Chapter One Hundred Seventeen – Robbie and Adam’s Wedding
Joey listened to Tyler’s even breathing as he tried to get to sleep. They had spent the last two days looking at homes in Málaga. They had looked at over 20 different properties. After seeing the first four or five beach homes, they had started to run together in Joey’s mind, so he couldn’t remember which house had what features. The girls had been very patient at first, but after the first few houses they had toured, Sra. Nájera had volunteered to return to their beach house with them.
After the girls and Sra. Nájera left, he had tried to follow the conversations between Sr. Nájera, Tyler and the various realtors they had talked to about the houses they were considering as possible summer homes. His limited Spanish skills left him totally frustrated and feeling like a third wheel in all of the discussions. Admittedly, he understood most of what was said, but he couldn’t articulate his thoughts fast enough to be part of any of the conversations going on around him.
They hadn’t found a house they liked, and, unfortunately, Tyler had to return to Madrid to continue his studies in the morning. Joey had wanted to return with him, but the Nájeras had convinced him to stay with them in Málaga to continue the search for a suitable summer home. Joey was a little nervous about trying to buy property in a country where he had no clue what the laws were about real estate transactions. Tyler had tried to reassure him that everything would work out okay, but he was still not comfortable.
Sr. Nájera had said he would handle the business side of things, since he had plenty of experience in real estate. Joey’s only job would be to make sure that whichever house they purchased met their needs. Hank and Louise were anxious for the boys to buy a place as well. Joey was beginning to feel a little smothered by all of the advice he was getting from both sets of parents (natural and adopted).
He had broken off all contact with his own parents due to their religious views. They had tried to convince him to move in with them when he left Kathy, and he had let them know in no uncertain terms what he thought about that idea. He hadn’t spoken to them since that time. He hadn’t even told them of Kathy’s death, nor of his marriage to Tyler and subsequent move to Spain. He had gone so far as to ask Greg and Cory not to tell his former in-laws. From his point of view, the less they knew the better; especially Greg’s father and grandparents. He didn’t like Greg’s grandparents. They were religious fanatics who stuck their noses into everybody else’s business. He was glad that his interactions with them at Kathy’s funeral had been very limited.
His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of his husband’s voice. “Joey, what’s bothering you?” He felt Tyler’s lips brush the nape of his neck, sending a thrill down his spine. He was still amazed at how Tyler’s touch affected him. Tyler knew this and used it to his advantage from time to time when he wanted to persuade Joey to do something. This thought brought a smile to his lips.
He reached over and pulled Tyler closer to him. Joey replied, “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by how quickly things are moving right now. I’m not comfortable buying real estate here, because I don’t know the laws. I know our parents want us to buy a place soon; but, to be honest, I’m feeling a little smothered by all of the parental involvement in our lives at the moment.”
Tyler brought his hand up to Joey’s face and caressed his cheek with his fingertips. “It’s okay to feel a little overwhelmed. I’m feeling the same way as you are about all of the ‘adult’ supervision. I think we need our parents to get their own place as soon as possible.”
Joey asked, “Based on comments Mom and Dad have made over the last few days, I think they will move down here as soon as we buy a place; but what about the Nájeras?”
“I’m okay with them staying on as our housekeeper and gardener, since they aren’t as intrusive as Mom and Dad,” Tyler said. “Mom and Dad haven’t learned to let go; even though I’ve been living away from home for a while now.”
“I’m okay with that,” Joey said. He sighed and said, “I’m still nervous about buying a summer home. Neither of us has a steady job at the moment. How are we going to pay Mom and Dad back for lending us the money to buy our two homes?”
“You heard Dad tell us that they don’t want us to pay them back,” Tyler said.
“I don’t feel comfortable with that, sweetheart. It gives them a sense of entitlement; and I can’t argue that it doesn’t, since they’re putting up the money to finance our real estate acquisitions,” Joey said. “I hate being obligated to anyone, and accepting such large amounts of money from Mom and Dad makes me feel like an indentured servant.”
“Why didn’t you mention this before?” Tyler asked, knowing this was something that had been bothering Joey for some time now.
“I didn’t know what to expect when we moved in with them. I haven’t lived with my parents for years, and now I’m living with my in-laws as well as an adopted set of parents. Making that transition has really gotten to me,” Joey said, hoping his husband would understand what he was trying to say.
Tyler thought for a moment and said, “I think the real issue isn’t our parents. That’s not to say they haven’t been a little overbearing at times; but it’s more a factor of how much time I’ve been dedicating to my studies. I’ve been neglecting you, Joey. I’m sorry I haven’t spent as much time with you as I should have. I’ve gone into student mode, and I’ve forgotten that I have a loving husband who needs my attention. I’ve left you to deal with getting our home organized and watching over the children. Yes, you’ve had help, but I’ve still been neglecting my responsibilities as your husband. Can you forgive me for not being there for you?”
Joey rubbed noses with his husband and said, “There is nothing to forgive. I guess you’re right. I have felt like a single dad trying to handle the everyday affairs of our family. I don’t begrudge you the time you need to study; because, in the long run, it will allow us to be financially independent.” Joey paused before continuing. “Not only that, I want to go to school to earn a degree in computer science. In Virginia, I worked in construction and was always able to find a job. Here, I think I can find a job in computers. I want to be able to help support our family. You and I should share the burden of providing for our needs. I hate the fact that I’m basically a kept husband. I’m not used to being cared for, Tyler. I’ve always been the breadwinner in the family, and it’s a huge change for me to be the stay at home parent. I’m not complaining about being home with the girls, because I love them dearly. It’s just that I’m still adjusting to being married, living with my in-laws and being home 24/7 with the children, all at the same time.”
“It’s a big adjustment for both of us, Joey. I’ve been a single college student for so long, it’s hard to remember that I have a family to think of now. We need to keep our lines of communication open and talk about these things. I should have seen what was happening with you weeks ago,” Tyler said, regretfully.
Joey said, “Please don’t beat yourself up over it. We’re talking now, and that’s what is important.”
Tyler kissed his husband and said, “I’m glad we’ve worked that out between us, instead of letting it go on. As for our parents, let’s help them find a place to live on their own. I think that will solve the sense of being smothered that we’re feeling right now. I think we’ll find they are just as anxious to be in their own home as we are.”
Joey said, “Okay, but I think we need to talk to them about what’s going on, or I’m going to explode. I don’t want that to happen, because I really do love them; however, I have got to have my space.”
Tyler said, “I’ll bring it up with them in the morning before I leave. Okay, Babe?”
“Okay,” Joey replied, feeling relieved. At that moment, his love for Tyler grew a hundred-fold if that were possible. “I love you.”
Tyler said, “I love you, too.” He turned over as Joey spooned up against him, putting his arm around his waist to hold him close. Soon the two men drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, Tyler and Joey sat at the breakfast table with their parents, while the girls were eating their pancakes. The Nájeras joined them at the table.
Tyler said, “After breakfast, Joey and I would like to speak with all of you.”
Hank looked at Louise and said, “I thought something was bothering you and Joey yesterday.”
Tyler nodded his head and said, “There is, but it can wait until we’ve eaten. I want to enjoy the wonderful pancakes Mamá has prepared for us.” He smiled at Sra. Nájera.
“I’m glad you like them, mi hijo,” Sra. Nájera said, beaming from Tyler’s praise.
They chatted about the houses they had seen over the last few days, remarking on the things they liked or didn’t like about each one. When they had finished, they cleared the table and washed up the dishes. They took the girls into the family room where they could play with their toys.
The adults sat down on the couches and love seat that were in the room. As soon as everyone was settled, Hank asked, “Okay, what’s on your minds?”
