A/N: Here it is, the end. Thanks for sticking around folks. Hope you enjoyed the story and if you did… Stop being stingy and leave me some farewell to Painted Love reviews!Epilogue
Canvas looked out over the chapel that he and Las had chosen to be the stage of their wedding ceremony. Beautifully constructed, it's Victorian style just seemed to sit well with the couple. It's old-fashioned simplicity giving it a dazzling effect that seemed to light up the dark wood colors and bring out the dark purple drapes. Looking over it, Canvas truly felt like some Lord he was sure was far back in his family's history line and he had gotten his Lady – Er, Lad? Well, He'd gotten Nicholas and that was more than good enough.
"So this is it then?"
Canvas turned at the voice, he was sure he'd be there alone for a bit before the wedding started. Hell, even the chaplain had left to go finish his last minute preparations. Seeing a decked out Kane though, he figured it was a lot closer to the actual wedding time than he had realized. And speaking of decked out… Kane was wearing, like himself; a crisp black suit that just seemed to make his burgundy hair shine and it didn't help to hide his muscular frame either. What the hell was wrong with Kinley? He wondered not for the first time.
"Yep. This is it. Where two become one. Where out life paths join and we follow the same trail. Where-"
Kane chuckled, "I get it. Spare me."
"Fine. You're looking rather fine today."
"I'm sure," he said with a sarcastic note to his voice.
"Don't start." Kane sighed and shook his head, ever since Canvas had gotten his soon-to-be husband back, he had been nothing but a cup-half-full annoying ass optimist who was certain Kinley would come to his senses. The redhead knew better. A little over two years was more than enough time to prove that the smaller man's mind was made up and there was no unmaking it. He just didn't want to fight anymore and didn't want to argue. All Kane wanted was to get over this meddlesome emotion and move on with his life.
Canvas frowned a bit, knowing exactly what was going through his friend's mind. "You ever try not talking? Just, like, assault him."
"What?" This was said slowly enough to give Canvas the impression that Kane thought he'd lost his mind.
"Seriously, just try it. Just back him into a corner and lay one on him."
"Are we talking about the same Kinley here? Cause I'm pretty sure the one I'm talking about would sucker punch me in the face."
"Never know unless you try," this was said a bit lowly as Canvas gave a goofy wave to his parents as they entered, followed closely by the guys from the shop and the many other people that were invited. Funny, Canvas never realized how many family members he had.
"Yeah, whatever. Best wishes and all that," he said, moving away from the podium and down to a seat to await the beginning of the ceremony.
The guests arrived quickly and all at once and, surprisingly, were all settled in time for the actual ceremony to begin. He didn't even mind too much when Brent entered with his boyfriend. Nicholas had let him know from the start that he wasn't giving up the pair as friends and Canvas, not wanting to have another go-round- begrudgingly agreed not to bitch about it if they came.
Canvas held his breath as the doors opened and a slow rock song rung out, clashing with the surroundings but beautiful with it's guitar solos and the rock stars somewhat gravely voice. It was Nicholas' favorite song. Nicholas soon stepped out in all his glory, a perfect image in charcoal gray, his hair a messy mass of brown where his hair had grown out. His face was flushed and bright red, no doubt about that, from embarrassment or excitement, Canvas didn't know, but he knew Las wanted this every bit as much as he did.
Immediately grasping his love's hands as Las stepped before him, he leaned down to kiss his clean- cheek and whisper; "You look beautiful."
Nicholas smiled, doing his best to accept the compliment gracefully, he replied. "You too."
"Ladies and gentleman," the chaplain started, We are gathered here today to join the pair of Canvas and Nicholas and make them one…"
The pair only had eyes for one another and seemed to blank everything else out till they were reminded by a firm nudge from the chaplain that they were needed.
"The couple has decided to recite their own vows to one another in the form of quotes."
Canvas took a deep
breath and hoped he had chosen a proper one for such an event. He
felt he had, whenever he read it or recited it he felt meaning rush
through him. "I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for
their religion - I have shuddered at it. I shudder no more. I could
be martyred for my religion
Love is my religion. And I could die for that. I could die for you. "
The expression on Nicholas face told him everything he needed to know and that Las found it proper was all that mattered. If it was enough for his love, it was certainly enough for him.
"Nicholas?" the chaplain prompted.
Taking a deep breath, he recited, "Other men said they have seen angels. But I have seen thee. And thou art enough."
Canvas wondered if Nicholas was having as hard a time as he was trying to hold his shit together.
"Beautiful. By the power invested in my by the great lands of Canada, I now pronounce you husband and husband. Canvas, you may kiss your husband."
The guests clapped accordingly as the couple did just that.
"Welcome to the family, Nicholas," Leena wrapped her arms around the portly fellow, whispering into his ear. "I knew you were the one for my boy, I'm just glad he figured it out and didn't muck it up too bad."
"Don't worry, Leena, he's more than making up for his blunder."
The woman smiled cheekily when she pulled back. "Not too easily forgiven, I hope?"
Nicholas held up his hand and wiggled his ring finger upon which was a splendid white gold ring with shiny black diamonds speckled across it.
