Monday, November 5, 2012
Jared - After Story
Jared Part 4 revealed that it was actually a prequel to a short story called Cameron This next bit comes after that :-)
“Oh God!” Justin called out as Cameron rocked his world. They collapsed into the bed, panting in satisfaction. “I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but I can totally understand why you made a lot of money doing this! It's almost a shame to deny your skills to others...”
Cameron laughed. “Are you saying that I should take on clients again?”
“No!” Justin protested, snuggling up to his lover. “I'm just saying that I am so frickin' lucky to have someone as good in bed as you are!”
“You're pretty good yourself,” Cameron informed him, a kiss reinforcing his point.
They held each other close as they drifted off to sleep. Justin was on Cloud Nine now that he was 18, in college, and living with his boyfriend. The world was officially perfect.
“Hey Mark, guess what, I've decided that I do like college!” Cameron announced over the phone.
“That's great!” Mark cheered. “Do you need me to help you fill out the student aid forms for next year?”
Cameron smiled, shaking his head even though Mark couldn't see him. “Nah, I need to figure out how to do it on my own.”
“Are you coming home for the summer?” Mark wondered.
“Not really,” Cameron stated. “I do plan to come for a visit, but I have an apartment now and...”
“An apartment?” Mark questioned in disbelief. “How can you afford an apartment?”
“I got a job,” Cameron murmured evasively.
“Good for you!” Mark exclaimed. “Do you work at a gas station like Jenna does?”
“Not exactly...” Cameron stated, hesitant to admit the truth.
“Then what, exactly?” Mark demanded suspiciously.
“First, I want you to know that I don't do drugs!” Cameron hastily assured him.
“Cameron!” Mark growled. “Tell me that you're not dealing!”
“I'm not!” Cameron confirmed. “I... have sex... for money...”
Mark sighed in disappointment. “Cameron...”
“Listen, it's not forever. I was sitting in class one day wondering what I was going to do with my life, and I only knew one thing for absolute certain.”
“Uh-huh? What's that?” Mark wondered curiously.
“That no matter what, I really do what to stay in college. I also don't want to be in an enormous amount of debt when I'm done – especially since I have no idea what I want to do and it'll probably take me a long time to figure it out. So, I went around looking for jobs that I could work part time that would earn enough to live off of while I went to school, and... well... there aren't any jobs that pay what I need to earn, which honestly isn't much,” Cameron explained.
Mark was silent until he couldn't bite his tongue any longer. “I thought when you changed your name and decided to focus on your future, everything would be different, but you're still making the same mistakes that Jared did!”
“No,” Cameron cried out in frustration. “Just trust me, I'm only going to do this until I'm done with college, and then I'll use my degree to get a real job!”
“And you're really not using drugs?” Mark asked, attempting to be supportive.
“I promise,” Cameron confirmed. “I don't need them any more to have sex with a client.”
“Okay,” Mark stated in acceptance, and then changed the subject. “I'm going to start at the state university in the fall!”
“You are?” Cameron asked incredulously. Mark hadn't seemed like the type to go to a university. He'd gotten decent grades and always seemed like he wanted to get a basic degree at a community college and then just get an office job to support his gaming habits.
“Yeah well...” Mark was inexplicably embarrassed despite being proud and excited. “They have a course specifically for gaming. If I finish the course, I could be a game developer!”
“That's perfect for you!” Cameron cheered happily.
“Don't worry, you'll eventually know what you want to do too,” Mark said in an attempt to reassure him.
“I know,” Cameron murmured.
“Are you awake?” Justin asked as he kissed Cameron.
“Well I am now. I was dreaming about my brother...” Cameron admitted sleepily.
“I didn't know you had a brother,” Justin stated, a bit upset that Cameron tended to keep quiet about his past and family.
Cameron merely hummed noncommittally. His cellphone rang, prompting him to answer it before it went into voicemail. It was a habit he developed when clients tended to call him at all hours of the day.
“I don't care what excuse you have, you are coming home for Thanksgiving!”
“Mark... I was just talking about you,” Cameron remarked, amused at the timing.
