Part Nine: All In the Family
"Relax, Chris." Kaeley said over the noise of her stereo. "It's just my mom and a few other relatives, it's not like I'm going to let you into the tiger's cage."
Christine grimaced at the thought and wondered what was the different between meeting her girlfriend's mom and going into the tiger's cage. Then she decided that there wasn't much different, and the thought did not help eliminate her fear.
Kaeley glanced at the taller girl from the corner of her eye, she couldn't help herself but smiled at the nervousness that radiated so clearly she could feel it. "You know, they won't bite you. They might just nibble." She needled with a chuckle. "You'll get through it alive. The others did."
Christine immediately frowned at the mention of the other women. It was rather childish of her to wish that Kaeley had never been with anyone else. The truth was, both of them had been with other people and she knew that this was why they appreciated and cherished their relationship, more so than they, perhaps, would had they not been with other people, to know how it was, and to see how they were now.
Still, she didn't like it.
"Chris," Kay noticed the changed of her expression and she knew that the comment was not appreciated and knew what she was thinking. Reaching over, she placed a hand at the back of her neck, moving her thumb in circular motion in a comforting gesture. And Chris bent her head forward slightly, she loved the way her girlfriend could ease her tension by the small gesture, but still, the comment bothered her.
"What if your mom doesn't like me now?"
"I don't think that's the problem, I mean, she loves you when you were my friend, I don't see why she wouldn't love you now."
"Well, cause I'm your girlfriend now, and not just friend." Chris muttered. "And that is different."
"It is," Kay agreed. "But there's nothing for you to worry about really." Her face turned serious. "As much as she is protective of me, she knows that I am very picky, and…. Well, let's just say I would've gone through the whole selective process before she even meet the lucky… or unlucky one. Depends on how you look at it."
Chris looked surprise at the revelation. She didn't think Kaeley ever did that to her, or if she did she would've been very subtle in the way she went about it. She had seen her done that before with her previous girlfriend. Nothing she did was intrusive or offensive, it was just preventative measure and Chris knew that for someone as sensitive and as sincere as Kaeley, it was rather necessary. So she usually took very long time before letting someone close enough, and ever longer to let them see who she really was.
She had seen the way Kaeley could be, how devoted she was. And she understood perfectly.
She knew how devoted Kaeley was to her right now. To think that someone could hold her heart in their palms and not taking care of it… Which was entirely possible if Kaeley wasn't selective about who she was with. Chris sometimes wished that she were like that herself.
In either case, she knew she was grateful for whatever that allowed her to pass the inspection.
That all her failure had not effect Kay's feelings for her.
"Hey," Kaeley called out.
"Are you ok? I mean, it looks like you were lost there for a moment." Kay shot her a concern look from the corner of her eye, and at the same time trying to focus on the traffic. Luckily there wasn't all that many cars out here in the countryside.
"I'm ok. I was just thinking, that's all."
Chris rested fully against the backrest of the seat now, relaxing in her posture. She turned her head to look at her girlfriend, then smiled. She then put her sunglasses back on and turned to look ahead, letting the silent settle in and the music turned into the background noise.
Finally, after a long drive by Kaeley, they pulled into a large driveway. Several cars and SUV's were already parked there; the silver Mustang pulled in just behind a dark blue Jeep Cherokee. The house was two stories, a large bay window dominated one side of the house, and from where she was, Chris could see some people wandering inside, she guessed that they were the relatives that her girl was talking about.
This is going to be so much fun, she thought sarcastically. Me and the family.
"We're here." Kaeley announced and turned off the engine. She turned to look at Chris, who was still having an expression of apprehension etched to her face. "Come on, let's go in, before they all come out to see why we're still not inside."
With an audible sigh, the taller girl nodded and opened the door.
The sun was rather bright and she was glad that she had on the sunglasses, being as sensitive to bright light as she was, especially after being inside the car for hours. On the opposite side of the Mustang, Kaeley also stepped out, her posture relaxed and rather cheerful, her short blonde hair combed back, leaving her face open, the silver frame Oakley rested easily on the bridge of her nose. Her shirt hung loosely on her thin frame moving with the gentle breeze.
She turned to reach back for the duffel bags they brought.
The loud sound of the door slammed shut seemed to announced their arrival better than the sound of the engine for the front door swung open even before they step up to it.
