Consequences Ch. 04byLiquidFyre©
Dana woke to blue eyes staring into her face. Blue eyes in a face covered with maple syrup.
"Alec!" Karyn whispered furiously. "Leave Dana alone."
Dana stretched and smiled. "It's okay, Karyn, I'm awake."
"I'm so sorry. He's too fast for me to keep up."
Alec climbed into bed and Dana cringed thinking about the syrup staining the sheets. "Uncle Zane with you?"
She cut her eyes to Karyn, blushing. "No, Uncle Zane is not here."
"What's this?" Alec had picked up a small wrapped box and was turning it over. "Pretty."
His mother stepped in and scooped him up. "Alright, time for you to wash your face and leave Dana to open her present."
"Pwesent for me?"
His mother shook her head. "No, the present is for Dana. A bath is for you."
Dana turned the box over in her hands, before carefully removing the wrapping paper.
She hadn't noticed Zane standing in the doorway watching her.
"Hi yourself." She motioned towards the box in her hand. "What is this for?"
He moved into the room, closed the door and leaned against it. "Your birthday."
"How did you know?"
"Why wouldn't I know, Dana?" He walked across the room and crouched in front of her. "Open it."
"Zane, I can't accept this. What about Sarah? You shouldn't have."
"Dana, stop fighting this. Sarah and I aren't seeing each other any longer."
"When did that happen?"
"When I took you out to ride the first time."
He took the box from her hand and opened it. Nestled against a black silk background was a thin, stiff gold bangle bracelet with a dragonfly charm. The dragonfly had streaks of color along the body and wings made from crushed gems. He took it out of the box and slid it over her wrist, his thumb stroking her skin.
"Zane, you shouldn't have."
"Do you like it?"
"Of course. I love dragonflies."
"We've never kissed, Dana."
She whispered, "I know."
"You have to say it, Dana. I've waited too long for this."
She looked down and Zane tipped her chin up with his finger. "Tell me, princess."
"Yes, I want to kiss you."
Zane stroked his thumbs along her jawbone and up over her cheeks. He kept his eyes open as he moved closer. He brushed his lips against her mouth and placed a kiss in the corner of her mouth. Her eyes fluttered closed and he placed a soft kiss on each eyelid. He pulled down her lower lip with his thumb, mesmerized by the pink flesh.
He slid his tongue over her lips before sliding inside to glide over her teeth. He pressed his tongue against her teeth until she acquiesced and opened her mouth. His tongue slid inside, sliding against her tongue, tasting her. He tugged her lip into his mouth, suckling lightly until she moaned. He pulled his mouth away, leaving her mouth bruised and swollen and leaned his forehead against her own.
"Dana, is this what you want?"
"Do I want what?"
He opened his eyes, staring into hers. "This, this relationship. Do you want me?"
"I don't know...I thought you were still with Sarah and we were friends."
"What are you so afraid of? I'm not your father and you're not your mother."
He growled in frustration and took her mouth again, his need overriding his intention to take it easy. His tongue plundered and his teeth nipped, calling forth moans from her throat.
"I want this."
"Do you want me?"
"Yes, I want you."
She opened her eyes. "I trust you. I feel safe with you. I enjoy spending time with you" She smiled, "I'm in lust with you."
Someone knocked on the door in passing and called out "Breakfast is ready."
"I suppose I should get up."
Zane rose from his position on the floor and her eyes followed the length of his muscular legs. As he walked out the door he turned to look at her. "I'm willing to settle for lust. But only for now, Dana."
********* Dana got up and showered, sliding into a sundress and made her way into the kitchen. A buffet was set up and she filled a plate with fruit and oatmeal.
"Is that all you're having, Dana?" Zane's mother looked on in concern.
"I'm still stuffed from last night and we go for ice cream every Friday, I need to lose some weight."
Karyn walked into the kitchen with her hand pressed against her back. "My water broke."
Everyone sprang into action. Her husband Geoff raced for the overnight bag, her mother called Geoff's parents to let them know that they were headed for the hospital, her father went to pull the car around to the front and Zane called the teenage girl who often babysat when the family was at the lake.
Zane hung up the phone and turned to Dana. "You can ride with me, Dana."
