The following is a work of fiction. Any similarities are entirely fortuitous. The story may contain profanity and references to gay sex. If such content offends you please leave now. The author retains all rights to the story. Do not copy or use without written authority from the author. Write Bobby at this address with your comments.
"Aw, dad, come on! I don't want to get a haircut!" Keegan protested.
"Keegan, I didn't say a cut. I said a trim, at least to get the split-ends off." I argued. "Besides, you and Travers and Torry weren't there the first time Jared and I got married. Don't you want to look your best?"
Keegan rolled his eyes and sighed. "Fine, but it had better be a tiny, tiny, tiny trim."
I chuckled. "Okay, you'll hardly even notice we went inside."
The hairstylist did in fact barely cut any of his hair off just as I instructed her to. Keegan was all excited and said that he felt a million pounds lighter. That kid has rocks for brains sometimes. After the haircut we walked around downtown for a few minutes. I was talking to him about when Jared and I first got married. It was the best day of my life...
"Today we celebrate the joining of these two young men." the minister began. "Marriage is an honorable act. Those who take the vows promise to love and live together for the rest of their lives. I have seen many people come and go, but I have seen none as in love as these two young men here today. The world is filled with hate and violence, but these young men prove that there are great aspects in loving anyone. Today they will be wed and hopefully live happily ever after. Now, with all witnesses and God watching, may these young men recite their own vows and place the rings." The minister nodded to the both of us. "Please join hands and recite your vows."
Jared started first. I had no idea what his vows would be like. But already I was close to tears just from being in this moment. "I, Jared Young, take you, Tyler Delfino, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, to give up the remote control on Sunday nights," I laughed lightly from that remark. The audience did as well. "To know when to hide when the beast is unleashed, to be financially responsible for even when you want to buy expensive toys, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health. To honor and to cherish. Forsaking all others. Until death do us part." More laughter came from the audience. I just smiled and blushed, getting watery-eyed as he finished. Austin handed him a small box. Last week, Jared took back my ring to put it on me today. He took my left hand and placed the ring on my finger.
"Now, Tyler, recite your vows." the minister said.
"I, Tyler Delfino, take you, Jared Young, to be my husband. I promise to learn how to cook your favorite meals even though it's you who needs the lessons," Jared's not the only one with humor in his vows. The audience got a kick out of that one; even Jared did, blushing and smiling like mad. "And learn how to be more understanding. I promise to keep everything in order except when Desperate Housewives is on, and after that time I will give you full reign of the remote control. I vow to take care of you for the rest of our lives. For this is my one true promise to the one man I love, now and forever." More muffled laughter came from the audience. I looked at Jared who was crying openly now. Dad reached into his coat pocket and handed me a small box. When I opened it I heard a slight gasp from Jared. I took his left hand and placed the ring on his finger.
That was such a magical day. I remember every single detail of our wedding from the table clothes to what suit the minister was wearing. This time around I told Jared that we didn't need a huge, fancy wedding. I told him I just wanted it to be a small ceremony with our family. Our family of course included mom and dad, Austin and Monica, Zac and Tommy, Keegan and Travers and Torry, and also Trevor. Jared told me he's also going to invite his mom since she failed to appear at our first marriage.
School starts tomorrow and I cannot wait to get back to work. This winter break has been one of the most stressful and weirdest ones I think I'll ever have. Keegan and I arrived home eventually. The two of us were a little tired from the time we spent downtown. Jared and Travers were cleaning when we walked into the kitchen.
"Hey guys," Jared greeted us. "How was your little adventure?"
"It was great! I feel like I'm a feather!" Keegan said excitedly.
"What?" Jared asked.
"Teri took off maybe an eighth of an inch. I don't get it either, babe." I laughed at Keegan who was now staring death at me. I inspected the kitchen and found it to be incredibly well cleaned. Lately Travers and Jared have been growing back together. Since the divorce Travers has told me many times that he felt like Jared didn't like him at times.
I went upstairs to see what Torry and Keegan were up to. As it turns out they were playing video games. Boys will be boys I guess. I went into my room and plopped on the bed. Sleep overtook me sending my mind into a world of complete fantasy.
