Fated Exchange

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Standing in front of the full-length mirror, I took in my whole appearance. My golden locks were pinned away from my face into a sophisticated curled updo to display my stunning professionally made up face. A variety of earthy warm tones was selected to highlight my striking features while giving a very natural glow. The gold chandelier earrings in my ears were a little over the top, but considering they were the only piece of jewelry decorating the top half of me, I was fine with that. I turned a little to take in my profile. My bare shoulders and back looked nice and toned in my backless dress. The polyester and spandex blended threads made the material soft to the touch and hugged my bum deliciously. That brought a smile to my face. Turning back to the front, I bounced lightly to make sure my breasts were secured by my strapless bra and sweetheart neckline of the dress. Pulling satin material up over my elbows, my gloved hands rested on my waist. The curve of my hips in my silhouette was appealing. I grinned harder. Dropping my eyes to the floor, I inspected my t-strap high-heeled shoes made visible by the high-low cut of the dress. I danced around before lifting my eyes to take in my appearance as a whole again. My constant smiling made me think of him, the only man who made me feel something even greater than love.

Ten months ago, I wrote a comment on a website that would change my life completely. From that one comment, I received a response from a man who agreed with me. Little did I know he would become one of the most important people of my life. We communicated over the internet for two months before meeting each other for the first time in person in a bookstore. Though our meeting wasn’t conventional, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Those unconventional happenings led me to the love of my life. The sound of the door bursting open pulled me away from my thoughts. Sasha and a very round Janie came into the room waddling over to me.

“Everything in the other room is set and looks great. Para Plaza does it again.” Janie paused when I didn’t say anything. “You alright?”

“I’m having second thoughts on these shoes. Maybe they should be a different color to add some flair. I’m not a fan of all white ensembles.”

“Your shoes aren’t all white. Your straps are gold and so are your earrings, too.”

“Is that enough, though?”

“It’s going to be. I don’t have time to run and get another pair of shoes. This wedding is happening in fifteen minutes.”

“Aunt Char, you look like a princess.” Sasha spoke in her tiny voice twirling around in her white dress.

“Thanks, pumpkin,” I grinned.

“She’s right. You look beautiful,” Janie whispered.

“So do you, Mrs. Sanchez.” Janie was dressed in an all-white maternity dress.

“I have to get used to that.” Janie blinked her eyes a few times. I recognized that action.

“Oh, no. Please don’t start crying. If you cry, I’ll cry and ruin this makeup,” I shrieked.

“I’m not going to cry. I’m going to hold it together,” Janie smiled composing herself. “So, I have gifts for you.”

She handed me a tiny satin bag. I took the bag and opened it, pulling out the contents. I was holding a thin gold bracelet.

“This is beautiful. Thanks so much.” I quickly hugged my best friend/sister/matron of honor. I pulled my gloves off so I could put the piece of jewelry around my wrist.

“It’s actually an anklet. I didn’t get a bracelet because I knew you would be wearing gloves.” Janie walked over and took the jewelry from my hands. She gently sat down in a chair. I hiked my dress up and raised my right leg so she wouldn’t have to lean forward so far. She fastened it to my ankle and stood back up to hug me again.

“Thank you so much,” I whispered in her arms.

“Don’t thank me just yet. I have something else for you.” She pulled a small blue-jeweled hairpin from her hair. “I think this should cover the something old, borrowed and blue.” She pinned it in my hair. “And now for the veil.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Sanchez.” I gently blotted my eyes with a tissue.

“How long are you going to keep calling me that?”

“I will when the newness wears off.”

“It’s been three months since my wedding.” Janie smiled and blinked back more tears. “Come on. It’s show time.”

Taking one final look at myself in the mirror, Sasha, Janie and I walked out into the hall where Janie’s new husband, Randall, joined us. Randall was in an all-black tuxedo with a white tie.

“Muy blanca, chica.”

“See, this is what I’m talking about. I’ve never worn all white before. I should have picked a color to break up the monotony.” I started breathing fast and my chest was beginning to feel like it was sinking.

“Is she having a panic attack?” I heard Randall ask Janie.

“I don’t know. I’ve only seen her like this one time back in school.” Janie’s voice was stifling laughter. That angered me.

“This isn’t funny, Janie,” I glared.

“Are you having second thoughts? Do you want to call this off?” she asked me.

“What? No! I just don’t want to look bad.”

“Chica, you have nothing to worry about. That man on the other side of this door thinks you are beautiful. I see the way he looks at you,” Randall reassured me.

