Mar 28, 2014
We managed to finish getting ready to head to my parents despite the many affectionate kisses we shared as well as the distractions of brushing against each other now and again as we finished our grooming. Surprisingly I didn’t even knick myself while shaving even though I kept a voyeuristic eye on her as she brushed out her hair and pulled it back into a pony tail, a gentle trace around her eyes with a soft shade of koh , a couple of swipes with a mascara wand, a dash of lip gloss, and she smiled at her reflection in the mirror next to mine. Her freshly brushed teeth made her smile appear even brighter in her tanned face.
I loved that she didn’t spend ages fussing with her makeup and there was no need for her too. She didn’t have to try to create features that she didn’t naturally possess she merely enhanced her natural beauty in a subtle manner so that she had a fresh wholesome girl next door look about her. She’d chosen a pair of denim shorts, and a white polo shirt, paired with a pair of white running shoes and she looked adorable, casual and as fresh as a daisy. It was then that I realized I’d chosen a similar outfit for myself to wear. I had to smile to myself at that. I guess happy loving couples really do start to look alike after spending time together.
She slung the brightly coloured cloth beach bag over her shoulder which contained our swimsuits, towels and sun screen and we were ready to head off after a quick check on Barclay and his food rations as well as a pit stop to grab the containers of goodies she’d whipped up that morning. I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit that I snuck a brownie out of the container and was munching away happily when I got caught in the act like a kid with his hand in the cookie jar. I knew I’d been busted so I gave her my most endearing smile, and she bought it. She reached up and tousled my hair and reached up on her tippy toes and gave me a kiss. “Yummy” she mumbled as she gave me a deep soulful kiss which totally curled my toes and quickened my pulse and I felt a twitch in that nether region of mine from a certain appendage that was quickly becoming accustomed with her loving attentions.
I responded by wrapping my arms around her and seriously kissing those luscious lips of hers. I felt like if I never did anything else with the rest of my life but kiss her my life will not have been in vain. I had never been this happy before and I marvelled that I’d never fully realized before how much better life was when you had someone to share every element of it with. It was with great difficulty that I finally was able to tear myself away from that kiss. I just wanted it to go on and on forever. “Okay Lovelips, lets rock.” I said. I got a quizzical look over this new pet name for her, a laugh and a pat on the arse with a “Righto Sweetknees, let’s rock and roll.” Now it was my turn to laugh and we both had a fit of the giggles as we said our good byes to Barclay gathered up our things we needed for the day and packed them in the car.
Soon we cruising along, singing along with the tunes on the radio. Lorelei was totally getting into it and I have to admit she has some seriously wicked air guitar, and drumming skills. It was great to just cut loose with her and have some fun like that. She seemed to sober up rapidly though as we pulled up in front of my parents place. The reality of meeting my family seemed to be overwhelming her and I can’t say that I blamed her for feeling that way. I figured I’d be in the same boat when I met her family for the first time. I picked up her hand and gave it a squeeze in mine. She smiled weakly, thanking me silently for understanding her case of the jitters. “You’re going to be my wingman and you’ve got my back my right? She asked in a soft voice. “Today and always Lor.” And I leaned in and kissed her softly and reassuringly.
She took a deep breath. “Okay let’s do this.” I smiled at her kissed her again, it seemed to give her the confidence she needed knowing I was there for her and understood. We could hear laughter and the kids splashing in the pool already as we headed up along the side of the house towards the back garden and the pool area. My Mum must have been lying in wait for us as she practically pounced on us the moment the gate to the yard closed behind us. “Liam” and she embraced her eldest son and gave him a hug. “And you must be Lorelei, so pleased to meet finally meet you.” She said and gave her a warm smile but also a very appraising look that was not lost on either Lorelei or I. “It’s a pleasure to meet you as well Mrs. Conlin.” Lorelei returned and to her credit not outwardly showing any signs of being cowed by my mother and the knowledge that she was being sussed out by her.