Dana frowned "I can't go to the hospital with you, this is a private family moment."
His mother patted her shoulder, "Dana, it's not worth fighting with him on this, we want you to join us. Besides, you and this child will share the same birthday, you may as well be there for the birth."
The family spread out in the small waiting room, every eye trained on the door each time someone walked past.
"That's a beautiful bracelet, Dana." His mother looked over the top of her eyeglasses and then back down at the blanket she was knitting.
She blushed. "Thank you."
Zane stood and stretched and glimpsed a trail of silken hair on his stomach as his shirt pulled out of his cargo shorts.
Geoff entered the room, beaming. "It's a girl. 9 pounds, 6 ounces, full head of hair and a temper."
His brothers-in-law hugged him and his mother wiped away tears. A nurse tapped Geoff on the shoulder to let him know that mother and child were ready for visitors.
Zane slid into the seat next to Dana as both sets of parents went off to coo over the family. He threaded his fingers with hers and rubbed his thumb against her palm.
They sat in silence until the parents joined them and it was their turn. Karyn was sitting up in bed, Geoff perched on the bed next to her, holding his daughter. Zane still held her hand and tugged her towards the child. She was perfect, her eyes wide open, looking at the faces above her.
"She's gorgeous. What's her name?" She reached out and stroked her finger against the baby's silken scalp.
The baby yawned and closed her eyes and Zane and Dana left the parents staring down at their child.
It was early afternoon when they headed back to the house and relieved the babysitter. Zane paid her and then let Alec know that he had a baby sister. Dana searched through the refrigerator and whipped together omelets for a late lunch. The three sat down at the table, with Alec telling them about his day and eventually the rest of the family filtered in. Geoff took his son to see his mother and new sister. The house settled into quiet as everyone grabbed something to eat and wandered off.
Zane turned from the sink where he was cleaning the dirty dishes, "Take a walk with me?"
Dana nodded and grabbed a light sweater to throw over her shoulders. They walked along the stone path that circled the perimeter of the yard, the drone of motorboats on the lake in the distance.
They came to a hammock strung up in a clearing, secluded from the house by a stand of trees, but overlooking the water. Zane kicked off his shoes and sat down, steadying himself before lying back. He held out his hand and Dana took it, followed his lead and kicked off her shoes, tucked herself against his side.
"Thank you for coming up with me."
"Thank you for inviting me."
Her hand rested on his chest and she watched it rise and fall with each breath he took.
"Your family is very accepting."
She watched his mouth curve upwards.
"Karyn said that you've never brought anyone home before. Why is that?"
"I hadn't found the right person to bring home."
He opened his eyes and watched her digest his words before rolling to his side, facing her. "Dana, I know you thought from the beginning that I wanted to sleep with you. And you were not wrong, because if I'm honest, you are beautiful and I still want to sleep with you." He smoothed his fingers over her face.
"The difference is that now I know you, and I want to keep learning about you, I want to be here with you, every year. I want to watch Alec and Hannah Rose grow up and add our own children to the family." He leaned forward and brushed his nose against her cheek before whispering against her lips, "I love you and I'm willing to wait until you admit that you love me."
"Why, why me and not Sarah or someone else?"
"Because Sarah doesn't try to sweet talk me into trying new ice cream flavors just so she can have some. Because you are funny, intelligent, good with children, responsible, love my motorcycle, sweet, kind, beautiful, sexy." With each word he placed a kiss along her neck, ending up at her lips. "Because someone else doesn't make me want to give them my heart."
He placed his mouth over hers and she immediately allowed him entrance, her tongue sliding out to meet his as she turned on her side facing him.
He slid his mouth over her cheek and lapped at her earlobe. "Let me show you how good we can be together, princess."
She sighed against his chest, "Why do you call me that?"
He pulled his head back and looked at her incredulously. "Dana, you are so far above me that I don't know why some dashing prince hasn't scooped you up and galloped off into the sunset with you."
"Fairy tales don't interest me, Zane. I suspect that once you've turned the page from 'The End' that the prince and princess discover they don't have much in common."
Zane stroked her side, his hand migrating to her back, drawing imaginary lines up and down her spine through the fabric of her dress.
