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    Sasha Distan
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Ladies' Man - 12. Chapter 11b - Epilogue Part 2

Clem poured himself into his bed and sank instantly into the softness of the mattress. He was so incredibly tired; it was four o’clock in the morning and in two hours the sun would be up and even though Clem wanted nothing more than not to move for another eight hours, his body almost certainly would not let him. In six hours he would need to be back up at the lambing shed, ready to resume his shift again, waiting and watching for the birth of the next generation. With the three hands each pulling four hour on - six hour off shifts with the lambs, using their two extra waking hours to deal with other farm maintenance, Clem wasn’t always up in the middle of the night, but it was the second time he’d lain alone in his bed, dragged his arm across the mattress and wished Ashlee was there.

They had barely spent a single night apart in six months, not since the tailgate party when Ashlee had given him his first and most disastrous dancing lesson in the red dirt in the half circle of trucks; and Clem hadn’t slept well alone before, and he didn’t think he was going to get any better rest now, even though he was exhausted. Four ewes had gone into labour during his shift, two lots of twins and one big lamb who had tried to breach nose first and needed some pretty swift intervention. Clem had got her out, up, and feeding from the mother, but it always seemed as though the difficult ones held on until it was his turn to be on duty. All he had done since rolling back to the house was dump all his after-birth smeared clothes directly into the machine with a lot of soap powder, and poured himself into a shower for three minutes until clean. He had no energy at all, but when his phone chirped softly at him Clem answered and pulled himself under the covers.

“Hey.”

“Hey, Sugar,” Ashlee’s voice was whisper soft, and with the cell cushioned on the pillow next to him, Clem could close his eyes and imagine that his boyfriend was right there in the dark. “Did I wake you?”

“I’ve not been to sleep yet. Jus’ got in.”

“How was it?”

“Six new lives, three boys and three girls,” Clem smiled, proud of his work, and then walked his fingers over the mattress to where Ashlee should have been. The bed sheets still smelt like him, full of the rich vanilla he wore in his body lotion, and Clem buried his face into the pillow to try and avoid letting Ashlee know how close to tears he really was. “I hate lambing season.”

“You said you loved it,” Ashlee murmured. “I hated sleeping without you. There’s this big blank space where my favourite pillow should be.”

Clem rolled onto his back and pressed his palm over his shoulder and armpit, exactly in the place where Ashlee loved to curl up and drift off with an arm and a leg flung over Clem as though his meagre weight could keep the farm hand pinned down. Clem felt a hot tear begin to track down his cheek as he blinked hard. Mostly it was tiredness, or that was what he told himself. But that didn’t keep it from being obvious when he spoke.

“I wish you were here.”

“Clem… I love you. It’s Saturday tomorrow, why don’t I come down?”

“Lambing season runs all weekend,” Clem said ruefully, “you’d be really bored.”

Ashlee giggled, and Clem knew ineffectual tickling would normally accompany the noise. He missed the physical closeness of his lover, and right then Clem would have given anything to have the slender young man in his arms.

“Clem! When have I ever been bored visiting you?” Ashlee chided him softly, “I miss you too. Why do you think I’m awake so early?” Ashley exhaled something that sounded very much like a sob, “I dreamt you were here, and then I rolled over and you weren’t… after that I just couldn’t get back to sleep.”

“Babe…”

“I’m driving down tomorrow.”

“OK,” Clem couldn’t have denied the young man anything, and even the following day felt like too long to go without seeing the man he loved once more. Not since the previous Thanksgiving had they spent more than twenty four hours apart. “Ashlee?”

“Yes?”

Clem sniffed, and wiped his face with his hand.

“Stay on the phone with me? I know I gotta sleep, but…”

“Of course,” Ashlee’s quick agreement let Clem know he wasn’t the only one lying in the dark feeling lonely and pathetic. “I’ll be here, Sugar.”

That early morning, Clem fell asleep to the borrowed sound of Ashlee breathing down the phone line, and by the time he woke up again, he didn’t have to imagine his boyfriend’s presence any longer.

“But- it’s Friday?” Clem blinked as he watched Ashlee walk towards him from the main house. He’d only woken up ten minutes earlier and thrown on some clothes, tossed his laundry in the dryer, and stepped out into the mid-morning sunshine, ready to do battle with the long day ahead. For a moment Clem assumed he’d overslept and missed a whole day’s worth of lambing.

