A Common Kind of Love Ch. 10byliljean©
Naomi stood on the veranda of her new home the Calderon Estate on Tocara, she looked over at Calderon Bay it was beautiful out there this time of day as the sun set in the west and made the sky an amazing glowing orange and pink. She was so tremendously happy now that she was Mrs. Douglas Harper. She and Douglas had eloped to Tahiti and had gotten married on the beach, only she and he were present. It was a beautiful ceremony and they each shed some tears at the thought that they were finally being joined in matrimony. She had to come up with an amazing lie to tell her father who had wondered why she hadn't returned after Dhani and Freddie's wedding. She'd told him that she had decided to stay in Knoxville and help Freddie get settled. How he'd fallen for that she wasn't sure, because after their wedding Dhani and Freddie had taken off for Greece for a month long honeymoon.
She and Douglas had spent almost three weeks in Tahiti languishing in a hut perched on top of the ocean, making love, talking, basking in the sun, swimming and eating their fill. She had such a wonderful time just discovering so many things about him. He was more amazing than she'd thought at first. He'd resigned from his new position at the CDC, they were sad to lose him but he knew that he needed to be where his wife was since she was royalty and if no Minister in Parliament objected he soon may have been himself.
When they'd finally returned to Bocara Island and told her father about their marriage, Naomi thought he was going to have a heart attack. She'd never seen him so upset, the veins in his neck started to throb. Her mother and Zoe were completely thrilled by the news, but her mother wanted to plan a big wedding for the island to share in. After about a week, her father calmed down. He and Douglas had a long talk and her father explained in no uncertain terms what was expected of him as his new son-in-law and as Prince Douglas of Bocara. Douglas had some reservations about his new royal title but if he had to choose between that and being without Naomi he'd take on the title happily. King Milo had to call in some political favors in Parliament but their marriage had not been objected to. Most of the folks in Parliament wanted to stay on her father's good side so they knew better than to object to his daughter's choice of husband.
Bocarans had taken to the new Prince with love and full acceptance. The islanders loved their Princesses so it wasn't hard for them to love Princess Naomi's choice in a life mate. The wedding had been a huge event at St. Mark's Cathedral, the unofficial religion of the island was Catholicism and a huge Roman Catholic wedding was called for. Naomi had settled with her fate as Princess, she went along with the planners and her mother's wishes. She'd had the true wedding of her dreams in Tahiti so she didn't mind all the decadence of this wedding. She knew she had a duty to the people of Bocara to do it big and let them celebrate her marriage, she was happy to make them happy and have them be a part of the special love she and Douglas shared. It was inevitable, regarding some things she'd just have to include the people since she'd always be Princess Naomi to Bocarans.
The wedding had been the event of the year, her mother had it put together in record time. She didn't want it to get out that her daughter was already married to Douglas since it would be a scandal. So while she waited to marry Douglas again they lived separately. It had been a strain on their relationship and an amazing sacrifice for him, not being able to be with his wife every night but he understood they had to keep up appearances. They were seen together at different events in the country, holding hands and being cozy. During those events Douglas really just wanted to take her into a quiet corner and rip her clothes off and make love to her like tomorrow would never come. The day of the wedding Naomi surprisingly didn't have any jitters, how could she, she'd already married this man, this was just a repeat for the crowds. She and her mother had gone to India to have her dress made by the designer that designed the dress for the First Lady of the United States, Naeem Khan, for the India State Dinner for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Mrs. Gursharan Kaur a few months prior. Naomi and her mother had seen it on television as the news covered the event, they'd both been blown away at the elegance and beauty of the gown and wanted something similar for Naomi's wedding just bigger and on a grander scale. He'd designed a beautiful white dressed with silver inlay, it flowed around her like a river and had a six foot train, the dress had sheer long sleeves with delicate silver inlay and a sweetheart neckline, and she'd worn royal jewels from the vault. The necklace was platinum with diamonds and beautiful diamond hanging earrings and as a Princess, an intricate diamond tiara. The jewelry and crown weighed a little less than 15 pounds, her neck was a tad strained.