* * * *
"He says he wants a small ceremony so I'm going to give him that. I screwed everything and I want to be the one to fix everything back up." I said to Travers while scrubbing the sink.
"Well, technically Taylor screwed everything up." Travers shot back.
"Yeah, but I'm the idiot who kept my mouth shut."
"But you were just trying to protect us."
"Sometimes, Travers, doing the right thing isn't always right."
"Anyways, when are you guys getting remarried?" he asked.
I stopped scrubbing and thought for a second. "Depending on a few things, maybe this weekend at the earliest."
"I hope so," Travers stated. "I've never been to a wedding before."
"This one definitely won't be like our first one though. Our first one was the greatest day of my life. I'll never forget the enormous feeling of sheer ecstasy I felt that entire day." My eyes began to flush with tears. I forced them back by blinking feverishly. "Hey, I have it on tape! Let's watch it!"
I ran into the office and searched for our wedding tape. Travers helped me search, but it proved to be useless. The tape was definitely not in the office. We then searched through the movie shelves in the living room. Voila! I actually would never have thought to look there. Thank God Travers is such a genius. He popped the DVD in the player and we sat back on the couch.
"Oh, go get your brothers. I think they might like to watch as well."
Travers ran upstairs to the get boys. With everyone settled in I resumed the DVD. If only Tyler were awake to watch this with me.
* * * *
The temperature in the room woke me from my sleep. My teeth were grinding into each other. It's fucking freezing in here. Wrapping a blanket around myself I walked downstairs and turned the heater on. There was familiar music coming from the living room. I suddenly realized why it sounded so familiar.
"Tyler!" Jared said, surprised as I walked into the entryway. "We're watching our wedding."
Without speaking I moved over to Jared and sat next to him. Jared sensed I was cold-probably because of my shivering-so he pulled me in closely to him. Heat was already beginning to flow back into my body. But it wasn't just Jared that was creating warmth. It was also my heart. The movie of our wedding I had completely forgotten about. Thank God my dad recorded it.
The actually ceremony I remember almost perfectly. We were at the point in the movie where the minister asked if there were any objections, then we could here Paul's voice booming through. I felt Jared cringe when whoever was holding the camera at the time shifted its view onto Paul. I used my hand that wasn't under Jared to rub his chest softly. I'm sure we looked really cute together on the couch the way we're situated. He was lying against the arm with me lying between him and the backrest of the couch. One of my arms was in a crevice made by the arm of the couch under Jared. And my other was now rubbing his chest.
After the ceremony, the movie changed views completely to the reception. Tears filled my eyes having remembered every single thing about that day. I glanced up at Jared who also had tears in his eyes and tapped on his chest. He looked down at me and smiled.
The time came for Celine Dion to make her appearance. The excitement of the guests was incredible. I didn't know just how excited they really were that day. Although, I was a bit preoccupied with my own excitement of course.
"Whoa! I can't believe she was actually there and sang a song!" Travers said in amazement. Jared and I just chuckled.
Celine was finishing up singing. As she was doing so, I moved myself up on my elbow to kiss Jared. This was one of those moments that I can't wait to have more of. Jared returned my kiss without a hesitation of passion. We stared into each others' eyes. There weren't any words needed for how we were feeling at that moment. The look in our eyes was clue enough.
"I hope everyone had a great break!" I enthusiastically said to my first period. They seemed to be more tired than usual this freezing morning. "Well, aren't we just balls of sunshine today?"
"I wish there was sunshine." Sally said, shivering.
"The heater's on guys so it should warm up in here any second." I assured them.
"M-Mr. Delfino, I heard a r-rumor about you." Becca said.
"Oh?" I began to grow nervous about what that rumor could possibly be about.
"Yeah, and I won't mention any names, but a certain someone said he saw you and Jared and the store together. Are you getting back together?"
I let out a sigh of relief. "Yeah, we are getting remarried. It turns out our divorce wasn't either of our faults, but that's a story I don't even want to get into right now."
"Aww, please? We have nothing else to do today." Sally pleaded.
"Sure we do. We have history to learn about." I chuckled.
"No, we want to hear the story or else we won't do any work today at all."