A middle age woman appeared in the doorway, her once blonde hair turned platinum with age, her face still fairly attractive even with the telltale line around her eyes and mouth. Beside Chris, Kay smile got wider as she quickened her steps.
Chris watched as the mother and daughter hugged then she stepped up beside her girlfriend and offered the older woman a smile. "Hello," she said quietly, feeling quite shy.
"Hello, Christine, I'm glad you could join us." Then she opened her arms, indicated that she expected a hug from her as well.
Chris stepped into a hug readily, feeling slightly embarrass; especially when she knew that Kaeley was trying hard not to laugh. As Silvia stepped away from her she turned around and let them inside the house, Chris turned to take a bag from Kaeley, feeling the need to do something, even if it was only to take the bag and follow her girlfriend into the house.
The first things they met inside the house were several people wandering toward them, bidding them greetings. She couldn't tell who was who at the moment since Silvia was urging them to go upstairs and freshen up before come down and meet the rest of the family.
"I thought you said there's only a few relatives." Chris mumbled once they were inside the bedroom. They dropped the bags on the floor and Kaeley went over to the queen size mattress then sat down.
"Yeah, that's what mom said, but I guess she decided that they should come and see her new daughter."
"Right," Chris narrowed her eyes.
"Hon," Kay reached out for her. "Don't worry ok? They are nice people, they won't try to do anything."
"I know," Chris said finally. "I just couldn't help thinking of how my family is and I just forget that yours aren't like that."
Kaeley winced internally at the mention of her girlfriend's family. They were, as Christine liked to put it, back-stabbing, money hungry bunch of people. She even joked about the stabbed wound on her back a few times. Personally, Kay had never met any of them, only her mother and her mother were nice if a bit strange.
They spent the next few minutes just sit in silent.
Then they went down to join the rest of the family.
Kaeley spent the first hour or so just introduced Christine to everyone and then spent no more than a few minutes to catch up with the going-ons of her cousins and aunts and uncles. Chris could feel their eyes on her, some to appraise her and some were just curious gaze. It was as if they were trying to see if she was worthy of their Kaeley.
It amazed her at how easy--it seemed--they accepted her sexuality. She knew how difficult it could be for the family to accept--from the way her family acted--and it was even harder to get the relatives to understand.
"Hey, do you want me to grab you something?"
Startled, Chris looked up to find her love hovering over her with a small, knowing smile on her face. Kay had been watching the taller girl for some time now, as she stood a few feet away, chatting with a cousin of hers. She knew that Chris was a bit overwhelmed by all the relatives of hers and perhaps feeling a little out of place as well. And she wanted Chris to be comfortable around them, because they were family.
They had been out in the back porch for the past hour, this was where most of the food was at, two large tables sat side by side with chairs scattered around the large deck. The weather was perfect for a cookout, sunny with a bit of clouds.
And Chris had been sitting in one of the tucked away corner of the deck, close enough for her not to be left out and far enough for her to feel safe. Kaeley was also standing close by, hovering her at times with protective gesture.
"I'm all set, thanks." Chris replied, holding up the can of soda in her hand.
"Love, I mean food." Kay murmured gently. "You hadn't eaten anything since this morning and I'm not about to let you get away with that."
"I'm not hungry," Chris frowned slightly, knowing that Kaeley was doing this because she cared about her, and that she loved her, but she wasn't hungry. Being around strangers always made her nervous and she couldn't eat when she was nervous.
From the other side of the deck two of the older cousins stood around, with soda in hands and plates of food. They looked over to Kay and Chris.
"You know, I never thought Kay would bring her girlfriend to one of the family get together." The tall one, Sarah started. "I remember how it was the last time she did that."
"Oh you mean the redhead?"
"Yeah, I mean, after Joe snapped at her, Kay stopped bringing anyone over. This one's probably special." She said the last word with a crinkle of her nose.
"Well, I never thought that one was all that pretty, I don't know what Kay saw in her."
"It was more of the fact that they got pushed into being together and since Kay has no one at the moment she just sort of agreed to it." Sarah said with a small nod, then she pushed her dark blonde hair aside. Taking a sip of her soda she continued. "This one's her roommate."
"How do you know all this?"
"I called her sometimes, besides I've seen here before in one of the party Aunt Silvia gave a couple of months ago. I just didn't think they would get together."
"She's pretty." Jessie commented lightly, trying not to stare at the blonde in question.
