Jun 6, 2014

Part 26

      Saturday morning I awoke still snuggled in Liam’s arms, as beams of sunlight danced across the room in an early morning welcome.  It took me a minute or two to transition from sleep laden eyes to ones that would view the day with the endless possibilities that it possessed. Sleep was quickly banished from my eyes when Liam’s face came into focus for me. His eyes still pressed closely together, fine creases etched around them, the firm line of his jaw, and lips that crinkled in a perpetual smile even when he slumbered.  He was truly handsome and yet I sincerely doubted that he was aware of just how handsome and distinguished looking he was.  With what I hoped was a barely imperceptible touch, so as not to awaken him, I ran my fingertip over his well chiseled features.  As I did, I marvelled at just how well they truly were a reflection of the man and his inner character.  I would always believe in and value him for noble character.

     I wasn’t the only one observing Liam as he dozed.  Barclay sat perched as still as a statue on the nightstand beside Liam’s side of the bed, staring at him, with wide alert eyes, willing him to wake up so we could get the show on the road. He seemed anxious about getting to my parents place.  Barclay was like a small child who intuitively knows who they can wrap around their little finger, or in his case little paw, and was anticipating exploiting that fact to his full advantage. I’d never been able to sort it out but he had this knack of knowing when he was being taken on a trip to my parents place, but he did.  I jokingly referred to my parents as Barclays’ “Grandmeow” and “Grandpaw.”, the reason being years of my Mother’s constant badgering about when was I going to settle down and give her some more grandchildren.  It had always been a bit of a sore spot between the two of us, as I had no intentions of getting married and raising a family solely to make her happy.

    I’d always stubbornly maintained I would marry solely for love, not for the sake of ensuring I didn’t spend the rest of my life alone.  I’d always wanted it all, the hearts and flowers type of romance with the man I could unleash my inner most passions with, and be delightfully silly with as well.  The man for me would also have to be highly intelligent as well as possessing a good deal of common sense and street smarts.  A rapier well, honed wit would be essential to the man of my dreams as well.  Confidence would also be essential to the mix but never arrogance and there was a definite distinction between the two, one was incredibly attractive but the latter one was a deal breaking turn off to me.  He’s have to accept me as I was, faults and all, realizing I could be a head strong, force to be reckoned with at times and at still others expose my vulnerabilities to him and know it was completely safe for me to be able to do that with him.  I had somehow though miraculously discovered that man in the form of Liam, who embodied all of those traits and even more, some of which I’d never even realized before that I had been seeking. “Take that Mom, you really can have it all.” I thought triumphantly.
      My Mother would call me an idealist, a hopeless romantic, and I believe thought me an utter fool for thinking that way.  It didn’t bother me though for I knew in my heart of hearts I would never be happy with myself if I merely settled for anything less than what I wanted.  Don’t get me wrong I didn’t want perfection, just the man that would be perfectly suited to me, and I didn’t think that was too much to ask out of life.  Mom however felt if he wore pants, could grow facial hair and had the potential to procreate he’d be an ideal candidate for me.  We clearly disagreed on the issue and often had squared off on it over the years. Thankfully Liam also managed to meet not only my criteria, which at the end of the day was all that mattered to me, but he definitely met my Mom’s as well.  He filled out a pair of pants rather well, and I often appreciated the way his jeans showed off his cute bottom.  The early morning stubble on his handsome face left no doubt as to his ability to grow facial hair.  Best of all he was an amazing and giving lover, so I knew her final criteria wasn’t an issue either.  Liam was in fact perfect for me.

    In an effort to placate her, or maybe I was just being a bit of a smartie pants when I took Barclay in I informed her that I had indeed making her a Grandmother once more. She had a complete conniption when she at first mistakenly believed I was about to become an unwed mother, then realized I had taken in an abandoned kitten.  Annoying each other just seemed to be a part of our mother/daughter dynamic. Liam must have sensed the eyes that were boring holes into the back of his head compliments of Barclay, for he awoke with a start, then smiled in that easy relaxed manner of his when he saw me smiling up at him.  “Good morning, beautiful.” And he graced me with a brush of his lips against mine that warmed me through and through. Barclay took the opportunity to leap from the nightstand on to the pillow.  He then proceeded to go nose to nose with Liam.  He gave him a look that left no doubt he was clearly saying “Well finally you’re up.  It’s about bloody time, now let’s get with the program and get a move on mister.”

