|The Man from Swift Current|
|© 2011 Russ Nielsen
All Rights Reserved
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|Chapter 36: Keith's Wedding|
The next morning I woke up in Rick's arms. Rick was awake and staring at me as I opened my eyes. Rick said, "Good morning, my sleeping beauty."
"Good morning," I replied groggily as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes.
"You know we have to get up and get ready for the wedding or we will be late," Rick said.
"Yes, but can't we take a minute just to cuddle?" I whined not wanting to leave Rick's warm embrace.
"We can but only for a few minutes," Rick said kissing me on the lips. "I want enough time in the shower to take advantage of you!"
I grinned and responded, "In that case, we can get up right now!"
We were up in a flash, stripping off our clothes as we went. Rick turned on the shower and adjusted the water temperature. He pulled me into the shower and captured my lips as he pressed up against me, the hot water only adding to our passion for each other. I love taking a shower with my guy! This time, we knew we wouldn't run out of hot water before we could clean each other up so we didn't have to hurry to soap up and rinse off after our playtime! Rick satisfied my desires for him and then some!
Afterwards, I collapsed in Rick's arms. He kissed me and then turned me around facing me away from the shower so he could soap up my chest and stomach. He lovingly cleaned my package and then turned me back around to rinse off the soap. He started soaping down my backside. Rick kissed me as he ran his soapy hands up and down my spine and then they came to rest on my butt cheeks. He pulled me close and kissed me while he pressed his fingers into me, hitting my g-spot causing me to squirm in his strong embrace.
"If you keep that up, we will never leave the shower," I said grinning up at my lover boy.
Rick gave me a wicked grin, "That's the point!"
I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him deeply as he continued to play. Breaking off the kiss, I said, "Sweetheart, I want you so much but we do need to get going before our grandparents come looking for us."
Rick grinned, "I would love to see their faces if they knew what we are doing right now!"
"Grandma wouldn't be surprised," I said.
"You are right about that," Rick replied. He turned me around to rinse me off. Then I reciprocated by soaping him up and rinsing him off as he had done for me. We stepped out of the shower and we dried each other off.
"I love taking a shower with you, Babe," Rick said as we started getting ready. I helped Rick put on his tuxedo making sure everything was adjusted properly. I like to make sure he is well dressed! Seeing him in his tuxedo made me think that someday we would be the ones getting married. Rick noted the wistful look on my face and asked, "What's wrong sweetheart?"
"It's just that I was thinking that some day we would be putting on tuxedos for our own wedding," I replied.
Rick smiled, "Is this a marriage proposal?"
I grinned, "Yes, I want you to marry me but only when the time is right."
"My answer is yes and the time will be when I get out of the Marine Corps," Rick answered seriously.
I must have looked really crestfallen because Rick pulled me into his arms and said, "It's okay, Babe. It won't be that long. I know we can do this."
I managed to keep control of my emotions as I replied, "I know. It's just the thought of waiting so long depresses me sometimes."
"Don't let it bother you. I am not going anywhere and I will be here for you when it's time for us to get married," Rick said soothingly. He kissed me and then released me. "Let's go get something to eat."
We went downstairs to the hotel restaurant. We saw our grandparents were already seated so we asked the hostess to let us join them. As we sat down, Grandma commented approvingly, "Rick, you look very handsome in that tux."
"Thank you, Grandma. I feel a little uncomfortable in it though," Rick said.
Grandpa laughed, "Most guys do!"
"Yes, but it's very appropriate for today's special occasion," Grandma said. "We ordered for you boys so we could leave on time."
"Thanks, Grandma," I said gratefully. We didn't have to wait very long before our food arrived. We dove in and soon consumed the pancakes, eggs, sausages and orange juice.
Grandpa paid the bill and we followed him out of the restaurant. Grandpa said, "We will see you at the church in a few minutes."
Rick nodded his head, "We will follow you over in the Jeep."
We climbed in Rick's Jeep Wrangler and followed my grandparents. We arrived at the church and parked. As we entered the church, we were greeted by the pastor, Reverend Lacey. He had been unable to meet with us yesterday so he had his assistant pastor, Reverend Jones, stand in for him at the wedding rehearsal.