"As well she should be, if Kay going to go with anyone." Sarah shrugged as if she knew every little thing about her little cousin's life. Which was not quite true.
"All right girls, don't talk about your cousin's girlfriend like that."
They both jumped at the suddenly reprimand from behind them. And they both turn to find their uncle stood with a grin on his aged face. He pulled in a chair and sat down, his short rose up above his knees as he sat down, he sat the plastic plate that he was holding on the nearby table and took a long drink from his beer can.
"Kaeley really like this one, I heard." He said his voice low, his eyes twinkled with humor.
"Well, the way she hovering over … what's her name?"
"Christine." Sarah chimed in. "It's Christine."
"Well, the way she hovers over Christine, I would say so."
All of them agreed and discreetly watching.
The get-together lasted long into the evening and by the time everyone left the house it was already midnight, Kaeley was exhausted and Chris was no better. They both sat quietly on the couch, watching Silvia moving about, cleaning up as much as she could.
"I would help, mom," Kay mumbled, rubbing her eyes tiredly. "But I'm dead tired."
Silvia only answered was that for them to go upstairs, get clean up and go to bed, that she would take care of everything and that she would see them in the morning.
"Are you sure?" Chris asked as Kaeley stood up. "I'll help you clean up."
"No, you kids go upstairs now, you've been driving all day, you must be exhausted."
Chris opened her mouth, wanting to let her know that Kaeley was the only one that drove and that she was more than happy to help, but a hand that held up by the older woman stopped her argument and then Kaeley pulled her toward the stairs.
"Come on, I know you're tired and I think you'll need to get a shower." Kay said quietly, opening the door to her bedroom. "Mom likes to do stuff her own way, after you help she would've go around and do it over again anyway." Kay explained. "She's always like that."
As soon as they entered the room and the door close behind them, Chris made a beeline for the duffel bag. She started unpacked and pulled out the t-shirt and shorts that she was going to wear to sleep, as well as a set for Kay.
"Everything's in the bathroom, it's the last door at the end of the hall." Kay was on her back, on the top of the cover. "And I would join you, but that would just be too much noise."
The only answer the got for her comment was a pair of boxers being thrown her way.
Chris made her way to the bathroom intending to take a quick shower; she was tired and very much wanted to go right to sleep. Had she not been outside all day she would have.
Kaeley watched as her love walked out the door and closed her eyes. It was nice to be back home. She liked being on her own, living somewhere away from all the watchful eye of her mother and other relative, but there were times that she liked to be in the old house and had her mother only a few doors down the hallway.
Of course she could never live in this house with anyone she was involved with, just the thought of her mother could hear them while they were intimated… Kay winced at the thought. It would be hard for the next few days while they were here, there was no way she would let her mom walked into the room in the morning to find them wrapped around each other nude.
Her thought drifted to Christine.
All day Chris was a raw bundle of nerve, and she could understand that. With all the things she told her about her mother and her family regarded her relationships with other girls, it was not surprising that Chris would afraid what they would say about her.
But so far no one had said a thing that was mean, no one gave Christine a strange look. And almost everyone would compliment Christine in some way. Kay was glad, she loved Chris too much and did not want her family to find something wrong with her girlfriend. She wanted them to like her.
All day she spent most of the time watching Chris, watching the way her hair reflected off the sunlight, how her sunlit eyes observed things around her. And she couldn't help thinking how many times she wanted to just walk up to her and kiss her, but all she was brave enough to do was just put an arm around her shoulders or just hug her with one arm.
She sighed deeply, for the next few days she would need a lot of cold shower and had to be able to sustain them with stolen kisses, or she would need to find some creative ways and places for them to be intimate.
Chris stood under the warm shower lathering up the soap, closing her eyes, she let her hand glide over her body blindly, creating the soapsuds over her skin, cleaning out the grime and dirt that accumulated over the day event, and let the water washing them away. Then she washed her hair.
It only took her fifteen minutes to get out of the shower and wrapped the towel around herself. She would've taken longer if she was home, but right now she knew that Kaeley was going to fall asleep soon and she wanted her to get clean up, so they could at least cuddle up and go to sleep.
She was mindful that they could never do anything while Kay's mom was only a few doors down the hall.
Just the thought that Silvia could hear them while in the throw of passion made her shudder. This was going to be hard.
To Be Continued.