I decided I would tell them, but leave out names and some of the finer details. So I began with what Jared told me. The entire class was shocked about the blackmailing. They all seemed very happy, though, that Jared and I were getting remarried. I took this to heart, then began the notes I planned for them. The students all groaned in agony.
The notes didn't take long to complete. I only made them one page. I had previously planned to give them a break until they were used to being back at school. Class ended all too soon. My students and I were having great conversation when the bell rang. I reminded them that they still had homework to do. That's pretty much how my day went. I gave all my classes so far a little break and also had great conversations with them as well. It wasn't until lunch that things heated up. I was sitting at my desk when all of a sudden there was a huge thud on the wall behind me. I shot up from my seat and opened my door to see what it was.
"You mother fucker!" a kid shouted as he continuously hit someone half his size. I was shocked by this and could only stare as the attacker went full force. Suddenly, I caught a glimpse of who was being attacked. It was Travers. My shock wore off and anger replaced it.
I grabbed the kid by the shoulders and threw him off Travers. Travers fell to the floor in a bloody mess. The kid immediately came back to try and attack him again. I blocked Travers from him and took the hits myself. According to the Code, when a student attacks me I can defend myself as necessary. And that's exactly what I did. I sprang up and tackled him to the ground. He was putting up a huge struggle, and I was having a very difficult time trying to keep him down. Suddenly, he kicked me hard in the groin causing me to fall down, completely breathless. But as I saw him impale Travers again I knew I couldn't stay down. I struggled to get up and finally did. Staggering over to them I tried to think of what could be done. This was a serious offense now so my options were no longer as limited as before. Without second guessing, I spun the kid around and nailed him right in the jaw. This did not faze him, however; and he was back up in a heartbeat this time coming at me instead of Travers. We wrestled to the ground in a furious heap of tangled limbs. Just then, security came running over and tried to hold the kid down. I helped them out because they definitely needed it. This boy was putting up one hell of a fight. However I went over to Travers to check on him. He was bleeding profusely from his nose and even his mouth. His eyes were swelling up and bruises began to show on his face.
"Mr. Delfino I'm calling an ambulance right now." Officer Charles announced.
"No, I'll take him myself." I cried out. I carefully picked Travers up in my arms and began to speed walk to my Murano. Charles was in front of me clearing the way through the crowd.
"I'll call the hospital and let them know you're coming." he said.
"Thanks, Charles!" He helped me set Travers in my car, then I sped off to the hospital.
* * * *
Today is my first day back at work in damn near two weeks. Zanders gave me extra time off so that I could sort out my life. My boss is truly amazing to me. He's put up with so much of my crap since last September. I'm thinking of inviting him to the wedding because he feels like a father to me on occasion.
I had just finished my clinic hours when I received a call from Tyler. I figured it was somewhat important considering he should be in class right now so I answered it.
"Jared, Travers got in a fight and we're here at the hospital, room 202 I think." Tyler sadly said.
"Oh, my God, what the hell happened?" I asked as I ran for an elevator.
"I'm not entirely sure, but I have a strange feeling we're going to be pressing charges." I heard Tyler sniffle lightly.
"Calm down, Tyler, I'll be there in a minute."
The trip up to the second floor seemed to take forever. Once I was out of the elevator and searching for room 202 I began to wonder the reason for the fight. Travers is definitely not a violent person anymore much less a rude one so it must've been innocent on his part. That could be just wishful thinking though.
I finally made it Travers's room. He looked worse than I imagined. His eyes were as black as night and swollen to the max. Bruises covered his face along with cuts and scrapes. Tyler stepped out of the bathroom just then.
"Thank God you're here." Tyler sighed, wrapping his arms around me.
"What'd the doctor say?"
"Uh, he said that Travers is fine and can leave tomorrow. They just want to keep him over night I guess. The doctor said Travers is lucky there's no internal bleeding or cracked ribs."
I let go of Tyler and walked next to the bed. With caution I pulled back the blanket and lifted Travers's gown. There were bruises of various sizes and color scattered among his abdomen and chest. I set everything back, then turned to Tyler.
"What happened to you?" I asked him, seeing his swollen cheek.
