Chapter 14On Sunday morning Alex got up early as usual and proceeded to make breakfast for Samantha. This, she told herself, would be the beginning of a tradition. Breakfast was the one meal she was good at cooking and she knew it was one of Samantha's favorite meals as well. She remembered growing up with Sunday breakfast being a very family oriented time and she wanted to start this relationship out on a positive track.
Her mind also wandered around how she was going to explain to Samantha everything that had happened at Nikki's the night before. She had the feeling that Samantha was a little jealous of Nikki and wanted to put that train of thought out of Samantha's head forever. There was no way she would ever leave Sam for Nikki and the petite blonde needed to know that beyond a shadow of a doubt. But, she also had to be informed that Nikki was probably not the stranger who had been showing up in odd places since the inception of their relationship. She wasn't sure how she was going to explain exactly Who the stranger was, because at this point she had no idea herself. She needed to tell her lover that Nikki's response to the accusations was very believably innocent and try to get Samantha to understand that for all that Nikki was, she was not a liar.
Alex was still in the kitchen finishing up the pancakes when she hear a sound coming from directly behind her. She turned and bumped into a still sleepy-eyed blonde with a huge smile on her face. "See, I can get myself out of bed in the morning," Samantha purred as she placed her arms around the waist of the taller woman.
"Yeah, so you say," Alex grinned as she ruffled Samantha's hair even more than it already was. "It had to be the smell of the strips and pancakes that got to you up. That's not the same as just waking up on your own."
"Well, it's as much on my own as I get." She snuggled closer to the tall beauty in her arms.
"You felt great last night, Alex and I slept like a baby," Samantha sheepishly remarked as she reached around her lover to grasp a breakfast strip.
"Keep you fingers out of the food until we sit down," Alex chided Sam. "You always sleep like a baby, I can take no credit for that, but the making you feel great -- that I can take credit for and it was all my pleasure -- anytime you want a repeat. . ."
"I think we ought to eat this sensational breakfast first, don't you?" came the hungry reply from the small blonde. "What can I do to help?"
"You can get a cup of tea and go sit yourself down at the table. Everything is just about ready."
Breakfast went pretty much as Alex had planned and she explained as best she could about the situation with the "stranger" and the fact that it was probably not Nikki. Samantha listened intently, interrupting very little and when Alex was finished she simple stated that she had absolute trust in Alex and if she thought that the "stranger" had not been Nikki then they had better keep a watch out for who it just might be. Then Samantha came up with a question that had somehow bypassed Alex's thought processes completely. "Alex, do you have a picture of Nikki?" She half-hoped that the answer would be no but knew that it probably would be yes. "I could tell you immediately if the person I'm talking about is Nikki or not."
"I don't know why I didn't think of that before. Probably your being in danger short circuited all my natural thought processes," Alex commented getting up from the table and going out the door. "I'll be right back."
Across the hall in the junk room was a box that she hadn't opened in over a year, yet didn't have the fortitude to destroy. It was all that was left of her relationship with Nikki. This singular box was all that was left of the good memories of their time together. She shuffled through the cards and trinkets and found the large envelope that contained all the pictures she hadn't had the heart to get rid of. She quickly opened the envelope and searched for a picture of Nikki by herself. She certainly didn't want to take one of the two of them back to show Samantha. She already knew that Samantha had a touch of jealousy when it came to Nikki and she didn't need to be feeding into that. Alex found a picture of Nikki that had been taken just before they had broken up. She took it out and placed it on the floor beside her, doing her best to keep her mind on the problems at hand. After putting the envelope back where she had found it, she closed the box and pushed it into the far corner of the room.
An apprehensive Alex walked back into the apartment, photo in hand, "Here, Samantha -- this is what Nikki looks like." Standing behind her lover she placed the picture in her hand.
Samantha didn't have to study the picture for long before stating, "This isn't the person I saw. She looks a lot like this, but she isn't the person in this picture." Samantha looked up at Alex, not a trace of a smile on her face. "If this is Nikki, then Nikki is not the person stalking me. She is telling you the truth, Alex." She handed the picture back to Alex and got up from the table.
"Where are you going?" Alex asked.
"To the bathroom, do I need permission?" came the reply without a hint of humor.
Alex stood dumbfounded watching as Sam walked out of the room, "Of course you don't need permission, but Samantha . . ."
"Nothing." Alex stood there not knowing if she had done something wrong but having a gut feeling that showing Samantha the picture had not been a wise choice.
While she waited for Sam to come back into the room she started cleaning up the mess she had made making breakfast. She cleared off the table and put all the perishables away, having only the griddle and frying pan left when she decided Samantha was taking way too long and she needed to go check on her.
The bathroom door was closed so she knocked, feeling really odd about doing something she hadn't had to do since they had been together. "Samantha, you okay?"
"Yeah -- fine," came the soft answer from inside the room.
Silence followed but Alex couldn't let it go. "Honey, can I come in?"
Another soft reply, "I'd rather you didn't."
"Samantha, what's bothering you? We need to talk about this." Alex almost pleaded.
"I don't know what's wrong," came the muffled answer.
