Joey & Jack's Big Day
After checking my phone, I laid there with a big fat grin on my face, under the sheets of my hotel bed at three a.m. It was dark outside of course with only the moon to remind me that Roman and Olly were present in the double bed next to me. 'Will you marry me?' he'd said. I kept hearing his voice in my brain over and over. It was a line I kept playing because of the joy it sent through me each time I heard it. I'd drunk loads tonight, beer, wine, vodka and cocktails… you name it! Olly and Roman had stripped me naked and tied me to a tree before squirting cream all over my naked body AND I had been subjected to having my hair sprayed blue with half of it covering my forehead and neck. Yet, I'd been so excited I failed to get drunk and unusually for me I had taken my humiliation in good spirits thinking about why all this was going on.
"All part of a typical stag night' was the last thing Roman had said to me as we dragged ourselves up to the fifth floor of our five star hotel mum and dad had forked out for. Jack on the other hand decided to spend the night at Chariots with a few mates he'd got to know there since my parents had taken it over 4 months ago. I'd come a long way from the green eyed monster that nearly wrecked our relationship. I'd sought help from a professional counselor for anger management and basically admitted everything to them, including what went on between Roman and I. Of course he didn't know that, in fact nobody knew that, but my therapist did suggest that my relationship with Roman may have had a lot to do with who I was with Jack. 'It's a kind of co-dependency' she'd said. Either way it had really helped, and Roman and I were a little more apart but we both agreed our relationship was much healthier since I'd been having the sessions.
I twisted my body and picked up my trousers from the side of my bed. Pulling out my phone again and switching it on. I had another look at the time. "Five past three," I mumbled, wondering why time seemed to go so slowly when you are waiting for a big event. Yep, that big event happened to be my marriage to Jack and it was going ahead in seven hours!
I really needed to sleep, in fact it was imperative I slept! I didn't want to be looking like a bag of washed up shit on the biggest day of my life. But it was useless, I was wide awake… wide awake from excitement, nerves, worry, and jubilation. Part of me wondered if this was all a dream. Then occasionally, like right now, the odd negative moments would seep in, like why the hell he would want to commit himself to me when there were so many other good looking fit guys out there. I could see his face in my mind saying his words to me, wondering if he really meant them. "Of course he did," I said out loud, before looking over to make sure my silly outburst didn't wake the guys.
"Wakey Wakey stag boy, five hours until you are Mr Stanton!" came the dulcet tones of Roman as he caged me on the bed with his arms and legs. I opened my eyes and immediately smiled.
"I'm getting married aren't I?"
"Last reports say affirmative soldier, now you better get up, you gotta be looking your best today."
"What time are the suits coming?" Olly called from the bathroom, sounding like he was cleaning his teeth.
"About eight, I think." Roman replied.
"You think?! Oh my god, what if they don't turn up?" I squealed.
"Oh no… no you don't, you are NOT gonna be one of those people today or I WILL kill you!" Roman said.
"One of what people?"
"The moaning, worrying, headless chicken kinda person who thinks the world is ending because something turns up four seconds late or it starts to rain."
I pulled the sheets back and got out of bed, sitting on the side. "I will do my best!"
Olly came out of the bathroom and walked over to me giving me a kiss square on the lips. "Happy wedding day stud!"
"Hmmm, toothpaste and what was that for?"
"I'm just happy for you. After the shit you and Jack have been through it's so awesome that you are both about to get hitched."
"Yeah, we nearly didn't make it did we?" I said, as a serious expression seemed to wave across my face.
"Personally, I don't think he would have ever left you Joey, you're too sexy!"
Roman shook his head. "No Olly, he did, he nearly did!" Me and Olly burst out laughing.
"Yeah I was a fucker to him I guess."
Olly smiled. "But that's all in the past now, and-"
"If Joey ever fucks it up again Jack is stuck, poor bastard!" Roman finished in his own words. My answer was to throw a pillow at him and while he was off guard I grabbed his nuts.