Tyler took Joey’s hand in his and said, “We’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment. Think about it. We’ve had an enormous amount of change in a short period of time. We’ve gotten married, moved to a new country and moved into a new house with two sets of parents.” Here he paused and smiled at the other four adults in the room. “We appreciate everything you are doing for us. The girls are very happy and so are we; however, we need some space to become a couple. Since we got married, Joey and I haven’t had a spare moment to ourselves between my studies, our settling into our new house and now house hunting for a summer home.”
He stopped and looked at Joey. “Did I cover everything?”
Joey squeezed Tyler’s hand and said, “I need to make sure you all understand the enormity of the changes for me. Until a few months ago, I was used to being the head of my household, as well as the sole breadwinner in the family. Now, I’m living with two sets of parents, I’m unemployed, I’m learning a new role as a stay at home parent and I’m trying to learn the language and culture of my adopted country. Mom and Dad, I know that you are trying to deal with a huge amount of change to your lives as well. That’s why I’ve hesitated to speak of my frustrations until now. The last few days have been pretty stressful for me, since I know Tyler is going back to school today, and I’ll have the responsibility trying to decide whether or not to buy a new home.”
Hank looked at Louise and said, “We thought things were coming to a head yesterday. We’re feeling the stress as well. In part, I’m to blame for the push to buy a summer home. Louise and I want to have our own place. We’ve enjoyed living with you boys, but we both know that you need your own space. We’ve talked it over with the Nájeras, and we’ve decided to stay on here after you return to Madrid. We’re hoping to have a new house here soon. Alejandro received a phone call this morning from a friend who is interested in selling his investment properties. He owns two adjoining villas near the beach. They currently have a wall dividing one property from the other, but it would be pretty easy to put in a gate between the two homes. If you’re interested, we thought we could stop over to see the two houses before Tyler leaves for Madrid.”
Tyler smiled and said, “I think we should take a look at those two villas. If they meet our needs, we should move ahead with making an offer to buy them.” He paused and looked at Joey before continuing. “Thank you for understanding our feelings. We were afraid we would offend you.”
Hank said, “Son, we’ve been where you’re at now. We have watched you and Joey struggling to adapt, and we knew a time would come when you would want some time and space to solidify your marital relationship.”
Sr. Nájera said, “We also have seen how things are going. We, too, have occasionally stepped in when we shouldn’t have. Marimer reminded me of how we dealt with our daughter and her husband when they were first married. You are right to talk to us about remembering our role as your friends, not your overseers. We will try to remember to let you two work things out between yourselves, instead of interfering in the natural process newlyweds go through as they get used to living together as a couple.”
Sra. Nájera said, “We remember what it was like being newlyweds living with my parents. It was very difficult for Alejandro. We nearly divorced because of my mother’s meddling in our relationship. Of course, we didn’t even consider a divorce, because of the scandal it would have caused. Things are different now. People get married and divorced without a second thought.”
Tyler smiled, “You don’t have to worry about us getting a divorce. We are going to be together forever. Aren’t we, sweetheart?”
Joey returned Tyler’s smile and said, “Yes, we are.”
Louise said, “I’m glad you decided to talk to us. I was afraid you wouldn’t speak up, and tell us what was going on.”
Tyler laughed and said, “It’s all about communication. At least, that is what they’re teaching us in my classes!”
Hank said, “I’m glad to hear you’re learning something at the university. I wasn’t sure you were getting your money’s worth out of the classes you’re taking.”
Tyler said, “My classes are going well. However, I can’t wait to finish up my course work.”
Louise asked, “Don’t classes last until mid-July?”
“Yes, that’s correct, Mom,” Tyler said. “If we’re going to look at those two villas, we need to be going or I won’t make it back to Madrid in time for my afternoon class.”
They gathered the girls together and loaded them into the back of the car. Tyler and Joey followed the Nájeras through the streets of Málaga to the two villas. The owner met them at the first house and led them on a tour of both houses. After some discussion about how much the owner wanted for the two homes, they settled on a price, and Sr. Nájera said he would handle the legal paperwork.
Tyler walked outside with Joey and the two girls. “Now, that wasn’t so bad,” he said, pulling Joey into his arms and giving him a kiss.
Joey smiled and said, “No, it went pretty smoothly. I’m glad you were here to see the houses and help make the decision to buy them.”
“I’m glad I was here, as well. Rachel, do you think we can live here during the summer?”
Rachel looked up and said, “Dad, I like this house.” She turned to Joey and asked, “Daddy, may we stay here now?”
“No, not yet. We have to buy it first,” Joey said. He bent down and scooped her up.
She put her arms around his neck and kissed him on the cheek. “Do I get to have my own room if we buy this house?”
“If that is what you want,” Joey said.
“Yes, that is what I want. I’m not a baby like Sarah. I want to be a big girl with my own room,” Rachel said.
Tyler said, “Well, let’s see if we buy it first. Then, we can talk about who gets to sleep in which room.”
Rachel said, “Okay.”
They returned to the Nájeras summer home. Tyler loaded his gear in the car and pulled Joey into his arms. “Goodbye for now, Babe.” He kissed him deeply and climbed into the car. Joey watched him as he pulled out of the driveway. He waved as Tyler drove down the street. He was already missing Tyler. He turned and went inside to join his in-laws in the family room where they were reading stories to Rachel and Sarah. He stood in the doorway, listening to the stories and reflecting on how fortunate he was to be part of such a loving family.
I sat at the kitchen table thinking about the internship I had just agreed to take with the computer software company where Duane and Mason worked. The lady I had spoken to seemed very nice. She had introduced herself as Debra Hollister. I had asked if we needed to have a face-to-face interview before they could offer me an internship. Debra had indicated that I came with good references; therefore, a phone interview was sufficient. I thought to myself, “Duane and Mason must be held in high esteem, because they were my only references.”
Rick entered the kitchen. He sat down at the table across from me and asked, “Are you going to work with Duane and Mason?”
“I think I will. I called Duane’s boss a few minutes ago and I can start work anytime this week. I told her that we were going to Spain for the summer, starting mid-June, and would need to take the summer off. She was okay with that, since they really won’t need my help until the fall; but she said I could take their orientation training class now. That way, I’ll be ready to work with their company as soon as we return,” I said. “Speaking of our summer vacation, I called Tyler and Joey. They just bought a summer home in Málaga, on Spain’s Costa del Sol. I asked them when we should go to visit them. They suggested that we, along with Greg and Cory, fly to Madrid after Adam and Robbie’s wedding. That way, we can spend some time touring the city. Tyler doesn’t get out school until mid-July. That’s when they thought we could invite the rest of the guys to join us at the beach for a couple of weeks. Tyler’s parents bought the house next door to them; so there will be enough room between the two homes for all of us to stay at the beach.”
“It’s hard to believe that Tyler won’t be out of school until mid-July. We’ve been out of school for nearly three weeks now, as have Greg and Cory. When are you going to talk to the rest of the guys?” Rick asked.
“I was planning to call them after I talk to Greg and Cory,” I said. “I wanted to get things settled with them before trying to coordinate things with the larger group. I’ve already let the guys know to keep a couple of weeks open in July and August; so they already should be planning to take a few weeks to spend on the beach. The issue will be figuring out who wants to do some touring of Europe before returning home. I’ll call Greg and Cory in few minutes, now that I know that I’ll be working for the next week and then I’ll have the summer free.”
Rick asked, “Are we going touring?”
I grinned and said, “Of course, we have to visit Denmark. I want to see if we can find some of our family that stayed behind when my great grandparents moved to Canada.”
“What about touring France, Germany and Switzerland?” Rick said.
“We can tour as many countries as you want. My only requirement is that we spend a couple of days in Denmark,” I said.
Rick said, “Okay, I’ll plan out an itinerary and then we can talk about it.” Rick booted up his laptop and started researching tourist destinations and other such things.
