Ann smiled. ‘That would be great. Now?’

‘Of course now. When did you think I meant?’

‘Sorry!’ Ann said shyly. ‘Oh that’s okay. I was trying to be smart but it backfired. Let’s go down in the lift to the second floor then walk the rest of the way.’ Anne said. ;The steps won’t be so exhausting going down. ‘ Ann nodded and they climbed back into the lift. There weren’t as many people going down as there seemed to be coming up. Ann wondered how long most people stayed at the top of the tower for.

As they stepped out of the lift she asked Anne. She thought her wife would know. They had spent an hour and a half just admiring the scenery. That was enough. She had taken lots of photos to show Aunt Anne when they returned home. She checked her phone. She still had lots of room but they had still so much more to see and do.

‘Anne do you think I should buy a photo stick for my phone?’

“It might be a good idea. They might have one in the souvenir shop. The walk back down to the first floor was quick and easy. Ann raced into the shop and asked the assistant if they had any photo sticks for iphones. She showed Ann three. There were a bit pricy but it was a souvenir shop. She bought one and tried it on her phone. ‘The instructions were in French. She had Anne read them. Only Anne who seemed to be fluent in French got stuck on some words. They asked the assistant for help. She turned the paper over. Ann blushed. She never thought to look on the other side.

The shop was filled with everything French and some things not so. Anne found something she thought they could give Marian. It was a joke can of nuts when you open the can a long snake like thing springs out at you. Ann frowned. ‘You could be nice and get her something nice, Anne Lister.’ Anne frowned. ’I could be why should I. She would get this.’ Anne held up the joke can of nuts.’ if she was getting a gift for me.’ Ann shook her head. ‘Your sister isn’t that mean. Is she?’ Anne laughed. ‘Oh she can be especially when she is mad with me.’

Ann found something to give Aunt Anne. She had never seen anything like it before and she instantly knew Aunt Anne would like it. ‘I think this will do for Aunt Anne.’ Ann said. It was a lava lamp. ‘It will remind her of her youth. Weren’t they popular when she was a teenager?’

‘Yes only if you buy that we will need to wrap it up in our clothes in case of any bumps in the road, Adney.’ Anne said. ‘We could buy it on our way back home.’

‘No, I think I will get her something else. There is a souvenir shop in the Louvre?’ Ann asked. ‘Yes, I think there is, Adney.’ They walked around the shop for half an hour. Ann had downloaded all her photos and videos onto the photo stick she had bought. ‘Now, my phone has enough space to take more photos.’

‘How much space do you have on the stick?’ Ann checked. ‘I bought a 1TB stick so I should have lots of space.’

‘Goodness Adney that should store lots of photos and videos.’ Anne said surprised. ‘I don’t think you will run out of space, Adney.’

‘I hope not!’

‘What do you want to do now?’ Anne asked. ‘Are you hungry?’

‘The name’s Marvin Starving Marvin.’ Ann said cheekily. ‘So where do you want to eat.’ Anne asked as she pointed to a MacDonald’s across the street. ‘No thanks!’ Ann remembered a quaint cafe she saw as they were on the way to the Eiffel Tower. Anne slow navigated Bertha back through the streets which they took to the Eiffel Tower until Ann spied it. ‘There it is.’ She said as she tapped Anne on the shoulder.  It was called Cafe Gustave. Anne found a place to park Bertha. They strolled in. ‘I will be your server today. What would you like to drink?’

‘A craft beer for me and...’ Anne said. ‘A coke zero for me.’

‘Okay!! I will be right back. Here is the menu for you to browse while you wait for your drinks.’

‘What would you like to eat, Adney?’

‘Whatever you’re having I can’t decide today.’ Anne checked out the menu. She knew Ann wouldn’t have steak. So, that was a no-no. The honey pork ribs seemed like a good choice.

Their server returned with the drinks. ‘Are you ready to order?’

‘Yes, two servings of Honey pork ribs and for dessert we will have one serving of chocolate mousse and one serving of Pavlova. When you see my glass is empty bring me another craft beer. This is good.’

‘Not too many, Dearest you need to have full control of Bertha. Okay!!.’

‘Just a coke zero when this is done then thanks.’ Anne said. Then she looked at Ann. ‘You’re keeping me honest you know. If I had been on my own I would have consumed three or four more.’

‘Well, isn’t it good that I am here to stop you from riding Bertha inebriated.’ Ann said seriously. ‘Have you ever been booked for drinking while riding?’

‘Ah, I don’t know if I want to tell you that story. You might have second thoughts about staying married to me.’

‘Do tell! Anne Lister we are married so that means I want to be with you. Okay!!’

‘I do realise that, Ann Walker. Only this isn’t your average drunken stupor. I was so drunk I couldn’t even remember my name. I don’t know how I got home. Aunt Anne was so disappointed in me she nearly made me sleep in the barn only it was a cold night and she felt sorry for me after she sent me out there. Oh, I suffered. I had a hangover than would kill an elephant. No, I have never been that drunk since but aunt has a way of bringing it up in conversation if she even smells alcohol on my breath.’

‘Ouch!’

‘Yes. It was hard to get Aunt back on side again. I had to prove I could be responsible again. It was six months to the day when she spoke to me again. In that time I felt so isolated from her. My aunt is the mother I never really had.’ Anne said tears glistening in her eyes. Ann wrapped her arms around her tough bikie wife. ‘You’re just a big softie underneath all that bravado. Aren’t you?’ Anne nodded. ‘Let’s go back to the B&B. Okay!’

‘Okay!!’ When they returned to the B&B Ann flopped herself onto their bed. It had been a long day. The hike up the stairs had worn her out. She listened as Anne opened the fridge to find something to drink. There was only left over wine from the first night. ‘We need to get something for tea tonight, Ann.’ Anne said when Ann appeared after taking a nap. ‘How long was I asleep?’ Ann asked her voice rough from sleep. ‘About an hour.’

‘I was so tired after our trip to the Eiffel Tower. I just needed to sleep for a while. I hope you’re not mad at me for passing out on you like I did.’

‘Mad! I don’t think so. I could see you were tired, Adney. I am glad you slept. Are you feeling rested now?’

‘Yes!’ Ann said as she closed the distance between her and Anne. She wrapped her arms around her wife and kissed her softly on the cheek. ‘What did you have in mind for tea?’

‘I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind if we ordered in tonight.’ Anne said tentatively. ‘Good idea, Anne. Now, we just need to find a restaurant that does uber eats orders.’ Anne did a search to find a restaurant close to their location that delivered.  ‘I found Big Break, They deliver. I will check their menu and call them. Okay!’ Anne said. ‘What; is it called?’

‘Big Break, it’s a pizza place.’ Anne said. ‘I found their number. They’re only two minutes away from us. So, they will deliver without any problems. Okay! What do you want?’

‘Whatever you’re having I don’t mind.’ Ann ordered a large seafood pizza. When it was delivered twenty minutes later they devoured it wilt gusto. They found a show to watch on tv. A French show they could watch with English subtitles.

When the show finished Anne cradled Ann in her arms. She had fallen asleep. She carried Ann to their bedroom and undressed her. Ann was under the covers before she woke up. ‘How did you do that?’ Ann said sleepily. ‘How did I do what?’ Anne said innocently. ‘Put me in my pjs without waking me.’ Anne smiled. ‘It was easy.’ Anne changed into her pjs and climbed into bed next to Anne. They kissed softly then slept.

Chapter Text

                                                           Chapter 24

The following morning Anne woke with Ann’s arm wrapped around her waist and Ann’s leg draped over her legs. She wanted to move but couldn’t.  Ann snored on. Anne tried to wake her but couldn’t. She whispered in her ear, kissed her neck, wrapped her arms around Ann’s neck. Nothing seemed to work. She closed her eyes. It was then that Ann yelled boo. Anne jumped so high she thought her head was going to hit the ceiling. ‘Why did you do that, Miss Walker?’

‘Why did I do what, Miss Lister?’ Ann said innocently. ‘Scare me like that.’

‘Did I scare you, Dearest?’ Ann said shyly. ‘I thought you jumped because something had bitten you.’

‘Yeah, you did. Boo!!! Very funny, hahahaha!!’

I thought it was too.’

‘Now, what are we going to do?’ Anne asked. ‘I would like to go to the Louvre today, Dearest.’ Ann said. ‘Can we do that?’

‘Yes, we can do that but what do you want to do before that?’

‘I’m not sure I follow you, Anne.’ Ann said innocently. ‘Oh you know what I mean, Miss Walker.’ Ann moved her hand from around Anne’s waist and moved it down. She rubbed Anne’s clit. ‘Is this what you’re talking about?’ Ann said as she continued rubbing her clit gently. Anne’s hips thrust with each stroke against her clit. ‘Ann, faster please.’ Anne said as she lifted her hips to meet Ann’s thrusts. Anne moaned and groaned. She screamed out Ann’s name. Then she came over Ann’s hand. Only Ann knew she wanted more from her.

Ann kissed Anne passionately then trailed kissed down her neck, across her collar bone and down to her clit. Ann sucked on Anne’s nipples. They looked so sexy to Ann. She massaged Anne’s breasts with her fingers. Anne moaned again. ‘Please, Ann. Go down on me. Wrap your lips around my clit and suck it fast. I am desperate for your touch.’ Ann smiled. She continued to tease Anne for a beat. Then dove in between Anne’s legs and wrapped her lips around Anne’s clit. Anne screamed. The shock was too much. The feeling was more than she ever imagined it would be.

Ann had done this before only not with this much intensity. She could feel every suck of Ann’s lips and every lick of Ann’s tongue on her clit. Ann pummelled Anne’s centre with three fingers fast and hard. Anne’s body seemed to be responding in ways that Anne didn’t understand.  She was panting hard when her walls nearly crushed Ann’s fingers. She came so violently that when her orgasm subsided she closed her eyes. She was so exhausted.

Ann crawled up beside her and kissed her gently on her lips. She wrapped her arms around her wife. ‘Two orgasms in the space of about ten minutes Anne Lister are you okay?’ Ann asked her wife sincerely. ‘Yes, I think I will be okay! How did you do that, Ann? I have never felt so good or so exhausted.’