"Say sorry for that!" I said grinning, before squeezing harder
I squeezed some more.
"OKEEEEY! I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" he screamed. I let go and he rolled back on the bed holding his now tender balls.
"Hey Joey, careful, I might need what's in them one day if we have kids."
"You'd be better off using your own Olly, what's cooking away in his balls is just dead slime."
Roman got up and flexed his naked torso. "Look at these muscles… look at what a prime cut of meat I am. Any baby I had would DEFINITELY be an Alfa male who would have command of countless women."
"The older you get, the more you talk, and ironically, the more you talk the less you say," I remarked, rolling my eyes at his silly posturing.
"So, who is up for taking advantage of the room service breakfast menu?" Roman asked, walking over to a small table that separated our beds and picking up the glossy menu.
"You know, I could really do with a full English to soak up some of this alcohol from last night. I'm sure it is seeping out of my pores," Said Olly, sniffing his armpits.
"Full English sounds great. I think we should get dressed first though, I don't think the room service granny is gonna want to see three guys half naked when she brings it in." Roman remarked, pulling a robe from the closet.
"Hey, how do you know it's going to be an old woman? It might be some hot lad with a thick piece of meat in his uniform," Olly remarked, winking at me, and grinning.
"Sorry to burst your bubble, but when we checked in this morning I saw her doing the rounds. But Olly if you're not fuzzy, I'll pass her your number."
Olly winced. "God no, all that fish and flappy skin?"
"Oh please!" I barked, as Olly's description thrust an unwanted image into my mind. "Right, let's get organised. Who wants to order room service and who still needs a shower?"
"Well I'm clean and fresh, Joey. I got my shower done while you were still snoring your head off."
"Ok so you order the breakfast then and I will take a shower… Oh, and I do not snore, fact!"
Olly looked at Roman with his mouth open. "Actually Bro, you do!" Roman confirmed, feeling like he had to back Olly.
"Just cos you two are fucking, there is no need to do that 'stick together' shit!"
"He's just jealous cos he didn't get any last night!" Roman retorted, a sly grin on his face. Olly turned away and sniggered.
"Oh My God, you didn't? What, when I was in the room?" I asked incredulously.
Roman Shrugged. "Meh, you were out for the count. Look, if you come closer you can still see the dried line of little Ollys all over my chest where he shot all over me the dirty bugger!"
"ROMAN!" Olly yelped, his face going a shade of claret.
I burst out laughing. "What a waste!"
"You should have seen his hips gyrating as he was getting close… you know Olly, I really want to get a picture of your cum face one day, it always looks like you are in pain!"
Roman and I creased up and rolled around on our beds, leaving Olly to search for a hole he hoped had opened up.
"Ok guys, I'm taking charge seeing as you two are in one of those moods. Joey, go and hit the shower and get that blue crap out of your hair. Oh, and shave that bum fluff off as well! If you are too under developed to shave yet, then quit trying to grow something," Olly said, running his fingers over his stubbled chin."
"Some of us are just born youthful Olly, there is no need to be jealous," I replied, running past him to the toilet as he flew round to slap my ass.
I appeared back in the bedroom when there was a knock at the door. "Arrrgh, can one of you get the food, I just have a towel round me," I whined, running out of view of the door.
Roman looked at Olly. "We didn't order food yet," Olly stated. "Did you Roman?"
"No, I've been here with you."
I sighed, now feeling chilly as I tried to stay out of sight. "Well can someone just get, it might be the cleaner."
"I'll go," Roman offered walking over to it and pulling on the door.
"Roman how are you, did you all have a good time last night. I hope you kept my future husband safe and didn't accidental kill him?"
Roman coughed. "Hey JACK, how are you?" he shouted.
Jack frowned. Why are you shouting.
Back in the room my eyes almost popped out as I looked across at Olly. "What's heeee doing here?!" I hissed.
