Scotty knows it is shallow, but to him this feels like Freedom. The breathtaking view of the ocean, along the coastal road they are on, is stunning. Kevin is driving. The sun is shining, but not too hot. The wind ruffles his hair. The radio plays good music and in all he feels happy. On his hand his golden ring shines in the sun. A reminder of the big step they took 2 weeks ago and it still fills him with joy when he remembers Kevin’s face as Scotty said “yes”. The look of total happiness is etched in Scotty’s memory.
He looks to the side and sees Kevin. His eyes are on the road and he seems relaxed and content as well. It is always amazing, how much younger he looks, if he’s not all dressed up in suits. He looks less ‘professional’ and Scotty likes the casual Kevin. Kevin looks at him, smiles and places his hand on Scotty’s knee. Scotty feels his body react almost instantaneously. Something that doesn’t go unnoticed.
“Are you in the mood for something?” Kevin laughs. Scotty is annoyed that he starts to blush like some schoolgirl. “That needs an ice-pack.”
“That would prefer a bit of TLC.” Scotty retorts, but his smile is barely hidden.
“I can take care of that.”
“What ‘that’ are you talking about? The ice-pack, the TLC or…. That.”
“Well , that and the TLC of course….. unless you insist on the ice-pack…”
“No, thanks, maybe next time.” Scotty laughs, as does Kevin.
Kevin concentrates on the road and Scotty plays with his ring. It is weird to feel it on his hand. He isn’t used to it yet. In all honesty, they had not really been blessed with the rings. He smiles at the memory of how Robert and Tommy gave up their rings, because they completely forgot to get theirs from the jeweler. By the time they got there, Monday morning, they found out the rings weren’t engraved with the right wedding date, which meant they had to be sent back, so it would take even longer before they could wear them. And then life had, once again, become so busy and ….
Even earlier this afternoon:
“Don’t know about you, but I am a bit hungry.” Kevin says.
“Me too.” Scotty’s stomach is growling.
“Next stop is ours?”
“Sure.” Scotty nods.
Thank God they didn’t have to wait long. It looks nice at the outside, but inside the air is a bit stale. It seems clean, but the top of the table is a bit sticky, when Scotty places his hands on it. Maybe he’s overreacting due to the years of being a waiter and having hygiene put into his fingers with almost military discipline by a very demanding boss at San Estephe, because Kevin, used to being on the road, wipes the table with a paper napkin and doesn’t seem to pay attention to it.
They order coffee and the waitress nearly throws it on the table. She growls that she’ll be back…. to take their orders. Scotty can’t help but be a bit relieved with those last words, because for one moment, in his fantasy, he could see her step out of the kitchen toting some machine-gun, blasting everyone away in a way that would freak out Arnold’s Terminator.
Scotty takes a sip of his coffee and makes a face. This stuff is….
“Made a decision yet?” Oh God, the Terminator is back.
“Is your food as great as your coffee?” Scotty asks the waitress.
“Kinda.” She replies disinterested, while chewing her gum.
“We want to have another look.” Scotty decides.
Only out of ear-range of the waitress, does he dare to bend forward over the table to Kevin and whisper: “I wonder what prehistoric tar-pit they get their coffee from…” Kevin makes a face as he pulls a short, strong, black hair out of his coffee.
“In that case, I hope that this a mammoth’s hair, cause I sure I don’t want to think of other possibilities.” He says, pushing his coffee away with disgust on his face. Scotty plays with the menu-card, suddenly not so hungry as 10 minutes ago.
“Here I thought that these were the prices we had to pay, but now I think, that this is what we get, if we eat or drink here.”
“It’s not enough.” Kevin sighs and Scotty has to agree with him.
“I know, I said I wanted something to eat, but, seriously, I don’t think I am this hungry.”
“Me neither. I think I’m returning to my diet.”
“Well, they never last longer than half an hour anyway.” Kevin shrugs.
“Good. I love your love-handles. Gives me something to hold on to.”
“I’d rather you put your hands somewhere else.”
“Care to elaborate?” Scotty asks, oh so innocently. Kevin quickly looks left and right and replies:
“I’d love to give you some practical advice, but not here….”
“Well, then, let’s get out of here.” Scotty laughs. “Fast!!”
They are more fortunate at the next place. They leave the clean diner with a smile. The food was excellent, the coffee exactly as it should be, well, according to Kevin, because Scotty decided to stay safe and chose some herbal tea instead. They both agreed that their young waiter was obviously gay, but didn’t know it yet (or didn’t want to know). He couldn’t be older then 17, but both their gaydars went off, so there was no room for doubt.
They watched with a certain melancholy, how the boy tried to get a girl’s attention, but the girl snubbed him and as he left, obviously humiliated, she made it worse by make some limp movement with her hand behind his back, setting her 3 girlfriends off in a fit of laughter.