“I took a personal day,” Ashlee fiddled with his hair for a moment, “is that OK?”

Clem hadn’t been able to get the young man into his arms fast enough, inhaling the fresh clean scent of his boyfriend for as long as he could. Ashlee clung onto him just as tightly. Clem felt suddenly strong and refreshed as though he’d had a good night’s sleep.

“I woke up again this morning and I couldn’t bear to be without you for another minute,” Ashlee kissed his neck softly. “Of course, Mrs Riley fed me; she was horrified I’d driven ‘all the way’ from Austin without any breakfast.”

Clem chuckled. Ashlee might have been a soft slender creature, but he could still happily put away a full portion biscuits, sausage, and gravy. Clem had last eaten at around midnight, and his stomach growled at him as he let the young man go and slid his arm around Ashlee’s narrow waist.

“So you all set to come and see some lambs gettin’ born?”

“Yes please!”

“Clem!” Mrs Riley stood on the back porch holding a frying pan in one hand, “you ain’t going anywhere without a hot meal!”

Not wanting to leave Malik up at the shed by himself much longer, Clem bolted his breakfast on the back porch, drank half a gallon of orange juice, and took Ashlee’s hand as they walked up to the big lambing shed. During the rest of the year the space was used for storage of tractors, mowers, the baler, and various other bits of farm equipment. It was one of the places Clem liked to lose himself in on rainy days when there was little to do, and the cab of one of the least used John Deere’s had played host back in January to his and Ashlee’s sudden desire to be naked and sweaty together in the middle of the afternoon. But now the sheds had been cleared and divided into pens; three large ones down the left side, and a host of smaller pens that Riley called the maternity ward down the other side. Along the centre was the main aisle from which they fed the sheep, and where most of the actual births took place. Three years earlier Clem had helped to design and build the feeder system that allowed the sheep access to the hay without much getting wasted, but it was Cruz who had installed the hanging semi-circular buckets for the hard feed and water that were attached to the sheep hurdles. With over four hundred expectant ewes, plus many new mums and their lambs, the lambing shed was warm, oddly cosy under the low roof, and smelt of sheep.

“Hey bud,” Cruz looked up from the ewe that lay, happy but breathing hard, next to him, and got up from the bale he’d been using as a chair, “she’ll be next I think. I moved four more out of the big pen that looked about ready to drop; they’re nosing around in a feed bucket down the far end. Looks like you’re in for another busy shift.” Cruz grinned, “But at least you got company. Hey Ashlee.”

Cruz left them alone and Clem began to show his boyfriend around the lambing shed. The first births had started four days previously. Clem climbed into the pen of the first ewe and her lamb and handed Ashlee a clipboard and pen.

“We have to register all of them, so we know what lamb came from what ewe and so forth. In the first box, fill in zero-one, and then her tag number which is this one here,” he flicked the thick plastic tag as the sheep began to nose at him in hope of more food, “and then fill in the serial number of one of those tags from the box next to you, and I’ll fit him – I think this is a him – with it and get them sprayed.”

The first one always took a long time, and Ashlee was painstakingly careful about copying down all the numbers correctly. He looked slightly concerned when Clem took a big punch gun, fitted the tag on it and held the lamb between his knees.

“Isn’t that gonna hurt?”

“Sure, but not nearly as much as you’d think.” Clem lined up the tag with the lambs ear and fired. The little animal bleated in surprise, but quietened almost instantly. Ashlee looked surprised, but Clem took a can of dye and sprayed a number on both ewe and lamb so that they could be identified.

“Aww, he matches his momma,” Ashlee grinned. “So if he’s a boy, he’ll grow up to be dinner?”

“Yup, which means we don’t want him full of testosterone, so as well as his tail, we also have to ring his balls. You up for that?”

There hadn’t been anything in the six months they’d been together that Ashlee had ever baulked from. Once Clem had discovered his boyfriend didn’t back down from anything, he’d fallen ever further in love with the strong willed young man. Ashlee looked slightly nervous as Clem picked up the lamb and handed him over. He adjusted his boyfriend’s grip until the lamb was the right way round, held under the shoulders and the back hooves, and Clem fitted an orange band to the four pronged pliers and slid it up over the lamb’s tail, measuring four fingers from the base.