"Why haven't you tried to make love to me?"
With the hand on her back he tugged her closer until she could feel the evidence of his arousal. "I decided that I didn't want a taste of something that I couldn't have every day, and I don't want you to regret it and run. I want you to want me as much as I want you. I'm willing to wait."
Dana thrilled at the feel of him, long and thick against her stomach, and pressed closer. She lapped at the skin at his throat, her tongue drawing intricate patterns upon his skin.
"Are you trying to drive me crazy, princess? If you keep that up, there's a good chance that we'll be adding a child to this family in about nine months."
His words sparked something primal within her and the thought of taking his seed within her, creating a baby with him, was powerful and erotic. She knew that if they created a child together, it wouldn't be a mishap or an accident. It wouldn't be because they'd failed to use protection, but because they had wanted to do so.
"You seem pretty damn sure of yourself."
He used both hands to pull her against him and rocked back and forth. "Shouldn't I be?"
In the falling dusk, he teased her with kisses and fully clothed thrusts until she came for him, her body humming at his touch and her cry muffled against his chest.
Hand in hand they walked back to the house, lights blazing inside as more family stopped by for dinner. They took their places and joined the conversation, his touch often light against her shoulder, back and neck.
His parents looked at one another and smiled.
At the end of the night he walked her to her bedroom and left her with a kiss on her nose.
The next morning, the family rushed around, getting ready for church. Geoff and Alec were off to the hospital to collect Karyn and Hannah Rose. Zane's mother rode with them as they followed his brother and his partner.
"Is your father not joining us for church, Zane?"
"He left early."
The church, seemingly lifted directly from a postcard of bucolic New England village squares was packed with locals and summer people.
Dana's eyes widened as Zane's father rose from the pulpit and approached the podium wearing his collar. She poked Zane in the side. "Your father is a pastor? Why didn't you tell me?" She blushed and whispered furiously "We made out in the garden, Zane!"
He shushed her and earned a glare. "Yes, he's a pastor, but he's also human. And he knows how I feel about you."
Zane's father began speaking on marriage and love. He stressed that the love seen in Hollywood and on television was not something to emulate. That instead of listening to love songs on the radio that everyone would do well to read the Song of Solomon.
He cautioned those who were engaged or thinking about marriage:
"When the happy couple takes their vows and promises to love one another for better or worse, they are thinking that if a flood comes and destroys their home, that they will still have love. If one of them is ill, the other will be the tender nurse. But in reality, 'for worse' is not the catastrophes. It's the little things that wear you down, the bad habits and the taking one another for granted. 'For worse' is not a flood or an illness. It is the dirty socks on the floor, the working late and the times we avoid talking about an issue in hopes that it will go away. That is what you must be ready to handle."
Zane reached for her hand and held it tight.
After church, the family sat down to an early dinner with everyone fawning over mother and child. After dinner, Zane and Dana packed up to head for home.
She thanked his parents for their hospitality and hugged everyone goodbye, with his mother suggesting that they come up as often as possible.
Zane kissed his parents, hugged Alec and his sister and picked Hannah Rose up, smiling down into her face before kissing her forehead.
The drive to southern New Hampshire was quiet and when Zane pulled into her driveway she sat in the car for a moment, unsure how to proceed.
"What now, Zane?"
He looked at her and lazily smiled. "Right now - I'm going to carry your bag to the door, kiss you goodnight and go home. Tomorrow -- I'd like to take you to dinner and we'll go from there."
She nodded. Zane walked her to her front door, waited while she unlocked the door, dropped the bag just inside the door and made her stand at the door while he checked the house to make sure no one was waiting inside for her. He came back, pulled her into his arms and kissed her until she melted in his arms. He then pulled himself away and opened the door to leave.
"Would you like to stay for a while?"
Without turning around to face her, he answered, "I can't. The only thing keeping me from being inside you right now is that I need you to love me, Dana."
Dana unpacked, ran a load of laundry and returned calls from her mother and sister before going to bed.
At work the next day, she sat in endless meetings and pondered where her heart was leading her. She locked her office door and called her best friend from college.
"Wait, did you just say that you're involved with a white man?"
