"You ok over there darlin'" He placed his hand over the top of mine.
"Yeah, I'm just a little nervous. I mean what if your family doesn't like me. What if I do or say something really stupid. Kev, I know how much your family means to you and I just want them to like me." I turned towards the window before he could see the tears welling up in my eyes. He slowed down and pulled the car over to the side of the road. My heart started to race.
"Hey, look here" he grabbed my face in his hands and slowly turned me towards him. I kept my eyes low so he couldn't see my tears.
"Hey, look at me" I slowly lifted my eyes towards him. His thumb slowly moved to wipe at the tears falling.
"Darlin, you know I love you right?" I just shook my head. "Look, all I know is that there is no way my family won't love you. All my mom has ever wanted was for me to find someone that will make me happy and love me. Baby, you do all those things. It's gonna take one look at my face and my mom's gonna know that you're the best thing that's ever happened to me. Ok?"
"Oh boo, I love you too." I leaned up and wrapped my arms around his neck burying my head into his chest. "I'm just so scared, I love you so much and I want to be the one that's there with you in the good times and the bad. To help you see all your dreams come true, and comfort you when you need me. I want to be the shoulder that you cry on and the first person you want to tell your secrets too. But Kevin I love you enough to walk away to if it means that you could lose your family over me. I won't be the cause of that".
"You just wait and see, you'll feel like part of the family the minute you step into the house, and you let me be the one to decide if it's worth risk. Ok?"
"Ok" he wrapped me in a big hug, kissed me on the lips then set the car back in motion heading towards the farm.
I only hope he knows that I do love him enough to walk away if his family doesn't approve, no matter what he says.
We pulled into the driveway and headed towards the house. God it as beautiful, just like Kevin had described it, so homey and welcoming. I could see why Kevin loved it here. Kevin pulled the Expedition to a stop and made his way over to open my door. As I stepped out the car he wrapped me up in his arms and kissed me very softly on the lips.
"It's all gonna be ok, trust me"
"I do. I love you boo."
"I love you to" Kevin grabbed the suitcases out of the back and grabbed my head. We were headed towards the back of the house when we heard the back door to the house open up.
"Kevin Scott Richardson, get yourself over here and give your mother a hug." Kevin let go of my hands and the suitcases and headed towards that sound. His mother was beautiful. Petit with brown hair that was pulled up in the back and she was wearing an apron. I watched as he lifted her off the ground and swung her around in a big bear hug, placing a kiss on her cheek.
"Mama, I want you to meet someone." He grabbed her hand and headed back towards me.
"Mama, this is Cassidy Nicholson. Cassidy this is my mama, Ann Richardson"
"Nice to meet you" Mrs. Richardson stuck out her hand to me.
"The pleasures all mine, Kevin has told me so much about you." I gingerly shook her hand.
"Well now, lets get you kids in the house and settled. Dinner will be at six and Jerald, Lacey and the twins will be here as well as Tim." She turned and headed towards the house. Kevin picked back up our luggage and grabbed my hand giving me a reassuring squeeze before we started towards the house.
As we entered the house it was just like Kevin had described so homely and filled with love. Mrs. Richardson was already at the stove starting dinner.
"Where you want me to put these bags mom," Kevin asked.
"Well, that depends. If you two plan on staying in the room together then you can put them both in Jerald's old room. If you two would be wanting separate rooms then Cassidy can have your old room and you can sleep in Tim's."
"Excuse me. Mrs. Richardson?" I quietly started to speak.
"Yes Dear" she replied. I looked up at Kevin.
"Well, I'm not sure how much Kevin has told you about our relationship, but I have made it perfectly clear to Kevin that I don't intend on sharing a bed with any man that's not my husband. I hope you understand."
"Cass" Kevin began.
"No honey let me." She turned from the stove and took two steps towards me.