“Why do you cut the tails?”

“It’s more convenient really,” Clem replied, “the end of the tail loses blood flow and drops off, and there’s less chance of the lamb getting infections from mud and shit as he grows up. You remember when we dagged out last month?”

“To stop the flies?” Ashlee nodded, “so it’s a hygiene thing?”

“You got it,” Clem slid the band from the pliers, and the lamb wriggled at the sudden sensation. “OK, turn his belly to face me and I’ll do his balls.”

Afterwards the lamb lay in the hay, looking like he felt a bit sorry for himself, but twenty minutes later he was back up and feeding from his mother. Ashlee stood with one foot on the sheep hurdle, arms crossed on the top rung, and if Clem half shut his eyes, he could imagine the slender young man really was a farming boy in his blue jeans and one of Clem’s old checked shirts. Then the ewe Cruz had been sitting with began to moan and bleat and Clem knew it was time.

“A lamb?”

“Well it’d be weird if she birthed a puppy,” Clem pulled the young man into his lap as he sat on the hay bale, “your first lamb; it’s a big thing.”

“Is it her first too?”

“Nah, she’s an old hand, this’ll be her fourth. She knows what to do.”

Ten minutes later, the ewe knowing what to do wasn’t enough, because the lamb got his feet out, and then decided he wanted to stay in the warm instead of getting born. The ewe groaned, nosing the concrete floor under the hay, in obvious discomfort, and Clem knew it had gone on long enough.

“You wanna help?”

Ashlee took a deep breath and stared at the rear end of the sheep with two small pointy hooves poking out of her.

“I don’t want to hurt them.”

“You won’t, just grab his ankles and pull.”

Clem remembered the first sheep he’d birthed. He’d been fifteen, and left in charge of the lambing shed for an hour while the hands had a break to take showers and get something to eat. The ewe had struggled, and though Clem had watched it all before, it was a very different thing to step in, push his fingers in over the lamb’s nose to push him back, grab each foot in turn and unlock him from his mother’s pelvis. His father had been proud to find that his boy had helped a lamb into the world, and the lamb had been strong.

“Clem!” Ashlee’s voice was full of panic, “he’s not breathin!”

The new lamb lay in the hay at Ashlee’s knees, and the mother got to her feet and turned to start licking him.

“Grab some hay and pull the mucus off from around his nose and mouth. We gotta get him up and dried off a bit.”

Ashlee worked quickly, using the hay to help remove the birthing sack from the lamb, pulling handfuls of sticky gunk away from his face. The lamb raised his head, but there was no tell-tale young bleat that meant life. Clem scrambled over, took the lamb’s tiny head in his hands, and blew forcefully down his nostrils. The lamb sneezed, coughed, and bleated loudly.

“Oh!”

“Haha!” Clem knelt back as the lamb struggled to his feet, fell, and then began to nuzzle his mother back as she cleaned him. “And there you go.”

“I can’t believe he’s… there.” Ashlee went to wipe his face with his hands and realised he was covered in afterbirth, “ewww!”

“Give him ten minutes and he’ll be up and feeding. What d’you want to call him?”

“I thought we didn’t name the boys?” Ashlee said as he got up and grabbed a handful of hay to wipe himself down.

“He’s your first lamb; we’ll make a ram outta him. He’ll be father to a whole new generation one day. So?”

“Charlie,” Ashlee said definitively, “a ram named Charlie.”

*

“You alright in there, Charlie lad?” Clem looked over the top of the closed up ramp into the trailer where the ram stood. They had moved the ewes the previous day, just ten of them, and Charlie had loaded up by himself without fuss. The big male seemed to know who had brought him into the world, because while he would try and charge Cruz and Malik, whenever Ashlee was around he became as calm and soft as a trained house pet. Now the big ram looked up at Clem and lowed softly.

“Not long now bud; the drive’ll be about half an hour.”

Clem hitched the trailer to the Ford with practiced ease. Three years was a long time, and though Clem still preferred to drive, he’d not been above teaching his boyfriend to drive stick. Ashlee backed up the truck and Clem checked the tow bar and the trailer’s tail lights while Ashlee climbed out of the cab.

“Clem!”

