The next few weeks were a blur, yet Christian seemed to be fitting into his life perfectly. With video conference calls, and meetings with the florist and caterer, he almost had to schedule time to breathe. Then there was Ethan and Liam; their schedule was never ending.
“Daddy, Ethan peed in the bed!”
“David,” he griped, “I thought you said you put a pull-up on Ethan last night?” Christian sighed; sleep still thick in his throat.
“Daddy!” Liam whined again.
“Daddy said top telling!”
Christian smiled as he listened to his sons bicker. “David.” He nudged his shoulder before tapping him on the chest.
“Huh?” David didn’t open his eyes. He shifted positions, turning his back to his husband. Christian sat up rubbing his tired eyes, before combing his fingers through his tangled tresses as the arguing continued.
“David, get up.” Christian shoved David’s shoulder a little harder.
“What?” David’s voice was still groggy. He fluffed his pillow and sighed contently.
“There’s a small war going on in the next room,” he informed him. “I thought you said you put a pull-up on Ethan.”
“A what up?”
“David,” Christian sighed. “Ethan wet the bed,” he stated simply. David sat straight up in a slight panic.
“Oh, shit,” he grumbled as he threw off the covers and attempted to climb out of bed. “I forgot to put a pull-up on him.”
David’s foot had barely touched the floor when he felt Christian’s hand on his shoulder.
“Hey, you don’t get out of this bed without giving me a kiss, Mister.” He pursed his lips.
“My bad.” David chuckled as he leaned backwards. Christian leaned forward until their lips brushed softly against each other’s. “Mmm, good morning, Baby.”
Christian ran his tongue over his lips savoring the feel of David’s warm mouth. “Good morning,” he smiled.
“Daddy, Ethan’s taking his sheets off his bed!”
Christian ducked his head, resting it against David’s bare chest. “Breakfast duty or kid duty?”
David paused for a moment as if he was contemplating his choices. “Breakfast.” He smirked.
“Figured.” Christian sighed, rolling his eyes.
“Well, you asked.” David shrugged.
They shared one more kiss before climbing out of bed.
“Daddy….” Liam whined exhaustedly.
“I’m coming. I’m coming.” Christian scratched at his scalp as he padded down the hall.
Christian and the boys met David in the kitchen. He had just set the bowls down when he glanced up and smiled at his family marching into the kitchen. Christian was still in his pajamas while the boys were dressed, hair combed and ready for school.
“Morning Daddy,” Liam grinned up at his father as he hoisted himself into his chair. David reached over and tousled his son’s hair.
“Daddy, I didn’t wet the bed,” Ethan informed David out of the blue as Christian helped him into his seat. It was obvious the matter wasn’t settled with the little tot. He still felt the need to defend himself.
“Oh, yeah?” David arched his brow skeptically. Ethan shook his head vehemently. David peeked over at Christian who was trying to stifle a laugh. “Then how did it get wet?”
Christian couldn’t hold back any longer and broke out in a fit of laughter. Ethan looked back at his father and pouted, tightening his face into a deep frown. This was no laughing matter.
“Apparently, a monster snuck into his bed and peed so he would get in trouble,” Christian explained retelling the tall-tale told to him.
“Oh, I see,” David laughed. “That happens.” He chuckled softly. He noticed Liam struggling with the banana he was trying to peel. “Here, Son, let me.”
“Thank you, Daddy.”
“Coffee ready?” Christian asked as he poured the cereal into their bowls.
“Yep. I poured your cup already. It’s over on the counter.”
David followed behind his husband pouring the milk into Liam and Ethan’s bowl, smiling as they both hurriedly reached for their spoons and dug in.
“Thank you, Daddy,” they mumbled between chews.
“You’re welcome, guys.” David sat the milk down on the table before heading over to the counter.
“Thank you.” Christian saluted him with his cup before taking a careful sip.
“You’re welcome,” he said while reaching for a strawberry cheese danish.
“Hey, don’t eat that!” Christian exclaimed as he snatched the danish from David’s hand. He sat his cup down on the counter while keeping the pastry out of David’s reach.
“Hey!” David objected. “What’s up with that?”
