About: Chad, Jason, Jordan, Justin, Kevin, Scotty, Holly, Nora, Emily
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything
Extra: This an AU (Alternative Universe) story, so remember : The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here are part 01, part 02, part 03, part 04, part 05, part 06, part 07, part 08, part 09, part 10, part 11, part 12, part 13, part 14, part 15, part 16, part 17, part 18, part 19, part 20, part 21, part 22, part 23, part 24, part 25, part 26, part 27, part 28, part 29, part 30, part 31, part 32, part 33, part 34, part 35, part 36, part 37, part 38, part 39, part 40, part 41, part 42, part 43, part 44, part 45, part 46, part 47, part 48, part 49, part 50, part 51, part 52, part 53 and part 54
“Chad, this is Quinn, Mario, Jordan, you’ll remember Kevin’s brother Justin. Oh, and this is Jason.” Chad shakes hands with everyone, but in order to reach Justin he needs to bend over the table and his hand casually brushes Jason’s shoulder.
His touch seems to burn through Jason’s clothes. The touch is so light and yet it puts Jason on fire. It takes his breath away. Now Chad turns to him. Those blue eyes, that Jason has seen so many times in magazines that he, in his position as a minister, shouldn’t even be reading.
They now look at him. The smile is friendly. The voice is warm and familiar, though in his head it fuses with the moans of encouragement on an old video-tape, hidden in his suit-case under his bed.
“You’re Chad Barry.” Jason stammers, quite in awe, although he tries very hard not to be.
“Yes. And you’re Jason. This must be my lucky day.” Chad jokes, but when he sees the mixture of fear and excitement in Jason’s eyes, he back off a bit. The last thing he needs right now, is some fanboy, struck by puppy-love.
From the other side of the table Jordan watches Jason and Chad. Yeah, of course. Always the same old story. Jordan has always admired Chad, but had known the man to be out of his reach. He did have high hopes on maybe getting to know Jason better though, maybe even... He closes his eyes. He shouldn’t think about anything more than friendship, he knows.
Of course. An actor like Chad who can get anyone he wants wouldn’t be interested in a janitor of some old building somewhere in town... A guy as good-looking like Jason would fall for someone equally good looking like Chad... And suddenly Jordan is not in a such mood to party anymore.
“Aunty Emily!” Kitty smiles as she sees Emily at the front-door. “It’s so good to see you again. Really wonderful that you could come. I know how much you hate driving.”
“Oh, girl, I had good company... This is my friend Holly.”
“Hi, Kitty Walker.” Kitty introduces herself with a welcoming smile. “Come in, both of you.”
Holly feels a bit lost. So, this is William’s house and William’s daughter. The first thing she sees is the huge staircase going to the first floor and a huge picture of William on the wall. She’s so in awe that she doesn’t notice Emily asking quietly of Kitty:
“Where’s your mom?”
“Kitchen, I think.” Kitty replies. “But who knows, with everyone coming in and out, it’s hard to keep track of where everyone is.”
“I’ll find her.” Emily nods and she takes Holly with her to the kitchen, but when she looks around there, Nora is nowhere in sight.
“I.. I have to find someone first. Can you wait here?” Emily asks.
“Sure.” Holly replies, but once Emily leaves the kitchen, Holly takes a few steps back. She has seen some pictures and she wants to look at them. They can sometimes be so revealing.
The first pictures she sees are of William with his children, but as she walks on, she sees some pictures with a woman, a woman she recognizes from somewhere.... The memory of the first time she met Emily comes back to her. The woman who had introduced herself as Julia Something....
Holly bites her lip, unable to quite understand what she is looking at. She tries to find logic in what she sees. William with his arms around that woman. Broad smile on his face. The picture oozes fun, love and warmth. But why with that woman? A very uneasy feeling creeps up on her.
She’s missing some information. At least, that’s what it feels like. What is the relationship between William and this “Julia”? On the notice-board, she sees an invitation, send to Mr and Mrs Walker. A week old. For a party next month... But... Don’t people know that Nora died at least 5 months ago?
Holly feels like she’s suffocating as she starts to see some pattern.
“Holly! There you are.” Emily tries to sound cheerful, but she knows that Holly saw Nora’s pictures. “I’ve been looking all over for you. I told you to stay in the kitchen.” Holly turns to Emily. Her eyes big with fear and shock.
“Nora... Nora Walker. She’s not dead, is she?” The direct question leaves Emily with no immediate answer, but that is all the answer Holly needs. “I see. Why was I supposed to come here? So, you and Nora could have some fun at my expense?”
“Fun?” Emily asks. “No. Nora caught her husband cheating on her and she’s not laughing.”
“What? Not even a nasty comment about this idiot?” Holly points at herself.
