Better Than Wedding, Parts 1-6 (NSFW), A Matt & Aaron Short Story

Part 6 is ready and fair warning, it’s NSFW! You’re welcome. LOL. I’ve compiled all six parts to make for easy reading or rereading. I’ll do the same thing once we’ve reached the end of the short story. This one will most likely have another four to six chapters.

In other news, the audiobook for Leaning Into Touch will be coming out sometime next week most likely. There will be an audio blast with a giveaway and I’m going to try something entirely new. I’ve invited the narrator, Nick J. Russo to join me at Lane’s Lovers for a Q&A at the end of April. I’ll post the date as soon as we’ve set it but I’m so thrilled to do this. He’s such a nice guy and a fabulous narrator! I can’t wait to share his narration of Josh and Finn’s story.

And now… back to Matty and Aaron. Enjoy!

Happy Reading! Lane xounknown-2-1Better Than Wedding – Part 1

Planning a wedding was like learning a new language. Venue, invitations, flowers, guest lists, deejay, photographer. The plethora of choices and the countless decisions to be made was overwhelming. At least I thought so. My fiancé didn’t seem fazed in the slightest. Aaron was extremely organized by nature and he had great taste. I had no doubt our wedding would be beautiful. Whether we’d stick to an agreed budget was another story, but it was only June. We had four months until the big day. Plenty of time. I wasn’t sure why he suddenly had a mile-long list of things to discuss. Then again, Aaron was chattier than most people. I could have listened to him all night. As long as he didn’t expect intelligent conversation from me until after the game, it was all good.

“Classic black and white tuxedos for sure. Vic tried to talk me into white bow ties for us and black for our groomsmen but I want to keep the overall feel to be elegant yet simple. That one little detail might throw everything off. What do you think?”

“Sounds good.” I nodded absently and shot what I hoped passed as an interested look before refocusing my attention on the flat-screen over the fireplace.

Aaron rubbed his foot on my crotch then shifted closer to me on the sofa. “Our first fitting is Saturday morning at ten o’clock. Did I mention we have an appointment to visit two florists and a photographer with Vic too?”

“Hmm. Okay.” I grabbed his foot and massaged his toes but kept my gaze locked on the action unfolding in front of me.

“I think we’ll go with Jay and Peter’s baker, Jean-Luc. He’s doing these incredible cakes that are ten tiers high… or more. It may be a bit tricky to cut into and I’m worried about the crystal chandelier grazing the top but I can ask the hotel to move the chandelier for the night. Don’t you think?”

“Sure. Sounds good.” I squeezed his big toe and pumped my fist in the air when LeBron sailed over two opponents to dunk the basketball to give the Cavs a two-point lead.

“Which part…the oversized cake or relocating a thousand pound antique light fixture?”

Aaron dropped his foot then set his notebook on the coffee table and sidled closer. I opened my arms in invitation and pulled him against me, loving the scent of soap on his skin. He’d gone for a run after work then showered and made dinner. I’d hoped to join him for the run but I couldn’t get away from my desk in time. After three fourteen-hour-days in a row, I was mentally and physically fried. Kicking back with a beer and watching the game with my man at my side was all I needed.

Actually dinner would be nice too. I was starving. I pushed Aaron’s dark hair from his eyes and kissed his forehead.

“Both, babe. Is the chili almost ready?”

“Almost.” He slipped his left hand under my T-shirt and ran his fingers down my chest. “We should have the dream wedding we want right?”

“Mmmhmm. Oh! Damn, did you see that?” I gestured at the TV incredulously.

“No. I missed it,” Aaron huffed, pinching my right nipple. Hard.

“Ow.” I captured his wrist and scowled.

“Sorry.”

He didn’t look particularly contrite but I let it slide. It was a two-point ball game with twelve seconds left in the fourth quarter. There’d be plenty of time to play later. I brought his hand to my lips and kissed his knuckles. “Behave.”

Aaron purred in response then climbed onto my lap and flung his arms around my neck.

“I think we should have massive rose and orchid arrangements on every table.”

Five seconds left. Tied game. Time out called by the Cavs.

“Okay.” I lowered his head to my shoulder so I could see the screen. Aaron nuzzled my neck and burrowed closer.

“Let’s have two champagne fountains. One for the front of the ballroom and one for the back. The unicorn ice sculpture can go in the foyer. I definitely want a sit-down dinner. I’m not picky about the menu. I just want to be sure we offer caviar and filet mignon. You like filet mignon, right Matty?”

“Mmm. Yeah, I love it,” I replied distractedly as both teams walked back on the court with one second left.

“Me too.” He licked my ear lobe and hummed. “And lobster too. Of course, there’s the age-old question…deejay or band? Let’s see if John Legend is free to play during the dinner. Maybe Cher can handle the reception. You like her, right?”

“Who?”

“Cher.”

“Um…sure. Yes!” I hooted as the Cavs scored in final second. “For the win, baby!”

I squeezed Aaron’s ass and sealed my mouth over his in what was meant to be a short celebratory kiss, but fuck, he tasted good. Like red wine and cinnamon. I licked his lips in a silent request for entry then shifted sideways and gently pushed him flat on his back before climbing on top of him. I was glad I’d changed when I got home from work. The thinner fabric of my basketball shorts and his pajama bottoms made for instantly gratifying friction. I sucked on his tongue as I adjusted my hardening shaft alongside his and then rocked my hips.

After almost five years together, I would have thought some of the intensity between us would have mellowed somewhat. But it was stronger than ever. Yeah, I’d had a long day. I was hungry, tired and my brain was definitely on cruise control but I wanted him.

Aaron hooked his legs over my ass and arched his back when I slipped my fingers under the elastic of his pajamas. I tilted my chin to deepen the kiss, gliding my tongue over his until we were breathless and gasping for air. He smiled then opened his mouth to speak and— my stomach growled. Aaron chuckled when I lifted my brow. “Are you hungry?”

“Very. Did you say something about filet mignon?” I asked, pressing a kiss on his nose before sitting up.

He rolled his eyes. “No, we’re having chili, remember?”

“Oh yeah.” I stood then held out my hand and pulled him against me. “Want some help?”

“I think I can manage. Come eat. Do you want another beer?”

“No thanks.” I followed him into the kitchen adjacent to the living room and sat at one of the barstools.

Our condo had an open floor plan so I could watch the game’s highlights on the big screen from my perch. I swiveled in my seat and frowned when I realized he’d turned the TV off. I thought about going back to the living area for the remote just as he pushed a giant bowl of chili in front of me from across the island.

“Don’t even think about turning the television back on,” he reprimanded.

I furrowed my brow but thought better of responding when I heard him mumbling in Spanish. I picked up my spoon instead and studied my hot-tempered Puerto Rican American man for clues. I’d learned over the years that sudden language shifts usually signaled a change in mood. He seemed fine though. And he looked amazing. I admired the way his plain white T-shirt hugged his toned arms and contrasted with his olive skin. And when he turned around and smiled at me, I swear my heart stopped for a beat. Aaron Mendez was a beautiful man. Inside and out. I was momentarily lost in those hazel eyes and the mischievous smile that probably meant trouble was coming my way but, fuck if I cared. I still couldn’t believe he was mine sometimes.