That actually did the trick. Thinking about him on the other side of the door waiting for me, sent my heart racing for different reasons. I needed to see him. I had been away from him for too long. One night without being in bed beside him was way too much. I smiled remembering tossing and turning throughout the night. Janie threatened to take Sasha and walk back down to her apartment several times as well as ruin the tradition and call my beloved to come back home. But when I explained this was the first time we’ve been apart since moving in together, she just rolled over and mumbled something. I’m sure the restlessness wasn’t good for her pregnant body. I made a mental note to apologize for that later.

“Ready to go?” Randall asked giving me his arm.

Two members of the hotel wait staff opened the double doors and a soft melody played out. Sasha walked down the aisle dropping white petals along the way. Janie followed behind her walking slowly to the beat of the music.

“Her ass looks great in that dress,” Randall mumbled causing me to giggle quietly.

The two of us crossed the threshold to enter a small ballroom of Paradise Plaza Hotel. The room was dimly lit with a soft yellow glow. White fabric was eloquently draped all over. As we slowly walked down the aisle, I spotted so many smiling faces. I saw Julie, Melissa, and a few other people from work as well as some of my beloved’s coworkers who I’ve met a couple times. Also present was Janie’s grandmother and my soon to be in-laws. Standing at the end of the aisle waiting was Rhett, also wearing a black tuxedo, and the most gorgeous man I’ve ever laid eyes on. Dressed in an all-white tuxedo was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with, Kenneth Tiller.

Our eyes locked and a huge grin spread across our faces simultaneously. My brain seemed to shut down and go into autopilot as I turned to face Kenneth. Grabbing my hands and capturing my gaze, we stood that way throughout the entire ceremony. Keeping my eyes only on him, I vaguely processed the words the officiant was saying. I repeated what was required and spoke when necessary, all the while beaming brightly. And looking at the same dreamy gleam in Kenneth’s eyes made my blood hot. The processing speed of my brain seemed to catch up when I heard the officiant say something about the rings. I pulled my gloves off. After doing so, I turned slightly to hand them to Janie. She took them and gave me the wedding band I purchased for Kenneth. Taking hold of his left hand, I slid the ring onto his finger and looked into his light brown eyes.

“Kenny…Kenneth, I love you. I’ve been waiting for a man like you to come into my life. I am eternally grateful you did and I vow to you that every day I will strive to make you happy. I love you deeply, with every part of my being. You are my soulmate and with this ring, I do thee wed.”

I pushed the ring firmly on his finger and released his hand. I saw his eyes look down at the gold band. In the center, etched into the metal was the face of his favorite comic book superhero, Ironman. And on both sides were three small diamonds. He flashed me a brilliant smile before he turned slightly to retrieve my ring from Rhett. Taking hold of my hand, he placed my ring on my finger. My shimmering golden eyes looked deep in his as he began.

“Charlotte, from the first conversation we had, I knew there was something special about you. And as we continued to talk, I knew I had to always have you in my life, even if we were no more than message buddies. But thankfully, just like me, you wanted more than that. You give me more than I ever thought possible. You give me more than love. I didn’t even know there was anything beyond that until I met you. You give me you and I vow every day to give you me, every part of me. You are my soulmate and today you become my life.”

Several tears fell off my cheeks as his beautiful words resounded in my head. Through cloudy eyes, I looked down at the ring he placed on my finger. The shiny gold band, the large round diamond surrounded by smaller stones looked oddly familiar. With realization, I looked up in his eyes. Unable to resist anymore, I figuratively catapulted myself into his arms and kissed him deeply. Thankfully, we were at that part of the ceremony. The sounds of cheers and applauds rushed to my ears. Our lips parted as we turned to face our audience, smiling for several photos.

“Ladies and gentlemen, introducing for the first time ever Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth King Tiller.” Rhett shouted and more cheers erupted. “Thank you for being here to share in this beautiful moment with us. Please join the bride and groom in the ballroom next door to congratulate and celebrate this union.” Rhett announced and herded everyone to the door keeping anyone from approaching us.

Once the room cleared out, I stood alone with my new husband. His strong arms encircled my waist, drawing me flush to his body.

“You look beautiful, Mrs. Tiller.” Kenneth stared in my eyes.

“Thank you, Mr. Tiller. You look rather delectable yourself.” My arms laced around his neck.

“You think they’d mind if we’re a little late,” he purred.

“I think they will but I don’t care,” I purred back grinning wildly.

Kenneth moved forward closing the small sliver of space between us. His lips came to mine, kissing me with that desire I yearned for. Not being able to resist, my tongue touched his lips before pushing into his mouth. He groaned against my mouth causing me to shiver. He loves when I’m assertive and I love when he’s vocal about his pleasures.

