The Man from Swift Current
© 2011 Russ Nielsen
All Rights Reserved




Chapter 112: In Between the Tear Drops

Rick sat on the couch trying to bring his anger under control.   It was a good thing Perry wasn’t anywhere in the vicinity, or there would have been one very dead guy laid out on the floor.   He was even angrier with himself.   Glenn was right.   He had been chafing at the restrictions he felt had been placed on him; but, it was the military placing those limitations on him, not Glenn, or their relationship.   The government’s misguided policy on gays serving in the military was the cause of his angst.   It made it hard to be a normal couple, having to hide their relationship from public view; always worrying someone might see them and turn him in.  

He had tried to explain to Glenn it wasn’t their relationship, causing him grief; but Glenn wouldn’t listen to him, or at least it seemed to Rick; because he had already made up his mind to walk out of his life.   When Glenn said he wanted to give Rick his freedom, it had been like Glenn had landed a sucker punch.   Then, he became angrier.  He felt like shaking some sense into Glenn.   Why couldn’t Glenn see he loved him more than life itself?

In retrospect, he could kick himself for admitting to Glenn he sometimes fantasized about fucking women when they were making love.   He had been caught off guard by Glenn’s question and had decided to be truthful with his lover.   Now, he knew he should have kept that particular piece of information from Glenn.   But then, Glenn seemed to have already figured out he was really having a difficult time not going after some of the cute girls they had seen on campus lately.   It wasn’t that Glenn wasn’t meeting his needs in the sex department; because he was, but he just wanted to fuck a woman.   He had fucked many different women before meeting Glenn, and he had quite enjoyed the variety.   Maybe he was growing restless due to being with the same person for such a long time.   Glenn had suggested they change things up a bit; but he hadn’t really been in the mood to try something different.  

Rick put his head in his hands and tried to think of what he should do next.   He didn’t want to lose Glenn.  Quite frankly, leaving Glenn had never even crossed his mind, despite the things irritating him, or causing him grief.   His thoughts returned to the handsome interloper who seemed bent on destroying their relationship.   How could Glenn let the guy convince him Rick didn’t love him?   He couldn’t comprehend how it had happened.   The more he thought about it, the anger he felt earlier started to rise in him again.   He knew he was going to explode, if they didn’t work things out soon.

He decided to push the issue and got to his feet.   He walked toward their spare bedroom.   The door was slightly ajar as he approached it.   He put his hand on the doorknob and stopped to listen.   He could hear Glenn sobbing on the other side of the door.   The anger in his heart was washed away, and he felt like a real loser for not seeing how hurt Glenn was by their conversation.   He had only thought of himself and how offended he felt.   He wanted to reach out and comfort his lover.   He hated being the source of so much sorrow!   He hesitated before putting his hand on the door, unsure of what kind of reception he would get from Glenn.   He began pushing it open.   He stopped when he realized that Glenn was talking to his mother.   He stood silently, listening to their conversation.

I sat on the bed in our spare bedroom, trying to decide what to do next.   I had just left Rick in the family room.   He was still angry with me for confronting him about not being gay and lusting after women.   I felt so depressed.   Perry had been right about Rick, after all.   It made me angry at Perry, for pointing it out to me.   Until he came along, I had been quite content with my relationship.   Why had I ever listened to him?   I wish Rick had denied he was attracted to women.   I would have known he was lying to me; but at least I could have pretend he was really gay and wanted only me.   I started to cry, letting my grief manifest itself.   I hate not being able to keep myself under control when I feel strong emotions.   After the initial storm subsided, I pulled out my cell phone and called my mother.   I knew she would understand why I felt I had to give Rick his freedom.

She answered on the first ring, “Glenn, thank you for calling me.   I’ve been so lonely the last few days.   Your phone calls have been the highlight of my day.”

“Mom, Rick and I split up today,” I said.

“Why?   What happened?” she asked.   Her voice was full of concern.

I told her everything.   I said, “I don’t know what to do, Mom.   I still love him; but I have to let him decide who he really is.”   The tears were cascading down my cheeks and I was sobbing again.  

Mom said, “Glenn, you need to listen to your heart.   What does your heart tell you?”

“It tells me Rick loves me; despite the attraction he might feel toward women,” I said.

“Then, you need to talk to Rick and patch things up with him.   Think about it, Glenn.   What kind of man is this Perry?   Do you think he really has your best interest at heart?   It sounds like he has only one aim in life, and it’s to take what he wants; no matter the consequences.   Isn’t it true Rick has never given you a reason to doubt his love for you?”

I said, “Yes.   Rick has always been there for me and he has always loved me.”

“Well, I think you know what you need to do,” Mom said.

“Thanks, Mom,” I said.   “I knew you would have all the answers.”

Mom laughed, “If that were true, I wouldn’t be sitting here by myself, wishing your Dad was here with me.”

“Maybe you should do the same thing I’m going to do.   You need to call Dad and patch things up with him.   It’s been long enough, now, he should have realized he can’t take you for granted, anymore,” I said.

She said, “I will give it some thought, Glenn.   I will talk to you tomorrow, son.   Go talk to your boyfriend and fix things up between you.”

“I will.   Good night,” I said.   I cut the connection.   The phone rang as soon as I put it into my pocket.   I retrieved it and answered it.

“What do you want, Perry?” I asked, my voice as hard as steel.   Hearing his voice brought the anger I felt to the surface.

“Did you split up with Rick?” he asked.