Mark continued on as if Cameron had argued with him. “I mean it! We haven't seen you at all since last Christmas except for like 2 hours this summer! You are going to come home for Thanksgiving if I have to drive out and drag your butt home!”
Cameron laughed. “Okay Mark! I get it! I'm coming home for Thanksgiving.”
“Good!” Mark stated triumphantly. “Because I'm bringing home my girlfriend and I want you to meet her.”
“What about Jenna?” Cameron asked.
“Yep, she's going to be there with her fiancé and their baby,” Mark confirmed.
“So it's going to be the whole family...” Cameron sighed heavily. Justin placed a hand on him in a silent gesture of are you okay?
“Yep,” Mark confirmed cheerfully.
“Hang on a second,” Cameron ordered Mark and then without even waiting for a reply, addressed Justin. With a smile, he brushed his hand across Justin's cheek. “What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Do you want to come with me?”
Justin nearly squealed from happiness. “Do you mean it?!”
“Yeah, unless you'd rather be with your family,” Cameron immediately offered him a way out if he wanted it.
“Are you kidding?! We can go see my parents anytime! This is the first time you've even admitted to having a family! I'm so frickin' excited that I could just cry!” Justin tackled him and kissed him to prove how excited he was.
Cameron made sounds of protest because he'd dropped his phone onto the bed. He fumbled to grab it while fending Justin off. With a laugh, he managed to hold the phone up to his ear again.
“Sounds like you've reached an agreement,” Mark remarked dryly. He was mildly astonished that Cameron had a relationship that was serious enough he'd consider bringing someone home with him.
“It's a date!” Cameron announced happily.
“Cameron!” Ginger greeted him happily. She pulled him into a tight hug and squealed happily as he lifted her off her feet.
“Didn't Mark tell you I was coming?” Cameron asked, wondering why she was so surprised to see him.
“Of course he did, but I wasn't certain you wouldn't change your mind,” she replied as he set her back on her feet.
“You have been avoiding us lately,” Rodney pointed out.
“No I haven't!” Cameron denied defensively.
“It sure feels like it,” Ginger informed him.
Cameron cleared his throat. “I've been busy... with Justin...” He held out his hand towards Justin as a reminder that he was still standing in the entrance to the kitchen.
“Uh, hi,” Justin greeted nervously.
“Justin's my boyfriend,” Cameron elaborated in case they hadn't figured that part out.
“How can you have a boyfriend when you're a whore?” Jenna scoffed crudely from across the kitchen. She held her baby, but there was no sign of her fiancé.
“Jenna!” Her mother exclaimed, mortified.
“No, it's okay,” Cameron assured them. “I gave that up.”
“You did?” Ginger asked, her heart bursting with hope.
“Yep,” Cameron stated, smiling. He took Justin's hand in his. “I realized that I couldn't truly be with Justin if I didn't.”
“I didn't ask you to choose,” Justin murmured, a bit embarrassed.
“I know,” Cameron acknowledged, tempted to kiss his beloved.
“So you two are serious then?” Ginger asked, smiling.
“Yes,” Cameron confirmed.
Ginger hugged him again. “I'm so happy to hear you say that!”
Cameron grinned at Justin. “Justin, this is Ginger and Rodney... and Jenna.”
Jenna had come closer to get a better look at Justin. She smiled at him approvingly. “And my baby, Gina.”
“Hi,” Justin greeted them again, feeling lame that he couldn't think of anything better to say.
“Where's Mark?” Cameron asked.
“He's with Greg. They ran to the store to pick up a few things,” Jenna explained.
“They should be back any minute,” Rodney added.
“Just give us a few minutes to toss our things in my room,” Cameron stated, deciding that now would be the best time. He and Justin hauled their duffel bags to the room Cameron had moved into after he and Mark officially broke up a few years back. Well... it was Cameron's on the rare occasion that he decided to visit.
When they were alone with the door shut, Cameron pulled Justin close for a kiss. “I'm so glad you're here with me.”
“You sister is kind of a bitch,” Justin murmured, a bit overwhelmed by the way Jenna had acted.
“Yeah, that's just the way Jenna always is. Don't take it personally, and ignore her if she starts mouthing off,” Cameron advised.
