I Will Love You Forever Pt. 2 Ch. 19bykalamazoo707©
Note: As always, thank you all for reading and thanks to donalde for beta reading. I also wanted to make a correction for chapter 18. I made Warden Ellis a republican and he should have been a democrat. The south at that time was primarily democratic. A reader was kind enough to email me to inform me of my error- thank you for that.
Patricia wasn't wearing the lavender gown when Kenji got home. As soon as she heard the car in the driveway, she checked on the kids and ran down the stairs. By the time Kenji had the car in the garage and was at the door leading into the kitchen, she was waiting for him anxious to see his reaction to the newest gown.
When he came in with his bags, Kenji froze. His mouth fell open and he let the bags fall to the floor. The gown was a deep red, but was as sheer as the lavender one. The panties that came with it weren't crotchless, but they were as sheer as the gown. This gown was also much shorter than the others something that Patricia hoped that Kenji would like. He liked to tease her by slowly pulling the gown up and over her legs and thighs as he followed its path with kisses.
"That isn't lavender," was all he could say as he looked her up and down not once but twice.
"You don't like it?" Patricia asked as she did a slow turn modeling for him.
"It is beautiful-you are Kirei," Kenji murmured.
"It was supposed to be part of your Christmas gift, but I decided to give it to you early." Patricia said. "Are you sure that you like it?"
"I like it very much," Kenji replied walking over to her and stroking her arms. "I think that this has become my new favorite."
"They're all your favorites," Patricia replied laughing. "Why don't we take advantage of the fact that you're home early and go upstairs?"
Kenji didn't argue. He gave her a quick kiss and went back for his bags. He didn't trust that Marie would leave them alone-she was as light a sleeper as Niko was a sound one. As much as he wanted to strip and begin making love, he wanted to shower first. He was meticulous in his hand washing at the hospital, but he needed to be sure that he wasn't bringing anything home with him.
"I will be back in ten minutes," he said as he rushed off.
Patricia lay on the bed and waited relishing the happiness that she felt that Kenji was home. He didn't have to be at the hospital until New Year's Day. Instead of planning a party, they had decided to spend New Year's Eve quietly with the kids. As she waited, she thought about Mai and hoped that she got the message that Kenji was off limits. She also hoped that Kenji had gotten into a different group. She neither liked nor trusted Mai. She pushed the thoughts of Mai from her mind and thought about the man in the bathroom wishing that he would hurry. It felt as if he had been gone for much longer than ten minutes.
"What are you thinking about?" Kenji asked when he walked in.
"Nothing important," she replied. "I'm just glad that you're home."
"I am glad to be here- are you sure that there is nothing else?"
"Nothing that I care to talk about right now," Patricia replied. "Are you going to get into bed?"
"I am just enjoying the view," Kenji replied as he stepped out of his slacks and hung them up. He got into the bed with her and held her for several minutes. He couldn't wait to give her the diamond ring and to show her the floor plans for the homes that he thought that she would like. His goal was within reach. In less than two years he would be done with school and preparing for boards. He had already started. He took a portion of each evening to study.
"What are you thinking about?" Patricia asked as she pinched a nipple and then kissed it.
"I will tell you later," Kenji replied. I like what you are doing."
Patricia took the nipple inter her mouth and sucked on it. Kenji lay still and let her play only stopping her when her hand reached his waist.
"I want the first touch to be from being inside of you."
Patricia lay back and waited expectantly. After looking at her for a few minutes, Kenji began to take the gown off of her starting with the thin straps. He took his time removing the gown exploring her body with his mouth as if it was the first time that he was seeing and touching it. He toyed with her nipples as he kissed the sweet spot behind her ear.
"That feels good," Patricia breathed and moved against him. It still amazed her that after almost eight years of marriage that they still enjoyed making love. When she was finally naked, Kenji did a quick check to make sure that the diaphragm was properly placed. As he slid his long fingers inside of her, Patricia cried out and then moaned as he deliberately brushed his fingers across her clit.