“That is none of your business, Perry.   I think it would be best if we stopped studying together.   I don’t need the constant barrage of negativity coming from you.   You’ve tried to poison my relationship with Rick and take his place in my life.   Yes, you’ve been upfront about your goal of winning over my heart; however, it’s come to an end.   Please don’t call me anymore, or expect me to help you study.   Goodbye, Perry,” I said.   I hung up and threw the cell phone on the bed.

As Rick listened to Glenn tell his mother what had happened, his anger rekindled against Perry.   The guy was lower than dirt!   When he overheard Glenn telling Perry to stay out of his personal life and to get lost, Rick’s heart nearly burst with remorse for being angry with Glenn.   He was glad he hadn’t interrupted Glenn’s conversation.  

He saw Glenn throw his phone on the bed.   Rick tapped on the door and asked, “May I come in?”  I looked up at him, standing in the doorway, and nodded my head.   He stood in front of me and shifted from one foot to the other, before he said, “I want to apologize for getting angry at you.   I shouldn’t have lost my temper with you.   I’m sorry.   Can you forgive me?”

I looked up into his eyes and saw the sincerity in them.   I nodded my head and patted the bed bedside me.   “Yes, but I need a hug.”

He sat down next to me and pulled me into his arms.   I clung to him and said, “I’m sorry, too.   I shouldn’t have pushed your buttons and made you mad.”

Rick said, “It’s okay.   At least we’re talking now.   I want to make sure you know I love you and only you.   I might fantasize about women from time to time; but it’s you I love.”

“But Perry said you aren’t really gay,” I said, uncertainly.

“Do you believe everything Perry tells you?   Think about it, Glenn.   I’ve had ample opportunity to leave you for someone else over the last two years; but, I’ve stayed by your side.   While I was on active duty, I could have had any girl I wanted; yet I remained faithful to you.   I never stepped out on you and I still won’t.   I may not be your stereotypical gay guy who is hot to fuck every guy I see; but, I’m very much attracted to you and intend to spend the rest of my life with you.   Does that make sense to you?” Rick asked.

I pulled back from his embrace and looked deeply into his eyes.   “Yes, it does.   It’s kind of like you’re straight, except for when you’re with me.”

Rick laughed and said, “That pretty much describes how I feel.   I’m not really attracted to other guys.   Maybe that’s why no one suspects I’m gay.   As for why I’m attracted to you, I haven’t been able figure out why; I just am.   I think we were meant to be together; otherwise, I would be in a relationship with a woman.”

“Maybe it’s because I’m so sexy,” I said, grinning.

“Maybe so,” Rick answered, rubbing his hands up and down my back.   “I think it’s the whole package.   I love your eyes, your hair, and your fantastic body.   I love your quirky smile, your twisted sense of humor and I even love how emotional you get, sometimes.    I’m addicted to you, Mr. Nielsen.”

“And I’m addicted to you,” I said, rubbing noses with him.

Rick said, “I overheard you telling Perry to get lost.”

I nodded my head.   “Yes, Mom told me I needed to fix things with you and part of that was getting rid of Perry.”

Rick grinned and said, “I love your Mom.   She is a wonderful lady.”

I smiled and said, “Yes, she is.”

“Are we okay?   I mean can you live with the fact I sometimes fantasize about being with a woman?” Rick asked.

I hesitated before answering, “I won’t pretend it doesn’t bother me; but, it seems to have worked for us so far.   What will you do if you can’t get it up because you’re not really into fucking a guy?”

Rick put his hand under my chin and raised it, until he could look into my eyes.   “If such a thing ever happens, I will bottom for you and you’ll fuck me until I get horny again.   You have to admit I’ve never had a problem fucking you and I don’t anticipate having a problem in the future.”

I smiled and said, “I have to give you credit for keeping me pretty happy in the sex department.”

“I intend to keep it that way.   Remember, we are equal partners in that area of our lives.   I only wish you would top for me more often,” Rick said.

I ducked my head and wouldn’t meet his eyes.   “You know why I don’t like to top.”

“Yes, I do and you’re still going to therapy to work through what happened to you,” Rick said.

I looked up and met Rick’s eyes.   “I hate going to therapy, Rick.   The guy gives me the creeps.   He seems to take some secret pleasure in the pain I feel when I relive the horror of being raped by my cousin and his friends.   After each therapy session, I come home so exhausted and physically sick.   I think we need to find a new therapist.”

“I thought you were making good progress,” Rick said, with raised eyebrows.   “What happened?”

“I was, with the therapist in Minneapolis; but, since we returned to Atlanta, I feel like things are way worse,” I said.   “I don’t know the reason why things aren’t getting better.”

“I’ll help you do some research to find someone who can help you,” Rick said.

I nodded my head and said, “Thank you for being so understanding.”

Rick said, “I love you, Glenn.”

“I know,” I said.   I stood up and pulled Rick to his feet next to me.   “Let’s go to bed.   I’m still an emotional wreck.   I want you to take me to bed and just hold me.”

Rick led me to our bedroom and gently undressed me.   He held me tight and kissed me before he put me into bed; then disrobed and joined me.   I snuggled against him as he took me into his arms.   I listened to his heartbeat and soon drifted off.

The next morning, Rick awoke to find himself alone in their bed.   He panicked at first, thinking Glenn had left him.   Then, he heard the toilet flush in their en suite and he relaxed.   He put his hands behind his head and kicked the comforter off the bed.   His morning wood was on prominent display as he stretched his legs and feet, flexing his toes.

