Expectations Ch. 06byLiquidFyre©
There was a 25 minute wait at the hotel's restaurant, due to a business convention and they decided to eat in Raija's room.
Raija headed to the restroom while Galen picked up the room service menu and thumbed through it. She came out dressed in a long nightshirt that reached her thighs and white socks.
Galen handed the menu to Raija, "Pick out your food, I'm starving."
They placed their order and Raija dumped the contents of the toy store bag on the bed closest to the door. She'd picked up a Scrabble game.
"Is that a hint?"
"Yep, after dinner, it's Scrabble time."
"Laugh now, 'cuz you'll be crying later. I am the Scrabble champ in our family."
He shook his head and flicked on the television.
15 minutes later room service was at the door with their meals. Raija had ordered a chicken fajita salad while Galen had ordered a 10 oz. ribeye dinner. They ate in companionable silence while watching the weather channel.
The weather channel was a compromise as Galen wanted to watch the news and Raija wanted to watch "King of the Hill". After they finished eating Raija set up the scrabble board on thesmall table next to the window overlooking the courtyard.
Three rounds later, she was down two games. She glared at him across the table. "You can't just add super onto the front of my word. Superfealty is not a real word."
"Oh yeah, look it up." That had been his response to a number of questionable words since he knew that she didn't have a Scrabble dictionary with her.
Raija stared down at her tiles intently, determined to win the fourth round. She looked up during his silent spell and found him staring at her hair.
"Why are you staring at my hair?"
"I like the way you have it done. What does it take to get it like that?"
She smiled at him. "This is its natural state."
From the women he worked with, he knew that hair was delicate subject, but wasn't sure how delicate it was with black women so he wasn't sure if he had to tread lightly.
"So it doesn't grow straight?"
She raised her eyes from her tiles and looked at him, arching an eyebrow.
"Not many black women born in this country have naturally straight hair Galen."
"Are you sure?" It was out before he could stop it. Of course she was sure. "It's just that most of the women I see have straight hair."
"It's a chemical process they have done on their hair every 4 to 6 weeks. It relaxes the curl so they can have straight hair."
Raija wasn't offended; in fact she was warming up to one of her favorite topics.
"To fit into society's image of what a woman should look like. Women are supposed to have long flowing straight hair. That means that women who don't naturally have hair like that: black women and other women with curls, waves or kinks in their hair, put themselves through various chemical processes and labor intensive hair maneuvers, to make it straight."
"Would you do it?"
"Never again. Relaxers contain some of the same chemicals as Drano and hair removers. They cause serious damage including hair loss, scalp burns and infections and I personally think they cause a lot of heartache for women."
"So women put themselves through that just for straight hair? I don't get it, men wouldn't put themselves through pain and hair loss just for straight hair."
"Probably not, since men aren't inundated by what someone else thinks they should look like, on a daily basis. There are black men who don't realize that black women's hair doesn't grow out of their heads straight, because their mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts and cousins religiously visit the beauty shop every month to get their new growth relaxed straight."
Galen looked disbelieving.
"Galen, every man dreams of having a woman's hair spread across his pillow. Usually the straighter, longer and blonder the better. Why else do so many women pay to have someone else's hair sewn onto their own heads?"
Galen wasn't listening to the last two sentences; he was imagining sinking his hands into her hair at the same time that he slid himself into her wetness.
Raija snapped her fingers in front of his face. "Hey, are you listening. It's your turn to play."
Galen stretched and yawned. "I'm willing to say that you've won if we call the match right now." He got up and walked over to the bed closest to the door and stretched out.
Raija stretched out on the other bed on her back and stared up at the ceiling.
"Tell me everything I'd already know about you if you hadn't spent the last few months working with Ryan."
"I'm 32, I like long walks in the forest and listening to sounds of whales."
He glared, throwing a pillow at her. "Be serious."
"What do you want, the cliff notes of my life?"