“I heard that!” Jenna called out as she carried her baby to her room in order to change her diaper.
Cameron opened the door and leaned out so that he could look at her as she walked down the hall. “Well, am I right?”
“Of course you are!” Jenna confessed with a laugh.
Cameron grabbed Justin's hand and dragged him down the hall. “Come on, we'll wait in Mark's room. He's got a ton of games we can play while we wait.”
Justin nodded, wondering if Cameron had felt just as awkward the first time he'd met Justin's parents. After a moment's thought, Justin decided that he probably had, after all, Cameron had known they'd known he was a prostitute, and probably thought they would judge him badly for it. Justin was so nervous right now that he thought he might vomit!
Cameron could sense this, which was why he hoped to calm Justin down by distracting him. They decided to play Dynasty Warriors 7, which actually worked to set Justin's mind at ease. About 10 minutes later, Mark came home and his mom told him that Cameron was waiting for him in his room.
Ginger resumed singing along with some loud 40's music that she was playing as she cooked dinner. Rodney and Jenna were laughing and squealing as they tossed Gina back and forth, and Greg – Jenna's fiancé – was taking pictures. Mark decided to close the door to his room so that he could actually hear Cameron speak.
Cameron couldn't help the way he felt – the way he always felt – when he first saw Mark after a long absence. The mere sight of Mark always had the power to take Cameron back to a time when he was called Jared and Mark was his savior and first real love. He paused the game and jumped up to greet Mark.
Mark knew what was coming and resigned himself to the inevitable with an amused sigh. A moment later, Cameron kissed him like he used to when they were sort of together.
Justin gasped in astonishment when it didn't seem like the kiss was ever going to end and leapt to his feet. “Is that really how you kiss your brother?!”
Cameron broke off the kiss with a chuckle. “Only the first time I see him in a while.”
“But, um...” Justin was still trying to wrap his head around the concept of someone kissing their brother the way they would a lover. Cameron pulled Justin close and ruffled his hair.
“Don't worry, I only have eyes for you these days. I'll tell you all about it tonight,” Cameron promised.
“So... I assume this is the person you were wrestling around in bed with when I called,” Mark said, an amused smirk on his face.
“Yep,” Cameron confirmed. “This is Justin, my one and only.”
Justin felt like purring until he melted into a puddle right then and there!
“Nice to meet you, Justin,” Mark stated genially, shaking Justin's hand.
“So... uh,” Cameron began with a mischievous grin. “Where's this girl you said you were bringing home with you?”
“She's on her way. She'll be here in about an hour,” Mark replied. Mark was interested in the way that Cameron and Justin acted towards each other. They were so obviously in love that a blind man could have seen it.
He cleared his throat and pointed at Justin. “So, how long have you been going out with Cameron?”
“Uh... um, a while,” Justin replied, hesitant to admit the truth without Cameron's permission.
“It's alright,” Cameron assured him. “We got together about a year ago –”
The door opened abruptly. “Dinner's ready to be served!” Ginger announced excitedly. “And Natalia just arrived.”
Mark ran to greet his girlfriend, amazed that she had gotten here so much sooner than expected.
She was introduced to everyone, and then they all settled down around the table to eat. There was at least 20 minutes of general chitchat, and then Mark took over the conversation.
“Cameron was just about to tell me how he and Justin met.”
Jenna snorted. “Let me guess, he was a client!”
“Actually yes,” Cameron confirmed, unashamed.
“You fell for a client! Isn't that like the biggest no-no? The first rule you're taught never to break?” Jenna asked in her own special way of expressing interest and sarcasm and just general bitchiness all in one.
Cameron nodded in agreement. “That's true, but from the first moment I saw him, I think I knew he was the one.”
Justin was busy trying to hide his red-faced embarrassment by holding his hands to his cheek and looking into his lap. Jenna happened to be sitting on the opposite side of the table as Justin and she kicked his foot to get his attention.
“Well, what about you, why were you so desperate that you needed to buy a whore?” Jenna asked.
Justin was unable to speak as his mouth hung open in shock that she would ask him that so directly.
“Jenna! That is enough!” Rodney commanded. “Be nice or don't speak at all!”