‘Ah, my secret weapon.’ Ann said as she  stuck out her tongue. ‘it works well. Doesn’t it?’ Anne grinned. ‘It certainly does.’ Then Anne crashed their lips. She could see Ann’s body was shaking. She wanted some relief and Anne was aware of that. She trailed soft gentle kisses down Ann’s body. Ann squirmed beneath her.. ‘Anne, I need you inside me now please.’ Anne couldn’t refuse her wife. She pushed three fingers inside Ann who gulped. The sensation of being filled by Anne was more than Ann had imagined it would be. Like Anne before Ann knew Anne had already done this to her but today it felt so different. It was as if it was a new experience.

Ann moaned and groaned. Her hips rose up every time Anne’s fingers pummelled her centre. She screamed out Anne’s name loudly and often. ‘Anne, Anne, Anne. Yes, right there. Oh yes, that feels so good. Faster please, Dearest.’ Anne did speed up. Then her hand stilled.  Ann moaned. ‘Anne, don’t stop.’ Then Ann felt Anne’s lips on her clit. Anne sucking fiercely and so fast Ann thought her head would spin. Anne kept pummelling her with her fingers until Ann arched her back and came so hard. Then she fell back. Anne crawled up next to her. She held Ann until she opened her eyes. ‘Anne, that was incredible. Let’s rest for a while.’

They did. Anne smiling broadly she had never felt so good. Ann leaned her head on Anne’s chest and sighed. They’d had a great day yesterday. ‘Are we going to the Louvre today, Dearest?’ Ann said quietly. ‘What did you say, Adney? Anne said sincerely. ‘Are we going to the Louvre?’

‘Yes, once we have showered, dressed and had some breakfast.’ Ann bounded out of bed. She was showered and dressed in less time than Anne imagined she would be. Anne showered and dressed. They stopped at Macdonald’s for breakfast and arrived at the Louvre half an hour later. Ann was still have trouble believing she was in Paris with Anne Lister on their honeymoon. Anne looked at her and smiled as she locked their helmets onto Bertha.

They walked from the car park to the pyramid entrance of the Louvre. The line seemed rather long. Anne could see Ann wanted to go in. So they stood there for what to Anne seemed like forever  Ann was keeping herself occupied by taking a few photos of the buildings around them. She would find out what they were called later. When they reached the ticket box Ann paid the 30 Euros entry fee. They strolled inside the pyramid. There they found a board which gave them directions and where to find the artefacts and paints they wanted to see. Ann wanted to see the Mona Lisa. Anne wanted to see the ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman displays. She was interested in ancient history especially the ancient history of these countries.

They strolled around the Louvre for two hours. Ann was in awe of the painting of the Mona Lisa. They found it on the first floor in Denon Alley between Italian paintings of 1250 to 1800 and the French paintings 1760 to 1850. Ann planned to see if she could buy a small reproduction to hang in Shibden Hall. Anne was unsure that was a good idea since they only had a small amount of space in Bertha’s trailer for their gear. Ann just smiled at her.

Then she took a photo of the Mona Lisa because she could see others around her were doing just that. Maybe that would do. Ann wasn’t sure. They walked around the Louvre for a few more hours. Ann was in awe of the beauty and splendour of all the works that were on display there.

They had been wandering around The Louvre for hours. Anne’s stomach began to rumble. ‘Should we get something to eat, Anne? I am sure you must be hungry.’ Anne nodded. They rushed back outside and walked to where they had left Bertha. Anne was glad she was still there. She was often afraid that someone would try to steal her prized possession.

Anne had spotted a quaint restaurant on their journey to The Louvre. So, she retraced their journey back there. It was tucked in between a bookshop and what to Anne looked like a sex shop. The windows were blackened out. Ann was just as curious as Anne. The bell tinkled as they walked through the door.

‘Bonjour comment vas tu?’ the owner said as she looked directly at Anne. Ann felt uncomfortable when she came from behind the counter and pulled Anne into a hug.  Anne seemed to stiffen under her hug. Ann moved closer to her wife. ‘Who is she?’ Ann whispered into her ear. ‘I don’t recognise her but she must know me.’

‘Anne Lister, don’t you recognise your old friend?’ Anne smiled. ‘I would like you to met Maria Barlow, Ann. We have been friends for a very long time.’

‘Please to meet you, Mrs...Barlow.’

‘Maria please. How long have you know this scoundrel,....?’

‘Ann Walker ’  Ann said. ‘We are married have been for about a month now.’ Maria eyed Anne cautiously. ‘Is what she saying true? Someone finally snagged Anne Lister, the big bad bikie of Halifax. I see you still have Bertha. Is this one number three?’ Anne shook her head. She was still in shock. ‘Do you work her or do you own this establishment?’ She asked Maria. ‘It’s mine. Isn’t it marvellous?’ Ann surveyed the room. There was an assortment of everything which would take their sex life from very vanilla to very erotic and Ann wanted to try everything. She smiled. ‘Miss Walker, just bring your mind up to head height then maybe we can have the conversation you wish to have.’ Ann smiled innocently. ‘I was just wondering when we were going to eat?’ She said as innocently as she could.

Anne whispered in her ear. ‘I believe that too. Only you’re not hungry for food. Are you?’ Anne smirked at her wife. ‘You want something more delectable. Don’t you, Adney?’ She grabbed Ann’s arse in front of Maria. Ann could feel her arousal coursing through her body. ‘Seems little Miss Walker would like to sample some of your wares, Maria.’

‘Help yourself. I am sure I have many wares that would delight the young lady. Est-il toujours comme ca?’ Maria asked Anne. ‘Pas toujours.’

‘There is a large fitting room out the back you can sample my wares there if you like, Miss Walker.’  Ann smiled. She was so ready for Anne to fuck her. She didn’t care where it was or when it happened. All she cared about right now was getting her release.

Maria took them to the fitting room. Fitting room it was more like a bedroom and just as large as their bedroom at Shibden. Anne smiled.  She had never thought Maria Barlow would own a sex shop and have it elaborately fitted out so they could sample her wares. ‘If you try it and like it, Miss Walker, I will give you a ten percent discount and a bonus toy to go with it.’ Ann was curious as to what she would give them. Maria closed the door. Anne walked over and locked it to ensure they wouldn’t be disturbed.

When she turned around Ann had shucked her clothes and was lying naked on the bed her eyes were dark with want and desire. There was an assortment of harnesses and strap ons for them to sample. Yet, it seemed Ann had already chosen one of each.  She stood and strolled over to where Anne was standing still fully clothed. Ann leaned into Anne and crashed their lips together. The burning desire between her legs had become an aching flame that only Anne’s touch would be able to quench.

Anne released herself from Ann’s grip and quickly removed her clothes. She took the harness and strap on from Ann and carefully stepped into it. Ann tightened the harness until the cock was standing to attention. Ann’s mouth was watering. She was ready. She pulled Anne back over to the bed. When Anne laid next to her Ann crashed their lips together. Ann could feel how hard the cock was against her thigh. Then Anne stroked Ann’s centre with the cock. Ann moaned loudly in Anne’s ear. Her pleasure was coursing through her body. She wanted Anne to go inside her and fuck her. ‘Please Anne.’ She begged. ‘What do you want, Ann?’ Anne whispered in her ear. ‘You know what I want, Anne.’

‘No, I don’t. Tell me. Use your words.’ Anne said with a smirk on her face. ‘I want you to fuck me with your cock, Anne.’  Anne did the only thing she could and gently pushed the cock into Ann’s centre. Ann’s moans got louder. Anne crashed their lips together so Maria wouldn’t knock on the door asking if everything was okay which it was.  It didn’t happen. Anne pummelled Ann with her cock. Ann felt soo good as Anne pummelled inside her. They had both decided without speaking that they were going to buy this one.

Ann dug her fingernails into Anne’s back while Anne pummelled inside her. ‘Anne, I need you to touch my clit.’ Ann said hoarsely. ‘Touch yourself, Ann.’ Ann put her shaky hand between their bodies. She found her clit and on her first swipe of her own clit she came undone. Anne wrapped her arms around her wife. She leaned in and softly kissed Ann. She held Ann for what seemed like hours but was merely moments until Ann opened her eyes and smiled. ‘I think we should buy this one, Dearest.’ Ann said smiling. ‘You don’t want to try any others.’

‘No, Dearest.’ They were dressed when Maria knocked gently on the door. ‘Hey, ladies have you found one you like?’ Maria said. ‘Come in. We are decent.’ Anne said. Maria opened the door. Anne and Ann were laying on the bed relaxing. ‘We will take this one.’ Ann said.

‘Okay! It looks like you have washed it. Right?’ Maria said. ‘Yes! Ann scrubbed it within an inch of its life.’

‘Okay!! I will take it and package it for you with the extra bonus included. Do you need lube?’ Ann nodded then held up two fingers. ‘Two bottles of lube coming up.’ Maria said as she put the sale together. Ann passed over her credit card to pay for their purchase. Anne was wandering around Maria’s shop. ‘Did you find something else you want to buy, Dearest?’ Ann asked sincerely. ‘Yes!’ Anne said and sat the vibrator on the counter. ‘Who’s paying for this?’ Maria asked. ‘Me.’ Ann said as she passed her credit card back to Maria before Anne was able to pull her wallet out of her back pocket.

‘Ann Walker, I am going to get you back later. Tea is on me. Okay!!’ Ann smiled. She knew Anne would pay for their tea. ‘That’s okay, Dearest.’

‘Where are you eating tonight?’ Maria asked quizzically. ‘Next door we were heading there until we noticed your shop.’ Ann said.  ‘Anne spotted it when we were on our way to The Louvre.’

‘Is it okay if I join you for tea tonight? Anne and I haven’t seen each other in years but I don’t want to be intruding on your time.’ Maria said sincerely as she looked at Ann. ‘Yes, it would be a pleasure to spend an evening with someone Anne knows.’

Chapter Text

Chapter 25

‘Then I can ask you questions about Anne which might make her squirm.’ Ann said as they were shown to their booth. Maria sat opposite Anne and Ann. ‘How did you two meet?’ She asked looking at Ann. ‘How did you weasel your way into the heart of this tough bikie?’

