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This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entire a coincidence. As the author, I retain all rights to this story, and it cannot be reproduced or published without explicit consent from me. This work is copyright © 2016 by Steven Wells.
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John's Journey Forward
We concluded dinner with Mom and Dad before they delivered their gift to Anthony and Timothy.
"We have divested ourselves of some rental property we've had since we were married," my father began. "We were going to give it to you upon our deaths, but it seems to be a lot of work. We didn't want to saddle you with the burden. So, we are giving each of our son's and their husbands—or future husband on one case—part of the proceeds of the sale. Anthony and Timothy, yours is larger than John and Noels because we already gifted some of the value of the house to John and Noel."
My father handed an envelope to Anthony. "Holy sh... Molly," Anthony exclaimed. "Four hundred thousand dollars. What in the name of... whatever did you sell?"
"A developer bought all four buildings, which are next to each other," my father explained. "They offered nine hundred thousand and settled on one million."
My father handed me another envelop. This envelop held a check for $100 thousand. "You don't need to do this, Mom and Dad. You already made it possible to buy and renovate the house. You've given us too much already."
"Of course, we don't need to do this," my Mother replied. "We wanted to give this to you both. We thought you could use this now, not when we are dead."
"If you don't need the money, John, Noel," my Father continued. "Put it in a college fund for Eagan."
"Explain to me, please, how you happened to own four apartment buildings in a row," I added.
"You remember me telling you your great-grandmother inherited well at various points in her life," my Mother explained. "She taught your grandmother the same skills. I am not giving you all the details. I suspect it is best you don't know everything!"
"Did you learn any of your mother and grandmother's inheriting skills?" I asked.
"I'm not telling," my Mother said with a coy smile.
Chapter 22: Angels Calling
Noel, Anthony, Timothy, and I gathered at my parents' condo. Months had passed since Mom and Dad gave Anthony and Timothy their `gift.' My parents had, only two weeks ago, seen the house Anthony and Timothy bought.
"I can't believe this is happening," I whispered to Noel. Tears streamed down my face. Noel held me tight. We were sitting in the kitchen while my mother's labored breathing became less and less audible.
"I know," Noel replied. "I can't either. Your Mom has been a gift. Not only to you and Anthony and your father, but also to my family. She single-handedly brought my mother to the realization she needed to ditch the religious persecution scenario."
"She is awesome," I whispered. "She will be with us for the rest of our lives. It will be tough, but we will get through it. She told me a couple of days ago, not to worry about her. Just take care of Eagan and Noel. She will watch from the sidelines and help us when we need it."
Reverend Golden stepped into the kitchen. "John, Noel. I think it is time."
I grabbed Noel's hand and we hurried into the living room where my mother's hospital bed sat.
"You go first, John," Anthony said with tears streaming down his face. "You're older than me."
I leaned down and kissed my mother on her cheek. "Good bye, Mom. You know we are going to miss you like crazy. Noel and I want you to know we will think of you every day. You have been our rock, Mom. You will always be our rock. Eagan will count on you for help with life, too."
Noel put his hand on my mother's. "Thank you for all of your support. You made loving John so, so easy. You've also been a blessing to my family. My mother often said you were a gift. I agree. Thank you most of all for making John the man he is."
"We love you, Mom," I said in a whisper.
Anthony and Timothy said good bye with tears streaming down their faces.
My father was last. He was more stoic—probably because he had already said his good-byes months ago.
I melted into Noel's arms as we watched my mother take her last breath.
"I feel it," I whispered to those in the room. "She left with the angels."
"I did, too," Anthony added. "I felt it, too."
We waited with my father until things were taken care of. Undertaker. Hospice took the hospital bed. My father's sister arrived to stay with my father.
"Let us know if you need something, Dad," I said as I hugged him good bye.
"I will, John," my father said solemnly. "Take care of your husband and Eagan. I will be just fine."
We left my parents' condo. Noel drove. I could barely see because of the tears rolling down my cheek.