“Hey little Penny,” Clem smiled as the thirteen year old came pelting towards him at full speed and hugged him hard. He scooped her up and hugged her back. “Don’t cry sweetie.”

“But you’re leavin’!” Penny bit her lip as she was put down, and her bright eyes flashed at Ashlee. “If I’d known you were gonna take him away, I wouldn’t have been so nice to you.”

“Ahh now, you don’t mean that.”

“No!” Penny hugged Ashlee too, “please don’t go.”

“It’s not really goodbye, Penny. We won’t be far away. Maybe your father will let you ride over and visit us when you become a freshman.”

Penny stamped her foot in the dust.

“But that’s not for ages, Clem.”

Clem hugged her hard, and then stepped back. It amazed him how she’d grown, and the little girl who had swished her skirts and asked for fireflies in a jar was growing into a pretty young woman with long legs and her father’s pragmatic attitude. But that didn’t stop her from being a teenager.

“We will visit soon. I promise.”

“’Kay,” she sniffed. “I’m gonna wave, OK?”

“OK.”

Clem waited for Ashlee to go ahead of him, pulling the little cornflower blue fiat out onto the dirt road before he roared his own engine into life. Penny ran through the short grass along the driveway until they reached the main gates, and Clem couldn’t keep his eyes from the rear view mirror as he passed under the arch that proudly proclaimed the entrance to Four Corners Farm. Penny waved to them until she was just a blurry speck in the distance, and Clem had to wipe the tears from his eyes with his dusty fingers.

Leaving home hurt just as much as it had the first time. But at least here, he was welcome back.

*

“It’s not our anniversary until tomorrow,” Clem frowned as he took the gift wrapped package from his boyfriend, “or did I miss calculate?”

Ashlee smiled sweetly in the way Clem had come to understand meant that the man he loved was up to something behind his innocent demeanour, and turned the slim, vibrantly wrapped present over in his big hands. At Christmas he had discovered Ashlee’s gift wrapping abilities and the word ‘subtle’ had never been introduced, and Clem was holding a box covered in acid green and silver striped paper with a wonderfully contrasting black ribbon with a bow big enough for Clem to hide his own package behind.

“It is tomorrow, but I wanted you to wear it today.” Ashlee smiled, “it’s a special dinner after all.”

Clem arched an eyebrow. He was nervous enough about going to meet Ashlee’s parents, and the sudden realisation that Ashlee’s brother and sister would also be there had made Clem suddenly wish he could use a farm-related excuse to get out of it. He’d never had to ‘meet the parents’ of anyone he’d dated, and just one day shy of their anniversary, Clem could think of better timing for a big family dinner. But Ashlee was full of smiles and happy kisses, so Clem opened his present.

“You want me to wear these?”

“Uh-huh,” Ashlee swished his hips, “please?”

Clem held up his present and arched an eyebrow. They were boxer shorts, on the skimpy side, fitted, and made from a slightly silky pale blue fabric. They were edged with navy blue lace.

“You don’t like ‘em?” Ashlee bit his lower lip and sniffed. “You think they’re too girly,” he reached out to grab the present, “I’ll take ‘em back!”

“No!” Clem held the shorts and the box against his chest, then pulled Ashlee close by the front of his shirt and kissed him hard. “I’ll admit to being a bit scared of them, but if it makes you happy, I’ll wear them.”

“Really, Sugar?” Ashlee flung his arms around Clem’s neck and kissed him soundly. “You’re the best.”

Clem grinned.

“I think it’s only fair that you get your present early too. And you have to wear yours as well!”

“OK…” Ashlee’s voice had a delightful sing song note.

Clem hadn’t been able to find appropriate wrapping paper for his gift, and once Ashlee had closed his eyes Clem simply fetched it and then held it out in front of the beautiful man he loved.

“Alright, open up.”

Ashlee’s honey-brown eyes flashes open and he squealed with delight.

“Oh my god!” Clem was suddenly knocked flat back onto the bed as Ashlee came flying at him, “Aww, Sugar!”

“You like it then?”

“Yes!” Ashlee grabbed his present and scrambled to his feet. “I’m going to go get changed!” he declared before scrambling to the bathroom.