“Come sit with me.” I patted the barstool next to mine. “Tell me about your day.”

Aaron topped off his wineglass before skirting the island. “It was a basic ho-hum day… meeting after meeting. Nothing exciting. I’m ready for Saturday.”

“What’s Saturday?”

“A no work day. And we’re meeting with our wedding planner. I was worried his ideas would be too pricey, but Vic will be thrilled when I tell him you agreed to spare no expense on the reception.”

“That doesn’t sound like something I’d say,” I huffed, blowing on a spoonful of chili before taking a bite. “Mmm. This is delicioso.”

Gracias. Well, someone who looks and sounds a lot like you just agreed to a unicorn ice sculpture at our reception,” he deadpanned.

I snorted. “Yeah right. You can’t use anything I say in the last few seconds of a playoff game against me.”

“Does that mean no to two champagne fountains too?” He snickered at my stone-faced expression as he reached for his wine. “Fair enough but you’d better start weighing in before I’m tempted to do something crazy. This isn’t just my wedding, it’s our wedding.”

I turned to fully face him. “I thought we were set. We have a date, a place and a minister. We agreed on invitations and we even talked about our honeymoon. What am I missing?”

“The details, Matty! All the details.” Aaron flashed an incredulous look at me and smacked his hand on the island. “Look, you’re busy at work and I know the last things you think about are table décor and cake toppers but I’m busy too and I can’t stop thinking about them. And then my head explodes with more choices like roses or lilies, chocolate ganache or buttercream and don’t even get me started on the seating arrangements. It’s making me crazy!”

“I can see that.” I chuckled then set my spoon aside and snaked my arm around his waist when he glared at me. “Hey, I’m kidding. Tell me what you want me to do. How about if I choose the flowers?”

“Oh no. Definitely not. I know you too well, Matty. You’d wait until the last minute then either ask your secretary or my future monster-in-law to help and there’s no way in hell I’d—”

“Hey. No need to get nasty here.” I threaded my fingers through his and kissed the platinum band on his left ring finger.

“I’m sorry. I know I told you I’d handle things but you’re kind of strict about the budget.”

“One of us has to be if we want to buy—”

“I know.” Aaron leaned against me and kissed my shoulder. “I think it’s a great idea but the problem is that you don’t really understand how much things are. You need to be part of some of the major decisions so you get the picture. I have a proposition to make.”

“Oh boy. What did you do and how much is it going to cost?” I asked, slipping his glass from his hand and taking a healthy swig.

“Ha. Ha. It didn’t do anything. Yet. But let’s be real, this whole thing is going to cost a fortune but it’ll be worth it. I’ve already done a bulk of the research and Vic is a great resource but I still think we should a week powwow so I can go over things with you before we meet the wedding planner. We don’t waste time or veer off course…because yes, Vic really did ask how my fiancé felt about a caviar bar.”

“Oh my God.” I set the glass down and gulped.

“Don’t worry, Papi. I told him it wasn’t your style. But gosh, I could easily get talked into a champagne fountain. It sounds romantic, doesn’t it?”

“No.”

Aaron snickered at my quick reply and gestured for me to eat. “See the problem? I promise I won’t make any rash decisions, but I need your input on some things if we’re going to make it to the altar without you wringing my neck when I’m ten thousand dollars over—”

“Ten thousand!” My jaw dropped as I widened my eyes comically.

“Calm down. I’m innocent. I’ve been so good it hurts,” he said with a sigh. “But if something is going to hurt it should be in a good way. And preferably with an orgasm or two. Don’t you agree?” Aaron lowered his hand and rubbed his palm over my half-hard cock.

“Y-yeah.”

“We should have our husband-to-be chats once a week to discuss our plans.”

I lifted my hips slightly and cupped his neck to bring him closer. “Good idea.”

“But you’ll have to give me your undivided attention,” he purred as he pulled at the elastic band of my shorts and boxer briefs. Then he slipped his fingers under the fabric and grabbed my dick. “I don’t want to compete with basketball, baseball or anything else. It’ll be a special date. Just me and you.”

“Mmm. Yes.” I licked the corner of his mouth then pulled his pajamas and boxer briefs down and kneaded his ass.

“We can be flexible about the day and time,” he said in a throaty tone, nipping my jaw as he stroked me from base to tip.

“What about location?” I asked, tracing his crack with my middle finger.

“Yes. Anywhere is fine.” He smeared precum over my cock in a lazy circular motion he knew drove me insane.

I stilled his hand and bit his bottom lip. “Then I think we should have our first planning date now. In bed.”

Better Than Wedding– Part 2 (NSFW)

Aaron hummed in response then stood and pulled his T-shirt over his head. He twirled it playfully in one hand then dropped it on the coffee table and turned toward the master bedroom. He cast a come-hither look over his shoulder when he reached the doorway and then pushed his pajama bottoms and briefs over his ass.

“Are you coming, Matty?”

Holy fuck, he was beautiful. I gripped my cock and swallowed hard but I couldn’t speak. And wasn’t that just… weird? We’d been together for years now. I didn’t understand how it was possible that I wanted him more than ever.

My dick had a heartbeat of its own. I felt dizzy as I pushed away from the island and wordlessly moved toward him. He extended his hand and laced his fingers in mine. I pulled him backward before he stepped into our room. Then I backed him against the doorjamb and nuzzled his neck, licking a seductive trail along his jaw.

“Fuck, I love you,” I growled. “And I want you so bad it hurts, Aar.”

“Me too. What are you going to do about it?” He threw his arms over my shoulders then stood on his toes and sealed his mouth over mine.

Our tongues collided then twisted in a sweet frenzy. I yanked him against my chest and ran my fingers through his hair, tilting his chin slightly to deepen the connection. I sucked on his tongue and bit his bottom lip then splayed my hands on his ass and squeezed. He broke for air with a gasp and licked his swollen lips.

He made sure my eyes were on him when he sank to his knees and tugged my basketball shorts and briefs down.

“Suck me, baby. Go on.” I tapped my throbbing cock against his cheek in invitation.

Aaron shivered and closed his eyes for a moment before swallowing me whole. I rested my hands on his head and cautioned myself not to move for a second. He gripped me at the base and fondled my balls while he bobbed his head, sucking and licking me into certain oblivion. I rocked my hips forward and did everything in my power not to give in to the urge to let my hips fly. Aaron wouldn’t mind. He loved it when I lost control, pulling his hair while I fucked his mouth like a man possessed. But I didn’t want to come like this.

“Stop.” I set my hand on his forehead, groaning when he released me with a pop. I pulled him to his feet and crashed my mouth over his. Then I backed up slightly and stuck two fingers in my mouth. “Turn around,” I commanded in a low raspy voice.

Aaron obeyed immediately. He clung to the doorjamb and arched his back.

“What are you going to do, Matty?” he asked, wiggling his hips.

I chuckled softly as I wrapped my left hand around his cock. I massaged his entrance with my free hand then leaning in to lick the shell of his ear.

“I’m gonna fuck you,” I purred, pushing a saliva-slick finger inside him.