       “Good morning to you, too buddy.” He said giving Barclay a scratch behind his ears, which momentarily placated Barclay, who then proceeded to curl up on the end of the bed keeping an ever vigilant eye on the two of us. Talk about having a chaperone, both sets of our parents could have learned a thing or two from Barclay. “Well I guess this curtails any plans I might have for romance with you at the moment.” Liam sighed.“We’ll always have the shower sweetheart.” I said giving him my best Bogart impersonation, which only led us to a fit of the giggles.“So seriously though, what’s the game plan for the day? He asked as he snuggled in closer to me.“Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, I could consider that a loaded question you know.” As I sighed heavily and gave his chest a kiss as I cuddled him closer.“Oh Lorelei, your family can’t be that bad can they?” he asked as he stroked my arm comfortingly.  “All families have their share of nuts and dysfunction, even mine I swear.  Cross my heart and hope to die.”

       “You forgot the part about ‘stick a needle in my eye.’” I moaned.  “Oh realistically I know they aren’t horrible but I’m just so different then they are.  I spent a life time of having them trying to get me to conform to their ideals and it’s simply not me.   “When I graduated from high school they thought I should either stay home, marry a nice local boy, and start a family, maybe have a nice little part time job doing secretarial work or clerking in one of the banks.  Or if I really insisted on higher education and spreading my wings then going to school in London at Western or Fanshawe would be deemed acceptable behaviour.” “I had other dreams and dug my heels in, applied to schools here in Toronto and some even further abroad. I decided on attending one here and I’ve never looked back.  It hasn’t always been easy but it’s been a rewarding experience.  It’s taught me a lot of lessons about life.  I’ve gained a great deal by marching to my own drum and being my own person, but it’s come with its costs as well.  I have no regrets though about how I’ve chosen to live my life.”  I finished up.

    “Well I kind of put two and two together the other day when we spoke to your Mom and she started the conversation with let me think for a second……..oh yeah, I remember now the whole ‘den of iniquity’ thing.  It was a pretty big give a way that she’s not always thrilled with your choices.” I started laughing.  “Well spotted, sweetheart.  Don’t get me wrong I love my parents, but there life just wasn’t for me.  I wanted new experiences, I wanted to broaden my horizons, have adventures, I want to live life to its fullest. Basically I just want to be me and the best me I can be.”
      “You’re not alone on that Lor.  I believe life is for living and celebrating as well, and sometimes that means pushing yourself out side of your comfort zones and taking your best shot at something, even if it means everyone else around you thinks you’ve lost your mind.” He kissed my forehead.  “We are two peas in a pod, much to our parents’ utter chagrin, and you and I are the children most likely to turn that pod into a sailing vessel and sail off into the sunset, protocol be damned.” “You little devil you, no wonder I love you so much.” I said smiling at him before embracing him for a very warm and heated embrace that left no doubt as to the deep attraction and affections we had for one another. Eventually we did managed to drag ourselves out of bed, and get moving, but it was difficult as we both enjoyed our bedroom activities immensely.  The more we made love, the closer we grew together and the more energy and enthusiasm we had for life and making every precious moment count.

       Liam lingered in the bedroom to change the bed linens and make up the bed, while I meandered into the kitchen to feed Barclay, start the coffee and sort something out for breakfast.  While it was true that neither of us was working out the same way we had been before we became a couple, we still managed to keep busy and build up some pretty healthy appetites. I was busy whipping up breakfast, and Barclay was noisily devouring his morning kibble, when Liam joined us in the kitchen.  “It always smells so amazing in here since you moved in.” He said appreciatively.  “Shall I pour you some coffee?”  “Yes please that would be great thanks. I’ll be finished here in a couple more minutes.” He got to mugs out of the cupboard and poured two steaming cups and brought one over and handed it to me.  Along with the coffee he also delivered some very steamy kisses that left me grinning from ear to ear.
      While I finished breakfast and plating it up for the two of us, Liam had quietly slipped out of the room.  He returned a short while later, with a little nosegay for me that he’d picked out in the garden and I suspected had included wheedling a few of them out of his next door neighbour, who no doubt would be out tending her flower beds. “My dear these are for you.” He said bowing with a flourish as he presented them to me. “Just a little something to show you I do appreciate all your efforts and the way you take such good care of me.” “Thank you, their lovely.” I said as I accepted the little bouquet and buried my nose in it to inhale their delicate scents. “It’s nothing much really.” He said almost bashfully.  “It is too. Well at least it is to me.” I contradicted him. Little things like this have always made a huge impact on me.  Unexpected heartfelt gestures are always the best and most sincere I find.”