"Jack, you can't see me." I called, still out of view.
Jack darted his head around trying to get a glimpse of me.
"Oh hey baby, you're awake then. Why can't I see you, are you ok?" he asked, sounding puzzled.
"Because its bad luck," Olly yelled back. You should go, we need to get your boy ready for his big day."
Roman waved his fingers at Jack. "Go on, off you trot, I'm sure you have to do the same. Don't worry, we'll get him to you in one piece."
I heard the door close and popped my head up from behind the bed. "Awww, now I feel sorry for him."
"Oh shut up Joey, he's got too much time on his hands that's all, and I'm sure he just wanted to be nosy." Olly suggested.
It was approaching eight o'clock with Roman, Olly and I having just been in receipt of a rather indulging plate of fried breakfast. Roman was now answering texts from people telling them what time they had to be at the registry office, while Olly was on his cell to his parents who were also going to attend. Me? Well apart from pacing up and down the hotel bedroom with my stomach in knots there was not a lot I could do until our wedding attire arrived, something that was due any moment.
Jack and I had chosen our clothes around a month ago under the careful watch of mum who had agreed to pay for our entire wedding. She talked my dad in to it after explaining that Jack no longer had any parents and that it was their way of compensating for that. Well, he did have a father, but he was locked up for murder and that's where he could stay for all we cared.
We had chosen grey slim fit suits with a shiny silvery tinge. The jackets were three quarter length and double breasted. The ties were daffodil yellow which would sit around a double lined cut-away collar white shirt and both Jack and I had brought new shoes which I knew were going to hurt an hour into wearing them.
Not that I cared!
When Jack had proposed to me one night some two months ago now, we quickly got into the discussion of who should give me away and who was going to be best man. I felt uncomfortable at first with me being the one who would be given away, because it felt like I had automatically been given the role of the woman which made me feel just slightly embarrassed. Jack argued that he proposed to me, so in a sense he had always taken the man's role… something I remember playfully slapping him for. In the end I had agreed as long as we made the spectacle flow in a non-gay stylish way that wasn't going to highlight the fact I was playing a woman's role.
After a long conversation on the matters we decided that since I would be given away, we would switch the role around of the person who would be giving me away, i.e. a female. I remember us just looking at each other briefly and straight away we both said in unison – Mum!"
The subject of proposal, Jack had taken me out to dinner that night, I remember it as clear as day. He seemed to be acting excited and nervous as we took our seats in Oceans Cove, a fish restaurant in the heart of London. This was a time when were just putting all the bad things behind us and had begun to get the fire back in our relationship.
After drinks had been served and the waitress had taken our orders for the starter and main course Jack had become noticeably quiet, almost serious in his demure.
"You ok?" I had asked, placing my hand on his and dipping my head down to try and catch his eyes.
"Do you remember when we're going through our rough patch Joey?"
"Like yeah, Jack, it's hard to forget that period."
Jack nodded. "Well do you also remember something I said if you made the effort to get yourself well again?"
"Uh, no not really. You said lots of things during that period and so did I unfortunately."
Well there was something I said that I not only promised you I would do, but also promised myself."
"Which was?" I asked, raising a brow, feeling confused.
Jack cleared his throat and wiped his forehead before rummaging about in a pocket of his jacket; he pulled out a royal blue velvet covered box and opened it, placing it in front of me. Before I could speak he got up from his chair and came round to where I was sitting and proceeded to get down on one knee.
"Joseph Cork, will you marry me?" he asked, before a grin came to his face. I looked around the restaurant and was shocked to see many of the people eating there had all stopped and were looking at us.
"Jack, get up! We're being watched."
"I don't care, and I'm not getting up until you give me your answer," he smirked.
"SAY YES!" one over excited woman shouted from the back of the restaurant making me blush. Jack looked back at her and gave her the thumbs up.