My phone rang. I looked to see who it was and was surprised to see it was Adam. I answered the call, “Hello, Adam. What’s up?” I listened for a moment, then, motioned for Rick to join me.
Robbie helped Adam straighten his tie, then he stepped back to admire his handiwork. “You look so handsome,” he said. “I can’t believe we’re finally graduating!” He danced around the room, whooping, “Hooray! No more school!”
Adam laughed and said, “You’re one crazy guy, Robbie!” Adam watched his fiancé as he capered around the room like a little kid, with his long blond hair flying behind him, and his bright green eyes sparkling with merriment. Adam called Robbie his ‘elf king,’ because of his graceful moments and joyful laugh. Robbie’s sunny disposition and positive outlook always made him feel good, adding credence to Robbie’s nickname. He sometimes couldn’t believe how fortunate he was to find Robbie.
After they were married, he hoped they would be as happy as their older brothers, Zach and Todd. This past year had been good for them as a couple. Their peers knew they were engaged to be married, and were very supportive of them. In fact, some of their friends had thrown them a wedding shower. Adam had been more than a little embarrassed about all of the attention they were receiving; but Robbie thrived on it, and, in many ways, attracted it.
Robbie whirled around in a circle, trying to contain his excitement. He stopped spinning, and threw his arms around Adam. “I love you,” he said, planting a kiss on Adam’s lips before whirling away again.
Adam asked, “Are you ready to go?”
“Yes, I’m ready,” Robbie responded. They left their room and made their way downstairs to join the rest of the guys. The entered the family room and were met with loud applause.
“It’s about time you two showed up,” Zach said, with a slight bit of irritation in his voice.
Todd said, “It’s okay, Zach. They’re entitled to a little time to primp in front of the mirror. It is their big day, after all.” Todd put his hand to his husband’s face. “Be patient, Babe.”
Todd stood next to his brother, and Zach was struck by how much alike they looked. In fact, they were so much alike that they were often mistaken for twins; two Norse gods who had come to live with him, with their blond hair, blue eyes and strong chins. He often teased Todd that his real name was Thor, and that he’d forgotten his hammer! He remembered when Adam had moved in with them he had been a skinny kid, now he was as broad shouldered as Todd and just as well built. It always amazed him how alike his husband and brother-in-law were, while he and Robbie looked so different from each other. Robbie was blond, green-eyed, with a swimmer’s build, being lithe and wiry; where Zach had dark brown hair, dark chocolate eyes, was broad-shouldered, well-muscled and very strong. Their parents often referred to Zach as their strong oak tree and Robbie as their river willow, given his love of the water and his slender build.
Zach stood up from the couch and walked over to his brother. “I’m sorry for being so grumpy. I’m a little worried that we’ll be late for your graduation.”
Robbie grinned at his older brother and said, “That’s okay. We’re ready now and we can leave for the school.”
Mark, Brandon, Justin and Brian were waiting at the door for Robbie and Adam. Each of the guys gave them a hug, except Justin, who kissed them, as well.
Mark said, “Congratulations, guys!”
Justin said, “We’ll see you at the restaurant after the ceremony.”
Robbie grinned and said, “Don’t be late. You know how cranky Zach gets!”
Zach laughed and cuffed Robbie up the side of his head. “Don’t you forget it, little brother!”
The two sets of brothers walked out to Zach’s car and climbed in. He drove them to the school and pulled into the parking lot. As they approached the school, they saw their parents standing outside, waiting for them.
Melissa pulled Robbie into a warm embrace. “Congratulations, son,” she said. She kissed him on the cheek and turned to Adam. “Congratulations to you, Adam.” She hugged and kissed him as well.
The Ingrams greeted the two boys in like manner. Sam said, “We are very proud of both of you.”
Adam said, “Thanks, Dad.”
They moved as a group toward the auditorium where the graduation ceremony was to be held. Robbie and Adam separated from their parents and joined the throng of their fellow students waiting to march into the auditorium. The Andersons and the Ingrams were seated together in the auditorium.
Sam said, “I have to admit that Robbie has been the best thing for Adam. He wasn’t doing well in his studies until he met Robbie.”
Melissa said, “I think Adam has been just as good for Robbie.”
Vickie agreed, “They have been very good for each other. I’m glad that all the wedding arrangements have already been made. The people at Founder’s Village took care of everything for us.”
Melissa said, “Yes, it was very nice to turn everything over to them after we managed to convince the boys that we didn’t want to do another wedding at the Valhalla Inn.”
“It was nice, but it was a lot of work on our part to get things gone,” Vickie said. “I don’t mind staying there, since the rooms are nice; but things weren’t exactly the way I wanted them.”
Melissa smiled, “Fortunately, the boys were quite happy and things went smoothly. They had a memorable day and are happily married. I’m sure we could’ve had another wedding there, but Robbie and Adam wanted a church wedding and the Founder’s Village church is non-denominational. Reverend Joynt has agreed to marry them.”
Brad said, “It will be good to have them married, so they can begin the next stage of their lives.”
Sam asked, “Has Robbie said anything about their honeymoon plans?”
“Not to me,” Brad responded. “Has he mentioned it to you, Melissa?”
“No, he hasn’t,” Melissa responded. “I take it that Adam hasn’t told either one of you.”
Vickie said, “No, he hasn’t. He did mention that they are planning to spend the summer in Spain with Greg’s brother-in-law. Greg and Cory are flying to Spain directly after the wedding, as are Glenn and Rick.”
“Do you think they’re going to Spain for their honeymoon?” Brad asked.
“I don’t think so,” Sam said. “Adam said they were looking at three different locations and hadn’t made up their minds yet.” Sam turned to Zach and Todd who were seated with them. “Have they mentioned anything to you two?”
Todd said, “No, but I know they aren’t going to spend their honeymoon in Spain. We’re joining them in mid-July for a week at the beach. Then we’re going to do a two week tour of Europe with the rest of the guys.”
Zach said, “Rick and Glenn have put together an itinerary with several options for tours of different countries. They sent us the information by e-mail yesterday, and we’re going to call them tomorrow to discuss specifics.”
Their conversation was interrupted, as the orchestra began playing “Pomp and Circumstance,” signaling the impending arrival of the graduates. They searched for their sons among the students filing into the auditorium. They spotted them and waved to them. Robbie came in first, since they were seated alphabetically, then Adam appeared. After listening to the speakers and receiving various awards, the students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas. The boys’ mothers were both in tears as they watched their youngest sons cross the stage.
The boys’ families and friends gathered outside the high school and took photographs of the graduates with their respective families as well as all of them together.
After the photographers were done, they caravanned to Collette Bar and Bistro; where they met Greg, Cory, Ben, Janice, Patty, Irene, Donica, Jimmy, Mark, Brandon, Justin and Brian. Everyone congratulated the two teens on their graduation from high school. They were shown to their seats and the waiters began taking orders for beverages. There were two empty seats at the table with Zach and Todd. Todd leaned over to see whose names were on the tickets at the two empty places. He read the card and looked up in surprise at Zach.
“Did you know that Rick and Glenn are supposed to be here,” Todd said.
“No, they didn’t mention anything about flying in today when I spoke to them last night,” Zach said. “Why?”
“Their names are on these name cards,” Todd said, picking up one of them and handing it to his husband.
Zach read it and gave Todd a puzzled look. “I wonder why they didn’t mention it last night.”
Todd was about to respond, when the persons in question entered the room. Robbie jumped up from his seat and ran over to hug them both. He exclaimed, “I didn’t think you would be here!”
Rick laughed and said, “We weren’t planning to be here; however, someone managed to convince us that we needed to come.”
Robbie looked at Rick with a puzzled expression. “Who was that?”
I smiled and said, “I think it was your fiancé.”
