Before heading to Boston to shop at The Prudential Center, Levi did a little more research on his smart phone and found a local health food store that sold lemongrass oils and other products containing lemongrass oil.
The clerk at Cambridge Naturals was very helpful and talked with Tiani in broken Spanish, with Levi and his mom translating when needed. Tiani walked away with several hundred dollars’ worth of all-natural skin and hair products. Levi was excited to try some of them, now that they both realized how much fun showering together could be.
When they arrived at The Prudential Center, they decided they were ready for lunch and chose an upscale restaurant. Levi helped Tiani choose a meal based on a few questions about meats and vegetables and breads. In the end they settled on a filet mignon with sautéed asparagus and roasted potatoes with a soft garlic bread.
Levi ordered a grilled salmon streak with rice pilaf and almond green beans, and his mom chose a chicken breast drizzled with a creamy alfredo sauce and linguine so that Tiani could have a taste of a variety of foods.
Tiani loved everything and Levi found she was easy to please with her culinary tastes, clothing choices, body care, and especially lovemaking. He started to wonder if there was anything about her that was not perfect.
After lunch they found a women’s clothing store where his mom and Tiani were able to find more intimate items such as bras and underwear. Levi wondered if she’d ever worn a bra before, but she seemed to like the feeling of support a bra provided.
His mom got so bold as to hold up a silk negligee she thought Levi might appreciate.
“Thank you, mother. That will look very nice lying on the floor next to our bed.”
“Good point.” She shoved the hanger back in among the other useless articles of clothing.
“How about some soft pajamas she could wear to lounge around the house?” Levi suggested. “Also, maybe some yoga pants and hoodies and comfortable shirts? We’ve bought everything needed for more formal public outings but nothing for comfort at home.”
“Not every formal public outing…” His mom hesitated and sized Tiani up as if she were a model. “Have you thought about what she will wear to your brother’s wedding?”
“No…” Levi pursed his lips. “What would you suggest?”
Tiani just stood there looking back and forth between them.
“How about a traditional Guatemalan wedding dress?” his mom suggested.
“Mom, it’s not our wedding. The day is to celebrate Nicholas and Becky. We don’t want to upstage Becky’s special day.”
“Why not?” His mom lifted her chin. “This is the first time your family will meet your bride as well. Can’t she look the part?”
“Our family will be glad to meet her, but I doubt Becky’s family would appreciate us showing up looking like it’s a double wedding.”
“Well, maybe something formal and Guatemalan but not too ostentatious.” She stepped over to Tiani and lifted her chin in the loving way a mother would scrutinize her elegant daughter. “This princess deserves something special.”
“Thank you.” Tiani lowered her eyes, bashful from the praise.
They finished with the casual shopping and headed upstairs to a specialty bridal and formalwear store where the saleswoman took Tiani under her wing offering to create a masterpiece for the princess. As wonderful as that sounded, there were only a few days left before they had to leave for Texas.
The saleswoman found a royal purple Magdalena satin ball gown, which she dressed up with a semi-transparent silk shawl in a complimentary fuchsia. The look was just elegant enough to pass as a bridal gown, had it been white.
“It’s perfect,” Levi said reverently, then switched to Yucatec to offer a complement meant to be shared between the two of them. “You look elegant, my princess. I wish you could wear your crown. The feathers would match those colors.”
“What if we carefully removed the feathers from my crown and wove them into a braided crown similar to the style your mother created this morning?” Tiani and Levi met each other’s eyes in the three-way mirror of the upscale formalwear store, then both scrutinized the braid as if envisioning the results.
“That sounds beautiful, my love.” Still speaking Yucatec, Levi carefully wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her just a little closer. “I have found you beautiful from the moment we met, and you have been, and will always be, most beautiful in your traditional clothing, but your elegance is going to steal the spotlight in this gown.”
“Do you think I shouldn’t wear the gown?” She bit her lower lip.
“No, I think you should wear the gown,” Levi whispered even though no one else could understand them while speaking her native language. “You are royalty and will be on the arm of one of the richest men in the room. I want you to own that position.”
“If you’re by my side, I’ll be the richest woman in the room,” she whispered back.
They leaned closer to one another and shared a mildly passionate kiss that probably made others in the room uncomfortable.
When they finally pulled apart, Levi pressed his forehead to hers and whispered again, “Let’s go home and try out some of those new bath oils.”
Tiani giggled in answer and Levi turned to the saleswoman.
“We’ll take the dress.”