Into the Garden Ch. 16-18bycarlieplum©
Belinda spent that night at Liza's, who knew enough not to ask Belinda where she had been and who had enough empathy to know that Belinda's secret was hurting her terribly. Her friend's smile was tense, not as open and warm as Liza knew it to be. She knew it wouldn't help to pry, so she could only hope that her friend would come to her when she felt ready to talk.
The next morning, Belinda accepted the keys to her new apartment. After taking inventory of the supplies she would need for cleaning, for the kitchen, and to replace rough sheets and towels the building management provided, she headed out to Target and a housewares store, returning home laden with bags. She put the place in order and also unpacked many of the clothes she had brought. She would have plenty more to bring with her when she left home for school in a few weeks. After a mostly sleepless night in her new apartment, the first place she had ever lived alone, Belinda woke up and headed for home, stopping to fill up her car and to call Liza and thank her for her kindness and hospitality.
The next two weeks were frenetic. Now at the end of July and needing to leave for school before long, Sam was joined at the construction site most days by Mr. Sims, making Belinda's visits short and polite. Sam was gone often in the evenings trying to fulfill as many speaking requests as he could. For her part, Belinda spent every day for a week at the upholsterers, learning how to recover the kitchen chairs and stools. When they were finally delivered, everyone made a big deal over the new look of the room, praising Belinda to the stars. Belinda made sure to point out that her mother's changes to her plan where the basis of what they were looking for; it never hurt to give Susannah's ego a stroke.
She took her final exam in history and got an A, then buckled down to finishing her statistics class. That meant real studying with help from Sam, not pretending to study while getting licked or fingered or fucked or sucked to heavenly oblivion. They managed to find time to be alone together every few days though, their lovemaking more passionate, reflecting the growing depth of their feelings and the commitment they had made during their weekend away.
After a week and a half, Belinda began to suspect that their unprotected sex had borne fruit. She normally had a blemish or two by the time her cycle arrived, but her face looked radiantly clear. She felt none of the moodiness normally caused by PMS, and her breasts felt tender and swollen when she put on a bra or if anything pressed against her chest. Driving again to a town where she wouldn't bump into a friend of her parents, she purchased a package of home pregnancy tests, the famous POAS...Pee On A Stick. Belinda had held the hand of more than one of her sorority sisters as they waited for the results, which had always been happily negative. Belinda didn't know what outcome would make her happy. She knew she and Sam were meant for each other and she didn't regret the decision she had made that day in the B&B, but at the same time she was terrified.
She waited until the 28th day of her cycle, a bit early for her period to come, but not unheard of, then locked herself in her bathroom and followed the instructions. Five minutes later found herself looking at a very bright blue plus sign.
She was going to have a baby . . . a baby with Sam. It took a good hour for her to compose herself. Scared, excited, overjoyed and terrified, she alternated between laughing and crying. At least she would be done with school by the time the baby came, she told herself, and if she dressed right, she should be able to carry off a Thanksgiving visit home without showing.
She disposed of the tell-tale stick, taking the bag from her bathroom trash basket outside to the larger cans. With no one in the kitchen, she slipped down the hall to Sam's room, hiding the extra test in his drawer in case he wanted to see for himself. She texted Sam to find out if he was alone at work; he was. Mr. Sims was out running errands. Belinda felt like she was sleepwalking as she went down to the construction site, or perhaps watching a dream or a movie that was happening to someone else.
"I'm pregnant," she dropped the news with no preliminaries. Sam stood stock still for a moment, then looked around.
"This isn't how I wanted to do it, but I want you to know something right away." He fumbled in one of the side pockets of his cargo work shorts and fished out a square velvet box with a domed lid. It had arrived two days ago and he had spent a lot of time while he worked dreaming of a romantic setup to ask Belinda to be his wife . . . and this was not it. Covered in sweat and mud, he asked her, "I want you to marry me Lindy. I'll wait if you want, but I'd rather do it as soon as possible. I ordered this from our family's jeweler in Chicago while we were away together. It came yesterday."