Clem removed his jeans and shed his previous choice of underwear. He frowned slightly as he pulled his new present on, and adjusted his crotch until everything felt like it fitted. The big farm hand was not totally convinced by his present, and was sure he would spend most of the evening trying not to squirm against the new and strangely exciting feeling of the lace against his skin. But the moment Ashlee stepped back into the room Clem forgot that his jeans were still unbuttoned around his hips, because he could not tear his eyes away from the man he loved.

He had taken Madison shopping with him, because she and Ashlee had been on enough trips into Austin that Clem was confident she could steer him away from things Ashlee would never wear, and had the added advantage that she knew his size – even in different stores. Clem had spent more on Ashlee’s present than he had spent on his ‘good’ black leather jacket, and he knew from the look on Ashlee’s face it had been worth every single penny.

“Well?”

“Clem, it’s lovely,” Ashlee sighed with delight, “my sister will be so jealous!”

The dress fit him beautifully, and Madison had squealed when Clem had held it up for her inspection. It was something called a fit and flare, which Clem had learnt meant it was close fitted to the hips, and then flared out with extra volume in the skirt. It was a deep wine-red colour, perfectly offset against Ashlee’s olive skin, and trimmed with a thin line of white piping. Ashlee smoothed his fingers along the edge of the slash neckline before running his fingers down the front of the dress.

“It’s perfect. Can you finish zipping me up?” He turned, allowing the hem of the dress to swish enticingly around his thighs, and swept his hair to one side in order to present the smooth skin of his spine to Clem’s fingers. Clem kissed the nape of his neck and finished up the long hidden zipper with one hand. “I’ve never really worn a dress before.”

“No?”

“I mean, a couple for like silly costume parties and stuff, but I always wanted to.”

“Well there’s just one more finishing touch…” Clem grinned smugly. He ran his calloused fingers up Ashlee’s smooth thighs until he was stroking the young man’s silk panties. Ashlee shivered in delight, and purred as Clem drew them down his legs and dropped the thin fabric to the floor. “No underwear allowed.”

“Clem!” Ashlee spun around, and Clem chuckled at his indignation. “No fair!”

“What? Only one of us can wear sexy underwear at a time, right? Otherwise you’ll be the one getting jealous…”

“Mean,” Ashlee pouted, which was adorable. “You realise we are goin’ to my parent’s house for dinner, right?”

Clem grinned, took Ashlee’s jaw and kissed him; the slender young man in the dress kissed him right back, just as hard, and Clem knew that after a whole evening of teasing, he would be doing exactly what his boyfriend wanted later. Following orders from Ashlee could be incredibly rewarding.

“Yup, an’ it’s gonna be real hard to concentrate on anythin’ else but you…”

*

Ashlee pulled his little car up at the entrance and Clem watched the man climb out and unhitch the chain holding the two gates closed so that he could be the first to drive through. All week they had been back and forth to the property, installing the other sheep, getting the water and electricity set up, fixing fences, and feeding the chickens. But today was the day they were going to get there and never go back, not permanently anyway, and Clem was looking forwards to spending their first night ever on a piece of land they actually owned; even if they didn’t have a bed to sleep on. Ashlee left the old gates standing open as he followed Clem down the long dusty driveway. The brand new white painted wooden sign they passed on the way in read: Firefly Creek Ranch.

Clem had never felt more satisfied than when he had ripped down the ‘for sale’ sign tacked to the gate post, and walked hand in hand with Ashlee along the driveway in order to hammer the new sign into their land. Ashlee had chosen the name, and every time Clem read the words all he could think about was the evening they had abandoned the realtor and wandered down, hand in hand, and kissed as the lightning bugs danced over the almost still surface of the water. It had been a great kiss, and Ashlee had whispered to the big farm hand that he wanted to live there. Clem had put the offer in the same evening.

Now they drove to the little corral Grayson had helped to build the previous afternoon and Clem and Ashlee released the ramp of the trailer directly into it so that Charlie could trot down into the new pen. The ram turned to nuzzle at the hands of his favourite human, and Ashlee found half a roll of minty Life Savers in his pocket and fed one to him. Across the gap between the pen and the new corral, the two horses snorted jealously.

“Yeah, yeah, I got some for you two.” Ashlee stroked the nose of the stocky black and white cart horse, and fed candy to his dun-brown twin. “Are we going to have to build stables too?”

Clem looked the man he loved up and down, then grabbed Ashlee round the waist and sat him on the edge of the fence as easily as lifting a bale of hay.