“You have to fit into that tux next week,” Christian scolded moving the danish further away as David reached for it.
“And I will,” David countered as he swiped the pastry from Christian’s hand. David was taller so he had a slight advantage over him. He licked the icing off his fingers as Christian looked on disapprovingly.
“I’m just saying.” Christian sighed as he reached for his coffee. He shook his head before taking a sip.
“What are you saying?” David challenged even as he took a huge bite.
“You’ve already been fitted-“
“And?” David managed between chews. “One or two pounds won’t make that big of a difference. Besides, you’re on a diet, Chris, not me,” he added before taking another bite, almost inhaling the pastry.
“I want to look good for you,” Christian explained before taking another sip of his coffee. David swallowed hard, looking Christian in the eyes. He took his cup from his hand sending him a soft smile.
“Baby, you’re perfect. Just the way you are.” He placed the danish on a napkin on the counter, licking his fingers before placing his arms around his husband’s waist, pulling him forward. “Don’t change for me, I’m not complaining.”
“There are no buts,” David countered. “You’ve seen my dad.”
Christian arched his brows questioningly.
“Okay, you might not remember but,” David chuckled softly, “he was on the rowing team in college. Very athletic and my mother was big on sports as well. Hell, back in the day they could have been models themselves.”
“And your point?” Christian cocked his head, waiting for the ’moral of the story…’
“My point is…” David laughed, “They are not the size they used to be. My dad has a belly and my mom is not a size six anymore but they still love each other.”
“They’re older, David,” Christian retorted. “We’re in our thirties. We’re still young so to speak.”
“You’re missing the point.”
“You’re missing the point,” Christian charged.
“I need you to fit in that tux next week.”
“And I will. I promise.” David smirked before kissing Christian on the mouth. He gave him a shy wink, picked up the half-eaten danish and stuffed it in his mouth. Christian sighed and shook his head. He picked up his cup and made his way over to the table to join the kids.
“Speaking of, have you talked to your parents? Will they be able make the wedding?”
“I have.” David opened the fridge and pulled out a cup of Greek yogurt. “My mom said as long as the doctor gives Dad the okay to travel, they’ll be here.” He pulled open the drawer and grabbed a spoon.
“Hum.” Christian nodded thoughtfully. He smiled when David handed him the yogurt and spoon. “Thanks.”
“I wanna watch Sponge Bob,” Ethan voiced as he slurped milk off his spoon.
“No Sponge Bob today, Buddy. You’ve gotta go to school, then we have errands to run.”
“What do you need me to do?” David asked refilling his cup.
“Can you run by and pay the florist?”
“I can do that.”
“Good. That’s one thing I can check off my list. I have a video call this morning after I drop the boys off.”
“Chris?” David smiled softly as he made his way over to the table. “Have you heard from your mother?” He asked as he sat down in the chair next to him.
“No.” He shook his head.
“Have you tried calling her?” He tilted his head slightly trying to make eye contact. Christian’s reply was the same. A simple shake of the head.
“You want me to call her?”
“No.” Christian lowered his head.
“Why not? Things maybe different now.”
“Trust me, there’s no difference,” Christian stated matter-of-factly. “She’s picked up the torch my dad left before he died. The last time I talked to her she was trying to convince me to join her on their ‘crusade.’” He used air quotes. “She wouldn’t want to come. Believe me.” He frowned heaving a heavy sigh and glanced off in the distance.
David placed his hand lovingly over Christian’s and caressed it softly. “I’m sorry, Baby.”
Christian glanced back and his husband sending him a forlorn smile. “Don’t be.”
“I love you.”
“I love you.” Christian rested his chin in the palm of his hand.
“Well, I better get going.” David bit on his lower lip, looking lovingly at his husband before getting up from the table.
“Yeah.” Christian’s voice was barely above a whisper. He regained his composure and smiled at his boys. “Okay, guys. We need to finish up or you’ll be late for school.”
He pushed himself up from and followed David over to the counter.
“You sure I can’t do anything else?”
“Nope. Everything is done. I just need you to show up today to try on your tux for any last minute alterations that need to be done. Tag and Jimmy said they would meet us there around six.”