‘That was easy. My cousins had coerced me into going to the pub with them because as they said I should get out more. When we got to the pub they deserted me because their friends were there. I sat at the bar alone until this big tough bikie came along and offered to buy me a drink. We got talking. About life she offered to take me home back to Crow Nest.’

‘Did she take you home?’

‘That would be the understatement of the century. She sure did take me home but not to Crow Nest.’

‘You sly fox you took little Miss Walker to Shibden?’

‘Yes, I did and nothing happened that first night.’ Maria looked at Anne. She kicked her under the table. Anne winched in pain. Ann gave Anne a look of surprise. ‘Are you okay, Dearest?’ She asked her wife. ‘Yes,’ Anne said as she massaged her calf. ‘Is that the truth, Miss Walker?’

‘Yes, although we didn’t get much sleep on that first night.’

‘So, what did you do?’ Maria asked cautiously. ‘She told me about her ancestor another Anne Lister who apparently loved another Ann Walker. We still haven’t decided if I am related to that Ann Walker. Anne here thinks I am.’

‘Well, you could be. It’s a possibility that someone in Ann Walker’s family had children.’ Maria said. Ann hadn’t thought about it like that. Not a direct descendant but a distant relative. She wondered how they would find out. ‘How long are you in Paris?’

‘A week or so we haven’t decided yet.’ Ann said. ‘We have a quaint B&B about half an hour from here.’

‘Well, that’s nice. Have you been to the top of the Tower yet?’

‘Yes! Anne took me up. I must say Paris is a lovely city from the height. Down here at ground level it is a bit noisy at times.’

‘Yes, cities can be like that. I love Paris because it allows me to own my own business. I love dealing with people whose minds are often slightly more warped than normal. Hey, who wants to be normal when you can be silly and crazy?’ Maria said smiling sheepishly.  ‘No one I know.’ Anne said. She always liked to live her life outside the box. Outside the way others thought she should.

Their meals were delivered to their booth. They ate in relative silence. Ann looking between Anne and Maria she was wondering how they met. She was also wondering how she would ask them. She didn’t get a chance. Maria answered her unasked question. ‘I can see you are curious, Miss Walker. I guess you are wondering how Anne and I met. It’s simple. We crashed into each other probably similar to the way you and Anne met only it wasn’t pre planned. Was it Anne?’ Maria said as she eyed Anne curiously. ‘Yes, that is so true.’

‘Ours wasn’t pre planned either, Maria.’ Anne said about the way Ann and she met.

‘Where did you meet?’ Ann asked curiously. ‘You are interested then. Are you sure you want to know?’ Maria asked sincerely.  ‘We met in a strip club. She was the opening act and I was bored. I had never been to a strip club until that night. I came across it quite by accident.’ Ann eyed Anne with uncertainty. She could imagine her bikie wife perusing such an establishment. ‘If, you say so  Anne.’  Ann said puzzled. ‘I did. This was just my first visit to Paris.’

‘You were a stripper? Why?’ Ann asked looking at Maria. ‘A girl has to do what  a girl has  to do so her family have somewhere to live and a food on the table. I have a daughter. Her father left me for another woman when my daughter was in primary school.  It was a struggle to keep a roof over our heads so that’s why I became a stripper.’

‘Why did you quit?’  Ann asked. ‘You are very curious, Miss Walker.’ Maria said. ‘You need to ask your wife.’ Ann looked at Anne for an answer, Anne stayed quiet for a beat until Ann stared her down. ‘Okay! We were in a relationship for about two years. I helped her out for a while until she got back on her feet.’

‘Okay! How long have you had your business, Maria?’ Ann asked.  ‘About five years. I don’t think it would last  much longer than that. ‘Anne could see the wheels turning in Ann’s head. She had a lot to take in. There were many things in this world that Ann had been sheltered from but she seemed prepared to accept Maria for who she was in the same way she had accepted Anne.

They sat chatting for quite some time. That was until the waiter came over and told them the restaurant would be closing and they needed to pay their bill. Ann promptly pulled out her credit card and handed it to the waiter. ‘Add a tip of 20 Euros to the bill. You have given us excellent service and fine food.’ Anne and Maria looked at her quizzically. I think I would love to return here again before we go to Italy, Dearest.’ Maria was stunned. Ann had spent big at her business. Now, she had paid for their meals. ‘You shouldn’t have done that, Miss Walker.’

‘Call me Ann please. I think we know enough about each other to be on friendly terms. Don’t you agree and it was a pleasure to buy your tea tonight. I can see you have done so much for so many. It’s your turn to be given a treat.’

‘How did you get to be so lucky Anne?’ Maria said as she looked at Anne. ‘I have no idea. She swooped into my life and into my heart. I know she is there for life.’ Anne said as she noticed tears of joy in Ann’s eyes. She leaned into Ann and gave her a quick peck on her cheek. ‘Ann, you are so adorable. Thank you for everything you do for me.’

‘Which isn’t as much as I would love to do, Is it?’ Maria smirked at them. ‘Are there any others in Halifax like you, Ann Walker? I would love to know.’

‘Ah, here’s the thing. When Ann was made the mould was so perfect. Unfortunately someone dropped it and it shattered.  So no, Ann Walker is a one of a kind and I am proud to say she is my one of a kind.’ Maria smiled. ‘Oh well, you can’t blame a girl for trying, can you?’

Ann picked up her bag of goodies as they stood to leave. The waiter had returned with Ann’s credit card and a bag of goodies for them. Anne took the bag and looked it. ‘What is this for?’ She asked. ‘It’s just a little something for being such wonderful customers and promising to return soon.’ The waiter replied. ‘I hope you enjoy it but don’t let it get too cold.’ Ann was curious as to what it was. They strolled out into the evening. Bertha was parked against the kerb waiting for them. ‘Would you like to come in for a cup of coffee and chat for a bit longer?’ Maria said. ‘Where do you live?’ Ann asked. ‘Above my store.’ Ann smiled at Anne. Was it a good idea? She could see the smirk on Maria’s face. Was it possible that Anne was into whatever Maria had in mind? Yet, she could trust Anne. Couldn’t she?

Maria unlocked and opened the store door. They strolled in and Maria closed and locked it. They followed her to the second floor of the building. It was a small two bedroom apartment which was sparsely furnished. They hung their leather jackets in the foyer. Ann was hoping they wouldn’t be here long. She clung to Anne. Anne wrapped her arms around her wife. ‘Are you all right?’ Ann nodded. She was hoping her gut feelings were off tonight.

Yet, when she looked at Maria she knew it wasn’t.  She held her wife’s hand as they walked through into the lounge room Anne smiled at Ann and Maria leaned in for a kiss. Ann turned her head. She wasn’t going to do this. There was no way Anne would kiss Maria. Yet, here she was holding on to Anne’s hand with their goodies bag in her other hand. While she watched Maria kiss her wife.

Ann had seen enough. She stormed out and hoped Anne would follow. Only Anne didn’t. She grabbed her jacket and kept walking. She was outside in the chill before Anne caught up to her. They didn’t say anything to each other on their ride back to the B&B. Ann could feel her anger coursing through her body. She was wondering what she had gotten herself into. She was married to someone now she felt she didn’t really know. Ann resolved herself to find out why Anne had let Maria kiss her in front of her.

Anne parked Bertha and they made their way inside. Ann was the first to shuck her gear. She stormed into the bathroom and locked the door. Anne had reached for the doorknob just seconds after Ann locked it. ‘Ann, let me in I can explain everything.’

‘I don’t doubt you can. Only why should you need to explain yourself.  You were a willing participant and I was an onlooker wonder why my wife, my wife was kissing another woman with such gusto. Explain that to me. Will you, Anne Lister?’

‘I would like to only I don’t want to whole neighbourhood to know. Do you?’ Anne said sincerely. It seemed as though Ann was going to open the door as Anne heard Ann stand only to hear her sit on the toilet seat. ‘Ann please let me in.’ Anne pleaded. There was silence from the other side except for the toilet flushing and the tap running as Ann washed her hands. ‘I know you don’t want to stay in there all night.’ Still no comment from Ann. Anne wondered what she needed to do. She sat down. Her heart was heavy. Had she lost the only person who truly loved and accepted her for who she was?

She stood up and went to the nearest drawer. There she found a pen and a notepad. She wrote frantically for the next ten minutes. Then slipped the paper under the door she hoped Ann would read it.

Ann grabbed the paper as it slide under the door and read it.

‘To the one person who means everything to me.’  Ann could feel the tears welling in her eyes. ‘I want to apologise for my behaviour tonight. It was unnecessary. I should have reminded Maria that I am a married woman and my wife is here with me watching what you just did. Only I didn’t. I let her kiss me and I feel as though I have let our team down. Ann, if you will forgive me I would be honoured to try again with you. If not, I know you will find someone more deserving than this fucked up bikie. Who doesn’t know when she has something so good with you then does her worst to destroy it. I love you, Ann Walker. I’m in love with you. I always have been. Can you ever forgive me? Yours for always, Anne Lister.’

The door flew open and Ann wrapped her arms around her wife as she sobbed loudly. ‘Anne Lister, you know I cannot be mad with you after you pass a note like this under the door. I love you, Anne. So much more than you ever imagined.‘  Anne was crying tears of joy. She had thought she had fucked up so badly. Yet, here was Ann giving her a second chance. She hoped she wouldn’t make the same mistake again. ‘I love you, Adney.  I don’t know how I let her kiss me as she did when you refused her advances. I should have known better. Only I didn’t. Now, I fear I will lose you just because of one stupid mistake but I wouldn’t blame you if you left me. I know Aunt Anne would be ashamed of me and would probably give me a servere scolding when I returned home without you. I would deserve it.’ Anne said as she sobbed loudly.

‘Anne Lister, you are the woman I have wanted to be with since I don’t remember when. While what you did tonight made me angry and hurt.  I still believe we can have a great life together. You just need to remind yourself. That what we have is a two way street. I want you to remember that allowing someone to kiss you in front of your wife isn’t something you should do. I will never allow another woman to kiss me in front of you or behind your back. I can’t be loyal to you if I do that.’ Anne nodded. ‘Where is our bag of goodies?’