    This was just one more reason why I loved her so dearly.  Simple things meant so much to her, and I could tell from the way her face beamed that she truly was happy with my small gift.  I watched her as she hummed happily, and took a juice glass out of the cupboard, filled it with water and arranged the blossoms I’d brought her in it. She placed it on the centre of the kitchen table and I could tell that in her eyes she viewed it as the most beautiful floral center piece she had ever seen. “Have a seat, breakfast will be right up.” She chirped and scurried to plate up breakfast while it was still hot.  Before I knew it I had a really delicious looking plate of French toast, topped with some luscious looking apple combination, fresh sliced strawberries on the side and a glass of orange juice to round it all out on top of the mug of coffee I was still sipping on.

     “I can get you some maple syrup if you want as well.”  She informed me as she took her seat. “Nope totally not necessary, this apple topping is delicious, it tastes almost exactly like apple pie but without the crust, and it’s all warm and spiced just right with cinnamon and whatever else you’ve got in it.” I told her as I smacked my lips. “You’re pretty close it’s called apple pie jam, I found the recipe a few years ago and it’s become a huge hit with my friends and family.” “I can totally see why.” I mumbled between bites of my delicious breakfast.  When we were through I patted my rather full belly and sighed contentedly.  “You are amazing.  Thanks again for yet another great meal.” I thanked her as I leaned forward and kissed her. “It’s my pleasure.” She responded.

     The two of us tidied up the kitchen, and watered the plants in the kitchen window sill and around the rest of the house, and our little home once again looked picture perfect. “You know coffee isn’t the only thing that’s good the last drop.” She purred into my ear when we’d finished cleaning up.  I immediately knew what she had in mind and knowing I had a weekend of family imposed celibacy looming before me I wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity for some lovingly erotic playtime with her. Once again shower time turned into a romantic, sensual encounter that left both of us with a certain radiant glow and dreamy smiles on our faces. I couldn’t help but gaze at her and drink her in as we both got dressed.  Silently I crossed the room, and slipped my arms around her. “You really are beautiful” I whispered in her ear and softly nuzzled the swell of her shoulder.
      “You’re not so bad yourself.” She replied as her hands slipped over mine, and she pressed herself back against me. We stood there just holding each other close basking in the moment, of being together. A loud “merowwwwwwww” and a quick glance at the alarm clock made us realize we’d better get moving.  Lorelei set about gathering last minute toiletries and tossing them in our suitcase, while I went and got Barclays’s kitty carrier ready for him. I stowed the luggage in the truck of the car, and came in to see if she needed help coaxing Barclay into his carrier.  He stepped in quickly with a swish of his tail, turned around a couple of times and settled himself into a comfortable little ball. “I wish it was always this easy to get him into his carrier, but when he knows he’s off to the vets for his shots he’s an absolute little horror.” She mused as she secured the door to the carrier.  She grabbed her purse, I grabbed the carrier and we were ready to get us all settled into the car and head off.

     Barclay settled down for a snooze before we’d even pulled out of the driveway. Lorelei and I were soon engaged in our favourite driving activity, listening to some great tunes, while we sang along to them and bopped along to the music in our seats.  I off course had to be less boppy about my seat dancing than she did as one I was driving and two, I could have knocked myself senseless as I didn’t have nearly the head clearance she did. It was a pleasant little domestic scene, and one I felt totally comfortable with, as we cruised along to pick up the Q. E. W., which we’d then cut off of to pick up the 401, it was pretty smooth sailing from there, until we finally took the cut off on our way to her home town. Lorelei had offered to drive as she knew exactly where we were going, but I figured she had enough on her mind with introducing me to her family, so I thanked her for the offer but had chosen to do the driving.

     Happily we cruised along in the late summer sunshine.  Traffic was fairly light for our weekend commute and we hadn’t hit any accidents or construction so we were making good time on our journey.  Lorelei gave me fair warning when the exit we needed to take was coming up.  From there it was quite a scenic drive, filled with farm land, and sleepy little villages that if you blinked you’d have missed them entirely.  It was a nice change for a guy like me who had been born and raised in the big city. As we reached the town limits I dropped my speed and we cruised along.  “Holy doodle, was that a horse and buggy we just passed?” “Yep,” she replied totally non-pulsed by it but obviously amused at my reaction to it at the same time. “I think you may be in for a bit of a culture shock over the next 24 hours or so.” She giggled.