Aaron groaned then bucked backward, riding the single digit like a pro. I knew it wouldn’t take long before he begged for more. I added a second finger and upped the tempo, stroking him into a frenzy as I whispered a litany of X-rated promises. Truthfully, dirty talk wasn’t my forte. I wanted every nasty thing he was willing to do but verbalizing it always made me blush. Tonight I was too strung out to overthink. His unfettered fluidity as he gyrated and whispered my name over and over gave me a heady sense of power. I added the tip of a third finger and bit his shoulder. My dick ached with need. It wouldn’t take much. The right amount of friction would send me over the edge, I mused, grinding my thick shaft against his side.

“I want you now. Please Matty,” he whimpered.

I released my hold and smacked his ass hard enough to leave a handprint. “Bed.”

Aaron nodded then hurried across the room. He shoved the duvet aside before scrambling onto the king-size mattress on his knees. I moved to the nightstand and reached for the lube. The bottle was almost empty. I turned it upside down then shook and squeezed it manically. I pulled open the top drawer and swore.

“What’s wrong?”
“We’re out of lube,” I said. “I must have put the new one on my side of the bed. Stay there. Don’t move, baby.”

“No. You left it in the shower this morning when we— oh fuck. I can’t wait. Just do it,” he pleaded as he threaded his arm between his thighs to tap his hole.

“I’ll go slow.”

“I don’t want slow. I want you to fuck me.”

I gulped and gripped my cock at the base, hoping to stave off the urge to plunge inside him. I smeared the meager bit of lube on myself and then ran my fingers gently across his hole. I inched closer in a daze and pulled his cheeks apart, studying him for a moment. Damn, he was perfect. Just touching him felt amazing and knowing how incredible he tasted and—

I bent to rub my stubbled chin against his ass then I licked his entrance and pushed my tongue inside him. Aaron cried out and clutched the sheets. He chanted my name as he lowered himself to his elbows and stroked his rigid prick. His wanton need spurred me on. I licked him over and over, running my hands down his back haphazardly as I flattened my tongue over his sweet hole.

“Oh Matty, I think I’m gonna come,” he grunted.

“No.” I straightened immediately and smacked his ass again. “On your back.”

Aaron flipped over and spread his legs wide so fast it might have been funny at any other time. Not now.

I pulled him to the edge of the mattress then set my cock at his hole and pushed my way inside my lover. I went completely still to give him a moment to adjust to my girth. When he tilted his hips, I got the message it was time to move. I held his ankles, pausing to press a kiss on his foot. I eased almost all the way out before surging forward until my balls rested against his ass. Aaron hooked his hand around the back of my neck and pulled me on top of him. He drove his tongue in my mouth and dug his heels into my ass, silently requesting me to speed it up.

“Tell me what you want, baby.”

He sucked my bottom lip as he slipped his hand between us to grip himself. “Harder.”

I licked his lips and shook my head. “Harder what?”

Aaron whimpered. “Matty.”

“Tell me. Do you want me to pinch your tits hard? Or spank you har—”

“Fuck me!”

I gathered him against me and pushed him to the middle of the mattress then let my hips fly. I moved like thunder, losing myself in the steady push and pull as the tempo accelerated to near combustible. Aaron clasped his legs around me and held on for dear life. I could feel his hand moving between us…faster and faster. His breath quickened. His grip faltered and his eyes took on a glassy look I recognized well.

“Come for me, baby. I’ve got you,” I whispered, pumping my hips and sinking deeper inside him with every thrust.

“I’m—oh fuck yes.” He fell apart a moment later. He squeezed his eyes shut then trembled like mad as cum spurted between us.

I didn’t stop moving but I slowed instinctively. I had to watch him. He was so beautiful. Unguarded, free and completely open. When he opened his eyes again, I was overcome with a feeling I couldn’t name. Maybe that was a strange sentiment but it was true. One second we were simply moving toward a shared orgasm and the next, I was staring at the other half of me. Separate yet whole. Connected somewhere beyond a physical state.

I brushed his hair from his forehead and pressed my lips to his as I hovered above him. I breathed him in as I rocked my hips. I was utterly in awe of… us. We were so much more than we ever set out to be. My timing might not be right but I couldn’t help thinking I should acknowledge how special this was and how fiercely I wanted to protect and nurture it.

“Are you okay?” Aaron asked, rubbing his nose against mine.

“Yeah. I just… I love you.”

He smiled. “I know. Show me, Matty. Come inside me. I want to feel you let go.”

So I did.

I roared with the force of my release, spilling everything I had deep inside him. He soothed my hair from my brow and traced his fingers along my spine while I shook in his arms.

When I thought I could speak and act normally again, I propped myself on my elbows and gazed down at him. The contrast of his dark hair against the white pillow and flecks of gold in his hazel eyes were lovely. But I couldn’t think of a single thing to say that didn’t sound like a mushy Hallmark Valentine card so I gently disengaged and flopped gracelessly beside him. Aaron rolled sideways and laid his head on my chest.

“Does it ever freak you out that you’re going to be stuck with me forever?” he asked after a few minutes.

The wistful question and the fact he didn’t seem particularly bothered by the mess of sweat and cum binding us together made me do a double take. I nudged his forehead until he looked up at me.

“No. We belong together. I know we do. I’m more afraid to lose you than I am to be with you forever.” I winced at my words choice. Lame, Sullivan.

“You’ll never lose me, Matty. I’ll always be here for you. I promise to be everything you need. Your friend, your conscience, your partner in crime, your lover. I promise—”

“Hey.” I held his chin, frowning at the sheen of tears in his eyes. “Why are you crying?”

“I’m not,” he said, swiping at the moisture with the back of his hand.

“What is it then?”

Aaron pursed his lips and sighed. “I love the way you look at me. And I want always to be worthy of that look.”

“You are. You—”

“Shh. Let me finish.” He set his finger on my lips then continued. “It’s true that I like nice things but all I want is you, Matty. I don’t really care about unicorn ice sculptures and champagne fountains. I don’t care about having a big reception and a lot fuss. I just want us to be married. I’ll run away with you tomorrow if you want. We can get married in Vegas and—”

“No way.” I shook my head vehemently and furrowed my brow. “We’re gonna do it all, Aar. The ceremony, a kick ass reception, the honeymoon come first. And yeah, some day we’re going to buy a house in the ’burbs and fill it with kids and dogs. It has nothing to with having things. We’ll do it because we love each other and want to share what we have. But that’s somewhere in the future. Right now, the important part is us. You and me. If we wanted the unicorn, we could have it.”

Aaron’s smile was electric. “You have a funny way of saying just the right thing sometimes. Te amo, Matty.”

“I love you too.” I cocked my head and squinted at him. “Of course, we don’t actually want the unicorn, though. Do we?”

He barked a quick laugh that turned into a chuckle. “No unicorn.”

“Good. See? This wedding planning stuff is going so well already. Come on. I have a feeling you’re gonna make me help you change the sheets. Let’s shower first.” I sat up and patted the mattress. “They’re not bad. Maybe we don’t have to—”

“Are you kidding me? This whole sheet is a wet spot.” He hopped off the bed and motioned for me to follow him to the bathroom. “Shower, sheet change, kitchen cleanup and then… let’s have a small discussion about what we’re going to accomplish when we meet with Vic. Deal?”