“Okay, I’ll be there,” David promised him.
“And for such a short notice, we’ve received RSVP’s from everyone we sent invitations to.”
“Funny, I don’t remember the people on my own guest list.” Christian laughed humorlessly.
“I’m sure when you see them, you’ll remember some; the ones from college especially, I would think.”
“You mean pre-David?” Christian sighed exaggeratedly.
“Maybe.” David shrugged. “Anyway I’ve gotta run.” He waved to his sons. “Bye, Boys.”
“Bye, Daddy.” They sang out in unison.
“Bye, Babe.” He leaned in stealing a quick kiss.
“Bye.” Christian rested his head against David’s chest relishing in the comfort of his husband presence. He stepped back wrapping his arms over his own chest as if he was hugging himself.
David nodded and smiled. He opened his mouth to speak, but then closed it again. “See ya.” He grabbed his keys and headed out.
Unbridled excitement filled the air as Taggart, Jimmy, Christian and the boys gathered at ‘Mr. Tux’s’ to try on their tuxedos. David had called saying he was running late, but was on his way.
Christian sat anxiously as he waited for Liam and Ethan to walk out. He had decided on something simple for them. They would wear black two piece suits over white shirts. The color theme he’d chosen for all the guys ties would be a deep burnt orange with black patent leather shoes.
Liam busted through the gray curtains first with Ethan tripping over his own feet stumbling close behind.
“Awww,” Christian gasped and he placed his hand to his chest. “Adorable. Simply adorable.” He stated proudly. He pushed himself out of his chair and kneeled down in front of them. “You guys have got to be the most handsome little guys on the planet.” He smiled as he adjusted Ethan’s collar.
“Why do we have to wear this monkey suit?” Liam protested as he tugged at his collar.
“Monkey suit?” Christian arched his brow. “Who-“
“I did,” jimmy answered as he emerged from behind the curtain. “Tee shirts and jeans would work fine and be a hell of a lot more comfortable,” he griped as he too tugged at his collar. Christian tousled Liam’s hair before placing his hands on his knees using them to hoist himself up.
“Well, if it’s any consolation you look fantastic.”
“It’s not… and thank you.” Jimmy combed his fingers through his long bangs pushing them out of his eyes. Christian decided he and Taggart would both wear black tuxedos with satin collars over steel gray vintage vests accented with the burnt orange tie as well.
Jimmy was indeed stunning. He decided to let his facial hair grow at the request of his husband, so his mustache and goatee were neatly trimmed framing his chiseled features perfectly. He shoved his hands deep into his pockets and did a slight pivot for Christian’s benefit.
“Nice.” Christian smiled with a short nod.
“Hey.” Jimmy glanced down turning his attention to his godsons. “Look at ya. You’re going to have to beat the little girls off with a stick.” He grinned flashing his pearly whites.
“I think my shoes are too tight.” Taggart entered from behind the curtain frowning down at his feet.
Christian narrowed his gaze at his friend’s shoes. “We need to find out if they have a larger size for you.”
“Yeah. I think so.” Taggart pivoted on his toes.
“You look hot.”
“Why thank you, Baby. You look pretty damn good yourself.” Taggart sent Jimmy a sexy smile before looking down admiring himself.
“No, I mean literally.” Jimmy chuckled into his fist.
“Jimmy!” Christian laughed. “It’s only for one day. For a few hours-“
“Yes Love, stop complaining,” Taggart chided. “Besides you look sexy as hell. I’d like to take you home in that suit and-“ He sucked on his teeth, and ran his tongue over his lower lip. He walked over to Jimmy leaned in and whispered something in his ear. Jimmy arched his brows, nodding approvingly as he listened.
“Oh.” He smirked devilishly. “That can so be arranged,” Jimmy promised in a sexy growl.
Taggart gave him a short nod and wink before pulling back.
“Cut it out guys, my babies are in the room.” Christian chastised and shook his head. He pulled his cell phone from his pocket noticing the time. “David should have been here by now,” he said to no one in particular. “I hope everything’s alright,” he said sotto voce. Taggart and Jimmy were engrossed in their own conversation they didn’t hear Christian’s concerns.