Alex decided not to wait for an invitation into the room. She tried the handle and found that Samantha had not locked the door. Entering the bathroom she discovered Samantha sitting in the middle of an empty Jacuzzi, knees up around her face, arms around her knees. She looked up at Alex with a tear streaked face. "She's really pretty. I didn't know she was so pretty." She put her face back down on her knees and sobbed.
"Samantha, don't," was all Alex could think of to say. She stepped into the Jacuzzi and squatted down in front of her lover. "If I had known you were going to react like this I would have never shown you that photo." She tried to take Samantha in her arms, but the smaller woman pulled back.
"How could you go from someone beautiful like her to someone like me? I don't have anything going for me, I have a tendency to gain weight and I'm short." Tears continued to fall from her eyes as she looked up at Alex.
The expression on Alex's face turned from compassion to anger and her tone of voice followed suit. She grabbed the smaller woman by the arms, her grip leaving white marks in the skin around her fingers, "Samantha Riley, I do not want to ever have this conversation again so you had best listen good to what I have to say." Samantha looked up into ice blue eyes. Alex had never looked at her like this before and it was scary. Her arm hurt where Alex was gripping it but she didn't move, she simply listened. "I love you, Samantha. I do not love Nikki. Nikki and I are history, just like you and anyone you may have had affections for in the past. You are my family, my life. You can't do this to yourself, and you can't do this to me. Do you understand, Samantha? If we need to talk then so be it but don't shut me out and don't ever think that Nikki will come between us."
Alex released her hold on the small blonde and waited for a reaction.
Samantha eyes filled again with tears, short hiccupping sounds came out between her words as she tried to explain to Alex that she had never felt toward anyone in her entire life the way she felt about her. She pointed out that she had never been jealous of anyone before and didn't know how to deal with the emotion. "Happiness can be shattered so easily. I'm afraid that I'm not good enough for you. I'm afraid of losing you."
Alex sat down next to the sobbing woman and cradled her in her arms. "Samantha, I don't know what to do to make you more secure. What if I made you an equal partner in the Clinic? Would that prove to you that I was serious . . . that there was no one else in my life?"
Finally the tears subsided and a smile broke through like a ray of sunshine in the small room. "Oh, Alex. Don't be ridiculous. Just the offer . . . I'm being silly . . . mood swings maybe." She threw her arms around the taller woman's neck and kissed her passionately. "Alex -- never change -- I'm so sorry."
They continued to sit in the Jacuzzi talking. Alex tried to get Samantha to the point where talking about Nikki was not such a big deal. She went into detail about the differences in the relationship she had with Nikki and the one the two of them shared, putting Samantha more and more at ease. Near the end of the conversation Alex gently scolded Samantha for her statement about her not having anything going for her in her life. She confessed to reading the poem Samantha had written the night before and told her that she thought it was lovely which had Samantha blushing and mumbling under her breath about it just being something she scribbled while sitting and waiting for Alex to come home. Alex mentioned the fact that she wanted to make sure that Sam got ample time to pursue her writing and that she would try to give her some private time in which to do it. Samantha gave Alex a hug and told her that time for writing would come when the writing came and that spending time with her was more important than writing the great American novel at this point in her life.
The rest of the day the two women spent just being together, talking, walking along the beach, and even swimming. It turned out to be your basic, run of the mill, do nothing much Sunday and they were both overjoyed that the day held no surprises, because the week ahead of them would keep them more than busy.
Monday came and went before the gals realized it was there and over.
Tuesday was a flurry of new people for Samantha to meet, tours around the Clinic and preparations for the catered affair on Friday. There was a phone call from Sonny who carried on about how excited he was that they would be arriving Friday morning and how he would get to see all his favorite people.
Hump day hit the girls before they knew it and Samantha began to get butterflies about the guests who would be arriving the following day. Guests in her eyes, family in Alex's. She was constantly checking and rechecking all the incidentals in the parental suite to make sure that everything was perfect. Alex found her up there after everyone had left straightening the curtains and adjusting the dishes in the cabinets.
"Samantha, everything looks perfect. You can stop fussing. My parents are not going to tear this place apart; they're just happy they don't have to stay in a motel." She took the smaller woman in her arms and cuddled her. "Come on, let's go to our place; this place will take care of itself until it has residents."
"I just want everything to be impeccable when your parents get here. I don't want them to think I'm some sort of inept slob."
"Where did that come from?" Alex wanted to know. "Inept slob? Samantha you are the furthest person from those two words that I know. Cut it out and just be yourself." She pushed the smaller woman out of the suite and headed her in the direction of their rooms.
"So, what time did you say they'd be arriving?" Samantha asked with a slight tremor in her voice.
"Mom said they were going to leave the house around 10 o'clock so they should be here before noon. They are looking forward to meeting you Samantha and going to the Pageant of the Masters with us. Guess we're going to have to take that show in twice this year. I don't mind seeing it once but once you've seen it . . . "
"Alex, you don't have to go again when my folks come if you don't really want to." Samantha offered.
"No . . . I just like to complain about getting too much culture all in the same month. Mom and Kelley got tickets for all of us, including Sonny and Ray so maybe it would be nice if we purchased the tickets for your family?" She opened the door to the apartment and ushered Samantha in.
