Expectations Ch. 04byLiquidFyre©
Ewan rolled over onto his back and watched Aisha as she got dressed. "Who's flying in today?" He groaned as she leaned forward to place her breasts into her front closure bra.
Aisha smiled at Ewan in the mirror as she watched him begin stroking himself under the quilt on the bed. Shaking her head at him, she rattled off the names of friends and family who were attending their wedding in Las Vegas, "Your Aunt Siobhan, Lyndsey, Karen, Darren, Lourdes, David, Amir, Galen, Raija and Regina. The last two should be arriving in the next thirty minutes or so and I'm going to meet them downstairs for a drink before the rehersal."
Ewan watched as she sat on the side of the bed and started rubbing shea butter into the velvety skin on her thighs and arms.
"So Aish, what do you say we get started making a baby." Aisha started laughing and turned around to look at Ewan. At the expression on his face her laughter died.
"Are you serious? We're getting married the day after tomorrow. We just moved to Seattle and you're starting a new job. We don't have the time or energy for a baby now."
Aisha's words didn't have the desired effect on Ewan; in fact they made him want to watch her belly grow fat with their child even more. He rose to his knees and moved behind her. Leaning forward he placed a light kiss on either side of her neck before digging his hands into her hair. She loved having her head massaged and he loved doing it for her. She leaned back into his chest and smiled.
"We've got 35 minutes before I have to be downstairs honey. Let's make a baby." She shivered at the sensation of Ewan's tongue trailing over the left side of her neck.
Raija swiveled around on her bar stool and stared at the door leading to the hotel lobby. "I can't believe Aisha has the nerve to stand us up." When she didn't get a response she turned back to her cousin. Regina stood next to her tapping her foot, a sure sign that she was getting annoyed.
Regina was in the process of looking at her watch for the third time when Aisha stepped through the doorway. The three cousins grinned at each other and hugged before breaking apart to give each other a long and thorough perusal.
Galen was checking in at the front desk when he heard the peals of laughter. He looked in the direction of the sound and saw three black women standing together. He smiled, recognizing Aisha from his brief trip to visit her and Ewan in Phoenix the past winter. He'd flown in from Austin to witness his cousin Ewan's marriage to Aisha.
"Girl, don't look now but you've got another white man giving you the once over." Raija grinned at Aisha and nodded her head towards the man standing at the registration counter.
Aisha glanced over her shoulder and raised a hand and waved shyly. He returned her greeting and she turned back to her cousins. "That's Galen, one of Ewan's cousins."
At that moment Ewan joined Galen in the lobby and the two men hugged before heading for the elevators.
The women sat and made small talk, drinking cocktails and catching up on family gossip. Several family members were noticeably absent from the celebration. They didn't agree with Aisha's decision to marry someone white and couldn't see beyond their own prejudices to help celebrate her happiness.
At dinner that night, sixteen friends and family members sat at a long table, headed by Aisha and Ewan, and toasted the happy couple. Galen gazed at the happy couple, excited for them, while suppressing his own longing. Obligations at home prevented him from possibly ever finding that happiness for himself.
Galen looked from Aisha to the other women he'd seen her with earlier and noticed a similarity in their features. They were certainly related. The group went around the table introducing themselves and Galen found out that they were Aisha's cousins. Regina was the petite one with closely cropped hair and vivid green eyes. Her eyes were startling and Galen wondered if she wore contact lenses. Raija was the tallest of the three cousins and had full womanly curves. Not fat, but not thin either. Her skin was the color of milk chocolate, with a tinge of red just beneath the surface. Her eyes were brown and quite possibly the most beautiful eyes he'd ever seen, topped by incredibly long lashes.
Galen had never consciously been attracted to black women. He loved looking at all women, but there was never a distinct attraction there, but he sat staring at Raija most of the night, looking away whenever she cast her luminous eyes in his direction.
After dinner, the group headed for a karaoke bar. Only a few brave souls dared get up to sing and the three cousins were among the few. In fact, they seemed to dare one another to sing. Galen moved to the bar to place another order for the table and turned to lean his back against the bar to watch Aisha as she made her way to the microphone. Ewan joined him at the bar and stood with a look of wonderment on his face as his bride-to-be began singing Etta James' "At Last".
