Summary: A somewhat gullible young lady asks a question, and two of the brothers decide that they can have some fun with it.
Word Count: 2014
“Joe, are you sure that your brother Adam likes women? I mean, is he, you know, not interested in women?” Pamela was Joe’s latest romantic interest and had been seeing him for several months. She had some concerns about Adam after hearing some of the gossip in town and because of how she viewed him as a result when she saw him on the Ponderosa.
“Now, Pamela, why would you ask that? My brother has quite a reputation with the ladies.”
“Yes, he has a reputation, but he’s thirty-six and he’s not married. There are people who talk about him and wonder. I’ve heard them and never put much stock in what they said until I started going with you. He could have almost any woman in Nevada and yet he doesn’t have any woman. Anyone would think that by now he would have found someone. He dresses very well too.”
“Why would that make a difference?”
“Well, now I’ve seen your brother quite a few times, and it’s one of those things that makes me think that this time there might be something to the gossip. I know you have told me how much people like to gossip about your family and not to pay attention to it, but there are some things that worry me. When I met him the first time, he was helping your cook in the kitchen and telling us how much we were going to enjoy the dinner they were preparing. I’ve never met a man before who likes to cook.”
“Yeah, Adam does like a lot of things that other men don’t like.”
“Yes, he likes music and singing, and he does have a gorgeous voice, but most men don’t like to perform in front of people like he does. When he danced across the room when you were telling that story about Hoss and the leprechauns, well Joe, I nearly started laughing out of embarrassment for him. All of you were laughing, but I never saw a man dance like that.”
“Well, he’s a lot bigger than a leprechaun but he was trying to act like one. He likes acting. He’s real good at it too.”
“Joe, he reads books all the time. Hoss told me that once he was riding his horse and reading when he was shot. Now, the book may have saved his life, but, Joe, what man rides a horse and reads at the same time? It just isn’t natural.”
When Joe arrived at the ranch with his date for the party, Adam was finishing the decorations on the Maypole, and it made Pamela gasp as she watched him twirl ribbons about the tall post. He waved at them and then walked to the house.
“Listen, it’s a May party. Just try to have fun and don’t worry about my brother. He gets along with the ladies just fine.”
Hoss met them as Joe helped Pamela from the carriage. “Joe, I got some bad news for you. Pa just remembered that he forgot about this contract bid that has to be in Carson City today. We was wondering if you thought you could make it in time.”
“Of course I can, but I need you to be Pamela’s escort and get her home after the party if I’m not back in time.”
“I cain’t cause I asked Bessie Sue to come to the party, and she could get a mite jealous if I was to spend time with another woman, especially one as pretty as Pamela here. Now, Adam ain’t got a lady on his arm for this one, so I bet he could watch over your gal for you.”
“Yeah, and that’s what worries me the most. Pamela, I’m sorry, but my family needs me to do this. Adam will be a perfect gentleman, I assure you.”
“Oh, I’m sure too that he’ll be a perfect gentleman.”
Right there as he saw her reaction and heard the derision in her voice, Joe hatched a plan. He would have to tell Adam what he wanted to see if he would be willing to go along with it. He hoped his brother would enjoy doing it but not too much. Then he smiled as he followed Adam into the house, preparing to tell him what Pamela had said. He knew he was going to enjoy seeing the look on Adam’s face when he told him what Pamela had said.
At first incredulous, Adam began to smile as Joe suggested the game they could play. First, he wore the shirt with the ruffles that Cousin Clarissa had sent at Christmas and that was still in the box. He pulled on his striped pants before searching through Marie’s jewelry box, because Joe had suggested that he find a ring to wear on his pinky finger. Finding one, he decided he was ready and headed downstairs. Knowing what he knew, he wasn’t at all surprised to see the look of derision that Pamela had, even though she did her best to hide it. Adam had wondered at some of the looks she had given him in the past, but now he had a better idea why she looked at him that way.
Adam bowed before taking her hand and lightly kissing the back of it. “Oh, Pamela, I’m so delighted to be your escort. We’re going to have a dandy time.”
“Yes, I suppose we will have a ‘dandy’ time. You do like to dance.”
“I do, and I promise that I’ll dance every dance with you.”
Well, a few hours later, Pamela knew that she had never been twirled and dipped as often as she had been that evening. Dancing nearly non-stop, with Adam pausing only for punch occasionally, she begged for a chance to take a walk in the cool evening air. Adam was obliging but first got them cups of punch, being careful to daintily hold his with his pinky up, showing off his ring, as she rolled her eyes. He gave a thumbs-up to the musicians and got a few winks in return as he took Pamela on his arm to walk toward the garden in back of the house where they could hear the music quite well. Adam stood gazing at the stars and naming the constellations. With his peripheral vision, he saw Pamela roll her eyes once more. The musicians launched into a square-dance.
