Maya could not believe her luck. She had spent weeks trying to formulate a plan to get out of her panic-stricken, arranged marriage. She had thought getting pregnant by one of the village boys would be enough, but she just couldn’t make herself do it. Not only would it break up her marriage, but leave her with no home as well. Due to Chinese tradition, her parents and friends would be forced to shun her, leaving her nowhere to go. Any home, even as terrible as this, was better than no home at all. Besides, pregnancy was not on her list of future adventures she wished to experience. She had been taking herbs from the elderly lady who ran an herbalist shop out of her home, to prevent pregnancy. She just knew that a pregnancy would cement this life for her with no way out. Her husband was desperate for an heir and he was getting more than a little impatient that she wasn’t getting pregnant. She knew that she was quickly running out of time.
The thought of giving that horrible man a child ran chills down her spine. Being born female herself, it was a miracle that she was still alive. Her father, not the kind of man who took care of those kinds of things, raised her anyway, even though he wanted a boy. She wasn’t so sure about Shen. But the thought of giving that man a son! Regardless, no child of hers would be created by that man’s loins! Not if she could help it. The only thing to consider was that by not getting pregnant, she worried that she was putting her own life in jeopardy. It was only a matter of time before Shen started to look for outside comfort, and if one of those women produced a child….
In walks Ian Bell
Definitely easy on the eyes, with a quiet, sweet manner and non threatening in every way. He was going to be her saviour out of this miserable life and her ticket to the more modern world. Shen had been in a particularly wretched mood for the past few weeks and she wasn’t sure why. However, his increasing abuse to her had truly been her saving grace. Ian, with his protective character had swooped in to save her from the “monster”, as Ian had called him.
Shen had made the decision just three months past to start bringing in boarders to their home. Business hadn’t been steadily coming in but they did have their fair share of boarders, most of them men. None of those men looked like Ian Bell! When she turned to see him at the gate that day, her heart leapt into her throat and she was surprised she was able to speak at all.
She walked to the gate, just praying he was their new boarder for the week. Most of the men who had stayed with them were much older, unattractive and dispassionate to anything they heard or saw in the household. Not one had jumped to help, or befriend her as Ian did. She had never met a man like him. Certainly not in China.
Ian’s Western ways were a mystery to her. The expectations he had for men and women were so different than she had grown up with. The idea that men put women first in his world, was a real shock to her. Opening doors, pulling out chairs, helping women with putting on their coats, were some she had heard about. Women eating at the table with the men was another. Some Chinese traditions Ian out right asked about and others, she could tell he silently did not agree with. While Shen barked at her, Ian spoke is a respectful tone. Shen demanded and Ian asked politely. Night and day they both were. Shen had an open and direct disdain for anything Western while Ian was very curious about everything in her world. One of the most amusing things she experienced with Ian one day, was trying to teach Ian the country song. While he got the words right, he definitely could not get the pitch, but he tried over and over again. She did her best to hide her smiles but found out that Ian was one to poke fun at himself first. That was a quality she really liked.
It was then she truly realized that Ian was her best plan. It took a lot of courage on her part, but when the moment came, she let him seduce her into the bedroom, knowing that he would never leave her behind. According to Chinese customs, the only way she was going to get out of this contract of marriage with Shen, was to sleep with another man. Better Ian, someone she had grown to care for and respect, than some village boy or traveler passing through. When she went through with this plan, she would be dead to her family, something she fully understood. She only hoped that one day, they would forgive her and allow her back into their life. Perhaps, even if that was only her mother.
Maya had spent the evening before, with her best friend Sun and had heard about Ian’s prowess in the living room and the shower! Never experiencing that kind of love-making before she was extremely curious to find out. What she experienced with Ian was nothing like she ever thought was possible. Ian was so loving and thrilling, she could feel herself becoming aroused just at the thought of him. He gave her an afternoon she would always remember and she in turn mustered all the courage inside her and gave herself over to him. It was the only way she could think of to ensure he would take her with him when it was done and over with. So she gave him an afternoon woo hoo with no restrictions, no protection and no inhibitions.
All those years lying under Shen had steeled her to survive it again and again. Now knowing what she did, she couldn’t believe she could have gone her whole life, never knowing the touch of a real man. When she woke from her nap, Ian wasn’t in the bed with her and she suffered a moment of panic thinking she had been mistaken, and he had left her behind. Jumping out of the bed, she almost ran right into him. “There you are, finally awake” he said to her.
Taking her into his arms, he kissed her passionately and that is when Shen walked into the room. Standing there in only her under garments, rumpled bed sheets and in another man’s arms, it was easy for Shen to understand what had happened. He ordered the couple out of his house, stating he never wanted to see Maya again. Then he stormed from the room. Ian turned to her and said “Please be mine,” and presented her with a ring.
“Always,” she had replied. They had a private wedding right there in the bedroom, packed their things and left the house as husband and wife.
With these three words Please Be Mine she was set free and then it was done. Bright, brand new future secured. For the rest of her life, she would be eternally indebted to Ian, for rescuing her from Shen and this miserable life. Yet, she already regretted what she feared she must do next….