Jenna growled in frustration and rolled her eyes, but otherwise held her tongue. She knew better than to push her parents too far.
“I... I was young,” Justin stammered. “And confused, you know?”
“Jenna just couldn't stop herself from blurting out, “You were young? What are you now? Like 12 years old?”
“Justin is 18,” Cameron answered, casting Jenna a warning glance.
Mark squeezed Cameron's hand. “So, when did you two decide to get serious?”
Cameron laughed. “For me, it was about 2 hours after we met, I decided to reserve as much time as he wanted, at no charge. I felt like I would die if he walked out of the door without any reason to come back.”
“Really?” Justin asked, awestruck. He was unusually emotional at the moment with Jenna picking on him and Cameron being just about the sweetest he'd ever been.
“Yep,” Cameron confirmed.
Mark chuckled, leaning forward to see Justin better. “What about you? When did you know?”
Justin sighed and took a moment to calm his emotions. “Well, when I first met Cameron, I was going out with a girl and my best friend George. I was confused because I wasn't sure which one I wanted to be with. I wasn't sure if I wanted to be with either of them! Something about Cameron called out to me and I couldn't stay away from him. I started skipping classes just to be with him. It wasn't until my mom pointed out that I looked really happy with him that I realized that he was the one I wanted to be with. And then I had to find the courage to choose him...”
Cameron tilted his head to the side and gave him a funny look. “What finally gave you the courage?”
Justin bobbed his head side to side, and then decided to just admit the truth. “I'd hidden in the stairwell near your apartment one night so that I could spy on one of your clients as he left, and I overheard him call his wife and lie about where he was and what he was doing. The thought that that could easily be me one day kept tumbling over and over in my head until I just knew that I didn't want to be like that!”
The two of them looked at each other as if no one else was in the room for a moment before Mark patted Cameron on the back in congratulations. It truly made Mark happy to see Cameron happy. Cameron shook his head slightly, and turned his attention to Mark.
“What about you? Where did you meet Natalia?” Cameron asked.
Natalia grinned and decided to answer instead. “In class! I'm majoring in law, and needed to take an ethics class, and Mark was taking it for his gaming degree. At first, I thought he was such a loser!”
Jenna snorted in agreement, but didn't say anything. With a laugh, Natalia continued.
“I'm mean seriously, who gets a degree in gaming?! But then we were partnered on a project, and I got to know him. It didn't take me long to discover that it's impossible to not love Mark once you get to know him!”
Mark grinned for a second before kissing Natalia. Ginger had her hands together and pressed to her mouth. Her eyes watered from happiness and pride. All her babies were officially in love and happy!
Mark cleared his throat a bit nervously and dug in his pocket. “Um, I um wanted you to come to Thanksgiving so that I could do this... Natalia... Will you marry me?” He asked as he produced a small but beautiful ring in a velvet covered box.
Natalia gasped in shock and stared at the ring as tears filled her eyes. “Of course I'll marry you!” She finally managed to say. Suddenly, she threw her arms around him and held him tight.
“Wow! Marriage!” Cameron gasped. Suddenly it made sense to him that Mark was willing to forcibly drag him home for this.
“I don't care what you want, you absolutely cannot get married before I do!” Jenna insisted, reaching across the table to grab Mark's hand. “But so long as you have your wedding after mine, I'll be there for you every step of the way.”
Mark laughed. “You're getting married in May! I don't think we'll be ready until after we graduate, and we both have one more year after this one.”
“I agree,” Natalia stated, smiling at Jenna. “Plus, I am almost certain that once my mom gets wind that I'm engaged, she'll try to take over all the planning until I have a half-million dollar wedding set to take place exactly a month after I graduate.”
“Wait, are you serious?” Mark questioned. “We can't afford that!”
Natalia laughed. “The bride's parents are supposed to pay, remember? If I don't let them, I will never hear the end of it! I'll be 90 years old sitting in a bed in a nursing home and the ghost of my mother will be nattering on in my ear, berating me for cheating her out of the chance to plan my wedding! Trust me, it'll be so much easier on us if we just let her take care of everything.”
“But... What if we don't want a big or expensive wedding?” Mark wondered.
