|strrynighte (strrynighte) wrote,|
@ 2010-03-17 18:00:00
Title: A Woman's Place
The next morning, Andrew awakened to find Lirael snuffling adorably into his neck, cuddled close to his side with his arm under her shoulder and neck and the other arm thrown across her hip and curved up her back—said arm had at some point in the night maneuvered beneath the old, large tee shirt and his hand was lying against smooth, warm skin.
As Andrew took note of all these things, Lirael began to wake up as well. When the reality of the events of the previous afternoon and evening sunk in fully, Lirael snuggled closer to Andrew, and he obliged her by pulling his arms in close, holding her tightly to him as a few tears broke loose.
"Ready to face the day, love?" Andrew questioned her hair under his chin.
"Yeah," came the reply through a stuffy nose. A sniffle or two accompanied the reply, though Andrew made no mention of either.
"Ok, well, you need to let go of me to get dressed and head downstairs to eat before leaving. I imagine that your wonderful siblings, who by the way I believe have given me express permission to be with you, have likely packed quite a bit for us. So whenever you are ready, just give me the signal."
"What's the signal?" Lirael asked, her eyes peeking out from beneath the mussed hair over her face.
"Well, I personally think that it should be you telling your parents to go to hell with their misogynistic, out dated views on a woman's place in life, but really, you can just let me know that you're ready to head back ok?"
Lirael giggled at his suggestion, and detached herself reluctantly from her life-size teddy bear. She crawled out of the covers by way of snaking under them to the foot of the bed and got out of bed. She stretched; unaware of the predicament Andrew was finding himself in.
Andrew for his part watched her openly with some bemusement at the effect she had on him. I hope that she always has this effect on me he thought. He followed Lirael's example and stood up from the bed, though he refrained from snaking under the covers to get out.
Again, he moved to her bedroom door to go downstairs to the guest room and retrieve his own clothes, only to find that once again, Lirael's siblings had lent a hand, delivering his duffle bag to Lirael's room, with all of his things packed neatly inside, ready to go at a moment's notice. He smiled to himself, and said a silent thank you to the younger Cambridge's for their thoughtfulness.
With the door closed, Andrew put the bag on the bed and rooted through it to find his toiletry items. Shaving cream, razor, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a comb all found their way into Lirael's bathroom. Andrew set everything but the shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel on the counter; the rest went in the shower. Lirael joined him in the bathroom at this point, and started the water for a shower.
"You know," she began slyly, "I seem to remember a shower last night, but not much beyond the fact that there was one. Care to explain that m'dear?"
"Umm, well, you were wet, I was wet, and very cold. Warm water is good…" Andrew stammered out intelligently.
"Ah, I see. We were wet and cold and needed to get warmed up before drying off. A shower was a good idea; I just wish that I could remember it. I would hope that it would be fun to see you in the shower. Would you like to remedy that this morning Andrew?" Lirael dropped all playfulness, and her eyes spoke only of yearning for Andrew.
"Anything for you, love," Andrew said, his voice suddenly gruff.
Lirael smiled brightly, a smile that Andrew hadn't seen since they first set foot in her parent's house two days before. She turned to set the shower on instead of the faucet under the knob. Andrew came up behind her, and as she stood up from fiddling with the shower, he began to undress her from her sleep clothes.
His hands slid gently under the hem of the tee shirt and glided softly across her flat and trim stomach. They stretched out from her skin just when they would have reached the underside of her breasts, and took the shirt with them.
Lirael let out a quiet moan when Andrew purposefully avoided touching her where she so wanted him to touch her. His hands carried the shirt up as they slid from directly in front of her to her sides. She raised her arms to assist in the removal of her shirt. With the shirt thrown off to some distant corner of the bathroom, likely joining our wet things from last night Andrew thought, he allowed his hands to ghost down Lirael's bare arms, sliding sensually along her fair skin. Lirael's head dropped back onto Andrew's shoulder, positioned just right to cradle her head as she luxuriated in her lover's caresses.
Finally, when she thought that she would have to say something, or guide him directly, Andrew's hands dropped to her stomach again instead of moving up her arms for a third time. His hands traced a similar path as before up to the edge of her breasts. This time though, they continued on. First cradling the flesh in his palms, lightly squeezing, shaping, and molding her. His thumbs swept up to brush over her nipples, hardened from both the cool air of the room and the arousal Andrew was awakening inside her. His hands moved to cover her breasts completely, the palms, moving in circles over the hardened nubs in the center teasingly.
Unable to stand the torture any longer, Lirael turned abruptly in the circle of Andrew's arms, rising up on her toes to capture his lips in a passionate kiss. Her arms returned the favor, sneaking under his sleep shirt to thread gently through the soft wiry hair scattered here and there on his chest, hiking up his shirt as she went.
