We’re roughly at the half way mark in Matt and Aaron’s wedding short. Next week I’ll compile parts 1-6 so they’re easier to read. In the meantime, enjoy this installment featuring a special guest appearance by an old friend or two. 😉
And don’t forget, Leaning Into the Look is here now! Woohoo!
Happy Easter and Happy Reading! Lane xo
Better Than Wedding– Part 5
Curt tossed the basketball to me then ran under the hoop to catch the rebound as the ball swished through the net. He whooped with glee and did an obnoxious dance that made the teenagers waiting for the court chuckle. Jack rolled his eyes and snaked his arm around his boyfriend’s waist and effortlessly dislodged the ball then threw it at me. I hugged it to my chest and gestured for the teens to take over before heading to the park bench to collect my stuff.
It was a beautiful Saturday in mid-August. Warm, but not as humid as it had been most of the summer. I grabbed a water bottle from my bag and guzzled half of the contents before glancing up at the blue sky. I adjusted my sunglasses and bobbed my head in acknowledgment when Curt and Jack came to join me. We’d played our weekly round of pick-up basketball with our friend, Jason and continued goofing around for another fifteen minutes after he’d left. It had been a fun morning with friends but I was ready to go.
“Hey, do you mind dropping me off on your way home?” Curt asked, bumping my elbow hard enough to splash water down the front of my basketball shorts.
I glared at him then took another swig before pouring the rest of my water over his head. Curt sputtered indignantly then shook his hair like a dog coming in from the rain. I punched his bicep and braced myself for retaliation. Our collegiate-style sparring dated back to our law school days when we were roommates.
Curt Townsend was an accomplished lawyer now and one of my best friends. His easy-going nature and self-deprecating sense of humor won me over years ago. And while I occasionally wanted to smack him upside the head, I knew I was lucky to have him in my corner. And Jack too.
Jack was Curt’s seriously drool-worthy older boyfriend. He was tall, dark, handsome, and covered in colorful ink. His Harley-riding, leather badass persona was the exact opposite of Curt’s more conservative nature but it was obvious to anyone who paid attention that Jack was madly in love with his man. They complemented each other well, I mused as Jack ruffled Curt’s damp hair then bent to kiss his partner’s forehead.
“I’m supposed to meet a client at the bar and I think Curt’s anxious to get home,” Jack drawled in his slow Southern accent.
“True. I’m sweaty and gross and I don’t want to stick to the vinyl seats at the bar while I wait for my boyfriend to haggle with a vendor over the price of Patron. Help me escape, please.” Curt lowered his sunglasses and gave me a faux wide-eyed panicked look.
“There’s no vinyl in my bar, smartass. Those seats are pure leather,” Jack huffed, pulling his T-shirt off and reached into his bag for a clean one.
I chuckled as I stood. “Sure thing, buddy. Let’s go.”
I rolled my eyes when Curt nodded absently while his gaze traveled hungrily over Jack’s torso. Jack pulled his clean shirt on and then winked at his man before yanking him to his feet. I stepped away to give them a modicum of privacy and dug my cell from my bag to call Aaron.
He answered the phone on the first ring. “Hello handsome. Did you miss me?”
I grinned and felt my cheeks redden for no apparent reason. “Of course. What are you wearing?”
“Absolutely nothing,” Aaron purred.
“Are you serious?”
“Yep. I just got out of the shower so unless a towel counts, I’m naked, Matty.”
His tone was playful and sexy but the last thing I needed was a hard on in basketball shorts. I gulped. “Um, we’re just finishing up now. I’m going to drop Curt off but I’ll be home after that so just…stay naked, okay?”
“Mmm. Yes.” Aaron’s seductive hum went straight to my dick.
“Fuck, I better go before my boner gets out of control. Thanks a lot, Aar.”
His melodic laughter drifted through the phone. “I’m sorry. Oh hey! Did you ask him?”
“No. Not yet. I didn’t want to it in front of a big audience,” I said.
“Well, now’s your chance. Or maybe you should bring him here. I’ll make brunch. Can Jack come too and what about—?”
“Hey, slow down, babe.”
“But it’s a good idea,” he insisted.
“Yeah, okay. You’re right. I’ll invite him over.”
“Perfect. I better get dressed.”
I snickered as I pulled my bag over my shoulder and positioned it to strategically cover my bulge. “I’ll see you soon. Love you.”
“I love you too, Matty.”
I shoved my phone in my pocket and looked around for my friends. Jack waved from the other side of the chain-link fence then pulled Curt against him for a quick kiss. Then he revved his motorcycle, secured his helmet and pulled away.
“What’s the hold up, Sullivan? Let’s go!” Curt tapped his watch impatiently.