Belinda opened the box. Inside was a stunning diamond ring. The large oval diamond was set length-wise in a white gold setting, with a band that sparked with pave-set diamonds. It was breathtaking.
"I had it custom-made, but if there is anything you don't like or if you want to start from scratch, I can have it remade."
Belinda closed the box and handed it back to Sam. He didn't understand what was happening. Wasn't she supposed to say yes?
"How soon is soon? Can we get married this weekend?" she was asking.
Sam was happy, but still baffled. "You do want to get married? You don't like the ring?" he sputtered.
"I love the ring, Sam. The ring is perfect. I can't even begin to imagine a more perfect ring. . . . But how am I going to explain it if someone finds it in my room?"
Sam saw her logic. "Okay, I'll keep it in my room. It's ready when you are. And as far as us getting married, I'll get on the phone right now. I'll get us married as soon as possible. If not this weekend, we'll go to a courthouse on Monday," Sam assured her. In fact, it took only one phone call; a pastor who had hosted Sam for a speaking event listened to Sam's story and said he could meet with them either Saturday or Sunday and marry them.
The next day, Sam quite honestly said he had a meeting with a pastor and couldn't work, while Belinda quite honestly reported that she had an errand to run. They drove separately, with Sam leaving earlier in the day. The church was far enough away from home turf that Sam felt confident no one they knew would see them, but still, they parked behind the church and went in the back door. Pastor Richman asked the pair to sit down for a short premarital counseling session.
"Normally I do this over several weeks or even months, but I'd still like to ask some questions." He enquired about how they met and fell in love, which they narrated with juicy bits edited down to the bare bones. He asked about their families, honing in on whether Belinda truly understood what being cut off from her family would mean, as well as the pressure she might be under being in a mixed-race relationship.
The pastor told them he understood, but didn't approve of, their plan to keep the marriage a secret until Belinda graduated in December. Then there were more basic questions about their physical compatibility—they weren't much worried about that—and their views on other issues that caused marital problems: money, children, religion. It was a comfortable meeting, more of a talk among friends, right up until the point that Pastor Richman turned to Belinda and said, "Are you really ready to be a mother? Wouldn't getting rid of the baby be a better answer?"
Steadily, calmly, Belinda drew herself from the chair. Drawing on everything her time as a debutante had taught her about deportment, she said, in her most dignified Southern belle diction, "Pastor Richman, I am so sorry we have wasted your valuable time." With that, she walked out the back door of the church and got into Sam's car.
Sam looked at the pastor, stricken. "I told you she was expecting. If it was a problem, why did you let us come down here? I would have called someone else!"
As he started for the door, the preacher stopped him. Pastor Richman tried to explain that he still intended to marry them, he just wanted to make sure Belinda knew her own mind and had thought the situation through. Relieved, Sam raced to the car. Belinda was sitting in the passenger seat of the car, staring dead-eyed ahead, breathing deeply and with her hands across her belly. "It's okay, baby, we can get married right now." Sam repeated what the pastor had said to him.
Belinda wouldn't looked at him. As if it came from someplace far away, he heard Belinda's voice, the same voice she had used on the pastor. It was cold and hard. "No, we cannot get married right now. We can wait until Monday and go to the courthouse. We can find a drunken justice of the peace who would marry a goat and a monkey if the price was right, but that man will not marry me. And I will not step foot inside that church again."
Sam tried to explain again the pastor's motives, which he thought he understood. Finally, Belinda turned her head and looked at him, her eyes full of pain, but no sign of tears. "I plan on being married to you for the rest of my life, Sam. And if he marries us, for the rest of our lives the signature on our marriage license will have been put there by a man who suggested I kill or give away our baby. A baby we made a choice to have together." She hugged her hands tightly across her belly.
Sam tried to repeat the pastor's words again, but she cut him off. "I heard you the first two times, Sam. Let me ask you this: would he have asked me that question if I had been black?"
Sam shut up. He climbed out of the car and went back into the church. To his credit, Pastor Richman took responsibility for what he had done. He apologized then said, "Give me a few minutes. I'll find someone else in town who will marry you today." Sam sat in the car with Belinda. She didn't speak and he knew she was doing her best to hold back tears. He sat next to her, saying nothing, just holding her hand.