Sam turned around and faced her lover, "Let me give my Mom a call tonight and see if they've purchased the tickets already. If they haven't that would be a real nice gesture."
"If your Dad balks at the idea of a woman buying his family the tickets, tell him that I can use it as a business expense. Most businessmen love to use up expense allowances." She smiled and kissed Samantha on the cheek. "Glass of wine?"
"Please." Walking into the living room she seated herself on the couch and admired the new tables that flanked either end and the large table in the middle. "I'm really glad these tables arrived before your Mom got here -- they really are beautiful, Alex." She patted the couch next to her indicating that she wanted Alex to join her. "So -- tell me what to expect when meeting your parents."
"Don't you want to go eat first?" Alex asked as she handed Samantha her wine.
"No, dinner after," Samantha smiled. "I want to be at least a little prepared. How about some pictures, you know ones of you growing up -- I could make some popcorn to tied us over until dinner and we could . . ."
"Samantha, they'll be here tomorrow," Alex interjected.
"That's precisely the point. I'm not at all prepared to meet them, especially Kelley. I mean, I know what your Mom looks like and I even know a little about her but not your other Mom. Come on Alex, give me a break." Soft green doe-like eyes met intense blue orbs, the former melting the latter.
"Oh, okay," Alex gave in, "but can we please go eat first? Then I'll sit here with you the rest of the evening and reminisce. You'll feel like you're seeing two old friends instead of meeting your new in-laws." She laughed, got up from the couch and pulled Samantha with her. "Ah . . . but this is going to cost you tonight . . ." she smiled broadly and kissed her lover passionately.
After a leisurely dinner at the closest restaurant with a full-sized salad bar, the gals made their way back to the apartment. True to her word Alex went across the hall and brought back a box full of memorabilia. She had albums her Mother had given her from the day she was born up to and including the past few years.
Samantha ooo'd over the baby pictures and giggled over the photos of an adolescent Alex. She saw the transition of Alex from a child to a young adult and finally to the beautiful woman she loved. It was quite obvious that Aurora tended to lean toward the hippie generation in the way Alex was dressed as a youngster, macrame necklaces and patches on her jeans. There was even a picture of a three-year-old Alex sitting on a motorcycle with her own helmet. One of Samantha's favorite photos was that of Alex on her first day of school in the second grade. There she stood, not in a dress but in green jeans with a matching denim jacket and a green tee-shirt that announced to all the world the word "Ms." She was definitely a woman's libber from the get-go! Photographs were rarely taken of Alex in a dress and Samantha concluded that the young Alex was probably just as headstrong as the one she fell in love with and would only wear what she wanted.
There were photographs of Alex on the volleyball team, Alex on the softball team, Alex on the basketball team and of course Alex in her martial arts uniforms. "No dancing?" Samantha innocently asked.
"No -- I was a klutz when it came to dancing and it didn't really go along with all the sports. Mom was the one who insisted on the martial arts training, she thought at least that way I would get some form and poise, and I guess it worked." Her smiled turned a little downward as she continued, "What Mom hadn't been ready for was the aggression that came with it. I didn't seem to want learn the lesson that the sport was for self-protection and peace and not for showing how easy it was for you to get the best of someone else. There was a time when I was actually a bit of a bully. But with a Mother like mine you learn to focus on positive things and she tried her best to keep me from picking on kids just so I could win."
Holding up a handful of multi-colored belts, Samantha had a look of awe on her face. "Are these all belts you qualified for? There are so many of them."
"That's only some of them. I started out in Tae Kwon Do . . . Here, let me take a look at those." Sorting through the belts she explained, "Mom still has my white belt which was my very first, and I think she still has my first Do Bok, which is what the uniform is called in Tae Kwon Do. It's hard to remember which order they were received in but it seems the second belt I got was this orange one, a little further down was the green, then a striped one, then the blue. There were a couple of these others before the brown and finally the black. It was a lifetime ago, Samantha."
"You're not that old, Alex," the small blonde smiled up from where she was rummaging through the box.
"No, but Mom started me out at five. When I got into junior high I started taking some Kung Fu lessons and then in high school I began the Tai Chi."
With a far-away look in her dark blue eyes she stared out toward the ocean. "I re-channeled and put most of my competitive feelings into the business once I was out of college. I was not very well liked in school and still am not by a lot of professional people, Samantha. You don't know the Alex Dorian that the business world knows."
"Did you use any weapons in your martial arts studies?" Samantha wanted to know.
"I got fairly proficient at wielding a few different weapons." Alex admitted. She reached into the box and brought out what looked like two 2-section sticks hooked together at the top. "These are called Ee Chul Bong. I got pretty good at using these but they can be really dangerous."
She put them back in the box and then changed the subject by opening another album and showing her favorite pictures of her parents. Samantha let the discussion of martial arts drop, as it wasn't difficult to realize Alex didn't want to talk about it any more. They turned back to looking at the photographs in chronological order and viewed Aurora and Kelley as they went from being young people, actually younger than she and Alex were right now, to mature adults. She saw Kelley's hair go from an ebony color almost matching Alex's to a distinguished looking salt and pepper. Alex filled her in on the things they liked and disliked, the kind of people they were and what it was like to be raised by them.