Satisfied that it was in place, Kenji pulled Patricia on top of him. He wanted to be able to suck on her nipples while he was inside of her. He bit his lip to hold back a moan as Patricia slowly but surely impaled herself on him. Instead of lying still for a moment as he usually did, he began to thrust into her as he reached down and fingered her nub.
"Kenji..." was all Patricia got out before she came with Kenji following her a few thrusts later. She laid her head on his chest and caught her breath. Kenji rolled to his side holding her close.
"Tell me about your week..." he said kissing her sweaty forehead.
Mai was having second thoughts about mailing the letter but it was too late. It was done. In retrospect, she realized that she should have called. She thought about writing a letter telling Shotaro to disregard the first one and decided that it didn't matter. He would disregard the letter anyway. She looked at the clock and grimaced. In four more hours, she would be at her sister's home and under the critical scrutiny of her father.
She didn't understand it. She didn't understand Kenji. What was it that made him so different? What made him brave enough to go against everything that he had been taught to believe? What made Patricia so different that she also went against her family and popular opinion? Why was she herself so afraid to defy her father? It was more than because of the money issue- she was afraid of him. But surely Patricia had been afraid too... Kenji had gone to the camps and then there was the rampant racism against all things Asian whether they were Japanese or not. The Korean War certainly wasn't helping things-but it could have been worse. They could all be locked away again.
Her questions didn't stop Mai from wanting Kenji. Instead it made him all the more appealing to her. Vera and then Ani's warnings came to mind. She knew that they were right but still her interest was piqued. What did the black woman have that a Japanese woman didn't? She could almost understand a passing curiosity. She could even understand him sleeping with her to satisfy that curiosity but he had married her. He loved her, but what could they possibly have in common? Culturally they had to be worlds apart and she found it hard to believe that Patricia was anywhere near Kenji's intellect which brought to mind their children. How intelligent were they? Were they of average intelligence or were they fortunate enough to have inherited their father's intellect?
Mai spent the rest of the morning trying to understand Kenji and Patricia's relationship and why she couldn't seem to let it go. She couldn't seem to make herself accept the fact that Kenji was unavailable or that he was truly happy with the black woman. He had come to represent something to her-freedom. With someone like him, she would be able to walk away from her father. Patricia and the children on the other hand were nothing more than obstacles to be pushed aside. She wondered about Kenji's family. How had they accepted what he had done? If they were anything like her father, they probably disowned him.
The clanging of the alarm clock brought her back to reality. She sighed as she got up from the small bed and began to gather her things. The one thing that her father didn't tolerate was lateness no matter the reason. As she packed she tried to clear her mind of thoughts of Kenji. No good could come of it and Ani would be watching her as well as her father would be.
She was dressed and ready by nine and in the lobby by nine fifteen. Her father was walking through the door by nine- twenty with a scowl on his face. "Now what?" Mai thought to herself. Instead of greeting her, her father took her bags and walked out fully expecting her to follow him. Mai hurried behind him wondering what the problem was, but she knew better than to ask. He would tell her in his own good time and not before.
The drive to Ani's house was uncomfortably silent. Mai stole little glances at her father trying to read him. They arrived at the house; he got out without speaking and took her bags in. Mai followed him in, looked at Ani with a question in her eyes and was rewarded by Ani looking away.
"You and I must talk," her father said coldly as he handed her bags to her.
Suddenly Mai understood what was happening. Ani had talked to their father, but what could she have said that he was so angry? Her heart pounded as she went to the living room and sat down. Ani followed them carrying a tray containing tea. Jiro wasn't home from work yet- something that Mai was grateful for.
"Explain yourself," her father said ignoring the cup of tea set before him.
"I am sorry father, but what is it that I'm supposed to be explaining?" Mai asked feigning innocence.
"Do not play stupid!" her father exclaimed. "It does not become you."
"I had a very disturbing conversation with Shotaro while you were away- what is this about asking him to break the engagement?"
Mai's mouth was dry. How did he know? She couldn't believe that Shotaro had actually told her father about that conversation. And he hadn't gotten the letters so how did he know?
"What did he tell you?" Mai asked.
Her father smiled but it didn't reach his eyes. He was in a word-furious.
