Blue Autumn in the Bayou (Gumbo Love) (27 page)

“And I promise to love and respect you as the
center of my heart.” She sealed her pledge with a kiss.

“You have to wait until after the ceremony to do that.” Trae’s voice broke into the interlude.

Reggie, Denise, and Autumn squealed as they greeted one another. “I can’t believe this. You’re going to be my sister. Oh, my goodness.” Reggie hugged her tight.

“And I’m going to be
an auntie. I’m happy, and…” She turned to address Travis. “I’m the luckiest girl in the world.”

Michael wasted no time joining in the greeting. “I can’t believe you two are beating us to the altar.” Michael hugged his brother tightly before he turned and greeted Autumn.

They all formed a circle and briefly hugged. “Come on. We’ve got a wedding to go to.” Trae tugged at Reggie’s hand.

The ceremony was short and sweet, just as they’d expected. They exchanged the rings he and Autumn purchased the day before. He looked down into his wife’s
beautiful face when the judge pronounced them husband and wife. “Mr. Brooks, you may kiss your wife.”

gathered Autumn’s face in his hands and gently kissed her before he released her. “I love you.”

“I love you.” She stared up at him for several seconds, heated by the flames he threw at her.

“Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Brooks.”

Again they all hugged. Travis kept a possessive arm around his new wife.
A sense of protectiveness he’d never known before kicked in. Now he understood why his father was so protective of his mother. Nothing came before her, not even the children. He had a lifetime to figure out how extraordinary and overwhelming that feeling could be. When he looked at his brother, he smiled and nodded.

They pulled into Mara’s Homemade on East 6
Street for a private lunch. Mara’s was known for its Louisiana Cajun and Creole entrees. The room was set up with fresh flowers and champagne for the three couples. Reggie drank ginger ale instead of champagne. “Here’s to my eldest brother and his bride. I hope that you’re as happy as we are, and that you have at least ten babies.” Trae toasted them.

“Whoa, slow your roll. We are happy, little man, but we’ll have to take advisement on the
‘ten- babies’ issue. I want to spend some time with this beautiful woman before we start having babies. At least, I hope that is our plan.” Travis gazed into his wife’s face.

She smiled
, something she’d been doing since the judge declared Travis to be her husband. “Yes, that works for me, for now.”

Not to be outdone, Michael stood and made a toast. “Travis, you know how much you mean to me, and now I want to make certain you know that you’ve always been a big brother we could look up to.
Now that Autumn has entered our lives, I see a change in you. You’ve always been a good example, and now you’re a better man than you were before. I’m proud to be your little brother, and I wish you and Autumn passion for the next fifty years.”

“I’ll pledge to that one.” Travis stood and touched his goblet to Michael’s. They all laughed. “Thank you both. You’re easy brothers to be examples for. I am lucky. I love you all.” He saluted everyone at the table.

They shared a scrumptious lunch and afterwards Trae, Michael, Denise, and Reggie were sworn to secrecy. “You can’t tell a soul, promise me.” Autumn demanded. “We want to tell the families together.”

“So what are you suppose
d to do with this, big brother?” Michael pointed to Travis’s wedding band.

“I’ll wear it on my right hand until she comes home in two weeks. If that’s okay with you
, wife?”

“I think it will be safe there until I get home.” She couldn’t believe she called New Orleans home. But now that she was Travis’s wife, it was indeed her home
again. “Promise me, guys.”

“Okay, already. We promise. But I know Dianne is going to kill all of you, you know that don’t you
?” Denise interjected.

“We’re prepared to throw down with the little woman
,” Travis bragged.

He has to worry about meeting my father too. Tempest will most likely be a pushover, but I don’t know about Pops,” Autumn added.

“When he sees how much I love and cherish you, he’ll be putty in my hands.” He kissed her brow.

“We shall see.”

The chatter
that went back and forth on the way back to the airport was animated and full of laughter, but on the way back to Autumn’s place, the car was quiet. Travis folded his wife’s hand into his lap, her head rested on his chest. She could hear his steady, strong heartbeat. For the first time in her life she felt safe and worry-free. She closed the door on her past, and looked only at what was ahead of them. The warmth of Travis’s embrace made her believe that nothing could touch her at this point.

They pulled up to the condo
, and the driver moved around to the passenger side door and opened it. Travis crossed over her and got out first. He reached in and pulled Autumn from the limo. He kept his hand at the small of her back as they made their way to Autumn’s door. He unlocked and opened it. Before she could take a step, he picked her up and crossed the threshold. “Welcome home, Mrs. Brooks.” He captured her lips while still holding her in his arms, and kicked the door closed. For now the locks would have to wait. He had other plans.



































Travis gathered her close as he made his way down the short
, narrow hallway. He’d taken care to get things ready for this moment. He took her to the room he’d slept in the night before. He’d arranged it before he left. Fresh flowers, candles, and condoms on the nightstand. “Mm, baby.” He placed her gently on the cool comforter sprinkled with rose petals.

Autumn didn’t notice
them at first. Her body sang with need and at that moment, she was caught up in the heat from Travis’s lips and hands. He released her and started by taking off the ivory strappy sandals. He kissed the insides of each of her legs. He held her gaze the entire time. “Move up, sweetheart.” He commanded her to move to the center of the bed once he removed the dress, and undid the pins in her hair. The soft curls fell down to her shoulders and bounced around her neck.