“Pamela, do you want to dance the square?”
“No, I’ve had quite my fill of dancing for now.”
Adam stepped close to her and put an arm around her shoulders. When the caller yelled out to ‘kiss the one you’re with’, Adam turned Pamela toward him, held her face between his hands and kissed her as passionately as he could.
Shocked at first, she stood with her arms dangling at her sides, but her arms wrapped around his neck as he deepened the kiss pressing his tongue against her lips until she yielded. He slid his hands down her neck and across the sides of her bosom to her waist and pulled her tightly to him, pressing against her body and even slid his hands a bit lower. He probed her mouth with his tongue as she enthusiastically met his tongue with hers and lost herself in his attention. He finally broke away for a bit kissing down her neck and across before moving up the other side, across her cheek and back to her lips without ever losing contact with her skin. He softly ran his lips across her lips until she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him in for a more passionate kiss. She pressed against him, not wanting him to stop. For several minutes, her every sense was focused on his kisses until he broke away and pulled back a few inches.
“I think we should get back. I think I heard Joe ride in.”
“Yes, you do remember my brother who brought you here today, don’t you?”
Feeling very warm and pressed close to Adam, her whole body felt like it was tingling, and she was unwilling to let go. With her arms still wrapped around his neck, she had to ask. “Yes, of course I remember, and I suppose we should get back to the party, but, Adam, could you kiss me one more time? You’re such a passionate man. No one has ever kissed me like that before. Please?”
Adam hoped Joe wouldn’t be too upset, and he kissed her again. Breathless by the time he finished that kiss, as they walked back toward the party, Pamela made an admission. “I heard some gossip about you in town. I never should have listened to it. Joe told me how people like to gossip and make up stories about you Cartwrights, and, well, I’ve got some people that I’m going to set straight. They better not ever say any gossip about you to me again.”
When Adam and Pamela walked back to the party that was nearly over, Joe noted her red lips, the color in her cheeks, and that she continually looked over at Adam for the rest of the night as he danced with other women. Joe drove her back to town later and got a goodnight kiss. He wondered, though, at her reaction as she sighed when he finished kissing her. “What’s wrong?”
“Oh, Joe, I did a terrible thing. I’m so sorry.”
Pursing his lips, Joe held back the smile he had inside. “Adam kissed you, didn’t he?”
Nodding, Pamela bit her lip and then made her admission. “Yes, he did, Joe, but it didn’t stop there. We kissed again.”
“Well, that’s my brother. I told you that he liked the ladies.”
“No, Joe, that’s not what I have to tell you. Joe, we kissed a second time, and I’m so sorry, Joe, but it was my fault. I asked him to kiss me again.”
Assuring her that he didn’t hold that against her, Joe felt the smile inside turn to a frown. He kissed Pamela once more before leaving, but he thought about what she had said on the ride home, and it’s a long ride from town to the Ponderosa. When he finally arrived, Adam and Hoss had cleaned up outside with help from the hands and everything was put away. They were still finishing up inside, but Adam came out to help Joe with the carriage and the horse. Joe held back for a short time, but finally, he had to bring up the topic that was on his mind. “Did you have to kiss her twice?”
“No, but she does kiss well, and there weren’t any other likely prospects, so when she asked, I obliged. That’s all it was. I have no interest in Pamela, if that’s what concerns you. She’s nice enough but she’s too gullible and empty-headed for my taste.”
“You think she’s gullible and empty-headed?”
“I’m sorry, Joe, but other than dancing and kissing, she managed only to have about two dozen words of conversation and that was asking for punch and later asking to take a walk in the cool evening air.”
“So, empty-headed and gullible, huh?” Joe pursed his lips and acted as if he was deep in thought before he turned to Adam. “She sounds like the perfect girl for me.”
The two brothers began laughing and couldn’t stop for several minutes. Hoss and Ben came out to see what was taking them so long, and Adam told the whole story to Hoss and their father because Joe couldn’t stop giggling long enough to get it all out. Hoss began to guffaw at what Joe had said, but Ben did his best to look stern and disapproving until he couldn’t help it. When he started to chuckle, all three brothers broke out in even greater laughter and Adam and Joe fell back and sat on a bale of hay in joyful exhaustion at poor Pamela’s expense, although she would never know it.