When we arrived at home, Eagan almost tackled us.
"Daddy," Eagan said softly. "Gramma left us, didn't she?"
"Yes," I said as I knelt to hug Eagan.
"Gramma wants you to be happy, Daddy," Eagan added.
"When did she tell you?" I asked.
"When she left," Eagan replied. "She told me not to be sad. She will watch over me. I told her I loved her."
"She knows you love her," I added. "She knows we all love her. She will be with us in ways we don't know now."
As the family sat in the front row, I noticed Noel's mother sitting with the choir.
"Why is your mother with the choir?" I said as I nodded in their direction.
"Just wait like everyone else," Noel said with a smile.
"Good morning!" Reverend Golden said to the attendees. "We are here today to honor a wonderful woman. Dorthea Sanchez lives in the heart of many of us who join her family to celebrate her life. Mrs. Sanchez was, as her son John put it, his rock."
"I also want to note Ms. Sanchez' sons and their husbands chose the music today which in many ways describes the inner strength of their beloved mother, mother-in-law, wife, and grandmother," Reverend Gold said before he took his seat.
The choir stood. Noel's mother in the center of the stage.
"This is a labor of love. I have known Mrs. Sanchez for less than a year," Noel's mother began. "I am grateful for her inner strength as John and Anthony described their mother."
The music started for the introduction of "Lead With Your Heart." Piano and organ introduced the song.
I wiped the tears from my eyes and whispered to Noel, "You never told me she could sing!"
"I can't remember everything," Noel replied. "This is just life in my family!"
The service continued. The song before my eulogy was "Lean on Me" led by Mrs. Ramirez
I stood and made my way to the podium.
"I want to thank Mrs. Ramirez and the choir for the beautiful music," I said in the beginning.
"My mother was my rock. She always understood when I hurt, and she hurt, too. She always understood when I was happy, and she was happy, too. She taught me several things. The first I remember is to always follow your heart. It knows what direction you need to go. She also taught me to help those who cannot help themselves..."
"I wanted to touch once again on the lyrics to `Lead with Your Heart' originally sung by the Tenors.
"... It takes the beautiful I've
And somehow makes you feel
You're home again
Finally home again
And there's no longer any doubt
What the mystery's about for you
Or what you should do..."
Lead with your heart
It's the one thing you can trust
To always come from love
And it will shine
Right through the dark
Like a northern star
To show you what is true
You'll never lose
If only you, lead with your heart."
"We will all miss our rock. But, she will be with us always. Looking out for me. Looking out for my brother, Anthony, and my father. Looking out for my son, Eagan, and my husband, Noel. Looking out for Anthony's husband, Timothy. Looking out for all of us who had the privilege of knowing her."
"This was what my mother did for us... all of us... people she didn't even know... we followed her direction. We will always lead with our hearts, Mom. We owe everything we are to you... Good bye, Mom. We love you!"
I sat beside Noel. He took my hand before I started crying.
"Beautiful, John," Noel whispered as he wiped a tear from his cheek.
We made our way to the cemetery and back on autopilot. We had invited everyone to our house for a reception.
"Will you be okay, John?" Noel asked as we sat in the living room. The caterers had cleared the place and tidied up.
"I have to be okay, Noel," I replied. "My mother taught us to move on with our lives when emotion or turmoil sidetracked us. We can't let her passing distract us from leading our lives with the vim and vigor she had."
"You are an amazing man, John," Noel said. "I was so proud of your eulogy for your mother. How did you get through it without crying?"
"I kept telling myself, `Get through this for mom,'" I replied. "I almost didn't make it a few times."
"But, you did," Noel continued. "I need to give you something."
Noel reached over and pulled out two envelopes. One had my name on it. The other had Eagan's name on it. I recognized my mother's handwriting.
"Your father gave these to me before he left," Noel began to explain. "Your mother wrote these about one month ago. He has no idea what she wrote in the letters. But, he wanted you, Eagan, and me to hear her words when we were alone as a family."