“Let’s go see if we can find you a pair of shoes that fit.” Jimmy suggested as he grabbed Taggart by the hand.
“Wait for me.” Liam ran to catch up with his uncles.
“Daddy?! I’ve got to pee!” Ethan voiced. He cupped his hand over his groin and locked his knees together tightly. “Now!” He warned.
“Shit.” Christian sighed under his breath. “Not in the suit.” Christian hurried over scooping his son into his arms and ran toward the men’s room. “Let’s get you to the restroom before the pee monster comes back.”
Christian and Ethan walked out of the restroom a little worse for wear. They made it just in the nick of time. Christian’s eyes lit up and a huge smile appeared when he noticed the handsome man standing at the counter talking to the clerk. He breathed a sigh of relief; David was truly a sight for sore eyes.
David glanced their way flashing a comforting smile. He shoved his hand in his pant pocket, before turning his attention back to the clerk.
Ethan pulled away from Christian and took off running as fast as his little legs to take him. “Daddy! Daddy!” He exclaimed excitedly.
“Whoa! Whoa! Tiger, slow down,” David laughed as he bent down and hoisted his son into the air.
“Daddy!” Ethan buried his face against his father’s chest.
“Hey,” Christian smiled softly as he walked up to them.
David shifted Ethan in his arms so one of his arms was now free.
“Hey Babe, sorry I’m late,” he apologized before kissing Christian on the top of the head.
“It’s okay. I was just starting to worry.”
“Really?” David creased his brows. He placed Ethan on the floor and tousled his hair. “Go find your brother.”
Christian closed the space between them and sighed while resting his head against David’s chest.
“Baby, what’s wrong?” David pulled back trying to make eye contact.
“I don’t know.” Christian sighed, using both hands to scratch his scalp. “I think I’m just getting antsy.”
“Oh, Chris.” David wrapped his arms around his husband bringing them closer together. “It’s okay. Everything is okay,” he assured him.
Christian looked into David’s eyes searching for truth of his promise in them. Truth was he was scared. He didn’t expect to feel this way, but he was scared. At the age of thirty-five most people’s lives were in full swing, filled with unforgettable memories of events, of family. Here he was, his only memories recently starting and any past memories were infused there by other’s recollection of them.
He sighed as he relaxed into David’s embrace, feeling shielded and safe. Taggart was his best friend, his rock, but David had become his lifeline. If David said it was going to be okay. It was going to be okay.
“I know.” He sent David a half smile. “I’m just a little tired.”
“Then we need to get you home.” He lifted Christian’s chin to meet his concerned gaze. “I think you’re trying to do too much. Let me and Tag help you.” David ran soothing circles over Christian’s back.
“I know.” Christian sighed. “It’s just-“
“Here’s your tux, Sir.” The clerk smiled as she held the garment bag over the counter.
“Thank you.” David released his hold on Christian. Christian stepped back, sending the clerk a cordial smile as well.
“The fitting room?”
“I’ll show him,” Christian offered kindly. “Thank you.” He took David by the hand guiding him toward the fitting room where they met up with Taggart, Jimmy and the boys. Everyone had changed back into their regular clothes. Jimmy and Taggart were engaging in casual conversation while Liam and Ethan played tag around their legs. Jimmy smiled when he spotted Christian and David walking toward them.
“David, Man, what’s up?” He stood up giving David a high-five.
“Not much, Man.” David slapped his hand against Jimmy’s.
“Daddy!” Liam wrapped his arms around his father’s legs.
Liam held up his hand like a big boy and David gave him a high-five as well.
“What, No tuxedos?” He asked as he glanced around to everyone.
“You’re a little late for the party.” Taggart held up his garment bag.
“Yeah, we tried ours on already,” Jimmy said feeling comfortable back in his own clothes; Jeans and a bright white tee shirt that he wore under a brown leather vest.
“Yeah, sorry about that. I got caught up at work with a client.”
“It’s okay.” Christian wrapped his arm around David’s waist. “You’re here now.”
“But I wanted to see everybody in their tuxes.” David frowned.