    “We’ve got a fairly large order of Old Colony Amish Mennonites around here.  Lovely people but very conservative and old fashioned. The way they live is very simplistic and it’s like taking a step back in time and capturing it in still framed photography.  I will admit to being highly amused myself when they take their horses and buggies, through the drive through at McDonalds’ now that’s quite the sight.  “Now, that I’ve simply got to see.” I chuckled. “I’ll be sure to give you the grand tour while we’re here so I can show you that and a whole lot more.” A couple of stop lights, and a few turns later and we were pulling on to the street where Lorelei’s parents lived.  It was a nice feel to it with lawns that were well manicured.  Brightly coloured flower beds and accent pots on front porches and urns standing guard on either sides of garage doors.

       Her parents place was a stylish red brick home on a corner lot that had a lovely back garden that seemed to go out into some sort of natural little wooded area, from what I could see of it as we pulled into it.  Her Mother was waiting for us at the door and came bustling out as I put the car in park. “Remember you love me for better or worse.” She whispered to me and clutched my hand. “I do love you, and that’s all that matters to me.” And I leaned over and gave her a quick kiss of reassurance. Her mother was prancing back and forth quite obviously anxious to make my acquaintance by the car door, and her father was now standing on the front porch with his arms crossed over his chest, eyeing me up with a look that seemed to say “So you’re the sex maniac that’s been mauling my little girl, and you can’t even keep your oversized paws off her in my  driveway.”

    For a brief moment I felt like I was about 14 years old and should turn tail and run for it, but I knew that was absurd, and quickly made a speedy recovery of my senses.  I squared my shoulders and got out of the car.  Mrs. Gallagher hustled over to me immediately.  Evidently she was a rather tactile person and threw her arms around me and gave me a bear hug as she welcomed me to her home. Lorelei had slipped out of the car and was now standing by my elbow. Her mother released me from her vice like hug and turned her attentions on her daughter.  “Darling it’s so good to see you and your young man. Oh my, isn’t he a tall drink of water?” She mused.   “You two remind me of Mutt and Jeff when you’re side by side.  Now grab your luggage and come on into the house.  I’ve got lunch all already to go and I’ll have it on the table in just a jiff.  You two must be famished.” She burbled away excitedly, gave her daughter a hug and disappeared into the house.  It was going to be tough to get a word in edge wise with this woman I thought to myself.

     Lorelei’s father however was going to be an entirely different kettle of fish then her mother was. He stood glaring with his fixed fishy eyes trained on me. I grabbed our suitcase out of the trunk, slammed it shut and resigned myself to making the best of things during our stay. Lorelei removed Barclay from the back seat of the car, and together we stood before her father.  He eyed the lone suitcase in my hand with undisguised contempt for me, as it was just further evidence to him that I was the sort of guy that wouldn’t even go through the pretense of packing a separate suitcase just to placate him.  I hated being judged like that, especially when I wasn’t even the one that had done the packing.  On another level though I sort of understood where he was coming from, with his attitude.  He was in fear that he was losing his little girl entirely to another man and that man was me, so therefore I was his sworn mortal enemy. I wondered if I should consider sleeping with one eye open tonight as her Dad more than likely had a pillow with my name on it that he’d cheerfully smother me with.
      Her mother had reappeared at the door. “Come on get a hustle on.  Lorelei, bring Barclay in so Grandma can see her little precious.  Gerald, you help Liam with the luggage.” She directed in rapid fire succession. “They only have the one piece of luggage.” Her father snorted back at his wife.  “Well isn’t that practical to travel so light?” marvelled her mother. “Liam you just come in and take that to your room, it’s the one at the end of hall to the left of the living room.  I’ll give you a tour of the rest of the house after we have our lunch.” I paused on the front porch and stuck out my hand.  “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you sir.” He grudgingly stuck out his hand and gave me a quick but very firm shake and remained silent. “Daddy, behave.” The implied undertone being she’d not only have words with him but her mother as well if he didn’t. “Fine, nice to meet you……..Liam.” he added as if making an effort to appease his daughter and stave off a lecture from his wife.  Lorelei shot him a smile of thanks and we all entered the house.