"Cassidy honey, I want you to know that I completely understand and I respect you for that. Kevin has told me about your decision, but I am also not so old that I don't realize that things could change. That is a decision for you and Kevin to make together. I'm just glad to know that you're not like some of the girls he's brought here before that's only after one thing from Kevin."
"MAMA" Kevin frowned.
"No mam, not that his body is not desirable, it's just a promise I made to my mama and myself before she died, and I'd really like to honor that" you could see Kevin turning three shades of red.
"I'll just take these up to the rooms if you two don't mind, it seems to be a little hot in here" and he turned and hurried up the stairs.
"Mrs. Richardson, would you like some help with dinner?" I asked.
"Cassidy, please call me Mama Ann, everyone does. And that would be lovely. Do you think you could help me with the salad?"
"Sure, just let me wash my hands."
"Ok, the bathroom is right thru those doors to the right."
"Thank you, I'll be right back"
I stood in the bathroom staring at the mirror. Oh god. What did I just tell Kevin's mother? I was so embarrassed. I splashed some water on my face and washed my hands.
"Ok, I'm back' I said as I walked into the kitchen.
"The lettuce is right there on the table and you can use that big blue bowl to put all of it in."
I sat there silent for a few minutes picking apart the head of lettuce.
"Mrs. Richardson, Can I talk to you for a minute." She turned towards me.
"Sure honey, what's up and it's Mama Ann" She took the seat next to mine at the table.
"Mama Ann, I just feel like I need to tell you something. And you can call me Cass, Kevin does. It's just that well, Kevin is very special to me, I mean I've never felt this way for anyone ever before. I think, no I know that I'm in love with him. But I also know how important his family is to him. You are all he talks about, mama this and mama that. Tim and Jerald and Lacey and the twins, heck even Brian. I'm not from a big family and well ever since I lost my mom it's just been dad and me. I don't ever want to come between Kev and his family and I want you to know that I want to be there for him to help him make all his dreams come true. To be there when he needs a shoulder to cry on or someone to celebrate with him. But if I have to I would walk away from him to make sure he's happy. The tears began to well up in my eyes. I really do love him Mama Ann."
"Oh honey, don't cry. Listen I know all about your relationship with Kevin, like you said you know we are close. All I've heard for the last several months is Cass said or Cass did or Cass, or Cass. Honey, I think your perfect for Kevin, and I think he knows that to. I think that's why you're here this weekend. The last piece of the puzzle that Kevin needs to put into place. You know what I'm saying. I also want to tell you how much I respect you desire to hold on to your purity until your married. So many girls out there want to land one of the boys so bad they will throw away all their morals and beliefs in hopes that they will have a chance. What they don't realize is God fearing mothers raised these boys and they were taught right. They have their standards too and they all know what they want in a life long partner. I knew from the minute I laid eyes on you two this afternoon that you weren't like that. I think by the end of today you'll see how'll you fit right into our family." The tears began to fall harder from my eyes.
"Oh Mama Ann, It's just been so long since I've had someone I could really talk to. I mean Kevin's' there of course but it's not the same. And I have my best friend Lisa, but well you know it's not like having a mother to talk to. I miss my mom so much. I just wish she could have met Kevin. I know she would have loved him as much as I do."
"Oh honey," she gathered me into a hug and I laid my head on her shoulder and began to sob. "It must be hard not having a mom, but you know what. You got me now. Feel free to call me anytime you need me ok. And Cass for the record, I just hope that son of mine knows what he has in you." We sat there hugging each other and the tears slowly subsided.
"Hey, what's up with my two best girls" Kevin came bounding down the stairs into the kitchen.
"Girl talk" his mom said as she stood and turned towards the stove. I picked up a carrot and began to slice it into the bowl.
"OH talking about the ole Kevster huh" he came and stood behind me stealing a carrot from the pile.
"Oh Kevin, not every conversation between females has to do with, what's that name again, OH yeah MR. BODY BEAUTIFUL" I burst out laughing as his mom finished her sentence.
"Man that hurts" he playfully grabbed at his heart.
