To Everything, There Is A Season #3 – Togetherness (by MonicaSJ)

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Summary:  This is third of the To Everything series, the first, Re-acquaintance and the second Falling.  Shiloh and Adam are married and are embarking on a new life together discovering that fitting all their desires in can make for trouble as her past keeps creeping in, and as they balance the opportunities that come their way.

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Rating: T  Reader Alert: Some violence, mild adult situations

To Everything, There is a Season Series:

Reacquaintance
Falling
Togetherness
Growing Pains
Family Ties
Life’s Demands

 

                                             Togetherness 

 

Special thanks to sklamb; my beta, my friend

 

Adam opened his eyes just as the dim light of morning pushed its way in through the windows. This bedroom has two windows. I’ll be waking up earlier now. Before he moved a muscle, he let his mental fog clear, then smiled, remembering he was a married man now. He thought about their talks before the wedding; her insecurities slowly answered one by one. It all came down to the Whitney name for her; honoring her long passed mother and father…and her brother, Micah, for all their hard work building the Flying W ranch. The Flying W was their home now. Then there was her singing; making it fit in with running a ranch, and lastly, her trust of him that started with none whatsoever, and after a long, sometimes painful journey for both of them ended with an ‘I do’ that said to him she finally completely trusted him. They were starting a new life today…together…and he was excited about their future.

Turning on his side, he slowly removed the blanket covering her…Shiloh…his wife, lying on her stomach, her hair spread like a wave over her pillow. Laying his hand on her shoulder, he slowly drew it down her silky, soft skin all the way to her knees.

Goose bumps covered her, and without opening her eyes or stirring, except for a smile, she said softly, “I promise you I will never complain about your hands again.” He chuckled, then proceeded to kiss the goose bumps on her back, bringing on another round just as the former were beginning to fade. “Your kisses either.”

She rolled over into his arms, smiling sleepily. “I didn’t get enough sleep, and it’s all your fault.”

“The pleasure was all mine,” he said, tenderly kissing her. “Good morning.”

Snuggling happily into him with her head laying on his arm, she asked, “Who needs San Francisco when we could stay right here?”

“That might last the morning; maybe even the day, but after that, you’ll want something to do, and I told you weeks ago that you were taking some time off. Now, as much as I’d like to spend the morning in bed with you, we can’t. We have to finish our last minute packing before the rest of the Cartwrights get here.”

“Do I have time to take a bath?”

“A quick one…if we get up now.”

She looked up into his eyes and smirked. “I guess the honeymoon’s over.”

Rolling her onto her back with his arms around her, he said, “not even close,” just before he took her breath away with a long, toe-curling kiss. He swung his leg over her, rising up off the bed, pulling her up with him. “Now, get going. And make it quick.” Before she could step away, he caught her arm. “Wait. You don’t have a wash basin in here. Where should I shave?”

“There’s a wash basin in the bath house off the kitchen,” she said, pulling on her robe. “Get your things and come with me.”

While water was boiling, Shiloh pulled the food out of the icebox. “Let’s see, there’s bacon, biscuits, ham, apricot preserves…” Adam reached across her, taking the biscuits and preserves to the table. “…fruit and milk. Oh, and I have something else.” Reaching over to the work table she uncovered a loaf of bread and took it to the table.

“What’s this? This didn’t come from the Ponderosa.”

“I made it.”

“You made bread?” he asked, skeptically looking sideways at her.

“Don’t look at me that way…at least until you try it. Annie taught me.”

He snorted. Annie was Shiloh’s best friend from college as well as her stabilizing force and as luck would have it, a woman who his brother, Hoss, had a soft spot for.

“When did you make this?” he asked, smelling it.

“Day before yesterday…in the morning. Annie said it looked good, so I thought I’d let you try it to tell me if it is good since you’re used to Hop Sing’s bread.” Sitting on the chair next to him, she looked at him with nervous anticipation.

He cut a slice, pinched a piece off, and hesitantly put it in his mouth. Creasing his brows, he said, “This is…soft…fluffy…not bitter.” He smiled. “Can you do it again?”

“Well, now that I’ve learned not to knead it to death, yes, I think I can do it again.”