I snorted when he offered his hand to me. “Nope. We aren’t the ‘shaking hands’ kind of husbands-to-be.”

“Oh? What kind are we?”

I scooped him in a fireman’s hold instead and smacked his ass. “This kind. Let’s get movin’, Mr. Sullivan.”

Aaron’s melodic laughter ricocheted off the marble and glass tile in the bathroom. I caught our reflection in the mirror as I set him down and pulled him against me, marveling at how fucking right the platinum band looked on my finger. Aaron slipped out of my embrace and danced toward the shower. He chatted about. His conversation was all over the place as he turned on the water, a dog saw on his run and a funny billboard advertising fungal cream… but his joyful air was contagious. He was happy and light and everything I wanted but couldn’t quite express with words. I simply knew he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

Better Than Wedding– Part 3

Aaron was a serious control freak. When he initially suggested hiring someone to help keep us organized and on track, I was a little skeptical. It seemed odd that he’d want anyone else’s opinion or input about our big day. I figured he’d run the show and give me updates and budget breakdowns when I asked. He had an eye for color and proportion and a great sense of style. It seemed like asking for an outsider’s opinion would just confuse things. I didn’t get it.

“Matty, there’s nothing to get. This is Vic’s job. He cuts hours of tedious research out of the equation so I can keep up with my actual job and ideally stay under my boss’s radar. Marsha would flip if she saw my browser history lately. I’m not sure how I’d explain ‘resorts in Puerto Rico’, ‘cutting edge table décor’ and ‘how to tell to your mother that her priest won’t be officiating the ceremony’. I’m up to my eyebrows in too many details as it is,” he sighed dramatically.

I reached for his left hand when I stopped at the red light and laced my fingers with his. “What did the internet have to say about dealing with parents?”

He shifted in his seat and kissed our joined hands then gave me a lopsided smile. “The gist was…be honest and handle unrealistic expectations in a forthright manner.”

“Sounds reasonable.”

“Sure. But she’s not going to like it,” he grumbled. He slipped his hand from mine and pointed at the green light. “Turn left at the next light.”

“I don’t see the problem. We’re getting married in DC, not Maryland. It’s a no-brainer. A Catholic priest isn’t going to officiate the wedding either way. We’ve been through this and—”

“Their deacon will.”

“The creepy guy with a black wig who never smiles?”

“Yep.”

“You don’t like that guy,” I reminded him.

“I know but my parents do. Maybe they think he has Catholic street cred or something,” he huffed.

“I don’t care what he has. He’s not marrying us.”

“I know. I just have to break the news to my folks.”

“Your parents loves me. I’ll tell them,” I said, turning on to a tree-lined street with beautiful brick homes set far from the street.

“Remember, we pass two stops signs and it’s on the right. And no… I don’t want you to get in the middle of Mendez family drama. You may be tempted to call the wedding off and I love you too much, Matty. I’m not letting you go,” he said theatrically. “Oh! This is it. Turn right.”

I snickered at his dramatic tone as I pulled into the gated drive. “I’m not going anywhere. And we aren’t changing our minds to make our parents happy. We chose the minister a long time ago. We like her. End of discussion.”

Aaron leaned across the console and purred in my ear. “I love it when you take charge and get all alpha with me. It’s so hot.”

I barked a quick laugh as I veered the BMW into a parking spot in the mostly empty lot. Then I turned off the engine and faced him. “Alpha, eh?”

“Yeah, I’m a little dizzy right now.” He fluttered his eyelashes then cupped the back of my neck and pulled me close, resting his forehead against mine.

I ran my fingers through his hair then kissed his nose before sitting back and adjusting my cock in my khakis. “Something must be wrong with me. I can’t believe I can get hard when you’re talking about priests and parents.”

“Ew. I was trying to help us both forget about that part.” Aaron inclined his head toward the stately manor. “Okay, let’s do this.”

I grabbed his elbow before he opened the passenger side door. “Wait up. What are we doing exactly and how long will this take?”

“Matty, you agreed—”

“Hey, I’m here and I’m willing to listen but I’m kind of hoping not to spend our entire Saturday with Vic.”

“I thought you liked him.”

“He’s fine. Actually, he’s cool. But he’s so…”

“Extra?” Aaron supplied with a laugh.

“Yeah. He wears me out,” I griped.

“A lot of people say I’m ‘extra’ too, you know. Do I wear you out?”

I chuckled. “Yes, you definitely do.”

“Hey!”

“Hey yourself. Just do me a favor and stick to the plan. What is the plan again?”

“To check out the venue on an actual wedding day to get ideas for flowers and the overall feel of the place. Vic is working this one so I don’t think we’ll spend more than an hour with him. But we can go straight to the photographer’s studio afterward.”

I made sure he saw my glazed expression before I exhaled. “If possible, let’s keep it short and sweet.”

“Yes, sir.” Aaron shot a sassy smile at me then picked up his manbag and opened the car door.

We walked hand in hand along the hedge-lined pathway leading to the mansion’s grand entrance. The historic landmark dated to the turn of the last century. Aaron loved the climbing ivy on the brick façade and the enormous fountain in the middle of the circular drive. His awed expression cracked me up. We’d visited the Claridge Estate a few times since we’d gotten engaged a few months ago and each time he seemed more enthralled with our choice of venue. I couldn’t blame him. The house and grounds were stunning.

Aaron paused at the bottom of the steps leading to the main door and let go of my hand. He pulled out his cell and snapped a dozen photos. I didn’t bother reminding him he’d already taken these pictures. He loved photography and studying nuances in light and color was his favorite pastime. Since he was only armed with an iPhone, I figured I was getting off easy today.

I shoved my hands in my pockets and strolled to the opposite end of the staircase. I spotted a delivery truck parked along the side of the building unloading floral arrangement and was just about to call Aaron over when a lilting voice singsonged his name from the landing.

Aaron glanced and smiled. “Hi Vic. How are you?”

“So much better now that the Mendez Sullivan party has arrived.”

Vic held his arms open like he was welcoming us to his home. He flew down the stairs and wrapped Aaron in a bear hug then spent the next five minutes complimenting his hair, his shirt, shoes and even his phone case. Okay, maybe it was two minutes. I didn’t mind. It gave me a chance to check out our flamboyant wedding planner from afar.

Vic Greene was a fireball. He had short platinum blond hair, bright blue eyes and a golden skin. He was a little taller than Aaron and had the same lean, tone physique and a penchant for highlighting his classically handsome features with rouge, lip gloss and eyeliner. I liked Vic but truthfully we didn’t interact much. Aaron was his main contact, which made it easier for everyone. They shared a passion for style and design and all things fabulous. And I was…boring in comparison.

Don’t get me wrong. I knew I was considered good-looking but I was seriously boring compared to Vic and Aaron. Today was a perfect example. We were all dressed similarly in khakis and short-sleeved button-down dress shirts in deference to the humid summer day. However, my shirt was plain blue while Aaron’s was white with some squiggly pattern on it and Vic’s was a pink floral number that somehow matched his two-toned shoes. As Aaron said, Vic was “extra”.