Adam had come up behind Robbie and slipped his arm around his waist. “I thought it would be a nice surprise for you, Robbie.”
Robbie turned his head and gave Adam a quick kiss on the lips. “I love you.” Robbie was practically levitating off of the floor, such was his state of excitement and happiness. “This is the best day ever!”
Rick said, “It may be, but the best day ever is still to come.”
Robbie agreed, “You’re right about that. Two weeks from today to be exact.”
While they were talking, Zach and Todd joined the welcoming committee. “You sure kept us in the dark,” Zach said, accusingly.
Rick said, “We’re sorry we didn’t tell you; but Adam made us promise not to tell anyone we were coming.”
Adam confirmed what Rick said was true. “I didn’t want you guys spoiling my surprise.”
Zach, only slightly mollified, said, “Come join us at our table. At least Adam arranged for you to be seated with us.”
Rick and I greeted our friends as we made our way between the tables to our seats. Once seated, Todd asked, “How was your flight?”
“It was good,” I said. “I’m a little tired since we had to be at the airport by 5 AM to catch the first flight out of Atlanta. Did you guys get a chance to read over Rick’s itinerary?”
“We did, and we want to tour England, Denmark, Holland, France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. Of course, we want to spend a week relaxing on the beach,” Todd said.
Rick said, “I think we can accommodate all of those places, but we might have to extend out trip by two weeks to get in everything we want to see.”
Zach said, “I’m good with that, as long as we’re back before school starts.”
Todd said, “I’m glad you guys came for the boys’ graduation. I know Robbie was pretty down when you told him you weren’t coming.”
I said, “I didn’t know what my work schedule was going to be when he called. I finished my orientation class yesterday.”
“What kind of work will you be doing?” Todd asked.
“Computer software engineering,” I replied.
Todd smiled and said, “That’s the same kind of work that I do with Justin.”
I nodded my head. “I know. In fact, I was wondering if I couldn’t work with you guys at some point. Of course, it has to be something I can work on from Atlanta.”
Rick said, “Get this, guys. Glenn is going to work as a software engineer, but he’s not even studying computer science.”
I said, defensively, “Yes, but they said they would train me to do their work. When we get back from Spain, I will be enrolled in one of their on-the-job training courses.”
Rick put his arm around my shoulders. “Does this look like the face of someone who can be trained?”
Zach and Todd burst out laughing. Zach said, “No, I’m afraid not.”
I protested, “Hey! Whose side are you guys on, anyway?”
Todd said, “Well….”
I glared at Todd and said, “Never mind.”
Rick said, “Doesn’t he look so cute when he’s mad.” He reached up and pinched my cheek as he spoke. He leaned over and silenced my response with a kiss on the lips. “Don’t be angry, Babe. We’re just teasing you.”
All the anger went out of me. How could I stay angry with Rick when he kissed me like that? I shook my head and said, “You can be so mean sometimes.”
Rick grinned and said, “Now I’m the meanest man on the planet.” He turned to Zach and Todd and asked, “Am I being mean?”
Zach grinned and said, “Not at all, Rick. I think you were being really nice to Glenn, kissing him and all.”
Todd added, “I think Glenn needs to be grateful to you for being so kind.”
I said, “You guys are all alike.”
Zach said, “I think that was a very fine compliment. I agree we are a lot alike in that we love teasing you.”
“That’s what I meant,” I said, sarcastically.
Todd reached over and took my hand. “We tease you because we love you, Glenn.”
His touch reminded me how much I missed living with my gay roommates at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. There is nothing like having a bunch of hot studs as roommates. It had been over a year, since Rick returned home from his active duty tour with the Marine Corps.
I said, “It’s good to be back here with you guys. I wish we could live with you guys again.”
“We’ll have to see how things work out for us,” Zach said. “I’m thinking of going professional; so we’ll be moving around quite a bit.”
“I’m already working in computers; so I can work anywhere Zach takes me,” Todd said. “I’ve told Zach to follow his dreams. I’m living my dream right now.” Todd leaned over and kissed his husband.
Zach grinned and said, “I’ve found my one and only true love.”
I could see that they were very much in love with each other. It made me feel good that my friends were doing well. Sometimes people started to drift apart after the glow of being newlyweds wore off; but Zach and Todd seemed to be closer than ever before.
Todd saw me watching them and smiled at me. “Your turn is coming, Glenn. Your Rick loves you just as much as Zach loves me. You just need to learn to be patient. You have to remember that Zach and I were apart quite a while before Robbie managed to get us back together.”
Rick said, “Please tell him that again. Glenn gets so frustrated with me sometimes because of my insistence on finishing my commitment to the Marine Corps.”
Todd nodded his head. “Glenn has expressed his feelings about your military service before, and I’m sure he will continue to tell you how unhappy he is about it until you leave the military.” Here Todd paused and looked at me and asked, “Am I correct in making that statement?”
I said, “Yes, you’re right about that. I’ve tried not to complain about it, but it gets so frustrating at times.”
“What’s important for you to remember is that you know Rick won’t abandon you. One of Rick’s most admirable qualities is that he is a man of his word. You could say that you’re asking him to change one of his basic character traits to accommodate your wants and desires. Do you really want him to change? Do you want him to be someone you can’t trust to keep his word? Do you want to be married to someone who won’t honor his commitments because it’s inconvenient?”
Todd’s questions hit me hard. I looked down at my plate and played with my food. I raised my eyes to his and said, “No, I don’t want Rick to change who he is.” I paused and took Rick’s hand in mine. “I know Rick loves me, Todd; but it’s hard for me to refrain from showing my love for him in public. Since they haven’t repealed the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law, we have to pretend we are nothing more than roommates. I hate living that way; always wondering if someone has seen us hold hands, or kiss each other. You guys can show your love for each other and live openly gay lives. Sure, you still have to watch for people who wish to do you harm, but you don’t have to worry about someone calling your boyfriend’s commanding officer to report him as being gay. You don’t know what it’s like to always be looking over your shoulder, wondering if you’ve ruined your boyfriend’s military career by simply holding his hand.”
My tirade was interrupted by the arrival of our meal, much to the relief of my companions! Zach grinned and said, “Thank God in Heaven for sending out the food. Now, we won’t have to listen to your whining, Glenn.” Zach laughed as I stuck my tongue out at him. “I believe I’ll collect that kiss after we finish eating.”
“No you won’t, because my big, bad boyfriend will get jealous,” I said, laughing.
Rick ruffled my hair and said, “Who are you calling your big, bad boyfriend?”
I put my hand to my mouth and said, in a stage whisper, “That would be you, Babe.”
Zach and Todd guffawed. Todd said, “You make Rick sound like he’s the big, bad wolf and you’re Little Red Riding Hood.”
I took my cloth napkin and wrapped it around my head like a scarf. I looked at Rick and batted my eyelashes. “Oh, Grandma, what big eyes you have,” I said, in a high falsetto voice.
That set the guys to laughing. From the table next to us, Greg leaned over and pulled the napkin off of my head. He grinned and said, “I have always wanted to meet Little Red Riding Hood.” He handed me my napkin. “Do you play Goldilocks and the Three Bears?”
I licked my lips and said, seductively, “Why yes, I do.”
Cory laughed and said, “I’d love to see that, as long as I get to be one of the three bears.”
Greg asked, “Are you going to plan a series of competitions for our trip to Spain like the ones we had in Cancun?”
“That would be really cool,” Cory said, with a big grin on his face.
“Do you guys want me to do that? I didn’t want to plan too much this time, because we’ll be staying with Joey and Tyler instead of at a resort hotel,” I said.
Zach said, “I think it would be great. Of course, you may have to adjust some of the competitions, somewhat, depending on the situation.”