"Well?" he asked. "My knee is starting to ache now Joey."
I was now fizzing with excitement. "Yes, yes I'll marry you, of course I will!" Jack nodded and got up which seemed to indicate to the other diners I must have said 'I do' as the whole place started clapping and cheering!
Jack sat back in his chair and watched me eye the white gold band in the box before I took it out and placed it onto my left forth finger causing jack to laugh.
"Other finger, Baby."
"Huh?" I said looking up at him.
"We're gay… you put it on the other hand, unless you want people to think you have a nagging wife at home with three kids!"
"Does a nagging husband count?"
"So do you like it?"
"Its… it's awesome," I said tearing up. "But where did you get the money for this? Its thick white gold."
"Well, while you thought I was spending all my money on gay twinks in the club, I had actually been saving as much as I possibly could for this.
I frowned. "That's not what I thought!"
"I was a joke Joey, I'm glad it fits, it's really beautiful on you."
I took a deep breath and fell back against my chair. "Wow, this is fucking unreal, like a dream."
"We've come a long way Joey, and yeah I'll admit it there were times, more than one, where I thought we wouldn't make it, but we have."
I wiped a falling tear from my face. "I can't believe I almost lost you, I think I would have killed myself if that had happened."
"Let's not talk about the past, this is our future. I have a good job now at the accountancy firm, and you are taking home pretty decent money from your parent's club. With that security we need to now think only about the future, deal?"
"Deal," I replied, leaning over and giving Jack a kiss, not caring what anyone thought.
I was brought back out of my thoughts into the present when there was a knock at the door. Roman rushed out of the bathroom and opened it. A Black lady was standing just outside holding three garments, each with clear plastic hanging over them.
"Thanks, here, take this," he said, pulling a five pound note from his jeans and handing it to her. She beamed a smile and said thank you before walking away and Roman closed the door.
"A fiver just for bringing some clothes to our door?" Olly asked incredulously.
"Hey, these hotel people get paid next to nothing, they make up the bulk of their wage by tips. And anyway, I'm in a good mood, my baby brother is getting hitched today."
I blushed again and smiled. "They look nice."
"Yeah they do, I think this is the smartest I'm ever gonna look since uncle Percy died ten years ago."
"So, this best man thing, do you know what you have to do Roman?" Olly asked, as Roman passed him his suit.
"Sure I do, I've researched it."
"How?" I asked, smiling.
"I asked Dad!"
We all burst into laughter at that. "DAD?!"
"Yeah… look I'll be fine. He said the main thing is not to lose the rings and everything else can be forgiven. But I do have to leave soon. I need to get back to the club and help Jack get ready and make sure he looks the part. Oh and as far as I know, mum will be here soon to help you.
"Mum, I keep telling you it's too tight!" I said as she pulled me about. "Olly, come in here will you, do you think this is too tight?"
Olly came into the bathroom and stood behind mum and I and looked at me in the mirror. "Have you been down that gym again?"
"Yeah but I didn't think it would make this much of a difference."
"It's the arms that are tight Joey, you seemed to have bulked up in the arm area. It was you who wanted a slim fit when we went for the measurements," mum stated, trying to pull my sleeves down.
"I didn't know muscle alone was going to make this tight." I replied, holding my hands in the air.
"Well of course it will you silly boy! Fat, muscle… it's all the same, there is only so much you can get into an arm of this measurement."
"What about if I rolled them up, no one would notice right?"
"Absolutely not, I want you looking perfect when I walk you through. You'll just have to feel a little… constrained for a while."
"Will it stretch as the day goes on?" I asked, hoping. Mum didn't look impressed.
"Joey, this is not some polyester rubbish from a market, this is one thousand thread Egyptian cotton, so no, it will not bloody stretch! Jesus, you boys!"
Mum stopped pulling me about and we all stood there looking at me in the mirror. "Do you think he'll turn up?" I asked, looking at each of them behind me in the refection.