"What he told me is of no consequence. What you tell me is. Did you ask him to break the engagement?"
"Father, let me explain..."
"I will take that as a yes," he interrupted. "How much does the intern Takeda have to do with this?"
"Do not lie to me!" he bellowed. "I saw the way in which you looked at him! There was lust and jealousy written all over your face! It is bad enough that you are trying to break tradition but because of someone who is married? And to make matters worse he married an inferior. I understand that they have two children- what of them? Half breed or not he has an obligation to them! Were you planning to deprive them of their father?"
Mai looked at Ani and knew that she had talked. That had to be it. That's what prompted her father's call to Shotaro. He had more than likely asked Shotaro a direct question about their discussion that she assumed no one knew about.
"Quiet!" he shouted. "This is what will happen. Shotaro will return in two weeks' at which time you will marry. After the wedding he will return to Boston and complete his residency. He will then return here-he has been offered a position at UCLA that he has yet to accept. From this moment on, you will spend your nights here. Either me or Jiro will take you to the hospital and will pick you up."
Mai couldn't stop the tears from running down her face. At that moment she hated Ani, her father and Shotaro.
"Father please- do not make me do this! Shotaro does not love me any more than I love him! He loves another... please!" she begged.
"The decision is made," he replied. "I have also taken it upon myself to talk with your instructor. When you return to the hospital you will no longer be in the same group as Takeda. In fact, you will no longer be on the night rotation..."
"YOU CAN'T DO THIS!! YOU CAN'T... you..."
"It is already done," her father said "There is another option if you choose not to comply. It is an option that we previously discussed. Either you do what you are expected of you or you are on your own. Choose."
"I have no choice do I?" Mai asked bitterly.
"I am pleased that you are seeing reason now if you will excuse me, I am going for a walk."
"Mai... I had to tell him," Ani tried to explain when they were alone. "He kept asking me about Kenjiro and I told him what I knew about his wife and children. He already knew about your feelings for him."
"How did he know about my conversation with Shotaro?" Mai asked. "Were you spying on me?"
"No! At least not intentionally, but Mai I warned you that no good could come of this!"
"So you told him? You couldn't keep your mouth shut?" Mai asked.
"Mai listen to me," Ani said moving closer to her. "You aren't thinking. If you were you would know that this is for the best. Father is trying to protect you..."
"No he isn't," Mai broke in. "He's trying to control me and protect the Kabata name. He cares nothing for our happiness. It is all about appearances."
"What are you going to do?" Ani asked.
"What can I do?" Mai replied. "It is as I said, I have no choice, but Ani; I hate you, father and Shotaro. I will never forget your part in this."
"Mai! Be reasonable! I did it for you! I wasn't trying to hurt or betray you. I only want you to be happy."
"Forcing me into a marriage that I do not want is making me happy?" Mai asked sarcastically. "Threatening my professional career is making me happy?"
"Be honest," Ani said. "This isn't about your career or being forced to marry Shotaro. This is about your obsession with Kenjiro Takeda and your jealousy toward his wife. Marrying Shotaro interferes with your pursuit of a married man. So am I glad that I said something? Yes I am and I would do it again if it would save you as you seem incapable of saving yourself. Allow me to ask you a question, if you truly believe that you do not want to marry Shotaro and that you want to be free of father, why not leave?
Thousands of students work their way through school without the benefit of their family's money. Why don't you walk away? That way you can be free to pursue Kenjiro Takeda or anyone else of your choosing. You won't walk away and do you know why? Because you know that what you are wrong. I actually doubt that you are really in love with him. You are attracted to what he represents. You see him as your rescuer..."
"I am through talking about this," Mai said standing up. "Do not call me for dinner; I will not be joining you."
Mai went to her room and locked the door behind her. She meant it when she said that she hated Shotaro, her father and Ani. She lay on the bed furious.
"There has to be a way out of this."