"Well, I love that beautiful body" I looked up into those green eyes. He leaned down and gave me a quick kiss.
"Kevin, can you go out and get some wood for the fire place, the gang will all be here soon and dinner will be ready in an hour"
"Sure mom, I'll be back in a few" he headed out the back door.
"Cass, if you're through with the salad, you can head upstairs to get changed. I'm sure you'd like a shower after your flight."
"Oh that would be great, can you tell me where I'm going," she laughed.
"Oh yeah, guess that would help. Well, Kevin's room is the first door to the left. You can access the bathroom through the bedroom. It's a jack and Jill shower. There's and entrance from Kevin's room and Tim's old room. That way if you need Kevin in the middle of the night for anything you can easily get to him. And no dear I'm not implying anything. I just know how weird it can be sleeping in a new place. And this place can get a little creaky at night."
"Thanks, Mama Ann" I turned and headed up the stairs.
I began to think about our conversation, last piece of the puzzle. I didn't know that Kevin was working on a puzzle. She really thinks I fit with the family, boy that's a relief. One down 5 more to go. I walked into Kevin's old room. The scent of his cologne was still noticeable. I saw my suitcase on the bed; his closet was to the right of the door. The walls were decorated with pennants from his high school football days and pictures of him as he grew up. There were pictures on a bookcase of him and his brothers and this magnificent picture of him and his dad down by the barn. I knew how much Kevin loved his dad. I wish I could have met him the same way I wished that Kev could have met my mom. I saw his trophies from football and awards from the drama club. There were pictures of BSB events and a collection of all their cd's next to the stereo. I put in one and started listening to "Quit Playing Games With My Heart" I began to laugh at the thought of the first day we had met. I walked over to his closet and opened the doors. There were still clothes of Kevin's in there. I found a red, black and white flannel shirt. I think I will wear this tonight I thought to myself. I took it off the hanger and headed over to my suitcase. I took out the white tank top I had packed and a pair of blue jeans. I picked up my suitcase and placed it in the bottom of the closet. As I turned to get my cloths I saw a note lying on the pillow of the bed.
I wanted you to know how special it is for me to have you here. It means so much for me to get to share the best thing in my life with my family. See I told you mom would love you. I want you to know that I too respect your wishes and hope that in no way you feel that I don't. You mean so much to me and hope that by the end of this weekend you will know just how much. I can't imagine my life with out you in it. Baby I want to be with you in everyway but, I'll wait for you until the day were married. However, I must warn you that the minute you become my wife, and you will, your mine.
I love you so much.
P.S. I sprayed the pillow with my cologne just incase you get lonely, but also know that I am just through the bathroom doors if you need me.
Oh my, I laid back on the bed holding the note to my chest. How did I get so lucky? He said I would be his wife. Oh how I dream of that day. I only hope it comes true. I so want that. Oh Kevin, I want to be with you too. I just know that if I can wait until the day we're married it will all be worthwhile. I remembered his PS and grabbed the pillow. I took in a deep breath. All my senses started to go wild. I had to get up and get a shower.
As I stood in the shower letting the hot water run over me my mind began to race again. The last piece of the puzzle, his plans for this weekend? What in the world were they talking about? Oh god, and how the scent of him can make my body race out of control. It was a good thing he wasn't standing in that room or god knows what I would have done. Just his touch makes my skin tingle. His kiss makes my knees go weak, and yet I feel so safe when I wrapped up in those strong arms. Ok, enough hot water time to turn to cold. I screamed as the water hit my body. I jumped out and grabbed a towel. That ought teach you Cass not to let your mind wander where it's not supposed to. I quickly dried off and got dressed. I loved the feeling of his flannel shirt on my skin. I twisted my hair into a French twist with the curls sticking out the top. Now, what to do about shoes. Kevin and Mama Ann had said to make myself at home so I reached in my cosmetic back and grabbed the bottle of SEXY RED nail polish I had. I painted my toes then looked at the clock. I had fifteen minutes. I lay back on the bed and snuggled with Kevin's pillow. I didn't hear the door open.