    “My Dad will come around, just be patient with him okay?” she whispered to me as she led me to the guest room I’d be staying in. “It’s all good.  I remember how it was for Colin when he arrived on the scene with Molly.  He’ll get to know me and see I’m not such a bad guy, and that I am very serious about my intentions with making a life with you.” I answered her. She smiled gratefully at me and reached up on her tippy toes, clasped me around the neck and pulled me down for a kiss.  Boy did she ever know how to give a guy a kiss. We could hear her mother cooing at Barclay, and telling him what a handsome boy he was and how she had a treat for him.  Lorelei’s father was pretending to read the newspaper and mumbling under his breath when we joined them in the living room.

    Barclay was whisked away for his promised treat, and Lorelei’s father snapped his paper shut and tossed it on the coffee table.  “Your mother has lunch set up on the back deck.” He said as he stood and led us through the living room to the kitchen and out the French doors that opened out on to the upper deck of the patio. It was a beautiful view out there.  Beyond the flower beds there was indeed a natural wooded setting as I had early thought. It was filled with ferns, wild flowers and if you caught the view just right through the trees there was a small pond as well.  It was an ideal setting and one I hopped would have a calming effect on her dad. 
     There was a gentle breeze blowing as Lorelei’s mother came out with a pitcher of iced tea in her hands and joined the three of us.  “Anything I can do to help, Mrs. Gallagher?” I politely inquired of her mother.  “You’re quite the gentleman Liam, and thank you but I’m fine dear, just have a seat and sit down and enjoy your lunch.” I held out Lorelei’s chair for her and she slipped into it.  Lorelei’s mother beamed at me, glanced at her husband who was not about to let himself be outdone by this interloper in his home, and leapt to his feet and did the same for his wife. Lunch was excellent, as well as filling with Mrs. Gallagher urging me to have extra helpings of everything.  My undoing was dessert which was warm from the oven sweetened biscuits topped with sliced strawberries and slathered with freshly whipped cream.  Those were my undoing and I don’t think I could have eaten another thing when I finished my portions, even if you’d paid me to.  When we finally finished the meal, I thanked Lorelei’s mother profusely for the fantastic meal and her hospitality.  Then I got up and began to help Lorelei clear the table.
  The conversation over lunch had gone fairly smoothly and I think by the end of it Mr. Gallagher had started to relax with me a bit and no longer considered me a complete moron.  I think I’d also gained a bit of respect from him, when he discovered I could be as hardnosed as he was about his daughter, and that I was not merely trifling with her affections.  He even went so far as to stop grumbling whenever I would lay my hand over hers, or she’d smile that sweet smile of hers at me during the meal. I believe he was coming to the realization that our affection for each other was indeed both mutual and genuine. At least I was making progress with the old boy accepting me and I considered that a step in the right direction. We decided to take a little walking tour of the town on our own after lunch, as both the senior Gallagher’s wanted to engage in catnaps, before the evening festivities with Lorelei’s siblings and other family members.  Barclay had already staked out his claim to the sofa after he’d filled his tummy with the boneless skinless chicken breast he’d had prepared for him. So he was quite content to be left to his own devices.
  It was a nice day for a stroll as we set out hand in hand. She pointed out various things as we walked such as the schools she’d attended as a kid, the church where her folks had gotten married, where she’d taken her skating and swimming lessons and other points of interest. Despite the fact she’d not lived there for several years you could tell she was still well known and liked by the numerous people that stopped us to say hello and see how she was doing and how long she’d be in town.  People were warm and welcoming with me as well, shaking my hand and joking with me. On our way back to the house, we cut through a park that backed onto the woods behind the Gallagher’s back garden.  We picked up one of the walking trails, and enjoyed the cool shade offered by the overhanging trees after our walk in the summer heat.  I took deep breaths filling my lungs with the clean air filled with the scent of pine needles and wild flowers.  Birds chirped, chipmunks scampered across the path, squirrels chattered at us from the tree tops, and it was a perfect place to be alone with Lorelei, and just enjoy each other’s company. 
    She slipped her arm around my waist as we walked and talked quietly together.  We both agreed things were going pretty well and that her father did in fact seem to be warming ever so slightly to the idea of having me around.  We also took advantage of the fact we were alone with no prying eyes upon us to indulge in some rather affectionate canoodling. As we returned to the house, her arm was wrapped around my waist hugging me close to her, and my arm was draped over her shoulder holding her just as close. We were refreshed from our time alone together and were more than ready to face whatever would happen next on this weekend with her family.

The Tale shall be continued, just click on the "chapters" button up on the top right  for more! 

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