She pulled one of the pots of boiling water off the stove and went into the bath house, then came back for the second pot of water. Pumping cold water into the tub, she tested the water until it was just warm, then filled a pitcher with the warm water and poured it into the basin. “Adam, come shave while the water is warm.” She dropped her robe and stepped into the tub, reaching up to the shelf where she kept her toiletries. Uncorking a bottle of rose oil, she poured some into the water, releasing a strong aroma of roses into the room.

“So that’s why I always smell roses when I’m around you.” Adam stood in front of the mirror in his drawers, placing the cup for his shaving cream, his shaving brush and his straight-edge next to the basin.

When he had lathered up his face and started shaving, she propped her arms on the side of tub and laid her chin on them, watching. “Does it hurt?”

“Only when I cut myself…or when the blade is dull.”

“How often do you shave?”

“It depends on what I’m doing. While we’re San Francisco I’ll have to shave a couple of times a day. When I’m on a cattle drive, I don’t shave for days.”

“Why don’t you just grow a beard? Then you wouldn’t have to shave every day.”

“Because keeping a beard trimmed and neat is worse that shaving. Besides, when I grew a beard for your performance in Virginia City, you didn’t like kissing me, and I intend to do that on a regular basis now that we’re married.”

Leaning back in the tub, she giggled, “Married…to you. I wonder what Micah would think.”

“You may not remember, but Micah was very protective of you. We don’t have time to discuss it now, but if you want to talk about Micah, we’ll do that when we get to San Francisco. Right now, you need to dress and get your wedding gown packed.”

“Would you hand me a towel, please?”

Adam wiped the leftover lather from his face, looked at himself, making sure he didn’t miss anything, then took a towel off the wall hook and walked to the tub as Shiloh stood. Taking a slow, deep breath and flaring his nostrils, he looked fervidly at her from under his brow, then wrapped the towel around her when she stepped out of the tub. She leaned against him, and he moaned when they kissed, Shiloh answering with a moan of her own. Turning around and taking her with him, he backed her toward the door. “Go get dressed. I’ll be up in a minute.”

When they came back down the stairs, Adam was carrying the small trunk that held their wedding clothes. Shiloh carried a small bag that had things both of them had added at the last minute. Both were added to the trunks and bags waiting at the front door at about the same time the wagon drove up in the yard with Ben and Joe following on their horses.

“While you’re loading, I’m going to pack a basket from the kitchen,” said Shiloh, disappearing around the corner. Adam opened the door before the family even stepped up on the porch. His broad smile told them all was well.

“Adam, where’s Shiloh?” asked Annie.

“She’s in the kitchen packing a basket.”

“Oh, well Hop Sing sent a basket.” Taking the basket from the wagon, Annie hurried into the kitchen where the girls combined everything into one.

Heading out the door, Shiloh stopped. “Annie go on out, I need to get something off the desk.” She grabbed a small gift wrapped box, and ran out the door with Adam closing it behind her and locking it. She slipped the box into one of Annie’s bags, before she climbed into the back seat of the wagon.

Hank was there to see them off, and after Adam went over instructions one more time, he climbed into the back seat next to Shiloh, and they were off to Virginia City.

They arrived with only a few minutes to spare to board the stage, and while the driver was loading and tying the trunks in the rear boot, Annie and Hoss were saying their restrained goodbyes.

Shiloh stood watching them and leaned into Adam. “Do you remember when I was going to Europe with Edwin, and I got off the stage?”

Twisting his mouth, Adam looked behind them. “Give me a minute, then grab Annie and follow me,” he said, winking. Walking over to Hoss, he cleared his throat. “Excuse me, but I need to talk to you…over here.”

“Now?” asked Hoss, grimacing.

“Yes, now. It’s important.”

“You wait right here. I’ll be right back,” Hoss said, looking apologetically at Annie.

Adam took Hoss to the alley next to the stage office and pushed Hoss against the wall of the building. “Don’t move.”

Grabbing Annie, Shiloh said, “Come with me. Don’t ask questions.”

Annie obediently followed and was promptly shoved into the alley behind Adam while he and Shiloh stood blocking the entrance with their hands clasped in front of them, looking around as if they were just waiting to board. Standing further down on the boardwalk, Joe and Ben watched, turning away and laughing.