It was extremely interesting to hear the full account of the raising of a child in a lesbian home, that was both socially and politically active. As a young child and adolescent she had gone to Gay Pride Parades all up and down the coast of California. Samantha soon realized that Alex was graced with many "uncles" who would otherwise have been called "aunts." She had been loved by the entire extended family which included literally hundreds of people. Alex informed Samantha that probably more than a few of them would arrive on their doorstep sometime during the Friday Open House. She started to tell about the different belief systems that had filtered through her childhood but changed her mind and told Samantha to question Aurora about things like that -- it would give them something to talk about and Aurora loved talking on esoteric topics.
While flipping through the pages of the more recent albums Alex started to remove some pictures and was quickly stopped by Samantha.
"I can't let you do that, Alex. Those women were part of your past. I'm your future and I have to get used to the fact that there were others you cared deeply about before me." Her eyes narrowed into deep green slits and she put on her best intimidating voice, "But . . . take my word for it Alexis Dorian . . . you had better not let those sapphires of yours wander now that I am here. You Got That?"
Alex feigned her best you really scare me look and assured Samantha there would be no eye wandering. Closing the last of the albums she put it back in the box and turned to her lover. "So, are you quite acquainted with your in-laws now?"
"I think I have a much better handle on who they are and even a little more insight on who you are." Samantha replied.
Raising an eyebrow and smiling a crooked smile Alex countered the statement. "Oh, you think you know me a little better, now do you? When do I get to see your life in pictures? Turn about is fair play you know?" Alex questioned.
"I guess we could do a "Samantha" version of tonight after your folks leave. But my Mom was not as doting as yours; I don't have tons of pictures and albums, just a few." She snuggled close to Alex and hugged her gently. "Ready for bed?"
"Thought you'd never ask. Bubbles or shower?"
A seductive glance and a whispered, "Nice leisurely bubbles" was just the answer she had been hoping for.
The tall, dark-haired beauty undressed in the bedroom then proceeded to pick up the two fluted champagne glasses she had filled moments ago. Samantha had candles burning in the bathroom and the soft radiating light from them gave rise to an almost ethereal atmosphere. When Alex stepped into the room her first glimpse of Samantha was akin to looking into the face of an angel. "You are beautiful," she whispered to the vision before her. The absence of light hid the blush on Samantha's cheeks as Alex stepped carefully into the Jacuzzi and handed one of the champagne glasses to her lover. "We covered a lot of territory tonight, my love, and we've been through quite an emotional merry-go-round the past few days. Here's to us, Samantha -- to you and me and to our future."
The lovers intertwined their arms, each drinking from the other's glass. Alex took the glass from Samantha and place them both on the edge of the tub then pulled her lover close. The double ritual of bathing afforded the lovers the opportunity to touch and stoke at leisure every crevice and curve of the body next to them.
Samantha opted not to use the puff tonight and poured the body gel directly into her hands making them the vehicles of a soapy seduction. Starting at Alex's neck she worked her way slowly down the tall muscular body, caressing every inch as she trailed her fingers over nipples standing hard and erect and continuing on to the small indentation of her lover's navel. She could feel Alex's heart beat increase in speed as her hands reached erogenous zones and methodically inched their way along the smooth soft skin of her lover's stomach. The small blonde pulled herself closer to the object of her heart's desire as she reached the soft dark curls of her lover's mound. Straddling Alex she placed both her hands between the taller woman's legs and squeezed ever so gently. Alex closed her eyes and let out an involuntary moan as Samantha entered her slowly and rhythmically. "Let's not finish here, my love," Samantha whispered.
"You want me to stand up and walk?" came the panicked response.
A smiled crossed the face of the green-eyed imp as she answered, "Well . . . I guess I could try to carry you."
"Not in this lifetime," Alex retorted as she slowly stood up in the tub and pulled her lover up with her. She reached for two towels and wrapped Samantha in the first before throwing the second around her own naked body.
As the lovers entered the bedroom the melodious music of Kenny G sounded softly from the player and The Heroine of Niguel was flickering with her first candle, having been lit by Samantha earlier in the evening. The iridescent light coming from the sapphire eyes of the candleholder cast a blue hue on the entire bedroom, accentuating the stars that shone through the floor to ceiling windows.
The fragrant vanilla scent from the candle permeated the room and the already prepared bed beckoned the lovers. Putting herself in a supine position on the bed Alex invitingly held out her arms, "Come here you little minx . . . and the tables shall turn on she who teases."
"Teases -- who was teasing?" Samantha protested. "I just wanted to taste you and not have the aftertaste of soap in my mouth, besides that I can't hold my breath very long. I'm not half fish like someone else I know."
Long arms reached further out and grabbed two small hands, pulling the accompanying body down onto the bed. "There now, isn't this better than standing above me arguing?" Deep set blue eyes twinkled in the flickering candle glow of the room. Nestling closer to the small frame she had pulled on top of her, Alex inhaled the perfume that was uniquely Samantha. "You always smell so sweet. No wonder I can't keep my lips off you," she murmured into the flaxen hair as her arms tightened their hold on the small frame.