Natalia smiled and took both of his hands in hers. “The most important thing is that we get married. None of the rest matters. Let my mom go overboard if it makes her happy, because the next day we will forever after be husband and wife.”
“But... you can't be serious when you say that she'll want to plan out a half million dollar wedding!” Mark protested, unable to wrap his head around this concept.
“Oh... right...” Natalia laughed nervously. “Now's probably the right time to tell you that I come from a wealthy family. Believe me when I say that we'll be lucky if my mom only wants to spend a half a million dollars on our wedding.”
Mark was obviously more than stunned by this news. “W-w-wow...”
Cameron patted Mark's back in congratulations. “I get to be the best man, right?”
“Of course!” Mark stated just before Ginger decided that she simply couldn't contain her joy any longer and pulled him into a hug.
Rodney laughed. “Let the boy breathe woman!” The moment Ginger released Mark, Rodney gave his son a hug too. They each took turns welcoming Natalia to the family and Justin felt inexplicably sad.
Jenna caught him looking at his hands with an emotion close to depression, and felt like giving him a hug to reassure him, but before she could, her fiancé chuckled.
“I guess you two won't ever have to worry about the hassle of getting married!”
“Greg!” Jenna growled, poking him in the ribs with her elbow.
“What?” Greg wondered. “It's true.”
“Maybe so,” Jenna admitted. “But it's incredibly asinine of you to point it out like that!”
“It's okay, Jenna,” Cameron stated, intuitively understanding that Greg hadn't meant it as an offensive statement. “Besides, Justin's only 18. I doubt he'd be thinking about marriage anyway.”
Justin shrugged. “Well not now, but it would be nice... someday...”
“We had a discussion about this in one of my classes recently,” Natalia stated. “I could not understand why – if a man and a woman lived together for 7 years without getting married, they would be considered married by common law – but if two men or two women lived together for the same amount of time in a committed relationship, they still can't get married. The common law marriage exists for several reasons; one of which it to help in the case of a separation. By law, the couple would go through a process very similar to divorce, with all their stuff divided accordingly, but there's no help for gay couples? That doesn't make sense to me! They are people just like anyone else!”
By this point, Natalia was standing and pointing out the window as if addressing a large assembly of lawmakers. “I vow that once I pass the bar, I will devote myself to helping all couples be treated equally!”
Cameron snorted a laugh. “Why? You just met us, you can't possibly –”
“It has nothing to do with you!” Natalia assured him with a self-confident grin. “I happen to have a best friend that's a lesbian. She and her partner have been together ever since her partner got knocked up and kicked out by her parents with nowhere else to go. They have been the absolute best mommies, and I feel very passionately that they should be allowed to get married if they want to!”
“I see,” Cameron replied with a smile.
Justin slipped his hand into Cameron's without even thinking about it. In fact, his face clearly showed that he was thinking about something that would probably only happen in the distant future. “Married huh?” He whispered speculatively.
Cameron felt like his heart stopped from happiness. It took everything he had not to squeal happily and lift Justin into a huge, twirling, bear hug. He took a few deep breaths to calm himself, and then squeezed Justin's hand.
Dinner continued until everyone was positively stuffed.
“Your cooking is as excellent as ever, Ginger,” Cameron complimented, kissing her on the cheek. Privately, Justin thought it was odd that Cameron called his mother by name. “Want help putting the leftover's away?”
Ginger pinched his cheek. “You dear sweet boy! I wish my other children would learn from your example!”
“By doing drugs and selling our bodies?” Jenna asked, honestly unable to stop herself from blurting out the bitchiest thing possible.
Ginger smacked her playfully on the arm. “No! By being polite and helping out in the kitchen!”
Jenna laughed and kissed her mother on the cheek. “Then prepare to have a heart attack! Go sit down and relax while Cameron and I clean up the kitchen.”
Ginger felt her daughter's forehead in concern. “Are you ill?”
Jenna laughed. “Yep! I'm sick of holding onto Gina, so go do that for me, would you?”
