"So...." Mimi took another sip from her ginger ale, scrunching up her nose a little in obvious distaste. She gave a little shudder and set the glass back down on the table. Heather suppressed a grin; since Mimi'd found out she was expecting her and Stanley's first baby, she's sworn off all alcohol, but Heather knew how much Mimi enjoyed having a glass of red wine during a night on the town. Around them, Bailey's was packed; now that Cheyenne had been defeated and the country was picking itself up again, people were making the most of the renewed supply of decent liquor.
"So...," Mimi repeated, pushing the soda away from her, "how are you and Jake doing?"
Heather took a swallow from her own drink—light beer—and glanced toward the other end of Bailey's from the booth where they were sitting. She could barely see Jake and Stanley through the throng but, judging by the smirk on Jake's face, and the frown on Stanley's, Jake was whopping Stanley's butt at darts. She turned back to Mimi and found the other woman was watching her expectantly, brows slightly raised. "We're doing just fine."
Heather smiled to herself as she spoke. It had taken her a while to feel confident that Jake really did love her for herself, and that it wasn't just jealousy over Edward. Now that she was sure, she never regretted having taken a chance. Edward had been a good man, and she believed she could've been happy with him—but he wasn't Jake.
"That's not what I meant." Mimi shot her an impatient look, shaking her head. "I mean, how are you two doing?"
For a long second, Heather just stared back at Mimi in puzzlement. Then it sank in. "Um...." She felt her cheeks heat up, and she turned her gaze away from Mimi, peering down at her hands.
Mimi gave a soft laugh at her embarrassment. "Oh, Heather, come on. You Kansas girls do talk about things other than corn, don't you?"
Heather glanced back at her, not sure how to interpret the question, but Mimi's smile was merely gently teasing and not at all condescending—and how could she act superior, after marrying the owner of the largest farm in the area?
"Um, yes, of course." Heather remembered eavesdropping on the cheerleaders gossip after gym class in high school. And when Emily had first got together with Roger, there was hardly anything else she'd talked about. But back then it had been enough to listen and nod at appropriate times. Heather had never expected to be fielding questions about her own love life.
"Well?" Mimi cocked her head.
Realizing Mimi wasn't gonna let go until her curiosity was satisfied, Heather took a deep breath, and muttered into her beer, "We're good. Jake cares for me very much, and it's nice...."
There was another long moment of silence between them, the buzz of the crowded bar in the background not really filling it, before Mimi said, laughter in her voice, "It's nice? Sweetie, nice isn't what—."
"What, you want details?" Heather snapped, suddenly annoyed with Mimi's insistence. Couldn't the woman see she didn't want to talk about it? "You not gettin' any with Stanley, maybe?" She took a long pull from her beer, nearly choking when some of it went down the wrong way. She wouldn't normally be so crude or rude, but Mimi's questions were making her uncomfortable.
"Whoa...!" Mimi sat back in the booth, holding up one hand defensively. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to pry...." She paused for a moment, and then shrugged. "Okay, maybe I did, a little." She patted her stomach lightly with the other hand to draw Heather's attention to the barely perceptible swell visible under her summer dress. "And just for the record, Stanley and I have very good sex."
Despite herself, Heather laughed. There was a directness and honesty about Mimi that was refreshing, and that made it hard to stay angry with her for long. "That's... nice." She deliberately used the word again, and from the way Mimi's posture relaxed ever so slightly and her cheeks dimpled, Heather knew the other woman had received the message: we're good.
"Now, mind, it wasn't always like that." Mimi scooted forwards, putting her elbows on the table and lowering her voice a little. "Stanley's a dear, and I wouldn't trade him for the world, but he used to be a bit... dull." She glanced over toward the dartboard, where Stanley's dart had just hit the bull's eye, and he was giving a whoop loud enough to be heard over the general racket of the crowd. Mimi offered him a little wave, and he pumped a fist at her in triumph. Mimi chuckled and turned back to Heather. "He was a bit of a... a one trick pony, so to speak."
Scandalized for Stanley's sake, Heather giggled, hiding her laughter behind her hand. Mimi only smiled more widely. "Guess I can't really blame him, growing up around all that corn, and nobody around to teach him any better."
"So, what did you do?" The question slipped from Heather's lips before she could stop herself.