I came into our room and spied Rick’s gorgeous body stretched out on the bed.   My eyes lit up with anticipation and I licked my lips.   I met Rick’s eyes and he grinned at me.   “May I be of service to you this morning, Mr. Lernier?”

Rick replied, “I think you might be able to assist me.”   He began stroking himself, then gestured for me to take over.   Soon, I had Rick moaning with pleasure.   I was determined to give my guy the best blowjob ever!

Later, Rick held me close and said, “I love you.”   We kissed and he said, “I hope I’ve managed to dispel any doubts you had about whether I could get it up.”

I laughed and said, “You’ve never had a problem.   I was just worried you would grow bored with me.”

Rick looked into my eyes and held my gaze.   “Glenn, I promise you I will work with you to make sure our relationship doesn’t grow stale.   It will take both of us to keep things fresh and interesting.   I know I’m guilty of not doing my part over the last few weeks.   I was more concerned with getting my homework completed and studying than I was in maintaining our relationship.   I’m sorry I neglected you.”

Hearing Rick’s confession brought tears to my eyes.   I said, “I’m just as guilty as you are.   I let myself be swayed by Perry’s words instead of working things out with you.   I feel so ashamed, Rick.   I nearly threw away the most precious thing in my life.”

Rick put his hand to my face and wiped away the tears.   “What’s important is we’ve recognized how things need to change.   The past is past and we need to move forward from here to strengthen our relationship.”

I took his hand in mine and said, “I love you.”

Rick gave me a tender kiss, “Let there be no doubts in your mind I love you.”    

A few hours later, I entered my economics class.   Instead of taking my usual seat at the back of the room, I went to the front row and found a seat next to a really cute blond girl.   She looked at me and said, “Hi!   My name is Annjanette.   What’s your name?”

“I’m Glenn,” I replied.   “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Don’t you usually sit in the back next to that really gorgeous guy?   He’s a real hunk,” she gushed.

“Yes, but I decided to sit up front today.   His name is Perry,” I said.

She beamed at me as if I had just given her a piece of candy!   I nearly rolled my eyes in disgust.   “Thank you so much for telling me his name.   I think I’ll go back and introduce myself.”

She got up from her seat and flounced to the back of the classroom.   I turned to see what Perry would do.   She bent over his desk, giving him a clear view of her cleavage.   I could hear her bubbly little laugh as she flirted with Perry.   She sat down next to him and placed her hand on his leg.   I nearly laughed out loud at the expression on his face as she continued to rub his inner thigh.   I turned around so I wouldn’t have to hide my expression from him.   I think Perry had just met his match!   I didn’t have to worry about talking to Perry today, or any of the following ones, since Annjanette monopolized Perry’s time.   It was nearly two weeks later when I crossed his path, without his new found friend hanging on his arm.   I was on my way out of our statistics class when he managed to escape from her and he caught up to me in the hallway.  

He caught me by the arm and said in a low voice, “It’s all your fault.”

I looked at him, wide-eyed and innocent.   “What’s my fault?   I haven’t done anything to you.”

His eyes narrowed and he hissed at me.   “You told Annjanette to harass me.”

I tried not to laugh; but I couldn’t stop myself.   Perry’s face darkened with anger.   “I only told her your name.   She did all the rest of her own volition.   I swear I didn’t tell her to harass you.   She asked if I knew who the gorgeous guy at the back of the room, and I said I did and your name was Perry.   She immediately got up and made a beeline straight to you.   You can ask her yourself, since she’s standing right there.”   I nodded toward her as she came out of the classroom.   I pulled my arm free of Perry’s grasp.   “It’s nice to see you again, Annjanette.”   I smiled at her and walked past Perry toward the exit.   Her high pitched, bubbly voice followed me down the hallway.   I started laughing and couldn’t stop, until I was nearly to our meeting place.

Rick looked at my red face with concern.   “Are you okay?”

I said, “I’m fine.   Wait until I tell you what happened today!”   I related the incident with Perry.

Rick’s hearty laugh rang out over campus, causing a couple of students to look our way.   “It serves him right!”

“I agree.   Let’s go eat.   I’m hungry,” I said.

Rick nodded his head in agreement.   “Are you up for pizza?”

“Yes.   Let’s head over to the Mellow Mushroom.   I’ll call the guys and tell them to meet us there in about 30 minutes,” I said.   While we walked to our car, I called Duane and Cordell.   Both of them agreed to meet us at the restaurant with their partners.

I looked over at Rick and said, “The guys will meet us there.”

“Good.   It will be nice to catch up with them,” Rick said.   We found our car and climbed in.   Rick leaned over and kissed me.   “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” I responded, placing my hand on his knee.

Rick drove us to the Mellow Mushroom and parked.   As I got out of the car, I noticed he had parked in the exact same spot as that fateful night last summer.   The memory of what had happened here made me shudder.   Rick saw my expression and asked, “Are you okay, Babe?”

“Yes, I’m fine,” I said.   I glanced around to make sure no one looked like they were waiting to jump me.   “Whenever we come here, I get a little nervous after those two guys assaulted me.  I like coming here, so I won’t let a bad memory stop me from enjoying some good pizza.”

The rest of the guys pulled into the parking lot as we made our way inside.   We got our usual table by the window and waited for them to join us.  

Duane grinned at us and said, “Are you ready to play some trivia games?”