Eagan frolicked on the floor in front of the coffee table with the dogs.
"Eagan," I said. "Hop up here with us. We have something we want to read. You need to hear this, too."
"Are they from Gramma?" Eagan asked.
"Yes, how did you know?" I asked.
"They smell like Gramma," Eagan added.
"Can you read these, Noel?" I asked.
"No," Noel replied. "I think you need to read them."
I opened the first envelope addressed to Eagan.
By the time you hear these words, I will be in another place. I will always be with you in spirit and in your heart.
You have been a blessing to me and your grandfather. You remind me so much of your father and your uncle when they were your age.
You and I have had so much fun together, Eagan. I have been happier in these last few months since you came into your Daddies' lives than I have for some time. I will always have a special place in my heart for you, Eagan. You have the energy of a three-year-old boy which makes all of us more energetic.
Your unabashed love for everyone you come in contact with gives brightness to the world. Your sparkling smile lights a room when you enter. Your happy disposition makes others smile.
I know you will grow to be a man—a special man, I am certain. But, Eagan, please don't lose your energy, your love, your smile, your sunny disposition.
Even though I won't be physically with you, I will be with you in spirit. I will always look out for you. I will always love you. Live life to the fullest Eagan.
"Did you understand what Gramma Sanchez was telling you, Eagan?" I asked.
"Yes," Eagan began. "She will always love me even though she won't be around me. She will be with me in spirit just like I am with her in spirit."
"Do you know what spirit means, Eagan?" I asked.
"Her love for me and you and you and Grampa and Uncle Anthony and Uncle Timothy," Eagan replied.
"I think you understand the meaning of spirit rather well, Eagan," Noel replied. "We will save this letter so you can open it and read it whenever you want to be with your Gramma."
"Okay," Eagan replied.
"Do you want to read the one to you or do you want to wait?" Noel asked me.
"Now," I replied. "Otherwise, I may never be able to read it.
I opened the envelope addressed to me. With the note to me, my mother included an envelope with Noel's name on it.
"You weren't forgotten either," I said to Noel. "Maybe you should go first."
"Okay," Noel agreed as he opened the letter to him.
You have brought so much happiness to this family. You have contributed so much in such a small time. I love you like another son.
You have made John the happiest I have seen him. The moment he met you, I knew he had found someone special even though he didn't tell me about you in the beginning.
The two of you, Noel, are like a dance when you are together. Always close by each other. The looks you give each other radiate the love the two of you have for one another.
The one very special favor I am asking of you Noel, is to keep loving John like you do now. You are meant to be together. Take every disappointment one step at a time. The next step may be one of pride in your accomplishments. Don't let either of you be sad. Remember, sadness moves into happiness at the drop of a pin on the floor.
I will be with you and John as you chart a new future with each other and with Eagan. If you ever need to talk about something John has done or said or wants to do, please come to me. We can work it out together.
Be happy, dearest Noel. And, please take care of my boy.
"Your mother should have written romance novels," Noel said through tears. "She could have made a fortune. You're up, John."
You were a very special baby. You were a very special boy. Now, you are a very special man with a very special husband and a very special son.
You were my first born—even though Anthony was about 30 seconds later coming into this world. You have made me so proud to have a son like you, John. You are loving. You are caring. You are compassionate. You are a rock for those around you.
Sometimes you remind me of me when I was your age. I was idealistic. I was compassionate about causes. I was comfortable in my own skin. I was grateful for those around me.
I tried to be loving and kind; although, sometimes I didn't succeed. I tried to be brave; although, sometimes I was weak.
I was always proud of who I was. Just like you, John. Always be proud of who you are and what you accomplish.
I see the love you have for Noel and the love he has for you. I see the love you have for Eagan and the love he has for you. I see the love you have for family and the love they have for you. I see the love you have for friends and the love they have for you.
You, Noel, and Eagan—and whoever else you assimilate into your life—make a beautiful family. Please know I will always be proud of the man you are, John, the man you chose to love, and the sons or daughters you might have.