"Oh, I taught him a few new tricks." Mimi sat back, her hands flat on the table, and her gaze drifted once more to her husband. "Turns out he really didn't know much about women. But I guess you won't have any complaints about that? Seeing Jake's been around a bit more? And he's a good-looking guy; I bet he's had his share of women."
Heather followed Mimi's gaze, experiencing a twinge of jealousy at the mention of previous lovers. She knew there had been some, aside from Emily, but she didn't like—She shook her head in disgust: she was being silly. There hadn't been many guys before Jake for her, but she hadn't gone to bed with him that first time a virgin either. She turned back to Mimi. "Actually...." She faltered, feeling her face grow hot for the second time that evening.
Mimi arched an eyebrow. "What?"
Heather gave a small shrug. "Like I said, it's always nice, and he tries to make sure that I always, you know...."
"Come?" Mimi supplied.
"Yeah." Heather's blush deepened.
"But...?" Mimi prodded.
"But sometimes...." Heather abruptly discovered a great interest in the table's varnished surface, where years of beer bottles had left their mark in a smattering of overlapping rings.
During those first few weeks, after Jake had confessed he was in love with her and she had chosen him over Edward, when they were still getting to know each other's bodies and discovering what made the other tick, they'd experimented a little, learning through trial and error what worked best. Some of those attempts had gone better than others, and there'd been a few occasions when they'd simply dissolved into helpless laughter during their love making. Lately, however, she felt like they'd settled into a pattern that was carved in stone.
"Sometimes," she whispered the words, a bit ashamed at admitting it, "I think I may be a little bored. And then, when I imagine that it'll be like—."
"Ah." Mimi sucked in a deep breath. "Like that for the rest of your life?"
"Yes." Heather nodded, relieved Mimi understood without her having to give voice to her concerns. "And I think that maybe there should be... more?"
She wondered how Mimi had managed to get her to confess that, seeing how she hadn't wanted to talk about it at all in the first place. It wasn't as if she and Jake weren't doing good, and she didn't want to jinx it by complaining about their sex life. After all, he was always caring and gentle, making certain that she enjoyed herself. But sometimes, she wished he'd be a bit less.... What was the word Mimi'd used? Dull. She felt bad just thinking it.
"So, tell him what you want." Heather glanced up from studying the table, and Mimi must have read her expression. Her eyes widened. "Oh my god.... You don't even know what you want?"
Heather shook her head miserably. Well, she did have some ideas, but nothing that she dared mention to Mimi. Let alone to Jake.
Mimi rolled her eyes ceilingward and muttered, "Where's Cosmo when you need it?" She turned her gaze back to Heather. "Okay, if you've no clue, you'll just have to try out a few things, so you can figure out what you enjoy." She raised her hands and started to count on her fingers. "Let's see: hands, mouths—"
Something fluttered in Heather's belly at the memories Mimi's words brought. Tried that, she thought, a little triumphantly.
"—him on top, you on top—"
Heather darted a quick look around to make sure that nobody was within earshot. For the third time that evening, her face burned. She hoped that, if anyone noticed, they'd blame it on the heat.
"—from behind, roleplay—."
A giggle hiccuped from Heather's throat at a sudden vision of herself in the bedroom at the ranch in a cheerleader's uniform, twirling a baton. Mimi gave her a sharp look before she laughed as well and shook her head. "Okay, maybe not that. But, you know, you could just start out trying to do it in other places than in bed. It's a big ranch, after all. Just use your imagination."
"Is that what you did with Stanley?"
Mimi's mouth twitched as she nodded. "Among other things." Her eyes sparkled with amusement. "Stanley was quite an eager student, and I'm sure Jake will be too."
From the corner of her eye, Heather caught a glimpse of Jake and Stanley heading in their direction. They'd apparently finished their game and were making their way back through the crowd to the booth where she and Mimi sat.
"Mimi!" she hissed in warning.
Mimi followed her gaze briefly, before giving Heather a quick nod. Heather breathed out in relief; Mimi wouldn't embarrass her by continuing their talk after the men came into earshot.
"A quick last piece of advice." Mimi leaned forward, keeping her voice low. "I've found straw prickles." She winked at Heather, who hid her embarrassment in the last of her beer. "So make sure you bring a blanket."