"Hey darlin" I heard his sultry voice whisper as he gathered me into his arms.
"Hey boo." I leaned up and kissed him.
"Is that my shirt you're wearing"?
"Yeah, I found it in the closet I hope you don't mind."
"No, looks better on you anyway."
"I highly doubt that" I swatted him on the chest.
"Oh, so you like it ruff do you" he picked me up and started to swing me out over the bed.
"KEVIN SCOTT you better not" about the time the words left my mouth I left his arms and ended up in the middle of the bed. Before I could move his body was on top of mine and he was tickling me mercilessly.
"Please boo, please stop," I cried out between laughing fits.
"NO" he began to tickle me again.
"SAY IT" he got louder.
"Fine, Kevin Scott Richardson is the man of my dreams" we both began to laugh. His hand stopped on my waist. We just laid there our eyes locked on each other. His lips slowly covered mine and our tongues explored each other's mouths. His hand began to caress my back. Oh my god what this man can do to me with just his touch. I pushed him up off me.
"Kev, we need to get down stairs" I looked at him.
"I'm sorry babe, I didn't mean to push to far, it's just God you drive me crazy."
"You drive me crazy too Kevin that's why we have to go downstairs, before I give in. It's getting so hard to stop. I want you so bad, but I also know that I want our first time together to be perfect." I crawled back up into his lap.
"It will be darlin, I promise you I'll make it perfect for you, I just love you so much."
"I love you too boo"
"You're right though, we better get going before mama comes up to get us." One quick kiss and we were out the door and headed down the stairs.
I was introduced to everyone as soon as we hit the kitchen. I could see the resemblances in all the brothers and could tell right away that they had a close relationship. Lacey was beautiful and the twins were absolutely adorable. Trey looked just like Jerald and Autumn was a spitting image of Lacey. We all talked and got to know each other over dinner and Kevin was right, his moms cooking was out of this world. Lacey and I stayed in the kitchen to help clear the table and put away the dishes, conversations were kept light. I walked out into the den and sat down on the floor to play with the twins while Kevin, Tim and Jerald walked down to the barn to feed the horses. Lacey sat on the couch reading a book and Mama Ann sat in the recliner stitching a shirt for Tim. I looked up as I heard Kevin and the others return from outside.
"Having fun darling" Kevin sat down next to me.
"Yeah, these two are adorable"
"Well, they are Richardson's what did you expect" He laughed.
He stood up and picked them both up and began to twirl around.
"I'll be right back, I'm going to get a glass of water, want anything," I said heading towards the kitchen.
"Nope, got my hands full right now" he continued to play with the twins. I walked into the kitchen and got a glass of water. As I headed back towards the living room I could hear Kevin laughing with the twins. I stopped just outside the doorway where I could look in but he couldn't see me. He was so great with them. Tickling them and coloring with them. He was so attetentive to each one never ignoring the other for too long. God, he was going to make a great dad someday.
"He's going to be a great dad," Lacey whispered in my ear. I jumped.
"I'm sorry I didn't know anyone was standing there. Yeah, I think he will to."
"Ya know he's crazy about you"
"Who, Kevin? You think"
"Girl it's written all over his face."
"Well, I hope so, I'm crazy about him that's for sure."
" Well, I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't hear wedding bells from the two of you before to long."
"Lacey, your crazy. Kevin and I have hardly even discussed marriage. I mean we've talked about the future and all and how we see us together but I can't remember one time him or I saying anything about marriage. Well, that is?"
"That is what?"
"Well, tonight he did say that one day I would be his wife." I began to blush
"See I told you. I bet you 100 dollars that by Christmas you two are engaged."
"Christmas, no not that fast!"
"I bet you"
"You bet what, Lacey?" Mama Ann had come into the room.
"I was just betting darlin Cass here that her and Kevy boy would be engaged by Christmas."