"You'll do, Nicholas," she smiled.
Excusing himself, he joined Canvas where he was led to the center of the room. The same song that played while he walked down the aisle floated out over the dance floor and they began their first dance as a married couple.
Kane watched the couple with a soft smile on his face. Despite his protests to his own love life or lack of one, he had to admit that seeing a love blossom was just beautiful. Pansy sounding or not, he was a sucker for a happy ending. And while he could enjoy other's fortunes, he knew now that there was no use holding out for his own love life to liven up. There was only one man he loved and would love anything else was just sex, his body's needs. No one could ever replace-
"Lovely sight, isn't it?"
Surprised that Kinley would speak to him without being forced to, he could do little more than nod and mumble, "Beautiful."
"You think you and Max would have ever had such a ceremony?"
Kane clenched his jaw hearing the snide tone that was leaking through the man's words. "You know we wouldn't have."
"Do I?" Kinley eyed the redhead with what he hoped was an apathetic expression. "How do I know that?"
After a long moment, the redhead turned to stare at the much shorter man. "What do you want, Kinley? You never talk to me unless I bitch at you first, so what?"
"I was just reminiscing," he shrugged."
"The past is long gone. I don't wanna think about that shit anymore."
"You can just forget about him like that?"
"Yes. I was done with Max long before he died. I only stayed because he was an idiot who couldn't do for himself."
"Quiet your voice, man. This is a special moment for them. Don't be dramatic and ruin it."
Kinley's face flushed red. "He was my brother, damn it. I refuse to listen to you talk about him like that."
"You felt the same, so don't even front about it. You ruined me."
"What else was I supposed to do? You took advantage of me while I was mourning."
Kane stood, his own face flushed. He was pissed at being accused of such a thing. "You woke me up, you selfish little prick. You started that shit and when we were finished you had to lay my ass out when you know you loved me too."
"It was wrong."
"So it was okay to want me when your brother was alive just not when he's dead?"
"I didn't do anything while he was alive?"
"But I would have. If I'd have known or had even thought you felt that way towards me I would have left his ass for you in a heartbeat. I should have met you first. You were the one, not Max. Damn it. Why can't you see that?" Turning away from the man and back towards the room, his face heated terribly from embarrassment when he saw a large group of people staring at the two of them. Apparently they had been a lot louder than they thought. Never being one for embarrassment or for pouring his heart out in front of multiple people, he turned on his heel and left the group and the argument.
Kinley watched him go, his heart clenching in such a terrible way he genuinely wondered if his heart would fall out of his chest.
"How can you do that?"
Kinley turned and stared at Alex, surprised that out of all the people who would say anything to him in the group, it would be the notorious playboy. "What are you talking about?"
"How can you hear him pour himself out like that and not go rushing after him? I've been working with you two for two years and have seem you both smother emotions and now that it's out there in the open you just let it float by… What the hell is the matter with you?"
"What do you even know about it? Why don't you go find someone to fuck and leave me alone."
Alex grabbed him when he went to turn away. "I know more than you think."
It was only then, looking at Alex's eyes and seeing how hard he was trying to hold his own shit together, did he notice that Ronnie had not come with the man. Damn, it no doubt had to be hard just breaking up with the guy that Alex had been so stuck on for months only to hear his and Kane's bullshit.
"You should cherish words like that. Not just brush them off," with that he turned away and went back to his table.
Feeling like an asshole, but too prideful to follow the redhead, he went and sat as well, doing his best to ignore the curious eyes.
"Where are you taking me?" Nicholas asked, his eyes on the road ahead as they passed familiar streets. They had gotten home only last night after a nice, if chilly, honeymoon in France. Jetlag still making him drowsy, Canvas had insisted he get up and in the car.
"It's a surprise- Ah! Here we go," Pulling into a free parking space along the side of the busy city street; he quickly exited the car and met Las around the other side. Closing the man's door, he leaned against the passenger side of the car and made a show of looking over the townhouses lining the block.
"What're you doing?"
"Looking for 2487."
Canvas gave a cheeky grin, "Because I bought it."
Nicholas' mouth dropped open. "What?"
Taking the hefty man in his arms, he smiled down at his surprised face. "We're a family now, me and you. And hopefully, after you finish college, you might wanna add onto us. So I bought you a house."
Not knowing what else to say, Las grabbed his loves hand pulled him from house to house looking at the numbers. When he finally found the house he was looking for, he had to stop and cover his mouth with his hand. Early nineteen hundreds built it greatly resembled Canvas' home in Mayfair, if a little smaller. It just looked like home. "I love it."
"Thought you might," Canvas said, accepting the kiss that was laid on him.
Pulling away, Nicholas sniffled a moment before making a great effort to pull himself together. "You make me such a chick sometimes."
"Baby, believe me, you are no chick. I've seen your di-"
"Shut up, perv! I'm trying to be sufficiently awed and in love here and you are ruining it!"
"Don't people in love make love?"
"Good," having said that, he abruptly showed a powerful display of strength by scooping Las up and carrying him up the steps to the front door before carrying his new husband over the threshold.