‘In the saddlebag on Bertha.’ Ann said as she lifted her eyes to Anne. ‘Only let’s leave them there for the moment. I don’t want to spoil this moment with tawdriness. I just want you to hold me, Dearest.’ Anne nodded. ‘Let’s go to bed. I think we need sleep and to rethink what we should do next.’

Chapter Text

Chapter 26

Anne woke early the next morning. She wasn’t sure if Ann still wanted to be her wife. She didn’t know how to deal with what she had done. It was without doubt the worst thing anyone could do to the person they were married to. She still couldn’t understand how she allowed it to happen. She rose from their bed and dressed. She needed to go for a walk and hopefully when she returned Ann would still be there.

She left a note for Ann. Forgive me for not being here when you woke up. I will return soon. I am feeling low and it’s what I did to you last night. I cannot believe that you still want to be with me, Ann.  Anne raced out the door and down the street before Ann woke. She was walking so fast she thought she would return before Ann woke.

She gingerly opened the door to their B&B. Ann was stretched on the couch waiting for her when she walked into the lounge room. She looked into Ann’s eyes. She was smiling. She stood up and walked over to where Anne was standing.

Ann wrapped her arms around Anne’s neck and crashed their lips for a long, passionate kiss. When she pulled away Anne had tears rolling down her cheeks. Ann wiped them away with her thumb. ‘Anne Lister, I did know about your reputation. Yet, I still married you knowing that because I love you and didn’t want to believe what others told me. I am still here for the same reason even after experiencing what you did last night, Dearest. Something inside me tells me it was muscle memory that made you do what you did. I hope it never happens again. Okay!!’ Anne nodded. She was still crying. She didn’t know how lucky she was or how close she had come to losing the only woman who loved her for her.

‘You need to call Aunt Anne. I am sure you know what she will say to you but you need to hear it. She needs to know everything hasn’t been as chirpy on the honeymoon front as she would like to think.’ Anne nodded again. She dried her eyes. She pulled out her phone to call her aunt then realised that she was probably still in bed. ‘I will call Aunt Anne later. Is that okay, Adney?’

‘Yes, that is okay.’ Ann said as she looked at her wife when Anne’s phone buzzed. It was a message from an unknown number. Anne unlocked her phone and read it. It was from Maria. I feel a fool for what I did last night. I know I have unintentionally put a wedge between you and your wife. Please tell me everything is okay between you and Ann. I never intended to do what I did. It just happened. 

Anne wanted to reply but she was unsure if Ann wanted her to. She needed to give her the benefit of the doubt. She would answer it later when she had won Ann over completely. She didn’t think Ann was there yet. ‘Aren’t you going to reply to Maria’s text message?’ Ann said smiling at Anne. ‘You know I won’t leave you but you also need to know that watching while someone kissing your wife isn’t a nice way to end a night.’ Anne nodded. ‘What will I tell her, Adney?’ Anne said sincerely. ‘Whatever you want which, will make her think twice about doing what she did again?’ Anne looked at Ann. She didn’t know what to say. So, Ann grabbed her phone and wrote. You know me from my past actions. That isn’t who I am now. I am going to stay loyal to Ann Walker. Please remember that before you try kissing me again. Ann is the love of my life. She has accepted me in a way no one else has. Ann let Anne read it before she hit send.  Anne finally knew where she stood with Ann and she had to smile. She couldn’t stop herself. She put her phone down and they sat on the sofa.

It was two hours later when they were stirred from the nap by the buzz of Anne’s phone on the coffee table. It was her aunt. She answered and put her on speaker phone. She wanted Ann to hear what her aunt would say when she told her about her foolish indiscretion. ‘Hi Aunt how are you?’

‘Hi Anne and Ann I am good. How are you?’

‘We are good now.’ Anne said as she looked at Ann who nodded. ‘What do you mean good now? What happened? Spill the beans. You didn’t fuck up again Sister?  Marian said. Aunt must have put them on speakerphone too.

‘Confession time.’ Anne said slowly and quietly. She was searching for the right words to say that wouldn’t make Ann blush. Plus she didn’t want to have foot in mouth disease. ‘We went out for a meal with Maria Barlow. After Ann paid for the meals we went back to her place for coffee. Well, that’s what I thought we were having. Only I think Maria had other ideas. She tried to kiss Ann but Ann wouldn’t let her.’

‘Then she kissed you. Aren’t I right Anne? I told you that one day your reputation would come back to haunt you. Is Ann there with you?’

‘Yes, Aunt I am here.’

‘Did she come grovelling back to you on her hands and knees?’ Aunt Anne said waiting for a reply. Ann had to think what to say. Then she remembered the note Anne had slipped under the bathroom door. The one she had carefully folded and tucked into the pocket of her leather pants. ‘No but she wrote me the sweetest apology I have ever read. She admitted she did wrong. I love her for that. We all make mistakes. I was hard enough on her last night. I locked myself in the bathroom and wouldn’t speak to her. That’s why I got the note.’ Ann said sincerely. ‘Good for you.’ Marian said. ‘My sister has a bad reputation but I know she will do anything to keep you.’ Anne smiled she never thought her sister would be on her side. ‘Thank you Marian. I don’t deserve your support but I am grateful for it.’

‘So, what happens now?’ Aunt Anne asked. ‘We are going to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral tomorrow then go to Italy. We will be there for a few days then we are going to come home. I am missing you so much Aunt.’

‘That is so sweet of you to say, Ann. We are missing you too but you should enjoy your honeymoon with our Anne.’ Aunt Anne said. ‘There was a reason why I called. Did you find the money in the envelope?’

‘Yes, thank you, both of you and father. It was a lovely surprise and we are going to spend it wisely as you suggested.’

‘You’re welcome. We didn’t know what to do for you and thought a little boost to your wallet would help.’ Marian said sincerely. ‘it was more a boost to our egos, Marian especially Ann’s. She is so grateful that you have accepted her into our family.’  Ann smiled. It was the truth. Ann’s family was less than pleased about Ann’s decision to marry Anne. ‘Thank you, Marian.’ Ann said. ‘If you need us to come home sooner we will. Okay!’

‘I will let you know if we need you here, Ann. Thanks for the offer. Enjoy the rest of your honeymoon.’

‘We will!’ they both said. ‘Goodbye girls. I will talk to you soon.’ Aunt Anne said. ‘Goodbye Aunt.’ Anne and Ann said in unison. Then Anne disconnected the call. ‘Are you really happy that you married me so soon when your family were harassing you and wanting you to forget about me, Ann?’

‘I did what I did not because of my family. I did what I did and married you Anne Lister because I love you. I would do it again if you want me to.’ Anne smiled.  She didn’t understand why someone would want to stay with her especially after what she had done. Only there was Ann looking up at her with puppy dog eyes and the biggest smile on her face that she had ever seen. ‘Now, what are we going to do, Adney?’

‘For someone so bright you certainly are slight dense, Dearest. I think you know what I want you to do. Now, you need to get our bag of goodies from Bertha. I will be here waiting for you to return.’ Anne smiled again. She raced out the door and was back ten minutes later with the bag in her hand. ‘What happened to the food the waiter gave us at the restaurant?’

‘Sorry, I accidentally left it at Maria’s place when I left to chase after you.’ Ann smiled. ‘I am glad I am more important than food.’ Anne rifled through the bag to see what else Ann had bought from Maria. There was the strap on and harness plus two tubes of lube. Ann had also bought a butt plug. No, she remembered Maria promised something extra. Maybe the butt plug was the little something extra. Anne smiled she would certainly make good use of that. She imagined how Ann would look filled up with the cock and the butt plug.  Then she felt further into the bag. There was something else there. Anne pulled it out and Ann smiled. ‘So, you have found my purple bullet vibrator. What do you think?’ Ann asked cheekily. ‘I think by the look on your face you want to try it out.’  Anne said as she reached for a bottle of lube. ‘I don’t think we will need that. Well, from my point of view we won’t. Anne grinned and returned the lube to the bag.

Anne looked up to see that Ann was standing in front of her naked. Their joint moans were loud. Anne stood and wrapped her left arm under Ann’s knees and her right arm around Ann’s neck. She picked Ann up and carried her bridal style up the stairs to their bedroom. Ann moaned loudly when Anne lowered her onto the bed. Then Anne proceeded to remove her clothes. Ann’s eyes traced every contour of Anne’s body. She was in amazing shape for someone who didn’t seem to work out much.

Anne grabbed the bullet vibrator and turned it on. She felt good in her hands. Then she realised Ann must have asked Maria to put a battery into it. She spread herself out next to Ann whose body was vibrating in anticipation of what was about to happen.  

Ann leaned over and crashed her lips to Anne’s. All thought of last night gone. They had each other and that is the way they hoped it would always be. Anne pulled herself closer to Ann. Their bodies moulding together Anne turned on the vibrator and passed it down their bodies until she found their clits. She laid it against Ann’s clit and pushed her clit against it. The vibration was making both Anne and Ann squirm.  The sensations they were feeling from the vibrator would make them explode together. Anne put her arms around Ann’s neck and pulled her in for a searing kiss. Ann moaned into her mouth.

That was all it took for Anne to plunge over the edge. Ann followed a few seconds later. They held each other for a beat Ann smiling broadly at her wife. ‘Did I do good buying the vibrator, Dearest?’ Anne just smiled. That was all she needed to do for Ann to know she had done good.

Anne stood up and left Ann lying on their bed. She went downstairs to retrieve the harness and strap on. She had plans to make her wife come harder than she had ever done in her life. ‘Anne, hurry up please. I know why you went downstairs.’ Anne grinned to herself. She had shucked her clothes and pulled the harness up, tighten the straps. She put the cock in place. It stood erect as she climbed the stairs she couldn’t wipe the grin off her face.

Ann mouth fell open her jaw dropped to the floor. ‘You might want to pick that up Ann. I don’t think you want to catch flies in your mouth. Ann closed her mouth. Her eyes were wide with want.