“Adam said you might not be gone for the whole four years, Annie. I’d be mighty happy if you decide to come back to Virginia City,” said Hoss.

“Hoss, write her a letter,” said Adam over his shoulder.

Grinning from ear to ear, Annie tiptoed into Hoss and wrapped her arms around his neck. He looked confused for a minute, but a smile suddenly appeared on his face, and then he surrounded her with his arms and kissed her long and tenderly.

When the stagecoach driver yelled for everyone to board, Shiloh took Annie’s hand, and dragged her away toward the stagecoach. Hoss gave Adam a half smile and looked away. “Thanks, Adam.”

“You’re welcome,” Adam answered, grinning and walking back to the stage with a hand on Hoss’s shoulder.

Once the ladies were in the coach, Adam turned back. “Pa, we’re staying at the Lick House if you need anything from me. Hank has all the information for the ranch and knows what to do. Johnny’s taking care of the horses.”

“I don’t want you to worry about thing, Adam. Hank’s been taking care of the Flying W for a long time, and Shiloh has Johnny trained pretty well to take care of the horses.”

“Joe, try to stay out of trouble,” Adam said, smiling.

Joe took his hand, grinning. “Just don’t get to liking San Francisco too much. And don’t worry. We’ll have all the problems waiting for you when you get back.”

Adam took Hoss’s hand. “Adam, you make sure she gets on that ship alright, you hear me?”

“I’ll take care of her, Hoss. Don’t worry.”

Slapping Adam on the arm, Hoss nodded. “I know you will.”

When Adam climbed into the coach, he stopped in the door. Shiloh and Annie were sitting next to each other on a seat with another man in business attire. The other seat was occupied by a man in a ratty, moth-eaten coat and a well-dressed, expecting young woman sitting next to the window. Smiling his most diplomatic smile, Adam said, “If you’ll excuse me, I fully intend to sit next to my wife and her sister.”

Looking at Annie sitting next to him, she smiled and nodded, and the man took the middle of the other seat. Before Adam was seated, the stagecoach lurched forward, and almost sent him into the man’s lap, but Annie and Shiloh each grabbed an arm and pulled him into the middle of their seat. Taking each one’s hand, Adam smiled and said, “Well, ladies, we’re off.”

3 thoughts on “To Everything, There Is A Season #3 – Togetherness (by MonicaSJ)”

  1. You know, some people thought this one is the worst of them all…kind of a fantasy that never would have happened. I don’t know about that. All these places really did exist back then. The Lick House was real and accurately described, the Cliff House and the beach, too. And Santa Cruz in the mid-1800s was the way I described it. The Meders were real, and so was their dairy. In fact a couple of those buildings are still there. Thomas Maquire and his opera house in San Francisco and VC were real. Even the San Francisco mayors I have in the stories were all real. This one’s a story back, but Eliza Biscaciante was real and her story was real. She eventually regained her popularity in South America (from Adam’s encouragement, of course!), but she was singing in Gentlemen’s Clubs in San Francisco for drinks at one point. I love working history into my stories.

    I suppose my favorite part of all of this was their time on the beach. I’ve been to that very beach, but it’s not a little hideaway any longer…it’s got quite a surfing crowd these days. But the description of the creek coming off the bluff down through the woods is true as well as the small pool of water on the beach. And you can get stuck on that beach at high tide. The cliffs are so high, you can’t climb out. You either have to swim around the points or you have to wait for the tide to go back out. A lot did happen in this one, but as I said, I think this one is my favorite of them all.

    Thanks so much, Marie. I think you have just a little ways to go to the end of this one.

    1. I was in a lot of pain last weekend so I didn’t get to finish it. I’ve been busy all week so I’m looking forward to figuring out where I left off. I love this story. I’m loving the entire series! I love long long stories and a series to boot? What more could I ask for! Okay, off to figure out where I left off before I hurt my back last weekend. 🙂

  2. ~ A great way to start a new beginning! I look forward to reading each chapter and commenting about them as I read them. 🙂 I just love this couple!