"I tried blocking Travers from getting hit, but the kid then decided to hit me instead. The entire experience was just so awful." Tyler suddenly broke down.
I pulled him into me and held him as he cried onto my shoulder. He's really taking this hard. I guess I can't really blame him though. The image of Travers being beat up was just too hard to imagine. Throughout my entire high school career I never once got in a fight. Tyler hadn't either for that matter. It's not that I couldn't fight, far from it, but I just could not stand violence in that manner. I found it to be one of the most immature things a person could ever do while in school.
The time eventually came for me to get back to work. Zanders was looking for me when I made it to his office.
"Where have you been, Jared?" he asked calmly.
"Um, Travers got in a fight at school. He's in room 202 and pretty banged up." I said softly.
"Oh, Jared, I'm so sorry." Zanders sincerely spoke, staring into my eyes.
"So, uh, what's on our agenda for the rest of the day?" I asked.
"Nothing really," he replied. "There aren't any appointments and you've completed your clinic hours. If you'd like you could always spend your time with Travers."
"Thanks, Doctor Zanders. I'll clock out, then go up there." I smiled broadly.
"Who said anything about clocking out? You are my assistant checking up on a patient. That sounds on the clock to me." Zanders grinned.
I nodded happily. "Thank you so much."
* * * *
Travers began to slowly awaken. When he became fully conscious of where he was he began to panic.
"Travers, it's all right. I'm here." I almost cried out. I rubbed his hair and gently as I could. He looked up at me with tears in his eyes. If you don't know the pain of looking into your child's eyes and see them in pain, then I pray to God you don't ever have to. The divorce didn't hurt as much as compared to this. Even though he's only in here for some bruises and scrapes, it still breaks my heart to even think of why this could have happened to him. Not only is seeing him lying in a hospital bed heartbreaking, but imagine seeing him being assaulted so violently you'd think you were in the middle of a two-man Armageddon.
"M-my stomach h-hurts, daddy." Travers said weakly.
It took so much of my strength that I didn't have to refuse from breaking down when he said those words. "I know, and the doctor will be in soon to give you some medicine." Without letting Travers let on, I stealthily pushed the nurse button on his bed remote. Travers fell asleep while waiting for the nurse to come in. Only a few minutes later a nurse entered the room and figured out on her own that he needed some pain meds.
"I'll take over from here, Ann." Jared suddenly spoke, walking through the door. Ann nodded and walked out of the room respectively.
I stood from my seat, but didn't walk to him. Instead, Jared moved to me. There were no words exchanged, just one of his arms wrapping around my waste. We stood staring down at Travers who was sound asleep.
The time eventually came to pick Keegan and Torry up from school. I decided not to inform them of what happened to Travers just yet so they wouldn't freak out. Trevor also needed to be picked up from school seeing as how Travers is always his ride. He was waiting in his usual spot when I pulled into the school's parking lot.
"Hey, I'm taking you somewhere today." I said to him through the open passenger window. "Hop on in."
"Um, okay," he confusedly said. "Where's Travers at?" I looked in the rear view mirror at Torry and Keegan.
I sighed heavily before beginning. "Now, don't freak out or anything guys, but Travers is in the hospital." Panic showed on all three of their faces. "But, but, he is doing fine and can come home tomorrow. It's as simple as that."
The three boys didn't seem too settled even though I assured them he'd be perfectly all right. Trevor looked pretty upset over Keegan and Torry. Keegan knows just how tough Travers can be so that's probably why he's taking it better than I expected. As for Torry, well, he just doesn't know Travers as well as Keegan.
"What happened?" Trevor asked worriedly.
"He, uh, got into a fight." I said simply. "Do we all want to go see him or go home?"
"See him." all three boys replied.
With a smile on my face, I drove us to the hospital. As we walked into Travers's room he was actually awake and giggling. I knew that was a great sign. But obviously Jared wasn't trying to figure out how everything got started.
"Hey, we came to visit." I said, looking happily at Travers.
"Babe, what the hell?" Trevor asked him.
