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The Joy of Love
by Christy Poff

Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Historical Fiction
Description: What is it like? To know the love of a lifetime? That one true love--whether it's a labor of love nurtured from it's point of conception into a fully committed relationship or a lost love--strong yet fragile; lost, then rediscovered. Both loves are full of passionate desire but are up against extraordinary circumstances which could take it all away. Two very special couples find the joy of love and the unique relationship that comes with it.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2007
eBookwise Release Date: March 2008

eBookeBook

3 Reader Ratings:
Great Good OK Poor
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [109 KB]
Words: 22713
Reading time: 64-90 min.


"These stories are very different from what Christy Poff normally writes. The characters are wonderful and the storylines are full of emotional situations that will have you eagerly reading to find out what will happen. What's so different about these stories is the sweet innocent emotions readers will experience as they read and realize that loved ones aren't immortal, there will be loses and they will hurt, but you can't lock yourself away from caring for others either. Sometimes you just have to put your heart on the line and experience THE JOY OF LOVE--no matter how long it lasts!"--Chrissy, Romance Junkies: 5 Ribbons

"LABOR OF LOVE" ...it is a bittersweet story with heart-warming characters and is not to be missed. The tenderness between Savannah and Cody was deep and humbling. The plot was very original, keeping my attention and making me want to know more, while the ending of the story startled this reader. I give this story 3 enchantments.

"LOST LOVE" The characters in the second story were fuller, with rich, complex personalities. My emotions were engaged from the very start, jumping from delighted to exasperation to sorrowful and back many times in this brief romance. This reader felt like she was experiencing the story along with the characters instead of just being told a narrative of what happened. The sex between the characters was lush and imaginative. The secondary characters had interesting roles, and added to the emotional element of the story. This story gets 4 enchantments from me, for a combined rating of 3.5 enchantments for THE JOY OF LOVE."--Dawn, Enchanting Romance, 3.5 enchantments


LABOR OF LOVE

by
Christy Poff

Summer, 1927

She opened the door to a tall, young man standing before her. She pulled her shawl around her, hiding the small but deadly derringer she held ready to fire if need be.

"Yes?" she asked.

"Miss Michaels, I'm Cody Brooks."

"And?"

"They told me in town you could use some help around here."

"I could, but why would I hire you?"

"I'm a hard worker."

"I've heard that before."

"I need a job. I'm trying to get to New York so I can go to school."

Savannah Michaels studied him. In his early twenties, he had a beautiful body, even though his clothes hid it. His dark wavy hair fell to just above his collar. His green eyes sparkled and she immediately saw naïve honesty in them. His deep voice caressed her. If only I was twenty years younger...

"How long are you..."

"As long as you need me. I've been making this trip for a few years."

"How old are you?" she asked, slightly confused.

"Twenty-two, ma'am."

"Savannah, please," she said, stepping aside to let him enter her home.

"Thank you," he said, hesitating when he heard the hammer on the gun gently release. "I see you're prepared."

"Always. I've lived alone for several years and take no chances."

"Smart."

"Practical," she told him, pointing to a chair while she sat on the couch.

He dropped his bag by the door then sat down, looking around the room. After sitting in the winged armchair, he talked with her into early evening getting to know her--Savannah learning more about the stranger in front of her. A little after seven, Savannah made dinner, serving them baked chicken and biscuits.

"This is really good but you shouldn't have..."

"It's been a while since I've had guests to cook for. It's my pleasure."

She watched him eat, a warmth filling her. His hands showed he hadn't lied when he said he worked hard. She noticed his arms, the muscles firm under his tight sleeves. Maybe he'll stay a while ... She felt her body ache for him, begging for his entry. She tried to ignore the long suppressed feelings, needing to remain in control.

After dinner, she showed him to one of the guestrooms. He dropped his bag on the bed looking around.

"It's all right, I hope," she said.

"Definitely. I was expecting to sleep in the barn."

"I wouldn't consider such a thing," she gasped. "There's plenty of room in the house."

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you. I'm used to rustic living, plus people might talk."

"They've talked about me for years."

"I'd hate to add to it."