Anne pulled Ann up for a searing kiss. They stayed like that for some time. Ann could feel Anne’s cock rub against her thigh. It was tantalisingly close to her centre. Ann moaned. Anne pushed Ann gently back onto their bed. She leaned over Ann and crashed their lips together. She pushed one, then two, then three fingers inside Ann’s centre. Ann was so wet. Anne knew she wouldn’t need to use lube even though she had brought a tube with her.

She placed the lube on the bedside table and focused on fucking her wife. Ann smiled at her. She placed her hands gently on the bed beside Ann’s hips. She gently caressed Ann’s centre with her cock until Ann moaned desperately. ‘Please Ann, don’t tease me.’ How could Anne keep teasing her when Ann had made such a desperate request. Anne pulled herself up until the tip of her cock found the entrance to Ann’s centre. Ann moaned loudly as the cock entered her centre. Anne could feel Ann’s walls clenching around it. They moaned in unison. ‘Is that okay?’ Anne asked her shyly. ‘It is more than okay, Anne. It makes me fill so full.’  Anne pummelled her slowly.  Ann asked her to go faster.

Anne pummelled into Ann faster than she ever imagined she would. Ann moaned and groaned. Her hips rising to meet with each thrust of Anne inside her Ann screamed out her name one last time. Her body seized then she fell onto the bed. Anne eased out of her gently. She lay next to Ann and wrapped her arms around her.

Ann had come harder than she ever had. Anne looked over she wondered why Ann seemed so quiet. Ann had fallen asleep and was snoring quietly.  She tiptoed out of the room and went downstairs.  Since the incident with Maria Barlow Anne had been feeling low and she couldn’t shake the feeling that Ann would leave her. She would blame Ann if she did that. Oh she believed Ann when she said she was with her for always only what if Mariana turned up at Shibden and tried to kiss her. Would her muscle memory work against her and put another wedge between her and Ann?

She didn’t know. She didn’t hear Ann come up behind her and wrap her arms around her. ‘Dearest, are you okay? Why are you shaking?’ Anne didn’t realise she was shaking until Ann asked her. She tried to calm herself down only it wasn’t happening.  Ann turned her around and held her close. ‘You are worried I will leave you after what happened with Maria. You are worried it will happen again with someone else. Aren’t you, Dearest?’ Anne nodded. ‘You do have a reputation that most of Halifax knows about. Only they don’t really know you. Do they?’ Anne nodded again. She had tears streaming down her face. ‘You really did think you had lost me. Anne Lister, I know that what happened with Maria Barlow was a mistake. I know we can weather the storm and it doesn’t matter what life throws at us I will always be with you.’

‘Thank you for being the firm ground on which I can stand and feel safe and protected.’ Anne said. ‘I have always felt like I was floating on thin ice and would drown if I stepped too hard on it. You have given me hope to see a future that with someone which I never imagined possible.’

‘You stole my line. I feel the same way too, Dearest. You keep me grounded in ways I never imagined anyone would. I love you darling.’

Chapter Text

                                                           Chapter 27      

Ann woke the next morning to find Anne’s side of their bed empty. She wondered where she was. She stood up and went searching for her. There was a hot cup of coffee on the kitchen table and toast that had just popped up from the toaster. So Anne must be close. Then she heard the toilet flush and water splashing in the hand basin. Anne appeared next to her moments later. “Good morning,  Adney. Did you sleep well?’

‘Yes, I did. I was just wondering where you were. How are you this morning?’ Ann asked tentatively. She hoped after their chat last night Anne wouldn’t dwell on what happened between her and Maria any longer.  Ann smiled. ‘You might want to get your toast and coffee before they get cold.’ Anne nodded. ‘What would you like to do today, Adney?’ Anne asked. ‘I would like to go to the Notre Dame Cathedral. I have always been interested in that.’

‘We could do that. Is there anywhere else you want to go while we are in Paris?’

‘I would like to take photos of the Arc de Triomphe. I am sure Aunt would like us to take a photo of it to show her.’ Ann said sincerely. ‘Yes, that’s a great idea. Would you like to go to Italy or return home to Halifax, Adney? It’s your call. I don’t mind.’

‘I think I would like to go home, Dearest.’ Ann said sincerely. ‘We have had a great time while we have been here. I am sure Aunt Anne would like to see us soon.’

‘Yes, I am sure she would. Let’s eat breakfast and enjoy our last day here. Okay!!’ Their ride to the cathedral took them 44 minutes. Ann loved being able to wrap her arms around Anne’s waist and lean her head on Anne’s shoulder. Ann loved the feel of Bertha between her legs. The rumble of the engine as the sped towards the cathedral she wasn’t sure what she would see when they arrived there. It seemed only moments since they had left the B&B when she felt Anne nudge her to climb off.

She stood next to Anne as they decided which entrance they were going to take. It seemed the cathedral had a few. Ann reached for her phone and took several photos from different angles.  It seemed nearly impossible to get a photo of the whole building as much as Ann tried she couldn’t. She tried to take a video of the building. Only people kept wandering into her frame. She couldn’t blame them. They didn’t know what she was doing.

They spent the next couple of hours rambling slowly through the cathedral. Ann commented on the skylight which seemed to shower sunlight into what Ann thought was the main area. Anne loved the French Gothic architecture. She was so enraptured by it. They strolled back outside. The sun was shining brightly. ‘What do you wish to do now, Adney?’ Anne asked as she heard Ann’s stomach rumble. ‘It seems like I am hungry although it never occurred to me while we were inside.’

‘Where would you like to eat?’ Ann wasn’t sure. Yes, she was hungry but for what. She didn’t know until she spied a MacDonald’s across the way. ‘Let’s have a big mac.’ Ann said.  Anne looked at her and smiled. ‘You’re that hungry?’ Anne asked. She wasn’t sure she wanted a big mac or any other MacDonald’s food. ‘Not really. I guess we could find somewhere better than MacDonald’s to eat.’ Anne nodded. ‘Let’s see if there is a restaurant close to the Arc de Triomphe, Adney.’  Ann nodded. They walked back to where Anne had parked Bertha.

As they rode towards the Arc de Triomphe Ann was still wondering how she got so lucky to be here in Paris with Anne Lister. How Anne seemed to love her as much as she loved Ann.  Yet, there was still that feeling of doubt. She saw how much Anne seemed to love the kiss Maria placed on her lips that night. It was still worrying her that Anne would get fed up with her and leave her. She had told Anne it didn’t bother her and that she loved her still which had made Anne smile. She felt Anne before she heard her. Anne was stroking her face. They must have stopped. Anne was holding her close, wiping the tears from her cheek. She didn’t even know she was crying. Anne was soothing her, rubbing her back. ‘Adney, is everything okay? Why are you so upset?’ She tried to speak only her voice seemed sore. She couldn’t form words. ‘Adney, have I hurt you?’ Anne asked gently with concern. ‘Will you tell me why you are crying?’ Ann tried again to explain the thoughts that were invading her mind. Only when she went to speak all she did was cry.  She sobbed so loudly that people around her were wondering if she was okay.

Anne must have realised why Ann was upset. Her shoulders drooped. She had lowered her head. Now, Anne was wondering why she let Maria kiss her. It seemed to have put a invisible wedge between Ann and her. She wondered if there was ever a chance they could be what they were before the kiss. She deeply regretted what she did only she knew she couldn’t reverse time. She had to deal with it and right now was the only chance she had to do that. Would Ann ever feel safe and sure with her again? She didn’t know.

‘I know why you are upset. I know what I did that night was unforgivable. I don’t know how I will ever make it up to you. I feel like a big bloody fool for allowing her to kiss me. I know you have forgiven me but I feel that the trust we have developed over the last few months is slowly fading. I don’t want this to be true, Adney. I can’t imagine my life without you.’  Anne said. She was sobbing now. Ann’s big tough bikie was sobbing so hard. It was Ann’s turn to comfort her wife. Ann felt in that moment that their roles had been reversed. ‘Anne Lister, I always imagined being with you. I never thought this would be my life. Only here we are together in Paris. I wonder if I am good enough for you. I wonder if you will always accept me if, you will always want to be with me.’ Anne frowned. ‘Why do you have such a poor opinion of yourself? Remember you are important too, Adney.’ Ann smiled. They hugged and kissed.

Anne pointed to a quaint little restaurant as they rode past it. ‘Should we go there to eat?’ She asked Ann as she stopped to turn around and go back. Ann nodded.

They were seated in a booth out of sight from others. Anne leaned into Ann and crashed their lips into a searing kiss. She was still feeling guilty about the kiss between Maria and herself. Ann smiled at her. It seemed all was forgiven. Anne wasn’t sure. She looked at Ann shyly. ‘Are we okay now, Adney?’

‘We have always been okay, Dearest.’ Ann said giving Anne a puzzled look. ‘Are you all right?’ Anne wondered if she should say something. Only she wasn’t sure what she should say. Ann reached over. She tenderly stroked Ann’s face. Anne’s heart broke. Was it possible that this beautiful blond was still here with her? Had accepted her with all her faults and wasn’t going to leave her when they returned home. She wondered how she got so lucky. Anne smiled through the tears that were leaking out of the corners of her eyes. Ann’s big tough bikie had been showing so much emotion lately that she wondered what was happening to her.

They ordered their meal and ate in companionable silence. Ann wondering what was bothering Anne. Anne too afraid to say so neither of them spoke for quite some time until Anne decided she couldn’t go on any longer. She had to know if Ann was still her wife or they were separating when they arrived home. Ann assured her that she was just as committed to Anne today as she was when they got married. Anne smiled.  Then Ann said, ‘I hope I don’t see that sight again, Dearest.’ Anne knew what she meant and promised she would only kiss Ann unless it was her aunt.

They paid for their meal and made their way back to the B&B. It was there last night there and their last night in Europe as they cleaned their teeth ready their last night Anne wondered if they would return. Their honeymoon had been cut short by her silliness. She frowned. ‘Why the long frown Mrs Lister?’

‘I was wondering if we will ever come back to Europe again. There is so much I want to show you darling.’

‘I am sure we will return but you must promise me we won’t be visiting Maria’s sex shop.’  Ann said. Anne nodded. It was all she could do. If Ann Walker thought she was lucky to be with Anne Lister. Anne Lister thought she was lucky to be with Ann Walker.