I knew he was joking but I didn’t take the bait this time. I pulled out my keys and led the way to my BMW.
“What are you doing today?”
“Besides waiting for you to unlock the car?” he asked sarcastically. “Not much. Why?”
“Ha. Ha. I was just wondering if you and Jack are doing anything special.”
“Special?” Curt paused before opening the passenger side door and cocked his head. “If you’re asking if we’re going to have sex when he gets home later, the answer is a definitive yes.”
I huffed in amusement then chucked my workout bag into the backseat and slid into the driver’s seat. “Thanks for sharing but no, I—are you hungry? Aaron’s making brunch. Do you wanna come over?”
I pulled my seatbelt on and turned on the engine. “Yeah now.”
“Is this a spur of the moment thing?”
“Don’t overthink it, Curtster. It’s scrambled eggs, fruit and avocado toast. You coming or not?”
Curt grinned. “What about French toast?”
“Ask him yourself, asshole. If he’s feeling sweet, I bet he’ll hook you up.”
“Thanks. I’m in. I thought Saturdays were your designated ‘wedding planning day’,” he commented as he fastened his seatbelt. “How’s it going?”
“Good. We have almost everything locked into place. The invitations will be ready to mail soon and I just put down the deposit at the resort we’re staying at in Puerto Rico for our honeymoon. We have a little glitch on the parent side, but we’ll work it out.”
“Uh oh. What did your mom do?”
“Believe it or not, it’s not my family this time. Aar’s folks want the deacon from their church to perform the ceremony. His mom is super excited because supposedly after much deliberation the old fart has agreed to set his misgivings aside and marry a couple of homosexuals. I think there was a hefty fee including gas mileage involved but I don’t know the specifics. I only know it’s the last thing we want. We have the minister already. I thought he’d told his mom about it a few weeks ago, but… here we are. We’re supposed to visit them next weekend. Aaron says he’ll talk to them before then, but if he doesn’t, we’re in for an uncomfortable afternoon at the Mendez house.”
“Sounds like the opposite of fun. If Jack and I ever tie the knot we won’t have to deal with family crap. Thank God. He has one sister, I have one brother and they both know better than to mess with Jack.”
“Do you think you will get married? I mean… eventually,” I amended as I turned into the garage of my condo complex.
“Yes, I think so. But I doubt we’ll have a big ceremony like you and Aaron or like Peter and Jay did. A justice of the peace quickie and a kickass party is more our style,” he said with a laugh. “Weddings are expensive.”
I parked my car and opened my door. “You’re telling me. Sometimes I wished we’d streamlined the process too.”
“What do you mean?”
“I can’t wait for us to be married but I could do without the unsolicited opinions of family and friends on how it should be done. Everyone has big ideas about wedding etiquette. You wouldn’t believe the conversation I had with my mother about inviting some great uncle I’ve never met before in my life. And with Aaron’s family, the church conversation is usually followed by twenty questions about when we’re going to have kids and how we should raise them.”
Curt shuddered theatrically. “That sucks.”
“I know it comes from a good place but it does suck.”
We were mostly quiet in the elevator ride to my floor. Just as I was about to put my key in the door, Curt grabbed my elbow.
“I haven’t given my unsolicited opinion, have I?” he asked with a frown. “If I have, I didn’t mean any offense. I’m genuinely happy for you guys. Heck, I was there from the beginning. I remember the way you looked whenever talked about Aaron. Your eyes got twinkly and you’d get this stupid grin on your face and I remember thinking… ‘damn, Matt’s in love with a guy’.”
I grinned as I pushed the door open. “Seems like yesterday, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah. It does and—” He gave me an intense look before he continued. “I’m really happy for you both. A wedding isn’t the same as being married. Anybody can throw a party, but you guys are ready for the real thing.”
I dropped my bag on the bench in the entry and let the strains of a Spanish song playing loudly in the background filled the space. It was a funny sort of touchstone moment. The memory Curt evoked was a powerful one. I remembered standing inside the doorway of our bachelor pad wondering if I could possibly explain how I felt about Aaron to my gay friend who assumed I was straight. I’d been afraid and yet hopeful. I knew if anyone might understand, it would be Curt.
When I’d eventually told him I was bi and love with a man, he’d been there for me. No questions asked. He still was.
I pursed my lips and nodded. “Thanks, man. I love him and yeah, we are ready.”
“Cool. I’m starving. Where’s Aar?” Curt slugged my bicep playfully and stepped into the great room.
Curt waved at Aaron when he called his name from the kitchen then looked back at me absently. “What is it?”
“I— will you be my best man?”
To be continued…