“And you will.” Taggart sashayed past him. “On your wedding day.” He pursed his lips and smiled. “Jimmy and I need to get going. We were going to take the boys out for pizza, if that’s okay.”
“Pizza! Pizza!” Both Liam and Ethan jumped up and down excitedly.
“I guess that’s a yes.” Christian laughed amusingly at his sons.
“We’ll have them home before their bedtime,” Jimmy promised as he hoisted Ethan up into the air and then onto his shoulders. Ethan squealed in delight grabbing Jimmy by the hair for fear of falling.
“Tell your daddies bye,” Taggart instructed taking Liam’s little hand into his own.
“Bye!” They sang out merrily.
“See you later, Boys. Be good for Uncle Tag and Uncle Jimmy,” Christian warned.
“Oh, Honey. You don’t have to worry about that. They know Uncle Tag don’t play. Ain’t that right boys? I have some ‘act right,’ here in my satchel.” Taggart patted the leather man-bag he wore draped across his shoulder.
David just laughed and shook his head. “I better go try this on.” He held up the bag before heading for the fitting area. “See you later, Guys.”
Taggart watched David disappear behind the gray curtain. He sighed and walked over to his friend. “Chris, Baby, you’re stressing and it’s starting to show.” He placed his hand on Christian’s shoulder giving it a gentle squeeze. Liam released Taggart’s hand and joined his brother and Uncle Jimmy, playing footies with Ethan’s feet.
“You’ve got till 8:30, go home make love to your husband, release some of the tension.” He smiled but was totally serious.
Christian sighed and ran his hand roughly down his chin. He sent his friend a warm smile. “Thanks.”
“For what, Sweetie?”
“Everything. For just being Tag.”
“Ain’t no other Tag, Baby, and you know it,” Taggart said with attitude and a click of the tongue.
Jimmy and the boys were already heading toward the door when he called over his shoulder, “Come on, Sweets, we need to get going. We’re starving, right guys?”
“Umhum.” Both Liam and Ethan agreed as they trotted behind their uncle.
“Okay, Baby, let me go. Big Daddy’s hungry. I’ll see you when we drop off the boys.”
“Okay.” Christian waved as he watched his sons leave with his best friends. He grabbed his shoulders attempting to massage out the kinks. He turned around coming face to face with a god. “Wow!” He whispered breathlessly.
“You approve.” David bit down on his lower lip. Christian shook his head unable to formulate a coherent sentence.
David stood, tall and confident in his metallic steel gray tuxedo. The look was different but classy. Under his tux he wore a black vest and his silk, burnt orange tie and pocket square pulled the ensemble together very nicely.
“Perfect,” Christian complimented as he slowly walked over to his husband. He ran his hand gingerly over David’s broad chest admiring the man he would marry again.
“Do I get to see you in yours?”
“I tried mine on already. Sorry, Babe.” Christian grimaced teasingly.
“That’s not fair,” David pouted.
“I’ll make a deal with you.”
Christian stood on his toes and whispered in David’s ear. “How about you give me a really good massage and I might put on the suit then let you undress me; piece by piece,” he offered with a click of the tongue before licking the outer shell of David’s ear. He blew cool air over the wet spot causing David to shiver.
“I could do that,” David agreed faintly.
“Then go get out of those clothes, we’re working on limited time.”
“I dig it.” David bounced his brows suggestively before disappearing behind the curtain.
Taggart and Jimmy brought the boys home on time as promised. They were fed, bathed and now tucked safely in beds sound asleep. The house was dark and quiet; the only thing Christian could hear was the sound of David’s heart beating as his head rested comfortably on his chest.
They lay tangled in each other’s arms after making love a second time. Christian played lazily in the soft black hair that covered David’s chest feeling sated and safe. A contented smile crossed his lips as he glanced at the tuxedo draped over the back of the chair.
In just a few days they would repeat their vows in front of friends and family. This time he would remember it. It would be like starting over. He couldn’t with a clear conscious do so without telling David the truth.
He swallowed hard lifting his head slightly off David’s chest. “David?” He said above a whisper.
“We need to talk.”
“About?” David asked; his eyes were still closed.