“You don't have to ask me twice!” Ginger exclaimed, and then hastily stuffed enough leftover food to feed two people in a disposable container. Jenna and Cameron weren't the only ones watching her curiously. Ginger handed the container to Cameron with a sad smile. “You should bring this to...” she tilted her head side to side as she figured out the best way to say what she wanted. “Jared's parents... You know, go see if they are still alive...”
“Who's Jared?” Justin wondered.
Cameron wasn't purposely ignoring Justin, but he couldn't respond just yet. “I told you, I don't want to see them ever again!”
Ginger held his face in her hands. “Sweetie... I understand not wanting them as a part of your life, but you are going to kick yourself if you don't at least check in on them from time to time. How would you feel if they had OD'd on a cold winter's night and you didn't even care enough to find out until years later?”
Cameron sighed heavily. “I'll think about it...”
Ginger tapped the leftovers and then insisted that Cameron take them. “Think on the way.” She patted his cheek, and then left the kitchen to play with her granddaughter.
“Go on,” Jenna said as she nudged him. “I've got this.”
Mark gave his fiancée a significant look. She nodded in agreement, and they rolled up their sleeves to help Jenna out so that Cameron would be in the way anyway.
Cameron stared at the container of food in his hands numbly for a few moments, not saying anything.
Justin cleared his throat and tried again. “Who's Jared?”
Cameron sighed, deciding that if nothing else, it was time to tell Justin everything. “Come on, I'll tell you on the way...”
“Wow... Oh my God! So... you actually drugged Mark up and they adopted you anyway?!”
“I know, I don't fully understand it myself...” Cameron murmured. They sat in his car on the opposite side of the street as his parents trailer. It was even more run down than he remembered it.
“So... should we go say hi?” Justin wondered.
Cameron sighed. “I know exactly how it's going to play out. Even if they manage to be happy to see me for 5 minutes, inevitably, my dad is going to say something that starts a fight. He and my mom will literally punch each other out until we either get drawn into the fight or leave while they aren't paying us any attention. I really don't want to go through that again...”
Justin hugged him, simply holding him for several long minutes.
“How about this... How about I go set this food in front of their door and knock loudly before hiding. That way you'll get to see them but they won't see you. Even if they catch me, they don't know me. I can easily tell them that I'm from the local church and that I'm just trying to spread the joy of Thanksgiving to everyone I can,” Justin offered.
“You would do that for me?” Cameron asked incredulously.
“Of course! I love you,” Justin stated in a tone that said Cameron was being silly for asking.
Cameron was so touched that he kissed Justin for at least a good minute. They didn't notice the door to the trailer open and a woman sneak towards their car. She completely startled them a moment later by lightly knocking on their window.
Cameron recognized her and took a deep breath before rolling down the window. “Hi mom...”
“I thought that might be you, Jared. Your father's passed out, but I heard a car pull up. I wanted to know if someone was coming to buy something from him or from me. When no one got out of the car, it occurred to me that you might be here checking up on us,” his mother explained, pulling her thin robe tighter around her in a futile attempt to ward off the cold and the light dusting of snow that was falling.
Cameron handed her the leftover food. “I brought you this...”
She took it with a small, sad smile. “I'd invite you in, but if your father woke up... I'm afraid he'd kill you. He's never forgiven you for just leaving one day and never coming back. I don't blame you in the slightest.” She was now shivering so hard that she pulled out a flask of something from her bra and took a swig of it without even thinking about it. It was both a habit and a reflex by now.
“You should go in before you catch a cold,” Cameron stated in concern.
“I will,” his mom replied, then ruffled his hair affectionately. “You look good... happy...”
“I am,” Cameron informed her with a tiny smile.
“I'm glad. You go on now; live a good life. Do better than your father and I have done.”
Cameron felt like crying. He'd always known that no matter how messed up his parents were, they truly loved him. He had made the decision to stay away from them because he didn't want to be dragged down into their mess, and it had turned out to be the best decision he had ever made, but Ginger was right. He really would kick himself if they died and he never knew.
Taking out a piece of paper, he wrote down his cell phone number. It was the same one he had had for years, and didn't have an identifying message on it because a lot of his clients still called him, so he knew his mom wouldn't learn his new name by calling it. He didn't really want them in his life, and he didn't want them to find him, but he did want them to have some way to contact him if the worst happened.