"I'm 32, I don't like long walks in the forest because I'm pretty sure that ticks and spiders would fall from the trees and get lost in my hair. I was raised in foster care in New Hampshire. I have a cat named Myrdoch. My likes: shoes; science fiction; cartoons; any food that has a combination of chilies, cilantro, mint and basil; music; animation; the original Degrassi Junior High TV series. My dislikes: air conditioning; rude people; people who are afraid of exploration, not including my fear of forest ticks and spiders; pretense."
"You were raised in foster care? So you're not related to Aisha by blood?"
"Oh we are. We ran into one another our first year in college and got along really well. She took me home to meet her family at Christmas one year and her mother noticed a strong resemblance to her side of the family. We did a little digging and found that Aisha's mother and my mother were sisters."
"Then why were you in foster care?"
"When my mother married my father, her parents stopped speaking to her, because he was Latino and not the "right" kind of Latino. We moved away and lost touch with everyone in my mother's family. Both my parents were killed in an automobile accident when I was six and I was sent to the foster care system when no one showed up to claim me. My father's family isn't in this country and there were no records pointing to my mother's family."
Galen was quiet for a moment before responding, "So if I Ryan and I wanted to take you camping, you wouldn't go?"
She laughed at him. "Unless you're talking about camping in a hotel with running water and featherbeds, the answer is no."
"So that's why you're an advocate for children in the foster care system?"
"Yes. I didn't have it bad, like some other foster kids did. I had a great foster family who wanted to adopt me, but they faced strong institutional and cultural opposition because they were white and I'm not. Through my foster family I have a sister and a brother who are my parent's natural kids."
"My turn. Why'd you stay in your marriage so long?"
"I didn't want Ryan and Kate hurt. What's the real reason?"
"That is the real reason. I didn't want to hurt them. I didn't want Ryan growing up without a father or people thinking that Kate was less than what she is, which is a great mother and person."
"How is your family handling it?"
"Good so far. My sister Valerie isn't keen on it, but she tends to think that you stay married regardless of what is going on in the marriage. It's a good thing that her marriage is happy."
"How is Kate handling it?"
"Pretty good. She's dating here and there and last I heard, Ryan's father had contacted her."
"I have to be honest Galen. I'm a bit worried about how well you're all adjusting to this. It's a big change."
"So was I. I talked to the counselor about it and she thinks it's been a long time coming. Other than Ryan, Kate and I haven't had anything in common. There's been no passion, no sexual connection and no spark. I do worry about what Ryan is taking away from all of this, I don't want him to distrust women or marriage or love."
For a while, they lay in silence. Galen heard gentle snores coming from the other bed and got up to leave.
"Don't go, Galen. You can stay. I've got plenty of room."
Galen laid back down on the bed. The next morning he woke to find Raija on the phone. "Yes Aisha, he's here. No we didn't. Yes, I will tell him. Yes, whatever girl. See you later."
"That was Aisha; she wanted me to let you know that Ewan and Ryan are back from SeaWorld and wondered if we wanted to have breakfast with them."
Ryan grunted once before heading into the bathroom. Raija heard water running and the sounds of him brushing his teeth. With her toothbrush!
When Ryan exited the bathroom she stood glaring at him. "Why would you use my toothbrush? That's gross Galen."
Galen closed the distance between them and captured her mouth with his own. Nibbling at the corners before sliding his tongue between her closed lips, asking for forgiveness and permission.
Raija sighed and opened her lips and teeth, her own tongue sliding along his. Galen's hands snaked their way to her hips and then down over the curve of her bottom, pulling her gently against him.
At the soft moan in her throat he nipped her ear before whispering, "When will your piercing be ready for me?"
At the hint of possessiveness and desire in his voice, Raija arched herself towards him seeking to cradle his hardness in her softness. "In 2 weeks."
Galen moved away from her, not wanting to cause her unintentional pain. Raija spun away from him and Galen took the opportunity to stroke her jean-covered ass before placing a sharp smack on it.
Her eyes flew to his face and she blushed due to the desire she was sure was etched across her features.
"Raija, you seem to have left out some important details from your list of likes.
Galen walked into Ewan and Aisha's home, stopping first by the bassinet in the living room to gaze at the baby. She had her mother's features, with coloring that was just a shade paler than Aisha's was. Next he joined everyone in the kitchen.