I braced myself for a whirlwind greeting when Vic finally turned to me. He widened his eyes and put his fingers on his pink glossed lips and shook his head over and over. I glanced at Aaron for help but he was busy taking more photos so I swallowed hard and held out my hand.

“How’s it going, Vic?”

He blinked manically then clasped my hand theatrically and grinned. “Very well indeed. Are you ready to be amazed?”

“Um… sure,” I said, pulling my fingers free. I hooked my arm over Aaron’s shoulders when he paused beside me to take another picture. “Aren’t we, babe?”

Aaron shot an amused glance at me then leaned into my side like a doting husband-to-be. “Yes! Amaze us. What do we get to see?”

“Well, we’ve started setting up for this afternoon’s wedding so everything is a bit topsy turvy but you’ll get a fair idea of what this grand ol’ place looks like all dolled up. The entry alone will make you cry,” he enthused.

“Who’s getting married?” Aaron asked.

“A senator’s daughter. She wanted a fairytale affair with crystal chandelier hanging from tree branches outside and orchids cascading from satin ribbons in the ballroom. There’s even a wall of white roses. I kid you not. It’s divine. Come see.” Vic clapped then turned on his heel and led the way up the steps.

When he darted ahead of us and disappeared inside, I pulled Aaron back by his belt loop before he could follow. Then I set my hand under his chin and gave him a stern look.

“I’m the wedding bouncer, aren’t I?” I scowled.

“Wedding bouncer?” Aaron’s full lips quirked in a lopsided smile that made me want to lick him.

I kissed him instead and wagged my finger at him. “Yeah. The guy who provides a sanity check so you don’t do anything impulsive. We’re just looking, Aar. I don’t care how divine the flowers are. We have a budget and we’re sticking to it.”

“Definitely Alpha. Wow, that turns me on. Note to self, don’t read shape-shifter sex scenes before a tame wedding planning session.”

“Aar—”

He held his hand up to stop me then bit his bottom lip and continued in a husky voice, “Yes, you’re my sanity check. I need you to keep it real for me but… I also need you to be open to new ideas too. We’re just here to browse and take notes. I can already tell you our color palette and floral selection will not mesh based on the season alone.”

“I’ve been with you for long enough to know expensive flowers are available year round, babe.”

Aaron flung his arms over my shoulders and sighed. “That’s kind of romantic. But don’t worry. We aren’t shopping. Look at this like a scouting trip for a photo shoot. We do this sort of thing at the magazine all the time. It’ll be fun. You’ll see.”

I rolled my eyes but tucked my hand in Aaron’s and let him lead the way inside the grand foyer.

“Wow. It’s so beautiful,” he said, staring up at the enormous crystal chandelier in the domed ceiling.

I pointed at the ornate moldings and museum-quality landscapes hung high above the wainscoting and was about to comment on their pristine condition when Vic called Aaron’s name.

“Go on. I’ll be right there. I want to look at some of the art.” I gestured toward a huge painting of the Potomac near an arched doorway.

“Don’t get lost.” He winked before heading toward Vic.

I watched his ass in his perfectly fitted khakis for a moment then stepped around a deliveryman carrying a huge box of flowers. I waited for him to pass then moved forward and immediately ran into a pretty blonde. We paused and said a quick round of awkward apologies but instead of moving on, she grabbed my elbow and cocked her head.

“Wait. I know you. Matt Sullivan, right? I’m Steph. It’s been a long time. Maybe five years? I’m… I was Kristen’s roommate. Remember me?”

Better Than Wedding- Part 4

“Steph. Yes, of course. How are you?” I smiled and held out my hand. It was probably a clumsy gesture but I wasn’t clear about the protocol for bumping into an ex’s friend. Especially one I hadn’t seen in years.

“I’m great.” She beamed and ignored my hand, pulling me in for an impromptu embrace before pointing at the riot of flowers on the table under the crystal chandelier. “It’s so good to see you! I just popped by with my mom to check on the table arrangements. She’s very particular about the details. I am too, but not like her. Vic has been such a godsend. He’s super patient and he has great taste. I trust him to make everything perfect. But Mom insisted and—oh my gosh, I’m sorry. I’m talking too much. It’s just—today is my wedding day!”

“Wow. Congratulations. That’s fantastic. Vic was telling us about the big wedding here this afternoon,” I commented before stepping sideways to get a better look at Aaron.

He was engaged in an animated conversation with Vic and a woman I assumed was Steph’s mother on the other end of the room. She had short blonde hair and was dressed like her daughter in chic casual clothing that in no way downplayed her aristocratic bearing. She certainly looked like a politician’s wife. I couldn’t remember if I knew Steph’s father was a senator. Five years was a long time and truthfully, we’d never been more than acquaintances.

“Yes! That’s me. And Philip. We’ve been together for four years but I think you and Kristen had already broken up so you probably never met him.”

“Probably not,” I agreed.

“She’s one of my bridesmaids,” she added with a look I had a feeling was meant to double as a message.

I stuffed my hands in my pockets and smiled. “That’s nice. How is she?”

Fuck. Why did I ask? The last thing I needed was for my polite inquiry to be misconstrued.

“She’s good. She lives in Virginia but she’s talking about moving back to DC for a job. Did you know she’s single? I mean… you may not be, but—”

“I’m not,” I responded quickly.

“Right. I figured that unless my mother added you to the guest list at the last second and you got the time wrong, there was a good chance you might be here with your significant other.”

“Yeah, I’m here with my fiancé. We’re getting married here in October.”

“Oh. That’s wonderful. Really. I’m not sure I’ll tell Kristen though. I get the impression you were ‘the one who got away’,” she said wistfully.

I had no idea how to respond to that and when I spotted Aaron waving at me then turning to join me, I knew I had less than twenty seconds to think of something.

I gave a flustered half-laugh and settled for, “That was a long time ago.”

“True. A lot has changed. I actually heard you were—”

“Hello! You must be the bride. Congrats! Everything looks stunning,” Aaron gushed. “Vic is going to give us a sneak peek of the ballroom then we’ll head out the garden and be on our way. I’m Aaron, by the way.”

“It’s nice to meet you. I’m Stephanie. Are you working with Vic?” she asked as she shook his hand.

“Yes. Well…on our wedding,” Aaron replied with a shy smile.

“You and Vic are getting married? Gosh, he never mentioned it.” She cast a curious glance between Aaron and Vic who was still deep in conversation with her mother. “Congratulations. I’ll have to give him a hard time for keeping his news to himself!”

Aaron chuckled then linked his arm with mine and shook his head. “Thank you, but wrong guy. Vic’s a doll but he’s not my type. Even if he was…my fiancé wouldn’t approve. Would you, Matty?”

I flung my arm over Aaron’s shoulder and kissed his temple. “Definitely not.”

“Oh. You’re— oh, right.” She opened and closed her mouth twice before continuing. “I—that’s awesome. Good for you! Um…so how long have you been… a couple?”

“Five years. Or close enough,” I answered.

