AUTHOR'S NOTE: More wedding fun! It's weird to write about something happening in the early fall on a blistery winter day!

Special note: This is a call for electronic holiday greeting cards! Let me know in an email or through my Yahoo! group (accessible on my profile page) who you'd like to hear from this holiday season.

Those of you who've been members of my group for a year or longer probably remember that I did this last year as well. I asked members to choose from a list of my characters and then the character(s) from my stories sent out a personalized e-greeting.

Well, this year, I've decided not to limit the choices. Members can get a holiday ecard from any character (from my stories) they would like. Think of it! You could hear from Cody, Grant, Brian, Matt, Kevin, Jason, Damon, Trent, Ryan, Lee, David, Eric, Travis, Alex, Sal, Kee, Joey, Tommy, Lauren, Chris, Victoria, Manny, Derek, or anyone else you'd like to hear from.

All you have to do is email me with the character's name you'd like to hear from, your name and email address. OR, surprise a friend who also reads the stories with an e-greeting from their favorite character.

Cards will go out from now right up through New Year's, but the earlier you place your "order" the faster it'll get there.

The characters are standing by now to take your "orders"! LOL!


Chapter 27

The reception started out as a nightmare! First there was the cocktail hour – well, in this case an hour-an-a-half. I think wedding halls try to get the guests nice and plastered before dinner on purpose ... that way if anything goes wrong they may not notice. The food at the cocktail hour was … well, immense. And very delicious, too. Oh, my God! I gorged myself to the point where Joey was laughing at me and poking my belly Pillsbury Doughboy-style. If I hadn't been stalking the sushi table, I would have bitten him! Fuck, that sushi was incredible! And so was the massive shrimp cocktail (no, you don't drink it, you ass!), the carving station with the filet mignon and the rack of lamb, the pasta table with the penne ala vodka and the lobster ravioli, the international cheese table, the seafood table with the oysters on the half shell and the mussels in white wine sauce … Oh, my God! And to top it all off, they had wait staff serving miniature grilled cheese sandwiches on toothpicks and those tiny, little Swedish meatballs. Forget the booze! My idea of a cocktail hour was stuffing myself silly!

"Feels weird to be waited on for a change," Sam said when a tray of chicken satay was offered to him.

"Just eat and enjoy," I replied around a piece of cheese I was attempting to swallow whole.

"Your mouth can't handle that big of a bite, Kee," Elaine laughed when I next shoved two stuffed mushrooms in at a time.

"Lay off!" I growled. "I never get food like this!"

"It's not like I starve you at home, babe," Joey playfully frowned at me.

"I didn't insinuate that you did," I huffed. "I'm just saying … fuck, this food is good!"

"Well, you'd better save some room for dinner," Chris chuckled as he stirred his drink with one of those little mixing straws they give you. I don't know why they bother to make those things hollow. It's not like you can get anything significant to come out of them. "And don't forget your toast," he added with a smirk. "It won't be pretty if you break into a huge burp when you're making it."

"Oh, that's right! The toast!" Vic exclaimed. "Do you have something big planned?"

"I did," I griped. "But Lauren found my note cards and asked me not to use them."

"Asked you?" my boyfriend snorted. "More like banned you from it. But I can't say I blame her. You were pretty harsh there."

"I was only telling it like it is!" I pouted.

No one lets me have any fucking fun anymore! And now that Chris and Sam are officially happy together, I don't even have that project to keep me occupied. Scowling, I snagged another mini grilled cheese off a passing tray and looked around me. Chris and Sam weren't really paying attention to me anymore anyway, lost in their own conversation. They were so freaking cute together, too. I caught Joey's eye and smirked at him as I gestured over to the pair with my chin, as if to say, "See? And you were worried." And he had been, too. Before that date, he'd tried to convince me it was too soon to set Chris up, but I went with my gut instinct. Why not? It's rarely wrong. Joey looked at the couple for a second then shrugged at me in a way that could only mean, "I humbly bow before your radiant brilliance, Kee." Well, I prefer to believe that's what he was saying.