“Where would you like us to put these?” She inquired of my Mum. “Oh I’ll take those from you and just pop them into the kitchen. It was very sweet of you to make these. I’m sure we’ll all enjoy them.” My Mum then whisked them out of our hands and headed into the house, while calling out to my father at the same time. “Seamus come and say hello to your son and his young lady.”
Liam’s father rose from where he’d been seated on the patio chatting with his daughter Molly and watching his grandchildren frolicking about like a pod of playful young dolphins in the pool. Molly smiled and waved when she saw her brother and me. I grinned and waved back relieved to see a familiar face His father strode towards us. I could see in a glance that Liam had inherited his height from his father and even some of his looks to a degree. His father was more florid of face though, and while his hair had once one been as dark as his son’s was now was greying giving him a distinguished look. His eyes were still youthful and filled with mirth. He stretched out his hand in greeting.
“Tis a grand thing to finally meet you. My Molly has been telling us all about you.” His voice seemed to boom. You could easily detect his Irish brogue. His broad hand clasped mine and shook it firmly. “Though to be sure it’s this harum scarum son of mine that ought to have been telling his Mother and I about you.” He shot his his eldest son a warm smile, despite the mild rebuke he’d just given him. “It’s very nice to meet you as well Mr. Conlin. It was kind of you to invite me to spend the day with you and the rest of your family.” I added politely. “To be sure think nothing of it, it’s only fitting we get to know you and you us, for it is a rare thing indeed that Liam bring home a fetching young colleen such as yourself.” I could feel the colour rising in my cheeks.
Thankfully Molly came along to join us and gave her brother and I each a hug in greeting. “I’m so glad you two could come today. I’ll introduce you to my husband and the rest of the Conlin clan Lorelei. Liam why don’t you go grab something drinks for the two of you it’s hotter than hades out here. I’ll take care of her, and keep Mum and Dad and bay until you get back. I promise.” She added as she shooed her big brother into the house. Liam squeezed my hand, and asked if I had a preference as to the beverage he brought back for me. “No, anything will be fine thanks.” And I gave him a shy smile. “I’ll be back in jig time.” And he disappeared into the house. The senior head of the Conlin clan laughed at his daughters promise to keep he and his wife at bay. “The cheek of you Miss. If this girl plans to make a go of it with your brother and join this family she’ll learn to hold her own, simple as that.” I smiled back at Mr. Conlin, as I appreciated his no nonsense manner of not pussyfooting around things. “Now off the two of you go. We’ll chat more later on.”
Molly introduced me to the rest of the family, I already knew his one niece and nephew and they seemed happy to see me again, especially little Megan. I was just exchanging some pleasantries with when Liam arrived and handed me an icy cold glass. “Hope lemonade is okay with you” “Perfect, thank you. “ I said and took a small sip. Liam held his own glass in one hand and slipped his arm around my waist with the other. His brother Sean, who was in the pool with the kid’s flipped him the thumbs up sign and grinned at him. Liam raised his glass in a silent toast and took a sip of his own drink. Molly saw us back to the table where her parents were now relaxing, keeping a watchful eye on all of the activity going on around them. Liam and I sat down to join them while Molly politely excused herself, to go get changed so she could join the others in the pool and cool off a bit.
The ensuing conversation went far better than I had hoped it would. I had imagined being I’d be tongued tied, and I wouldn’t be able to hold up my end of the conversation. I had also feared I would be interrogated within an inch of my life, which given the fact I was going to one day be a part of their family was understandable. His father was delighted to discover that I did have some Irish blood in me on my father’s side my last name of Gallagher giving that fact away, and that I shared his “own sainted Mother’s name” of Brigid as one of my middle names was a bonus, my other middle name being Siobhan. So at least in the elder Conlins’ eyes the bloodlines would not be too muddied by the inclusion of my mother’s German heritage.