“That was when you and Kristen split up.” Her pensive tone reminded me of a private investigator on a Netflix series trying to establish a timeline and crack a mystery. I didn’t detect any malice. Just curiosity.

“Roughly, yes.” I squeezed Aaron’s arm then pulled back slightly and slipped my hand in his. “We should go. We’ll take a quick look around and then get out of the way. Congratulations, Steph. It was nice to see you.”

“Yes, congrats! Everything looks lovely. It’s going to be a perfect day,” Aaron enthused.

“Thank you,” she said distractedly as Aaron and I stepped away.

We made it three feet before she called my name again. Aaron glanced at me then at Vic who was frantically motioning us to join him.

“I better go see Vic. Hurry, before we get kicked out,” he whispered.

I watched him for a moment then turned back to Steph. She gave me a sheepish smile that instantly put me on guard…which was crazy. There was nothing more to say here. We had one significant person and a handful of acquaintances in common, but those connections ended years ago.

“Matt, I hope this doesn’t sound completely awkward but I’m wondering if— would you be willing to talk to Kristen?” Her words came out in a jumbled rush.

She had the grace to look flustered by her question but when she didn’t attempt to retract or laugh it off, I felt obliged to respond. I was proud of myself for curbing my initial “what the fuck?” reply and settling on something simpler.

“Why?”

“Kristen was crazy about you, Matt. I wasn’t kidding when I said you’re ‘the one who got away’ for her. She’s been in a couple of nowhere relationships since you guys broke up and I can’t help thinking she has unresolved guilt or maybe fear that keeps her from really giving of herself in a relationship. Talking with you might help her let go. I don’t mean to put you on the spot. Think about it. We can get ahold of each other through Vic. Oh! I should get going. It was great to see you and—”

“Hang on.” I blocked her path before she could walk away. “It’s been five years, Steph. That’s a long time. A lot has happened in between then and now. I’m engaged to someone else and—” I huffed in exasperation, unsure how to nicely tell her I thought her request was distasteful and completely out of line. When nothing came to mind, I blurted, “What makes you think she’d want to talk to me anyway?”

“She loved you, Matt. I think she still does.” Steph set her hand on my elbow and smiled wanly before heading toward her mother.

Okay, that was… annoying. And weird. And totally uncomfortable.

I scratched the back of my neck and searched for Aaron. He was standing with Vic in the doorway leading to the grand ballroom. His hands were all over the place. No doubt he was in the middle of a detailed description of how he wanted everything to look at our wedding. I knew him too well. He might solicit my opinion and insist it was important that I have a say, but the truth was he knew exactly what he wanted.

Some days I still couldn’t believe he wanted me.

Aaron looked up abruptly as though he sensed my stare and grinned. And fuck, I was so damn grateful he did.

I moved quickly to his side and put my arm around his waist. “Are we ready?” I asked.

“Yes. Follow me this way, gentlemen!” Vic instructed, ushering us into the adjoining room.

Aaron pulled at my shirt and waited for Vic to move out of hearing distance before whispering, “Are you okay?”

I lifted his hand to my lips and kissed his knuckles. “Yes. Come on, we should go—”

“But what did she want?”

I sighed and shook my head irritably. “I’ll tell you later. It’s not a big deal.”

“Hmm. She was your ex’s roomie, huh? I want to hate her for no good reason but she has impeccable taste. Or her mother does. It just seems weird to run into her.”

“It is weird,” I agreed with a huff.

Aaron laced his fingers in mine and tugged my hand. “You can tell me all about it later. Check out the pink long stem roses on the tables. Aren’t they incredible?”

I nodded absently and followed him into the ballroom. We listened to Vic’s spiel regarding the design elements he used for the wedding taking place in a few hours and his suggestions for our own reception. Flowers, cake, centerpieces, food stations versus sit-down dinner. It didn’t take long for my attention to wander and my mind to travel back in time to when the concept of being stuck to someone for the rest of my life was my personal version of hell.

What bothered me about the conversation was that I knew I’d never loved Kristen. At all. It was hard to believe that after five years, she thought twice about me. I didn’t want that. I wished her the best. But I’d moved on. And after all this time I figured she had too.

Vic left us on a bench in the garden under a weeping willow tree after we’d walked through the indoor and outdoor areas. He encouraged us to take our time and soak up the ambience. He also said something about channeling our romantic feelings into ideas for the ceremony but I wasn’t sure what that meant so I kept quiet and let Aaron do the talking until Vic tapped his watch and gestured toward the mansion.

“I must go. You have another hour before I’ll need the area clear. Call me this week, Aaron. Au revoir!” Vic blew us kisses then turned on his heels and speed-walked up the pathway.

Aaron leaned against my shoulder and sighed dreamily. “Isn’t this amazing?”

“It is.” I kissed his forehead. “Want to get married under this tree?”

Aaron’s grin split his handsome face in two. “How about on hillside overlooking the river? Fewer bugs, I think.”

I snickered. “True. I’m glad we aren’t having a summer wedding. The mosquitos are brutal this year.”

“Hmm. I think that’s why the senator’s daughter isn’t using the garden today as much as we will.” He sat up and lowered his sunglasses. “So… what did she say to you in there? And don’t tell me it was nothing. Something is bugging you. Time to come clean, Matty.”

I brushed his hair from his eyes and shrugged uncomfortably. “She asked me if I’d be willing to talk to Kristen.”

Aaron dropped his jaw comically and shook his head. “You must be fucking kidding me.”

“Nope.”

“So what did you say? Are you going to call her?” he asked indignantly.

I turned to face him and hiked my knee on the bench between us. “Are you nuts? No, of course not!”

He pursed his lips like he was trying to contain a smile. “Why not? I mean… I trust you. I know you aren’t going to run away with the ex. You love me too much.”

I grinned. “I do love you too much. Or maybe it’s just the right amount of too much. But I’m still not going to call an ex-girlfriend and counsel her about her blasé love life. She and I weren’t friends. Not like that anyway. Whatever we had ended five years ago and it probably should have ended before then. She wasn’t the love of my life. You are.”

“You’re mine too. But… what if you really were hers? Do you think that’s possible? Does true love have to be a two-way thing or—”

“Yes, it does,” I said emphatically. “It absolutely does. Look, I’m not the world’s most intuitive guy when it comes to stuff like this but here’s what I do know… it always takes two people. I’m not talking about sex. I’m talking about commitment and growth and wanting the same things. And communication. Kristen and I were companions for a short time years ago. Maybe she wanted something more but I didn’t. Not until I met you.”

“Did you know you wanted to marry me some day?” he asked in a bashful tone.

“I was too afraid to know what I wanted in the beginning. You scared me. Or maybe it was how you made me feel that freaked me out.”

“I’m five eight when I stand up straight, Matty. How could I possibly have scared you?”

“You’re doing it right now,” I said, brushing my thumb over his lower lip.

“What am I doing?”

“You’re making it hard to breathe. You’re perfectly the other part of me, Aar, and it’s kind of magical and awe-inspiring and yeah… scary too. But I know you feel the same way about me and that’s when I realize I’m one lucky fucker.”

Aaron threw his head back and laughed. “Me too.”

