Four Gay Weddings and a Funeral [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Ryan Field
eBook Category: Erotica/Gay Fiction
eBook Description: When New York legalizes same sex marriage, Neil winds up with more invitations to gay weddings than he knows what to do with! And it's during one of these weddings where Neil meets Andre- the perfect man. Andre is French, with a romantic accent and a killer body, and he fills Neil with emotion in ways he's never known- he's the perfect man. But Neil isn't ready for marriage, and so he lets Andre go. As time passes, Neil's life goes on, and he always wonders what might have been with Andre. But when life-altering events rock Neil's quiet life, he may get a chance to find happily-ever-after!
eBook Publisher: Ravenous Romance, Published: 2011, 2011
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2012
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3 Reader Ratings:
"You can always depend on me," said Neil. "I'll see you bright and early in the morning."
Though he could be inconsistent when it came to his love life, people knew they could count on Neil Sparks. If a friend or family member called Neil in the middle of the night and asked for help, he'd come running with no questions asked. If someone needed to borrow money in a pinch, Neil would be the first to slip his hand into his pocket and hand over all the cash he had. He had a perfect attendance record at the school where he taught hearing-impaired children. And he was always the first person people would call in an emergency because they knew he wouldn't fall apart.
But when his alarm rang at eight o'clock the next morning, and he reached over a set of wide muscular shoulders and turned it off, he didn't climb out of bed right away. He didn't even open his eyes completely. He'd set the alarm a half hour early to give himself some extra time. After he'd left his best friend Kevin's wedding rehearsal the night before, he'd gone to a nightclub where he'd met a big strong weightlifter from Brooklyn.
Neil rested his head on the pillow and ran his fingers through his thick dark brown hair. The weightlifter was sleeping; Neil couldn't remember his name. The guy groaned, moved closer to Neil, and wrapped his arms and legs around him. Neil yawned and snuggled into the weightlifter's chest. Neil squeezed his bicep with one hand and threw his other back over his head. He tried harder to remember the guy's name. It was something ordinary that began with a J, like Jim, Joe, or John. But Neil would never forget the way the weightlifter had pulled down his pants and thrown Neil over the trunk at the foot of the bed.
The backs of Neil's legs were sore. His lips felt swollen and his mouth was dry. He shouldn't have gone out after the wedding rehearsal dinner. He should have gone right home with his roommate, Thai, and gone to bed. It was just that all these weddings were starting to get to him. Neil had trouble committing to a cell phone plan every two years, let alone committing to a human being for the rest of his life. Ever since they'd passed that law and legalized same-sex marriage in the state of New York, Neil had been to more weddings than he could count. When he thought about all the weddings yet to come, he felt like climbing into bed and pulling the covers over his head for the rest of his life.
Neil closed his eyes and ran his palm up along the weightlifter's shoulder. He knew he had to get up, but couldn't resist touching this guy. When he did this, the weightlifter ran his hand down and rested it between Neil's legs. Neil spread his legs a little wider and smiled. The guy had Neil practically pinned to the bed and he was touching him in just the right spot. Neil couldn't have moved even if he'd wanted to move. He still had plenty of time before he had to start getting dressed. Another half hour wouldn't make that much of a difference, so he closed his eyes and rested his head on the guy's chest.
Two hours later, the weightlifter climbed on top of Neil and started kissing him. Neil had been sound asleep at the time and he'd forgotten all about the wedding. He spread his legs and arched his back. He wrapped his arms around the weightlifter's shoulders and pulled him closer. Though Neil didn't know the guy's name, he did know this wasn't the type of guy he met often at nightclubs. The weightlifter had a thick Brooklyn accent and a beefy, stocky body with just the right amount of hair on his legs. Neil was long and lean, with sinewy muscles and soft, smooth skin. He had his entire body waxed regularly, except for a small patch of light brown hair above his penis. When he met guys like this weightlifter from Brooklyn--almost exact opposites of him--who weren't into getting their legs waxed and their eyebrows shaped, his heart always skipped a few beats.
But when the weightlifter pulled the covers back and reached for a condom on the nightstand, Neil glanced at the clock. When he saw it was now after ten o'clock, he blinked. He barely had enough time to shower and put on his tuxedo. And where the hell was Thai? She was supposed to make sure he woke up on time.
Before the weightlifter opened the condom package, Neil lowered his legs and tried to climb out from under him. "I have to get up," Neil said. "I have to be someplace."
The weightlifter had dark, heavy stubble on his face now and his dick was rock solid. "Just a quick fuck," he said. Then he slapped his dick between the insides of Neil's thighs.
Kevin would kill him if he didn't arrive at the church on time. The church was all the way out on Long Island, in Sag Harbor. Neil was the best man and a wedding needed a best man. But you never knew what the traffic would be like on the Long Island Expressway that time of year.