She released his mouth only enough to sweep the shirt over his head before engaging his mouth again in battle with their tongues as the passion and love rose higher and higher in them. Her fingers tangled themselves in his thick brown hair, holding his head steady against her mouth unleashing its hunger. They broke apart, panting for breath. Andrew's hands continued gliding up and down her back, fingers smoothing whimsical patterns here and there as they went. Then they were in front, between their bodies almost magically considering how close they were standing and the way that Lirael was pressing herself as best she could against Andrew. His hands massaged her breasts, lifting them gently, bringing her to a new peak in her arousal.
"Shower?" Lirael gasped out between her breathy moans of pleasure. Her own hands dropped to the elastic waistband of Andrew's sleep pants. She slid them down, taking his boxer shorts along too, though she didn't really realize it immediately, she certainly didn't complain either. Andrew's hands had abandoned her breasts momentarily to help her out of her shorts and panties.
With no material between their skin, Andrew and Lirael embraced tightly, reveling in the wonderful and glorious feeling of skin on skin contact. This must be the most ultimate pleasure in life, Lirael decided silently as she enjoyed being held against Andrew.
Somehow, they managed to make their way into the bathtub without mishap. Inside, Andrew drew back the shower curtain to enclose them, Lirael moving right back into Andrew's open arms under the spray of warm water from the showerhead. They kissed, with less ferocity, but no less passion.
Andrew's hands took this opportunity to roam where he had avoided the night before.
"Is this alright?" he asked Lirael, moving his hands to the top of her firm bottom before stopping for her permission.
She nodded her assent into his shoulder where she had hidden her face as she recovered from their kiss. Andrew let the water guide his movements, tracing her skin lightly as water meandered across it with his hands. He cupped her, lifting her slightly to fit her perfectly against his larger body. God, it's like we were made for each other alone the way she fits into me, Andrew thought.
Lirael gasped when she felt the evidence for Andrew's desire rising between them, warm and firm. Though I'm not quite sure how I missed that before just now Lirael thought bemusedly. Andrew meanwhile continued to massage and learn the feel of Lirael's skin all over, gliding sensually through the water streaming over both of their bodies.
Carefully, he brought them down from their intense arousal, so that it simmered under the skin, still there, but not as intense or demanding as before. He lathered up the bath sponge with shower gel and after washing Lirael, handed it to her. Lirael washed him in return, blushing cutely as she washed his bum, forgoing the bath sponge to use her bare hands to spread the sweet scented suds. They repeated the process with the shampoo and conditioner both, and climbed out of the shower, with a handful of loving kisses exchanged in between.
Dry once more, Lirael and Andrew dressed casually in jeans and comfortable shirts. Andrew combed his hair while Lirael fought valiantly with hers before handing the brush to Andrew with shaking hands. He had her seated on the bed turned to face the head of it in a heartbeat. In moments, he had her long hair untangled and was simply brushing it to help calm Lirael's obvious nerves without words.
Lirael hummed with pleasure as the brush scraped her scalp and soothed it simultaneously. I need to have him do this more often for me; he has no idea how good this feels!
"As much as I love brushing your hair, I don't know what you want to do with it today. Any requests?" Andrew asked her softly.
"A single braid is fine please," Lirael replied in a sigh.
"Okay, umm, how do I do that?" Andrew chuckled.
Lirael giggled as she explained how to separate her hair into three sections and take turns folding the sections into the middle. With a slightly lumpy and loose braid and a bright pink hair tie that Andrew had dug out of the back of the bottom-most drawer in the bathroom, they finally made their way downstairs to breakfast. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately as it were, it was only just then 10 o' clock.
In the kitchen, they found Lirael's parents moving about the kitchen along with Lirael's younger brothers and sisters. Her mother stood at the stove, watching pancakes and a skillet of scrambled eggs. Her father was next to her at the counter, pouring glasses of orange juice. They both glanced up, almost in unison, saw Andrew and Lirael standing in the door way to the kitchen, and without a single word, went right back to their tasks. Zach was helping his father move the glasses of juice to the table, while Jacob and Jennifer placed plates and silverware at each chair space. Melody was distributing napkins to each plate before leaving a good amount in the center of the table as well.
"Good morning Lirael, Andrew," Zach said when he saw them. That broke the silence of the kitchen as all of the siblings scrambled to be the next to greet the two, though Lirael's parents continued to blatantly ignore them.
Before long, everyone was seated at the table, loaded with toast, butter, jams and jellies, scrambled eggs, pancakes, and syrup. Despite the chatter of the siblings amongst themselves, breakfast was a stilted affair with Mr. and Mrs. Cambridge giving Lirael and Andrew the cold shoulder.
Eventually, the mockery of a lively, family breakfast ended as everyone stood and began placing plates, silverware, and cups into the sink. Lirael picked up the empty bowl that had held the scrambled eggs and Andrew stacked the empty toast and pancake plates before moving those to the sink as well. The younger Cambridge's picked up the remaining items and returned them to their proper homes, and tasks finished, they left the kitchen, leaving it to Mr. and Mrs. Cambridge, Lirael, and Andrew.
