Chandler couldn’t help but notice how extra quiet Inaya was as he drove her home. Without asking, he already knew that she was still upset about those incidents at the restaurant, especially after she shared what happened on her way to the ladies room. Though he wanted to dive right in and talk about it, he quickly learned that that wasn’t always the best way to deal with her. Even though she was one of the strongest women he knew, she could be very delicate about certain things. Things such as God, her family, and interracial romance.
“I don’t know if this relationship will work, Chandler,” Inaya said, removing her seatbelt as he parked in front of her townhouse.
He exhaled a frustrated breath. Though not unexpected considering what happened today, this was the last thing he wanted to hear. Although he was twenty-nine years old, he suddenly felt very raw and vulnerable, like he had when he was ten and on his way to his fourth foster home. Would things turn out as well with Inaya like they had the day he walked into the Edenfields’ home? He hoped so.
“Why not, princess? Is it the interracial thing again?” His knuckles became whiter as he tightly clenched the black and white leather steering wheel in front of him.
“Yes. I know our cultural differences shouldn’t matter to me, but they do. It really bothered me how people reacted to us today at the movies and especially at the restaurant. I have enough bad vegetables in my stew without adding all that to the pot,” Inaya replied.
Chandler turned the radio off, not in the mood to hear the very thing that usually soothed him. The very thing that he kept playing in his home and car on the regular. Right now he needed to hear and be heard without distraction.
“Inaya, you can’t be ruled by the opinions of others,” he said, repeating what his adopted parents told him and his siblings for years concerning how they should respond to people’s reactions to their diverse family.
She nodded. “I know what you’re saying is right, but I’m just not there yet. I’m sorry, Chandler, but I guess this means goodbye.” She clasped her yellow banana-shaped bag with one hand and opened the passenger door with the other.
“Inaya, wait!” Chandler said urgently as desperation took over. “Please wait.” His voice softened to a low whisper as he reached for her left arm.
At that exact moment of touch, in the solitude of the dark car with no outsiders to stare or disapprove, the intensity of their attraction was allowed to flow freely. That flow produced a strong current that washed over them like a mighty flood.
Chandler moaned from the impact.
Inaya shuddered and moaned. She slowly turned back around to face him. From the glare of the street light she could see matching desire swimming around in his eyes. She knew what was about to happen next and felt powerless to stop it. She didn’t want to stop it.
As if pulled by a magnet, their lips promptly found each other. The kiss was deep…long…succulent…and not nearly enough to satisfy.
“Don’t do this to us, princess. There’s something special between us. Something greater than our differences. Something that needs to be explored,” Chandler pleaded when the kiss finally came to an end.
Inaya moaned again. “You don’t pull any punches, do you?” She tingled from just the sound of his voice. It was full of liquid desire and raw need. She never heard it sound so sexy…well, since the night he whispered in her ear as she went over the edge.
“Why should I, when something this important is at stake? Look, you know how badly I want you and I believe you want me, too. So why don’t you take some time to settle this interracial issue in your heart once and for all before you call it completely quits? Then when you’re ready, give me a call. Or better yet, come see me. You know my schedule, all my phone numbers, and my address.”
“I don’t want to hold up your life with my hang-ups. You’re too good of a man to be on anybody’s waiting list for any length of time.” Although Inaya said the right things, the thought of him seeing someone else sent unexpected pain through her stomach.
“Let me decide if you’re worth waiting for, okay?” Chandler insisted.
“Okay.” Inaya smiled. His words sent a warm, comforting sensation down her spine. The pain in her belly instantly subsided.
“In the meantime, can I have an until-next-time kiss?” Chandler boldly asked. “A brotha needs something to tide him over until he hears from you again. But first let me add a little theme music to the occasion.” He pressed play on an R & B mixed CD of slow jams.
Inaya chuckled at his easy wit. He sure knew how to keep a girl smiling. She honored his request by giving him a whopper of a kiss that left him panting for more.
“Patience, Lord, patience.” Chandler licked his lips as he opened the driver’s door and prepared to walk her to her front door. “Talk to you soon, princess,” he said, planting a departing kiss on her forehead after he made sure she had her house key and could get inside her home.
Inaya nodded. She closed the door amazed by how sure he was of them, almost as sure as he was that God loved sinners and enjoyed forgiving sin. She wasn’t sure of either and that’s what bothered her the most.
Yes, I definitely need some time to think things over.
© 2014 by Suprina Frazier