"You must be the best man, Rick Lernier," Reverend Lacey said. When Rick nodded, "I am Reverend Lacy. Please come this way." Rick followed him down the hall where I could see Keith was waiting. Keith looked great in his white tuxedo. He was grinning from ear to ear and I could tell he was very excited. Keith gave me a happy salute as the reverend opened the door to his office and Keith and Rick disappeared inside.
Grandma put her arm through mine, "Come. Let's find our seats."
I escorted Grandma up the center aisle of the sanctuary to a seat near the front where my uncles were sitting. As we sat down, Grandpa joined us a few minutes later. Reverend Lacey soon made his appearance and took his place and nodded to the organist who began playing the processional music. I turned in my seat to watch the bridesmaids enter, followed by Ruth Ann as the maid of honor. She smiled at me as she caught me watching her. I smiled back and winked at her which caused her to blush slightly. She looked totally gorgeous as she walked up the aisle. The memory of the nights we spent together came to my mind as I watched her. They were quickly followed by the thought, "How am I going to tell her I'm in love with Rick." There really hadn't been an opportunity to speak to her privately yesterday with all the wedding preparations.
The ring bearer followed her. Then Rick entered the sanctuary! He looked so handsome in his tuxedo. I overheard one of the ladies behind me ask, "Who is that handsome young man?" I almost turned around and said, "That's my guy!" but I didn't! I kept my focus on my man and admired his perfect body as he made his way to the front of the sanctuary and took his place. Next, Keith entered. As soon as he was in his place, the organist began playing the wedding march.
Everyone stood up and turned to watch as the Kerry entered escorted by her father. She looked absolutely radiant as she came up the aisle. As soon as Joe brought her to the altar to stand beside Keith, the music stopped.
Reverend Lacey said, "You may be seated. We are gathered together on this beautiful morning to celebrate the marriage of two very wonderful people. I know that Keith and Kerry are very happy that you have come to witness their exchange of vows and to help them make this a day they will always remember." He paused and looked at Keith, "Please take Kerry's hand and say your vow."
Keith looked deeply into his sweetheart's eyes and smiled and began, "I, Keith Joshua Turner, take thee Kerry Diane Mitchell, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, 'til death do us part, according to God's ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my troth."
Reverend Lacey looked at Kerry, "Kerry, you may speak your vow."
She squeezed Keith's hand as she said, "I, Kerry Diane Mitchell, take thee Keith Joshua Turner, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, 'til death do us part, according to God's ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my troth."
Reverend Lacey said, "By the authority vested me by the state of South Carolina, I now pronounce you man and wife, legally and lawfully wedded. You may kiss the bride."
Cheers went up as Keith lifted her veil and gave her a passionate kiss. When they broke their kiss, Keith took her hand and they turned to the congregation.
Reverend Lacey said, "I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Keith Turner. Please come forward to congratulate them."
Rick gave each of them a hug as did Ruth Ann followed by both sets of parents. I stood up with Grandma and escorted her to the altar. I hugged Kerry and kissed her cheek, "Welcome to the family, Kerry."
Kerry smiled, "Thank you, Glenn."
I moved to Keith and hugged him, "Congratulations!"
Keith replied, "Thank you, cousin."
Rick took my hand and led me to the side of the chapel and down the aisle to the back of the sanctuary where we waited for the rest of the family. My grandparents were the first ones out of the chapel.
Grandpa saw us and said, "Let's head over to the reception center."
Rick agreed, "Sounds like a great idea."
We took the short trip to the reception center. The center director showed us to the room where lunch was to be served. We were soon joined by the rest of the wedding party. I sat with my grandparents as Rick and Ruth Ann sat at the head table with Keith and Kerry and their parents. It was a nice meal with several toasts being made to the newlyweds.
Keith was very handsome in his tuxedo and Kerry was absolutely divine in her wedding dress. Of course, I only had eyes for the best man! Rick certainly fills out a tuxedo very nicely! Damn! He is a handsome man! I was salivating just looking at him!
After lunch, Rick and I returned to the hotel. As we pulled into the hotel parking lot, Rick asked, "Do you want to get in the pool?"