"Why wouldn't he?" Mum asked, adjusting my collar.
"Dunno, I just feel nervous, that's all."
"It's natural Joey, but it will be ok, Jack is too loyal to bail." Olly said, leaning back on the door frame and folding his arms.
"C'mon, let's sort your tie out," mum commanded, pulling me out of the bathroom. "Now, I chose white carnations for you, Jack and Roman. Everyone else has got red, so please do not wonder if you have the right one."
"Because it goes better with your grey suits. Now pass me that yellow tie then we'll see what you look like before putting the hat on."
"Awww mum, so we really have to wear the hats?"
"Joey, this is the most special day of your life and your father and I have paid a fortune for this wedding and YOU wanted hats! At least when you look back at your photos in years to come you'll know you didn't miss any details and regret anything. Besides, it's traditional for the grooms to wear hats." She stated, pouting.
"Fine, just as long as I don't look like that monopoly guy."
"Oh stop moaning, and for your information the monopoly guy wears a bowler hat… and its black. That," she said pointing. "Is not a bowler hat."
Olly went back into the bedroom part of our hotel room and picked up his garments now the bathroom was just about to become free. "Better go and see if mine fits now then I guess."
"Well you should be ok; you don't go to the gym, slacker!" I said, flexing my muscles at him. Olly had always been on the slim side but Roman had said many times that it was the way he liked him after Olly had revealed he did feel a little self-conscious when he looked at the way Jack and I were. I told him though, that most of my physique was just down to the job I'd done at the Pub and club, lifting all the barrels around. It had only been recently I'd been going to the gym because it was something my therapist said would be good for me to do. 'Helps get that frustration out' was something else she had said. The consequence, although not a bad one, was that I had bulked up muscle even more so on my arms and torso. Of course this was good for Jack because he loved it, but not so good when trying to get into a wedding suit that was tailored two months ago.
"So I'll be out in a few minutes then," Olly remarked, as he floated into the bathroom and closed the door.
Mum sat down on the bed and grinned at me before shaking her head. "What?" I asked, her grin infectious.
She sighed. "I don't know Joey, my baby boy all grown up and getting married, and to another man."
My face turned serious. "Does… does it bother you?"
"That you're getting married? No, of course not, I'm over the moon for you. I must admit, I did have Roman first in line for settling down first but life is full of surprises."
"No, I mean does it bother you I am getting married to another man?"
Mum thought about the question. "I'll be honest Joey, when I envisioned you children growing up I never gave it a thought one or even both would be attracted to the same sex. I always had it in my mind that I would be a grandmother and would come and visit to see my grandchildren when you were both grown up. I think having gay children that's the only thing I feel sad about. As for you being with and marrying Jack? No, it does not bother me. Your nan always said the job of a parent is to make sure their children are warm, fed and happy. I see how happy Jack makes you and boy or girl, I can't think of a more lovely person to be with by younger son."
"Yeah, Jack is kinda unique."
"He's loyal Joey, and loyal men do not grow on trees, especially at eighteen years old."
"There was a guy at the club, used to come in quite often. I dunno where he is now but he always used to ask after Jack when I served him. Once he said, 'You and Jack won't last because he's too good looking to be off the market.' He told me to get out as soon as possible to save myself from getting hurt."
"Joey, I've been in the hospitality business a long time and guys like that say those things not because they have your interests at heart. They say them because they are jealous you have something either they don't, or can't have. Take that as a lesson for life, that the friend who tries to talk you out of something for no reason usually means they want it, or they are jealous of it."
"You're right actually mum. Now that you mention it I remember when me and Jack were at our lowest point and I ended up calling Toby."
"Yeah, the guy I used to go running with."
"Yeah anyway, he was so good about everything. He told me to think about what I wanted and said that things between me and Jack were gonna be ok, and you know… he was right. But my point is, he never tried to split us up or tell me Jack was gonna run off with someone else. He was just there, you know?"