“Okay, I’ll talk to Joey and Tyler about it. I don’t want to embarrass their parents or cause us any trouble with the police,” I said.
Zach said, “We have to have some kind of tournament, since Robbie and Adam will be there. Robbie complained pretty loudly about not being allowed to go to Cancun with us.”
Todd said, “It would be great fun for them, because they’ll be newlyweds.”
I said, “Okay, I’ll do it, but I’ll need some help with ideas of things we can do. I don’t want to repeat the exact same things we did in Cancun.”
Zach said, “I think we can canvass the guys and come up with some good ideas.”
Todd said, “We’ll talk to them after lunch. I think everyone is going to be home for the afternoon.”
After that, I directed my attention to the food on my plate and realized I was starving, since they didn’t have much on the plane that I would consider edible. The conversation at our table moved on to a discussion of the classes we had just finished, and what our plans were for the fall semester.
Later that evening, we were getting ready for bed when Zach said, “We want you guys to stay in our room tonight.” I raised my eyebrows in surprise. I hadn’t expected an invitation to join them. We had already pulled out the bed in the sofa sleeper and were making it up with fresh sheets. I looked across the bed at Rick to see his reaction to Zach’s invitation.
Seeing our looks of astonishment, Zach grinned and said, “We bought a king-sized bed last month, and we thought it would be fun to play with you guys.”
Rick looked at me and said, “I’m okay with that if you are.”
I said, “I’m good as long as it’s understood we only fuck our partners. I don’t want us to be the cause of problems between you two.”
Todd said, “Agreed, but we can give each other blow jobs.”
I said, “Okay, but that’s the limit.” The thought of sharing a bed with our friends was causing things to stir down below.
Todd noticed the growing bulge in my pants and laughed. “I can see you’re just as turned on as I am!”
I looked down at his crotch to see his very erect steel pole outlined against the fabric of his jeans. It was obvious that he had gone commando when we returned home from the boys’ graduation. I raised my eyes to his and gave him a lecherous grin.
Rick said, “I guess we don’t have to finish making up the bed.” He pulled off the fitted sheet, folded the sofa bed back into its position inside the sofa and replaced the cushions. He walked over and put his arm around my waist.
Zach smiled broadly and said, “Rick, who ever said you weren’t gay hasn’t seen how aroused you are at the thought of sharing a bed with us!”
Rick laughed. “Who wouldn’t be excited to share a bed with the three best looking guys on the planet?”
We practically ran up the stairs to their bedroom. Zach opened their door and signaled for us to enter. We walked in and stopped to stare at the huge bed they had purchased. It was a gigantic four poster bed made of oak. I could tell the bed was very solid, just from looking at it. They had changed the décor in their room to a theme of black with accents of gold. The comforter and duvet were black with gold trim. Their dressers were also black with gold trim. It was a very masculine room. Their closet was open, showing two sets of hockey gear on the floor underneath their clothes that had been neatly hung.
The two men entered the room behind us and I turned to them. “I really like your room.”
Todd said, “Thank you. We both like black, so it was easy to agree on what we wanted.”
We quickly stripped out of our clothes. We stood around in a circle admiring each other before Todd said, “I want to shower with all of you.” Todd took his husband by the hand and led him into the en suite.
Rick and I followed. I grinned at Rick and said, “I think we should give them a show.”
Rick nodded his head in agreement. “I’m so horny it won’t take much to get me off.”
We walked in the bathroom. I whistled and said, “When did you guys redo the bathroom?”
Zach said, “Last January. Don’t you remember? We called you and asked if we could remodel it to suit our needs. We wanted a shower like the one at the end of the hall as part of the master bedroom.”
I shook my head. “I don’t remember that, but maybe you talked to Rick about it.”
Rick said, “I remember talking to them about their plans. You were spending a lot of time with Perry, remember?”
I grimaced at the reminder. “Unfortunately, I do remember.”
Rick put his arms around my waist and pulled me close to him. “Don’t fret about it, Glenn. That chapter of our lives is past.”
Todd opened the shower door and turned on all the shower heads. There were eight in all; four just above my head and four at waist level with a tiled bench built out of the wall. We joined him in the shower and began making out under the multiple cascades of hot water.
The next morning, I was a little disoriented when I awoke. As the memory of last night’s play, I grew so hard it hurt. I could feel Todd’s morning wood poking me in the back. He nuzzled the back of my neck and nibbled on my earlobe.
He whispered in my ear, “I love you, Glenn.”
I turned my head and he kissed me. “I love you, too.” As I said those words, I realized I really did love Todd; not in the same way as I loved Rick, of course, but I did love both Todd and his husband, Zach.
Rick said, “Yes, we both love you, Todd.”
I turned my head and kissed Rick. “Good morning, Babe.”
Zach yawned and stretched. “Man! That was something last night!” He rolled over, spooning up against Todd while he slipped his arm around his waist.
Todd grinned and said, “It was pretty wonderful, if you ask me.”
Rick agreed. “It was pretty amazing.”
Before we could say anything more, the door flew open and Robbie and Adam flew into the room. They climbed up on the foot to the bed. Robbie said, “You guys were so loud last night, we wanted to join you, but Adam said we had to wait. Can we join you tonight?”
Zach laughed. “Sure, if the rest of the guys don’t mind.”
I grinned at the two teens and asked, “Aren’t you two a little young to be interested in sex?”
Adam sputtered as he started to protest. Robbie glanced over at his boyfriend and said, “We’re both over 18 and we’re just as horny as you guys are.”
Adam grinned and said, “In fact, I think we’ve got bigger dicks than you do.”
Zach said, “I think that was a challenge guys. Let’s see who has the longest dick.”
He got out of bed, showing off his morning wood. He turned and said, “Come one, guys, let’s show them!”
We all climbed out of bed and stood in front of the two teens. Robbie’s eyes got as big as saucers when he saw Rick’s steel pole. “Dang! I forgot how big you were, Rick.”
Rick laughed. “I have to keep Glenn satisfied.”
Zach said, “Stand up, bro., and show us your stuff.”
Robbie stripped off his underwear and stood next to his brother. Zach wrapped his large hand around their two dicks and said, “I win.” He looked over at Adam and said, “You’re next.”
Adam stood up, letting his boxers drop around his feet. He stepped out of them and over to where Zach was standing. Adam grinned and said, “I win.” He moved over in front of Todd.
Todd said, “I think we’re even.” They moved in front of me and we compared sizes. Todd and Adam said, together, “We win.”
Rick grinned as they faced him. “I win over all of you.”
Todd laughed, “It was kind of obvious as soon as you got out of bed that you had the longest dick of all of us.”
Rick added, “And the biggest!”
Robbie said, “Rick won the biggest dick contest, but we still get to sleep with you guys tonight.”
Zach clapped his brother on the back and said, “Okay, but you have to play by the rules.”
Robbie looked at his brother in surprise and asked, “What rules?” Zach explained them and Robbie said, “Okay, we understand. May we use your shower?”
Zach nodded his head said, “Let’s all get a shower.” We followed him into the en suite and enjoyed a hot morning shower together! As I surveyed the hot studs in the shower with me, I knew why I missed living here!
Later, the guys were all seated around the kitchen table while Todd and I cooked breakfast. Justin and Brian walked into the kitchen. Justin looked around the room and said, “Good morning, guys.”
We chorused back, “Good morning.”
Justin asked, “Robbie and Adam, how was your graduation party last night?”
“It was a blast,” Adam said, animatedly.
Robbie added, “You wouldn’t believe what they did!”
Between the two of them, they narrated the events of the evening. Robbie ended their narrative. “We came home and tried to get some sleep.” Here he paused and looked over at his brother and brother-in-law. “But someone was being too loud.”
Brian said, “We know. We heard them, too, only it made us really horny.”