I grinned, "Yes. But you have to wear your Speedo swimsuit."
Rick leered at me, "Of course."
We practically sprinted to our room and quickly changed. Rick pulled on his skimpy dark blue Speedo that molded itself so perfectly to his body. I pulled on my matching Speedo swimsuit and posed in front of the mirror admiring my trim form. All the swimming and the exercise program Rick had us following was showing results. My stomach had always been flat but now I could see the faint outline of my abs under my skin and my chest looked more defined.
Rick came up behind me as I flexed my muscles. He placed his hand around my biceps and squeezed. He grinned appreciatively. "I guess you will do." He ran his hands over my chest tweaking my nipples before moving to my stomach. He pulled me back against his chest as he kissed the nape of my neck sending a thrill down my spine. His steel pole nestled firmly between my cheeks. "I think we need to have some exercise before we get in the pool."
"But we just got dressed," I protested weakly as his hands undid the string inside my Speedos and he pushed them to the floor in one quick movement.
Rick murmured against me neck, "That's okay. We can always go swimming later."
I arched my back as he caressed my bare skin. Rick picked me up and placed me on the bed. I stared up at the man who had become my lover boy in sweet anticipation as I watched him drop his swimsuit and step over to the bed. A shiver of pure delight passed through my body as he, again, began running his hands over my skin. He captured my lips and soon had me arching my back in pure ecstasy as he made love to me. It was a good thing most of the rooms around us were vacant because I wasn't exactly silent as Rick pushed me higher than I had ever experienced! The intensity was almost too much for me!
Rick lay exhausted on top of me as I gently ran my hands up and down his back. I love the feel of his muscles under my hands. I have never felt so close to anyone in my entire life! It still amazes me how wonderful it feels to have the one you love bring you so much joy.
Rick kissed me and placed his arms around me and rolled us over until I lay on top of him. "I love you, Glenn."
"I love you, too," I replied as I nibbled on his ear.
"I am glad you are all mine. When are you going to tell Ruth Ann?" Rick asked.
"I don't know but I am sure we will figure something out," I said grinning at my lover boy.
"Okay, but don't wait too long. I don't want to have Ruth Ann thinking she has any claim on your affections," Rick said seriously.
I reached up and caressed his cheek with my fingers, "I promise I will let her know before the day is over."
Rick smiled, "Thank you for understanding. I don't want to seem like the jealous type but I do want Ruth Ann to know that I come first in your affections."
I kissed him, again. "Let's go swimming."
"Sounds good to me, Babe," Rick replied smiling. "You just want to show off your body!"
I grinned, "Yes and I want everyone to know that my boyfriend is the best looking guy around."
I rolled off of Rick and gave him a hand up. We pulled our Speedos on and grabbed some towels from the bathroom. Rick pinned me against the door and kissed me. "Just to remind you that I love you," he said.
We opened the door and took the stairs down to the courtyard and the outdoor swimming pool. As we entered the pool area, a couple of good looking girls followed us. They looked to be our age so I turned and said, "I am Glenn. This is Rick."
"Hi! I'm Sandy and this is my sister, Tamara."
I asked, "Where are you girls from?"
Both girls were well tanned, blond, blue eyed and drop dead gorgeous! Sandy replied, "We are from Alabama and we are here visiting family." Her voice was a pleasure to listen to with its soft Alabama drawl.
Tamara said, "Where are y'all from?"
"I am from Saskatchewan, Canada, and Rick is from North Carolina."
Tamara said, "You two must spend a lot of time at the pool."
"Yes, we do," Rick said looking at me questioningly. I shrugged my shoulders.
"You look like gingerbread men your tans are so dark," Tamara explained.
"You and Sandy are just as dark as we are," I said stepping closer to her and putting my arm next to hers. "See?"
Tamara laughed, "Yes, I do see. We have spent most of the summer at the swimming pool or on the beach."
Rick said, "We have mostly been at the pool." He walked over to the diving board and jumped into the pool making a big splash.
Sandy asked, "Does he have a girlfriend?"
"He's taken if that is what you mean," I said smiling at her.