‘Thank you, Adney. I am so grateful that you aren’t leaving me as soon as we return home.’

‘Anne Lister, I have made a commitment to you for life one little stuff up won’t change that. I just wish you had told me about Maria Barlow before we went to her apartment that night.’

‘I guess I hadn’t given it a thought. I had buried that part of my life for so long and then you came along. I suppose I haven’t had a chance to think about it. You know love does strange things to your mind, Ann. Well, mine.’ Ann tried to follow the trail of Anne’s conversation but seemed to have got lost somewhere along the way even though Anne hadn’t said much. Then she had swooped on her and crashed their lips together. Ann’s brain became muddled. Anne’s warm hand was on her thigh.  ‘I think we should go to bed, Adney. We do have a big day tomorrow.’ Ann nodded.. Anne put out her hand for Ann to grasp. She led Ann up to their bedroom. Well, it had been their bedroom for the last week or was it longer. Their time there had flown by so fast.

They prepared to go to bed Anne in her boxers and t-shirt and Ann in her pjs. They had decided to do their laundry in the morning before they left. Anne had loaded the washing machine earlier. She was going to run it but didn’t want to disturb their peaceful moment. They curled up in bed. Anne telling her a tale about her and Maria Ann smiled. She really didn’t want Anne to forget her past. She just preferred if Anne would refrain from reliving it.

‘What are you thinking about right now, Adney?’ Anne asked sincerely. ‘I was just wondering if we will be able to go back to quiet Halifax after the noise of London then Paris.’

‘I don’t know but I am prepared to give it a go if you are. I know it will be strange for a while living at Shibden. I am sure you will get on famously with my family.’ I hope so, Ann thought as she pushed her back onto Anne’s front so they could spoon together.

‘The sunshine drifted through the window. Ann rolled over. Anne’s side of the bed was empty. Then she heard the dryer. Anne must have set the washing machine a while ago. Then Anne was there beside her. ‘The dryer is nearly done. I will pack our clothes and fetch Bertha after we have had breakfast. What would you like? We have toast, toast and toast.’

‘So, I can have whatever I want for breakfast as long as I have toast.’ Ann said smiling warmly. She got the joke. She remembered the one about Henry Ford and his Model T. He was quoted as saying you can have any colour as long as it is black. They smiled.  After Ann dressed they ate their breakfast in companionable silence. Ann helped Anne finish packing their gear. They took their gear down to the underground car park and packed it as neatly as possible into Bertha’s trailer.

They returned the keys to the manager. Anne handed Ann her helmet when they returned to Bertha. While they rode back to Calais to get the ferry back to ‘sunny’ England Ann thought about their future at Shibden. They arrived at Calais three hours later. Ann was so happy to climb off Bertha. Her arms were so stiff and sore from holding onto Anne’s waist. Anne booked their ferry tickets. They had five hours before the ferry was on its way across the Channel.  Anne suggested the get something to eat and relax until they had to load up and leave. Anne figured by the number of people already there that it would take about two hours to load up.

Ann spied a cafe. It was walking distance from the ferry terminal. Only Anne wanted to stay with Bertha. So, they didn’t bother. Ann reached into one of the saddle bags and pulled out two chocolate bars she had remembered were there. She handed one to Anne who smiled.  They munched away for a few minutes. Ann watching Anne who seemed to be hungrier than what she imagined she was. Ann handed her another chocolate bar. ‘Where did they come from, Adney?’ Ann smiled at her. ‘You’d like to know but why should I tell you.’ Anne looked at her wondering how she was able to buy chocolate bars without Anne knowing. ‘My secret, Anne Lister and let’s leave it at that. Okay!’

Their trip across the channel seemed to take less time than the first time. When they were back on Bertha to take the first part of their journey home from Dover to London where they had planned to stay the night only Ann wanted to get home so did Anne. They stopped in London just to get something to eat then kept going.  They arrived home in Halifax later that day. Anne parked Bertha in the barn. They decided to surprise everyone.

They sneaked up to the front door and rang the bell. Marian answered. Anne put her fingers to her lips. Marian yelled out that there was someone delivering a package for Aunt Anne and she needed to come and sign for it. Aunt Anne couldn’t remember ordering anything online. In fact she knew she never ordered anything online.

She just reached the front door when two familiar voices yelled ‘Surprise.’ She wrapped her arms around both Anne and Ann. ‘You’re home. Are you two my package?’ Ann smiled.  It really was good to be home. She had never missed a place as much as she missed Shibden.  She could see the grin on Anne’s face as they pulled away from Aunt Anne to look into her bright eyes. She was smiling so much they thought her face would split in two. To say Aunt Anne was pleased to see them would be an understatement of the millenium.

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                                                                                                                                  Chapter 28


‘Come inside. Let’s get Cordingley to make you something to eat. You must be starving.’ Aunt Anne said.  ‘Jeremy is in the sitting room watching a football match but I am sure he would like to see his daughters and know they returned home safely. He won’t admit it but he was worried about you two while you were away.’
Aunt Anne let Ann and Marian walk into sitting room to see Jeremy. She pulled Anne to one side when Ann and Marian were out of sight. ‘Is it still good between you and Ann? She asked sincerely. ‘Yes, Aunt Ann still wants to be with me. I don’t understand why but I am so happy.’
‘Have you learned your lesson from this mishap?’ Aunt said looking at Anne she thought she could see remorse only she wasn’t sure. ‘Yes. I certainly have. I just want you to know that I regret doing what I did. I honestly didn’t know Maria had that in mind when she invited us up for a cup of coffee. I’m sure Ann did. She clung to me to tightly and wouldn’t let go.’

‘I think our Ann has a sixth sense for danger. It seems as though you were lucky this time. Anne Lister, promise me you will do your best to take care of Ann because I can see she wants to take care of you. Will you do that for your dear old Aunt?’ Aunt Anne said. ‘I only see my dear Aunt.’ Anne said with a smile on her face. ‘Shall we go find the others and get something to eat? I am famished.’ Aunt Anne smiled at her. They walked into the sitting room. Ann and Marian were debating the pros and cons of football with father. Anne strolled over to him and he stood. They hugged for a beat. ‘Good to see you returned home in one piece, Anne. Ann here was telling me all about your trip. It seems like you had a blast.’ Anne looked at Ann who smiled. ‘Yes, we did. We have some photos and videos Ann shot to show you. She needs to edit them beforehand.’ 

‘Good. I am looking forward to seeing them.’ Father said. ‘Shall we go and see what Cordingley is preparing for tea tonight.’ Cordingley was bent over her recipe book looking for a special meal to prepare. She heard Anne and Ann were home. Well, no one in the house could have missed Aunt Anne’s scream when Anne and Ann surprised her at the front door ‘Are you okay, Elizabeth?’ Anne said as she strolled over to her and hugged her tight. ‘Yes, I am doing fine. I just want to cook you something special for tea tonight. Only I don’t know what.‘ Elizabeth said.  Anne looked at her sincerely. ‘What if Ann and I take you out for tea instead, Elizabeth. I assume you have kept the kitchen humming along while Ann and I have been away.’ Marian huffed. ‘You are invited too, Marian and so are Aunt and father. ‘Where do you want to take us for tea?’ Father asked. ‘Wherever you would like to go we didn’t spend all of the 500 pounds you gave us. We were ever so grateful for that.’ Anne said. Ann nodded agreeing with her wife. ‘We could go to the local Italian restaurant. Suddenly I am craving pasta.’ Marian said. ‘That sounds great for me.’ Aunt Anne said. Everyone else nodded. Anne did a Google search to find the phone number of the restaurant and make a reservation.

Cordingley decided to get dressed up for the evening. She rarely had a chance to do that. She reappeared an hour later. Anne looked her up and down. ‘What did you do with Elizabeth Cordingley?’ Elizabeth smiled. ‘I put her away for the night. She will be back again tomorrow as usual.  ‘Good! Ann and I will take Bertha. You can travel with Aunt Anne, father and Marian. We will see you there. Okay!!’Anne said as she spied Ann pulling on her leather pants. Even though they had ridden Bertha from Paris back home Ann seemed keen to get back on Bertha. 

Anne handed Ann her helmet as she climbed onto Bertha. They followed the others to the Grove Italian restaurant. Anne parked Bertha. Ann climbed off. She was beginning to feel that Bertha was the only way she wanted to travel when she went anywhere with Anne. They clasped hands as they walked into the restaurant. Everyone was waiting for them. They were shown to their reserved booth. Anne and Ann removed their jackets. Anne had locked their helmets on Bertha. 
It was a joy to be home at Shibden again but Ann did wonder as they sat and ate their meals whether this was what Anne really wanted to do. Oh she had agreed to return home especially after the incident with Maria Barlow. Only she could sense that Anne was wishing they had stayed and Ann had gone to Italy with her. Ann didn’t realise she was crying until Anne cupped her face and looked at her with concern. Anne brushed her thumb across Ann’s cheek to wipe away the tears... 

‘What’s the matter, Adney? Why are you crying?’  Ann tried to speak but the words got stuck in her mouth. She wanted to tell Anne they should have stayed in Europe. She knew Anne wanted to take her to Italy. She rested her head on Anne’s shoulder and sobbed quietly. ‘I wonder if she is upset because you are home sooner than you planned to be.’ Aunt Anne said sincerely. Anne looked at Ann who nodded. ‘Why are you thinking this, Adney?’ Anne asked sincerely. ‘I feel bad because you did want to take me to Italy and we didn’t get that far because of you know who.’

Anne looked at her with loving eyes. ‘How could you think like that? I think if you will remember it was a joint decision to return home. I know you could tell by the look on Aunt Anne’s face that she was pleased to see us. I am so happy to be here with you and anywhere else you want to be, Adney.’ Ann smiled. A small thank you was all she could say. ‘Miss Walker, you must remember that we are partners in this marriage and although we still have lots to learn about each other I am certain we will do fine. I love you, Adney.
’I love you, Dearest.’ Ann said feeling less upset than she had been. ‘You need to tell me what you’re thinking Ann so we can talk it out so you don’t get so upset.’