Kenneth’s hands began to roam all over my ass making me moan into his demanding mouth. My hands moved from his neck to his chest, searching for the buttons of his suit jacket. Quickly undoing them, I pushed his jacket over his shoulders. That earned me a rough squeeze on the ass. I moaned out more and began working on his belt. Kenneth backed me into the nearest wall. His fingers pushed my dress up to my hips and grabbed my panties, pulling them down. I stepped completely out of them. His hands returned under my dress and went to work prepping me for the bliss that was sure to come. Continuously kissing him, I finished working on his belt and pulling his shirt from his slacks. I moaned into him as I felt a lone finger push inside me. I pulled his throbbing erection out from his slacks and stroked vigorously. He groaned into my mouth more. I broke from his lips.

“Stop playing with me,” I breathed with urgency.

“Yes, ma’am.” He smirked withdrawing his digit from me and sucking hungrily, enticing me more.

“I said stop playing with me.” I managed to speak firmly.

Kenneth pushed my dress up and gripped the back of my thighs. He hoisted me up, throwing my legs around him, and deftly entered my passage. That caught me off guard as my eyes snapped shut and a throaty moan passed my lips.

“I love that voice of yours,” he breathed before nipping my neck.

Kenneth’s pace was hard and fast. I gripped his vest as moans came from me uncontrollably.

“Shhh! You’re gonna get us caught.” His smirking face came into view.

“Then slow down,” I retorted.

All I got was a haughty snort and deeper thrusts in return.

“You are such an asshole.” The mix of a moan and laugh came out.

“It’s entirely your fault, Mrs. Tiller. You look too good in this dress.”

Smiling, I maneuvered my head and captured his lips again, the increasing pressure mounting inside me with each powerful thrust. Panting wildly, my head rested against the wall. Kenneth’s mouth nipped at my neck and his hands fondled and groped my thighs. My hands touched every part of him that was within reach. My thighs and muscles squeezed tighter around him.

“That’s it, Charlotte. Give it to me.” His lips sucked the tender flesh right behind my ear under my jaw.

“I love the way you say my name,” I panted.

“Charlotte,” he purred and sucked harder on that spot.

My fingers grasped his vest, my legs squeezed his waist and my walls gripped his shaft inside me. Kissing him was all I could do to muffle the cry of ecstasy that ripped from my soul. Kenneth drove harder into my body. He grunted against my mouth indicating his own climax. Gently setting me down on my feet, our lips met again in a display of passion before we quickly dressed.

“We need to hurry,” I giggled. “I have to make a quick trip to the restroom first.”

“Me too,” Kenneth laughed with me.

We opened the doors to be face to face with Janie and Rhett.

“That was the longest quickie in history. And your fly is down, man,” Rhett informed.

“What’s with you two having sex in public and getting caught?” Janie rolled her eyes before pushing me into the bathroom.

“You heard us?” There was a panic in my voice.

Janie’s cheeks flushed. “No, Rhett opened the door and we saw but I guess you two were too busy to notice.” Janie’s eyes quickly left my face and she blushed harder. “You two looked…very passionate. It was…hot.”

My eyebrows arched.

She waived a dismissive hand. “Don’t mind me. It’s the hormones. Everything’s been turning me on lately.”

We laughed as I freshened up. Rejoining Kenneth and Rhett, we entered the ballroom to greet our guests. Hand in hand, Kenneth led me to stand in front of our sweetheart table for more pictures. Then Janie came to stand on my left and Rhett stood to Kenneth’s right for more pictures. The night progressed on as a small dinner was served to our twenty guests. Several people stood and congratulated us and wished us well. After dinner, we retired to the complementary hotel room provided by Para Plaza. Rhett, Janie, Randall, and a sleeping Sasha also joined us.

“How was it sleeping in your old room, Kenny?” I asked from my place beside him on the bed.

“Actually, Rhett here turned my room into some kind of sex playground. There’re lights, cameras, and kinky furniture everywhere.” Kenneth looked at the man in question. “I had to sleep in Rhett’s room.”

“What? I have to keep the ladies happy. And they like being filmed.” Rhett laughed from his seat at the small table in the room.

We all joined in. Janie was seated on Randall’s lap in the other chair.

“When are you guys leaving for Mason Ark?”

“We’re leaving sometime in the afternoon. We’re having breakfast with Kenny’s parents in the morning,” I answered.