"Alex, don't you remember . . . it was me who was . . . Alex . . ."
A quick rolling maneuver and the small blonde found herself lying under her hero, her whisper lost in the moment. "Mom will be here tomorrow," Alex explained, "and she never sleeps which means we will get no sleep for at least three days. Sonny will be here on Friday and he's almost as bad as Mom. Consequently, I will devour you tonight for it may be the last chance I get for the next couple of days."
Raven-colored hair tickled small firm breasts as Alex drew circles with her tongue in Samantha's stomach. "You taste as sweet as you smell," she took the time to confess as she sucked on the lower part of Samantha's abdomen, her slender fingers continuing to roll small, hard nipples between them. Suddenly there was a hand on either side of Samantha's face as Alex brought her body up full to passionately kiss the lips of her soul mate while pressing all that she was against the mound of her lover. Samantha separated her legs to allow Alex full access to her body, no longer trying to protest being on the receiving end of the love making. Alex placed one muscular arm down the entire length of the smaller woman's frame, then shifted to straddle her lover's thigh with her body to allow room for the hand to explore freely the soft skin beneath the golden curls. Fingers found the small zone of pleasure but lingered only moments before Alex again shifted her weight to lower her mouth to the same area and part take in the feast that was her lover. Slowly flicking her tongue in the area where her fingers had just been, she immediately found the small hard bud standing as erect as the nipples her fingers had moments before left behind. The invitation was unmistakable. Ever the experienced lover, Alex courted the zone slowly at first, smiling as a warm liquid saturated the entire area. Her heart beat faster as Samantha's gyrations urged her on. She allowed her tongue full access to the realm of pleasure, granting it entrance where fingers would surely follow.
Samantha gripped the pillow beneath her head as her moans of pleasure filled the room. "Alex . . . you don't know what you're doing to me," she almost screamed.
"Of course I do," came the sly reply as Alex expertly continued. "Samantha, I am going to make you mine."
A whispered "Too late," was heard, followed by, "Been There, Done That."
Long gentle fingers found their way to the soft hollow area within the recesses of the small blonde. "No one could ever love you the way I do, Samantha," Alex purred as she brought herself up to lie half-on the body of the woman she adored. "Pleasuring you is as erotic for me as it is for you."
A groan of ecstasy escaped Samantha's lips.
"I want you Samantha, I need you."
Samantha reached down and placed her hand on soft wet curls and the silky territory beneath.
"Just push Samantha, hold your hand still and push and . . . by the Goddess . . ."
"Alex . . . by the Gods Alex . . ."
Tomorrow was going to be a busy day, but tonight Samantha would sleep soundly, pleasantly exhausted from the interactions with her lover. Only dreams of Alex would be allowed to filter through the darkness of satisfaction that enveloped the small blonde as she fell into a deep sleep, a smile of contentment playing on her lips. The arms of Morpheus would also engulf Alex tonight as dreams of her angel already filled her mind. An unusual tranquillity saturated her entire being and she slept knowing that she had satisfied her lover as no one else ever had and if she had anything to do with the decision, no one else ever would.
A funny thing happened on Thursday morning. Samantha was the first to open her eyes and leave the bed. It's gotta be nerves, she admitted to herself, nothing else would get me up at the crack of dawn. She walked into the bathroom and stared at the face looking back at her. Affirmation time! You are one lucky girl, Samantha Renee Riley. Alex loves you. You are worthy. Aurora and Kelley will like you! Now -- get a grip and go make some tea. She splashed some water on her face, combed her hair and brushed her teeth to finish the ritual.
Walking back through the bedroom, she stole a glance at the bed to take in a sight she had never seen before, Alex lying sleeping peacefully as the first beams of morning sunlight entered the room. Her beautiful hero -- she looked so serene -- Samantha wanted to go over and kiss her, but feared her dark angel would open her azure deeps and the spell would be broken. With a twinkle in her emerald eyes, she settled for blowing a kiss aimed directly at her lover's cheek as she quietly left the room.
Alex stirred slightly and placed a slender hand to her face and smiled as though something magical had just occurred in her dream.
Samantha was sitting curled up close to the window, surrounded by pillows, looking out over the ocean, tea in hand, when she felt a light weight on her shoulders and the tender touch of a morning kiss on the top of her head.
"This is certainly a first. What got you out of bed so early?"
Looking up and tilting her head back she smiled at the woman towering over her, "Anticipation I think."
Alex sat beside her and gave her a morning hug to match the kiss she had just received. "We've nothing to do before the folks arrive. Want to go for a swim and then out to breakfast?"
"Sounds like just what I need to keep my mind off waiting for them to arrive," Samantha beamed.
It was a leisurely swim on the deserted beach and the two women appreciated the tranquility. Breakfast, on the other hand, was a new experience. Samantha sat and stared at the familiar menu. "Nothing seems appetizing. I don't think I'm really very hungry."