"Hey dad, it was the most amazing thing, you should have come with us." Ryan launched into a minute by minute recounting of his time spent at Sea World. "I bet you were bored without me yesterday huh?"
"I sure was Ryan. But I did get to do something special."
Galen turned his back to Aisha, Ewan and Ryan and pulled down the shoulder of his shirt. "I got a tattoo."
Ryan was floored. "Dad, that's so cool. It's my name!" *************************************************************************** Raija was sitting on the settee in her fenced backyard reading a professional journal when her phone chirped.
"Hey pretty lady."
It had been two weeks since she'd left San Diego and she hadn't heard from Galen. "Galen, how are you?"
Galen noticed that it was the first time she hadn't automatically asked about Ryan. "I'm good darlin' how about you?"
Goosebumps rose on Raija's arms as she listened to the timbre and depth of his voice. She wasn't sure if he was more relaxed back in Texas or if his voice deepened during the evening, but whatever was happening was warming her up. She also liked this new use of darlin' when he talked to her. "I'm doing well Galen. How's Ryan?"
"He's doing good as well. He's with his mother this week and I'm calling to see if you'd like to have dinner with me, in a restaurant this time."
They made plans for dinner on Friday night in Austin. Galen planned to drive down and pick Raija up and wouldn't take no for an answer when Raija suggested meeting him there instead.
At 6:00 p.m. on Friday night she was running late and just stepping out of the shower when her front door rang. She slipped into a terry cloth robe and wrapped her hair in a towel before looking out her front window.
There was Galen, standing on her front step, holding a houseplant. She opened the door and ushered him in.
Galen took one look at her robe and then looked at his watch and grinned. She leaned forward and gave him a kiss on the cheek before asking him to grab something from the kitchen while she finished dressing.
Galen put down the houseplant and looked around the living room. It was sparingly decorated in tones of rose and chocolate brown. There were a multitude of plants covering the top of a corner armoire and he was glad that he'd called Aisha to see what he should bring.
He grabbed a bottled water from the fridge and wandered into the rear of the house. Her bathroom was still steamy from her shower and she hadn't put on the exhaust fan and he flicked it on to prevent moisture buildup and mold. There were two rooms beyond the bathroom and one had the door closed. The other door was cracked and he peeked inside to find Raija with her back to the door, bending forward, as she finished putting on her shoes. The shoes had ankle straps, with a black leather rose positioned at the back of each heel.
His eyes traveled up her form and he inhaled when he reached the tops of her thighs. She was wearing stockings. Not pantyhose, but stockings, with a seam running up the back of each leg. The stockings ended at the tops of her thighs, connected to a garter belt. The garter belt's rear straps hugged the outline of each globe of her butt perfectly. He could see a pair of lacy boy cut panties beneath the garter belt and wondered briefly, if she had to undo everything to go to the bathroom.
Raija straightened and he noticed that the height of the heels caused her hips to angle forward, giving her a deliciously feminine stance.
Galen moved back down the hall, subduing the urge to trail his tongue down her spine while he separated the cheeks of her ass before sliding himself into her pussy. He sat on the leather sofa and adjusted himself in his pants. Something about her brought out primal urges in him. He'd thought it was the lack of sex for so long, but he'd had a number of women at work stop by his cubicle while making passes at him and tossing their hair, and he'd felt nothing like what he did when he was with Raija. There was something about her that made him want to put his stamp of ownership on her.
Galen sat, thinking unpleasant thoughts to deflate his still growing erection when a large orange puff of fur sat on the sofa next to him. The cat's yellow eyes focused on him as if to ask who the hell he was.
He reached out a hand to pet the cat and it sunk it's teeth into his thumb. Galen let out an involuntary yelp as the cat sat back, licking his paws and looking pleased with himself.
Raija walked into the room smiling, "I see you've met Myrdoch." Galen could only stare at her. She looked beautiful. Her hair was pulled back from her face into a high puff. A blue and green silk wrap dress showed off her waist and her curves. Once again, he had to subdue urges. This time to keep from pulling her into his lap and slipping his hands under her dress.
Raija walked into the kitchen and filled Myrdoch's food and water bowls before grabbing her purse and waiting for him at the door.