“Like you’ll be building anythin’,” he kissed Ashlee’s stomach through his shirt. “Your job is to-”

“Sit here and look pretty?” Ashlee joked, “I can do that.”

“I was gonna say it was your job to keep me from doin’ anythin’ stupid and reckless.”

“You mean, like buy a hundred acres of prime farmland, spend all our savings, and hope like hell the weather holds out?” Ashlee kissed him. “Too late!”

Clem let the beautiful man take his hand and pull him away from the animals and their cars, weighed down with everything they owned, and he followed without a second thought as Ashlee lead him towards the little ranch house. It had been nothing but a broken down shell, and in some places it still was, but Clem and Grayson would fix it up. The following day all their friends would be there, Jimmy and David would help them with the porch steps, Sukie would coo over the horses and start laying out plans for where and how the stables should be, Madison would bring food from the diner and muck in wherever she could. At the end of the day they would sit around an old tractor tire, light a fire and drink beer. It would feel like every one of a thousand nights out under stars as thick as paint, except it would be better.

As Clem followed the man he loved into their new house, he knew that neither he nor Ashlee needed a big bed to have fun, and they didn’t need money to be happy. They had each other, and Clem was more glad than he could find words to say, because the love of one man who understood and needed him was worth all the land and money in the world. He grinned.

“Is it everything you ever wanted, Sugar?” Ashlee asked, his voice shining like his eyes.

Clem gathered his boyfriend into his arms and kissed him before he answered.

“Oh yeah; and more.”

And he wasn’t talking about the ranch.

 

The End.

 

... now find about whatever happened to Nathan Cole in 'Lonely At The Top', track 10 of the American Songbook collection

Copyright © 2015 Sasha Distan; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments



What a perfect end to the story! Buying the ranch of their dreams. Really great job with this Sasha. I enjoyed the romance, the growth, and the intimacy of the story. Thank you for sharing this. It's very special. :)

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Okay, Sasha--you can stop writing stories that make me want to cry. Much as I don't 'get' cross-dressing, the love these two share transcends that reserve. Not knowing the conventions of sheep-raising, it really got me when Clem let Ashlee name the ram and told him he would become the father of a new generation...then Charlie comes with them to their own farm, like he's their own child.

 

Nathan's a bastard and I hate him, but I'll read along to see if you can change my mind. It's going to be a hard-sell for you to try, but I'll be amused by your efforts to make me care about him. :)

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This was a greaf place to end their story. They have each other, their ranch and Ashlee's ram. It was perfect. They are so good together and compliment each other so well. I can see them happy and in love for the rest of their lives (maybe with a couple of kids and eventually grandkids down the line).

 

Now on to the next story and the redemption of Nathan Cole!

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While I would be very happy to continue learning what follows in their life together this is the better way to leave them. Together and happy and on the cusp of wonderful things.

I expect the echo of their voices each time I hear the song that inspired this.

Thank you for giving us this time with Clemmons & Ashlee.

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Great end for a great story. I'm a sucker for HEA and this was one of the best. I look forward to reading about the rehabilitation of Nathan; he certainly needs it. Thank you for a great story.

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Thank you for a great story Sasha, and a very very good ending. These two were so accepting of each other, it made their relationship and romance exceptional.

 

And now, not without some bias, I await Nathan's story.

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On 01/20/2015 08:24 PM, Timothy M. said:
You must have read my mind. :) Just what I wanted for them. Thanks, Sasha.
you're welcome, and thank you. Us mad romantic deviants think alike, eh?
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On 01/20/2015 09:07 PM, Cole Matthews said:
What a perfect end to the story! Buying the ranch of their dreams. Really great job with this Sasha. I enjoyed the romance, the growth, and the intimacy of the story. Thank you for sharing this. It's very special. :)
Thank you Cole, so so much.

It went plenty of places I never expected. Not bad for a two minute idea in the back of a truck in the dark in New Jersey.

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On 01/20/2015 10:00 PM, ColumbusGuy said:
Okay, Sasha--you can stop writing stories that make me want to cry. Much as I don't 'get' cross-dressing, the love these two share transcends that reserve. Not knowing the conventions of sheep-raising, it really got me when Clem let Ashlee name the ram and told him he would become the father of a new generation...then Charlie comes with them to their own farm, like he's their own child.

