Sorry, it's been a month of Hell. I am having my first day off in four weeks. My Muse has been silenced by the long hours and schedule. Daniel, I still miss you and love you.
Once the taping was done, Ellen again thanked us for coming on her show.The audience was applauding again heartily as we left the stage.
Once back in the room we had waited in before the taping we were getting ready to part from Ellen, she stopped and held her hand up to stop us.In a very non-Ellen way she said seriously.“What you are doing is nothing short of remarkable.”
Peter shook his head.“All we are doing is getting married.”
I squeezed his hand.“Peter was raised not knowing there is a problem with that.”I said to her.
Peter grinned at me.“I saw the show and knew about it because of the people that sought a refuge in Makarovia, but I never experienced this sort of repression and hatred firsthand.It was odd to have it happen to me.I mean to us.”
Ellen smiled.“That in itself is remarkable.To see what you’re doing as something you just do.Proudly marrying that one person you clearly love.You show the world that love is love.And Makarovia may not be the biggest country, but it is the biggest country with a heart.”She bowed to both of us.“I wish you both a good life and I along with many in this world will be eagerly watching.”She shook our hands.“Thank you again.”
Yuri came up behind us smiling.He waved at a large screen he and Boris had watched the show on.“That was an amazing show.”
I nodded.“We tried to show the best Makarovia.”
Yuri nodded.“I say, you did.”
We rode back to the hotel and once back in our suite Peter was quickly getting out of his tie with a sigh and flopped back on the bed.
I sort of knew what he was feeling.He wasn’t physically tired, but he was feeling fatigue about this whole wedding that almost everyone was saying positive things about.All the attention that frankly, Peter had not experienced until recently.“How are you?”I asked slipping my tie off and walked toward him.I stretched out beside him on the bed.
Peter smiled at me as his arm came around me as usual.“We’ve only got a few more months.”He turned to me, kissing me lightly.“I know we are together now, but...we’ll be married, and all this attention will lessen.”
“Maybe, but you understand why it has become so noteworthy now?”
Peter nodded.“I do.There are those groups like the ones that protested outside our home in Boston when we arrived.However, most people don’t seem to care.In fact, most are supporting our marriage.”
I nodded.“People are finding out we are more common than they realize.”I brought him even closer pressing our foreheads together.“You are a prominent figure in the world now.We’re showing what we are is just simply a marriage.”I smiled running my fingers over his chest.“I love Makarovia.I love Olek and Mom.”I moved to straddle him.“But I am so madly in love with you, Peter.If jumping through these hoops is what I have to do to marry you, I will do it all again gladly.”
“I am so in love with you.”Peter smiled as he said it softly.“We have a whole night here.What will we do until then?”
I chuckled and looked out the window as the afternoon light shown through.“Well, we always do one thing pretty well and I’m more than willing now.A little afternoon loving?”
“Yes, we do that very well.”Peter pulled me down kissing me gently.
We did enjoy our favorite activity that we no longer had to think or plan, it was just natural.When we had satisfied that longing for a few hours, we got up and showered and decided that the restaurant was a bit much.So, we went to the pool where we had a private cabana.Of course, Yuri insisted he come. I agreed he should come with us…as a friend and family member, not as security.Therefore, Boris came, too.We were shadowed by others in our security.This was California, it was the end of winter and the beginning of spring, so it was warm.I was pleased that at least Yuri and Boris wore shorts and casual shirts.With shirt tails out!This was something I never thought I’d see.Boris dressed...casually!His hair was combed.He put something in his hair that kept it in place when working, but now…it was loose and fell a little over his forehead, not like it was when he was on duty giving him a more youthful appearance.Boris was a nice-looking man, but now…he could almost tempt me.There were security watching us, however, dressed in the dark suits and looked like security.They were a deterrent to anyone of the others at the pool that even thought of approaching Peter and me.It was sunny, so I sort of let the dark sunglasses worn by them go.I realized, this was not so much as a privilege we had, but a necessity.Not that we deserved anything, but to protect us so we could do...this royal stuff!I was getting comfortable with them now and my role in it.Yes, I was even getting used to the titles and formality.
Peter and I swam enjoying the water.Conversations with each other and with Yuri and Boris were equally comfortable.
I grinned at Boris as he munched on his hamburger.I had the gourmet chicken pieces.They wouldn’t just serve Chicken Fingers here.No, even the sauce was gourmet.“Boris,” I smiled at him, “I like this relaxed, fun side of you.”
Yuri chuckled as he ate one of his French Fries.“He can be fun.”He shrugged.“It just took some encouragement.”
Boris smiled and chuckled.“It didn’t have to take a royal order.”
“So, I don’t have to make it a royal order for you and Yuri to take a honeymoon when Peter and I do?”I asked.