Justin put his arm around his husband’s waist. “Yes, we had some of the best sex we’ve ever had last night.”
Robbie guffawed, “That would’ve been a sight to see.”
Justin smiled at Robbie, “Laugh it up, boy. I know where you sleep and you just might wake up completely shaved.”
Robbie was immediately contrite. “I’m sorry, Justin.”
Justin laughed. “It’s okay. I was just pulling your chain. I think Adam would like you that way. You should do it for him.”
Robbie said, “Maybe for our honeymoon. We want to look good in our Speedo swimsuits.”
Brian asked, “Where are you guys going for your honeymoon?”
“Adam won’t tell me,” Robbie said, pouting. “He says it’s a surprise.”
Adam nodded his head. “I haven’t told anyone where we’re going.”
Zach said, “I would tell someone here where you’re going, just in case we need to get hold of you.”
“I’ll tell you after we get to the airport and we’re standing in line to board the plane,” Adam said.
“So we’re going to fly somewhere,” Robbie said. “That’s the nearest thing to a clue that you’ve given me.”
Mark and Brandon joined us in the kitchen. Mark said, “I smelled the sausage cooking.”
Brandon said, “And the coffee.”
I poured two cups of coffee and passed them down to Mark and Brandon. I asked, “Justin and Brian, do you want coffee?”
Brian said, “Yes, please.”
Justin nodded his head. “What are the plans for today?”
“Let’s go swimming,” Robbie said. “I want to work on my tan.”
Mark said, “I’m up for that.”
“After that, we should go on a bike ride. We have a couple of extra bikes for Glenn and Rick,” Brandon said.
Rick said, “I like that idea. We usually go out running in the mornings, but a long bike ride would be a nice change.”
I remembered the first time I met Brandon. He was in his biker gear and it fit him so well! I was getting hard down below, just thinking about it. I turned back to the stove and turned the sausages to hide my growing erection.
Brandon looked meaningfully at Adam and said, “Adam, next time you check your reservations for your honeymoon, make sure you clear the browsing history and shut down the computer.”
Adam blushed and said, “Please don’t say anything about where we’re going. I want it to be a surprise.”
Brandon smiled and said, “I won’t spoil it for Robbie, but I promise you’ll love it.”
The sausages finished cooking and I turned off the stove. Todd had finished the pancakes and the eggs were already warming in the microwave. We placed the food on the table and sat down with the guys.
Zach said, “Let’s say grace.”
Justin said, “I’ll say it.”
We fell silent and listened to Justin. When he finished, we chorused, “Amen,” and attacked the steaming plates of food with gusto. I am still amazed at how quickly food disappears with 10 hungry men around the table!
The next two weeks flew by for us. Every day we spent time at the pool, working on our tans, so we wouldn’t be embarrassed at the beach. I spent some one-on-one time with Justin, quizzing him about computer programming and how to analyze customer requirements. Todd sometimes joined us for those discussions. I went with the two of them to Justin’s office, where he showed me the work he was doing for a large construction company. It was good to see how his business was prospering. I’m glad we came early to spend time with our friends. It was good to be able to just be me and enjoy being around my friends.
Just as important as the time spent with Justin and Todd was spending time with the rest of the guys. Every night was a new adventure for us. The guys opened our eyes to many new ways of pleasuring each other! Just thinking about it makes me horny!
The big day arrived for us to drive north to Duluth where we met up with the Andersons and the Ingrams, then on to Thunder Bay. We stayed at the Valhalla Inn as we had for the guys’ double wedding. Zach, Todd, Mark and Brandon all reminisced about their wedding day as we sat around the hotel pool.
Robbie said, “I can’t wait until tomorrow when I will become an Anderson-Ingram just like my brother and brother-in-law.”
Adam said, “I’m just as excited as Robbie. It was really cool getting our marriage license today. The people there were very nice to us.”
“You are lucky that you live close enough to Canada so you can get married. Georgia has a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage,” I said.
“But Minnesota doesn’t recognize our marriage,” Zach said.
“Maybe someday they will,” Todd said. “But we aren’t waiting for them. Zach is thinking of playing professional hockey which means we’ll more than like move to Canada.”
I said, “That’s good news! I wish we could move to Canada, but we have to wait until Rick is out of the Marine Corps.”
The longing in my voice caused Rick to put his arm around my shoulders. “Be patient, Babe.”
We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening relaxing at the hotel. That evening, we shared a room with Greg and Cory. We sat down on our bed across from Greg and Cory.
Greg said, “I’m really happy for Robbie and Adam. They seem so well adjusted to each other and to being an openly gay couple. Their experiences are very much the opposite of those Cory and I faced in high school. While we were harassed and rejected by our fellow students, they have been accepted for who they are and have been surrounded by friends and family who’ve supported them. Glenn, I credit you for helping to build a safe environment for them. Robbie can’t say enough good things about you.”
I blushed a little bit. “Robbie thinks I walk on water, but I didn’t do anything that I wouldn’t have done for anyone else.”
Cory said, “That may be true, but no one else was able to reach Robbie like you did. He told me how you listened to him when things seemed to at their worst, and encouraged him to seek out the help he needed.”
“That’s why he asked you to be his best man, while Adam asked Justin to stand up with him,” Greg said.
Rick said, “Adam and Robbie are pretty amazing guys. Justin has repeatedly told us that they are the reason he is still with us.”
“I think the world of those two young guys,” I said. “I hope that tomorrow will be their best day ever!”
Greg said, “I remember the day we got married; I felt so overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe that it was really happening, especially after everything we had been through with my family.”
Cory said, “We’ve talked with Robbie and Adam quite a bit about our experiences. I’m afraid we may have turned them into gay rights activists. After hearing our story, Robbie was so angry, he couldn’t stop talking about it for days. We finally had to convince him the best way to help combat the anti-gay propaganda of the religious community was to get married and show them that we are couples with families instead of the monsters they portray us to be. We need to step into the limelight and prove them wrong.”
“It sounds like you’re a gay rights activist yourself,” Rick said.
Cory grinned, “I am, and I should be, after being attacked and nearly murdered by Greg’s father, because of the hatred engendered by the teachings of his church. I want people to know that terrible, evil people are hiding behind the veil of religion. Some of the worst offenses against mankind have been perpetrated by those professing to believe in God and claim to be doing His will.”
Greg said, “The way I see it, organized religion is nothing more than a thinly disguised crime ring; fleecing believers of their money, while brainwashing them into believing that they are doing God’s will. Most of them work just like the Mafia, holding secret meetings, inciting their believers to murder those who don’t hold the same beliefs, and urging them to take over the government in order to place themselves in power. Their goal is to turn our country into a theocracy, with these religious leaders at its head. They are all about power and money. In nearly every country of the world, the leaders of religious bodies claim the authority to overrule government leaders and impose their will on the masses. In fact, most political leaders bow and scrape to those same religious leaders, acknowledging that they are really figureheads, beholden to the support of those very same religious leaders. The real power lies with the religious leaders, not the government. Maybe we should start wooing the religionist just like the politicians do.”
Rick said, “You sound a lot like Glenn. He is pretty anti-religion, too.”
“Hey! Don’t be pointing the finger at me when you’re not exactly pro-religion either,” I said. “You’re the one whose family disowned him because of their religious beliefs.”
Cory said, “The three of us have been subjected to the worst aspects of Christian religion. They profess to follow the teachings of Jesus; however, they are Christians in name only.”
“Not all Christians are fakes,” I said. “Our friend, Jeb, claims to be a Christian and he hasn’t been blinded by false teachings of his church. I admit that when we first met him, he was pretty brainwashed; but he’s seen the light, and acknowledged that his church teaches their adherents to hate their fellow men in direct opposition to Jesus’ teaching to ‘love one another.’ Jeb couldn’t reconcile what he was being taught with what he read in the Bible. He said his father believes that ‘love one another’ applies only to the members of their church.”