“And as much as I wish everyone could feel this awesome, I know my limitations. I’m not Kristen’s ‘the one’. I never was. There’s no point in dragging up the past when you’re about to embark on your future.”

“And I’m your future,” he replied matter-of-factly.

“Exactly.” I leaned in and kissed him, resting my forehead against his. “Are we done running errands?”

“Well, we were gonna go to the bakery.” Aaron hummed then licked my lips. “Unless you’d rather go home.”

I pushed my tongue inside his mouth and glided it alongside his then pulled back and bit his chin.

“Home.”

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?”

“Now?”

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.

“Wait!”

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?”

Better Than Wedding, Part 6- (NSFW)

Curt’s shocked expression was priceless. “Really?”

I chuckled. “Yeah, really.”

Curt grinned then pulled me against him in an enthusiastic bear hug. He released me and nudged my shoulder. “What about your brother? I thought you already asked Sean. Did something happen?”

“No. You’d be joint best men. I know that sounds weird but—”

“Come on in. You can talk about it over pancakes,” Aaron said with a smile. “Are you hungry?”

He stood in the doorway stirring batter in the large blue bowl tucked under his arm. His gray sweats hung low on his hips revealing a sexy sliver of skin. I had a sudden urge to slip my hand under the elastic and squeeze his perfect ass. My gaze traveled up his toned chest. The definition in his abs was visible through his snug white T-shirt. Fuck, he was hot. I stared at his full lips for a moment before I caught his knowing look.

I moved to his side and kissed him. It was supposed to be a quick hello kiss but he smelled so good and his lips were so soft. I couldn’t resist sliding my tongue in his mouth and—

“Geez, you two. Get a room,” Curt groused, pushing by us as he made his way to the kitchen. He flopped onto one of the barstools at the island and leaned on his elbows. “I believe this calls for a celebration.”

Aaron broke the kiss and shot a sultry look at me that made my dick twitch in my shorts. Then he danced to the island, set the bowl down and flung his arms over Curt’s shoulders.

“Thank you. It means a lot to both of us,” Aaron said.

Curt smiled then scooted his stool sideways to make room for me to sit next to him. “I’m excited to be part of the wedding. Thank you. So… how does it work? Do Sean and I split important duties? I call bachelor party. Your brother will hire the wrong kind of strippers at a seedy hotel in Vegas. We can’t take chances like that, Matt.”

Aaron picked up the bowl and skirted the island. “No strippers, Curtis.”

“Is that a hard rule or are you open to negotiation?” Curt teased.

Aaron glared at him and shook his head definitively. “Hard rule. No discussion necessary. Beer, champagne or mimosa? And how would you like your eggs?”

“Scrambled, please.”

I tousled Curt’s hair and gave him a playful shove as I stood again to grab our drinks. “Don’t mess with Mr. Sullivan-Mendez. If my husband says no strippers, there will be no strippers.”

Aaron beamed before turning to the stove. I pulled orange juice and a bottle of champagne from the refrigerator. I set the flutes on the island and prepared our mimosas while Curt regaled us with cringe-worthy bachelor party options. Bungee jump, tattoos, drinking games. I handed a glass to Curt and one to Aaron then rounded the island and reclaimed my seat.

“Should I call Sean? How will this work?” Curt asked.

Aaron pulled a batch of pancakes off the griddle then set the neatly stacked plate on the island. “I don’t think Matty wants a bachelor party.”

Curt raised his champagne flute then set it down again. “You don’t?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ll think about it, but I didn’t ask you to be my best man so you’d plan a party for me. Aar and I asked our brothers and we’re happy we did but… something was missing.”

“The gay part?” Curt joked.

Aaron chuckled. “No, silly. The part where the people who’ve been by our sides through major life events stand with us when we make a public commitment to be together forever. I adore my brother and my mother would’ve had a fit if I hadn’t asked him but Jay’s my best friend. He belongs there. And so do you.”

“We’ve been friends for a long time, Curt. Hell, you were with me the night I met Aar and it would mean a lot to me if you were with me the day I marry him.”

Curt pursed his lips and nodded. “I’m honored. Truly honored.”

“Cool. You’re not gonna cry or anything, are you?”

“Fuck off, Sullivan,” Curt huffed. He lifted his glass in a toast and smiled. “I promise to make a much better speech at the wedding but for now… to the future Mr. and Mr. Sullivan-Mendez. Thank you for including me on your journey.”

We clinked our flutes together and sipped our mimosas. Then Aaron inclined his head toward the food and told us to serve ourselves.

“This looks good, babe. I’m starving,” I said, piling my plate with pancakes, eggs.

“Me too,” Curt agreed around a mouthful of pancakes. “So did I get your names right? Does it matter whose goes first?”

I speared a giant pancake bite and popped in my mouth, leaving Aaron to answer that question. I had no clue how the etiquette of hyphenating last names worked.

“There’s no right or wrong,” Aaron replied. He helped himself to extra fruit then leaned against the island and methodically separated the strawberries from the blueberries before continuing. “It could be Sullivan-Mendez, Mendez-Sullivan but it might just be Sullivan.”

“You mean you’ll keep your own names? Lots of people do that. If or when Jack and I tie the knot, that’s what we’ll do. From a business perspective, it would be a pain in the ass for either of us to change our names. You have to deal with driver’s licenses, passports…”

I hovered my fork above my plate as Curt went on about government agencies and bank accounts and focused on Aaron. He seemed perfectly at ease yet somehow pensive too. His head lowered so his dark hair fell over his forehead. I admired his long lashes against his olive skin and the subtle way he tilted his head to indicate he was listening. But I knew him too well. He was lost in thought, no doubt turning over the part Curt misunderstood. But I knew what he was thinking.

He sensed my gaze and gave me a shy smile I returned with a wink. We’d become experts at wordless communication over the years and it seemed heighted lately. We weren’t going to discuss a name debate in front of Curt or bore him with the other million details we had yet to work out before the wedding day. We’d talk when we were alone. In the meantime, these silent connections in the form of a nod, a wink or a glancing touch grounded us. I wouldn’t pretend to know what was on his mind but I knew we’d figure it out together.

 

Jack came by to pick up Curt after his meeting. He joined us in another toast before hiking Curt’s bag over his shoulder declaring they both needed showers. I closed the door and headed back to the kitchen to help Aaron clean up. He was singing softly to himself as he scrubbed a pan. I didn’t recognize the song piped through our speaker system but it didn’t matter. He was happy. I could see it in the curve of his mouth and the sway of his hips. I moved behind him, nuzzling his neck as I slipped my arms around his slim waist.

“Want some help?”

“Sure, you can load the dishwasher,” Aaron instructed, twisting slightly to plant a kiss on the corner of my lips.

“Okay.”

He bent his head again and scrubbed a little harder, content in his own thoughts. I wanted in too. I wanted him to look at me, talk to me, laugh with me. And if he wasn’t going to give me his undivided attention on his own, I’d find another way to get it. I opened the dishwasher and stacked the plates on the lower rack. Then I reached for the champagne flutes and gently leaned them against the plates.

“What are you doing?” Aaron asked with a frown.

“I’m loading the dishwasher.”