 

Nathan's a bastard and I hate him, but I'll read along to see if you can change my mind. It's going to be a hard-sell for you to try, but I'll be amused by your efforts to make me care about him. :)

I'll take that challenge - because you weren't keen on Ashlee either, but I've talked you round (and plenty others).

I'm glad you like the ending. and I love the idea of Charlie as being "their kid" - I hadn't thought of it like that before.

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On 01/20/2015 10:21 PM, LitLover said:
This was a greaf place to end their story. They have each other, their ranch and Ashlee's ram. It was perfect. They are so good together and compliment each other so well. I can see them happy and in love for the rest of their lives (maybe with a couple of kids and eventually grandkids down the line).

 

Now on to the next story and the redemption of Nathan Cole!

there we go, you said it all. happy and balanced and in love forever. they'll be fine.
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On 01/20/2015 10:45 PM, dughlas said:
While I would be very happy to continue learning what follows in their life together this is the better way to leave them. Together and happy and on the cusp of wonderful things.

I expect the echo of their voices each time I hear the song that inspired this.

Thank you for giving us this time with Clemmons & Ashlee.

Thank you dugh, and you're welcome.

"cusp" is a great word. I should use that more often.

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On 01/21/2015 12:30 AM, avidreadr said:
Great end for a great story. I'm a sucker for HEA and this was one of the best. I look forward to reading about the rehabilitation of Nathan; he certainly needs it. Thank you for a great story.
Shhh... me too. I love an HEA: it's why I write so many of them.

 

Nathan's rehab...well we shall see how that goes.

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On 01/21/2015 01:36 AM, Defiance19 said:
Thank you for a great story Sasha, and a very very good ending. These two were so accepting of each other, it made their relationship and romance exceptional.

 

And now, not without some bias, I await Nathan's story.

but what kind of bias?

 

You're welcome, and thank you. they are lovely and accepting, and I will miss them too.

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I was mesmerized the entire chapter. The phone call scene was brilliant. I could feel what they were feeling. The lambing scene just emphasized that Ashlee, for all his sensual qualities, is never to be underestimated. Penny's good bye was an example of the love people feel for Clem and Ashlee, and kids are often the best judges. I could picture her perfectly, running along the drive and waving bye. Exchanging of the gifts was charming and amusing...they fit together like gloves. I might not WANT to wear that underwear, but I would, for someone I loved that much. You saved the best for last with Firefly Creek Ranch. Maybe it's the farmer in me but that put me over the moon. The idea of Clem getting what he wants, in every way, and they get to build a life together surrounded by great friends who love them, is perfect. They even have two horses! What more could a man...or a reader...ask for? Thanks for another gift, Sasha...Cheers...Gary

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On 01/21/2015 05:46 AM, SanguineAffair said:
Another beautiful story. Can't wait to see what happens with Nathan!
thank you sweetie!
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On 01/21/2015 06:46 AM, Headstall said:
I was mesmerized the entire chapter. The phone call scene was brilliant. I could feel what they were feeling. The lambing scene just emphasized that Ashlee, for all his sensual qualities, is never to be underestimated. Penny's good bye was an example of the love people feel for Clem and Ashlee, and kids are often the best judges. I could picture her perfectly, running along the drive and waving bye. Exchanging of the gifts was charming and amusing...they fit together like gloves. I might not WANT to wear that underwear, but I would, for someone I loved that much. You saved the best for last with Firefly Creek Ranch. Maybe it's the farmer in me but that put me over the moon. The idea of Clem getting what he wants, in every way, and they get to build a life together surrounded by great friends who love them, is perfect. They even have two horses! What more could a man...or a reader...ask for? Thanks for another gift, Sasha...Cheers...Gary
The gifts are my favourite bit I think, and I know exactly what you mean. Clem would never choose them, but he'd do anything to make the man he loved happy.

The horses are not for riding though - they're for work. Clem's going all natural!