"We don't have time," Neil said. "You have to leave and I have to shower and get dressed. Let go of me." The weightlifter had Neil's shoulders pinned to the bed and he was rubbing his dick between Neil's legs.
"We can take a shower together," the weightlifter said. "It will save time."
"Okay," Neil said. He didn't want to argue with him. He would have said anything to get out from under him. "Let go of me so I can wake up my roommate. You get the shower running and I'll be in there in a minute."
Neil and Thai shared the parlor floor of a two-bedroom red brick townhouse in Chelsea. Neil owned the condo and Thai paid him rent to use the extra bedroom. They'd known each other since they were freshmen in college, almost ten years. There was nothing about Neil that Thai didn't know.
When he ran into her bedroom naked and shook her shoulders she didn't even notice he was naked. She rubbed her eyes and asked him what was wrong. Her short red hair was sticking up all over and she was still wearing the same lip gloss she'd worn the night before.
Neil pointed to the clock on her nightstand and said, "We're never going to get there on time."
It took Thai a moment to remember she was in the wedding party, too. She rubbed her eyes again and stretched. Then she glanced at the clock and jumped out of bed so fast she almost knocked Neil over. The only thing she said was, "Fuck me!"
Neil ran back to his bathroom and jumped into the shower with the weightlifter. The weightlifter was wearing the condom by then. He pulled Neil into the shower, pinned him to the beige marble wall, kissed him on the lips, and rammed into him so fast Neil didn't know what had hit him. Neil arched his back and the weightlifter started bucking his hips. The entire act took less than a minute or two and Neil was standing in front of the bathroom mirror shaving before the weightlifter had a chance to dry off his right leg.
When the weightlifter left, Neil was struggling with the pants on his rented tuxedo. His hands were moving so fast he couldn't get the suspenders on. His white shirt was still sticking out of his pants and he hadn't even bothered with underwear. The weightlifter had slapped his ass and said, "Maybe we'll see each other around sometime. I had fun."
Neil fastened one of the suspenders to his pants and laughed. It was all so casual and pointless. His life had come down to nothing more than having sex with strange men and going to weddings. If he'd had the time that morning, he might have sat down and wondered what was wrong. But he'd only smiled and said, "I had fun, too. Sorry I was in such a rush this morning. See you around, man." He knew he'd probably never see him again and he was fine with that. It wasn't the first time and wouldn't be the last.
A few minutes after that, Neil grabbed his car keys and wallet and met Thai on the front steps. "How do I look?"
She reached up and adjusted his tie. "You look gorgeous, as usual," she said. "No one would even know you just climbed out of bed with another Jersey Shore guy."
He laughed. His friends often teased him about his taste in men. They almost always looked the same: big, hot, and not too bright. Neil had a thing for macho types with dark hair. And they weren't always that easy to find. "He bought me a drink last night. He was a nice guy."
"I'm sure he was," Thai said. "How do I look?"
She was wearing a hideous yellow bridesmaid's dress with a big white flower on the sash and a huge bow at the base of her spine. Thai had never been able to lose that punk rock-emo look from high school, and she now worked in the garment district where the dress code was loose enough to wear anything. Her bright red spiked hair and silver gothic jewelry looked so out of place with that tasteless yellow dress that it caused a pull in Neil's stomach. The long black fingernails didn't help. But he smiled and said, "You look beautiful for someone who just woke up."
She punched him in the chest. "I look like Little Bo Peep on fucking LSD and you know it. I'd like to know what happened to that stereotype that says all gay men are tasteful and know fashion. Because these piss-yellow bridesmaid's dresses that Kevin and Larsen chose are worse than what I wore for my cousin Tina's wedding in New Jersey. And they were fucking lavender."
Neil would have agreed with her if there'd been time. But it was pushing eleven o'clock and they were supposed to be in Sag Harbor by noon to make sure everything went smoothly. As it stood now, barring any major complications on the road, they'd get there just in time for the wedding to start. So he grabbed her by the arm and led her down the stairs. They walked at an almost-run to Neil's parking garage. Thankfully, it was a cool morning in May and they didn't have to worry about sweating. In August, this would have been a nightmare. But when they climbed into Neil's black Jeep Wrangler and the motor wouldn't turn over, Neil's stomach jumped sideways.
"What's wrong?" Thai asked. "Are you out of gas?"
Neil tried to start the Jeep again and all he heard was a soft ticking sound. "I think the battery is dead."
"This is a new car," Thai said. "You just bought it last September."
Neil shrugged. "I guess I left the lights on again." He'd done this twice in the past month. He didn't drive often in the city, but he liked having a car in New York so he could get out of town on weekends and visit friends in Long Island and Pennsylvania. He opened his door and said, "We'd better take your car."
