Dean paced back and forth across the steps of the courthouse. His stomach was in knots and despite all Olivia was doing for him he could not shake his nerves.
“Take a deep breath,” she said, stepping in front of him. “They’ll be here any minute. You know traffic sucks at this time.”
Dean nodded and spun around to continue his pacing. “But you know overreacting me and I am in full blown panic mode.”
“I do know you,” she said, stepping in front of him again. She shortened his pacing path by half. “Take a deep breath.” She watched as Dean inhaled and closed his eyes. “You have to exhale for this calming to work.”
Exhaling, Dean opened his eyes. “Forgot.”
“I’m not sure how you forget to breathe, but I understand. Are you going to be this nervous tomorrow?”
Dean shook his head. “No,” he answered. “Tomorrow this will all be done.”
“This will all be done soon,” Olivia replied. She stared into his sky blue eyes and smiled at him. “Thank you for letting me be a part of this.”
“You’re welcome but Kyle and I should be thanking you and Gray.”
“We wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Taking her hands into his, he smiled. “I’d like to retract my earlier statement of I wouldn’t move in with someone I’ve known less than month,” he said. “I was afraid for you. You have such a big heart that anyone could just walk in and snatch pieces of it from you. I was over reacting as usual.”
“It’s okay. You’re like a brother to me. Why wouldn’t I listen to your advice and opinion?”
“But I was trying to protect you and I wasn’t thinking of you or your happiness.”
“But you were in my corner and it’s always nice to have someone in your corner championing you on and trying to protect you.”
“I know, but I’m sorry,” Dean said and squeezed her hands. “Gray is an amazing guy. We’ve all known he was good for you, but we all now know how amazing he is and how amazing you two are together. You guys were such a machine at the hospital. Making sure Susan and Ross were okay. Making sure we were all okay. You’re the glue that holds us together and at the hospital, I wondered who held you together when we were all a mess and then I saw Gray just letting you rest your head on his shoulder. He kissed you on the head and you smiled. He holds you together. I don’t care if it’s been less than a month Olivia. He’s your glue.”
Olivia felt tears swell in her eyes and she quickly wiped them away. “You’re going to ruin my mascara,” she said and kissed Dean on the cheek.
“As long as I don’t ruin anything else, I’m okay with a little Alice Cooper makeup,” he said and hugged her.
“We’re here!” a voice shouted behind them.
“Oh thank god,” Dean sighed.
Olivia turned and saw Kyle and Gray sprinting across the lawn of the courthouse. “I told you,” she said and nudged him in the rib.
“I know. I over react.”
“Sorry,” Gray said and hugged Dean. “I took a wrong turn trying to avoid a detour.”
“I thought I was going to kill him,” Kyle said and kissed Dean on the cheek. “You look so handsome.”
“As do you.”
Both Kyle and Dean were dressed in perfectly tailored and crisp suits that would put any fashion model to shame. Gray was also dressed perfectly in a suit that made Olivia’s heart race.
“Come on love birds,” she said and ushered them into the courthouse. “We can’t keep the judge waiting.”
“You look lovely,” Gray said as he fell instep behind her. She was wearing a simple black sheath dress that hugged her figure just right.
“Thank you and keep a mental reminder that the lady loves the glasses and suit thing you’ve got going on,” she said, reaching back and taking his hand.
“Mental reminder noted,” he said with a squeeze of her hand.
Placing a glass of scotch in front of Kyle, Gray sat down in the booth across from him. Leaning back into the booth, he unbuttoned his jacket and loosened his tie. “Cheers,” he said. “To you and Dean.”
Smiling, Kyle raised his glass and toasted Gray. “Thank you.”
Gray nodded with a smile. “Can I ask you a question?”
Tapping at the side of his glass, Kyle nodded.
“Why I am here?”
“We’re drinking. We’re drinking in honor of my recent marriage.”
Putting one foot on the seat of the bench, Gray rested his elbow on on his knee. “I know that,” he replied, “but shouldn’t your best friend be here? Shouldn’t Dean be here?”
Kyle put the glass of scotch to his lips and nodded. “It’s a good question. It’s in fact, a great question. My best friend doesn’t believe in the sanctity of marriage. Be it a straight marriage or a gay marriage. He thinks it’s a crock of bullshit people feed themselves to be happy.”
“He sounds like a happy person,” Gray replied sarcastically.
“Funny thing is,” Kyle admitted, “is that he actually is. He’s fully committed to his partner. They have two adorable little girls, but he doesn’t do the marriage thing.”
“So no commitment or marriage ceremony for him?”
Kyle shook his head and reclined into the bench seat. “Nah. When Dean and I talked about getting married and having a commitment ceremony, we had completely decided that we’d just go to the courthouse and do it with the court appointed witness. It wasn’t until we both saw you and Olivia at the hospital that night of the Susan and Ross craziness.”
Gray stared at Kyle. “What about us?” he asked, dropping his leg to the floor.
“We were sitting across the room from you guys,” Kyle confessed, “and everyone was here or there. You walked over and gave Olivia a cup of coffee and sat down next to her. Without words between you two, you guys instinctively reached for each other’s hands. She rested her head on your shoulder and you kissed the top of her head.” Sitting up in his seat, he continued, “Dean and I just looked at each other and smiled. I knew what he was thinking and he knew what I was thinking.”
“So what were you thinking?” Gray asked, leaning forward onto the table between them.
“As I had said with the courthouse thing, we didn’t want a big wedding. Just a small celebration with our friends, but when we saw you guys that night we realized that we wanted to share our love with two people who understood what it meant. That’s why we asked you guys to be our witnesses the other night at dinner. Dean always has this theory that Olivia is the glue that holds everyone together but no one’s her glue, but when he saw you at that very moment, he turned and said glue.”
Gray took a drink of his scotch and nodded. “And that’s why we were there, why I’m here.”
Kyle nodded. “I know we don’t know each other very well and hell, we’ve only know the collective group of friends about the same time, but I’ve been in a relationship long enough to know what glue is and what love is. I can tell you like that idea.
“I do,” Gray admitted, “and I don’t mind admitting that at all.”
“Then what’s up?”
Gray shrugged his shoulders. “Just wondering about the future. All the what if’s and the what should happens.”
“Don’t,” Kyle suggested. “You’ll make yourself sick and you’ll make what you have with Olivia toxic. Just enjoy the ride. The future is the future and all you can do is enjoy the moment that you’re in.”
“And things just fell into place with you and Dean?”
“We had bumps and bruises along the way, but yeah, it fell into place. Listen to your gut. It will lead you the right way at the right time.”
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Categories: The Dumbing Down of Love