On the drive to Austin, Raija kept Galen entertained by constantly flipping through the music stations, from one song to the next. As they pulled into the parking lot of the Brazilian restaurant, Galen spoke up, "Before we go in I have to tell you something."
"Galen, no good has ever come of a conversation that starts with, "I have to tell you something."
He cleared his throat, "We're meeting my brother and his wife for dinner."
Raija whipped her head around to look at him, "You don't bring a woman you've had sex with just once, to meet your family for dinner Galen."
Galen looked at Raija. "You're not someone I've just had sex with once darlin'. You're the woman I'm seeing and the woman I enjoy spending time with and the woman I like."
Raija considered his words for a moment before speaking, "All right, let's go meet the family."
Galen watched Raija with his family. She hadn't batted an eye at his brother's wheelchair. In fact, she'd flirted with him nonstop throughout dinner, without tap-dancing around the fact that he had no use of his lower limbs.
"So, Rob, you were a cowboy huh?" She flashed her dimples at him.
Rob blushed. "Yeah, I was." He didn't normally refer to his former life, understandable given that it wasn't that long ago that he was thrown from a horse while working on his ranch.
"Chaps and all huh. Do you still wear them?" Galen could see where Raija's thoughts were headed and vowed that he would pick up a pair of chaps just for her personal viewing pleasure.
Rob's wife Mari laughed at his bashfulness. "Honey, there is nothing finer than seeing him in a pair of chaps, waiting for me in bed. Hell that's part of the reason I married him." She winked at her husband who returned her affectionate gaze with one of his own. It had taken Rob some time to get over his initial embarrassment, shock and self-consciousness and see that they would still have a full and strong sex life.
Galen commented, "I don't really think that Raija needs to know about what goes on in your bedroom." Everyone laughed at him and settled down as the waiter appeared carrying long skewers of beef and pork.
The only sore spot that emerged was when mention was made of Galen's sister and her husband. They had opted out of coming to dinner because they thought it was too soon for Galen to date someone, even though they knew what his marriage had been like.
Galen considered stopping by his home, but didn't want Raija to feel out of place. There were still pictures of he, Kate and Ryan up on the walls.
They had a largely silent drive back to Houston, punctuated only by Raija humming along to various songs. He was impressed by her musical tastes, everything from R&B to jazz to rock and country.
Raija felt Galen standing closely behind her as she unlocked the front door. He seemed to be sniffing her hair. Walking into the house, he pulled her backward into his arms as soon as the front door latched shut.
"Thanks for having dinner with me."
Her response came out as a sigh as his lips drifted down the side of her neck, settling in the crevice. His tongue laved away at the skin covering the tendon.
"Can I have you Raija?" Her response was to push herself even deeper into his embrace.
Still holding her in his arms, he walked her forward and pushed her against the breakfast bar that separated the living room and the kitchen. Stooping behind her, he ran his hands up the backs of her thighs, tracing the seam of the stocking. His hands then slid up over her cheeks, marveling at her softness.
"Is there a way to take off your panties without taking off the garter darlin'?"
She moaned as Galen palmed her cheeks, moving them apart, before placing small bites on each one. "No."
"How important is it that you keep this particular pair?"
She was about to tell him very, considering how much they had cost, when he positioned himself so that he was kneeling between her legs, but facing her groin. He pressed his face into her mound and she decided that the panties could be replaced. "They're not important Galen."
He grinned against the fabric of her panties before ripping the small piece of fabric apart on either side of her hips. The material floated down to the floor and he gathered them up, burying his nose against the fabric, inhaling her wet musky scent.
He was staring directly at the source of the scent and leaned forward to kiss her mound. Running his hands up the fronts of her full thighs, he parted her and there it was. Her hood jewelry.
"Does the piercing make sex better for you Raija?" He wanted to know, although the thought that she'd been with someone else was unsettling.
"I don't know Galen."
Galen smiled again and ran a fingertip up and stroked the barbell, causing her knees to give briefly. "Have you been waiting for me Raija?"
"Yes." For that she was rewarded by his finger circling around her clit before it pulled away.