A year after the first wedding.
The three years since graduation I haven’t stopped working. I was filming or promoting non-stop. I made the trilogy with an extra action film between the 2nd and 3rd and since I did two more superhero films. I’ve been begging Sal to get me any other kind of work. She gets me meetings but nothing ever comes off. I suck.
I have a couple of weeks off then I start work on a romantic comedy. It’s a change of pace at least and the script is good but I’m playing a dumb jock type. Frustrating.
Still it’s been nice having a home for the last year, all my friends have been out to visit and I have Eric, Mart and John nearby which makes life easier. I work all the time so haven’t had time to make any new friends yet.
I’m muddling through a few scripts when I get the worst call. Ten minutes later I’ve a bag packed, I’ve told Sal I’m not working for a few days and I’m in a car to the airport.
I pace up and down waiting for my flight and again when changing planes. Should I call someone? Will I be able to find a hotel room? What the fuck happened? How? Why?
I get a taxi and go straight to the family home.
“Oh Alexander you’re here. Pa, Alexander is here. I told you he’d come. Love you should have called us, we’d have sent someone to pick you up at the airport. Your friends will be here in the morning.” Blondie’s Mom says pulling me into a hug.
“Come in, come in boy. We are so glad you’re here. I’ve been muddling with this eulogy but I can’t. I can’t talk about my boy. I can’t.” Blondie’s dad says.
“And you have such a lovely speaking voice and you being an actor will be able to do it. We know you loved our son and you’ve always been family.” Blondie’s mom says.
“Of course I will. What are the arrangements? Harry called and I just left.” I say.
“Ahh good boy that Harry. He’ll be here tomorrow. It’s just Tom that can’t come being in Australia.” Blondie’s mom says.
“Of course. I forgot that he and Gary were friends. Do you know a hotel I can try?” I ask.
“You’ll stay here tonight, you’re family. It’s only the sofa, we’re pretty full up. All the family is here. They’ll be back any minute for dinner. You’ll join us and we’ll tell you some stories.” Blondie’s dad says.
A mass of siblings arrive with their kids and older relatives too. Soon I’m part of a huge family dinner with so many stories being told and memories shared.
Blondie was killed in a random late night attack, we assume a homophobic one but we can’t be sure. He was at a work event and was walking home, something he does frequently. Now he’s gone.
The next day along with a large group of family I walk behind the hearse the short distance to the church. I spot Ray standing on the sidewalk and beckon him over.
“How are you holding up?” I ask.
“We were close to getting back together. I was looking for work out there and he said it was okay I could live with him and now I’ll never see him again.” Ray says.
It’s true, Blondie did want Ray back in his life. He’d been kind of lonely in New York, work took over his life and he didn’t make time to meet people. Ray seemed to have changed, calmed down a bit and they’d been talking again for a while.
“He was excited about it.” I say honestly.
“Do you think he loved me?” Ray asks quietly.
“He did, very much. He had a big heart underneath.” I say.
“He loved you and Peter. He talked about you all the time. I’m really sorry for what I did back then. I was out of my mind.” Ray says.
“We forgave that long ago.” I say.
Someone else from their high school appears and I let them talk without listening. I’m in a daze.
I head into the church and sit behind the family. A few minutes later Peter slips into the seat next to me. Without saying anything he picks up my hand and holds it between both of his in his lap. It’s like he’s transferring his strength to me. I look sideways at him, despite the terrible occasion he still takes my breath away. I’ve not seen him for 3 years and he’s perfect, beautiful.
The service begins and I focus on the words. Peter gets up to do a reading and then I have to do the eulogy. It is so hard to talk about my friend being gone. I can’t believe it. He can’t be. I talk about how we met, some stories from his family and then about how his career was going and how proud he made us all.
“Gary didn’t need another brother but he let me become one.” I finish.
As I sit down Peter puts his arm around me and pulls my head to his chest to let me sob.
We walk over to the bar where the wake is to be held while the family head to the interment. We both ask the barman about setting up a tab at the same time. We agree to go halves. We order drinks for our friends and carry them over.
It is strange sitting here as a group. I’ve not seen everyone together since my graduation. But of course we’re not all here together.
We all sit and talk about Blondie. Peter was the last to see him a couple of weeks ago. He talks about that but otherwise stays quiet. I cling to his arm the whole time and he lets me. Once the family arrive we begin to mingle a little. Peter again looks after me, making excuses and moving us on if people start to talk about my work or ask about film stars. Peter has become incredibly diplomatic.
“I’ve your bag here, Mom thought you’d want to stay with your friends tonight.” One of Blondie’s brothers says.
“Thanks so much, it was so kind of your mom to let me stay.” I say.
“She loves having everyone round her. Much prefers it to be for a wedding or baptism of course but you were a help a nice distraction.” He says.
We make some more talk and let him go. The bar eventually has to close and Peter and I settle up, others have chipped in cash so the balance isn’t so much. I offer to cover it all but Peter insists.
We get a few taxis to the hotel. We arrange to meet for breakfast before we all fly apart. We’ll no doubt have hangovers from hell but we all feel the need to be together again.
“You can stay in my room, it’s big enough.” Peter says and I just follow him.
The minute the door closes our lips meet. We’ve barely said a dozen words to each other today and those are the first in three years but we can still read each other and we need this.