“Sure,” I replied.   “I think I can beat you this time.”

Mason laughed and said, “You two are just crazy.”

Cordell and Michael came in next, followed by Jeb and a big fellow I didn’t recognize.   Cordell said, “Hey guys!”

Rick gave him a high five and they sat down with us.   Jeb walked over and asked, “Do you mind if we join you guys?”

Cordell said, “We invited them to join us.   I hope it’s okay?”

Rick smiled and said, “The more, the merrier.   Please have a seat.   But who is your friend?”   He nodded toward the big guy standing next to Jeb.

Jeb turned and said, “This is Larry Coburn.   He’s on our football squad.   Larry, this is Rick, Glenn, Duane and Mason.”

Larry stood at least 6’4” (188 cm.) and weighed about 250 lbs. (113 kg.).   I could see he had plenty of muscle on his solid frame.   His white muscle shirt and skin tight jeans left little to the imagination.    My eyes about popped out of my head as I realized he was running commando, with his package clearly visible through the fabric of his jeans.   I raised my eyes to his and he reached down and adjusted himself.

That’s when I noticed he had a wide grin with slightly crooked teeth.   His bright blue eyes were deep set under bushy blond eyebrows.   He had a huge bulbous nose, a ruddy complexion and square chin.   His long blond hair hung down his back in a ponytail.  He reached out his meaty hand to shake mine.   “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Same here,” I responded, as he continued to shake everyone’s hand around the table.

He and Jeb sat down to our right.   The waitress took our order and left to bring us our beverages.   I looked at Jeb in surprise when I saw Larry slip his hand down Jeb’s leg.   I caught Jeb’s gaze and he blushed.   He said, “Yes, Larry and I are a couple.”

Rick did a double take.   “Did you just say you and Larry are together?”

Larry grinned and said, “Yes, he did.   We’ve been together about a month, now.”

“Okay, spill it!   How did you guys get together?” I asked.

Jeb said, “After I broke up with Jill, I was pretty down in the dumps.”

“That’s when we started hanging out,” Larry said.   “At first, we did all of the usual guy things:  playing video games, going to the movies, driving go-karts, or just chilling in the dorms.”

“I didn’t know Larry was gay until six weeks ago.   I was fooling around on his computer when one of his gay friends IM’d him.   I answered it and I started chatting with the guy.   I was shocked when the guy asked if I was Larry’s new bitch.”

“I saw Jeb’s expression change, so I asked what was going on.   Jeb explained that Mark had asked if I was fucking him.  That is when I asked Jeb to be my boyfriend,” Larry said.

“But I thought you were straight,” I said.  

“I was until that night.   Larry can be very persuasive when he wants to be,” Jeb said, grinning at his boyfriend.

Cordell said, “You should have seen Jeb the next day.   He came to me and asked what he should do about Larry.”

Jeb looked around nervously at our little group and said, “I was worried you would judge me for being a hypocrite for being so anti-gay before; and now I’m in a relationship with a guy.”

Duane said, “Don’t sweat it, Jeb.   Most straight guys are really gay, deep down.   I’ve found the most virulently anti-gay men are usually severely repressed closet cases.   Men who are truly straight don’t have to worry about gay men and don’t have an issue with a guy having sex with another guy.”

Larry smiled and said, “See, Jeb, I was right about your friends.”

Jeb nodded his head.   “I’m glad you were right.”   He looked around the table and said, “The turning point for me was the fact you let me hold Bible study sessions in your home with your gay friends.   I could see being gay is really who you are; you were being true to yourselves, instead of living a lie.   Then, I went to church with you guys and I talked with the pastor about being gay.   Reverend Goebel was very helpful and helped me see how the Bible has been twisted to suit the views of those who quote it.”

“We’ve kept our relationship secret until now; because Jeb was afraid of what our teammates would do when they found out,” Larry said.

Cordell said, “I told Jeb not to worry.   Our teammates know I’m gay and have a boyfriend.   I haven’t had any trouble with any of them, unless you count the ribbing they give me about getting laid every night.   In fact, Jeff was asking me how he could meet some good looking guys like Michael.”   Michael blushed; but didn’t say anything as Cordell put his arm around his shoulders.

Jeb said, “But you hadn’t been preaching against gays and making quite a show of being super religious.   I was afraid they wouldn’t accept me as being gay, because of everything I’ve said in the past.   I’ve tried to get them to come to church with me in the past.”

“Being gay doesn’t mean you can’t be religious.   There are a lot of gays who attend church services and lead lives of devoted service to their church,” Mason said.   “It’s those who hate us who spread false rumors stating all gays are ungodly, or at a minimum, unchurched.”

Jeb nodded his head in agreement.   “I know I was blinded by the hate propaganda preached from the pulpits of most ‘Christian’ churches.   They have missed the point of the gospel.”

Larry said, “When Jeb agreed to be my boyfriend, I wasn’t sure what to think.”

Jeb laughed, “He was so stunned when I said, ‘yes,’ he couldn’t speak for nearly ten minutes.”

Larry punched Jeb in the shoulder.   “It wasn’t ten minutes.”

“Maybe not; but it sure seemed like a long time,” Jeb said, grinning.

The waitress returned with our beverages and asked, “Okay, guys.   Will it be your usual?”

Rick looked around the table and the guys nodded their heads.   “Yes.”

“Alright, I’ll put in your order,” she said.

Larry said, “You guys must come here often.”