"Is he gay?"
Mum laughed. "Bit of a bad example then, really yeah?"
"Hmm, yeah," I chuckled. "Suppose it was."
"Now, do you have your vows prepared?"
"Yeah, we did our own though as you know. The guy marrying us said we ought to do a rehearsal but Jack said no because he didn't wanna reveal what he'd put in them to me."
"Well he only gets one take so I hope he knows what he's doing."
"Anything else I need?"
"Nope, everything is under control. Olly is hopefully almost ready and Roman has Jack under control I hope. All we gotta do is wait for the car to pick us up and we'll be on our way."
"I breathed in, thinking, but then settled. "Ok, I better do my hair."
"Yeah… Oh, I brought my strainers' if you wanted to spike it up?"
"Thanks yeah that would be good."
Olly sat on the bed polishing his shoes while I, a nervous wreck paced the length of the hotel room. It was almost half past ten and I knew the car was going to be here soon. Waves and waves of that feeling 'have I forgotten something' spun through me like a vortex. I knew I had nothing I could really forget. After all, all I basically had to do is turn up and look good.
I looked over at Olly who seemed relaxed, his tongue hanging out as he buffed away on the leather shoe in his hand. Mum was out in the corridor somewhere on the phone to my dad after telling me she was going to make sure things his end were going ok.
I stopped pacing when I heard the door squeak and she walked back in. "Well?"
"Jesus, Joey, you look like you are about to have a meltdown, what did I say?"
"I did try telling him," Olly remarked to my mum.
"Is everything OK, is Jack ok… like ready?"
"Honey, Jack has already left, and yes Roman says he looks the part. So, as long as nothing eventful happens between the club and the registry office then it will go fine."
"Oh my god, what if there's an accident," I squealed.
"Joey?" Olly called.
"Shut the fuck up and sit down!"
My jaw dropped open and I was propelled into a period of shock and silence having never heard Olly talk to me… or anyone like that before. I looked over at mum, who looked impressed with him.
Just then the phone rang in our room and I rushed over to the little table where it sat. Fumbling, I picked it up but the dropped it on the floor. Mum and Olly just cracked up laughing which didn't help my situation.
"Uh, yes, hello?" I said, gathering up the receiver in my hand.
"Is this Mr Joseph Cork?"
"Ah, Mr Cork, this is just a courtesy call to advise that your car is waiting outside entrance B. I have told the driver he may wait outside while you vacate, is this to your satisfaction?" said the man in a posh voice.
"Yeah, thank you. I'm getting married today."
"Ohhh, how wonderful Sir, enjoy your special day."
I placed the phone down and looked round to see Olly and mum trying hard not to laugh.
I shrugged. "What's so funny NOW?"
"Yeah like, I'm sure the guy on reception really gives a shit that you're getting married. You told him that because?" Olly asked, his sides about to split. Then that was it, Mum and him were almost on all fours in hysterics.
"Look, I don't know why I told him ok? I was just nervous. It did sound pretty stupid though, didn't it," I asked, feeling a grin come to my face due to stupidity.
"Oh that was just classic Joey at work there," mum said. "Right C'mon, let's make our way down. Joey, get your shoes on, unless you are marrying Jack in your socks."
"Shit, I knew I would forget something! Wait, don't go without me."
"Well that would be pointless wouldn't it?" Olly suggested, as they both stood by the door waiting for me to get my shit together.
With my laces now tied I got up, brushed myself down, grabbed my hat and headed into the corridor. Mum and Olly looked at me as I stood there all dressed up in my expensive suit, until I saw her close the door.
"You look mighty fine, Joey!" Olly remarked.
"Not bad for something I made," mum followed with. "So, shall we go? Your chariot awaits."
I nodded, this was it. No going back now, not that I wanted to but the realisation struck me there and then.
I was about to be getting married to the man I loved more than the earth.
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