Chapter 25

Several weeks later...

Jay looked up as Kyle came in the front door, arms loaded with groceries. He jumped up, rushed to the door and took some of the bags from him.

"What's all this for?" Jay asked as he helped Kyle unpack and put away the groceries.

"I'm kind of tired of pizza and Chinese. I thought I'd make us a nice dinner tonight."

"What would you say if I told you that I made dinner reservations for us at Houlihans?"

"Oh I love Houlihans. What's the occasion?"

"No occasion. I just wanted to take you out for a night on the town. I thought it would be great to have a nice night out, just the two of us."

"That sounds fabulous. Let me jump in the shower real quick then I'll be ready.

"Wear something nice." He called to Kyle as he went about changing his clothes and make sure everything was where it needed to be.

"Good evening, welcome to Houlihans. Do you have a reservation?"

"Hi, yes I do. It's under the name of Edwards. Jayson Edwards."

"Ah, yes. Here we are, Jayson Edwards, party of two. Right this way, please."

The hostess led them to a small, private dining alcove. Hmmm Kyle thought to himself. Fancy restaurant, private dining alcove, Jay is up to something as he noticed the champagne chilling in a bucket and the candles on the table.

"Okay, Jay. What are you up to?"

"What makes you think I'm up to something?"

"Oh, I don't know, fancy restaurant, private alcove, candles, champagne."

"Kyle, when was the last time we enjoyed a quiet, leisurely dinner together?"

"I can't remember it's been so long."

"Well, there's your answer. I'm taking the man I love more than anything else in this world out for a nice, quiet dinner. That's what I'm up to. We've been through so much bad shit lately I wanted us to have a special night together."

Kyle kissed Jay deeply. "Tonight is going to be so special. It means more to me than you could imagine. I love you so much."

"I love you too, Kyle." Jay thought to himself. Kyle, you have no idea what's about to happen to you. If you think this dinner is special, wait until later.

"Good evening. My name is Megan. I'll be your server tonight. Can I get you something to drink before dinner?"

"What do you have on tap?"

"Bud, Bud lite, Miller, Miller lite, Heineken and Lowenbrau."

"I'll take a Bud lite, please."

"Could I have a diet coke, please?"

"Okay. Tonight's specials are prime rib, $12.95, shrimp scampi, $11.95 and surf and turf, $21.95. While you take a few minutes to look over the menu, I'll go get your drinks."

"Thank you."

"Thanks, Megan."

"You never really developed the taste for alcohol, did you, Kyle?"

"Not really. I've tried it, but it always tasted funny to me."

"Well, what looks good to you?"

"You do."

"I meant on the menu, silly."

"It all looks good. What are you having?"

"I don't know, Kyle, but that surf and turf is very tempting."

"I'm leaning towards the stuffed chicken breast."

"Look, I know how much you love shrimp scampi. Why don't you order that?"

"I'm really in the mood for chicken."

The orders were placed and the two men ate in comfortable silence, each lost in their own thoughts.

"I can't eat another bite. I'm stuffed."

"You were supposed to save room for dessert."

"Too late."

"If you'll excuse me for a moment, I have to go to the little boy's room."

"Kyle, there's one thing you're not, and that's little. While you're in the bathroom, I'll pour the champagne."

Kyle just shrugged his shoulders and left to go to the bathroom. Jay opened the champagne and poured two glasses. In Kyle's glass, he placed a solid gold wedding band. Kyle returned and sat down, not noticing the ring in his glass. Jay took his glass and raised it. "Here's to you, Kyle. I love you more than anyone or anything in this universe."

Kyle raised his glass. "To..." was all he could say as he noticed the ring in the glass. He looked from Jay to the glass, then back to Jay, totally speechless. Jay stood up, walked around the table and knelt at Kyle's feet.

"Kyle, I love you. I put you through hell. You had every right to wash your hands of me, to walk away and not look back. But you didn't, which means more to me than you could possibly imagine. But the life we share is no longer enough for me." He ignored the stunned look on his chosen one's face. "Will you do me the honor of marrying me? I want you to be my husband."

Kyle reached down and wiped a tear from Jay's eye, his own eyes moist. "Jay, my beloved, nothing would make me happier." They both stood and embraced each other and kissed tenderly.

A few minutes later, Megan returned, noting that something had changed between the two men. "How was everything?"

Jay looked at Kyle, the love between them so thick you could feel it. "Perfect. Everything was absolutely perfect."

"Can I get you anything else?"

"No thanks, Megan. If you would just bring the check please, we have somewhere to be soon."

"Okay. I'll be right back." A few minutes later, she returned with the check and handed it to Jay.

Jay took the check, turned it over and just stared at it. "Congratulations Jayson and Kyle. Best wishes for a long and happy life, Dr. Foster." Wordlessly he handed the check to Kyle, who could only stare at it. "How did he know?"

"I mentioned my plan to bring you here and propose to you during our session today. I showed him the ring and told him that I already had reservations for this alcove and requested the champagne. I was nervous as hell, afraid you'd say no. He insisted that you would say yes."

Kyle took Jay's face in his hands. "Baby, why did you think I'd say no?"

"Because of everything I put you through."

Kyle covered Jay's mouth with his own. "Never doubt my love for you. Even when we were separated and I was mad as hell at you I never stopped loving you. Never have and never will."

Jay took out his cell phone and dialed the hospital. "This is Jayson Edwards. I'm a patient of Dr. Foster's. Could I speak to him, please?" The operator transferred him to the doctor's office, but his voicemail picked up. "Dr. Foster, this is Jayson. Kyle and I want to thank you..."

"Hi, Jayson" Dr. Foster interrupted. "How'd your little plan go?"

"He said yes, Doc, just like you said he would. We can't thank you enough for all that you have done for us. You certainly didn't have to pay for our dinner."

"Consider it a wedding present. Now isn't there someplace you have to be?"

"Yes, and thanks again, Doc, from both of us."

"You're welcome. Have fun!"

Jay hung up and dialed another number. "Tommy" he practically yelled into the phone. "Kyle said yes!!!!!"

"Like there was any doubt he would. Listen. I've got something you'll want to see at the Center. Why don't you swing by for a couple of minutes?"

"Can we do it some other time? We just want to get home."

"Yeah, and what are you going to do when you get home?" He teased.

"I think you already know the answer to that question!" Jay laughed into the phone.

"Please, just for a couple of minutes."

"Oh, okay, but only for a couple of minutes." Jay capitulated and hung up. A few minutes later, they arrived at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Community Center.

"What are we doing here?"

"Tommy told me about a special event going on tonight he wants us to check out."

"Okay."

They got out of the truck and went into the building. Jay asked about an event scheduled by Tommy Adams and was directed to the appropriate room. Jay had Kyle go in first. He stopped dead in his tracks as he surveyed the room. At the far end was a huge banner that read "Congratulations, Kyle and Jayson." Their friends appeared out of nowhere, Tommy and Andy both with huge shit-eating grins on their faces. Hugs and tears abounded.

As they hugged, Jay asked Tommy "how'd you know he'd say yes?"

"While you were in the hospital, Kyle told me that he intended to pop the question to you when he thought the time was right. You just beat him to it. When you called me this morning and told me what you had planned, I called the Center, reserved the room and set everything up."

Jay hugged him tighter. "Thank you." He whispered.

"You're welcome. Now, go be with your fiancÚ and enjoy your engagement party."