When his phone rang barely five minutes later, Sam jotted down some info and then pulled out of the parking lot. In a few minutes, they were in front of a beautiful old church. Sam parked his car in front this time. "Wait here," he said, going in to speak to the minister on his own.
When he returned to the car, he opened the trunk and retrieved a bouquet of flowers from a cooler he had hidden there. He slid in beside Belinda, showing her the flowers and handing her a bag that contained a veil he had purchased that morning at a bridal shop. Belinda finally smiled. Sam didn't the crinkle in a freckled nose could make him feel so in love, but it did.
She opened her purse and showed him a handkerchief that had been given to her by mother's mother. With light dove's egg-colored embroidery, it was her something old and something blue. Her ring and bracelet were both new. "Can I borrow a penny to complete the tradition?" Sam handed her one and she slipped it in her shoe for good luck. She slid the veil on. The simple ivory dress she had pulled from her closet wasn't anything like the couture number her mother would have insisted on for a marriage to someone like Remy Chardon or Peyton Higginbotham, but Sam thought she looked more beautiful than any bride he had ever seen.
In half an hour they were married.
Belinda had left her flowers in a vase on the pastor's desk for him to enjoy. He also gratefully accepted a donation envelope Belinda handed him, as well as the veil, saying he knew a bride who could use it. Outside the church, Belinda gave Sam back the ring for safe-keeping. Then Sam dropped Belinda off at her car and drove away. It might have been one of the strangest wedding days ever, but they were married. They were a family.
The honeymoon was only slightly less unusual than the wedding had been. Chip and Hailey had come for dinner that night, so Belinda was trapped in the house until they left. And instead of departing after dinner, the couple erupted into a huge fight. Belinda had largely escaped her parent's prejudices, but she agreed with her mother on such things as, "Don't air your dirty laundry in public." And "a lady never raises her voice to make a point."
Hailey was screaming like a banshee. She had found out about Chip's wooing of local heiresses; his most recent attempt was apparently becoming hot and heavy. "You USED me for sex for three years, you MADE me have an abortion because you were too cheap to pay for the pill, and now you want to just dump me and expect me to go away quietly? I'll tell everyone what you did!"
Apparently Hailey was under the delusion that Chip's parents would side with her, if only to keep the family's good name intact. What Belinda knew, and Hailey failed to understand, was that she was, in the Sutter's circles, regarded as simply, N.O.K.D. (Not our kind, Dear.) If she made a scene it wouldn't get Chip back, and while it might cause his current dalliance to lose interest, it wouldn't in any way harm his long-term prospects. There were scandals people remembered, but this was not one of them. Boys from the Sutter's kind of family were almost expected to have such a relationship before they settled down with a suitable wife. Belinda found herself wondering who she was more disgusted with, her brother Chip for being such an ass and stringing Hailey along without letting her know the real score, or Hailey for playing such a high-stakes game without bothering to find out the rules.
John was making "reasonable" proposals—which basically amounted to cash bribes for Hailey to go away quietly. Belinda pushed herself away from the table, excusing herself without anyone taking the slightest bit of notice.
"I'm going out for a breath of fresh air," Belinda said. No one even turned her way.
As much as it seemed strange to have a honeymoon night right after witnessing what amounted to emotional road kill, Belinda needed to be in Sam's arms. He would be N.O.K.D., too she knew, in her parent's minds, although he had everything they would look for in son-in-law, class, dignity, refinement, manners, along with parents with impressive jobs and his own fine earning prospects. There was merely a matter of pigment in the way.
Belinda called Sam when she left the house and learned he was already down at the studio. She found him waiting outside the door. He lifted her into his arms, "It's not our threshold, but I'm carrying you over it anyway. And I'll carry you over the threshold of your apartment in a few weeks, and I'll carry you and the baby over the threshold of our first home in Chicago just to make sure I've covered all my bases. I love you Lindy my wife." He kissed her, sitting down in the leather office chair and pulling her to him, straddling him face to face. With a free hand, he clicked on the perimeter arm and then began using his hands for better purposes, removing his new wife's shirt and bra and exploring her breasts.