“Take this,” Cameron said as he handed her the paper. “If either of you should die, make sure someone calls me. I'd want to have a chance to come say goodbye. Also, if you – not dad but you... If you ever have to go to the hospital or anything like that, call me. I'll come visit...”
“I will,” she promised, tucking the paper into her bra.
Cameron knew that she would probably lose the paper before she even remembered to take it out and put it somewhere safe, but at least he had made an effort. This way, she could get a hold of him if she ever needed to.
He shuddered lightly as he realized that she might also start calling him every time she was drunk and thought it might be easy to talk him into giving her some money. He pushed the thought away with a sigh and a shake of his head. I pray she doesn't resort to that...
“I love you,” she whispered into his ear and then kissed him before finally retreating back into the relative warmth of her home. Cameron waved goodbye, knowing in his heart that he would probably never see her again.
“Are you okay?” Justin asked in concern.
“Yeah,” Cameron admitted. “I think I am. Let's go back now; I'm cold and I want to snuggle up in bed with the man I love.”
Justin smiled, purring happily. “So do I!”
“You look positively sexy!” Mark complimented as he unnecessarily straightened Cameron's tie.
Cameron grinned and tilted his head to the side as if saying: Hey! What can I say? It's in my nature to be sexy!
Cameron fussed with Mark's tie, which actually did need to be straightened and tightened a little. “I can't believe you're getting married today!”
“I can't believe that you're a college graduate with your own Physical Therapy business!” Mark exclaimed.
Justin laughed. “Of course his patients are unbelievably lucky to have such a sexy Therapist!”
“You're sexy too,” Cameron whispered in Justin's ear before nibbling on it. Justin moaned longingly. Even though it had only been a couple of hours since they last had sex, Justin couldn't wait to get back in bed with his boyfriend!
“Hey now, keep it in your pants until after the wedding ceremony!” Mark insisted with a laugh.
“Don't worry, I'll be the best Best Man ever!” Cameron promised.
“Aside from me!” Cory insisted with a laugh.
One of the compromises that Natialia's mom had had to agree to was that since she made every youngish person in their family part of the bridal party – which meant that all of Natalia's cousins were bridesmaids and groomsmen – nine of each! - Mark got to have two best men and Natalia got to have two Maids of Honor. This brought the wedding party to 22 total, not counting the Bride and Groom.
Cameron was paired with Natalia's best friend, Heather, who was a lesbian with a long-standing relationship. The two of them looked gorgeous together, and quite a few people in the crowd speculated on whether or not they would get together after the wedding was over. They had fun feeding the speculation by flirting shamelessly, secure in the knowledge that their partners knew that they weren't serious about the flirting in the slightest.
Natalia's family was large, southern, and very religious. Her ceremony was a reflection of their beliefs, only amplified. This meant that everything had to appear proper even though it was well known that most of the family members had long since abandoned the strictness of their faith.
The ceremony lasted for almost two hours, during which everyone managed to do as expected without fidgeting or checking their phones. This was extremely tempting as the priest droned on an on, but the bridal party set a good example. After the ceremony, the entire congregation of guests drove from the church to the hotel for the reception.
The second major compromise was that so long as everyone behaved as expected during the ceremony and the first hour of the feast of celebration, Natalia was allowed to party any way she wanted to for the rest of the night. She and Mark sat next to each other, sharing frequent kisses as glasses were banged on with forks. The moment the clock struck 7, Natalia damn near jumped to her feet and flung off the long veil and detachable train that her mother had insisted she wear.
“It's time to party!” She announced to the loud cheers of her guests.
The entire wedding party stood next to the dance floor as Mark and Natalia danced their very first dance as husband and wife. Halfway through it, they beckoned for the wedding party to join them. Cameron and Heather practically lit the floor on fire with their passionate dancing, but then the song ended and they gave each other a bow or curtsey to signal the end of their temporary partnership.
With a grin, Cameron beckoned Justin to his side – which was exactly what the Maid of Honor had done to her girlfriend. Justin felt like melting into a puddle of happiness as Cameron pulled him close. The two of them danced in a way that made everyone watching them inexplicably hot and flustered.