“You could say that,” Rick said, with a smile.   “Tammy knows what we like and usually just places our order.   I think she waited this time because you’re with us.”

“Besides, Tammy has a crush on Rick,” Duane said, grinning.

Rick blushed and said, “She’s been pretty obvious about it.”

I said, “You could say that again!

Michael said, “Glenn has been very good about the whole thing.   She practically sat on Rick’s lap the last time we were here.”

I nodded my head.   “She was pretty bold last time.   I thought she was going to fall out of her clothes because she had so much cleavage showing.”

“I don’t think she has figured out Rick and Glenn are a couple,” Mason said.   “I thought she would’ve figured it out when Rick gave Glenn a passionate kiss; but, she seemed to ignore it.”

“It’s more like she’s trying to prove she can get Rick’s attention and take him from me,” I said.

Rick nodded his head.   “It’s also why you got so upset with me.”

The guys looked at me with added interest.   “If you must know, Rick and I had a little bit of discussion about it, and a few other things.”

Mason said, “I bet that discussion included Perry.”

“Unfortunately, it did,” Rick said.   “But, we’ve worked things out.”

“Who is Perry?” Jeb asked, with interest.

Rick said, “He’s a guy in Glenn’s classes who has made it his goal in life to get Glenn into his bed.”

Duane said, “We’ve met the guy.   He’s one of the best looking guys I’ve ever met.   I mean he could be a model.”

“We’re talking jaw-dropping gorgeous,” Mason said.   “When Glenn introduced us to him, I had to pick myself up off of the ground when he smiled at me.”

Rick agreed.   “Yes, he is good looking; but he’s also extremely arrogant.”

I said, “He’s history, as far as I’m concerned.”

Rick laughed and said, “Glenn sure fixed his wagon.”

Duane asked, “What do you mean?”

I explained how Perry had been pushing me to leave Rick and what his tactics had been.   Then, I told them about dumping Perry, and how I accidentally sent Annjanette his way.

Everyone had a good laugh and we moved on to other topics.   Our pizza arrived and we dug in.   The three football players among us demolished one entire pizza on their own.   It was a good thing we had ordered three pizzas!      

Louise and Harry were at the airport in Toronto, waiting for Tyler’s arrival.   They had strategically chosen a place where they would see him when he showed up to claim his luggage.   Sarah was sleeping in Louise’s arms, while Rachel raced from Joey to Harry and back.   Rachel laughed as she ran.   Glancing at Joey’s face, Harry had to smile.   Joey’s excitement was very evident in every line of his body.   Louise and Harry laughed when they saw their future son-in-law jump up from his seat and wave his arms over his head to draw Tyler’s attention.  

Louise looked over at Harry and asked, “Do you think he’s excited, or what?”

Harry laughed and said, “Yes, I think he’s a little excited to see his fiancé!”

Tyler grinned when he spotted Joey.   He made his way through the crowd and threw his arms around him, lifting him off of his feet.   Joey’s joyous laughter rang out as Tyler whirled him around and set him down.   They kissed and Joey said, “I love you.”

The smile on Tyler’s face grew even wider.   “I can see that.   I don’t think anyone else’s arrival was greeted with as much excitement as mine!”

Rachel pulled on his pant leg and said, “Dad!”   She lifted up her arms to him.   Tyler released Joey and picked up Rachel.

She smiled and put her arms around his neck.   She kissed his cheek and said, “I missed you and so did Daddy.”

“I missed you, too,” Tyler said.   “Where’s Sarah?”

Rachel pointed to Louise and said, “She’s with Nana.”  He set Rachel on her feet and she took his hand to lead him over to Louise and Harry.   “Nana, Dad is here.   May we go now?”

Louise smiled at Rachel and said, “Yes, we can leave as soon as we retrieve Dad’s luggage.”

Tyler leaned over and kissed his mother on the cheek.   “Thank you for helping with the girls.”

She smiled up at him.   “I wouldn’t have it any other way, son.   I’ve looked forward to watching my grandchildren for a long time.”

Joey came up beside his fiancé and looped his arm around his waist.   “Is this the only suitcase you brought with you?”  

Tyler glanced down at the suitcase in Joey’s hand and answered, “Yes, that’s it.”

Harry asked, “Are we ready to go?”

“Yes, we’re ready.   Thank you for picking me up, Dad,” Tyler said.

Harry smiled and said, “Not a problem, son.   I hope you brought your documents with you.   We have just enough time to get to the York Civic Centre and get your marriage license.”

“I have everything with me,” Tyler said.

“And I have my documents, as well, including Kathy’s death certificate to prove I’m a widower,” Joey said.

“It sounds like we’re ready,” Harry said.

Harry stood up and Tyler gave him a hug.   “Thank you for everything you’ve done for us.”

Harry patted his back and said, “It’s the least we can do to help you two get started out in life.”

They made their way out to the parking garage.   They climbed into their rented mini-van and Harry drove the 15 km. (9 miles) to the civic centre.  Harry said, “We’ll wait here while you two go inside.”

Joey looked over at Tyler and asked, “Are you ready?”

Tyler grinned and said, “Yes, I’m ready.”   He leaned over and kissed Joey.   “Let’s go.”

They got out of the van and disappeared inside.   A short while later, they returned, walking hand in hand with huge smiles on their faces.   When they opened the van door, Harry said, “I take it you got your marriage license.

Tyler replied, “We got it.”

