When the newlyweds arrived in Montrose, they went to Inaya’s townhouse to collect some of her things, mostly clothes, shoes, and her favorite baking and cookware. They agreed that they would live at Chandler’s house and sublet her place since her lease was already paid for the remainder of the year.
Inaya loved everything about her new home, but she adored the black and white master bedroom most of all. That was where the customized king-sized, extra-long, high-post mahogany bed was. From the first night until now, that bed provided the best rest and the best pleasure she ever had in her life. It was where Chandler made all of her sexual fantasies come true and showed her what it was like to be treasured from head to toe.
Because he constantly went out of his way to please her, Inaya consented to regularly attend Sunday worship services with him. However, she would not agree to attend Bible study until she had settled a few more things between her and God. In the meantime, her soul would continue to cozy up to the Lord vicariously through Chandler’s faith.
In church today, Inaya finally got a chance to meet her in-laws in person. She talked to them over the phone throughout the week, but they stayed away from the house to give the newlyweds some time alone.
Just like on the phone, they all welcomed her with open arms. None of them seemed to have any problem with her and Chandler’s relationship or elopement. In fact, she found the Edenfields and their whole church to be very open-minded. Perhaps it was because Dusty and Leah eloped on their first date. Their pastors eloped after only a month of dating. Both couples knew that they’d found the one and thus saw no need to prolong the inevitable.
After church, Inaya invited her in-laws over for Sunday dinner. They readily accepted. She changed clothes and then got busy cooking Cornish hens, homemade stuffing, steamed cabbage, and buttermilk biscuits. There was no need to cook dessert. She stayed up late last night baking a spiced applesauce cake. The moist cake with its raisin filling, glaze and apple slice garnish was the result of an argument she had with her mother yesterday.
Uzuri called Saturday afternoon asking to borrow Inaya’s car again. When she got a firm ‘No’ because of the stolen battery issue and because Inaya was trying to break free of being an enabler, she once again blamed Inaya for ruining her life. Then she hung up in her face…again.
Sometimes I don’t know if I’m the parent or the child, Inaya mused, taking a second batch of biscuits out the oven while her female in-laws set the dining room table. The men were in the living room eating biscuits from the first batch while discussing the ever-changing local and world events.
Inaya smiled just thinking about her new family. The Edenfields didn’t seem to have blurred lines within their close-knit group. The roles were clearly defined and adhered to. Parents were parents. Children were children.
I wonder if adopted parents appreciate their kids more than biological parents, Inaya thought. Though she wasn’t convinced that that theory was true for every family, it certainly seemed to be true for hers.
Over dinner, Inaya found Dusty and Leah to be just like Chandler described them – friendly and funny as all get out. The same way they’d been over the phone. After dinner, they did a short skit, showing everyone their new routine for their upcoming weekly visit to the local children’s hospital. They even dressed up in the colorful clown suits from their trunk, complete with makeup, big red noses, and large floppy black polka-dotted shoes.
Inaya clapped with appreciation as the Edenfields concluded their skit and took a bow from their place in the open area that separated the living room from the dining room. “That was great. Excellent!” She turned to her smiling husband on the navy-blue loveseat beside her and whispered, “It must’ve been fun growing up in their household.”
“It was, but don’t tell them I told you that,” Chandler whispered back, mischievously lifting his thick right brow. His blue eyes twinkled as he concluded his own clapping and then pulled down the sleeves of his long sky-blue polo jersey.
“You look so good in that shirt,” Inaya said discreetly, loving how the color matched his eyes. “Delicious. I could just eat you up.” She licked her lips as she dragged her gaze from his long torso up to his eyes.
Chandler moaned at her smoldering perusal and provocative words. “Likewise, you big tease,” he said, lowering his gaze to the formfitting turquoise shirt dress she wore, then lower to her shapely legs and calves. “And when I do so, I want you to keep those sexy shoes on,” he added, licking his lips at her turquoise painted toenails before meeting her gaze again.
Inaya moaned this time. “That’s why I bought them yesterday.” She crossed her legs to squeeze out some of the ache and so that he could see her turquoise and pink trimmed peekaboo stilettos even better. “Can’t wait to see them up in a V,” she whispered huskily, enjoying teasing him.
Chandler let out a low growl, pulled her into his lap, and proceeded to kiss her until her toes curled in those pretty shoes. He kept kneading her calves the whole time.
Inaya was breathless and completely discombobulated by the time that long kiss was over. Her body was on fire. Hot tingles had her trembling with need.
“Tease me like that again and see what else you get,” Chandler whispered in her left ear.
Inaya shuddered at that titillating threat. Threat? No, she preferred to see it as a titillating promise.
Mario loudly cleared his throat. “Well, I think both of today’s performances deserve another piece of Inaya’s delicious cake,” he said, grinning from ear to ear like the rest of the family, who were now all seated in various places in the living room.
“It definitely does…for us all,” Christina agreed with a chuckle. “Linus and I will do the honors of cutting everyone a piece,” she said, rising from the navy-blue sectional couch and pulling her husband up with her. Halfway to the kitchen, she paused, looked back at Inaya with a smile, and said, “Its sure good to have a beautiful baker in the family.”
Inaya smiled. “It’s good to be in this beautiful family,” she replied, blinking back happy tears. She took deep breaths to force her body to swiftly return to normal in the presence of so many. Later she’d let it all hang loose…later…when she and Chandler were alone.
Suddenly the doorbell rang.
“Are you expecting someone else?” Inaya asked her husband.
“No.” Chandler shook his head.
“I am.” Mario rose from the recliner and stood to his full 6’1. “Joe and Doris are in the area visiting his mother today. They wanted to stop by and meet your new wife before they left. I hope it’s all right.”
“It’s fine.” Chandler nodded.
“Cool,” Mario replied and then headed for the front door to let his college buddy in.
“Who is Joe?” Inaya asked, mentally preparing herself for more company.
“Joe Powell is Mario’s former college roommate and best friend. He’s like family to us. Joe owns a car dealership in Appling. His father used to own the best bakery in Montrose before he died and the family sold the business.” Chandler lowered his voice and added, “Joe’s a nice guy, but he has a wandering eye. I feel sorry for his wife. He really should have stayed single like Mario did since they’re both notorious ladies’ men. Even more so than I was.”
Joe Powell? Inaya thought in a panic. She sure hoped it wasn’t the same Joe Powell that she secretly dated back in high school. The same Joe Powell whose father owned the bakery that she used to work for.
It is him, she quickly realized when he rounded the corner to the living room with Mario and a frumpy looking brunette following three steps behind him.
Can I ever catch a break, Lord? Inaya inwardly raged, speaking directly to Him for the first time in years.
© 2014 by Suprina Frazier