"Hello? Earth to Samantha!" Alex looked on incredulously. "Are you not feeling well?" She put a hand up to Samantha's forehead in a mock gesture of taking a temperature. "Samantha -- this is breakfast we're talking about."
"I know -- I'm just not very hungry."
"Listen, Honey, I don't know when we'll be eating again. Why don't we just order an omelet special and a side of pancakes and share?" Concerned blue eyes stared at the blonde across the table. "You have to eat something, Samantha."
"Okay, sharing sounds good. I'll probably get my appetite back when the food arrives." She smiled over at Alex and winked, "Guess you know how to put me on a diet -- get me nervous."
When they arrived back at the house at 11:30, a metallic silver Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet was sitting in front of the warehouse, soft top down, occupant free. Samantha just looked at Alex and received an affirmative nod.
"Guess they went for a walk on the beach or maybe just a look around the outside of the building. Come on, Sweetie, let's go meet your in-laws." Alex grabbed Samantha's hand and helped her out of the car. She pulled her close and kissed her gently. "Mom and Kelley will love you almost as much as I do, I can guarantee it."
"I'm glad you're so damn sure of yourself, Ms. Dorian -- I just hope you're right." Samantha hugged her closely and kissed her back. Smiling up at the dark-haired beauty she winked, "Okay -- let's go meet the lions."
Aurora and Kelley were taking in the scenery around the building and the view of the beach from the cliff when they heard Alex's car pull up. It wasn't the first time they had been here, but it was the first time they had seen the building completely finished and landscaped. Kelley approved of what her daughter had done with the old building and the land surrounding it. It was going to be a very lucrative investment for all concerned; she was sure of it.
Two young women walking southward and two older women walking northward met in the middle of the cliff overlooking the beach. Samantha was surprised to see that Alex actually looked like a combination of the two of them. Kelley was tall and had angular features while Aurora was only a slip of a woman, not any taller and maybe even a little shorter than Samantha herself. On closer observation there was no doubt where the piercing sapphire eyes had come from, ones almost identical to Alex's were looking through Samantha and into her soul.
Aurora broke eye contact with Samantha to smile broadly at her offspring. She held out her arms and walked closer to the two younger women. Alex hugged her Mother closely and gave her a kiss, then stepped over and did the same to Kelley. She motioned for Samantha to join her and holding her lover's small hand in her own she began the introductions.
"Samantha, as if you didn't already know, these are my parents Kelley and Aurora. Mom, Kelley . . .this is Samantha."
Kelley nodded and affirmed that it was nice to meet Samantha. Aurora started to do the same but changed her mind and walked over and hugged the obviously nervous young woman. Aurora's blue eyes twinkled and her smile was reminiscent of one Samantha had already grown to love, "I've heard a lot about you Samantha. It's nice to finally get to meet you in person."
Unable to control the tremor in her voice Samantha did her best to acknowledge the greeting. "I've heard a lot about the two of you, also. It really is good to get to meet you, but I have to admit I was . . . am still a little nervous."
"Well, that's just plain silly. No need to be nervous -- I hear you're not just a new acquaintance -- we're Family." Samantha was put a bit more at ease at the sight of the broad smile on Aurora's face, as well as the weight of a familiar strong arm that came back to rest on her shoulders.
"So, where were you two coming from?" Aurora asked.
"We just stopped for some breakfast." Alex answered.
Looking at her watch and then at her daughter, an eyebrow went up and a crooked smile came upon the older woman's face, "Almost a brunch wasn't it? We ate on the way up also, so we should all be hungry again at about the same time. Shall we go see this completed project of yours, Alex."
More than happy to have the attention diverted from the meeting of Samantha and her parents, Alex maneuvered the small blonde on her arm around and starting walking toward the front of the building. The next hour or so was spent going over the entire Clinic and explaining how everything was going to work. Kelley felt the spaciousness and layout of the rooms to be very well throughout. She was especially impressed with the track overlooking the pool area and with the equipment in the gym.
Aurora was delighted with the esoteric designs in the massage rooms and on the walls lining many areas of the Clinic. She loved Alex's office and the view it afforded her, and she couldn't say enough about the large desk that had been placed in the room just days before. The pool was her favorite place and she kept raving about the paintings of the sea animals. She even turned to Kelley and suggested that they have the same artist paint some of the animals in their pool. Kelley criticized the idea of having to empty the entire pool just to have it painted and cited secondarily that she was not sure she would like to swim with mammals other than humans on a daily basis.
Finally it was time to take the small group upstairs and show off the new parental suite as well as the main apartment. They had been down once or twice over the past four months, during the construction, but hadn't been down since the major inside construction of tearing down walls and adding partitions had been finished. It had still looked pretty much like a warehouse the last time Kelley and Aurora had seen the inside of the building. Kelley was especially anxious to see how Alex had handled the completion of the project.
"Samantha's totally responsible for the atmosphere of your suite, and I think you're really going to be pleased with it," Alex gave credit where credit was due.
That was definitely not the statement Samantha had wanted to hear come out of Alex's mouth. "Oh, great," she softly vocalized, hoping only Alex would hear. "Now if they don't like the suite, they'll know who to blame."