Rick said, “Jeb has a boyfriend, now.”
Greg raised his eyebrows and asked, “Really?”
“Yes, it surprised us when he showed up with his boyfriend at our condo,” I said.
Cory said, “I guess it must be true that the men who are most homophobic are really gay men who are so afraid of being found out that they have to prove to the world that they aren’t gay. Otherwise, why would they be so afraid of us?”
Rick said, “You might be right about that. I think that every guy is attracted to other guys at some point in their lives. I know that the first time I thought about having sex with a guy was when I met Glenn. Before that, the thought of having sex with a guy had never even entered my mind.”
Greg said, “That’s how it was for me. I had a lot of girls throwing themselves at me, since I was on the football team. I dated a few of them but Cory was always the one who attracted my attention.”
I looked over at Cory and said, “I think we are the luckiest guys in the entire world.”
Cory agreed, “That’s how I feel, too.”
Rick said, “I’m looking forward to our trip to Spain. Joey and Tyler are really great guys.”
Greg said, “Yes, my brother-in-law is a very blessed man, because he found Tyler. They are very good for each other. Did they tell you about their new home on the beach?”
I said, “Yes, they did. I can’t wait to see it. Joey seemed to be really excited about it.”
We chatted about our impending trip to Spain and the touring around Europe that we wanted to do. It was pretty late when we finally went to bed.
The next morning Robbie woke his fiancé with a kiss. “Good morning, sweetheart.”
Adam looked into Robbie’s emerald eyes and smiled. “Good morning.” He put his hand behind Robbie’s head and pulled him down for a deeper kiss. They put their foreheads together and looked into each other’s eyes. “I love you.”
Robbie said, “I love you, too.” Robbie kissed his fiancé again and said, “I want to tell you that I can’t put into words how much you mean to me, Adam. Saying the words ‘I love you,’ doesn’t even begin to express the depth of the feelings I have for you. From the first day we met, I have loved you. I gave you my heart that day, and I am so happy that you feel the same way about me.”
Adam said, “I’m glad you agreed to share the rest of your life with me. I’ve always dreamed of marrying my soul mate, like Todd did. I remember watching them and thinking that someday it would be me kissing my boyfriend on our front room couch. I was even more devastated than Todd was when your brother broke up with him. I had this image in my head that they would always be together forever.”
“I thought the same thing. I’m glad they decided to get back together. I’m even happier that Todd has a little brother who is just as handsome and charming as he is,” Robbie said, grinning.
“Do you think so?” Adam asked.
Robbie said, “You already know so. You two are nearly identical in every way, except I think I got the better brother, because your personality fits so nicely with mine. I love Todd, but we wouldn’t have made it as a couple. Todd is Zach’s other half. They are meant to be together, just as we’re meant to be together.”
Adam sighed happily and said, “I’ve lived in Todd’s shadow for most of my life. My parents always compared me to him as we were growing up. It wasn’t until they sent me to high school in Minneapolis that I finally was able to escape being compared to him. Then, I met you and my world was complete. I’m sorry that sometimes I need to be reassured that you’re not comparing me to Todd.”
Robbie grinned. “I do compare you to Todd.” He reached down to stroke his fiancé member. “You both look like Thor and have perfect bodies.”
Adam moaned in pleasure. He threw back his head and murmured, “Don’t stop.”
A while later, completely relaxed and enjoying the touch of Robbie’s skin next to his, Adam asked, “Seriously, do you compare me to Todd?”
Robbie opened his eyes and gazed into his lover’s eyes. “No, Babe, I don’t need to compare you to your brother. You’re the perfect man for me. Please, rest assured that I love you, and only you. After our wedding, you will be stuck with me for the rest of your life and beyond.”
Adam smiled, contentedly. “I know you love me, and I promise to stop worrying about other people and concentrate on us.”
Robbie rolled on top of Adam. He looked into Adam’s eyes and grinned. “Are you ready for another round before we get showered?” Adam didn’t have time to answer before Robbie captured his lips!
We were eating breakfast when the two teenagers showed up in the dining room. There was a glow about them that couldn’t be missed. The way they held hands and looked at each other broadcast the love they had for each other to everyone who saw them.
I looked over at Rick and said, “I hope we look like that on our wedding day.”
Rick said, “We will, I promise.”
As the boys walked over to join their parents, Sam observed, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a happier couple.”
Vickie said, “They do seem to be floating on air at the moment.”
“I’m glad we sent Robbie to that special high school. Meeting Adam has been a very great blessing in his life,” Brad said.
Melissa smiled and said, “It makes my heart glad to see them so happy.”
The boys took their seats at the table. Their happiness radiated from their big smiles. “Good morning,” Robbie said.
“Good morning, boys,” Sam said. “We were just commenting on how happy you guys look.”
Adam said, “That’s because we are.” He still held Robbie’s hand and gave it a squeeze.
Robbie’s grin widened and he said, “If you were marrying the greatest man in the world today, you’d be just as happy as I am.”
Adam blushed from Robbie’s praise. Melissa said, “Adam, Robbie is correct. You are the greatest man in Robbie’s life.”
Robbie leaned over and kissed Adam. “Mom is right you know.”
Adam said, “No, Mom doesn’t know you like I do. You’re the best man on earth.”
Robbie responded, “Then each of us is marrying the greatest man on earth.” He laughed and ruffled Adam’s hair.
Their mothers looked at each other and then back to their sons. Vickie said, “Melissa, I think they’ve got it right.”
Melissa agreed, “They are doing the right things. We are very proud of both of you. Nothing makes us happier as parents than to see our sons making good choices and finding the right partner. We are confident that you two are meant to be together, and we want you to know we are behind you one hundred percent.”
There were many more words of parental advice given to the two boys over the course of the next half hour, as the boys ate their breakfast.
The wedding party gathered in the parking lot of Founders’ Village. They were met by one of the wedding planners, who led them to the village church. The wedding photographer began taking photos as the guests entered the church and took their seats. Reverend Joynt spent a few moments with Robbie and Adam going over the details of how things were to work. They reviewed where the best men would stand, and the order of events. Reverend Joynt asked, “Have you memorized your vows?”
Robbie grinned, “Yes, we both have, but I wrote the words of our wedding vows on this note card just in case I forget.” He pulled out a 3X5 note card from his pocket.
Reverend Joynt said, reassuringly, “I’m sure you won’t forget. If you need a little prompting, Adam can whisper it to you, since he has memorized it, too.”
Adam smiled at his fiancé, “You won’t forget, Robbie.”
Reverend Joynt left us and entered the chapel, walking down the aisle to take her place.
The wedding music began playing, and Justin and I walked up the aisle to the front of the little chapel. We took our places on either side of the chapel and waited for Robbie and Adam. They soon arrived and the music stopped.
Reverend Joynt looked around the small chapel filled with Robbie and Adam’s family and friends. She said, “Welcome, and thank you for coming here today. We are gathered together to celebrate the union of these two wonderful men in the bonds of matrimony.” She paused and then continued, “Robbie and Adam, you may make your vows to each other.”
Robbie gazed deeply into Adam’s eyes and said, “I, Robert Edward Anderson, take you Adam Corbet Ingram, to be my partner in life, my best friend in life, and my one true love. I will cherish our marriage, and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you, respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward, as long as we both shall live.”
Adam said, “I, Adam Corbet Ingram, take you Robert Edward Anderson, to be my partner in life, my best friend in life, and my one true love. I will cherish our marriage, and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you, respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward, as long as we both shall live.”
Reverend Joynt said, “You may now exchange rings.”