“Been there, ….” Scotty sighs.
“… done that.” Kevin looks away from the girls and focuses his attention back on the man he loves. “Are you aware, we already start to sound like a married couple?”
The smile Scotty gives him is enchanting.
So, it’s back on the road, but Kevin has promised it won’t take that long anymore… Scotty doesn’t really care. He loves Kevin’s car and the humming of the engine makes his sleepy. He closes his eyes and is about to fall asleep when he suddenly hears Kevin swear.
“What’s going on?” he asks, alarmed because usually Kevin is a patient driver, especially with someone else in the car.
“Nothing.” Kevin answers, but when he sees a place to stop, he pulls over. Scotty is still a bit worried about Kevin’s behavior. But Kevin turns to Scotty and there, on that little place, overlooking the ocean, he takes Scotty’s hand into his own.
“Scotty, I’m terribly sorry… I.. I forgot something….” Scotty looks at him, not understanding what this is about. He tries to remember if he asked something from Kevin, but nothing comes to mind. Kevin grabs his overcoat, which was still on the back-seat and from one of its pockets he takes a small box. Scotty immediately recognizes the box.
“Yes. The jeweler called earlier this week, that they were ready, but we were both so busy,… Anyhow, I got them yesterday between my two cases in the courthouse and then I completely forgot about them.”
“Oh, Kevin, they are more beautiful than I can remember.” Scotty is touched by the fact that he finally holds their weddingrings in his hands. They are finally ready to be worn.
Kevin takes Scotty’s ring out of the box. With trembling fingers he lets it slide on Scotty’s finger. As he looks up, Scotty is moved by the love in Kevin’s eyes as he says:
“Scotty, I love you so much. There are no words written yet to describe how much I love you. Things haven’t always been easy between us and I am hugely to blame for that. I haven’t always treaded you with the respect and the tenderness that you deserve. I want you to know however, that you owned a piece of my heart from the day you walked into my office the first time. I cannot imagine myself without you again.
I know, I can be thoughtless sometimes, pre-occupied with my work and family, unaware of your needs. But I want you to know that my love for you is always there. And I am asking you…. no, I’m begging you… Please don’t ever leave me again. Help me make this marriage as endless as this ring is.”
Scotty is almost in tears. Not only because of the sweet words, but most of all because of the way Kevin opens up to him. His guard is down, his barriers have dropped, he shows Scotty his feelings without hesitation, but also with faith that he won’t be hurt for his honesty, that he CAN say all these words and simply be Kevin and that Scotty will love him for it.
He takes Kevin’s ring out of the box and places it on Kevin’s finger.
“Kevin, I cannot begin to tell you how much I love you. You take blame for our past mistakes, but I think, I too, haven’t made things easier of either of us. I will try to be more patient with you and less stuck on my own views. Because I love being with you. Because you make me feel so very special. Because, regardless of where we are, when I am with you, I am home. Right where I belong. Help me make this work. I want this feeling of home and family… with you.”
Kevin smiles and nods. His fingers gently caressing Scotty’s cheek. For a moment they are lost in eachother’s eyes, then Kevin says:
“We’re doing it again.”
“This thing you like so much. You know, when you look at someone and they don’t look away….”
Scotty begins to laugh at the memory. He wraps his arms around Kevin’s neck and kisses him thoroughly. It takes a few minutes before they can let go of eachother. Both breathless and excited.
“How long?” Scotty asks.
“What?” Kevin is still a bit dazed from their passionate kiss.
“Until we reach our destination?”
“Not long.” Kevin replies.
“Good. ‘cause I’m hungry and I am NOT talking about food.” Scotty grins.
Kevin is about to return to the road, when Scotty places his hand on Kevin’s lower arm.
“Hey! Forgot to tell you something.”
“You are my favorite Martian, you know. ” For a moment there is a bit of sadness at the memory of that painful telephone conversation.
“Does this mean this Martian earned your love and respect?” Kevin asks, Scotty kisses him and replies:
“Yes, he has… Do I have yours?” He gives Kevin an uncertain look.
“You always had my love and respect, even when I didn’t show it as well as I should have and when you didn’t want them….” Scotty adds even more tenderness to their kiss, but eventually has to let go of Kevin. He looks at Kevin, desire burning in his eyes:
“Please, can we go the hotel? We have wasted enough time.”
Back in the here and now:
Still smiling at the memory, Scotty notices that Kevin is slowing down. He takes a small road, leading closer to the sea. They make a climb up a hill. Another turn in the road and in front of Scotty appears a hotel. He is surprised. And curious.
“We’re here. This will be our place for this weekend. Come quick. I want to see if it is as I remember.” Kevin is so excited and Scotty follows him.
END OF PART THREE