The church was filled with family and guest, political and otherwise. Douglas' family had been flown in on the royal private jets. They'd stayed at a guest house on the royal estate. She'd met his family on their first night in town and her father had prepared a formal dinner welcoming them into the household. Doug's mother and father had been reserved at first but Queen Evie had made them feel welcome and although her father could be stodgy sometimes because of his station in life, on that evening he'd loosened up and was very welcoming and warm to Douglas' family. His grandmother and grandfather were the funniest and cutest little old people she'd ever seen. It was cute to watch Douglas with his Nana as he called her, she loved that Naomi called him Douglas which no one else in his family did. His sisters and their families had also come, she knew neither of her parents would know what to make of his sister and her girlfriend but they were cordial. His sister Margaret, Maggie as they called her was really funny and made jokes the entire night mostly at Douglas' expense but he took it all in stride. His sisters teased him a lot since he was the baby of the family and told really wonderful stories about them all growing up together. It was a wonderful night, they'd all gotten to know each other and it seemed as if the family was going to get along swimmingly. His remaining family Aunts, Uncles and cousins were flown out a few days before the wedding and put up in a hotel.
The wedding had been broadcast on the television. The entire ceremony which had taken about two hours had been televised. Douglas was so handsome in his gray waist coat although he fidgeted with the collar the entire ceremony. She'd chosen Zoe as her maid of honor even though she'd been Freddie's she couldn't see picking anyone but Zoe for that important job, she loved her sister dearly. It was an absolutely formal occasion with everyone dressed for the cameras. Her mother and new mother in law looked gorgeous in baby pink. Her mother was wearing an elaborate hat she'd ordered from London. Her bridal party was dressed in pink gowns all designed by Naeem Khan. Dhani was Doug's best man and his groomsmen including Al were all in gray waistcoats looking completely dapper. She remembered the look in Douglas' eyes as she walked down the aisle of the church arm and arm with her father, she was so awestruck at the look of absolute everlasting love he gave her, he smiled at her with the pleasure of a child on Christmas morning, it was pure and genuine. She was glad he'd found her in this supposed 'commoner' manner, she'd found the most uncommon of loves.
The reception had turned into an all night celebration for the people of her country. After the ceremony she and Douglas had walked out to cheers and celebration, flower petals thrown all around her and a Bocaran military brigade saluting them as they left the church. They rode through the streets to shouts of congratulations being overwhelmed with feelings of love from the people, Naomi had teared up on the ride she'd never realized how much the Bocaran people loved her and how much that love meant to her. She was their Princess and she was immensely proud to be that at this moment.
She came out of her memories as Esther, Calderon Estate's household manager, approached her on the veranda.
Naomi turned as she noticed Esther, "good evening Esther how are you this evening?"
"Good evening, your highness. I am doing well. I came out to inform you that I gave instructions to the kitchen regarding this evening's dinner menu and the chauffeur has left to pick up your guests for this evening's dinner party. They should be arriving shortly."
"Thank you so much, Esther," she smiled at her. Esther turned and re-entered the great room of the home.
Naomi had been excited all this week about the prospect of seeing her guests. She'd missed her best friend Freddie, she was so pleased that Freddie's life had turned out so wonderfully for her she certainly deserved. As children she and Zoe had played with Freddie most of their childhood, she was Naomi's closest friend almost like a sister to her and Zoe. Freddie's father, Quentin, had been a landscaper for the royal family and frequently brought Freddie to work with him so the girls could play together. After Naomi had returned home from school in England and Zoe no longer needed a governess. It was just a natural transition to have Freddie come in and be their personal assistant. Naomi now had her own personal assistant, Carla and a personal secretary, Minerva. Even Douglas had an assistant although he was still trying to get use to Nieman, who could sometimes be a little overbearing.
Naomi felt arms come around her waist and firm lips at the pulse in her neck.
"Hello, Mrs. Harper."
Naomi loved to hear that coming from those shapely lips of his. She turned in his arms and put them around his neck securely, "hello Mr. Harper." She kissed him firmly as his hands roamed her back and stopped at her round bulbous derriere.
"Boy, I got one fine feeling wife."
Naomi chuckled, one of the best things about him was his playful nature he made being married a joy each and every day. He swung her around in his arms as he lifted her from the ground. Naomi was taken aback for a moment, she wanted to be careful she had some big news for her husband and guests tonight.