Christian took a deep breath and rose up on his elbow so he was facing his husband. “Our wedding.”
David’s eyes quickly shot open and a look of concern appeared. “What about it? You aren’t changing your mind, are you?”
“No.” Christian chuckled softly. “It’s not that.”
“You sound serious.” David sat up adjusting the pillows behind him.
“I don’t know. It’s serious to me.”
“Then it’s serious to me too.”
Christian sat up and tucked his legs beneath him. He rubbed his tired eyes stalling for the right words.
“I don’t remember much,” he admitted with a half shrug.
“I know.” David nodded slowly, his attention focused solely on Christian.
“Pretty much all I have of my past with you is what you and Tag tell me.” He scratched at his scalp.
“We would never lie to you, Christian.” David stated reassuringly. “I know how important it is for you to remember, and if not remember, at least get accurate information about your life.”
“Oh, no, please don’t think for a minute I don’t believe every word, everything you’ve ever told me, because I do. I trust you.”
“Thank you.” David smiled as he caressed Christian’s leg tenderly.
“I trust you completely and I…” his voice trailed off. “I need you to trust me as well.”
“I do, Christian,” David stated adamantly.
“I don’t remember leaving you after my father died, but I know I did. I know I hurt you when I did. And though I don’t remember it, I’m truly sorry.”
“No,” he swallowed back the tears that threatened to fall. “I look at what we have and I don’t just mean materially,” he clarified. “There’s something about you, about me that just… fits. Taggart told me that when I left you I was lost. He said I wad filled with guilt and did some pretty stupid things.”
“Chris, I don’t hold any of that against you. I took a chance on you, knowing that you weren’t out to your family. What you did was to be expected. You didn’t know any other way.”
“Now you’re making excuses for me.”
“I’m not…really I'm not.”
Christian inhaled slowly and opened his mouth to speak when David spoke first.
“You have nothing to feel sorry for, no regrets. You make me happy, Chris. I don’t care about you being with her.”
Though David’s words were soft they sounded piercing, almost brazen to Christian ears. It was if his heart stopped and he suddenly felt dizzy, like he wanted to throw up. He slowly looked up meeting David’s intense stare head on.
“You knew?” He forced out the words caught deep in his throat.
“I’ve always known.”
“She told me.”
“On my god.” Christian cupped his hand over his mouth feeling the burn of bile in the back of his throat. “Why didn’t you say something? Did you ever say something?”
“It’s not that deep, Chris,” David assured him as he continued to caress Christian’s thigh. His tone was soft, filled with affection. “Say what?” He questioned. “Say I knew you’d been parading around town like you were straight? My decision was already made. Why put either of us through that? You came back to me and that’s all that matters.”
“How did you find out?”
“She called me.” He said nonchalantly.
“Charlotte called you?” Christian asked incredulously.
“And?” Christian shook his head in disbelief.
“You don’t want to hear the sorted details, just know she was never a threat to me. I wasn’t intimidated by her at all.”
“But Tag said she just went away. She didn’t cause any trouble.”
“She did after we talked.” David stilled his shoulders sitting up straight.
“What did you say to her?”
“The truth,” he answered simply. “What we have is what’s real. You would try to stay with her if she made you feel guilty enough, but you’d always come back and I’d always take you back. She couldn’t compete with any of this,” he explained.
“When you came back, I knew you were ready for me…for us. She couldn’t compete for your heart. That’s mine. It belongs to me, it always has. The heart knows what it wants, Christian. ”David shrugged casually.
“God, I love you,” Christian’s confession was heartfelt. He un-tucked his legs and crawled up David’s chest resting his head there. “This may sound terrible, but I’m glad I don’t remember that?”
David nodded as he caressed Christian’s back.
“Can you promise me something?” Christian lifted his head meeting his husband’s worried gaze.
“Anything,” David promised.
“That you’ll love me like this forever.”
“I can do that.” David slowly closed his eyes and buried his face in Christian’s hair. Holding on to him as if their lives depended on it.
Going to the chapel and they're going to get Re-married and everyones invited. Will it go over without a hitch? You'll have to be there to find out.