Despite the fact I told her that I was not of the Catholic faith, Liam’s Mum seemed to be warming to the idea of me being a part of Liam’s and thus her life. Liam and I could still see the hopeful glint in her eye though for booking St. Michael’s Cathedral and having a formal marriage celebration right down to a communion mass, as she’d see that I converted, her future grandchildren’s souls would depend upon it. Liam and I would ford that stream when we came to it, and just have to weather any ensuing storms that arose from us sticking to our guns
She slipped in side at one point and returned with a photo album containing pictures taken of Liam and the family over the years. Liam winced a bit when she arrived with it and pulled her chair closer to mine so we could look at it together. I chucked over photos of him as a baby. He was a pink cheeked cherub with those same dark eyes that seemed full of mischief even then and later photos of him holding Sean and Molly when they were newborns being the doting big brother. Liam on his first day of school, dressed in his Cub Scout uniform, on his first Holy Communion looking like his tie was strangling him and he couldn’t wait to get it off once and for all. There was page after page of moments in his life that had been captured in still life within these photographs.
Only one photo bothered me and that was one of him in a suit with his arm awkwardly around the shoulder of some teenage girl in a formal dress and a corsage pinned to whom, looked equally awkward as they posed for the picture together. It shouldn’t have bothered me it was long ago and of course I logically knew he’d had a past and had dated other girls and women long before me, I quickly turned the page and moved on to pictures of him at his graduations ceremonies from high school and university. Pictures of him in his brother and sisters’ wedding photos and mugging for the camera, and all in all it was a lovely little stroll down memory lane for me as a means of getting to know Liam even better.
Liam’s Dad chimed in with antidotes of Liam growing up to help complete the picture for me, like the time he had put a container of mealworms in the fridge and had labelled it coleslaw much to the horror his mother who discovered the fact after opening to serve later that day, to the C.W.L. group that had been meeting there that day. The kid that had excelled at sports and dreamed of one day playing professionally, and he told me about the young man that had spent an entire weekend of his sophomore year of high school teaching his younger sister how to dance with a boy for her first boy/girl dance. I heard about the young lad that had to spend an entire summer working for a neighbour mowing the lawn and running errands to pay off the picture window he’d broken, when he’s shattered it with a homerun in the back garden.
Also I was informed of how much of a handful he could be and how he’d been hauled into see the principal on a regular basis for cutting classes and playing hooky so he could go off and have a lark with his mates. I wisely held my tongue about that bit of information as in high school I had taken to disappearing myself in the nicer weather on Friday afternoons. When questioned about this I informed the principal of the educational codes which allowed one to take Friday afternoons to persue religious freedoms and worship. I merely informed Principal Richardson that I had taken to worshipping an Egyptian sun god and if he wanted me he’d find me practicing my religion down on the beach at Port Stanley.
Funny thing of it was he did come and check on me a couple of times but I had him dead to rights with the facts, so he left me to my own devices seeing as how I was a good student and basically a good kid even if I was a bit of a smartie pants at times. Though I kept silent for the time being about my own youthful indiscretions I figured when and if they ever came out that his parents would think “serve them right if they have kids of their own one day.” We laughed and chatted and got to know each other, and the time passed pleasantly. Eventually it was suggested that Liam and I get changed and join the rest of the family for a swim and some fun in the pool before we had dinner. Liam offered to show me where I could change and give me a tour of the house as well. I was happy to spend a few moments alone with him and to get his take on how he thought things were going.
He gave me a quick tour of the house, and finally we ended up on the second floor in his old room where I could get changed for a dip in the pool. I had to smile imagining Liam growing up in here, the room seemed to suit him and I imagined that it hadn’t changed much since he had moved out. “You know” he said wrapping his arms around me, “I have never had a girl in this room before other than my kid sister, my parents would have gone totally gonzo on me if I had. So this is a pretty momentous occasion you know.” He said grinning at me. “Oh really and what do you think an appropriate celebration for such an occasion would be?” I asked and demurely batted my eyes at him. “Well” he said, as he stroked his chin with one hand thoughtfully.