She obeyed. Her chest rose and fell heavily as
she moved to the center of the rose-laden comforter, dressed only in her lacy bra and thong. Travis stepped back and watched her. She was magnificent, absolutely the most sexiest creature he’d seen in his life.

Autumn fidgeted under Travis bold a
ppraisal. The heat of his smoky gaze made her warm and tingly all over. She closed her eyes, looking into his gaze was too overpowering. “Look at me, sweetheart.” Again, she obeyed. “I love you.”

She moistened her lips. “I love you,

He pulled his shirt from his pants and began to unbutton it. Autumn attempted to
move over to help him, but he halted her with one of his hands. “Wait for me, darling.” His touch scorched her skin. She sank back down onto the bed. It was then that she noticed the rose petals beneath her. She grabbed a handful and dropped them on her flat stomach. Travis’s crooked smile split his face when she did.

He eased out of the shirt and let it drop to the floor.
Beautifully wide shoulders with rippled muscles crisscrossed his body. Dark straight hair trailed down the center of his chest and tapered down and disappeared below the waistband of his pants. He undid his pants next, paused before slipping them down his massive thighs and stepping out of them. Lastly, he pulled down the black briefs that concealed, until that moment, his most masculine feature and the wonder of her desire.

Autumn’s eyes feasted on the
magnificently hard shaft pointed directly out in front of him. The sight of it instantly sent shockwaves up and down her body. Desire for him consumed her. Everything about Travis was man. All man. His wide shoulders tapered down to slim hips leading to wonderfully muscular thighs and legs. Autumn bit down on her bottom lip as she watched him. When her gaze traveled back up to his face, the handsome features were full of unreserved passion for her.

Travis crawled in next to her
and his hand went to the rose pedals on her stomach. His fingers grazed her soft skin. The power of his touched forced Autumn to close her eyes again. He put his lips to her ear and whispered. “I need you to look at me, darling.” With much effort she looked into his handsome face again. Desire’s flames grew hotter with each moment. Her eyes glistened with unshed tears. “We’re going to go slow, I promise,” Travis whispered. Tears fell down her face and into her hair. “Are you afraid, sweetheart?”

She shook her head and at the same time answered
, “No.” She touched his smoothly shaven face. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time.”

“So have I
,” he whispered. “So have I.” He captured her lips and feasted on them while pulling her body beneath him. She could feel his throbbing penis against her thigh. Travis’s hand trailed down the length of her, until it cupped her hip in it, so he could bring her body flush against him. They both moaned. Autumn fell in rhythm with Travis. She moved beneath him while her hands explored the planes of his back. She squeezed his arms tight around her husband.

Travis’s kisses trailed down Autumn’s body. His tongue glided down her neck straight to the center of her
lovely breasts. With care, he removed the bra to release full high mounds. He teased one and then the other. He took care not to miss one spot of her lovely body. He kissed and nibbled at each inch of her and Autumn arced and responded to every touch.

As he moved further down, his hands grabbed the elastic of the lace thong and he pulled
it down to her ankles. He slipped it from one foot and then the other before tossing the tiny piece of silk like it had no meaning at all. He picked up where he left off, right at the V between her legs. He trailed kisses down the center of her thighs and without prompting, Autumn opened her legs for him.

He kissed the innermost parts of her thighs holding Autumn’s legs captive. She moaned
and gathered fistfuls of the comforter. Travis enjoyed watching Autumn buck and squirm. The aroma of her desire pulled him in and he spread the folds of her female core and kissed, licked, and nibbled at the hooded bud until she trembled.

He concentrated on preparing her body to accept him. He was more than ready; he wanted to make sure she was. It wasn’t long before she screamed a
s he tasted the creams of her orgasm. He moved over her, his arm stretching across the bed for the foil package on the nightstand. He continued his distraction techniques; keeping his virgin wife’s mind on the searing touches of his lips, and not on the pain her delicate flesh was about to endure to consummate their marriage.

“Autumn.” He whispered in her ear. “I love you baby. I love you so much.”

Autumn responded to his declaration. She kissed his shoulder and any other place she could reach with her kiss-swollen lips. Travis rose up above her to roll a condom over his manhood, but before he could, Autumn folded her hands around him. He gasped. He hadn’t expected it, and the shock of her hands around him sent bolts of lightning desire up his spine. “Oh, baby, what are you doing?” he tried moving out of her grasp.

For Autumn
, his erection was long and rigid, silky soft. She liked the feel of him in her hands, and now she wanted to feel him inside of her. Between the kisses she spoke into his mouth. “No condom, Travis. I want to feel you.”

“That’s not a wise idea
, sweetheart. This is our first time.”

Trust me, I’ve prepared for today, Travis. We don’t need a condom,” she assured him. “Please.”

tossed the condom aside and went back to the discovering his wife’s body. She tried once again to capture him with her hands, but he caught her fingers and raised them above her head. “Not so fast, sweetheart. We have plenty of time. I need to focus and I want this to be good for you, especially since this is your first time. I don’t want to hurt you, okay?”

“I want you. I need you now, Travis.”

“Trust me, baby. I need you too.” He kissed her hard. “Trust me.” He finally spread her legs and placed his tip at the opening of her body.

Autumn moaned. She also
squirmed and writhed beneath him in an attempt to guide his erection further into her moist opening. He could feel it. She wanted it—wanted him. Travis dropped his hands to her hips to halt her movement. He gritted his teeth in an effort to keep himself from thrusting into her. “Oh angel, please.” He covered her mouth and kissed her long and hard, which stopped Autumn’s movement temporarily.

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