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That was a lovely ending to a very sweet story. Although, I have to admit that the two parts to the epilogue confused me. In the first part they were clearly moving in together, presumably somewhere rented. However, I was pretty sure that Clem was leaving Four Corners as well. Was he just back for lambing season in the second epilogue? In which case, why did Penny get so upset when they left? Sorry if I missed something in the story that cleared this all up. :mellow:

Also, why do they still not have a bed? :rolleyes:

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I'm so sad to see this story end, but I'm thrilled Clem and Ash got their HEAs. :)

 

Again, I loved the flashback scenes of Ashlee's first lamb birth with Charlie, and the phone scene was so spot-on - just the feeling of being so lovesick b/c your other half wasn't there. I remember feeling quite pathetic a few times myself. :P

 

I loved the Rileys and how they "adopted" first Clem and then Ashlee. C&A know they'll always have a place with them if they need it.

 

I really wanted to read about the dinner scene when Ash introduces his family to Clem. :(

 

You know, Ashlee reminds me a bit of Sparrow; they both have charisma and that type of personality where they can just make friends with anyone and everyone. :)

 

I'm really going to miss this story; I think it may be one of my favorites. :)

 

I'm looking forward to your next story. Hopefully I'll find out why Nathan became such a d-bag. :D

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Wonderful,wonderful ending! :worship: Firefly Creek Ranch is the perfect name for their new home. I love that Charlie is all grown up and went with the guys to their new home. I don't know how you think up such interesting characters, but you are superb at it. Hat's off to your imagination. I bet you're even going to make me love Nate, aren't you? Oh well, that'll be par for the course. LOL. Thank for sharings your stories with us because they make us think and feel deeply and sometimes drive us to drink and always make us cry because we become so invested. :thankyou:

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On 01/21/2015 11:30 AM, impunity said:
That was a lovely ending to a very sweet story. Although, I have to admit that the two parts to the epilogue confused me. In the first part they were clearly moving in together, presumably somewhere rented. However, I was pretty sure that Clem was leaving Four Corners as well. Was he just back for lambing season in the second epilogue? In which case, why did Penny get so upset when they left? Sorry if I missed something in the story that cleared this all up. :mellow:

Also, why do they still not have a bed? :rolleyes:

bits of both epilogues were told in the past, and bits in the "now".

Clem and Ashlee have bought a ranch, and neither of them own any furniture - hence the lack of bed.

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On 01/21/2015 11:41 AM, Lisa said:
I'm so sad to see this story end, but I'm thrilled Clem and Ash got their HEAs. :)

 

Again, I loved the flashback scenes of Ashlee's first lamb birth with Charlie, and the phone scene was so spot-on - just the feeling of being so lovesick b/c your other half wasn't there. I remember feeling quite pathetic a few times myself. :P

 

I loved the Rileys and how they "adopted" first Clem and then Ashlee. C&A know they'll always have a place with them if they need it.

 

I really wanted to read about the dinner scene when Ash introduces his family to Clem. :(

 

You know, Ashlee reminds me a bit of Sparrow; they both have charisma and that type of personality where they can just make friends with anyone and everyone. :)

 

I'm really going to miss this story; I think it may be one of my favorites. :)

 

I'm looking forward to your next story. Hopefully I'll find out why Nathan became such a d-bag. :D

I think they both spent that dinner squirming in a delightfully uncomfortable manner and trying not to have sex in Ashlee's childhood bedroom! but I know what you mean.

Clem and Ash will always have a home at Four Corners, and with you I think. you make fried chicken right Lisa? You gotta feed my boys!

Thank you, and always you are most welcome.

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On 01/21/2015 01:32 PM, LadyDe said:
Wonderful,wonderful ending! :worship: Firefly Creek Ranch is the perfect name for their new home. I love that Charlie is all grown up and went with the guys to their new home. I don't know how you think up such interesting characters, but you are superb at it. Hat's off to your imagination. I bet you're even going to make me love Nate, aren't you? Oh well, that'll be par for the course. LOL. Thank for sharings your stories with us because they make us think and feel deeply and sometimes drive us to drink and always make us cry because we become so invested. :thankyou:
oh I don't want to drive anyone to drink! everything else i'll take with bells on!

Will I make you love Nathan? Well, I ended up loving Nathan, and so did Ma, so I'm kind of hoping you'll at least come around to his side of things.

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I couldn't write this review until I had wiped all the tears off the iPad. Yes, really! Such a lovely ending to a very beautiful story. Sasha, you are a very talented writer, and by far my favourite author right now. I hope you never stop writing! Thank you for all you have given us!

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