Saul whistled as he worked. The tips were good and he would be off for two days after the current shift was over. An application to UCLA lay on his desk at home, his family was still safe and the quiet Isadora Hughes still hadn't blown him off. In fact, she had almost smiled at him once. Just thinking about it made him smile. The only things that marred his good mood was Harry who was no longer speaking to him and what he felt was lack of progress on the Warden Ellis case. He shook off the negative feelings wanting nothing to interfere with the good ones. He smiled at the young woman with a small child as he helped her with her luggage.
"Merry Christmas ma'am!" he said cheerfully.
"Merry Christmas to you too!" she replied.
That was how the rest of his shift went. By the end of it, he had collected almost five dollars in tips to add to the communal tip jar. At the end of the shift the money would be divided between all of them. He hoped that everyone did as well as he did-he had plans for the extra money.
Finally the shift was over. He rushed to the office to pick up his pay and to wait for the division of the tip money. As he suspected, everyone had done well. A few minutes later, he was on his way home with his share of the tip money and his pay in his pocket. He had already sent money to his family for Christmas, the extra money that he had was going to be spent on Cora, Joshua and Reggie. The store was closed but the owner lived above it and agreed to meet him after store hours. Saul tapped on the back door and was immediately let in.
"Are they still here?" Saul asked.
"I sat them aside after you left last week," the store owner replied. "My wife even wrapped them for you-no extra charge."
He handed Saul the three small packages and gave him the total which turned out to be less than he had been originally told.
"Merry Christmas," the man said when Saul questioned him about it. "I did well this season so I gave you a little discount."
Saul thanked the store owner, wished him a merry Christmas and made his way home. The smell of roasting turkey hit him before he was to the house. He slipped in the front door and slid the gifts under the small Christmas tree before going to his room to change. He glanced at the UCLA application and smiled. He could only afford one class, but it was a start. Reggie encouraged him to start with a basic English composition class.
"It will give you a good foundation for your other classes and it won't overwhelm you."
At first Saul didn't agree. He wanted to start off with something more difficult but after thinking about it, he decided that Reggie was right. When he came out of his room, he heard the familiar voice of Noah Jackson. The man had become just as much of an enigma to him as he had to Isadora. He had once asked him where he came from and got an evasive reply. After that he didn't ask anything that could be construed as personal.
"Merry Christmas Mr. Jackson," Saul said when he walked into the living room.
"Merry Christmas to you!" Noah replied with a smile. "Dinner smells wonderful doesn't it?"
"Yes sir it does," Saul replied as he headed toward the kitchen to help with preparations.
"Saul-have a seat," Noah said. "It's alright; you're the main reason that I'm here."
"Me sir?" Saul asked confused.
"Yes you. Please sit down, I have something to discuss with you. I was going to wait until after dinner but Cora says that dinner is still an hour away."
Saul nervously sat down and waited.
"Reggie tells me that you have an application for UCLA."
"Yes sir, I was going to fill it out tonight."
"Are you still thinking about the ministry?"
"Yes-nothing else appeals to me."
"Well, the world can always use another man of god; the spoken word can be a very powerful thing." Noah replied with a smile. "Let me ask you a question, if there was a way for you to go to college all expenses paid-would you take it?"
Saul hesitated before answering.
"My father used to tell me that nothing is ever free especially when it comes to money. So my question to you is this; what would I have to do in order for this to happen?"
"You're a very smart young man," Noah commented. "Most would have just said yes and then asked questions later. What if all you had to do was to keep doing what you're doing?"
"I don't understand," Saul said even more confused. "I'm not doing anything special. I go to work, come home and study."
"Saul," Noah said after a moment's thought, "you are doing something. The beauty of it is that you don't see it as anything extraordinary. That makes you as they say the real deal. Let me explain..."
Saul listened amazed as Noah told him that he had been watched.
"I was watching the day that you stepped up to help a black co-worker..."
Saul didn't know what to say. Noah was right- anything that he did, he did it without thinking about it and he saw it as nothing special.
"There aren't many young men who would do what you've done," Noah said. "The final test was Isadora Hughes. I saw how you looked at her at the train station last year. The question was what you were going to do about it. If you weren't going to pursue it, I would have asked you why but seeing as you are pursuing it, it's a moot question."