Brushing her hands of crumbs, Lirael fidgeted as she said, "Well, we should get on the road I guess. We've got quite a drive ahead of us, and I'd rather not be driving at night if I can avoid it."
"If you insist," Mrs. Cambridge replied diffidently.
"Lirael," her father began, "I wish you would stop and consider your actions. You're not thinking about the consequences all the way through. No man will want to marry a woman with a career. That sort of life is not for you, for any woman. How can you marry, have children, and raise a family if you're forever haring off to a job? Certainly you can't expect your husband to do your womanly duties for you. His place is working to support you and your children, just as yours is in the home, raising the children."
"You know what?" Lirael hissed. "I am sick and tired of you telling me what my place in life is. It's not for you to decide. End of discussion. You can take your misogynistic views straight to hell. I'm through with you! I'm better than this, and more importantly, I know my true place. It's in school, getting the best education possible to be successful in life, not tied down in some backwater town, pregnant for nearly the rest of my life, raising children until I'm old and gray. And you know what else? I can change my mind! If my place doesn't fit me anymore, I can change it so that it does—as many times as I want or need! And if I choose to marry, or even have children, it will be on my time table, and that of my husband's, and no other's," Lirael finished her rant in a high pitched scream and stormed out of the kitchen upstairs.
"Cheerio!" Andrew said gleefully, incredibly proud of the way that Lirael had stood up to her parents, finally giving them what they deserved. He left her parents standing where they were, shell-shocked with wide-open mouths in the kitchen, and joined Lirael upstairs.
When he caught up to her in her bedroom, she had already pulled out five cardboard boxes of approximately equal size, about two feet wide, two feet long, and two feet tall. Lirael was frantically throwing the first thing that came to hand into a box, with no order apparent.
"What can I help you with?" Andrew asked rather calmly considering what had just happened.
"Umm," Lirael paused to glance around, "I guess just go through the whole room and basically empty it into the boxes. One of them has newspaper and a little bubble wrap in it for any breakable things."
"Alright, I can do that."
They worked silently, and Andrew made no mention of any sniffles he heard or tears he saw wiped away, letting Lirael grieve for the loss in her heart. About ten minutes later, a knock came at the door. Andrew opened it to find Zach, Jacob, Jennifer, and Melody all waiting there patiently.
"What can we do?" Melody asked, her voice quiet but firm in its resolution. Andrew ushered them inside and set them to helping pack everything in the boxes snugly.
With six people all working together, everything was packed away shortly, leaving only a bare mattress and bed frame under the window on the far side of the room, a five-drawer dresser against the wall where the door was, a set of shelves on the wall opposite the bed, and an empty desk next to the bed.
Zach, Jacob, and Jennifer all picked up a box to carry downstairs, leaving just two for Lirael and Andrew to manage. Melody carried the bedspread as it would not fit in the boxes in addition to everything else that was being packed. They made a solemn procession walking down the stairs in silence to the front yard where Lirael's car was. With some careful maneuvering, they got all of the boxes into Lirael's car, leaving her more or less able to see out the back and side windows to drive. Lirael closed the trunk, the sound a certain resonating finality. She paused for a moment, her head bowed. Then she turned to her beloved brothers and sisters arrayed behind her.
"Zach, it's up to you now, look after the others okay?" she said.
"I will Lirael."
"Jacob, here's my apartment address. Send everything to me care of Mr. Billy Joe Bob, he'll make sure I get it, and this way Mom and Dad don't know who you're writing to, alright?" Lirael turned to Jacob's twin, Jennifer.
"Jennifer, be strong, for me, for Melody, for girls everywhere. Find the courage I wished I had at your age, and do what your heart tells you, within the law of course!" Lirael's attempt at lighthearted banter fell a little short, lost in the seriousness of the situation.
Jennifer giggled a little, "I will Lirael. I won't let anyone stop me and my dreams."
"Melody, my little song," Lirael's voice trailed off as she swallowed her tears, "don't forget me."
"I won't," Melody promised solemnly.
Lirael hugged each of them one by one, whispering a final goodbye in their ears, and then climbed into the passenger side of the car. Andrew approached Zach, holding out his hand.
Zach grasped his hand firmly in a handshake, and then abruptly pulled Andrew in for a hug as well. "Take care of her for us," he said.
"Always," Andrew replied. He turned to Jacob and repeated the handshake and promise to care for Lirael heart, mind, body, and soul. The two girls he gathered up in a single bear hug, holding them close like he would Lirael.
"No more tears now, she's going to be just fine. And so will you," he whispered to them both. "Never forget what she, and you fight for—the opportunity to live life as you desire and the recognition that you are worthy of that opportunity."
"Never," the girls told him in unison.Chapter Twenty