“Making love to you would top the list but I’ll settle for a kiss since we could end up with an audience at any given minute.” And with that he embraced me and kissed me, and that warm wonderful feeling just bubbled up inside of me. As if on cue “Uncle Liam are you up here?” and the thundering footsteps of children on the stairs could be heard ascending. “We want you and Auntie Lorelei to come play with us.” Molly’s voice could be heard trilling. He gave me one last quick kiss and a cuddle. “See my Mum is still ever vigilant that I’m never alone with a beautiful woman up here. Did you also notice Molly calling you Auntie? I’d say you’re making a great impression on the family.” He smiled warmly and gave me one final peck.
“We’re in here.” He called back to Molly. Soon her little head popped around the corner into the room, and was soon followed by Patrick and their three cousins in tow.“Just showing your Auntie Lorelei where she could change into her bathing suit. Now let me grab my suit and I’ll get changed and we’ll meet you in the pool in a couple minutes.” “Okay! Greats, Cools and Race yas” greeted our ears as they swiftly turned and galloped down the steps and through the house like a herd of frisky colts. Liam grabbed his suit out of my beach bag along with a towel which he casually tossed over his shoulder. “Sure you don’t want me to stay and help you change? I’ve gotten really good at unclasping bra hooks lately.” He said grinning at me.
“Nope I’m good thanks, but I’ll take a rain check for later tonight, if you don’t mind.” I added giving him a soft smile. “Okay sounds good to me, but I’m still giving you one last chance about giving you a helping hand now. I bet I could do some amazing things applying your sunscreen for you if you are so inclined to allow me to be of assistance.” And he gave me a sultry smile. “Out!” I blurted, trying to sound stern, and giving him a little push towards the door. He just laughed and shut the door behind him, saying “I’ll meet you in the pool come down when you’re ready. I quickly stripped down and slipped into my swim suit. I folded my clothes and left them in a neat pile on top of the bed to slip change back into later, grabbed my beach towel tucked in under my arm. A quick check in the mirror over the dresser and I was ready to join the rest of them in the pool.I felt a bit self-conscious wandering through the house alone as I made my way back outside. I arrived just in time to see Liam dive into the pool amid the cheers and laughter of his nieces and nephews.
After swimming to the end of the pool I surfaced only to see Lorelei emerging from the house in her swimsuit. I couldn’t believe it, I’d always been a fan of the lovely ladies on Baywatch and now I had my own bathing beauty. She looked stunning in her one piece red bathing suit. I could just imagine her running along the sandy, sun soaked beaches, the summer breezes catching her tresses At the present time though I was just happy that I was submerged in cool water and that I had a roomy pair of swim trunks on as opposed to form fitting speedos on. That beautiful woman of mine never ceased to stimulate me. She headed over to the pool and took one look at me, climbed to the top of the slide and to the kids delight came sailing down and into the depths of the pool and popped up breaking the surface of the water and laughing. I loved seeing the playful kid inside of her that more often than not lurked just beneath her surface. It was also great to know she wasn’t afraid to let loose and show that side of her personality in front on my family.
The afternoon wore on as we played games like Marco Polo with the kids. It was great interacting with my nieces and nephews and they definitely all seemed to be taking a shine to Lorelei. I saw Dad lighting the grill to preheat it to make dinner so I figured I’d get out and offer to help get dinner ready to go. Lorelei realizing what time it was followed suit and got out of the pool as well, and began to towel off. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t’ just a little envious of the fact and wished that I could be the one that was drying her off, rubbing that towel over her beautiful body and sensuous curves.
Lorelei wrapped the towel around her and slipped upstairs to my old room to get dressed. I found her in the kitchen with my Mum and the rest of the ladies when I came in to grab the platters of burgers, sausages and chicken legs that were going to soon be sizzling on the grill. I offered to come back and keep her company but she just reached up and gave me an affectionate little kiss on the cheek, but said she was just fine and catching up on the craic with the rest of the girls, and shooed me off. I got my Mum’s eye and she was smiling at her usage of the Irish term for some polite gossip. Obviously Lorelei was just fine left to her own devices so I carried on and joined the boys and the kids outside.