Heather and her girlfriend were both dressed to kill. Watching them dance was even more erotic than watching Cameron and Justin. Men seriously wished they could get between either set of lesbian legs. The crowd could literally feel the waves of passion radiating from all four of them!
More and more people migrated to the dance floor to join in on the fun. Soon, the whole place was more than slightly tipsy and hands were roaming freely, which the older folks pretended to ignore as they stood off to the side and gossiped.
At 8:30, the DJ stopped playing any music to announce that it was time for the Best Men to make a toast. Cory rambled on nervously about how perfect Mark and Natalia were for each other, and then handed the microphone to Cameron.
He grinned at everyone in the audience for a moment before speaking. “I've been ordered to keep this short and to the point, so here goes...” He took a deep breath. “Mark, I love you and I wish you only the best no matter what life brings you. I hope that you and Natalia live happily for the rest of your lives... Now... I know you're just dying to escape for a bit, so why don't you take your gorgeous Bride up to your room and rejoin the party after you've become one – provided you can walk!”
The crowd laughed and then clapped in agreement or protested depending on how they felt about the suggestion. Mark stood up to calm the guests down.
“As much as I love your suggestion – sadly – we're obligated to stay and party for just a bit longer.”
Natalia took the mic from her husband. “I'm curious to see if my Maids of Honor can do any better. Ladies? Can you give a toast that contains more naughtiness than Cameron's?”
Her lesbian friend took the mic and laughed into it. “Challenge accepted!”
The other Maid of Honor was Jenna, who slung an arm around her co-maid and added her two cents. “I'm certain we two can put Cameron to shame any day!”
“The secret to a long relationship, Mark, is keeping your woman well satisfied,” Heather began.
“There's a certain spot that needs to be rubbed generously each day,” Jenna added.
“Stroked repeatedly until she purrs with happiness!” Heather exclaimed.
“Until she screams in ecstasy and calls you a God!” Jenna drawled, casting a flirty look at her husband.
The crowd was roaring lewdly in agreement.
Jenna and Heather grinned at each other, then announced, “This spot is her heart!”
“Make sure you take great care of it because it can bruise easily,” Heather finished.
Cameron clapped in congratulations, conceding that they had beaten his speech. He grabbed Justin's hand in his, leaning over to whisper in his ear.
“They may not be able to escape yet, but we certainly can!”
“I was hoping you'd say that!” Justin agreed with a grin. Feeling a bit like naughty children trying to sneak a cookie out of the jar without permission, they raced to their hotel room.
Justin wrapped his legs around Cameron as Cameron lifted him up against the wall just inside their hotel room.
“I'm surprised by how much fun this was,” Justin admitted between kisses.
“Aside from the ceremony,” Cameron laughed. Justin tilted his head to the side and nodded in agreement.
“Yeah, except for that.”
“If it ever becomes legal, promise me that our wedding will be fun from beginning to end!” Cameron murmured, biting Justin's neck.
“What?” Justin gasped. “Do you mean that?”
“Of course I do,” Cameron stated, managing to look serious and smolderingly sexy at the same time.
Justin hugged him tight. “It's a promise!”
Cameron carried him to bed so that they could make love – loudly and at length!
The next morning, a couple members of the wedding party gathered together for breakfast with the bride and groom. More than one person was cranky from a hangover, but the food was fabulous enough to quiet all but the worst of the grumbling.
Mark took hold of Cameron's hand rather unexpectedly. “I didn't get a chance to tell you earlier, but Natalia and I have made a big decision.”
“What's that?” Cameron asked with a half suspicious, half curious tone of voice.
“We've decided that we're going to become foster parents! We're going to specialize in helping kids in situations like you were in. They won't be just a paycheck to us, and I hope that we can truly help change their lives for the better!” Mark was so excited that he hugged Cameron tight.
Cameron felt a bit teary eyed, but he kept his emotions in check. “Thanks...” He groped for better words awkwardly for a moment before giving up. “Seriously, thank you.”
Justin looked towards the ceiling, biting his lip in thought. It was an idea to hang onto for a rainy day...