"Well, I bet it will be before Easter" Mama Ann spoke up.
"Easter, that's only 2 weeks away! You two sure are putting a lot faith in this relationship"
"Well, don't you think it's going to work?" they both asked
"Well, yeah, but I just don't know if Kevin is ready for that kind of commitment yet?"
"KEVIN, who said anything about Kevin needing to be ready, are you ready?"
"Can I tell you two a secret?"
"Of course you can." They chimed in at once.
"I've been ready to marry that man since the first day he walked into my restaurant."
"AAAWW" they both sighed. We all began to laugh.
"Shhh.... Look." Lacey pointed into the den.
Kevin and the twins had cuddled up on the couch together and fallen asleep.
"Oh, that's so sweet." I just stood there thinking, maybe one day.
"Ok you two. I need to round up my brood and get them home. I think the twins are ready for bed time and it don't look like Jerald is to far behind them." She hugged both of our necks and headed into the living room.
"Ok kiddos time to go home and go night, night" Lacey lifted Trey from Kevin's lap.
"I'll take Autumn out to the car if that's ok with you Lace?"
"Wouldn't have it any other way Kev." Kevin stood up and snuggled the little one next to his chest.
We all walked them to the back door. I watched as Kevin placed Autumn in her seat.
"If only" I whispered to myself heading back into the house.
"If only what" I heard Tim reply.
"Nothing" I said.
"I know what your thinking in that pretty little head of yours."
"Oh you do, do you?"
"Yeah, I bet your thinking that if that was only you and Kevin."
"How'd you know?" I lowered my eyes to the floor.
Tim stepped over to me and lifted my chin with his finger.
"Cause girly it's written all over your face." I began to blush.
"Well, it's ok, it's written all over his to. Don't worry. My brothers not that dumb to let someone like you get away."
"You think so Tim?"
"Yeah, I mean you're different, but your good for him, all of us know that and you fit right into the family."
I stepped forward and embraced him.
"Thanks, I needed to hear that. I like you guys a lot too."
"Besides, if he doesn't claim you soon, I might have to claim you for myself" he whispered into my ear. We both began to laugh.
"Hey, hands off my woman." Kevin came through the back door.
"We were just saying goodnight." Right Cass. Tim winked at me.
"Right Tim" I winked back.
"Night mama" Tim kissed his mother on the cheek as he headed out the back door.
"Night Tim" She closed and locked the door once Tim cranked the car and started to drive away.
"Ok you two. I'm headed to bed. Now Cass remember that Kevin is just two doors down and my bedroom is downstairs off the living room. If you need anything feel free to get one of us up." She hugged me and then kissed Kevin goodnight leaving us standing in the kitchen.
"Well now my lady, it's seems we have been left alone for the evening" his voice was low and sultry.
"And what might you have in mind there Mr. Richardson?" I asked.
"Might I have the pleasure of escorting the beautiful young lady to her room this evening?" Kevin asked using his southern drawl.
"It would be my pleasure." I used my best Scarlet O'Hara accent. I stuck out my hand for Kevin to grab.
As we walked up the stairs his hand was placed on the small of my back. No words being spoken in sound but a million being screamed by touch. As we made it to the top of the stairs Kevin suddenly spun me around and pinned me to the door. Our lips collided in such a passionate kiss that I lost my breath, hands searching and touching, tongues exploring. My knees began to go weak; all I could do was hold on to him.
"Kevin" I mumbled.
"Yes darlin" he replied.
"We've gotta stop." His forehead came to rest against mine. Our bodies still tightly stuck together.
"I know, It's just I love you so much."
"I love you to. God I want you so bad, but please understand Kevin."
"Baby I do. I do understand." We just stood there holding each other.
"Well, Goodnight Darlin" He started to walk towards his room.
"Sweet dreams Boo" I called behind him.
"Only of you." He turned and our eyes locked one last time, as he closed the door behind him.
