“No. We’re not going to Target. We’re going to Harry Martin’s.” Celia’s voice grated in David’s ears, but he knew she was right. His usual jeans and T-shirt wouldn’t work for this wedding. He needed tolook his very best.
David wasn’t vain, in fact, just the opposite. He never cared what he looked like, what he wore. All that mattered was that whatever he put on his body was clean and comfortable.
Today he wore a T-shirt his mom had brought him back from Niagara Falls almost ten years ago and one of his several—okay, many—pairs of Levi’s. And this pair wasn’t even faded yet. His hair, as always, needed a cut, and he was about three days away from a razor.
But enough people—both men and women—had come onto to him over the years that he knew, with Celia’s help and a pile of money, he could look even better. He could look irresistible. And that was important.
The three of them, Celia, David and Terry, had grown up together. And both Celia and David had lived through the pangs and pain of unrequited love.
It wasn’t that Terry had been cruel. Rather, he’d been oblivious. David understood why Terry hadn’t seen him. Terry was a well-known pussy hound.
But Celia? Even in high school she’d been drop-dead gorgeous and built like a goddess. She’d trailed boys like a bitch in heat trailed dogs.
Terry had never seen either of them as anything other than friends. And he’d been a good friend. He stood by David when he finally came out in senior year, helping deflect the scorn and anger and fear of the boys who’d once been friends.
Terry—the school leader, both on the field and off—didn’t hesitate a moment before taking up fists or words on David’s behalf. He was deeply loyal and completely confident in his sexuality. And why not? He could, and did, sleep his way through all the hot girls in school and without making any enemies.
Terry’s support at a time when David’s only other fan at school had been Celia made David want him even more, even though he knew better. David knew, to his deep and continuing embarrassment, that Terry knew of his longing and chose—rather than dumping him as a friend—to believe nothing had changed between them.
They’d gotten over any awkwardness years ago. They played soccer, baseball, and the occasional game of tennis together. They had a regular Monday night pub date, and David knew Terry’s marriage wouldn’t change any of that.
David had plenty of friends, but Terry was, except for Celia, his closest. And David was Terry’s closest friend. Thus the unrefusable wedding invitation. And the co-ed bridal shower. And the stag and stagette. The glow of love—and lust—that shone around Terry like a halo at these events was almost unbearable.
But David had to go. As did Celia. If they didn’t go, someone—not Terry, of course—would notice, and their nasty little secret love would be revealed. So they’d gone to every shower, every rehearsal, every party, and there’d been dozens of them.
They’d consoled each other in the cabs they’d taken to the events, and commiserated, a little worse for wear from the tequila shooters which were de rigeur at any party Terry attended, in the cabs on the way home.
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