"Are you serious?" Thai asked. "I haven't driven that car in a month. We'll look like a couple of fucking idiots."
Thai liked keeping a car in New York, too, but only because she'd inherited it from her grandmother and couldn't part with it. It was a white l985 Cadillac Eldorado with spiked chrome wheels and one of those exaggerated spare tire compartments on the trunk lid. People teased her about it all the time, partly because the car was falling apart and partly because it looked like the kind of car a pimp would have driven in 1985.
Neil climbed out of the Jeep and shrugged. "We don't have much of a choice. A taxi would cost a fortune."
So they crossed the street and ran three blocks down to the cheaper outdoor garage where Thai parked the Eldorado. Neil took the keys from her hand and they climbed inside and put on their seatbelts. The car didn't start on the first try. It didn't start on the second either. But when he turned the key a third time, the old motor came to life with a deep growl and he slipped it into gear.
For an old car, this one had more power than Neil's brand-new Jeep. When he made a right turn, he heard a strange growl coming from the rear end. The entire car jerked and lunged a few times before they got onto the LIE, and the brakes squeaked and squealed every time he had to stop at a traffic light. But traffic wasn't too heavy on the LIE and Neil reached Sag Harbor in record-breaking time. Of course, he had to drive on the shoulder a few times, and he had to weave in and out of traffic so often people flipped him the bird every five minutes. But he pulled up to the church just as the groom was getting out of the limousine and parked sideways between a black Bentley and a navy blue Jaguar. Thai said she would have parked the car behind the church where no one could see it. But Neil said they were too late to care about what anyone thought.
Kevin and Larson were one of those gay couples where the lines were clearly drawn. Kevin had the tool kit and he fixed the toaster. Larson had the cookware and he made the made the toast. They never mixed things up. Kevin worked in the athletic department where he and Neil had gone to college, and Larson was part owner of a small floral boutique in the West Village. Kevin wore plaid shirts and lumbered down the sidewalk with heavy strides. Larson wore pale cotton prints and was so light on his feet it often looked as if they weren't even touching the sidewalk. It was no surprise to Neil that Larson wore the pure white tuxedo that day and that he was the one walking down the aisle, holding a massive bouquet of white roses with rainbow streamers that fell to his knees.
Neil and Thai unfolded from the car and Thai asked Neil to zip up her dress. Then they jogged up to the limousine just as Larson's mother and father were getting out. Craig and Luke, two more good friends, were already there to greet Larson. Craig and Luke had been together for a long time. Though Craig was fifteen years older than Luke and he had the silver hair and paunch to prove it, they balanced each other so well Neil often thought of them as the most perfect couple he knew, gay or straight. Legally married or not, Neil would always think of them as the perfect couple.
Neil noticed that Larson's white groom's tuxedo was a little too tight around his full waist and his hair had been styled with a little too much product. It looked too stiff and shiny, and he'd had it styled in that new, trendy way, where the hair on top of his head gathered to form a point that reminded Neil of a Mohawk. It was a huge mistake, in Neil's opinion. The only men who could pull off a hairstyle like that were flawless male models, not floral designers who were twenty-five pounds overweight. But try telling that to a gay man on the morning of his wedding after he'd spent a small fortune getting Botox injections. And the white bouquet of roses Larson held made Neil wince. If Neil were getting married, which he had no intention of doing any time soon, he wouldn't have done things this way. But he'd learned a long time ago to keep his mouth shut when it came to weddings.
As usual, Larson was so nervous his hands were shaking, which made the streamers on the bouquet dangle like strands of wilted spaghetti. Neil overheard Larson asking people if he looked fat and the people were sending him reassuring smiles and telling him he'd never look better in his life. When Larson asked Craig if his hairstyle was too trendy, Craig smiled and said, "You have the face for it, sweetie." Then Craig glanced at Neil and rolled his eyes. Neil wasn't certain of it, because he was closer to Kevin than Larson, but he had a feeling the stocky woman in the light blue frilly affair was Larson's mother. All Larson needed was a matching pill box hat and some lipstick and he could have been her twin sister.
When Larson saw Neil and Thai red-faced and out of breath, he pressed his palm to his chest and said, "Why aren't you up there with Kevin, Neil? You're supposed to be waiting for me. You're the best man. I can't believe you're late." Then he threw his arms up over his head and Luke jumped in and patted his back to calm him down.
Neil didn't stop to talk. He didn't want Larson asking him any dumb questions. Besides, Larson's voice was filled with panic and Neil didn't want to upset him. He just grabbed Larson's arms and said, "You look gorgeous. Great hair. I'll see you inside." Then Neil left Thai with the other bridesmaids and ran into the church to stand at the altar next to Kevin.