Boris put his hamburger down giving a grudging shake of his head.“We’re talking a whole month!”He complained.
“Yes, we are.”I nodded.
Peter smiled at Boris.“There will be nothing Makarovian happening in Boston, I assure you.Olek will be in Makarovia.We will be in the Greek Islands.Nothing happening.You and Yuri are coming to the wedding.After that, you and Yuri can be together again as husbands.”He leaned in to Yuri.“I am making that a royal order.”He poked Yuri lightly on the shoulder.“If needed, I can tell Olek and he will make it the order of a king.”
Yuri held his hands up.“No,” he looked at Boris, “you see?We have no choice.”
Boris grimaced.“It’s not that I don’t want to, but…I always fear I’ll be needed.”
I nodded smiling.“You are most definitely needed, Boris.”I waved at Yuri.“You and Yuri are very needed, but not much that month, if at all!”I slapped him lightly on the shoulder.“So, you can go, enjoy your time with you husband.I know you love him.He certainly loves you.”
“You’re going.”Peter said grinning.“Interesting you have to be made to go on a honeymoon.”
Yuri chuckled, too.“Tell them the truth, Boris.”
Boris lowered his eyes and gave a nob.“I…love it.”
“Love what?”Peter asked.“The work?”
Boris waved helplessly.“Yes!The feeling I get when I do a good job.”
“You do that, no question.”I told him.“It’s more than just a job.”
Boris nodded quickly.“Much more.It’s a part of my personal pride.”He shrugged.“And you see where I work.That kitchen is the ultimate kitchen.I use good ingredients to make meals for two or banquets for dozens.And that house!I take pride in keeping that house ready for anyone or for anything.”
Peter looked at Yuri.“You’re just as dedicated, but you need time for just you and Boris.”
“Yes.” Yuri said,
We flew to Boston the next morning.We were greeted by Don Wilson when we came in.More requests for interviews and appearances.He also reminded us of our agreeing to appear on the Graham Norton Show.
The time was getting close for the wedding.I learned, it wasn’t going to be just a wedding.No.I was having a coronation, of sorts.The title of prince would be added at the end automatically, but just as I was proposed to in front of those attending the formal proposal: I would be crowned as a prince before them, as well. My name would also be changed to Ivanov.The wedding marrying Peter was what I was looking forward to and becoming an Ivanov.Not the crowning.
“But you never had a coronation.”I said.
Peter chuckled.“I was born a prince.Mom was when she married Dad and became queen.Olek had one when he became king.You will because of the change in your status.”He shrugged.“You’ll be a Richards when we marry, then after we are pronounced married, you will be a prince by the coronation.”
“Yea.”I said weakly.
Things did not settle down.Not for me.School went on a usual, but the thought about what I was doing, who I was going to be was always on my mind.
We told Drew and Wayne what was going to happen, and they agreed to come the week before we were doing the show with Graham Norton.They would fly back to England with us.
There were others…who were not so supportive.As favorable as many had been, there were now people speaking out about us.Don had recorded a show where we were the topic of conversation.It was one of those shows that was ultra-conservative Christian.We watched on the TV from the comfort of our couch in our room.
“…this is just so wrong.”The host who was famous for standing out against…pretty much everything.Family values was his pulpit against most everything.Especially those who were gay.“This…marriage is an abomination!We should be ashamed of what’s happening in Makarovia.”
Peter frowned.“What are we doing?”
The host continued.“The world is celebrating something that caused God to destroy two cities.The world is on the very edge of destruction embracing this…wedding…inviting the wrath of God!”
“What’s he talking about?”Peter asked.
“Sodom and Gomorrah.”I sighed sadly.“Only he’s not mentioning the other three cities that were destroyed because of that event.” I shrugged.“The only thing is, he’s saying what we’re doing is why those cities were destroyed.The only mention was their wickedness.It was only when they asked to bring the angels out to know them was our sin brought into the scriptures.”
“Why is love a sin?”
“It’s not.”I shook my head.“They leave things out.Like adultery which was more acceptable?In order to spare the angels, Lot offered his two virgin daughters to these men to…basically rape.Nor do they mention that these two daughters after the destruction of Sodom and their mother turned into a pillar of salt for looking back in disobedience to what they were told not to look back.They also don’t mention that later, those two daughters got Lot drunk and each slept with him to conceive a son each.”
“By their own father!?”Peter’s eyes widen as he sputtered.“How could they…I mean…genetically…”
I nodded.“I know, but that’s what the Bible says.They only talk about our sin, which wasn’t really mentioned causing Lot’s offer of his daughters to save the angels and leave off those other sins.And Abraham, Lot’s brother was equally foolish and sinful.”I watched Peter’s eyes grow wider as I spoke.“Because Abraham’s wife Sarah didn’t believe she could have the son promised by God, she sent her handmaid Hagar to Abraham to conceive that son which they named Ishmael.Abraham wasn’t stupid, his wife sent this young thing to have sex with him.With Sarah’s permission he slept with her.Hagar and Ishmael were the one that started the whole other race that worship Allah and the wars between the Jews and Arabs even today.They take one section of one of those books and throw it in our faces, but don’t tell the whole story.”