Our clothes hit the floor with speed and we’re kissing, kissing, kissing, so, so hungry for each other. I push him onto the bed and with a little difficulty I’m inside him. Damn he’s so tight.
We rock together our mouths still joined our groans getting louder, I just can’t hold on, we cum quickly, grunting, thrusting, kissing. He holds me tight and we drift straight to sleep. His arms are like a sleeping pill to me. I sleep better than I have in years.
When I wake he’s spooned in behind me, I pull his arms tighter round my chest and he begins kissing my ear and neck. He’s soon inside me and I can’t hold back, I am so loud, he feels amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. He still loves me. I always loved him but I thought he was lost. He is mine again.
“You feel so good but we best get up.” Peter says.
“I missed you.” I say as I go shower.
I finish quickly and pack up my things when Peter goes in.
Peter walks back in the room wrapped in a towel.
“So good to have a hot clean shower for a change.” Peter says.
“Is something up with the plumbing at home? Is that why I’m getting repair bills?” I ask.
Peter gives me a confused look.
“I don’t mind, I mean I know you’re busy and probably can’t fix plumbing anyway.” I say.
“My room mates are filthy pigs, I usually shower at the gym. I’m sorry about the repair bills, they didn’t tell me anything needed doing. Let me know my share.” Peter says.
“We agreed you’d live in the house until you finished school and then we’d sell. What changed?” I ask.
“You tell me.” Peter says.
“You’re not friends with any of them are you? That’s why you sat with me yesterday. That’s why you weren’t talking much at the wake. You don’t talk to any of us.” I say sadly.
“I’m friends with Felix, he apologized after the wedding and I was close to Blondie.” Peter says choking up a little.
“Baby I’m so sorry. I had no idea.” I say pulling him into a big hug. Here’s me feeling sorry for myself and he’s been so alone.
We finish getting ready in silence then head down to breakfast. The others are already there. I sit down and pour coffee for Peter and myself while he gets us food from the buffet. Peter places a cinnamon bun in front of me.
“Hangover food.” He whispers before going back to get more.
“Gabe couldn’t make it?” Eric asks.
My heart drops.
“He left for London this morning. He offered to rearrange but he wasn’t that close to Blondie.” Peter says quietly, not looking at anyone.
“You’re still with Gabe?” I ask shocked.
“Yes, I thought you two were still in contact.” Peter says.
“You have a boyfriend?” I ask scared.
“We’re open, it’s okay.” Peter says.
“But last night, this morning.” I run out of breath.
“It was grief, that’s why these guys were all having threesomes last night, sex to prove we’re alive, to feel.” Peter says.
“I need some air.” I say pushing back my chair and heading outside.
He’s not mine. He doesn’t love me. I was just there.
Eric comes out to check I’m okay.
“I really thought he wanted me back.” I say.
“He’s happy with Gabe. You need to move on, he did ages ago.” Eric says.
“It felt real.” I sigh.
“Do you want me to get your bag so you can avoid him?” Eric asks.
“No I need to speak to him.” I say and go back inside. Peter isn’t sat with the others so I go up to the room. He lets me in when I knock.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to lead you on. I thought we both just wanted comfort.” Peter says.
“Was that really all it was?” I ask.
Peter looks at me and shrugs.
“I want you back. I still love you. I just can’t stand being apart.” I beg.
“It would never work. I’ve moved on.” Peter says quietly, not looking me in the eye.
“Just consider me. Please. No one knows me like you do. The way you’ve taken care of me since we’ve been here, I know I mean something to you too. I’ll wait for you. I’ve been waiting. I love you so much.” I say.
“Bullshit. You don’t know me at all. You didn’t even know where I was living. There is no room in your life for me. You haven’t made a life with us in mind. You don’t want me back, I’m just a convenient excuse for not finding someone. If you loved me, if you really wanted me back you’d have fought for me. You’d have jumped on it when I reached out to you. I tried keeping in touch for 2 years and got nothing back. We’ve had a third year of silence. Waiting wasn’t good enough. You needed to show you cared, to fight for me.” Peter shouts and leaves.
I sit on the bed in shock. He’s right, I just let him go. I don’t deserve him.
I wash my face grab my bag and go back downstairs. The others are still sat together. My anger over the house returns. How dare they hurt Peter?
“Who did you two think you were making Peter leave his home?” I ask.
“We needed some space to start our marriage right.” Jamie says quietly.
“Then why not get your own place? You work, Brian isn’t short of money. I had an agreement with Peter he could stay in the house as long as he needed to and then we’d sell. I don’t recall either of you asking to stay. You were Peter’s guests.” I say trying to hold my anger in.
All eyes are like saucers.
“When the fuck did you two get so selfish? Peter has spent the last year thinking he had done something to offend Alexander. He thought Alexander hated him. You let him think it and all the time you hadn’t even asked if you could have the house to yourselves. You’re just a pair of cunts.” Felix starts shouting. He’s red and standing up and screaming at them.
I slip out. Ever mindful of my reputation.
“Wait up we’re on the same flight let’s share a cab.” Eric says running up behind me.
“Sure.” I say.
“I take it things were bad with Peter.” Eric says in the car.
“I’ve totally blown that one. He’ll never take me back.” I say sighing.
“I know it’s early but when we get back I’m going to need a strong drink or ten. Want to come get wasted with me?” Eric asks.
“You totally read my mind.” I say.