On his way in, Neil spotted two more good friends sitting at the back of the church: Portia, a tall elegant young woman with straight blond hair who worked in publishing, and Mark, an extremely good-looking guy who worked with Neil in the same school teaching the hearing impaired. Mark looked like Matt Damon, and was almost completely deaf. Neil greeted Mark by signing with his hands. He hugged and kissed Portia on the cheek and complimented her flamboyant black hat. It was an elaborate, wide-brimmed affair with a leopard ribbon. Way too much for most women. She looked more like she was going on a Greek cruise than a Long Island wedding. All she needed were big dark sunglasses and a long cigarette holder to finish the outfit. But that was one of the reasons why she always had so many gay friends, especially gay men. For some of them, Portia was the drag queen they'd always wanted to be.
By the time Neil reached the altar, Kevin was talking to two other guys in the wedding party. When he glanced back over his shoulder and saw Neil approaching, he sighed with relief and said, "I was just about to get another best man. What happened to you?"
"I'm sorry, man," Neil said. "We hit traffic." He couldn't say he'd overslept in the arms of a well-hung weightlifter from Brooklyn. He couldn't tell his best friend the backs of his legs were still sore from getting fucked so many times the night before by the weightlifter from Brooklyn.
Kevin took a closer look at him. He fixed his tie and said, "Why are your lips all swollen?"
"Allergic reaction to a peanut I ate this morning," Neil said. "I'll live." He'd never been allergic to anything in his life. He'd been hearing a lot about peanut allergies lately with the kids at his school. He couldn't tell Kevin his lips were still swollen because he'd been sucking the weightlifter's cock all night. Being allergic to peanuts seemed plausible.
The two other guys hugged Neil and went to the back of the church. Neil knew one of them was related to Larson, but he wasn't sure where the other guy had come from. He'd learned that weddings were like this. They huddled people who didn't know each other together for one day, then he wouldn't see them again until the next wedding.
When Kevin and Neil sat down in the first row, Kevin asked, "How is Larson holding up?"
Neil laughed. "You don't want to know."
"I was afraid of that," Kevin said. "He's been so high-strung about this wedding." There were beads of perspiration around Kevin's temples and his face was bright red. He didn't seem to be holding up too well, either. "I told him we should have just gone down to city hall and kept it simple. But not Larson. He wanted a huge wedding and he wanted it to be in a gay church. He said it was the most important day of his life and he wanted the wedding he'd always dreamed about as a child."
While Kevin was rambling on about the frustrations associated with weddings, Neil glanced back over his shoulder to see what was happening and he noticed a tall man with medium blond hair walk into the church. The man wore a light gray suit and he held his head higher than everyone around him. Neil turned around and said, "These people who just waltz into weddings late irritate me beyond words."
Kevin sent him a glare and blinked. Then the organist began to play Here Comes the Bride and Neil rolled his eyes. Even Canon in D, though a cliche by now, would have been a better choice for a gay wedding. When the guests stood up and turned around, Larson was standing at the back of the church with his father. Thankfully, Larson had forgone the white veil and the white peau de soie pumps. Other than that, Larson wanted to follow tradition right down to the last letter, which included having his father give him away. Neil wasn't so sure about this either. Even though Neil's parents were dead, Neil would have done it differently if they'd been alive. Gay or straight, did anyone over twenty-one really need to be given away?
When Larson and his father began to slowly walk down the aisle, keeping with the beat of the organist, Kevin leaned into Neil's side and whispered, "You have the rings, don't you?"
Neil felt a wave of panic rush through his body. But he smiled, patted his pocket, and said, "Right here in my pocket. No problems, buddy."
Kevin wiped a drop of perspiration from his brow. "Well, that's a huge relief."
Neil continued to smile. But his face grew hot and his heart started beating faster. When he'd patted his pocket, there was nothing there. Then he remembered he'd left the rings in the glove compartment of his Jeep the day before, knowing they would be safe there in case he forgot to bring them. He never did things like this. He was always responsible and dependable. Neil bit his bottom lip and glanced back and saw that Larson was now in the middle of the aisle, smiling and nodding at guests he passed along the way. If Larson hadn't been holding the bouquet, Neil had a feeling he might have been sending people the Queen of England's wave.
Neil gulped and swallowed. Thai and the other two bridesmaids were right behind Larson and they seemed to be gaining momentum. He had no idea what he was going to do about the rings. This was the kind of thing that could send Larson into a full-fledged panic. He might even pass out right there at the altar and ruin the wedding. Neil wasn't wearing any jewelry himself that day so he couldn't even offer a ring of his own. But he had to come up with something fast, otherwise Kevin would never forgive him for ruining his wedding day.