I decided then it was maybe time to get Torry and Keegan a bite to eat. I grabbed Jared and we all walked down to the cafeteria giving Travers and Trevor some alone time. Hopefully Trevor will be able to dig some info out of him.
* * * *
I was in such pain when I awoke. Jared was there with me and gave me some pain pills, but said this was my last dose for several hours. At this point I just did not care. The pain wasn't intense, well it was, but it was a dull, aching pain if that makes sense. I find it the worst kind of pain because not only is it painful, but it's also very annoying.
Tyler suddenly walked in bringing with him Trevor, Torry, and Keegan. Trevor began a lovely conversation by asking, and I quote, "Babe, what the hell?" Everyone else cleared out after that leaving us to have a little talk.
"So what happened?" Trevor asked, obviously stricken with worry over my current condition. He took my hand in his and gave it a gentle squeeze. Gosh, I love this boy.
"I was jumped. End of story. I didn't talk to him. I don't even think I looked at him. Morgan just attacked me."
Trevor snapped his head up at me. "Morgan? That homophobic son of a bitch?"
"Uh, yeah," I said, not getting what he meant by that. It took a kiss from him for me to realize Morgan probably attacked me because I'm gay, nothing more and nothing less.
I no longer wanted to talk about that bad stuff. I was just concentrating on Trevor who was thankfully happy once more. Tyler and everyone else came back in the room eventually. The time suddenly seemed to fly by and before I knew it, it was time for everyone to leave. Throughout the entire visit, Trevor did not release my hand once. Even through all the talking and laughing. Not once did his hand ever let go of mine. The love I felt for him before was incredible. It seems to just grow more and more every single day. Maybe our love is like a virus. Stay with me on this one. My love for him started out small and eventually grew into something more serious. And then once the high point of the virus is done with, the person infected grows out of it... Um, okay maybe not the best comparison, but I think you get my point. I don't ever want to grow apart from Trevor.
After everyone left, I was all by myself with nothing to do. TV in the hospital isn't so bad, but after a while the program I was watching on a news station must have put me to sleep because the last thing I remember of that entire day were these words: "The economy is doing great compared to what it was in 2008..."
* * * *
"Morgan Thomas has been expelled from this school as well as this district and two surrounding districts." Gary explained to me. "He confessed to beating Travers up along with throwing in some punches at you. With your permission, we can avoid any legal actions taken from either party if you'll be willing to sign this document." Gary pulled a stack of papers from one of his drawers.
"What if I refuse to sign this, and want to sue him?" I asked while skimming through the pages and pages of legal mumbo-jumbo.
"Tyler, please, if you sue him without signing these papers you would bring hell and all its fury upon this school and the district." Gary worriedly spoke. "Please, if you just sign the papers and then sue him if you like, then be my guest."
I finished looking through the papers and thought about my options. On the one hand, I could sue the district for failing to protect both Travers and I, or I could sign these papers and apparently waive them of that mishap. Or I could not sign and sue Morgan... but then I could get into trouble for hitting him even if it was legal at the time, which would in turn damage the school district for having a "violent" teacher. The parents wouldn't care about that though. They would just want to sue me to maybe take a little less damage their selves. Ah, this is all so confusing!
"I'm not signing these right now. I'll take them to my lawyer and have him review them." I stood up and was just about to walk out of Gary's office when I thought about something. "Oh, and Gary, tell the superintendent she'd better be prepared for a legal battle because I am going to smoke her ass."
I got back to my class much to my students' relief. I dismissed the security guard and took over my class. They all wanted to know what was going on with everything. Without revealing too much I told them how Travers was doing and how he can come home as soon as I pick him up. I also told them about my involvement in the fight and how they should not listen to the vicious rumors being spread about how I beat Morgan up.
Throughout the rest of my day, students and even some teachers alike asked me how things were going and what happened. I told them what I wanted to and left it at that. The time eventually came to pick Travers up from the hospital. Actually, I picked Keegan and Torry up first, but then I went to the hospital.
Walking into his room I remembered how much I truly hate this place. Travers was lying in bed watching a news program, but turned his attention to me when I stepped deeper inside and said, "I really do hate this place. I am here way too often."
"Thank God you're here!" Travers exclaimed. "If I have to watch anymore news I think I will literally lose my mind."