Please know I am, by the time you read this letter, in a place without hate, without suffering, without bigotry, without human indignities. Be the best man you can be, John.
"I said before, John, your mother was a gift," Noel quietly said. "She has given you something no one else could give you. Your mother's love."
"I was a lucky dude," I replied. "I still am. I have you and Eagan in my life. Nothing could be better. Now, are you ready to go to bed Eagan?"
"No," Eagan replied with droopy eyes. "I want to be with you and Daddy."
"Why don't we get you ready for bed and then you can sit with us?" I suggested.
"No," Eagan replied. "If I get ready for bed, I will fall asleep."
"You can sleep between us on the sofa until we bring you upstairs for bed," I continued. "Besides, Tiger looks tired too."
"Okay," Eagan sleepily said. "I'll go to bed so Tiger won't be tired."
"Great decision, Eagan," Noel added.
Once we had Eagan ready for bed and tucked in, he said something I will remember forever, "Daddy. Gramma just said good night to you. Don't you want to say good night to her?"
"Good night, mom," I said as I looked up to the ceiling. "Love you."
I could swear I heard her say, "I love you, too, John."
On Monday after my mother's funeral last Friday, I went to work early. I met Chris in the elevator as we rode to our floor.
"How are you holding up, John?" Chris asked.
"I think I am doing okay," I said as we stepped off the elevator. "Noel and I need to be strong for Eagan. You know, it's strange. When I was growing up, my mother often said, `You'll understand when you have your own family.' And guess what? I do understand a lot since Eagan came into our lives."
"Yea," Chris replied. "I heard the same thing from my parents. I'm not there yet... a family, I mean. I also thought your eulogy for your mother was one of the best tributes I have heard."
"Thank you, Chris," I replied. "I barely made it through to the end. I almost lost it about four times."
"You did a remarkable job," Chris added. "And, you and Noel have made Gavin and me jealous. Not only do you have a terrific son, but you also have the best house for entertaining. You two threw the perfect reception for a wonderful woman."
"Thank you," I replied. "Noel and I talked about how the house adapts to whatever happens. It can be warm and cozy for the three of us, or a study in movement when we have a crowd. We were lucky we had such a terrific contractor and an architect with outstanding vision. How's the adoption coming?"
"We are meeting a four-year-old boy this week," Chris replied. "We are both nervous. It should be the other way around, but we want this to work."
"You and Gavin will be terrific parents," I replied. "If it does happen with this boy, you will be eternally grateful. Now, I need to find out what the week holds. I have a little catching up to do."
As I looked through the e-mails about customer requirements, George stood in my open office door. He had on a big grin and two coffees in his hand.
"How are you doing, John?" George asked as he set the coffees on my desk and sat down.
"We are doing okay so far," I replied. "We will get through this. My mother will make sure we do. What's new with you?"
"As you know, Chris has badgered me off and on these past several months about me working in tandem with you," George explained. "I am on the edge, but I am still concerned about making the move. I love what I do now. What if I hate it?"
"Tell Chris you want assurances you can have your old job back if you hate it," I added. "But, frankly, I have found the work to be just as fulfilling as working on the projects. You meet the people behind the projects, and you are one of the architects planning a client solution."
"So, you think I should accept Chris's offer?" George asked.
"I can't tell you what you should do, George," I replied. "It needs to be your choice. But, for me, this job is perfect."
"Thank you for the sales pitch, John," Chris said from my open doorway. He joined us and sat beside George in front of my desk. "Give me some good news, George. Are you taking the job?"
George took a deep breath, "Yes. I am accepting the position."
"Thank you, George," Chris replied. "You and John will work well with each other. You are about to become brothers-in-law which keeps the work in the family. Stop by my office later today, George. We can talk about the transition and sign some contracts."
Chris and George stood up and shook hands.
"Tell me when you are free, and I will see you then," George replied. "Suddenly this seems like the perfect choice."