Joey said, “They were very efficient.   We could have gotten married here as soon as we were issued the marriage license.   It feels so good to be treated like anyone else who wants to get married.   I’m glad we’re moving to a country that treats all of their citizens equally.”

Tyler said, “Spain is a wonderful country and most people are very open and friendly to gays.   However, just like every other country in the world, there are those who don’t agree with us and treat us poorly.”

“But what’s important to me right now is knowing Spain will recognize our marriage as legal and we can adopt children.   I want us to have more children,” Joey said.

Louise asked, “How many more children do you want, Joey?”

“At least two more,” Joey replied.   “I think twin boys would be wonderful!”

“We’ll name them Joey and Tyler,” Tyler said.

Joey said, “Yes, we’ll give them Joey and Tyler for their middle names.”

Tyler smiled, “We have plenty of time to think of what their names will be.   We have to get married first!”

“Tomorrow is the big day,” Louise said.

Harry started the van and drove them to their hotel.   They entered the hotel lobby and found Greg and Cory there, checking into their room.   Greg hugged Joey and said, “I’m so happy for you and Tyler.”

Joey said, “Thank you for standing up with me.”

“I’m honored to be your best man,” Greg said.

Cory hugged them both and said, “I’m so excited for you.”

Tyler smiled, “We’re just as excited.”

Harry confirmed the truth of Tyler’s statement, “Yes, I witnessed how Joey was practically bouncing off the walls with excitement, while we were waiting for Tyler’s plane to arrive.”

Rachel pulled on Greg’s hand.   “Uncle Greg, I want up.”

Greg knelt down and took his niece in his arms.   “How are you, Rachel?”

“I’m happy,” she replied.   She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a hug.   “I miss Mommy.”

The child’s statement reminded Greg of his sister’s death a few months earlier.   “I miss her, too, sweetheart.   But you have a new Dad to help Daddy take care of you.”

Rachel pointed at Tyler.   “He’s right over there.”

Greg nodded his head.   “Yes, he’s right there.   Your Dad and Daddy are going to be married, tomorrow.”

Rachel said, “I get to be the flower girl.   Daddy said I will have a basket of pretty flowers.”

Greg smiled and said, “I’m sure you’ll be the best flower girl ever.”

Cory finished checking them into their room.   He put his arm around Greg’s waist.   “We’re all checked in.   What are our plans for the evening?”

Tyler said, “Mom and Dad are taking us out to dinner.   We’ll meet here at 6 PM.”

Joey asked, “Has anyone heard from Rick and Glenn?”

Greg answered, “Yes, Rick sent me a text message.   They are on the ground at the airport and should be here within the hour.”

Cory said, “I’m glad you asked Rick to stand up with you, Tyler.”

“It was a hard call for us,” Joey said.   “We wanted to include the four of you.”

“You still can.  All four of us can stand up with you,” Cory said.

Tyler looked at Joey and shrugged.   “I don’t see why not.”

Joey smiled and said, “Okay, we’ll have each couple stand up with us; Greg and Cory with me and Rick and Glenn with you.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Tyler said.

The group had started toward the elevator bank when Cory said, “There’s Rick and Glenn.”

Greg turned to look.   “The guys are here.   Let’s wait and we’ll go up together.”  

Rick spotted them and waved.   “Hey guys!”

Greg looked closely at Glenn and noticed how flushed he looked.   Then, he noticed that both of them were very much aroused.   He started to laugh as it dawned on him what had been going on in the back of the taxi!   “Rick, did you give the taxi driver an education in gay sex?”

Rick’s laugh filled the lobby.   “You could say that.   He was being such a prick we decided to give him a ringside seat to what gay sex is all about!”

I nodded my head and said, “We did everything except have intercourse and if we’d been in the taxi cab a little longer; we might have done it, too.”

Cory said, “What happened when he dropped you off?”

“Nothing, we paid him and he drove off,” Rick answered.

Joey and Tyler hugged them both.   Joey said, “Thanks for coming, guys.   I know this isn’t what you had in mind to do for spring break.”

Rick said, “We wouldn’t have missed your wedding for anything.”

“I’m glad you included us in your wedding plans,” I said.

“Mom and Dad are taking us out to dinner tonight.   We will meet down here at 6 PM,” Tyler said.

“Cool beans!   We’ll get checked in and take some time to freshen up,” I said.   “Should we be dressed up, or is casual okay?”

Harry said, “I think casual is good.   We’ll have the two girls with us and we chose a family friendly restaurant.”

“Good,” I said.   “I’m starving!   All they gave us were a few snacks on the plane.”

“We’ll let you get checked in, then,” Greg said.

They left us and we completed the check in process.   Rick had booked us a room with a Jacuzzi tub.   “I think we need to make use of the Jacuzzi,” I said, as Rick hung up his clothes.

Rick grinned at me and said, “I think someone’s still horny.”

“Guilty as charged,” I said, rubbing my crotch.   I walked into the en suite and started the water running into the tub.   I adjusted the temperature, then stripped out of my clothes.   The flight had been uneventful; but I was still tired.   I climbed in and let out a sigh of contentment, as the hot water climbed up the sides of the tub, covering my legs.   I closed my eyes and relaxed.   I opened my eyes when Rick turned on some music.   I looked up to see him totally naked and very aroused.   He grinned at me, as he put his cell phone down next to the sink and walked over to join me in tub.   I scooted forward and he wrapped his legs around me.   I leaned back against his chest as he nibbled my earlobe.   Whoever invented Jacuzzi tubs must have had making out in mind!