"At last, my love has come along My lonely days are over And life is like a song Yeah, yeah At last The skies above are blue My heart was wrapped up in clover the night I looked at you I found a dream, that I could speak to A dream that I can call my own I found a thrill to press my cheek to A thrill that I have never known Ohh yeah yeah You smile, you smile Oh and then the spell was cast And here we are in heaven For you are mine at last At last... at last".
Aisha finished her song and sashayed over to Ewan. She elbowed him in the ribs and turned to wink at Galen. Ewan bent down and whispered something in her ear that made her blush.
"So Galen, how are things back in Austin?"
Galen sighed deeply without answering, his hand automatically going to fidget with the wedding ring on his hand. Things were the same as they had been for the past 6 years. Kate and Ryan were still a large part of his life.
Aisha noticed the nervous fidgeting and stepped closer to him, "Galen, why in the name of all that is good in this world, do you allow her to keep using you like this? What about your happiness, when do you plan on standing up for yourself?" She would have continued if not for Ewan grabbing her by the arm and pulling her against him.
"Honey, Galen can take care of himself." He looked at his cousin and noticed the tiredness and loneliness in his eyes. While he worried about him as well, he didn't think Galen would be able to handle Aisha's brand of tough love at the moment.
"I'm marrying into this family and I will not sit by and watch him destroy himself, to keep a promise to someone who doesn't love him. I wouldn't keep quiet for any cousins related to me by blood and I won't keep quiet for one related to me by marriage." With that, Aisha elbowed Ewan in the ribs and he released her. She immediately stalked over to her seat at the table.
Galen turned to Ewan and raised an eyebrow. Ewan just shrugged at Galen. Maybe being pregnant would temper some of her fire.
Galen turned to watch Raija as she fended off the advances of a persistent drunk. The moment the guy leaned in to try to kiss Raija, Galen took off across the room to stand behind Raija's chair.
The drunk looked up and then looked back at Raija and stalked off, but not before casting her a nasty look and calling her a sell-out.
Galen stared down at the top of her head, bemused by the tiny coils that sprung up from her scalp in every direction. She wore a brown t-shirt with the silhouette of a woman's head with an afro puff and the words "Pretty little black girl" on it, a brown blazer, a denim skirt that fell below her knees and knee-high brown leather boots.
"I could have handled that on my own but thank you." Raija turned around and glanced up at Galen. He was dressed in the jeans that she imagined all cowboys living in Texas owned at least six pairs of. Of course, she was just guessing that he was a cowboy since they hadn't really talked to each other. His dark hair was surprisingly curly and reached the collar of his tucked in white dress shirt. She couldn't read the emblem on his belt buckle, not without getting dangerously close to his groin and his feet were shod in well cared for boots.
She glanced up at his eyes and he looked away quickly and began twisting the wedding band on his left hand.
Raija felt a jolt to her system. Somehow she hadn't noticed that he was married and she hadn't seen or heard anyone speak of his wife.
"So, is your wife coming to the wedding?" she asked.
Galen looked at her for one dark moment before replying, "No" and walking back to the bar.
Galen was lost in his thoughts, sipping on a Hefeweisen with lemon when the karaoke host called Raija's name. She strode to the front of the room and took her place. Her voice, clear as a winter's night, raised the hairs on his arm as she sang a song he'd never heard before. The song title "Plenty of Room" and the artists name, Anita Baker, flashed on the screen before the lyrics began appeared.
"I thought I told you everything you needed, You needed to know I thought I gave you everything And then you, you decided to go.
Ooh, you know I understand Child I love you with an open hand If you should ever need me, you know where I am.
I've got room, plenty of room Never lonely again Just open my door, come on in 'cause I got room, plenty of room You'll never be lonely again. Open my door, come on in 'cause I got room
Don't you know I love you child Wherever, wherever you roam on your own? Lord knows it gets cold outside And if you, you should want to come home, come on home.
You know I don't lie. Should the world outside make you want to cry Don't you be shy darling why don't you come on by, 'cause I've got room.