I slipped in side my room and fell back against the door. My hands came to my chest, trying to steady my breathing. God, did he know how hard it is to turn him away like that. I've just got to be strong, but it's so hard. I grabbed my suitcase out of the closet and began to get undressed. I decided that I would sleep in his flannel shirt so I slipped off my tank top and my jeans. I grabbed my cosmetic bag and headed towards the bathroom. My mind was replaying the events of the last few minuets. I could still taste him on my lips. I grabbed the door to the bathroom and flung it open.
"KEVIN. OMG I'm so sorry" I shut the door quickly and dove onto the bed. Hiding my head in my hands. I heard the bathroom door slowly open.
"Hey darling, it's ok" I looked up. OMG, he was standing there with a white towel wrapped around his waist and it didn't hide what he was trying to hide very well. The steam was flowing out the room beside him as the light from the bathroom highlighted his figure. I could see the muscles in his chest still dripping with water and his hair was scattered on his head from being wet. Every muscle in my body went weak. I looked back down at the floor.
"Hey, you ok, I mean it's not like you've never seen a naked man before?" My headshot up and our eyes met.
"Oh Sh**! I mean, hang on babe, I'll be right back" Kevin returned with his flannel pajama bottoms on and a white wife beater shirt. He picked me up and sat me in his lap. I was so embarrassed.
"Cass, babe, are you serious, you've never seen a naked man?"
"Yes, I mean NO. I mean, I've seen men in movies and pictures and stuff, but God Kevin, never someone in person and never someone I loved."
"Oh babe, I'm sorry, I didn't think to tell you I was going to get a shower."
"No, I should have heard the water running, my mind was just on other things. Besides I mean I only saw you through the shower door, I'm sorry, I'm so making a mountain out of a mole hill."
"No it's ok, but please don't ever be embarrassed of us. One day I want you to see all of me and I want to see all of you. But were going to wait until our wedding night. Right?"
"Uh Huh" there it was again, us getting married.
"Ok, so what where you headed into the bathroom for?"
"I wanted to brush my teeth before I went to bed."
"Ok, let's go, I need to brush mine to. There's two sinks we can do it at the same time"
W headed for the bathroom. I finished brushing my teeth and climbed up on the counter to watch Kevin. He was so meticulous making sure that every tooth got the same amount of attention. He looked over at me and caught me smiling.
"Penny for your thoughts" he said.
"Well, I was just thinking about what you said earlier about our wedding night. There's so much we don't know about each other. Kevin, do you think we'll make it till then?"
"Oh Darlin" He stepped in front of me and pulled me right into his body.
"I have no doubt in my mind that we'll make it till then and until forever." He wrapped my legs around his waist and lifted me up and carried me back into my room. We curled up in each other arms and talked.
"Kevin you do understand don't you. I mean I just know that when I finally give myself to my husband I want to be able to say that I was his and his alone. I want him to know that my body will only know him and only give him the pleasure that he desires. Does that make sense?"
"Perfect sense. Cass I'm sorry that I didn't wait for you. If I had know that you would come into my life I would have waited a million lifetimes to be with just you. Do you know that?"
"Yes, and Kevin it's ok with me that you've been with others. That way I know if you choose to make me your wife then its because you know what you'll be giving up to be with me and only me and that you decided that it was me you wanted." Our lips met again.
"I better get going before I lose all of my will power." He stood up and pulled me with him. Wrapped in his arms we heard the sounds of the radio playing. "When I'm lost and afraid...." I turn to you was playing, our song. The one we had first danced to that night we met. He slowly began to lead as we danced holding each other tight.
"Promise me that when we do get married that we can dance to this song as our first dance as husband and wife?"
"Anything you want." The song ended.
"Night" he started to walk towards the bathroom door.
"I hope this weekend turns out to be everything you wanted, and everything I've dreamed of." With that he walked through the bathroom door and closed it behind him. I fell onto the bed and gabbed the pillow.
"It already has boo, it already has."