We basked in the afterglow of our lovemaking.   I rubbed noses with Rick and said, “I’m glad we came.   We’ve needed some time alone, without the pressure of school.”

Rick said, “I think we’ve come a long way since our little argument a few weeks ago.”

“You know it wasn’t little,” I said.

“No, it wasn’t; but it was the best thing to happen to us.   I needed to be reminded to pay attention to your needs, instead of being so centered on my own,” Rick said.

“And I needed to be brought back to reality.   Perry had me so turned around in my head,” I said.

“I know,” Rick said.   “I wasn’t paying enough attention to you, and Perry was there to take advantage of that fact.   It was as much my fault as it was yours that Perry managed to sabotage our relationship.   I’m sorry I wasn’t there to support you.”

“But you’re here now and so am I,” I said.   “I think we’ve both learned a lesson about what it takes to keep our relationship going.”

Rick smiled and kissed me.   “Yes, we have.   I won’t let myself get so distracted I forget to pay attention to you.”

“I’ve learned not to listen to handsome gay guys who want to fuck me in the worst way.   Perry isn’t the first guy who has tried to seduce me,” I said.

“I’m well aware how attractive you are to other guys,” Rick said, with feeling.   “But he was the most persistent, and the one who nearly succeeded.”   He paused and gazed into my eyes.   “Sometimes, I wish you weren’t so damn cute.   Guys are attracted to you like moths to a candle flame.”

“You make me sound like one of those sirens in Greek mythology who led men to their deaths,” I said, grinning.

Rick laughed and said, “That thought did cross my mind.   You captured me long ago and I know how strong my attraction to you is.   I can only imagine what kind of power you have over truly gay guys.”

I laughed and said, “None, because I already have the guy I want.”   I put my hand on his chest.   “He’s right here.”   I kissed him, as I gently caressed his bare chest.

My cell phone rang and I broke off our kiss to answer it.   “Hey, are you guys going with us?” Greg said.

“Yes, we’ll be right down,” I said.

“Okay, we’ll wait for you,” Greg said, and cut the connection.

Rick said, “I guess we have to get dressed, then.”

“Yes, we need to get dressed,” I said, smiling.

We got up and ran through the shower, before getting dressed.   We joined Greg and Cory in the lobby.   “We waited for you; but, we sent the rest of the group ahead,” Greg said.

“Thanks for waiting for us,” I said.  

“The hotel has a shuttle to take us to the restaurant,” Cory said.   He walked over to the concierge and said, “We are ready to go now.”

The bell hop went outside and signaled to the shuttle driver we were ready.   He pulled the shuttle up to the door and we climbed in.   He dropped us off and we joined our party.  It was a nice evening for all of us.

The next morning we joined Harry and Louise for breakfast.   The others soon joined us, as well.   Harry asked, “When are you two going to get married?”

Rick answered, “We have to wait until I’m out of the military.”

Harry nodded his head and said, “I had forgotten Tyler said you were in the military.”

“Most of our gay friends are married, or are engaged to be married,” I said.   “I’ve been a little impatient about Rick’s desire to finish his commitment to the Marine Corps.”

Rick glanced at me and said, “That’s an understatement.”

Louise said, “I can understand Glenn’s impatience.   I felt the same way about waiting for Harry.   He insisted I had to be out of college before we could get married.   I didn’t see the sense in waiting; since we were already living together.”

“I wanted us to be out of school when we married; so we could concentrate on our relationship, and not on trying to keep our grades up,” Harry said.

I looked at Rick, who said, “We found out the hard way a few weeks ago.   Both of us had been too busy to see to the needs of the other, and we ended up getting into an argument which could have ended our relationship.”

Louise said, “I know things can get out of hand sometimes.   Harry and I have had our ups and downs over the years; but we come out stronger every time.”

Tyler said, “Joey and I already had our first argument.”

“Yes, I remember,” Louise said.

“I don’t want a repeat it, ever,” Joey said.   “I promise you I’ll do my best to make sure it never happens again.”

We finished breakfast and returned to our rooms to get ready for the wedding.   I helped Rick get into his tuxedo and he helped me with mine.   We rejoined Harry and Louise in the lobby.   Harry said, “I’ll make two trips; so, we can get everybody to the wedding centre.”

We followed Harry out to his rental.   Greg and Cory came with us.   He dropped us off and returned for Joey and Tyler, as well as the girls and Louise.   We were met by Mark Gillen who showed us into the chapel.

“It’s good to see you again, Mr. Scarborough,” he said as he shook Greg’s hand.

“Thanks, Mark.   We’re back for another happy occasion,” Greg said.

“Is Tony here?” Cory asked.

“Yes, Tony will be taking photographs of the wedding,” Mark said.

A few moments later, Tony entered the wedding chapel.   “Hello,” he said.   “Fancy meeting you guys here again!”

“We’re here for another wedding,” Cory said, as if it wasn’t already obvious.

Tony laughed and said, “I would expect that to be the reason for your return visit.   I have all of my equipment right here.”   He patted his camera bag.  We heard the rest of our party arrive.   They soon joined us in the chapel.   Tony walked over to Tyler and Joey and introduced himself.   “I’m Tony Degarlais .   I’m your photographer.   Let’s step outside and take a few shots, before we return inside for photographs of the rest of the wedding party.”

He led them outside, while Louise settled Rachel on a chair.   They soon returned and Tony began photographing us in different groups and arrangements.   When he had finished, he gave Mark a nod, indicating he was done. 