‘I will. I promise I will.’ What more could Ann say. They paid for the meals before Aunt Anne or father had a chance to complain. They all strolled out together Anne and Ann linking hands. Ann felt Anne’s thumb rub against the back of her hand. It was so soft and sensual. They were on Bertha and heading back to Shibden before Ann remembered when or how she had put her helmet and jacket on and climbed on to Bertha. 

But Anne didn’t seem to be taking them to the hall. She had taken a left where they should have taken a right. Ann was confused. What was Anne up to? It wasn’t until Anne pulled Bertha to a stop outside a small hut that Ann finally smiled. She wondered what Anne had in mind. She climbed from Bertha and removed her helmet. Anne smiled at her questioningly. ‘It’s adorable, Anne. Is it yours?’ She asked quizzically. ‘Yes, it is part of the Shibden estate that only a few people know about. Would you like to see what’s inside?’ Ann nodded. She grabbed Anne’s hand as Anne unlocked the door with her other hand and opened it up. She guided Ann to go inside. Anne followed her. 

The hut was small and cosy. Anne sat down near the fireplace after she removed her leather jacket and pants. Ann wondered what she was up to. Then she saw her scrunch up newspaper which had been lying on the hearth. ‘Is it okay if I light a fire? It gets rather chilly out here at night. It isn’t that well insulated. Well, I only intended to use it during the day.’ Anne rambled on as if she was trying to convince a small child to eat their vegetables. ‘Yes, that would be lovely. How long has this hut been here?’ Ann asked quizzically.

‘’Well, that will depend on many things.’  Anne said as she found a box of matches and lit the newspaper to get the fire going. Suddenly Ann felt rather warm even though she was only in her t-shirt and shorts. Then Anne’s arms were around her waist looking down at her. ‘Adney, are you still worried we left Europe too soon?’ Anne said confidently. Ann shook her head. There was no way Europe was better than this time in the hut.  Anne crashed their lips together for a slow and sensual kiss. It was easy to see what Anne had in mind but where. There seemed to be no bed only an ancient couch which didn’t seem to be long enough for Anne to stretch out on. Then Ann spied a door she hadn’t seen earlier. She was wondering what was behind that door when Anne walked her towards it and opened the door. Inside there was a small bedroom with a double bed pushed against the farthest wall with only just enough room to squeeze between the bed and the side walls. Anne shucked her shorts and t-shirt she was wearing. Ann followed suit. Then for the second time in less than ten minutes Anne’s lips crashed against Ann’s and they kissed passionately. Anne gently pushed Ann onto the bed which seemed to have clean sheets on it with clean pillow cases on the pillows. 

Ann wondered when and how that had happened. Her thoughts soon disappeared when she felt Anne pull her bright blue lace panties off her in one swoop of her hand. Then she felt Anne’s fingers. They were making insignificant and very frustrating circles on her inner thigh. Ann couldn’t help herself. She moaned at Anne’s touch. Her heart was racing so fast she thought it would jump out of her chest screaming in agony.
Then Anne’s fingers trailed up to find her centre. Ann was sopping wet. She was so wet it was dripping down her leg.  Anne moaned into her ear. ‘Is all this just for me, Adney?’ Ann smiled and nodded. Who else would she be so hot for? 

Anne collected Ann’s arousal from her centre on her fingers and traced it across her clit. Ann’s hips jerked with the touch of Anne’s fingers to her clit. She moaned loudly then covered her mouth. ‘Let it go, Adney, No one can hear you out here.’  So, she did. She moaned so loudly that she thought the windows were going to shatter. Anne smiled. She had never heard how loud Ann could be when given a chance. It was music to her ears and every other part of Anne’s body which had been craving for Ann since the rode Bertha to the restaurant early tonight. She imagined the hut would be the best place to bring Ann. She didn’t know Ann would be so loud but she did encourage Ann.
Anne trailed kissed down Ann’s neck and between her breasts giving each nipple the attention she knew it deserved. Then Anne continued down Ann’s belly. She licked and toyed with Ann’s belly button. Ann squealed with delight. Anne’s tongue stroked Ann’s clit. ‘Oh!’ Ann squealed again. ‘I want your tongue inside me. I want to feel your breath on my centre. I want to come over your face.’ Ann said salaciously. 

Anne curled her tongue and pushed it inside Ann who moaned louder than she had already done. She thrust her tongue in and out of Ann’s centre while she made circles around Ann’s clit. Ann’s hips were rising to meet each thrust. Her back arched and she fell over the edge and into the deep pool of her orgasm. 
When Ann opened her eyes Anne was lying next to her waiting not so patiently. Her hand was between her legs massaging her own clit. Ann gave her a sour look. Ann pulled her hand out and replaced it with hers. She strummed Anne’s clit vigorously. Anne moaned with each swipe her hips rising to meet every strum. ‘I’m about to co.....’ was all Anne said then she to fell into the deep pool of her orgasm. It was lovely. Ann pulled her in for a tight hug when she opened her eyes Ann’s smile was so wide Anne thought it would split her face in two. 

‘Thank you for a most enjoyable trip to Europe for our honeymoon and thank you mostly for returning home when I wanted to, Dearest.’ Anne smiled. ‘I wanted to come home too. Don’t you forget that?’ Ann nodded. ‘Are we staying here for the night?’ She asked wearily. That’s what she would like to do if Anne was as eager which she seemed to be. ‘Yes, we are staying here for the night. Just let me call Aunt Anne and tell her.’ ‘Yes, aunt we are down at the hut. We are staying here for the night. Yes, we will be up for breakfast bright and early in the morning. Yes, you can.’ She handed Ann her phone. ‘She wants to talk to you, Adney.’ Ann took the phone and placed it next to her ear. ‘Hi Aunt yes, everything is fine. No, I was just worried that Anne had come home when she didn’t want to. Okay!! I will tell her. See you in the morning. Bye.’
Ann disconnected the call. ‘She said to tell you to remember that you are getting a visitor tomorrow. She didn’t say who. I hope it isn’t you know who.’
 ‘I don’t know anything about someone coming to visit me tomorrow. I think we may need to return to the hut after breakfast. What do you think, Adney?’ Anne said as Ann curled into her front with her back. They fell into a deep sleep. Anne dreamed that their visitor was someone from her past. She could tell who it was. 

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                                                                                                                          Chapter 29


Anne woke to a loud knock on the door. She willed whoever it was to go away.  Only the knocking continued.  ‘Anne are you awake.’ Marian said. ‘Your unexpected visitor has arrived.’ Anne crawled out of bed trying not to disturb Ann. It was impossible to do that because Ann had her arm wrapped around Anne’s body. ‘Dearest, where are you going? Don’t leave me. ‘She said as she opened her eyes. ‘Marian is here. My visitor has already arrived at the hall.’  Anne said as she finished dressing. They had slept in their birthday suits. 

Anne closed the bedroom door then made her way to the outer door. She opened it and let Marian walk in. ‘Who is it?’ Anne whispered to Marian so Ann wouldn’t hear. 
‘It’s miss prim and proper. She must think she owns the place. She swaggered in and is at present driving Aunt Anne mad with her constant complaining about her husband and how it’s good to be away from him.’ Anne had never head Marian call Mariana Lawton that before. Then Ann appeared next to Anne. ‘I guess you know who is visiting us.’ Marian said as she looked at Ann. ‘Let me at the bitch. I thought she had learned her lesson last time we saw her at our wedding.’ Ann said as she stormed out of the hut and back towards the hall. 

Anne called her Aunt. ‘Ann is on her way to the hall. She is fuming because Mariana is there. Only I think when she’s Mary all her steam will have dissipated. Mary will only need to look at her and Ann will be a wreck.’ Just as Aunt Anne disconnected the call Ann walked in. Mariana was in the sitting room. Ann walked up to her. ‘Either you fuck off or I will call the cops and have them arrest you for trespassing on private property.’

‘You will. Will you?’ Ann reached in her pocket to pull out her phone to call the cops. She didn’t have her phone with her. It was still down at the hut. She had left in a hurry she had forgotten to collect if. Then her wife appeared with Marian. Anne strode over to where Ann was standing. ‘Whatever you say won’t change the truth. Ann and I are married now and that’s how it will always be. She is my wife. You are still married to Charles and always will be.’ Anne said. ‘So, it would be great if you would kindly just leave or we will call the cops.’ 

It wasn’t long before the local police arrived at Shibden after Aunt Anne called then with Charles right behind them. ‘Has my wife been causing trouble again?’ Anne and Ann smiled. They could seem Mariana squirming when he first appeared in the sitting room. Then she frowned when he spoke as if she was some annoying bug they wanted rid of. She stood up accepting her fate. Even though she didn’t want to return home to Lawton Hall with Charles she had no other choice. Anne walked towards her as she walked out through the hall and outside. ‘Mariana, I hope we can remain friends. I consider your friendship important to me but you need to remember that Ann Walker is my wife and that will never change.’ She could see Ann nodded next to Anne.

‘Okay!! I suppose something is better than nothing. Take care and I will call you some day.’ Anne nodded. She reached in and gave Mariana a hug then she was gone. Aunt Anne smiled. ‘It’s about time someone put her in her place. She parades around this place as if she owns it. Heaven forbid if you really did marry her, Anne.  I am sure our life would be hell.’ Anne had to agree with her Aunt only she would never admit that Aunt Anne was right and not just this time but every time. 

‘Do you think we will hear from Mariana anytime in the future?’ Ann asked Anne. ‘I don’t think so. She wants all of me and if she can only have some of me that isn’t enough for her. That’s why I offered her friendship. She took it but for her it wasn’t enough. She agreed but I could see in her eyes that would never do for her. I suppose she will need to go find another Anne Lister to grovel up to.’

‘I hope we have all learned a lesson here today,’ Aunt Anne said. ‘We should never demand from another person what they aren’t able to give us.’ Anne, Ann and Marian nodded in agreement. What more could they do? Aunt Anne was a woman who had seen more life than they could ever imagine and she was the only one in their family apart from father who rarely talked about his feelings who understood and accept them with all their foibles. ‘I need to go fetch Bertha and bring her back to the barn before she feels neglected. Do you want to come with me, Adney?’ Ann nodded as they strolled across the estate to the hut. It was all she could do because she knew Anne had an ulterior motive for asking Ann to go with her.