"Careful, they're tender," she warned. He sucked and licked and kissed and pulled with more gentleness than what she normally liked, but found that the effect was the same. She felt an ache between her legs and sensed her panties becoming damp with her juices. Sam could feel her squirming against him, pressing her sex against his cock, rocking back and forth despite the layers of fabric between them. She pulled up her skirt and slipped her panties to the floor. With four hands working frantically, Sam's raging hard-on was quickly removed from its chino prison and began rubbing up and down her slit, from her vaginal opening to her clit and back again.
Sam kept up his attention on Belinda's breasts as his cock leaked pre-cum and Belinda's soft pussy lips swelled and became wetter. Her pussy hair was cut short and was soft, making it easy for it to trail against her husband's cock. "Like velvet," she murmured. With a newly manicured hand, Belinda positioned Sam's cock and impaled herself on it. They held each other tightly, rocking back and forth to move Sam's cock up and down inside Belinda's warm, moist pussy.
"I don't want to break the mood, but I wanted to tell you that as of tomorrow you'll be listed on my parent's health insurance as my wife. I'll cover all the co-pays, of course, but their insurance will handle your prenatal care. Don't worry," Sam told her, even as he stayed inside her, still for a moment, "it won't affect your coverage on your parents' plan. Just leave that as it is until we tell them."
"I don't want to think about it. That talk might make tonight's blowout look like a Mother's Day tea at the Junior League," Belinda said. "Just make love to me. No need to worry about birth control," she joked, trying to lighten the mood. Sam laughed and refocused on bringing pleasure to the body of the beautiful woman on his lap.
"Hold on tight," he said, standing up while easily holding Belinda to him as he crossed the floor to the couch and laid her down without ever breaking the contact between cock and cunt. They had only the fan to cool them and the leather felt good against their skin.
Whispered "I love you's" floated in the air as Sam made love to his beautiful new bride, loving every sensation of her tight against him, loving the way she lifted her hips to meet his thrust, their two bodies moving together, each seeking the other's pleasure.
She was mewing, but in their position, she couldn't get her clit into contact with Sam's hard stomach, the one she had used so often to rub herself to ecstasy. "Why don't you touch yourself, Lindy. That would be so sexy to watch." Belinda blushed. "We're man and wife now," he continued. "Whatever we do is okay if everyone agrees and no one gets hurt." This had been one of the points in the premarital counseling book Reverend Brown, who had married them, had given them both.
Belinda began rubbing her clit as he continued to slide his cock in and out. Her clit sprang to attention under her ministrations. She had expected to be embarrassed, but found herself turned on by Sam watching her rub herself. She closed her eyes and gave into the feeling of cock and finger. Soon she was close, murmuring, "Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me. Oh, I'm going to cum. I'm going to cum all over your cock Sam. I'm rubbing myself and I'm about to come all over your cock. Come with me baby, come with me."
Sam picked up his pace, sliding more quickly in and out of Belinda's delightful pussy. "I'm close," he groaned.
"Coming baby, coming baby, coming baby oh so fucking good. I love your cock, love you, love your cock, love you, love your cock." With that, she shuddered, her orgasm coming over her as her vaginal walls locked Sam in a tight squeeze and triggered his own crashing orgasm, as it had so many times before. It wasn't a week at Club Med, but it felt pretty good.
When Belinda went back to the house, she found that the parties had, if not amicably, agreed on a lump sum payment of $30,000 for Hailey's "pain and suffering." She wondered how much her pain and suffering for enduring this whole scene was worth as she went up to bed for the night.
With just three over two weeks before she was due to go back to school, Belinda buckled down with her last class—statistics. Sam sat with her in the cabin almost every night for the next week. When she was busy working with the calculator or pen and paper, he flipped away from the distance learning Web site and studied the ins and outs of pregnancy. "You might start feeling morning sickness between when you are between four and six weeks pregnant," he told her, "but it in most women it goes away by the end of the first trimester. So by the end of October you should be feeling fine. It also says most people wait until that date to tell people they are expecting."