Part 60

Three months later

A long table adorned with crisp white linen glittered in the fading sunlight and the rich scent of a thousand blooms filled the air with their sweet aroma. To the side, suspended from four thick posts was a white and silver canopy, heavy with fringing. Magnificent floral displays stood at each corner adding their fragrance to the already saturated atmosphere. Beneath the beautiful canopy was a small table, on it stood a glass of red wine, fermented from fruit they had found growing wild on the other side of the wood.

Chris stood straight and proud as Justin stepped before him, nervously tangling his fingers with anticipation. He was dressed in a pure white robe that hung down to the ground, edged with silver and gold, his hair though greying slightly at the temples had grown out, covering his head in tight springy blond curls. He shuffled slightly from foot to foot, waiting patiently.

Chris smiled widely, seeing what Justin could not. A collective gasp rose from the gathered crowd of children and the blond alien resisted the strong urge to turn and face the man that he knew was now walking agonisingly slowly towards him. He reached inside the concealed pocket, fingering the wedding band he had sequestered away, a surprise and token of love for the man he had spent the past twenty years loving.

He felt his lover draw along side of him, still not looking up he groped for the pale slender hand, once so smooth but now rough with the years of hard work of the simple life they led. He squeezed the fingers tight, closing his eyes and breathing deeply, calming himself, preparing to look at the incredible man beside him.

He lifted his gaze and met sensuous silver blue, the love reflected in the man’s eyes made him stagger.

JC was beautiful.

His thick golden brown mane streaked with grey had been curled and teased till it framed his face with perfection; tiny white flowers had been woven into the curls, giving him a look of pure innocence. He too was dressed in a simple cut white robe, and was exquisitely embroidered with gold threads. Hours of work had gone into that robe, JC, Jewel, Jovian and Sapphire, sitting till the small hours of the morning stitching away with precision and determination in the flickering candle light, flying into a panic if Justin wandered too close, desperate to keep the wedding gown from him.

Justin drank in the vision of loveliness, and felt the familiar stirring in his groin. A gentle smile tugged at the corners of JC’s mouth and his eyes sparkled with pleasure. They gazed into each other’s eyes for a long minute before Chris demanded their attention. Reluctantly they tore their eyes from one another and faced the dark haired man at the altar.

“There is not much to be said for being the oldest member of this community, but this is undoubtedly the biggest privilege that age can afford.” Chris smiled lovingly towards his own sweet lover before he continued. “As village elder it has fallen to me to conduct our very first wedding. I hope that you all are ready to join me in the celebration and union of our most beloved Joshua and our headman Justin.” He paused again letting his words sink into the souls of the watching throng. “There was times when I thought I would never see this day, JC’s stroke nearly ended Justin’s dream of making him his.”

JC looked across to Justin, a tear sparkling in his eye. Justin squeezed his hand and they both looked back to Chris as he continued his speech.

“Justin, as headman the colony looks to you for leadership, and today you lead by example. May this union be the first of many.” Chris smiled, pride shining in his eyes. “Justin, do you take this man, Joshua, as your one true lover, promising to love him and cherish him for the rest of your life?”

Justin gazed into his lover’s eyes, “ I do.”

JC’s lip trembled slightly as he faced his long time friend. “JC, your are the backbone of our colony, without you, it almost fell apart, you are, and always have been the reason our community survived. Joshua, do you take this man, Justin, to be your one true lover, promising to love him and cherish him for the rest of your life?”

A tiny sob caught in the back of JC’s throat as he struggled to control the turmoil of emotions that were raging inside of him.

“I do.”

“Justin and Joshua will now exchange vows that they themselves have written. Justin.”

Justin turned to face his lover, taking both his hands in his own. “Joshua, the day I met you was the day my life began. I was young, arrogant, looking only for a host, but you looked at me with your pretty blue eyes and my soul was lost. I knew then that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. Out of our love came eleven beautiful children eight of which you carried yourself. You are the strongest man I have ever had the privilege to know and it reflects in our offspring. I love you Joshua. I love you more that I love life itself.” He lifted JC’s hand to his lips, kissing it lovingly. He slipped his free hand into his pocket and drew out the ring, a plain platinum band, marked with symbols from his home world. “Taking JC’s left hand, he smiled as he slipped it on to his ring finger. “I believe that’s the right one.” He joked. “Accept from me this token of my unwavering love, wear it knowing that it symbolises my love for you. Tell me you love me Joshua.”

JC stared at the band fitting snugly on his finger and blinked back his tears. “I don’t have one for you.” He whispered, biting at his lip.

“I don’t need one my love. All I need is you.”

JC blushed and looked to Chris waiting for his permission to speak. The dark haired human nodded .

“Justin, when you came into my life you turned it upside down, I feared you, was intrigued with you. You gave me a gift in that first meeting, something that I should never have had the opportunity to experience. You gave me Jovie. He brought a new understanding to me. My fear of you turned to love and with each passing year I love you more.” JC squeezed Justin’s hand, his teary eyes meeting his bright blue orbs. “Twenty years I have waited to hear those words from you and to know that you mean them. “ He looked again at the wedding ring glittering in the setting sun. “I love you Justin, I have always loved you. I accept your ring and I will wear it with pride till the day I die.”

Chris picked up a silk scarf from a silver tray placed on the table. Using it he bound Justin and Joshua’s hands together. “This silk signifies the bond between you. it’s a fragile bond, yet strong enough to hold you.” Lifting the wine he held it to JC and Justin’s lips in turn, encouraging them to take a sip. “Your first shared experience of married life.” he said. “May I be the first to greet you and husband and husband.” Chris leaned in kissing Justin on the cheek, then repeated his action with JC. A cheer went up and Lance rushed up embracing both his newly married friends. The children clapped and stomped their feet taking turns to greeting the two ecstatic men as they made their way to the dinner table.

Once they were all seated Jovian stood up and waited for the chatter and congratulations to die away. He raised his glass, “As the oldest it is my pleasure to propose a toast. To daddy and poppa, may we all find the happiness that they have.”

Everyone jumped up to their feet, raising their glasses. Cry’s of JC and Justin, poppa and daddy rang out. The newly weds hugged each other tight and prepared for a new beginning.