The laughter and banter of female voices wafted outside to my ears through the screen door, I felt much pretty relaxed and confident knowing things were going so well between Lor and my female relations. Meanwhile I took some good natured ribbing from my Dad and the rest of them about how soon it would be before I joined their club and became one of the old married guys. I guessed it was clearly evident to everyone I loved her and was planning on keeping her around. Soon the screen door slid open and my Mum appeared with a tray filled with paper plates, napkins, cutlery and condiments. Quickly followed by the rest of the lovely ladies in my life who had bowls of various salads, and various other fare for us all to enjoy.
Dad and I loaded platters with the sizzling grilled meats and we brought it over to together. Lorelei and I managed to slip in beside each other and Meagan wedged herself in between her new “Auntie” and her mother. Platters and bowls were passed in quick turn, and with the adults helping the younger ones if they required it. It was a boisterous group that was filled with laughter and animated chatter. I had always enjoyed these informal little get togethers with my family, but now I knew they’d have even more meaning to me with the inclusion of my Lorelei. We all had voracious appetites after all the fresh air and exercise and soon the bowls and platters were quickly diminished. We all pitched in and soon the table was cleared and ready for the desserts. There was a platter of freshly sliced fruits, one of my Mums homemade pies, along with the cookies, and other goodies that Lorelei and I had brought with us. I was in heaven with the selection before me and so was everyone else.
Meagan noticed me eyeing the last brownie on the tray and with one swift movement grabbed it. She smiled at me as she broke it in half and handed me half. “These are really yummy but Mommy always tells me that sharing is caring. So I’ll share with you Uncle Liam.” I thanked her and popped the tasty morsel into my mouth. The chatter died down as the cleanup process began in earnest. The kids ran about playing tag and tossing Frisbees about. Dad scraped down the grill, and we all helped carry dishes back into the house and do the washing up. Everything was neat as a pin when we finished. The adults gathered outside once more and continued to chat while the kids continued with their games. Eventually it was time to head out to respective homes though, and towels and bathing suits were gathered up. Dishes were claimed and readied to cart home once more. Children were herded up and ushered out to parked cars in the driveway. Hugs were exchanged and promises to get together again soon were exchanged. Then we were off and running waving good bye to my parents who stood in the drive waving their own farewells to us.
As I drove down the street I could see my Mum still waving and blowing kisses in my rear view mirror. “So I think that went pretty well, how about you?” I finally said now that it was just the two of us once more. “Your family are lovely Liam and it was so nice of them all to make me feel so welcome. It meant a lot to me.” She added softly as she rested her hand on my thigh and gave it an affectionate squeeze. “You made a great impression on them as well with the way you engaged the kids and joined in their silly games with them. Even the way you made yourself at home and pitched in with things goes along way with them.” I responded. “I’m pretty sure you’ve got my parents blessings as well. Mum doesn’t drag out the family photo albums for just anyone.”“So you think I’ve gotten the Conlin Family seal of approval do you?” I inquired. She knew from the warmth of his eyes and the smile on his lips that I had in fact done just that. I snuggled in the best that I could with the restrictions of the seat belt and we remained like that until we pulled into the garage at the house.
We unloaded the car and headed in. Barclay was lying in wait for us and true to form bounced, demanding some cuddles of his own. Liam put things away and I filled up Barclays food dishes and gave him some cuddles and scratches around his ears and under his chin to placate him for our long absence. Liam suggested we go outside and talk over the day’s events. It was a beautiful night out. The sky was inky black now but was magical with the stars scattered across it like so many dazzling little crystals. We ended up stretched out on the lawn together. Feeling the grass beneath us, and the scent of the earth was relaxing and grounding after our day together with his family. I rested my head on his shoulder and he slipped his arm around me and drew me close. He kissed my brow and we lay there in companionable silence. Somehow I had this feeling that talking over the day’s events would only be a small part of our time out here under the stars.
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