Denise knew her family history and knew of Dana's previous protestations that she would never date anyone other than a black man, even if it meant being a spinster.
Grudgingly Dana responded, "Yes. His name is Zane."
"What do you mean, why?"
"I mean, why. What's wrong, you been reading too many headlines talking about 70% of all black women never marrying or the dearth of available, non down-low black men who have never been incarcerated?"
"No!" She was angry on Zane's behalf, as though he was only good enough to date as a last resort.
Denise laughed. "Well, that's good to know, girl. I was worried there for a minute but I can see from your emphatic defense of Zane that you are indeed going into this with your heart."
"Yeah but I don't know why."
"What draws you to him?"
"He's smart, successful, funny, loves his family, works hard, fine, sexy, has beautiful hands and girl you should see his thighs."
Denise laughed and shook her head on the other end of the line. "Everything sounds in order. So what is the problem?"
"I don't know. What if it goes wrong?"
"Sweetie, it could go wrong with Raheem from down the block. Hell, to hear you tell it, it went wrong with James before you'd even had a second date. If it goes wrong, it goes wrong because it wasn't meant to be, not because it was predisposed to go wrong because he's white and you're white."
Dana growled and Denise laughed and apologized "Okay, that was wrong of me." Denise didn't buy into Dana only claiming the black half of who she was and they'd had long drawn out conversations about what Denise called "the artificial construct of race."
Dana said goodbye before Denise could launch into a discussion on socio-economic factors and discrimination.
Denise hung up the phone on her end and turned to her partner, Serafeim. She gazed upon his olive skin and dark curling hair and smiled.
"Who was that?"
"Dana. She's dating someone white." She grinned and waited.
He raised up on one elbow, naked from the chest down, a sheet covering his waist and legs. "Not Ms. "Ain't nothing as beautiful as black love" Dana?
"One and the same." She whipped the towel from around his hips and ran her hand down his flattened stomach. "Where were we?"
Dana arrived home at 5:30 and jumped in the shower. Zane was picking her up at 7 and she wanted to be ready, though she knew it would be more along the lines of almost ready.
At 6:45 he knocked on the door and his breath was taken away when she opened it. Her brown skin was beautifully accented by the wine colored wrap dress she wore. The dress clung in all the right places and Zane moved inside and pulled her to him. He buried his face in her hair and held her, tipping her head up, he kissed her sweetly.
"You look gorgeous, tonight."
Dana looked him over and smiled. "Thank you. You don't look so bad yourself." That was an understatement. Zane wore a blue dress shirt that matched his eyes, camel colored dress pants that outlined his thighs and smelled wonderful.
He escorted her to the car with a hand at the small of her back, opened her door and then slid behind the wheel. "I made reservations at a place on the water in Hampton. I hope that's okay."
The car quietly slid along the roads and Dana rolled down her window, the sweet night air filling the car. Before long, they arrived at the restaurant, situated on a pier.
They sat out on the deck, the scent of saltwater heavy in the air and the crash of waves a soothing backdrop.
Over salad, he recounted stories about his childhood. When he didn't think she was looking he stared at her in awe. Somehow, he hadn't realized how stunning she was. The light from the candles cast a warming glow over her skin, the small gold hoops in her ears reflected the light as well.
"You're staring. Do I have spinach in my teeth?"
"No. You are stunning."
She blushed and excused herself from the table. She could feel Zane's eyes follow her across the restaurant.
After dinner, they moved inside where a jazz quartet was playing. A small dance floor had been cleared and a few couples were up swaying to the music. Zane held out his hand and led her to the dance floor, wrapping her in his arms. Her head tucked beneath his chin and they moved together as one.
After three dances, Dana's high-heeled shoes were killing her and they headed north. She reached for Zane's hand and cradled it in her lap, before closing her eyes. Once again, Zane dropped her off with nothing more than a kiss before leaving.
Over the next two weeks, they had dinner once at his place, once at hers and twice at restaurants. She asked Zane not to plan anything for the upcoming weekend and he drove her crazy trying to guess what she was planning.
Friday afternoon, they left work early and Dana picked Zane up and they headed down Route 16 and then up Route 1 heading into Maine.
"York Wild Animal Kingdom!" That was his fifth guess so far.