She nodded, "That is what I meant. That's too bad. I think he is very handsome and I would love to get to know him better. Maybe you can give us your cell phone numbers just in case things change."
I nodded my head and smiled, "I don't think things will change but I'll give you our cell numbers before we leave." I walked over to the pool and did a surface dive that carried me across to the other side of the pool where Rick was waiting.
"What did Sandy want?" Rick asked.
"She wanted to know if you had a girlfriend," I replied.
"And what did you tell her?" Rick grinned.
"I said you were taken already but I would take her number just in case anything changed," I said laughing and grabbing Rick around the waist and giving him a quick kiss before diving under the water.
Rick swam after me and caught my foot and pulled me under. I wrapped my legs around his waist and put my arms around his neck as I came up for air. He kicked his legs and propelled us across the pool. I let him go as we approached the pool wall.
I exclaimed, "Race you across the pool!" We lined up against the edge of the pool and then we took off across the water. Rick won by less than an arm length. We stopped to rest for a moment and noticed that the girls had dived in at the opposite end of the pool. We swam back towards them. As we approached, Sandy asked, "Are you both on a swim team? You swim so well."
Rick shook his head, "No, we just swim a lot."
Tamara looked at me and asked, "You have the look of a swimmer."
"I was on a swim team with my cousin, Ben, last summer but I haven't really raced since then. We swim for fun but I haven't really concentrated on it for some time now," I replied.
Sandy asked, "Do you want to play a game of tag?"
"Sure, what will be home base?" Rick asked smiling.
"The steps here and the ladder at the other end," Sandy said.
"Okay, who will be "it" first?" I asked grinning at Rick.
Rick looked at me and said, "You should be since you asked."
I laughed, "Okay. I will give you a head start."
Everyone took off in separate directions. I waited until they were halfway across the pool before I started after them.
We played tag for the better part of an hour. Then upon mutual agreement, we all got out of the pool and flopped down on the lounge chairs on the pool deck to dry off. The girls offered us bottled water from their beach bag that had they brought with them.
"Thanks," Rick said as Tamara handed one to him.
"How long have you guys been together," Tamara asked.
I looked at Rick who smiled and answered, "Only few weeks. I met Glenn at the beginning of the summer when he came to visit his cousin, Keith."
Sandy asked, "Was it love at first sight?"
"For me it was," I said smiling at Rick.
"That is so cool! I have gay friends at college but none of them seem as happy as you two. In fact, all they can talk about is how lonely they are and their desires to find someone special," Tamara said. "It can get tiresome after a while."
I looked at Tamara, "Where do you go to school?"
Sandy answered for both of them, "We attend Columbia University in New York City."
"Wow! That is a really great school! How do like it?" Rick asked.
"We enjoy it because it is so different from where we are from. I like it because it has opened new horizons for me that I never would have even come close to discovering in our little town in Alabama," Sandy replied.
"For me," Tamara said, "I like the fact that the students are very tolerant of other people's beliefs and cultures. Our little town is so backwards and extremely prejudiced against everyone. I hate living there. Our neighbors are so closed minded it is amazing that they can even function in today's society."
"Tamara, the fact is they don't function in today's society because they are still living just like people in our town did before the Civil War," Sandy said. "They still talk about that war as if it was still going on."
"So how did you two end up going to Columbia University?" Rick asked in surprise.
"We both won full-ride scholarships," Tamara said.
"Congratulations!" I exclaimed. "That is totally awesome!"
Rick agreed, "That's really great."
"Thank you," Sandy said. "I am starting my junior year and Tamara is a sophomore."
"That is so cool! I wondered why you were so accepting of us. Most people around here are shocked when they see me kiss Rick in public," I said.
Sandy smiled, "I think it's cute! You make a very handsome couple. I am only sad that I couldn't date one of you."
Tamara laughed, "Yes, we would love to date you guys." She pulled out a slip of paper and pencil and wrote down their cell numbers. "Send us a text when you are in New York and we will show you around town."
"Sure thing," Rick said looking over at me for confirmation.
"I would love to do that," I said.
Tamara pulled out some sunscreen and offered it to me, "Do you need some?"
I took it from her, "Thank you. Rick, let me put some on your back and then you can help me."