"What would there be not to like?" Aurora chimed in overhearing the statement. "It's a place to stay while we're up here visiting the two of you, and we don't have to go to a motel. Besides, if Alex says you have good taste, Samantha, I would trust that you must." The older woman smiled again at the younger to put her at ease and received a returned smile and a blush that seemed to accentuate the green of Samantha's eyes.
Aurora had no intentions of disappointing her daughter, it seemed so far that Samantha was everything Alex had stated over the phone, and Aurora wanted this day of introduction to be a pleasant experience for all involved. She smiled graciously and commented positively on all the little hints of personal touches that were definitely Samantha. She put her arm around the small blonde's waist, as they walked from room to room. "Looks like I finally have someone new in the family who's more my height," she commented as they walked through the last of the rooms, "and one whose taste in furnishings and decorating is very similar to my own. You did a fine job, Samantha. It was quite a large accomplishment, I might add."
"Why don't Alex and I go down and get the luggage while you and Samantha go on into the apartment," Kelley suggested as the small troupe walked in the direction of the elevator.
"Will you call for dinner reservations when you get back up?" Aurora wanted to know.
Kelley raised an eyebrow, mumbled something to Alex then turned around and answered her lover, "Of course I will, Aurora. Don't I always? There's plenty of time."
The rest of the afternoon and evening went smoother than Samantha could have ever imagined. Alex had been right again; she and Aurora seemed to hit it off immediately after her initial shyness and self-consciousness wore off. Kelley was a little more standoffish and seemed to relate more to Alex and the business. Similar to Alex she didn't seem to be much of a talker, but then Aurora did enough to make up for any lack of conversation from the tall quiet woman. When she thought about it that was another trait Samantha seemed to have in common with the Mother of her lover . . . they both loved to talk.
Dinner was an exquisite experience. Kelley found a restaurant in the Laguna Hills that even Alex had not been to. It was small, yet elegant. A quiet establishment, almost hidden in the hills, but with a view of the lights of Laguna and the surrounding area. They ate on an outside patio with candles on the tables and subtle music permeating the air. It was truly a relaxing meal to help welcome Samantha into the family.
Both Aurora and Kelley could see the change that had occurred in their daughter. She was more at ease than they had seen her in years and she had no trouble smiling and laughing. Conversation, which normally was a chore with Alex, seemed to come easily with Samantha at her side. Alex had always been a headstrong, take control-type of person but her parents could see that this small snip of a young woman had captured their daughter's heart and melted some of the ice that had surrounded it for years. Aurora felt that perhaps she could stop worrying about Alex now, maybe her impetuous daughter who always seemed to pick lovers who were destructive, had finally met the soul who would be able to bring her some piece of mind and allow her to settle down and be happy.
There was quite a day in store for the entire troupe tomorrow. Ray and Sonny would be arriving early and the open house was to start around noon with the caterers arriving around nine to get things set up. They decided on a quick nightcap in the apartment and then an early end to the evening.
To Samantha's surprise and elation, Aurora gave the living room furnishings her seal of approval. She really seemed to love the unique tables they had found at the Festival. Touring the rest of the apartment, her quick indigo eyes also spotted the female candleholder in the bedroom and questioned Alex about it.
"Oh, that's something Samantha bought at the Festival while I was laboriously looking for the tables," came the snide answer as she cocked her head in the direction of her lover and smiled.
"I was drawn into the booth by the unusual display of tree people and this one just jumped out at me. She's called the Heroine of Niguel and her sapphire eyes reminded me of Alex. I couldn't resist." Samantha blushed slightly at the retelling of why she had to have the object.
"Was it the eyes, the female or the heroine that really got your attention," Aurora asked with a twinkle in her eyes as she watched the younger woman blush even deeper. "Ahhhh," she smiled. "Did you know that Laguna Niguel is only about four miles from here?"
"I didn't even know there was a Laguna Niguel," came the innocent answer.
"Niguel was the name of a Juaneno Indian village that was once located on the Aliso Creek. When California was still a Mexican territory Rancho Niguel was one of the largest sheep rancheros in the area. The ranch and its land changed hands many times and in the late 1950's the area became known as Laguna Niguel. So now you have a little piece of history to go along with your "heroine", Samantha."
"Remind me never to play a trivia game with you, Aurora. I can now see where Alex gets her ability to remember all the small details that other people would just overlook. You would have been proud of the tour guide ability she displayed up in San Francisco." Samantha looked over at her partner with as much pride as she assumed Aurora would have had for the tall beauty.
When they were just about finished walking around the apartment, Kelley walked in from the kitchen carrying an open bottle of Asti Spumonte and four wine glasses. She gave each of the ladies a glass and proceeded to pour. "To double beginnings -- the beginning of a profitable Alternative Paradise and the beginning of a most loving and lasting relationship between our daughter and this lovely young woman before us. So . . ." as glasses clinked ". . . to the Center and to the Girls."
"The Center," Alex mulled over the word -- "Yeah, I like that definition a lot better than clinic for Alternative Paradise. Thanks Kelley." After touching glasses with her parents she turned to Samantha, "To the Center and to Us."