"You are a silly man, aren't you? I was just standing here staring out at this beautiful, we're so blessed to have this home."
Doug put his arms around Naomi's waist and looked at the sun setting on the bay.
"I'm so lucky to have this to share with you," he held her tightly to him, "when will Dhani and Freddie get here?"
"Jack went to pick them up from the ferry station a few minutes ago. They should be here in a little while. I'll be so happy to see those two." She turned excitedly and said, "And I really can't wait to see how Freddie's fat belly looks."
They both started to laugh at the image of a pregnant Freddie, she was now six months pregnant and looked like she was about to pop at any moment. She'd found out early in her pregnancy that she was carrying twin boys and Dhani was going to be a proud papa again. Naomi thought about her own news she planned on sharing tonight with her husband and guests.
Naomi smiled up Douglas, "I can't wait to see..."
"Your highness," Naomi turned as she saw the maid at the door of the veranda, "your guests have arrived."
"Thank you, Audrey. Could you please show them out to the veranda and have the kitchen bring out appetizers for our guests."
"Yes, ma'am right away. May I get you anything Prince Douglas?"
Doug looked at Audrey, his eyes narrowing slightly it was still weird to hear 'Prince' before his name every time someone said it. "No, not right now, thank you Audrey."
Audrey turned on her heels and left quickly to bring out their guests.
As they approached, Naomi and Douglas could hear the voices of Dhani and Freddie bickering over something regarding Freddie's shoes.
"...they are too high Freddie," he told her in an annoyed voice.
"Shush, Dhani nothing is wrong with these shoes. You're like an old grandmama. Stop hovering over every little thing I do, I'll be fine. It's not like these are six inch stripper heels."
Naomi chuckled to herself and felt Douglas laugh heartily as well. Those two could bicker over anything including whether it was night or day but you could always feel the love that dwelled between them.
As Freddie caught sight of Naomi outside the open french-doors, a smile as big as she'd ever seen came across her face.
Naomi ran to her and gathered her up in a big hug they'd barely been able to speak before the tears started. Dhani looked at Douglas and rolled his eyes, 'women' he thought. Douglas started to laugh and meet his best friend mid way on the verandah. They hugged each other like the long lost brothers with hearty pats on the backs. Douglas was so happy to see Dhani he missed his friend a lot, they didn't get to talk or see each other as much but he was glad they'd shown up to visit.
Dhani pulled back, "What's up man? How's life treating the Prince?"
Douglas smirked, "how's life treating the King?"
Dhani popped his invisible collar, "it's all good, it's all good."
They hugged again and just laughed at their good fortune. The ladies finally pulled apart and wiped their tears, Naomi was looking at Freddie's protruding belly and rubbing it. They went arm and arm to go sit down as the kitchen staff brought out appetizers.
A few hours and drinks later for the guys, they were sitting inside talking and playing catch up on what was happening in their lives.
"Well, that's awesome man. I am so glad to hear that, you deserve it Dhani. You've worked hard in your life and if anyone deserves this, you do man. How does the college feel about it?"
"They're sad, they're losing one of their prized professors but man, I have to follow the opportunity especially with the two new little ones on the way," Dhani turned to wink at his glowing wife and she waved back coyly. "But when they offered me the assistant dean of African American Studies at Prairie View A & M, I had to take it. A historically black college offering this to me, it would have been an insult to my ancestors if I would have turned it down."
"So, you're moving to Texas, wow!"
"Yea, wow is right the town is only about an inch thick," he chuckled, "but it's only a hop, skip, and a jump and you're in Houston. So right now we're looking for a house in Katy, Texas."
"Freddie's okay with this?"
Dhani looked over at Freddie, she was talking a mile a minute to Naomi, "as you can see, Freddie's fine. After the twins are born she's going to stay home with them until it's time for them to go to school. So, it's gonna be good. So..." he said jabbing Douglas in the arm, "how about you what's happening with Prince Douglas," he laughed. "Man, I can't believe it my boy went from being a scrub to being a Prince, it's a trip."
Douglas smiled at his good friend. It was trip for him too.