Rick moved his lounge chair closer to me and turned around so I could massage the sunscreen into his broad shoulders and down his back. Rick leaned into my hands as I massaged his shoulder blades. Then he leaned forward to allow me better access to his lower back causing his muscles to pop out. I heard Tamara's whisper to her sister, "Aren't they real hotties?"
I didn't hear Sandy's response but I could almost guess what it was. It made me snicker. "Did you hear that?" I asked.
Rick didn't respond but he nodded his head and turned and grinned at me. I turned around and Rick applied sunscreen to my shoulders and back. When he finished, I put the cap back on and returned it to Tamara, "Thanks. We forgot to bring it down with us from our room."
Tamara smiled and replied, "No problem." She passed it to her sister who started applying it to her arms and legs.
Rick and I laid down on the lounge chairs to soak up the sun. After a bit, we turned over and lay on our stomachs. The girls were doing the same.
I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember is Rick shaking my shoulder and saying, "We need to be leaving, Glenn. We need to get cleaned up and head back over to the reception center."
I rolled over and rubbed the sleep from eyes. Rick took my hand and pulled me up from the lounge chair into his arms. I grinned, "I like this."
"Good," Rick said giving me a quick kiss, "so do I." He released me from his embrace and took me by the hand and led me towards the pool exit.
"It's nice to meet you guys," Sandy said as we passed her.
"Same here," I said.
We left the pool and returned to our room where we jumped into the shower and quickly rinsed off the chlorine. We got dressed and Rick drove us back to the reception center.
The Mitchells wedding reception lasted nearly all night. There was an open bar and many of the guests got totally plastered. They hired a live band to play for the reception which afforded me the opportunity to stay busy all evening. I spent most of the evening avoiding Ruth Ann. Whenever she would approach, I would make sure I took someone out on the dance floor. I could tell she wanted to talk to me but I wasn't ready to face her just, yet.
Rick and I had made an agreement before hand to make a point of inviting the elderly widows to join the festivities and give each one a swing around the dance floor before inviting the next one to dance. It was my idea since I saw many of the guests were elderly and reminded me of my visits to the rest home near my Uncle Dave's home.
As the night wore on, more and more guests left for their homes. Ruth Ann caught me by surprise at the bar getting glass of water. She put her arm through mine and said, "Finally. I thought I was never going to get to dance with you tonight."
I smiled at her, "Let's go." I led her out onto the dance floor, trying to decide how best to tell her I was in love with Rick. As we danced, Ruth Ann laid her head on my chest and melted into me. Without thinking, I wrapped my arms around her as we slow danced to some old rock ballad. Towards the end of the song, she pulled back and looked me in the face. Her eyes were bright with tears. "I love you, Glenn," she said. She put her hands up to my face and pulled me down for a kiss.
The song came to an end and I felt a tap on my shoulder, "May have this dance," Rick asked Ruth Ann.
Ruth Ann smiled as Rick took her hand. "Certainly," she said.
Rick and Ruth Ann moved gracefully around the dance floor as I watched from our table. I couldn't help but admire Rick's skillful moves as he led Ruth Ann through the different dance steps. Grandma sat down next to me. She must have guessed my thoughts because she said, "Your Rick reminds me of your grandfather. Grandpa is a very graceful dancer. It is part of what attracted me to him when we first met. He took me out on the dance floor and it seemed we floated on air the entire night. Rick does the same thing. You are very lucky to have found him."
"I know I am very fortunate. Grandma, do you believe in fairy tales?" I asked looking at her.
Grandma smiled, "As in "they lived happily ever after" fairy tales?"
"Yes, that is what I mean. From the first time Rick kissed me, I have felt I was living a real life fairy tale with my very own Prince Charming. We even joke about it sometimes," I replied.
"I do believe in fairy tales coming true when you find that someone special who is meant to be your soul mate. I found mine in the person of your grandfather. It has been truly wonderful and magical being married to him. He not only is a perfect husband but your mother can tell you what a wonderful father he is. Does it mean he has never made mistakes? No, but it means he has learned when to admit he is wrong and can change his ways and become a better person," Grandma said. "Your Rick is your soul mate, Glenn. Do everything you can to keep him. Always remember to put him first in your life and yourself second. As you learn to do that, Rick will reciprocate by putting you first in his life before himself. He already loves you more than you know, Glenn."