“Nora doesn’t think you’re an idiot... She thought it over, long and hard, and felt you deserved to know the truth. She wanted to receive you here, to show you how much William lied to you.”
“He’s married. His wife is still alive. He made me ‘the other woman’. The thing I never wanted to be. What more lies could there be?”
“You have no idea. He lied about his wife, about his kids and we fear maybe even about why he’s interested in you...
I don’t want to hurt you any more than you’re hurt now, but... We think, that his only reason for being with you, is because he wants your vineyard.” Emily says carefully and Holly closes her eyes, feeling a wave of nausea coming up. She knew it. It is what she thought a few weeks ago... William doesn’t love her. It’s not about her, but about her land.
Kevin looks at those sitting around the table. Chad is in good shape and tells one anecdote after the other about his work. The laughter from Scotty, Jordan and Justin has attracted others to join their table. Sarah has tears in her eyes. And even Tommy cannot hold his laughter.
It chokes Kevin up. In his 34 years he has never been more proud of his mother or his family as he is now. For the first time in a long time he feels liberated from the pressure that William had put upon him. It’s as if he’s reclaiming his parental house, his youth, his carefree life he had before he came out.
He sees Scotty looking at him, at loving smile on his face as if he knows what Kevin feels and Kevin shyly replies to the smile with a grin of his own.
“I have to change the music.” Justin says as he jumps up. “I’ll be right back.”
“Yes. And then maybe Chad can tell you about that movie ‘Strip poker’.” Jordan yells.
“What? No, thanks, I think I cannot stomach considering Chad having sex with 4 guys.” Justin shakes his head, before running off.
“I what...?” Chad asks. And Kevin tells him, with the help from Jordan and Scotty what he told Justin a few weeks ago.
“Four guys, huh?” Chad repeats with a grin. “Don’t worry. I’ll give him the details....”
“But didn’t you always say, that you never wanted more than two at the same time?”
“Quinn, I doubt that Justin would know that.” Mario laughs. “I doubt he even ever saw one of Chad’s works of art.”
“He didn’t?!” Chad mocks. “Now I know what to send him for Christmas!” Everybody starts to laugh.
“I dare you, Chad. Send him a crate with all your movies...” Kevin teases.
“Consider it done.” Chad immediately takes the challenge. Kevin is about to reply to Chad, when the music quiets and a little cough can be heard over the loudspeakers.
“Hi, everyone. Is everyone enjoying himself?” Justin asks out loud and he waits until the cheers have died down. “I have a small announcement to make. We started this year with a tragedy that cost the life of my girlfriend, Fawn. To respect my grief, my brother, Kevin Walker. married his boyfriend Scotty Wandell in total silence.
Unknown to us he had taken this important step in his life without his family and friends around him. We, as a family, are sorry, we weren’t there... I therefore want to ask Kevin and Scotty to come forward ... “Justin waits until Kevin and Scotty are in the middle of the garden, for everyone to see.
“Kevin, Scotty, you were denied those things we so associate with a wedding. The cake. The rice. .. You two will be the first ones to remind us that you are not even legally married, but only in a committed relationship, because, as a gay couple, you are denied the right to get married, like straight couples do...
We do however want to honour your commitment and your love to each other by at least telling you, how proud we are, that you are married. And we feel it was about time for you, as a married couple, to at least have your first dance together.... We couldn’t ask you for a song that was specifically yours.
So, I hope, you don’t mind, that I picked one of Fawn’s favourite songs. I know, had she been here today, she would have applauded your love as much as we do.”
As the first notes start, Kevin turns to Scotty, panic on his face.
“I can’t dance.” He says. Scotty grins.
“I know... Lucky for you then, that I can dance. Just let me lead. Trust me.” Scotty says softly, taking Kevin into his arms. Kevin closes his eyes, gets closer to Scotty and their bodies simply find the rhythm of the music. Kevin lets his body melt with Scotty’s. It feels good. He feels whole, loved and cherished.
Nora watches with tears in her eyes. Just to see Kevin dance with Scotty was beautiful and she has never seen him happier, more in love, more open with his affection and suddenly her hands come together in a little applause, that gets picked up by Sarah, Justin, Tommy, Kitty and slowly by others.
Jason is overwhelmed. He cannot even imagine his family talking to him ever again, if they find out the truth about him. He doesn’t even dare to dream about being allowed to be married to another man. It makes him happy for Kevin and Scotty and at the same time sad for himself.
Chad brushes a tear away, cursing at himself for being such a softy. He is so happy for Kevin. His eyes scan the joyous faces in the crowd until his smile freezes on his face.
“Oh, my God...” He says shocked, making Jordan look up and follow Chad’s stare. “That is William Walker! Kevin’s dad is here!”
END OF PART 54