"It's good, still trying to get used to all this 'royalty' stuff but it's not bad. I like working with Bocara's Health Ministry, consulting on different projects the government is trying to bring down the pike. But even more than that, I love the opportunity to run the Hope Clinics," Doug puffed up with pride. "Those are the best and the best use of my time. I'd always wanted the chance to help those that are underprivileged get the kind of health care we take for granted back in the states."
"Well, whatcha doing? Whatcha working on?"
"Lots of stuff, it's been a task just trying to make sure that people actually come into the clinic when they need to. Some of the folks in the villages don't trust doctors, especially some white dude with an American accent."
Doug had had an uphill battle getting some of the islands residents in the remote villages to come into the clinic for check-ups. He was still struggling on some levels but he'd made a lot of progress over the past few months.
"It's been tough but we're doing good things. I get some of my old colleagues from the CDC to come down on occasion and volunteer their services especially when it comes to HIV, AIDS education and treatment. I've finally hooked up with Doctors Without Borders and they are going to start sending folks down."
"Aw man, that sounds fantastic. You're doing it up big here aren't you?"
"Well, you could say that," Doug joked, "but the best part of my life is sitting over there." They both turned to look at the women they loved and adored. "I don't know what I would have done if I'd lost her Dhani. Every time I come back from my days working at the clinic, it's like being greeted by sunshine. She's my everything. She's my purpose for living."
At that moment Naomi got up from her seat across from Freddie to sit by her gorgeous husband. Freddie came over and sat on Dhani's lap and he hugged her tightly big belly and all.
"What are you two getting into, mon?" Freddie said in her island accent she'd lost some of it and taken up with a southern one.
"Oh nothing, man stuff," Dhani told her. Her brow wrinkled as she looked at him curiously.
"There's no boy stuff," she said.
"I didn't say boy stuff, I said man stuff," he deepened his voice to appear more commanding.
Freddie just tsked and rolled her eyes, "anyway...speaking of 'gettin' into' how is Zoe doing?" She looked over at Naomi who looked over at Douglas and smiled.
"Zoe's just being Zoe," she looked at Freddie as if to say 'and you know what that means'.
They all started to laugh, Doug fell over onto Naomi holding his sides he was laughing so hard.
After they calmed down, Naomi explained, "Well, she left a couple of weeks ago to start her assistant professor position at Harvard Law School. And well...Al's been looking in on her a little she told me."
"Yea, he's been looking in on her because I told his dumb ass to look in on her," Douglas rose slightly from his seat as he rumbled on. "That's my sister-in-law and he could pretend all he wants that he doesn't like her but after that debacle the night of you guys wedding, he better look in on her or I'm gonna look in on him and that ain't gonna pretty."
Naomi smiled, Douglas could be very overprotective when it came to her and Zoe, she found it surprisingly charming. "She's going to be fine, darling. She's doing well in Boston so far but when I spoke to her a few days ago she is just really, really cold."
They all started to laugh at the image of a shivering Zoe. Douglas hugged her close to him and kissed her cheek.
Naomi put her hands on his legs and looked at him. Douglas smiled at her a little confused as to why all of sudden she looked so happy and was looking at him.
"Douglas," she took his hands in hers, "this night is more than just an opportunity for us to enjoy the company of our good friends, it's also a chance for me to make an announcement amongst people I love."
"Okay, what's going on sweetheart?"
"Well, you know my personal physician and I have been visiting frequently lately?"
"Yea, I know," Douglas looked over at Dhani and Freddie who were grinning like Cheshire cats. "Why you two looking like that?" he asked them in confusion. They just smiled even harder.
His eyes settled back on Naomi's beautiful face she looked gorgeous as usual, his island princess he couldn't fathom how he was so lucky to have her in his life.
"Douglas I went to the doctor about three weeks ago and he told me, we're going to have a baby," she smiled wide at Douglas.
Doug was in shock for a moment, had he heard her right 'baby, they were going to have a baby'.
He swallowed hard, "did you just say baby?" he questioned. Naomi shook her head in the positive. Doug jumped up from the sofa hauling Naomi up into his arms, "woo hoo, I'm gonna be a daddy." He jumped and danced around with Naomi in his arms, he kissed her soundly on the mouth.