Chris and George left my office. I decided to give Noel a call.
"Hey, John!" Noel said as he answered the call. "What' up?"
"George accepted Chris's offer," I explained. "Do not tell your brother!"
"Lips are sealed," Noel replied. "He had some misgivings before. What happened to change his mind?"
"I told him I loved doing this work," I replied. "Then, Chris stepped into my office. One thing led to another, and he accepted."
"See, I told you you'd be working with George again," Noel replied. "After George tells Jorge, perhaps we should invite them over to celebrate."
"Sounds like a plan," I replied. "I need to run, Noel. I have a phone appointment in about five minutes. I just wanted to let you know about George. I think Jorge will be stoked."
"I'm sure," Noel replied. "He will like the extra money he can spend. I see a house in their future."
"Probably," I replied. "Ah... Noel... I know this sounds sneaky, but maybe you could give Jorge and George an application for adopting a kid."
"Too early, John," Noel said. "Give them time to celebrate their honeymoon. Then, we will put the pressure on them."
"You win," I replied. "Love you, babe."
"Love you, too!" Noel said as we ended the call.
I spent the next hour on the phone with a client. When I finished the phone call, I decided I needed coffee. Sandy also decided he needed a caffeine fix.
"How are you doing, John?" Sandy asked as he put the top on his coffee cup.
"Fine, thanks," I replied. "We are moving forward as my mother would have wanted us to do."
"Good," Sandy added. "I have a grievance to file about you, John."
"Why?" I asked. "What have I done?"
"My husband, Simon, spent time with Eagan at the reception," Sandy replied. "He spent the entire weekend badgering me about adopting. He will not give up. I hold you personally responsible for having a cute, bundle of energy as a son."
"Say yes, Sandy," I replied. "It will be the best thing you've ever done. Trust me, Eagan, as my mother said, is a gift."
"I thought you might suggest I give in to Simon," Sandy replied. "It's what I want, but I don't want him to have the satisfaction he was right."
"Give it up, Sandy," I replied. "You won't win. Simon, I think, is a lot like Noel. We have three puppies instead of one because he wanted them. Noel started the process with Eagan. It took less than one second to agree to adopt Eagan when I walked through the door and saw this energetic little kid who needed parents. Eagan has been the best thing Noel and I have done together. The house is nice, but not as wonderful as having Eagan in our lives."
"The adoption organization you and Noel went through, what is the name of it?" Sandy asked.
"Kids in Need," I answered. "Noel performed some pro bono work for the group. He was hooked. He met Eagan first. But, I need to warn you. Kids in Need pulled our heartstrings. The group provides homes to HIV positive kids who need parents. Noel and I are HIV positive. We felt compelled to help these kids."
"Eagan is HIV positive?" Sandy whispered. "Did you ever want to shake his parents and ask what the fuck they were doing?"
"Yea," I replied. "Eagan's mother died in an alley with a needle in her arm. We didn't get a chance to shake her."
"There are enough HIV positive kids to have an agency devoted to helping these kids?" Sandy asked.
"Sadly, yes," I replied. "But this isn't for everyone. These kids will be on meds for the rest of their lives. Some will have problems with rejection of the meds over time because they started at such a young age. Do what you can, Sandy, but understand what you are getting into. Having a kid with HIV is not for the faint of heart."
"I will talk with Simon," Sandy replied. "He will probably say go for it. Wish us luck, John. Thanks for your honesty. Your openness means a lot to me. Not everyone could have said what you did."
"Sandy, Noel and I decided in the very beginning we wouldn't hide just because we were HIV positive," I explained. "We are not ashamed of having HIV. We feel it is our duty to be as open as possible to make the stigma go away. In a way, we are hoping to make it easier for Eagan and kids in his situation to live productive and full lives without fear of being discovered and ostracized."
"You know, John, I believe I understand why you used "Lead with Your Heart" as part of your eulogy for you mother," Sandy said quietly. "You'll never lose if only you lead with your heart."