Anne hadn’t completely closed the door of the hut when she pushed Ann’s body against it. Anne pushed her lips against Ann’s. They kissed for what seemed an eternity. Then Anne pulled away. She shrugged off her shorts and t’shirt. She stood there only in her sports bra and boxers. It was so alluring to Ann who copied her moves. Anne grabbed her hand and they moved from the small but quaint living area into the smaller but quaint bedroom. 

She pushed Ann onto the bed and grabbed her light green knickers. She took them off and sniffed them. Ann frowned. ‘You are so wet for me, Adney.’ Anne husked. Then she landed on the bed with a soft thud. Ann felt the bed sink with the combination of their weight. Ann rolled onto her side. She wrapped her arms around Anne’s neck and pulled her in for a searing kiss. Anne was trailing her hand done Ann’s body to her centre. Ann was already wet for her. She scooped some of Ann’s arousal and traced it over Ann’s clit. 

Anne made ever smaller circles with her fingers around Ann’s clit as Ann’s body trembled with pleasure above her. Then she dove three fingers inside. ‘Oh Adney, you are so wet for me. Oh I love how you feel. Touch me.’ Ann moved her shaky hand down Anne’s body until she found Anne’s clit. It was hard. She ghosted over it and Anne moaned. Ann’s fingers collected Anne’s arousal and brought it up to Anne’s clit. They were moaning in unison, rubbing each other’s clit and screaming out their names. Anne was the first to go over the cliff into the deep pool of her desire. Ann followed seconds later. It had been hard to keep focus on what they were doing. Yet, they were soaked in sweat, happy and exhausted. 
They wrapped their arms around each other. Ann smiled broadly. Anne crashed their lips together. They kissed passionately then Anne rose and dressed. She had said they

were going to collect Bertha and bring her back to the barn. Ann dressed.  They put on their leather gear and helmets. ‘Let’s go for a ride into Halifax on Bertha and buy something delicious for tea. What do you think, Dearest?’ Anne nodded. ‘That way we have an excuse as to why we didn’t return to the hall when we said we would.’ Anne nodded. She could see Ann didn’t want her family to know they had been shagging especially Marian. She would use it to her advantage.
They called Aunt Anne when they reached Halifax. ‘Hi Anne what’s up?’

’We went for a ride into Halifax and were wondering if you would like us to get something delicious for dinner.’ Anne said trying not to giggle because Ann was laughing behind her. ‘That would be lovely. I will ask Jeremy and Marian what they would like. I’ll be just a moment.’ It was about five minutes later when Aunt Anne returned to tell them they would all like Chinese please.’

‘I think we can do that. Ann wants to go into Whitley’s. She is going to buy me a book. I think she wants me to read to her. I am not really sure.‘  Anne said as she looked at Ann who was smiling. ‘Okay!! I will see you soon, Anne.’ Anne disconnected the call. They had Bertha parked outside Whitley’s. So they walked inside. Mr Whitley was serving customers. Ann perused the shelves to find something she would like Anne to read to her. Anne was talking to the shop owner. She hadn’t been in the shop for quite awhile. Ann kept looking then she spied the book she wanted Anne to read to her. It seemed to be an older copy. Ann pulled it from the shelves. 

She had loved reading Jane Austen for as long as she could remember. Emma was one of her favourites. This book had a high price so Ann assumed it was a first edition. Ann brought the book over to show Anne. Anne collected first editions. It was a side of the big tough bikie that only a few people knew about. ‘How old is this book?’ She said as she passed it to Anne. The title page said it was written by the author of Pride and Prejudice. ‘I think this have to be a first edition.’ Anne said as she looked at Mr Whitley who nodded. He was asking 100 pounds sterling for the book. Ann passed him her debt card with a smile on her face. Anne wanted to get the book appraised but Ann was in too much of a hurry to worry about that.

They strolled out of Whitley’s and walked the distance to the Chinese restaurant and takeaway. Ann was holding on tightly to the book she had just bought and Anne was holding Ann’s other hand. 

They walked to the Chinese takeaway. It was only a few minutes’ walk from Whitley’s bookshop. Anne ordered their meals and Ann opened up Emma and began reading. Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich. ‘Ann Walker what are you doing? I thought you wanted me to read that to you.’ 

‘I do Dearest.’ Ann said as she looked up for the page of the book. Anne smiled. It had been years since she had read to someone. That someone was her younger brother, Sam who was her favourite sibling.  Anne was lost in her thoughts until Ann said. ‘Dearest why are you crying what’s wrong?’  Then she pulled her in for a warm hug. 

Anne sobbed quietly with her head on Ann’s shoulder. She felt embarrassed because they were in the Chinese takeaway.  Ann motioned for Anne to speak. She couldn’t. Ann collected their order. They walked back to Bertha and rode home.  Anne raced inside after she parked Bertha in the barn. Ann ran fast to keep up with her but she couldn’t because she was carrying their food.  ‘What’s up with Anne?  She said she wouldn’t be eating because she wasn’t hungry. Then she flew upstairs so fast. Has she been crying?’ Marian asked. 

‘Yes but she didn’t tell me why’ I will go check on her.’ Ann said as she gave Marian their food. She raced up the stairs to their bedroom. The door was closed and she could hear Anne sobbing loudly. She opened the door to find her wife curled up on their bed shaking. What’s wrong Dearest? Did I say something to hurt you?’ Anne shook her head. ‘What happened?’ How could Anne tell her wife she was upset because she remembered how she used to read to Sam when he was a kid. Would Ann understand?  ‘Anne tell me what happened. I would like to know why you are so sad right now.’ Ann pulled her in for a warm hug. ‘Talk to me, Dearest.’ 

‘When we were talking about me reading to you I had a memory of reading to Sam when he was a young boy. It was a sad memory. I am sorry if you thought you had said something to be to upset me. You didn’t.’ Ann frowned. She felt sad again. She could feel tears welling in the corner of her eyes. She buried her head in Anne’s neck. ‘Ann, are you okay? What’s the matter, Adney.’ 

‘I don’t like it when you are sad.’ Ann said. ‘Let’s talk about this later. I think we will miss out on tea if we don’t go now.’  Then stood up, dried their eyes and blew their noses. They walked downstairs. Marian met them at the bottom. ‘I was just coming to get you two. Come on let’s eat.’  They followed Marian into the dining room. She had laid out their food. Anne took her usual seat and Ann sat next to her. They ate in companionable silence. No one asked why Anne had raced up to their bedroom. 

Anne was happy about that. She didn’t want to explain to everyone that she had a sad memory of Sam.. She loved reading to Sam. He would listen to her read to him for hours if she let him coerce her into reading to him. Anne Lister big tough bikie reading children’s stories well, to be honest she wasn’t that much older than Sam. She had to remember when he was born. Only she couldn’t. She didn’t want to ask her father or her aunt. She knew Marian probably would be able to tell her. Only asking Marian about something she should know went against her.  

She considered asking her aunt. Then she remembered she wrote it down on a pad in her bedside dresser. She would look when they went to bed. They all adjourned to the sitting room to chat and watch some mindless television for an hour or two. Ann sat in her lap and made mindless circles on her legs. Anne couldn’t control herself. She lifted Ann up bridal style and carried her to their bedroom. ‘Ann Walker, it is impossible to concentrate on anything while you insist on drawing circles on my legs.’ Ann smiled. 

She loved to rile Anne up as she did and tonight was no exception. Anne dumped her on their bed. When Ann looked up she was rifling through her bedside table drawer. ‘What are you looking for?’ Ann asked. ‘Aha found it.’ Anne said as she pulled a writing pad out from the drawer and opened it. ‘I had forgotten the year Sam was born. So, I had to look it up. He was only 20 when he died and I miss him so much.’  Ann cradled Anne in her arms. ‘I feel the same way about my brother, John. I miss him. I know the pain will never go away. I just deal with it.’ Anne smiled. She had someone who understood how she felt. ‘When was he born, Anne?’ Ann asked sincerely. ‘He was born two years after me.’ Anne said as she returned her writing pad to the drawer and closed it. 

Ann was getting ready for bed. She threw Anne’s t-shirt and sweatpants at her. Anne dutifully put them on. Ann slipped into her pjs. Anne was already in bed. Ann slid in beside her. ‘Now, tell me about Sam.’ Ann asked sincerely. Anne could talk for hours about her brother who taught her to fight with a sword. 

Ann couldn’t understand why Anne needed to know how to fight with a sword. He also taught her how to ride a motorcycle. ‘That’s why I am so good on Bertha. Sam was a natural on a motorcycle. He owned quite a few different ones. He would buy them, fix them up and sell them making a small profit to put into another one.’

’He loved motorcycles. Did you get your passion for motorcycles from Sam?’ Ann asked tentatively. ‘I think it was something we both seemed to enjoy. Of course, father bought him his first motorcycle when he was in his early teens. Sam would let me ride it when mother and father weren’t watching otherwise I would never have got a chance to realise how much I love riding motorcycles.’ 

‘When did you get your first motorcycle?’ Ann asked. She loved the way Anne was opening up about Sam without the heartache from earlier. ‘Bertha one was my first motorcycle until then Sam would allow me to borrow one of his before he sold it. Yeah, I was so lucky that he trusted me so much. Adney, I miss him so much.’ Anne said as tears began pooling the corners of her eyes. Ann reached across and pulled her in for a tight hug.  ‘Dearest, he knew how much you loved him. While he isn’t here with you right now. He is with you here.’ Ann put her hand on Anne’s heart. ‘In your heart and he will always be there. Won’t he?’ Anne nodded. She wondered how she got so lucky to have such a caring wife.  

They had been chatting for some time. Ann was getting very sleepy. Yet, she could feel Anne had so much more she wanted to tell her. ‘Is there anything else you want to tell me, Dearest?’ Ann asked sincerely as they snuggled together in bed. ‘Nothing that I can think of right now, Adney.’ Anne said as she reached up and turned off the light.