This scene in Restoring Hope has to do with the Mandan culture and their views of getting married. In Bound by Honor, Bound by Love, there was one way of getting married which I shared in this post. However, there was another way, and this scene goes into it. Tomorrow, I’ll share their views on getting married.
That night Gary went to sleep, not expecting anything unusual to happen. For sure, he didn’t expect someone to slip into his bed. When a warm naked body pressed against him, he initially assumed he was dreaming. Unlike his other dreams though, this one seemed particularly vivid. Part of him struggled to wake up, to find out if it was really happening. The woman snuggled in his arms and began kissing his face. She started at his cheeks and before he knew it, she was kissing him on the lips. He finally stirred enough so he could kiss her back. The problem was, unlike his other dreams, he could actually feel everything. Her lips were soft, as was her flesh. By the time he realized that he was not dreaming after all, he was caressing her breasts.
Startled, he bolted up in the bed and tried to get out of it. Since he was tangled in the sheets, his attempt to distance himself from the situation resulted in him falling onto the hardwood floor with a loud thud. He tried to stand up but tripped and fell again, this time landing on his stomach.
The door to his room flung open and his aunt and sister gasped.
“What is going on in my home?” Aunt Erin demanded, holding the kerosene lamp up.
Once he was able to successfully stand up, he saw Woape frantically wrapping the robe around herself. Then it dawned on him that he’d been doing things with Woape that he’d never done with a woman before. Well, of course it had to be her. No one but her would even think to come to his bed. But why? He glanced at his sister who stared at him and Woape in shock, her hand over her mouth.
“Gary, what is the meaning of this?” his aunt asked, her eyes a steely gray.
“Wh-…I…” He shrugged. “I don’t know what she’s doing here.”
His sister finally took her hand down and clucked her tongue. “A likely story.”
“It’s true. I was asleep and…” Oh, for goodness’ sakes! The last thing he wanted to do was give them any details! “I didn’t know she was in my bed.”
His aunt didn’t look convinced. “You aren’t stupid.”
“I was sleeping! When I woke up, she was next to me.” And no, he wasn’t about to say any more than that!
“Something was happening,” Julia insisted. “A woman doesn’t get caught naked in a man’s bed unless she’s planning on something she ought not to do until she’s married to him.”
“Really, Gary. I thought I raised you better than this,” Erin scolded.
“We didn’t do anything,” he said.
They rolled their eyes.
He looked at Woape who didn’t look as ashamed as he thought she should for pulling such a stunt. Didn’t she realize how weak a man’s will was when confronted with a naked woman in his sleep? She was lucky he had the sense to wake up and put a stop to this nonsense! He waited until Woape looked at him before he asked, “What were you thinking?”
“Wife,” she replied. She pointed to Julia who still stood there with her eyes wide in disbelief. “Sister.”
It took him a good thirty seconds before he realized what she was saying. “Wife?”
She nodded. “Wife. Gary ibero.”
“You think we’re married?”
While His Redeeming Wife is my favorite book, Restoring Hope comes in close second. I love the characters. Thanks for sharing today – I’ll have to go reread it now. =-).
Thanks! I appreciate that. 😀
Oh, now that’s intriguing. 🙂
Poor Gary. He went to sleep and the next thing he knew, a woman was in his bed. hehe