"Thanks, Sandy," I replied as he turned and left the room.
On Friday following my mother's funeral, Chris stepped into my office with a big smile plaster all over his face.
"Guess what?" Chris asked.
"You're adopting a kid," I said with a smile.
"How did you know?" I asked.
"I had the same smile on my face, Chris, before we took Eagan home," I replied. "Tell me about him."
Chris opened his phone and handed it to me. "His name is Carlos. His mother was of Hispanic descent. His father is Asian. His father abandoned Carlos and his mother when he was six-months old. His mother died from an overdose in the living room of their apartment about a year ago. No one would take him because he is HIV positive and needs counseling to reduce the PTSD effects of seeing his mother die. Gavin and I would have taken him home last night if we could, but we need to sign some paperwork. John, I have never felt like I do right now. It's like a whole new life is beginning for Gavin and me."
"It is," I replied. "I guarantee you will love every second of it. I know we, as parents, will run into some snags during our kids' childhood, but we will get through the snags."
"Gavin and I were talking last night after we returned from the agency," Chris explained. "It is amazing how the three of us, you, Noel, and me, connected over our shared experience of dealing with HIV. What would have happened if we hadn't contracted the disease?"
"I don't know," I replied. "I wouldn't have met Noel. I wouldn't have met you. Noel wouldn't have met Gavin. I believe my mother is right, there is someone watching over us. In the beginning, I'm not certain who it was. Now, I know my mother is looking out for us all."
"This is the third wedding in this house," I said to Noel. "Ours. Anthony and Timothy's. Now, Jorge and George's. I think we are on a roll. Do you know anyone else who is planning on getting married?"
"No," Noel replied. "We may have a dry spell as far as weddings are concerned."
"George was in a knot last night worrying about the wedding today," I added.
"Why?" Noel asked.
"I still don't think he believes his parents are okay with him marrying another guy," I replied. "I'm hoping he is wrong. I'd hate to see all of the furniture in a pile in the living room."
"Daddy," Eagan said to Noel and me. "Tiger is scared."
"Why is Tiger scared?" I asked.
"He's afraid he might drop the rings," Eagan replied.
"Eagan," I kneeled to his level. "Please tell Tiger the rings are in a box. The box is closed. The box is attached to his collar. He won't drop the rings. Your Uncle Jorge and Uncle George will take the rings out of the box. Do you think Tiger understands now?"
Eagan turned to Tiger. They looked at one another. Eagan turned back to me. "Tiger understands, Daddy."
"Good," I replied as I stood. "Now, your Daddy and I are going to greet the guests. Would you like to go with us?"
"Yes, Daddy," Eagan replied. "Can we take Tiger?"
"Sure," I replied. "Let's take Tiger, too."
I looked at Noel. He was trying hard not to laugh.
We went into the living room where guests were assembling. We first encounter Chris, Gavin, Sandy, and Simon.
"Welcome." I said.
"Why does the dog have a bow tie on?" Simon asked.
"Tiger is assisting Eagan as a ring bearer," I explained. "We had to calm him down a few moments ago. Tiger was worried he would drop the rings."
Simon raised as eyebrow as he looked at Tiger. "Really?" he asked.
"Just ask Eagan," I replied.
"He was scared," Eagan replied. "He's not scared now."
"Welcome to our loony bin, Simon," Noel said with smile. "This is just every day at the Ramirez-Sanchez household."
We continued to circulate among the crowd. We stopped and chatted with Jorge and George's guests. We finally spotted George's parents.
"Mr. and Mrs. Hassan," I said. "It is so good to see you on this special occasion."
"Thank you," Mrs. Hassan replied. "You have such a beautiful home. I understand your parents gave you this house."
"Not really," I replied. "We bought this house from my parents when they moved into a condo. We spent three months renovating it. We are happy with the results."
"George has talked often about you," Mrs. Hassan added. "And your son, Eagan, is it?"
"Yes," I replied. "Eagan. How would you like to meet Uncle George's parents?"