I caught Vic's expression as she looked at Elaine when the other woman was taking a cell phone call. Ah HA! I new victim … er, project. I could feel it. I studied her as subtly as I could, while I snatched another few meatballs from a waiter. The look was almost forlorn, if I could call it that. Not that it made much sense, as I knew the two were in some kind of relationship of sorts. Hell, Elaine was at Vic and Chris' so often, I wondered if she was moving in. But something seemed to be spooking Vic from taking it to the next level. I looked at Chris then and saw him gazing at Vic and Elaine as well. Hmm. A potential partner in crime with this one? That would be helpful. He glanced at me in question just then and I smirked, raising an eyebrow. He looked nonplussed for a bit before smiling at me. Now he understood. Good, after we send the happy couple off to Scotland, Chris and I could begin working on our new task. Should prove interesting, to say the least.


The guests all moved into the reception hall when the maitre d' directed them to, lethargic from all the food so far and buzzed from the open bar. I maneuvered my way over to Lauren and Tommy in the hallway as we waited for the big introductions, sending Joey into the dining room with Elaine, his "date" for the evening. I love having more gay friends now! I would have tried to keep my jealousy under control if he'd been sitting next to a stranger – male or female, it wouldn't have mattered – but thankfully, I wouldn't be spending this valuable time ruminating over what that stranger next to my man was up to. I tugged at Lauren's veil with a grin.

"Hey, hands off my wife!" my idiot best friend sniffed at me.

"She's only your wife by divine intervention," I replied with a superior look of my own. And by divine, I mean me, of course!

"Are you having a good time, Kee?" Lauren giggled when I bent down to peck her cheek.

"Always. Stuffed myself silly so far."

"Did you like the little grilled cheeses?" Tommy asked enthusiastically. "I requested them myself!"

"I remember, you nitwit! I was there!" At his crestfallen expression, I just had to add, "Of course I liked them! I think I may have eaten most of them!"

"You couldn't have put away as much as he did," Lauren sighed, shaking her perfectly coiffed head. "I just hope you don't get sick during our first dance."

"Chris was worried I'd belch during the toast!"

Lauren paled at that as Tommy and I laughed it up. For all his idiotic ways, he and I really do share a lot on common … for a queer and a breeder, that is. Amazing how we became and remained friends all this time, but it seems to work for us. I even gave him a hug before turning back to the fretting bride.

"What happened with your father at the church?" I asked with a frown.

"What? When?"

"I think he means before you walked down the aisle, dear," Tommy added helpfully.

"Oh, that!" Lauren laughed. "It was the funniest thing!"

Tommy gave me a commiserating look, knowing how I felt about his new father-in-law. I had to share it with someone, and I told you how Lauren dotes on her dad, so it had to be Tommy.

"What was the funniest thing?" I tried again, keeping my tone low and neutral.

"He sat down for a minute while we waited," she sniffed as she explained. "And the pocket of his tuxedo trousers got caught in the metal gratings of the bench."

"Bench?" I exclaimed. "There was no bench in that lobby!"

"That explains it," Tommy chuckled. "I told you he sat on the heater, Laur."

"I guess he did," she giggled.

I shook my head and sighed, knowing I could only grit my teeth and bear it. Hopefully the old fool wouldn't do anything else to draw attention away from his daughter, the star of the event. If he ruined my best girlfriend's wedding, all vows of patience are officially off!

"Well, let's line up and get in there," I smiled in spite of my inner fuming. "Hopefully cousin Helen hasn't strangled Aunt May yet."

"Oh God!" Lauren sighed.


"And that's why Tom is the truly fortuitous one in this marriage," I said triumphantly, raising my glass of champagne to the crowd to signal they do the same. "May he always be that lucky, too! To the happy couple!"

"Here, here!" everyone laughed before they downed their champagne.

"Thank you oh-so-much, Kee!" Tommy said stiffly to me as we shook hands. "You're one lucky bastard that I won't be able to return the favor to you someday."

"Who knows!" Lauren giggled as she wiped a tear of mirth from the corner of her eye. "Maybe you will. The tide against gay marriage has to turn one of these days. It's only a matter of time."

"Hmm …" the big blonde moron muttered as he thought that over. "I should start a grassroots movement for that on my own."

"You wouldn't do that!" I laughed.

"I wouldn't?" he challenged.


"Why not?"

"Because that would bring me a step closer to marrying Joey," I announced with a smirk.

"And we all know how you'd feel about that," Joey added from the other side of the dais where he'd crept over when Tommy wasn't looking.

My best friend turned to him with a scowl.

"Gillson," he grunted.

"McNeil," Joey grinned back in amusement, winking at me afterward.

This was actually shaping up to be a fun night after all.