I've got room, plenty of room Never lonely again Just open my door, come on in 'cause I got room, plenty of room You'll never be lonely again. Open my door, come on in 'cause I got room
Oh, right now would be a good time to find, That you have walked into my room Any time is a good time, baby It ain't never too late, baby, never too soon Love is all I wanna give, I wish I knew what you were gonna do. And ain't no one in the world boy, but me and you. You know it's true
Sit down at my table til' your spirit is fed Lay your burdens by the fire Rest your worries in my bed I'll never leave you lonely, oh boy, now Don't you hear what I say?
Lord, I got room
I've got room, plenty of room Never lonely again Just open my door, come on in 'cause I got room, plenty of room You'll never be lonely again. Open my door, come on in 'cause I got room."
Even though he knew it wasn't possible, it felt like she was singing directly to him. He looked at Aisha sitting at the table. She was staring right at him with a pensive look and he wondered if she'd told anyone about his problems.
He broke eye contact with Aisha when Raija walked up to him at the bar. Staring up into his eyes she said, "I'm sorry if I brought up something uncomfortable for you." Raija was truly sorry to see the pain in his eyes. She didn't know what the issue was, but had a few skeletons in her own closet that could bring that kind of pain to light.
Galen didn't say anything but his chest heaved as he sighed deeply. "Aisha shouldn't have told you."
"Aisha hasn't said anything to me."
She smiled up at him, "Your eyes are clouded over with something: pain, despair, lost love, the need for things that can't be had."
Looking into her eyes, Galen was overcome by the desire to unburden himself, to share his sorrows, even for one moment, but that desire was fleeting. He'd made his choices in life and he'd been raised to honor his promises, no matter the personal cost.
The next day everyone was busy getting ready for the wedding and all thoughts of the night before were lost in the rush of finding stockings with no runs in them or nail polish to fix the runs and finding something blue for Aisha.
Aisha had decided to forgo having attendants, so none of the women had been forced to buy some ridiculous pastel concoction that they would never wear again. The ceremony was surprisingly simple and emotional. Ewan and Aisha had prepared their own vows and the reading of them was punctuated by sniffles and tears.
In lieu of a formal reception, the small group headed out for dinner and dancing. Galen fought his instinct to hide out in his room until his flight the next day. Being around this much happiness was painful for him. He was directed to his assigned seat next to Raija. They were seated at a table for six, with other guests.
A string quartet played softly in the background as guests made small talk over the salad course. Raija was speaking with the gentleman sitting on her left side and subconsciously noticed Galen's silence. She smiled and excused herself from the conversation and turned to find him looking down at his salad. Putting on her best smile she angled her body to face him.
"Galen, Ewan tells me that you live in Austin. Are you a native?"
Galen was unsettled by her attention and answered shortly. "Yes."
She smiled. "I just moved to Houston from Boston after finishing grad school at Boston University. What do you do for a living?"
"I'm a network security analyst." Galen wanted to leave it there but knew he was being rude with his silence. "What do you do?"
She beamed at him and winked. "I work as a child advocate in the legal system. When social services takes a parent to court or vice versa, I serve as the representative for the child's best interests, to make sure everyone is focusing on what really matters, the child."
"That sounds pretty intense."
"Oh it is, but someone's gotta do it."
"How do you like Houston? Big change from Boston I'll bet."
"It's nice, in a country, country kind of way. And wicked hot and humid. I'm pretty sure I prefer the cold of New England, but I'm here to stay for a while, so I'll deal with it."
"What about your family?"
"They live in New Hampshire. What about you?"
"I'm the youngest of three kids, I have a brother and a sister. All happily married with kids. My parents are still alive and my sister and brother and their families live in the same neighborhood as our parents."
It didn't escape Raija that he hadn't mentioned his wife. And given what Aisha had told her about him, it didn't surprise her either. Knowing that she shouldn't push, she ignored the internal warning and did so anyway.
"What about your wife? Do you have any children?"
Galen looked into her eyes and knew immediately that she knew at least a bit about his life.
"I've been married for 9 years. My wife, Kate is a nurse and our son Ryan is 9." That was it. He figured she knew the rest of the story and he didn't want her looking at him with pity.