They gazed at each other, Savannah wanting him. This is wrong, he's just a boy...

"Breakfast is at seven. I'll see you then."

"Thank you, Savannah."

She said good night and went to her room, quietly locking the door. Pulling her shawl around her, she made her way to the chair near the window and sat down, trembling from the sensations going through her. The last time a man had done this to her had been ten years before, right before he left her to go to war. Her fiancé swore he'd come back to her but died in Europe.

The day he left, they swore they would marry when he returned home, only she watched them bury him in the local cemetery instead. She vowed she'd never get close to another man or go through the hurt again. Now this young man showed up at her door and turned her world inside-out. She tried to push her feelings back but couldn't--ten long years of living alone catching up with her.

"Stop it!" she berated herself.

* * * *

In the morning, she started breakfast hoping to give her new hand a good start for the day. She went to wake him, finding his room empty and his bed already made. Great, he's gone. I've already scared him off...

She returned to the kitchen, her stomach in knots.

"Good morning."

"Cody, I..."

"I went out and fed the animals already and mucked the stalls."

"When?"

"I got up at dawn. You've got a real nice piece of land here."

She sat down staring at him. She'd had all these horrid thoughts and had been wrong about him, her insecurity ruling her. She watched him polish off two helpings of ham and eggs while she slowly ate her meal.

"How many acres?"

"Fifty," she answered.

"How's the fencing?"

"I don't know. I haven't been able to check it."

"I'll take care of it after breakfast."

He finished eating, put the dishes in the sink and went outside. A few minutes later, she heard him gallop off toward the outlying property lines. Savannah Michaels got up and watched him disappear. The same feelings returned but she desperately tried to ignore them. No, it won't work.

Cody didn't return until sundown. He fed the horse he'd taken out early in the day then entered the house and washed up before sitting down for a hot dinner.

"What did you find?"

"You had several pieces of fencing broken down. I repaired them the best I could."

"I'm sure you did a good job."

"I saw some other repairs you need to have done. I'll get what I need and do it over the next few days."

"Thank you," she said. She'd had workers help her out then leave but none had been as hard working as Cody Brooks. What is it about him?

* * * *

Cody said good night and left his new boss alone in the living room. He heard her come upstairs after turning off the lights and enter her room. Once the door closed, he laid back and thought.

He'd been lucky when he walked into the diner in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Over lunch, he learned of a spinster who owned a small farm on the outskirts of town and needed general help.

"She doesn't have much but she's fair."

"Thank you, sir. Tell me how to get there and I'll go see her."

He walked out of town and found the farm without too much problem. He went up to the door and knocked expecting to meet an older woman who would more than likely be someone's grandmother. Instead, a beautiful woman stood before him, suspicious of his unannounced intrusion into her life. His first impression came when he smelled the scent of honeysuckle, a smell he'd grown to love in his travels.

His cock hard, it begged to be buried inside this gorgeous woman's body. He willed his body to calm while he tried to talk to her. He wanted this job if it meant just breathing the same air she did. He took a deep breath looking at how her dress draped over her subtle yet gorgeous curves. He'd never felt this kind of desire before and knew he would have to test her forbidden fruits.

By dinner, they had warmed to each other, quickly becoming comfortable together. She showed him his room and said good night before he went inside. Stretching out in bed, his muscles cried out for the comfort of the mattress and begged him for sleep but emotionally, he remained wide awake.

Hearing her go into her room, he fidgeted. He wanted her but couldn't expect this woman to want him at his young age or this soon. Considering his naïveté when it came to matters in the bedroom, he fought his desires and tried to sleep. She wouldn't want me anyway...

The next evening, he turned in early, tired from the long day. Unable to take it any longer, he left his room and crossed the hallway to her door. He put his hand on the doorknob but froze when he heard her sobbing. Everything in him wanted to go to her but he barely knew her well enough to presume she'd take his comfort as anything more than intended.

He quietly went back to his room and willed his body to relax. He fell asleep dreaming of the woman in the other room and how he would love to fuck her. He wanted to bury his cock inside her and please her, only thanks to his lack of experience, he didn't know how he would satisfy her.

Damn it, why me?

* * * *

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