I laughed at him. "It's supposed to be boring to kids."
"I swear they change their stories so fast. It's like news people are heartless. I was watching it this morning too and there was this woman talking about how a baby was found in a dumpster, then ten seconds later she talks about the great effects of green tea. She went from sad to happy in seconds. I don't see how that's' possible."
I laughed harder at how he explained it. He was so serious about every single word. Jared came in and said he was free to go. He explained to me that Travers had to take it easy for a few days so he can heal. Obviously that would not be a problem. Travers'll have to be home alone for a few hours a day, but that's easier to be done now that we aren't being stalked.
On the way home I ordered the boys some pizzas for dinner. I told Travers I'd pick Trevor up if he wanted me to. Travers immediately grabbed his cell phone and called Trevor. Within a few minutes we pulled up in front of his house. He was actually waiting outside for us. There was a huge grin on his face when he got in the Murano.
Later in the evening after everyone was stuffed with pizza and ice cream, we all played a board game to kill some time until Jared got home. right as he walked through the front door, Keegan and Torry ran up into his arms. Things at home were finally back to normal. What a great way to start out a new year.
"Dad we made the coolest thing in school today!" Keegan gushed. "It was big, and tall, and it shot out bubbles!"
"No way!" Jared said in awe. I could barely withhold my laughter.
"Jared," I giggled. "We need to talk about something."
"Bud, go on and play upstairs, okay?" Jared instructed Keegan. Both him and Torry bolted upstairs. "So, what's going on?"
I handed him the papers and waited for his response. The look on his face showed that he wasn't too happy with what he was reading. His angry look went from that to rage in a matter of seconds.
"Tyler, this is bullshit!" he screamed. "Please don't tell me you're going to sign these!"
"I don't know. I want to take them to Jerry on Saturday so he can tell me a little bit more about them. We have an appointment with him anyways."
"We do?" Jared asked with a mouthful of pizza.
"Yeah, I made it for the two of us to get remarried. I've already put my apartment up for sale. Austin is going to help me move the small stuff over. The couch and stuff I'll just sell."
The next morning I made sure Travers was good to go until I got home. When I got to school I felt at ease. Only a few more days until my meeting with Jerry and then everything will hopefully be smooth sailing after that.
"Well, I think you should sign it, Tyler. From what I understand of it it'll do you no harm and you can still take legal action against the Thomas's." Jerry said. "Besides, if you don't sign they could take action against you."
"I really hate this district." I groaned. "If I don't sign and they take action against me, couldn't I take action against them for taking action against me for not signing the paper waiving them of the charges?" I cocked my head trying to catch up with myself.
Not surprisingly, Jerry answered right away. "Yes, but do you know how much easier everything would be if you just signed these papers?"
"But I don't want them to be waived. Travers was attacked because of his sexuality. I was attacked period. How can they not be held responsible for that?"
"Well, they have a limited number of security guards. They can't be everywhere at once." Jerry said. "Tyler, sign the papers, but before you do make an agreement with them."
My ears perked up after what he said, as did Jared's attention in the entire matter. "I'm listening."
"Make a meeting with the superintendent. Explain to her that if you sign the papers you want your previous record erased and protection against any legal action for hitting Morgan because I can almost guarantee you that his parents will do something." Jerry said.
"And if she refuses or threatens me of blackmail?"
"Then that's when you call me. That's what I'm here for."
I grinned evilly. "Okay, moving on. When can Jared and I get remarried?"
"Whenever you want. I've handled some things already so alls you have to do is say a couple I do's, cut the cake, boom we're on the lake."
Jared laughed. "Well, that's great then."
"Yeah," I laughed along with him.
Jared and I thanked Jerry for his time. In our hour long meeting the two of us learned everything we needed to. Jared took me to my apartment to gather what could fit in his Suburban, which was virtually everything but the furniture items. Austin had to cancel with Monica's truck because to was getting new tires today. I had completely forgotten about Jared's Suburban, though, so everything is working out anyways.
Travers is doing a whole lot better. He's happy because he got to miss a few days worth of school, but I told him that when he goes back on Monday that everything won't be cake from then on.