A "Here, Here" from the smaller two women consummated the toast and all drank.
The wine was delicious, but the conversation began to run a little long and was interrupted by Kelley who reminded Aurora that the day ahead was going to be full and that she had promised an early retreat to the suite. Even the evil eye from the articulate author could not deter her mate from practically dragging her off at a decent hour to the guest suite on the other side of the building.
Goodnights were given and both Kelley and Aurora gave Samantha a hug and kiss and again welcomed her into the family. As they were going out the door, Kelley turned and walked back over to the small blonde, leaned close to her ear and whispered that she truly believed her daughter had finally found the woman of her dreams. She smiled as she pulled away and noticed the red tint to Samantha's ear. "You do that quite easily, don't you?" she beamed at Samantha.
"I guess I do," was the only answer Sam could think of as she put a hand up to her ear.
"Well, you fared pretty well today. Mom didn't have three heads and Kelley didn't breathe fire." Alex teased her mate as they started to undress and get ready for bed.
"Aren't you the funny one? And just how will you react when it's your turn to meet my parents?" came the sarcastic reply.
"Actually, I think I have more to be in fear of than you did. Your parents will not know our real relationship and so I'll have to walk around on pins and needles and try my damnedest to keep my hands off you the entire time they are here." Alex responded, giving Samantha a poor-me look.
Samantha walked over to Alex, putting her arms around her lover's waist. "Okay, I guess you have a valid argument there. I'm sorry, but I don't know how else to handle the situation."
"There is no other way," Alex replied "Don't worry about it. All will turn out the way it's supposed to. Your parents will know when it's time for them to know and it will be handled then and not before."
Changing the subject Samantha commented on the statement Alex had made the night before about Aurora not needing much sleep and keeping them all up until the wee hours of the morning. Alex explained that Kelley was tired from the drive up and that she had coerced Aurora into an early night because she knows what Aurora is like when she gets with Sonny and when there is an event going on. Alex assured her mate that the rest of the weekend would definitely show the party-side of her Mother. There would be the open house tomorrow, the Pageant of the Masters on Saturday night and the Festival on Sunday. The rest of the weekend would be anything but quiet and relaxing and they would definitely not be getting a large amount of shut eye.
"But tonight . . ." Alex poured them each another glass of wine and turned out the living room lights. The moon and stars illuminated the living room enough for the two lovers to see each other and cast a romantic aura on the entire room. Alex raised her glass and toasted for the second time this evening. "To the Center and To Us. I love you so, Samantha. Today has been a very important day. I told you my parents would love you almost as much as I do."
"I love you, too, Alex. I don't know about your parents "loving" me, but at least they do seem to have graciously accepted me."
"Your choice, Samantha -- swim in the ocean, walk on the beach or bath in the Jacuzzi?"
"None of the above," came the quick reply, "what would you say to a swim with the dolphins, otters and manatee under the moon and the stars?"
Even in the dimmed light Samantha could see the sparkle in her lover's eyes. "You don't have to ask twice, sounds great! We doing this in suits or au natural?"
"Oh, I think, perhaps the latter tonight -- I feel adventurous."
Alex looked over at her lover and held back a laugh as she smiled and asked, "Just adventurous or is it the thrill of knowing parents are in the same house and we would be doing something we wouldn't want them to catch us doing? Are you mentally back in high school, Samantha -- going for the thrill?"
"Actually, I never had the opportunity to go for the thrill in high school and wouldn't have had the desire if I did have the opportunity. But . . . I guess it is kind of a thrill knowing your parents will be just two floors above us." The small blonde smiled broadly at her lover and squeezed her hand.
"And just maybe they might be unable to sleep and have the same idea and . . ."
"No! I wasn't thinking anything like that," came the adamant reply from the small blonde, Irish eyes widening at the thought.
"Sure you weren't!" Alex smiled. "Come on let's get going, the night is quickly slipping into morning."
They quickly undressed and donned terrycloth robes before making their way to the elevator. Alex turned the security system off and down they went. The glow from the celestial bodies set a scene that could not have been matched in the most romantic cinemagraphic set imaginable. The water shimmered and the sea animals almost took on life when ripples were formed by the entrance of two totally unadorned sea nymphs. They swam and played, like two children unaware there was a world beyond them. They stood in waist deep liquid, embracing each other, droplets of water sparkling off their bodies as the stars smiled down their light.
When they could no longer stand not being able to complete what they had already begun Samantha suggested they finally initiate the mat on the gym room floor. Giggling like school girls they pulled themselves out of the pool, bid good evening to their imaginary sea mates and grabbed their robes, heading for the gym.
The mat that had avoided being christened the first time Samantha had been shown around the Center came to be no longer virgin territory. The lovers explored each other passionately, taking turns reaching orgasms and finalizing the episode of romance with the two of them climaxing together under the moon and the stars . . . in the middle of the center gym . . . in the early morning hours of the day of the open house . . . with parents two floors above them, sleeping soundly. Resting in each others arms they did the unspeakable, the one thing they did not want to do after this particular early morning escapade -- they both fell soundly asleep.
Go on to Chapter Fifteen
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