    ~ Poor Shiloh, she doesn’t do well on those stage coaches. I don’t think I would have either! I just can’t imagine having to travel via a stage coach to get anywhere. I’m glad they arrived at Sacramento safe and sound…Who is this mysterious man?

    ~ What an opulent hotel, Adam. Presidential Suite? Very impressive indeed! Who was the gent inquiring about them that didn’t want to identify himself? Hmmmm

    ~ Adam was very adamant about not letting Shiloh sing even if it was for just one night. I can’t blame him though, they’re on their honeymoon! Somehow I don’t think Shiloh will be in that beautiful nightgown and robe too long after breakfast is over. 😉

    ~ Oh snap! That witch, Natalie Peterson and Will! I just knew he was the “mystery man”. Those two…ooooooh, this is going to get GOOD! LOL

    ~ Who is this mysterious thug? No doubt a hinchman for Will. I was hoping Adam would get him and show him a thing or two. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him, Will, or that nasty Natalie.

    ~ I sure would have loved to been at dinner! The food sounded divine. Is Adam and Shiloh moving to SFO? I must keep reading! 🙂

    ~ I don’t like this Daniel guy. Not respecting the institution of marriage. I think he has a thing for Shiloh. He’s trouble indeed!

    ~ What is that no good Daniel up to? It seems the whole world is after poor Shiloh. First it’s Will, Natalie and the mystery man, now Daniel. Somehow I think their honeymoon is going to be a firestorm!

    ~ It’s almost like she saw a ghost! Who…or what did she see? The plot thickens. 😮

    ~ Shiloh is so good to go along with Adam, even though these types of events are what she despises the most. She’s such a trooper. The mayor’s wife was so excited to see they had a celebrity in the house, however, she was quite rude to drag her around like a rag doll. Poor Shiloh. Oh boy, the well just got deep! Will is going to make it tough for Adam and his new firm. I know Adam will work it out. Don’t mess with a Cartwright, buddy! That darn Peterson woman…I can just see her body language now; like she’s got the upper hand and she’s going to make Shiloh’s life a living hell. rrrrr

    ~ Well, the mayor’s reception went well….Cartwrights 1, Will and Natalie, 0. ROTFL

    ~ What a powerful chapter. How stupid is Will? I mean to come to the hotel where Adam and Shiloh are staying and make such a scene. Did he think it would end well for him? Now the hotel has his face and he will be escorted out if he tries to step in again. I can’t wait to see what Natalie has up here sleeve. I almost feel sorry for her, though…Natalie, that is…She’s just a pawn in this scheme. I’m not sure if she wants Will or if she wants Adam, but she’s a sad lost soul; I pity her.

    ~ How cute was this chapter. I loved the “escort” Shiloh had for the banquet hall and the “password”. Pretty clever of shiloh to come up with something only Adam would know. I loved their banter at the breakfast table. Too cute!

    ~ How sweet are Mary and Harold? The seawall thing was so fun! I don’t think I would want to do it in the dead of winter but it might be something fun to share with your beloved in the summer! I loved this chapter!

    ~ The Alta California is nothing but a sleazy rag paper. On the front page no doubt. I wonder how much money Will paid them to run that article. He’s such a sleaze bag. I sure hope Shiloh does not find out about this; she’ll be heartbroken thinking she’s caused all of this drama for Adam. What she doesn’t know is if you mess with the Cartwrights, you’re messing with a mighty empire nobody can defend against.

    ~ What a lighthearted chapter. It was so good to see Shiloh smile and be childlike again. I was so sorry Adam couldn’t fully enjoy it with her. 🙁 I hope she is able to get him to feel the inner child he never got to experience. I was just glad they were finally free of all the drama which had encapsulated them in SFO. I just wonder if there is not drama around the bend….

    ~ Will is a scoundrel! Thank goodness the mayor sees through his stupidness and told him to keep his personal life out of his professional one. I have a sneaking suspicion good ole Will is going to amp it up a notch to try and discredit Adam with not only SFO but with Shiloh, too! Spec, Spec, Spec…She’s a character! I love that girl! ROTFL

    ~ Sounds like they’re finally going to be able to have the honeymoon they were expecting. The little town they are going to visit sounds delightful. The thought of Shiloh getting kidnapped by Will…makes me shiver.