***One Month Later***
I ran up the aisle completely out of breath. Everyone had their eyes on me as I took my spot up by Jared who was standing in front of the minister.
"You're late," Jared muttered, but with a small grin.
"Sorry, I got caught up in traffic." I replied back.
"So, here we are again, huh boys?" the minister inquired. Jared and I booked the same minister as our first wedding. "Tonight we are here to once more celebrate the joining of these two men. I can still remember their first wedding and how magical it was. The love between them is as obvious tonight as it was seven years ago." And the minister went on, but I was too wrapped up in how hot Jared looked. I can't wait to restart our life together. We have so much catching up to do, and even things that haven't been done yet like our tenth year anniversary. I really can't wait to celebrate that.
"I do," Jared said, waking me from my dreaming.
"And Tyler, do you take Jared Young to be your husband?" the minister asked me.
There was no need to think about that answer. "I do,"
"Great, I now pronounce you man and man. Tyler Jared, you may now kiss to make it official." The minister had a smile on his face, but so did I and Jared did too. The two of us were careful not to get too passionate, but it was very hard.
Jared and I turned around to face our family. Austin and Monica were in the third row of the church. Monica was really beginning to show signs of her pregnancy. She had a few tears rolling down her cheeks and to my surprise so did big, bad Austin. Mom and dad were in the same row, but on the opposite side. They seemed as happy as I can remember. I know that someday Jared and I will be sitting in a church watching our boys get married. Zac and Tommy were in the row in front of them. Tears were streaming down Zac's face and Tommy looked about ready to cry, but he was keeping it together real well. Debbie was in that same row. Since she missed our first wedding she promised she'd make it to our second. She looks extremely happy for the two of us. In the second row on the side with Austin and Monica sat Doctor Zanders and his wife. The two of them were looking at us with love in their eyes. And in the first row of the same side sat our children: Torry, Keegan, Travers, and Trevor. In the time we've come to know Trevor he's become a fourth son to us. I couldn't imagine a time without him right now. All four boys had the same expression on: pure joy. Before everyone left for the church from our house, Keegan came up to me and told me just how happy he was that we're all together again. It was really a heart-warming moment. Travers and Trevor had their hands entwined with one another's. I can easily see them in mine and Jared's spot years from now.
Jared and I signed our wedding certificate making it truly official we are once more married. Everyone went back to our house for a little celebration. There was food and champagne for all, but sparkling cider for Torry and Keegan. I gave the option for Travers and Trevor.
"Aren't you not supposed to be drinking liquor while pregnant?" I asked Monica, who as sipping on a bit of champagne.
"For your information, this is my first drink since the New Year's party and even then it was only a few sips. Jared said it was okay as long as it doesn't happen often." Monica said innocently. "So, Tyler, you never told me how your battle with the district went."
"Not too much to tell actually. The superintendent wanted me to sign the papers, but I told her what I wanted. I wanted my record to be wiped clean and legal protection from any action that Morgan's parents might issue me. It took a while for her to agree, but then I reminded her that if she didn't agree I wouldn't sign the papers and would sue them. For some reason it's all about money to her. She folded almost immediately after hearing the word sue."
"Wow, so what happened with Morgan?"
"He's gone from this district and two surrounding. His parents did want to take legal action against me for hitting him, but they also folded when they found out Travers and I are gay. They apologized for everything though."
Monica finished off her glass of champagne. "Well, this is good though. You're all done with the crap in your life and have so much to look forward to."
"Yeah, and I can't wait to move on from all this."
I looked around the room and saw all the love that was filled within it. Jared and I are finally married once more. You know, it almost sounds weird to say that. I'm reminded of our divorce and the hell we put each other through. None of that matters anymore though. Tonight was another night to be remembered forever.
***Two Months Later-April***
"Go Travers! Go!" I shouted excitedly. Travers had just moved up into first from second. "Yes!"
Only one more lap was left and Travers was leading by at least two seconds. He tried out for the swim team in March and the coach was so impressed by his ability Travers was immediately placed into varsity. You can bet your ass we celebrated that night.