I handed Adam his ring and Justin handed Robbie his. They took each other by the hand and slid the rings onto their ring fingers.
Reverend Joynt said, “I pronounce you Robert Edward Anderson and Adam Corbet Ingram legally and lawfully wedded. You may kiss each other.”
They kissed deeply, causing the guys to hoot and whistle. When they came up for air, Reverend Joynt said, “I present to you Robbie and Adam Anderson-Ingram.” We all stood up and clapped. “Please allow the newlyweds to leave the chapel first, then you may congratulate the happy couple, as you leave.”
Robbie and Adam went down the aisle, and Justin and I followed them. When we arrived at the doors to the chapel, I put my arms around Robbie and kissed him. “Congratulations!”
Robbie said, “Thank you, Glenn.”
I turned to Adam and hugged and kissed him. “Congratulations, Adam. Take good care of Robbie for me,”
Adam grinned and said, “You can count on me.”
I moved outside and waited for Rick to join me. He came up to me and said, “Hey, handsome!”
I grinned at him and said, “Hey, yourself!”
He took my hand and said, “You look great in that tuxedo.”
I nodded my head in agreement. “Thank you, but I think the stars of the show look even better than I do.”
Rick said, “Yes, Robbie and Adam both look great in their white tuxedos. It’s pretty evident that they are living their happily ever after.”
We were joined by the rest of the guys. Zach said, “I’m so happy for them.”
“Me, too,” Todd said. There were tears on his cheeks. “I guess I shouldn’t be so emotional, but I can’t help it.”
Zach took Todd into his arms and held him tight. “It’s okay, Babe. Our brothers are very happy and you should be, too.”
“I am happy. It’s just that seeing them married means they’re all grown up now. I guess I always thought they would remain our little brothers. We’ve watched over them and protected them since they moved in with us. In fact, I’ve come to view them almost like they’re my own children,” Todd said, smiling through his tears.
Zach said, “You’re right about that part. We will have to adjust our thinking now that they are adults. They’ve graduated from high school and have married their high school sweetheart.”
Todd said, “We’ll have some time to adjust, since they are going to spend the summer with us in Spain.”
Zach nodded his head. “Adam has planned a two-week honeymoon for them.”
Todd looked at his husband in surprise. “How do you know? Adam hasn’t even told Mom and Dad what his plans are.”
Zach grinned. “I have my ways. All I’ll say is that they will come back very relaxed and very tan.”
“Why did he tell you and not me?” Todd asked, looking a little hurt.
Zach said, “Adam didn’t tell me. Greg did.” He whispered in Todd’s ear, telling him Adam’s plans.
Todd grinned and said, “They’re going to have a blast.”
Zach looked over at us and said, “I’ll tell you guys after they’ve left. Their flight leaves in a few hours, so I can share the information once they’ve gone.”
The photographer soon started organizing us into groups, so he could take our photograph. He took photos of the two grooms and their families. He also took photos of each of the couples. We made our way over to the pavilion that had been set up for their reception. The photographer kept snapping photos as we visited with our friends and ate lunch.
Greg, Cory, Rick and I made our way over to Robbie and Adam, who were talking with their parents. Robbie turned to us as we came up. He grinned and said, “I’m so happy.”
Rick said, “We know. We can see it in your eyes.” Robbie’s green eyes sparkled like jewels in the sunlight, and his bright smile left no doubt about his state of mind.
I said, “Robbie and Adam, we want to let you know that my Uncle Greg and I, along with our partners, want you to know that our wedding gift to you is the same as we gave your brothers.”
Robbie did a double take when he heard me call Greg my uncle. “Oh yeah, I forgot that your Grandpa adopted Greg.”
Greg said, “Yes, he did. We have set up two scholarships to pay for your college education. Each of you will be the first recipients of the scholarship funds. The scholarships are called the Adam and Robbie Anderson-Ingram scholarships, and will be awarded to outstanding gay students, after you two have finished your college education.”
“In addition, Grandpa Scarborough’s wedding gift to you is the purchase of your first home as a married couple. We know you’ll probably want to continue living with the rest of the guys; however, Grandpa wants you to find a nice home to purchase that you can rent out until you’re ready to move into it, after you finish school. The idea is that you two will become part of our family owned business.” I said.
Adam said, “Wow! I never imagined that we would ever become partners with you guys.”
Greg said, “You’ll be subject to the same terms and conditions as the rest of us, with regards to the purchase of the property; and will share in the same benefits with our family and friends. Grandpa said to call him when you’re ready to begin looking for your new home.”
Robbie was speechless. He had never imagined that he and Adam would be included in the business arrangements, like all the other guys in their house. He had been too young when they had entered into their agreements with Grandpa Scarborough. The realization that he and Adam were to be treated as equals in the family business with the Scarboroughs left him without words.
Rick said, “I think we’ve witnessed the unthinkable! Robbie is speechless!”
Adam said, “Well, it is a little overwhelming to think about. We just graduated from high school and now we’re married. What you and your family have given us for our wedding basically guarantees that we will be able to pursue our dreams, without worrying about where the money will come from to move forward. Robbie and I have talked about our plans to be independent and self-reliant. We couldn’t see a clear path forward to financial independence, without leaning heavily on our parents for support.”
Robbie finally recovered and said, choking back tears, “Thank you so much.” He hugged each of us. “You don’t know how much it means to us.”
Cory said, “Yes, we do. We’ve been in the same spot as you two. Grandpa Scarborough has made it very clear to us that we and our friends are very important to him. His expectations are very high, of course; but he has made sure we have the support we need to achieve our full potential.”
Sam said, “Thank you so much for you generous wedding gifts.”
Vickie added, “You are such wonderful friends to our boys.”
Melissa said, “I’m glad that Robbie and Adam will be on equal footing with their brothers. It is important for them to be able to understand the responsibility they now have to make the most of what they’ve been given.”
“Thank you for your love and friendship, boys. You have made our boys so happy, and that is the most important thing you have given to our family,” Brad said.
Robbie and Adam made sure they talked with everyone before they came to bid us farewell. “Guys, thank you for coming,” Robbie said.
Adam said, “We’ll see you in a few weeks.”
Rick said, “Have a great time.”
Robbie and Adam left us and climbed into their waiting limousine. The rest of the wedding party lingered for a while longer, before following them back to the hotel.
Robbie and Adam arrived at the hotel and returned to their hotel room. Adam said, “We need to hurry or we’ll miss our flight.”
They changed out of their tuxedos, grabbed their luggage and took a taxi to the airport. They were standing in line to check their baggage when Robbie asked, “Okay, Adam, where are we going?”
Adam grinned and said, “We going to Costa Rica for two weeks. We’re doing a week of extreme sports and then we’ll stay at the beach for the second week.”
Robbie grinned and said, “I knew you had planned something special.”
Adam said, “Yes and I promise you it will be a trip you won’t ever forget.” He leaned over and kissed Robbie.
Information about getting married in Ontario - http://www.ontario.ca/government/get-married-ontario
Founder’s Museum and Village - http://www.purpleunions.com/el/f/founders-thunder-bay.html
Founder’s Village Wedding Brochure - http://www.founders.ca/upload/documents/fmpv---vintage-village-weddings.pdf
Photos of the Village Church - http://www.founders.ca/article/-169.asp
Collette Bar and Bistro - http://www.sofitelmplsdining.com/
Music for this chapter –
1. One Direction – One Thing - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1xs_xPb46M
2. Natasha Bedingfield – A Little Too Much http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUUc9tCUTgU
3. Hot Chelle Rae – Keep You With Me - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M23Xu4Zh_00
Roxette – Reveal - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjURwkhZsfE
6. Carlos Baute – Colgando por tus Manos - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qExd-3oCTl4
7. Cristian Castro – Azul - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29NM6ySmwfQ