"I know he loves me. He puts up with all of my shortcomings which tells me he loves me a lot. I have tried not to hurt him but I seem to keep doing it whenever I am around Ruth Ann. I don't know how to tell her I am in love with Rick," I said looking over at Grandma.
Grandma returned my gaze and thought for a moment, "Glenn, sometimes the best solution to these kinds of situations is to be upfront and direct. It may be more painful at first but it is the cleanest way to end a relationship without crippling the people involved."
"But Grandma, I don't want to end my relationship with Ruth Ann. I just want it to change from being girlfriend/boyfriend to being one of friendship and respect. I don't want to hurt her because I do love her as a friend," I said.
"Sometimes it's not possible to salvage a friendship out of a romantic one, Glenn. There are feelings that run too deep that can't be changed. Maybe over time, she will come to forgive you for the heartache you caused her and then she will be ready to be friends with you and Rick," Grandma said.
The music came to an end and Rick and Ruth Ann moved off the dance floor and started towards us.
Rick was half way back to our table when he was intercepted by Joe. Joe spoke to Rick who nodded and split off from Ruth Ann and came over to our table. "Joe wants us to help load the wedding gifts into his truck," Rick said.
Grandma looked at me and said, "Go ahead. I will wait here for your Grandpa."
I leaned over and kissed Grandma on the cheek. "Thank you for talking to me about Ruth Ann."
Grandma smiled, "You are welcome."
Rick and I began loading all of the wedding gifts into Mr. Mitchell's truck to be taken back to the Mitchell's home to await the honeymooners' return. It was pretty late when we loaded the last gift into the back of the truck.
Rick took me completely off guard as he swept me into his arms and began kissing me. It was a very long, passionate kiss that had my senses reeling when we finally surfaced for air.
"I love you, Babe," Rick said as he continued to nuzzle my neck.
"I love you, too," I said as I tried in vain to resist Rick's insistent hands caressing my body. "Rick, if you don't stop, I will have to strip you out of your tuxedo here and now and ravage your gorgeous body!"
"That's the whole idea lover boy," Rick said laughing and continuing his assault.
Just then, I heard sobbing and someone running away from us. I turned my head to see who it was and only caught sight of the reception center door slamming shut.
"Who was that Rick?" He had held me so I couldn't see the building the entire time we had been making out.
Rick didn't answer me and he wouldn't look me in the eye. It only took me a second or two before it clicked. Ruth Ann had been standing there watching us the entire time!
"It was Ruth Ann wasn't it?"
"Yes and I wanted to make a very clear statement that you are mine and only mine," Rick said quietly but forcefully.
"Well, I think that point was very clearly made if she saw everything that was going on," I looked questioningly at Rick to see if she had been there the entire time.
Rick didn't acknowledge my look so I asked him directly, "Did Ruth Ann witness our entire make out session?"
"Yes, she did!" Rick said defiantly. The look on his face dared me to challenge his decision.
I reached up and placed my hand on his cheek and gazed into his eyes. "Rick, it's okay! You don't need to get defensive with me. I am alright with what happened. It's not exactly how I imagined we would tell her that we are a couple but it did the job."
"You aren't mad at me for forcing the issue?" Rick said hesitantly as he took his hand in mine.
"No, I am not angry. In fact, I'm relieved that it's over and I didn't have to cause an ugly scene between us and Ruth Ann."
I felt Rick's sigh of relief as he folded me into one of his bear hugs. I knew I should try to talk directly to Ruth Ann but I admit I wasn't up to facing her wrath tonight.
"I'm going to get into the Jeep to wait for you while you let the grandparents know we are leaving. I don't want to take a chance on running into Ruth Ann tonight. I don't think I can handle dealing with her in her current state of mind," I said.
Rick nodded his agreement and made a quick trip back inside the reception center. He was back in a moment and we headed back to the hotel where we stripped out of our clothes and proceeded to enjoy each other knowing that we had survived another milestone in our time together: the other woman!
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