    ~ Okay, I don’t know if I was stone cold drunk would I try a fried grasshopper. LOL but wow, that was too funny! The food sounded fantastic, however, I don’t do any seafood or fish, but I do love empanadas! Loved seeing them having such a great time in Spanishtown, even if the jerk who’s following them showed up.

    ~ What is Daniel up to and what does he want with Will? Those two along with Natalie; a deadly combo. 🙁 Shiloh seeing Micah? What?? Oh poor thing. She wants so much for her brother to be alive. :'(

    ~ I feel so bad for them, they can’t seem to catch a break on the drama left behind at SFO. Hopefully their time in Santa Cruz will be more enjoyable. The clipper ship sounded lovely.

    ~ Shiloh’s so cute. She’s a feisty thing and Adam has her hands full. I can understand her frustration with Adam not being forthright about the accusations Will thrusted upon him trying to get the Mayor to take away the contract for the courthouse, but at the same time I see Adam’s point, why burden her with the nonsense when he knew there was no merit to it and the mayor dismissed Will’s claim? She has so much already on her plate and what purpose would it serve her for him to tell her about Will’s ridiculous attempts to try and hurt him and the new company he is with.

    ~ What a great chapter. It seems maybe they should have gone to Santa Cruz for their honeymoon instead and just let everyone think they were going to San Francisco. LOL Loved how she got a bit tipsy again. Very cute! “Liar,” she said. ROTFL Loved it!

    ~Somehow I don’t think Shiloh’s to keen on learning the ropes of a dairy farm. LOL She did seem to enjoy the trip to the Meder farm though. 🙂

    ~ Interesting on how they made cheese and butter back then. I don’t think I like the whole rennent thing though. 🙁 Thank goodness I wasn’t born back in the 19th century or on a farm. I’m too much of a city girl! LOL

    ~ Why do I feel something is going to happen while they’re camping? Sounds blissful though…If you like camping and fishing. Seems it’s right up Shiloh’s alley!

    ~ I think Adam may have trouble getting Shiloh to leave their little private slice of heaven. I loved this chapter. I’m glad everything is going so well…for now. 😉

    ~ Shame on you, Adam Cartwright, for making Shiloh…no forcing her to face her fear of the water the way you did. He needs to realize you have to slowly let someone adjust to a fear. Help them in a safe environment. He’s lucky it didn’t backfire on him and her fear become worse when she was knocked about by the wave that took her under. I’m a good swimmer and that’s happened to me on more than one occasion and it’s scary as heck! Oh, Adam, I’m not happy with you. 🙁 Thank goodness Shiloh is strong and is willing to try it again.

    ~ My heart stopped when Adam called for Shiloh and she didn’t answer. I thought I can only imagine the fear that set in to him as he called her and no answer came. I can breathe again.

    ~ Ick…I don’t know if I would want to wake up to raccoons, skunks, and rabbits in my camp. LOL

    ~ Awe, I wonder if she is pregnant. She’ll make a great mom. She just doesn’t know it yet. 🙂

    ~ I never thought Ben would be such a “traditionalist” not wanting to move The Ponderosa forward. I can see how that would frustrate Adam. He’ll have to use his ingenuity at the Flying W.

    ~ I hope she’s not going to have issues having children. They’ll both make great parents. I kind of hope she is with child. 🙂

    ~ This poor couple haven’t had much of a honeymoon when they’ve been in the city. I guess that’s why Shiloh enjoyed the beach and Santa Cruz so much. Nobody knew them and most of all, they were away from Will!

    ~ Wow! What a great ending! Such a great opportunity for both Adam, Shiloh, and both ranches to be involved with the railroad. I know it was hard for Shiloh to have Adam sign the contracts instead of her now that she was married to him. I’m glad those times have changed! While I still am somewhat of a traditionalist at heart, I believe a woman can stand firmly on her own and share equally in a marriage partnership. It seems Shiloh and I think a lot alike. 🙂

    Looking forward to the next story in the series!

    Thanks for such a sweet tender story. I hope we get to see Will and his sidekick again. I love seeing them make fools of themselves. LOL

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