“You’re doing it wrong and you know it.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. I know what I’m doing.” I gave him a wide-eyed innocent look before continuing my chore.

When I haphazardly set a coffee mug next to a cereal bowl on the top rack then closed it and put a mixing bowl over the champagne flutes, he lost his mind.

“Oh. My. God. You can’t do it like that. Out, Matt!”

“Hey, I got this. Hand me the forks, babe.” I wiggled my fingers expectantly.

He shooed me aside. “No way. Move it. You’re making more work for me. I’m going to have to reorganize everything now.”

“Oh come on. It’s a dishwasher, not a Rubik’s Cube. What’s the big deal?”

Aaron narrowed his eyes and pointed his forefinger at me then launched into a mini tirade in Spanish. I didn’t understand three quarters of what he was saying but I caught the gist. When he threw in a couple of Matthews, I threw my hands in the air in surrender and backed away from the dishwasher.

“Ouch. You must mean business. You never call me Matthew. Are you going to do that with our kids when they’re driving you crazy?” I asked conversationally.

Aaron turned off the faucet then dried his hands on a paper towel before pivoting to face me. He let out an exasperated breath but his lopsided smile was affectionate and sweet.

“Like you?”

I grinned mischievously. “I can hear it now… ‘Matthew Junior Sullivan-Mendez’,” I said in a mock scolding tone. “Is that what we decided?”

Aaron shrugged with faux nonchalance. “Whatever you want is fine with me.”

I barked a quick laugh and crossed my arms. “Yeah right. I’m not that gullible. What’s going on? I thought we had the name thing settled.”

“Yes, but—I was thinking something more traditional might be better.”

I studied him for clues but came up blank. “Since when?”

“Recently. Or maybe always.”

“It can’t be both. What happened?”

“My mom—”

“I knew it,” I huffed in annoyance. “What did she say?”

“Honestly, nothing. Yet. But I’m nervous about telling her we aren’t using the deacon. If I tell her I’m changing my name to Sullivan, she might forgive the deacon thing.”

“That’s nuts,” I said, furrowing my brow.

“Yeah, but I’m from a very traditional Catholic family, Matty. Everyone is willing to set aside tradition to support us and I feel bad that I’m not making any concessions for them. I’m not getting married in a church, I’m not using their deacon. I asked Jay to be my best man and then had to go back and ask my brother after my parents had a fit that you’d asked yours.”

“Hey. We don’t have to please everyone, Aar. This is our day and we get to call the shots. If you really want the smarmy deacon dude to marry us, I’ll be okay with it but—”

“I don’t.”

I cradled his chin and rubbed my thumb over his bottom lip. “I know you don’t. Look, the best man idea was a good one. It’s a sweet and meaningful sentiment. Those guys will always be part of our lives. But taking my name isn’t the same thing. If you want to do it, that’s great…but if it’s really about doing something traditional for your family then it’s not so great.”

Aaron nodded. “You’re right. Maybe we should keep our own names for now and reevaluate after we have kids.”

“I like that idea,” I replied. I rested my hands on his hips for a second then gave into temptation and pushed his sweatpants over his ass.

He kissed my jaw then bit my chin playfully. “And what if I don’t want to hyphenate at all?”

“Then we won’t hyphenate. Anymore questions?”

Aaron chuckled. “No, but it’s probably good to discuss this now and avoid future arguments.”

“We rarely fight, Aar.” I traced his crack with my middle finger and licked his neck. “And I think this matters more to you than it does to me. Sullivan-Mendez or vice versa or you take my name or I take yours…whatever you want if fine by me.”

“Really? You’d take my name? Oh. What are you doing?”

“I’m putting my finger in your ass,” I purred as I pushed a digit between his cheeks and tapped his entrance. “And yeah… why not?”

“Fuck, that feels good.” He lowered his hand and jacked my cock through my basketball shorts. The thin material made it easy for him to grip my shaft. “You know I’ll probably take yours though.”

“Hmm. My name or my dick?” I asked, pushing the tip of my finger inside.

Aaron laid his head on my shoulder and groaned. “Yes, but I want your dick now.”

I slapped his ass, loving the way he shivered in response. I sucked on his bottom lip and then gestured for him face the counter.

“Please tell me there’s lube somewhere in this kitchen,” I pleaded as I freed my cock from my shorts. I stroked myself a few times then pressed my length between his ass cheeks and pumped my hips before reaching around to grip his prick.

“Mmm, yes. The top drawer next to the fridge.” Aaron leaned back to kiss me then he bent over the counter and stuck his ass out in a blatant invitation that made me instantly lightheaded.

I pushed my shorts down my legs and stepped out of them before going to search for the lube. I pulled my T-shirt over my head and tossed it on the counter next to Aaron. I would have kicked off my shoes and socks too but the sights of my man bent over, swaying his ass seductively was too enticing. I couldn’t wait. I opened the bottle and poured a generous amount on my fingers and immediately pushed a digit inside his hole. Aaron winced and then went still.

“Shh. I’m sorry. I’ll go slower, baby.” I ran my free hand along his spine and whispered sweet nothings until he begged me for a second finger. And then a third.

“Now Matty. Please.”

I added more lube then set my throbbing cock at his entrance and pushed. Aaron draped himself over the counter theatrically when I breached him. I chuckled as I snaked my arm around him and pulled him upright so his back rested on my chest. Then I bit his shoulder and kissed it better over and over while he lowered himself on me, inch by inch. When his ass rubbed against my balls, I kissed his ear and breathed him in.

“I love this. I want this forever. I love you, Aar. So much, baby.”

He twisted sideways and brushed his nose against mine. “I love you too, Matty.”

Aaron closed his eyes when I surged forward. The urge to fuck him and dominate him was strong but I took my time. We moved together in a gentle push and pull that slowly built to a steady thrusting motion. I held him close, fondling his balls while he stroked himself. Sex in the kitchen wearing sneakers with an open dishwasher next to us brought to mind wild, frenzied fuck sessions. But this felt oddly intimate and almost sweet in a way I couldn’t easily define.

We’d done a variation in this kitchen many times in the past. On the island, over the barstools, against the refrigerator. Just last week, he climbed onto my lap buck ass naked while I sat fully clothed on a dining room chair then impaled himself on my shaft. The contrast of business exec chic with his naked state had been a heady aphrodisiac.

This was different. The passionate connection was the same but the underlying message punctuated with thrusts and sighs, groping hands felt poignant somehow. Like a perfect fusion of lust and love… of friendship and commitment. And when I lost my rhythm, I clung tightly to him and came deep inside him, I felt joyful and light and grateful.

I didn’t understand how it was possible, but I loved him more everyday. I loved his heart, his kindness and the childlike pieces of him that wanted to make the people he loved happy and proud. And the strong man underneath who recognized the need to make new rules and new traditions.

For us.

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by lanehayes

I'm a M/M author, an avid reader, chocolate and red wine lover and a designer too

9 thoughts on “Better Than Wedding, Parts 1-6 (NSFW), A Matt & Aaron Short Story

  1. I am so happy you’re doing their wedding story! They are my favorite couple. I’ve reread their story and their shorts many times 🙂

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