Raija took Galen's hand and led him from the table to the dance floor. To the strains of Patti LaBelle's "Come What May" they swayed in sync.
"Wish I was your child Hold me in your heart We could love so free And no, we'd never part. But I'm not a child And wishes are Just child's play, my love. Now I'll never be afraid Of who I am And who I'm not Come what may Wish I was a bird I'd warm you in my wings Safe from all the storms You know true love can bring But I'm not a bird And wishes can Just fly away, my love And I'll never be afraid Of who I am And who I'm not Come what may Oh, I'm no fool Shining in your eyes Of the stars, my love No, we'll never be afraid Of who we are And who we're not Come what may Of who we are And who we're not Come what may
Wish I was your child Wish I was a bird Wish I was a child." ****************************************************************************** Standing in the darkness of the hotel room, Raija fidgeted. Galen stood leaning against the door of the room and moved to turn on the light.
"Don't turn on the light".
Galen frowned for a moment but did as she asked and left the room dark.
Galen slowly walked across the room, coming to stand in front of Raija. Leaning forward, he allowed himself the pleasure of burying his nose in her hair before reaching for her face and tilting her head up. She stared into his eyes for a moment before closing her eyes and slightly parting her lips.
Galen stroked his thumbs along her jawline before lowering his head and brushing his lips against hers. Raija leaned into his kiss and placed the palms of her hands against his chest.
Galen moved his lips to her forehead and settled his hands on her hips. Pulling her tight against him, Galen was aware that Raija could probably feel the thickness of him, pressing against her stomach.
Sitting on the edge of the bed with Raija standing between his thighs, Galen reached over to turn on the light. Raija began to protest and Galen stilled her with his words, "I want to see you. I don't want to miss anything and I need to take this memory back with me."
Galen leaned his head forward as he bared the skin of her stomach. She was wearing a lacy black bra that unhooked in the front. Sliding her blouse off her shoulders, he caressed her skin, marveling at the softness. Raija stared down at his hands, glowing faintly in the dimness, as they trailed up her torso. He moved to unclasp her bra and she covered his hands with her own.
She unclasped her bra, freeing her breasts to his gaze. Her breasts were firm and her chocolate nipples were distended, waiting for his touch. Stroking his palms across her nipples he watched as she closed her eyes, focusing on the sensations.
He rubbed the callused pads of his thumbs across each nipple before grasping them lightly between his fingers and tugging gently.
Raija's legs went weak and she leaned her legs against the edge of the bed. Galen loved her responsiveness to his touch and flicked his tongue out and lapped at one nipple. When she pressed closer against him, he suckled her nipple into his mouth and lightly teased her with his teeth. She raised her hands from his shoulders and placed them on his head, sifting through the silken strands as her fingers reflexively curled against his scalp as he alternately suckled and nibbled.
With an audible pop, Galen allowed the left nipple to tug free from his mouth before moving on to the right and treating it to the same ministrations. Galen leaned his forehead in the valley between her breasts, resting for a moment before slowly kissing his way to her belly. His hands stroked a similar path down her back, coming to rest on her hips.
The musky smell of her arousal rose up to meet his nose and guided him lower on her body. His hands tentatively stroked over her panty-covered mound before pulling her panties to one side. For a second he stared in rapt attention at the engorged lips of her sex. Still holding her hips, he reversed their positions and as the back of her knees met the bed, he pushed her back so that she was lying on the bed.
Galen pulled Raija's hips until they were even with the edge of the bed before kneeling between them. He stroked his hands up the insides of her thighs before taking up his previous activity. Pulling the left side of her panties to the right, he gazed at her sex once again before sliding one finger along her slit and then dipping slightly inside her warmth and wetness. Pulling his finger back out he looked at the glistening fluid and promptly stuck his finger in his mouth, tasting her.
Watching Galen while perched on her elbows, Raija was more aroused than she'd thought possible.
Reeling from the taste of her, Galen slid two fingers inside and parted her lips, bringing her clit into full view. It stood proudly and it seemed that it was begging for his attention. Galen made a v with his two fingers and slid one finger on either side of her clit, cradling it. He leaned forward and stroked the length of his flattened tongue against her clit. At the contact Raija gripped his hair, pulling him closer to her.