“After that we’re headed to Mason Ark for a night, then we’re going to Orangeville for two nights and on our way back we’re stopping in Hunter City for a night,” Kenny further explained.

“That’s a lot of traveling. How are you guys getting around?” Randall asked.

“We’re renting a car.”

“Sounds fun and exhausting.”

All of us laughed.

“It’s getting late and we have to get pumpkin in her bed.” Janie slowly stood up from Randall’s lap.

They hugged us one last time before Randall picked up Sasha’s sleeping form.

“I would say it’s time to consummate your union but you did that already,” Janie laughed loudly as she closed the door.

“Speaking of which, you two looked like you were having a very good time earlier. How about we share now?” Rhett suggested.

I laughed loudly as Kenneth ushered him to the door. “Never going to happen.”

“I had to ask,” he laughed as well. “You two enjoy your trip. See you when you get back.” Rhett waved on his exit.

Kenneth turned around and smiled at me.

“We’re alone now,” I smiled.

“Time to get you out of that dress.” Kenneth tackled me onto the bed.

We laughed as he rolled on top of me. I palmed his cheeks and pressed my lips to his.

“You looked so beautiful today,” he whispered.

“You did, too, handsome,” I grinned.

It was then that I remembered something important. I looked at the pokéball ring he gave me when he proposed that was on my right hand and the new ring I received earlier on my left hand. It was my mother’s ring.

“How did you take this without me knowing?” I asked with softness in my tone.

Kenneth chucked lightly. “Actually, Janie took it. I didn’t think I could get it out the house without you noticing. But she said she could so she swiped it and gave it to me.”

“You all are a bunch of sneaks. But I’m glad. This is the best gift. You are the best gift.”

“Same here,” Kenneth whispered. He moved to kiss my lips but I pulled back slightly.

“I have something to tell you.”

“What is it?”

“I’m pregnant,” I whispered.

“For real?” Kenneth’s features brighten and a cheeky grin came to his lips.

I nodded my head smiling just the same.

“Why didn’t you say something earlier while everyone was here?” he asked still giving me that cheeky grin.

“I wanted to tell you first. We can tell them when we get back from the honeymoon.”

“Charlotte, we’re going to be parents,” Kenneth nearly yelled.

“Yup. We’re one step closer to our big family,” I giggled.

“We are,” he said tenderly. “Well, since you’re telling secrets, I’ll tell you mine.”

“What secret?”

“You know Mike, the guy I talk to who buys my photos…”

I nodded my head.

“Well, we’ve been talking back and forth and he offered me a job as a photo editor for two of the online magazines he runs.”

“Oh, wow baby!” I palmed his cheeks and kissed his lips. “That’s amazing. I’m so happy for you.”

“And the best part is everything can be done from home so I can keep my old job.”

“Look at you, fancy man,” I grinned.

“Look at us,” Kenneth whispered. “I love you, Charlotte.”

“I love you, too, Kenny,” I whispered before capturing his lips.

As I laid in bed beside a sleeping Kenneth, I couldn’t help but reflect on everything. Earlier today, I married my best friend, a man I didn’t think I would ever find, a man that found me over the internet. Talk about non-traditional.

Throughout my earlier life, I had my parents there with me. Both of them filled the emptiness I felt being an only child. I was happy with them. They let me be wild and make the bad mistakes that all children make while giving me the love, discipline and structure that was needed to make a well-rounded adult.

Unfortunately, I wouldn’t have their company for long having lost them both to that car crash. My young reckless heart lusted after every fine piece of man that crossed my path to fill my loneliness. And without my mother to tell me that what I was really seeking was the companionship that could only be found by moving past the superficial, I gave myself time and time again to the wrong men. I had Janie in my life but she had her own life to deal with. She was suffering from the loss of her own mother and I didn’t want to burden her with my problems. When she lost her precious loved one, she had a grandmother and devoted boyfriend to put her back together. I envied her. I wanted what she had. I wanted a member of the opposite sex to be my extinguisher when I was burning in the flames of hardship, stress and loneliness.

I never would have guessed that the man I was searching for would make his appearance over the Web. Out of all the people connected through the internet, I found a man who lives in my city, who is around my age and who likes the same things that I do. I found a man who wants to be my devoted partner in life. That was fate. And with him by my side, I felt stronger than ever, almost superhuman. I knew I could conquer anything with him beside me.

A smile graced my lips as I felt Kenneth pull me closer.

At any given moment, everything about our marriage could fall apart, just as things had before in my previous relationships, but I won’t let that keep me from giving him my all. The past will not keep us from loving whole-heartedly. The love we found will sustain us throughout the unpredictable future.

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