"Hi," Eagan said as I lifted him to their level. "Uncle George is fun. He plays with me and the doggies."
"Oh! Good," Mrs. Hassan replied.
I saw Jorge waiving at us from upstairs.
"Please excuse us," I said. "I believe we are being summoned. Please enjoy."
"Thank you," Mr. and Mrs. Hassan said in unison.
When we arrived upstairs, Jorge looked nervous.
"Do you have a problem, bro?" Noel asked.
"No, why?" Jorge asked.
"You look nervous," Noel added.
"What? Me nervous? Whatever makes you think I'm nervous?" Jorge blurted out.
"You are standing here with only your t-shirt on, and your wedding is about to start in like, five minutes," Noel said. "Let's get you dressed. John, you should probably look in on George."
"I'm on it," I replied as I walked into the room where George changed into his tux. He was gazing out the window. "Are you ready, George? The tux looks terrific on you."
"Thanks," George said as he turned around. He had a few tears staining his cheek.
"Something wrong, George?" I asked.
"No," George said as he smiled broadly. "Just the opposite. A few years ago, I never thought I would have a chance to marry the man I love with my parents attending the wedding. This is an amazing day, John. How could I be so lucky?"
"I would say you were at the right place at the right time," I replied. "But, I would be lying. You and Jorge were meant for each other. You and he complement one another. It was not luck."
"I have never felt like this before today," George replied. "I knew I loved him and he loved me. I didn't realize until this very minute I would be just a rock skipping across the water on a remote lake if it weren't for Jorge. He is my life."
"Good feeling, isn't it, George?" I asked.
"Extremely good feeling," George replied. He was still smiling.
"Noel, Eagan, and I talked briefly with your parents," I added. "Nice people."
"For some reason, I think they have mellowed over the years," George replied. "So, I am hopeful they will mellow even more with age."
"Just like fine wine," I said.
"They still don't drink," George replied. "I make up for them, though!"
Chris popped into the room. "The show is ready to begin, George. Lights. Camera. Action."
Noel, Manuel, and Jorge assembled downstairs with George, Chris, and me.
The music started. The four groomsmen took our places in front of the audience. Eagan started his journey up the isle with Tiger on a leash. He smiled and waved at people on the way to the front.
Jorge and George held hands and began their proud journey to the front of the room.
The minister began, "We are honored today to witness the marriage of two men who are in love."
The minister continued until it was time for Jorge to recite his vows.
"George," Jorge began. "I am honored to stand here and promise you I will be with you throughout our lives. When I first met you, I thought you were incredibly good looking. And, you are. I didn't know at our first meeting I would love you like I do now. You are the light of my life, George. My heart flutters every second I am with you. I am proud to pledge my love, my life, my everything to you, George. I am so excited about the possibilities of our lives together. Kids, dogs, and a happy home. I love you, George, and I always will."
It was George's turn. He wiped a tear from his cheek and began.
"Jorge," George continued. "I, too, am honored to be standing here to commit to living our lives together as partners in life. Unlike you, Jorge, I knew you were the one during our first conversation. And, I do not have buyer's remorse. Every day together makes me happier and happier. You are my soulmate. You are the man I want to help raise kids with, to help make a home with, and to help adopt dogs with. I will love you and cherish you until the day I die. I didn't realize until I had a conversation with John before the ceremony. I would be just a rock skipping across the water on a remote lake if it weren't for you, Jorge. You are my life. I love you, too, Jorge, and I always will."
"I now pronounce you partners in life," the minister replied. "You may seal the deal with a kiss."
George hugged Jorge tightly as they kissed for the first time as a married couple.
To be continued...
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This is my 22nd posting of my third story on Nifty.org. Please also see:
Sam and Chris in the College section.
Jeffery Comes Home also in the Beginnings section.
Life With Tim in the Authoritarian section (Please note, this story is not for everyone because there are several scenes depicting Master/slave and BDSM relationships. So, if you are not interested in this activity, please, please do not read this story.)
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