Peter looked at me with a growing smile.“And you know this?Why do you know this?”
I chuckled.“In order to fight these…” I waved at the screen, “religious nuts, we need to know what they’re fighting with and fight back.It’s in the book of Genesis.”
“You don’t believe in God?”Peter asked.
I shook my head.“Not the God they profess to know.I don’t think we’re just evolved puddles of goo that came from globs in puddles in the very beginning of the Earth.We have minds and intelligence.We have awareness.”
“But you don’t believe in the Bible?”
I shook my head.“What Bible?Which Bible?There were several.All written from those written witnesses of historical events.Only this Bible was assembled by the Catholic Church.They have many testaments in their vault in Rome.Witnesses that they assembled, and they said it was going to be in the Bible, others they ignored.That was why they had to put out another book they said was the Apocrypha and there have been others since.I say release the others, translate them and maybe we’ll get a better picture.Personally, I think whatever or whoever is responsible for us is laughing at us and we’ll all be embarrassed by what conclusions we came up with.”
“Why would they do this?”
“Control.”I said simply.“Keep women in their place.Keep us under control.To give power to the Church and to those in office of the Church which we know they exploited.Remember the Inquisition?”
“And our Church in Makarovia?”
“Which one?If you’re talking about Orthodox they are a branch of the Catholic Church, but don’t take the Pope as the authority.They also don’t except the Gregorian calendar by Pope Gregory.”I smiled as Peter’s head was leaning back as I spoke.“That’s why we have Christmas and Easter on different days than the West.They also don’t except Latin.While the Catholic Church has Mary, the Mother of Christ a near god-like status…saying she was sinless.We think Mary was chosen to be the mother, but a saint or idol?That and the Catholic church Priests can’t marry.That was a bad move.”
“Why did you learn this?”
“Well, I was raised by my mother and grandmother.”I said smiling.“Grandmother was raised Eastern Orthodox.”I shook my head.“Why do you think I knew so many of the holidays like SviatyVechir…Svyatyy Mykolay and Did Moroz?I had to be able to explain to the others in Charleston and Asheville how we were different.Then explain how I could be gay and see it is okay.”
“Wow.”Peter said shaking his head and then he leaned closer.“You should debate these guys.”
I shook my head and waved at the screen.“No, he’s been this way for most all of his life.He had this knowledge that spans decades telling him he’s right.I won’t be able to change his mind, so it would be pointless.”
“Still, you could help change the minds of others.”He inched closer.“I am so smart to marry you.”
I gave a slight shrug.“You expect me to disagree?”I grinned as he got closer and I felt his breath on my face.
He shook his head.“No.I just need you to know, I know that.”
“I don’t disagree at all.”
Peter’s lips touched mine, not kissing yet, but touching.“I love you, Eric.”
“I know.”I said as our lips rubbed gently.“I love you, Peter.”
His arms pulled me closer.“I know.”He said and pressed his lips more into a kiss.He did indeed know how to kiss…and make love.
My grandmother told us she was coming also and would be here the same time as Drew and Wayne.She would go with us to England and then return home with us at the end of the taping for our last two months at Northeastern.
There were also some smaller appearances on different shows, but all were local.Study was also paramount to other things.That really was why we were both here.
Again, my grandmother arrived without us going to the airport to pick her up.When Drew and Wayne arrived, they dropped their jaws as they entered the foyer.
“Wow.”Drew said softly.“This is a palace, too.”
“It’s our home for now.”Peter smiled as our friends did that little spin.
My grandmother came down the stairs to greet the two of them.“Hello, Drew, Wayne.”
Drew smiled at her.“Hello, Mrs. Sams.”He held his hand out to her.“It’s nice to see you again.”
“Katrina.”Grandma said to them.“Or do I refer to you as Mr. Humphries and Mr. Jenkins?”
Wayne nodded shaking her hand.“Certainly, Katrina.”
Grandma waved to the house.“It is a grand house, but my grandsons have made it a home.”
“So, are you nervous yet?”Drew asked me.
“Nervous?About marrying Peter?No.”I asked.
“Well, it’s never happened with a real royal family member.”Drew said.“There was the Queen’s cousin, but you, Peter, are in line for the throne.”
“You marry Peter and are crowned Prince the same day.”Wayne said.
“I marry as an Earl and become a Prince.”I nodded.“Eric Richards from Charleston, South Carolina will become Prince Eric Ivanov of Makarovia.”