Mark asked, “Are we ready to have the wedding ceremony?”

Tyler smiled and nodded his head.   “We’re ready.”

Mark led us out of the chapel.   He returned and said, “Would every one please stand.”  

The wedding music began to play.   Rachel went in first and scattered red rose petals along the aisle, then went to stand by Louise.   She looked so cute in her lacy white dress with white bows in her hair.

Greg and Cory went in first and stood to Mark’s right.   We followed them and stood to the left.   Tyler and Joey came in next and stood directly in front of Mark.

The music stopped and Mark said, “You may be seated.”   He waited for Harry and Louise to be seated and then continued, “We are gathered together this morning to join together this happy couple.   Tyler you may make your vow, followed by Joey.”

Tyler said, “I, Tyler Rian Damasiewicz, take you, Jospeh Michael Malone, to be my wedded husband. I promise to strive always to consider your needs in addition to my own; to be a source of strength for you; to accept your strength for myself; to share freely my thoughts and feelings; to listen when you share yours with me. I make these solemn promises, to keep in times of plenty and in want; in joy and in sorrow; in sickness and in health; from this day forward.”

Joey said, “I, Joseph Michael Malone, take you, Tyler Rian Damasiewicz, to be my wedded husband. I promise to strive always to consider your needs in addition to my own; to be a source of strength for you; to accept your strength for myself; to share freely my thoughts and feelings; to listen when you share yours with me. I make these solemn promises, to keep in times of plenty and in want; in joy and in sorrow; in sickness and in health; from this day forward.”

Mark said, “By the authority vested in me, I declare you, Tyler Rian Damasiewicz and Joseph Michael Malone, to be legally and lawfully wed.   You may exchange rings and kiss each other.”

Rick handed Tyler his ring and Greg gave Joey his.  They exchanged rings, then kissed each other.   We applauded, and the newlyweds continued kissing.

When they parted, Mark said, “You may congratulate the newlyweds.”

Rick hugged Tyler and kissed him on the cheek.   “Congratulations, Tyler.   You’ve married a great man.   I’ve known Joey since high school, and I can vouch for him.”

Tyler’s eyes sparkled with happiness.   “Thanks, Rick.   I’m glad we have finally tied the knot.”

I hugged him next and said, “I wish you both all the happiness in the world.”

Tyler held my hands in his.   “Glenn, thank you so much for being our friend.   I want you to come visit us in Spain this next summer.   Please say you’ll come.”

I said, “I think we can manage to spend a few weeks with you.”

Tyler said, “Why don’t you plan to stay with us all summer.   You can make our place your center of operations while you tour the continent.”

Rick said, “I like that idea.   We will let you know what our plans are.”

We moved to Joey.   Rick took him into his arms and held him tight.   “Joey, I’m so happy for you.   You’ve found the perfect guy for you and I want you to have all the best.”

Joey’s eyes were full of tears, as he said, “Thank you Rick.   You don’t know how much it means to me that you were able to be here to celebrate my marriage to Tyler.”

Rick pounded his back and said, “I wouldn’t have missed it; just like when we were playing together on the football field.”

Joey nodded his head.   “Yes, I knew I could count on you back then.   It’s nice to know I can still count on you now.”

I hugged Joey and said, “Congratulations, Joey.   I wish you the best.   I know you will take good care of Tyler, and he will do the same for you.”

Joey nodded his head in agreement.   “Tyler has already done a lot for me.”

Rachel pulled on Joey’s hand.   “Daddy, I want to hug you, too.”

He bent down and lifted her into his arms.   She hugged him and kissed his cheek.   “May I hug Dad, too?”

“You certainly may,” Joey smiled, as he answered his daughter.   He passed her to Tyler.

She hugged and kissed Tyler and said, “Now, Daddy can be happy.”

Tyler laughed and said, “I hope so, Rachel.   I certainly hope so.”

Joey embraced them both and said, “I know I will be happy now, sweetheart.”

Harry and Louise came forward to congratulate the happy couple.   Louise handed Sarah to her father.   “Congratulations, Joey, and welcome to the family.”

Joey said, “Thank you, Mom.”

Harry said, “Well, I guess it’s official now.   Welcome to our family, Joey.   We are very happy you decided to marry our son.   We are especially happy to welcome your daughters into our family.   You have given us grandchildren; and, for that, we are extremely grateful.”

Harry turned to his son and said, “Congratulations, son.”   He hugged Tyler and gave him a kiss on the cheek.   “I’m very proud of you for finding such an outstanding young man to be your husband.”

Tyler blushed at his dad’s praise.   “Actually, he found me.”

Harry smiled and said, “It often happens that way; just like your mother found me.”

Louise hugged Tyler and said, “I am so happy for you and Joey.   I know you will always love and cherish each other.”

We posed for more photographs and Mark delivered the completed marriage certificate to Tyler and Joey.   “Congratulations and best wishes,” he said.

Tyler and Joey held hands as they posed for more photos.   There was a beautiful, happy glow about them.   “That will be us someday,” Rick said.

“I hope so,” I said.  

“You can count on it, Babe,” he replied.

Prev To be continued . . .

A Note from Russ:

Non-Religious Weddings in Toronto -

Music I listened to while writing this chapter:

What Ever It Takes -

Listen to Your Heart -

Between the Raindrops -

First Time -

Talking to the Moon -

Caminando -