Since Jared's and my wedding, everything has been extremely easy. There haven't been any fights no matter how small. The boys were doing great in school and home life couldn't be any better. I sold my apartment and most of the furniture I didn't need so Jared and I were able to purchase Travers a Hybrid Fusion. It cost us nearly an arm and a leg and Travers was angry we bought it for him so we all compromised on something. Travers got himself a job and is now paying his own insurance and gas and anything else the car requires. Jared and I pay the payment.
Keegan's birthday is in a few days. Jared and I have planned a big party for him and all his friends. It's so much easier to do a party for younger kids. I can be creative and childish with this party, but it wasn't that way with Travers's. I had to be grown-up and serious otherwise he warned of embarrassment.
"Yes!" Jared and I yelled together. Travers just won the race. Torry and Keegan were jumping up and down in each others' arms, screaming.
Travers hoisted himself out of the pool and ran up into Trevor's arms. Trevor became the swim teams' manager. Go figure. Trevor swung Travers around and kissed him. His teammates came up and congratulated him on his victory. His coach walked up holding a golden trophy. Travers accepted the trophy, and raised it up above his head with a victorious look upon his face. The four of us stepped off the bleachers to also congratulate him.
"You were amazing, Travers." I happily said.
He smiled at me. "Thanks, dad." He wrapped me in his arms and gave me a huge hug. I smiled, feeling so warm inside. Being a dad rocks.
"Great job, kiddo." Jared said. Travers hugged him as well, then he hugged the boys.
"Eww, Travers, you got me all wet!" Keegan complained. This only caused everyone to laugh.
Tonight we are once again going to be celebrating. My life's story is far from over, but this chapter in my life is done. Jared and I are happily remarried. Travers and Trevor are doing wonderful. Torry and Keegan are... Well, what can I say? Debbie is back went back with her girlfriends the night after our wedding, but promised she'd be back. Monica's due date is growing nearer and she wanted Jared and Zanders to deliver. My life has never been better and will only continue to grow. I can't wait to celebrate something else again sometime soon.
The stories are as old as time itself. The prodigal son who returns home to the father who forgives him. The jealous wife who tricks the husband who trusts her. The desperate mother who risks everything for the child who needs her. And the faithless husband who hurts the wife who loves him so deeply. Why do we listen again and again? Because these are the stories of family. And once we look past the fighting, pain, and the resentment we occasionally like to remind ourselves there is absolutely nothing more important.*
* * * * * * * * * * * *
*© by Marc Cherry, 2006
Readers, there you have it. The ending to the Promise series. The road has been long and bumpy, which makes it so hard to finish the series off. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes as I remember all the fun I've had writing all three stories. I don't think I'll ever write anything quite similar to the three. I've gotten so many e-mails from readers saying how much they love the Promise series and how they can't wait for the next new chapter. I appreciate all my readers so much! You guys are the ones who encouraged me to write a sequel and a threequel. If it weren't for you all who knows what I might've written next or where I would've taken this story.
You know who my favorite character to write is? Travers. The image I have of him is extremely hot so it really helps me out. I have visual aids for all of my characters. But Travers was the one that really stood out to me. He's so young and innocent it just made everything available to me: rape, drugs, sex, alcohol, but also the more tender moments he shared with Trevor. Travers was just my favorite character to write so far out of all five of my stories.
Please write me with your comments on this story, this chapter. I'm so serious about sitting here crying about ending it. I could really use the kind words of you all. My e-mail address is at the top, and here's my group link: Shades of Wisteria.
I think I've grown a lot in my writing. The readers who have been there with me from the very beginning can surely agree with me on that. It's a very heart-warming feeling to know that the stories I write inspire some and encourage others. I get messages from gay people as well as straight people saying how much they love my work. It really does feel so incredible to receive that kind of appreciation.
In a couple of weeks, I will be posting the first chapter of Along the Way. I sincerely hope you'll be reading it! I have many good ideas for this story. And if you didn't vote for this story, don't worry. Your vote still counts! Once I near completion of this story there will be the same poll, but with more stories in it! Eventually all those stories will be written, but for now just one at a time.
Once again, thank you to all of you even the ones who haven't written me but once or not at all. Thank you!