Part 7

“Justin it’s time.” Joey stood at the bottom of the porch steps looking resplendent in his dark suit. Justin ran his hand over his head, “yeah I guess so.” He got up off the top step where he had been sitting for the past hour and a half and brushed his hands over the back of his black pants.

“Here let me do that for you,” Joey said and started to brush the dust off of Justin’s ass.

“Is everyone here?”

Joey nodded. The Chasez’s arrived about twenty minutes ago. They asked where you were.”

“I’d better go see them.” Justin hugged his arms around himself. “Did you see him?” he asked quietly.

“Yeah.” Joey stared off across the garden at his little girl, who was walking along the edge of the pool. Under normal circumstances this would have made him very nervous, but not more than a step behind her was Kelly.

“How did he look?” Justin had wanted to see for himself but hadn’t been able to.

Joey gave a tiny smile. “He looked beautiful as usual. Made his momma cry.”

“I should go to her.” Justin started to walk back up the porch steps to the house and his lover’s family.

Joey caught his arm. “Let Lance deal with the guests. You just relax.” Joey guided him back towards the garden.

Justin stopped, pulling against Joey’s gently but firm grip. “I can’t do this.”

The older man sighed. “Yes Justin, you can. You love him.”

Justin gazed to where a flower filled gazebo had been set up, his guests now beginning to take their places in the rows of chairs. He took a deep breath and looked at his friend of the past 9 years or so and sighed.

“Thanks Joe.” He started walking towards the gathering. Joey tagged along behind, collecting his daughter and her mother as he went. Kelly gave him a small peak of his lips and mouthed ‘is he alright’. Joey nodded and took her hand leading her to their allocated seats.

Justin went down to the front of the gazebo and took his place next to Chris. The short brunette tugged at his dark tie and gave Justin a sheepish grin when Lance leaned over from the row behind him and smacked him across the head for loosening it again. The Chasez’s slipped into the seats on the opposite side of the aisle. JC’s mother was crying softly, her husband had his arm around her shoulders, giving her what support he could offer.

The priest stood before them all and motioned them all to rise. Justin looked to his left at the rich mahogany coffin that had been carried in. JC was in there and in thirty minutes they would be carrying him out to the grave that had been prepared and lowering him into the ground. The priest began to read a passage from the bible but Justin couldn’t hear the words he was saying. He looked around at all the people that had come to say their farewells to his gentle caring lover. How easily they accepted it. JC was gone forever and they just accepted it. Well he wouldn’t, he wasn’t ready to say goodbye. He loved JC.

Justin began shaking his head, mouthing the word no over and over. Chris touched his arm in concern and Justin shrugged him off.

“No,” he screamed and threw himself at the coffin, hugging the shiny wood as he wept uncontrollably. He was dimly aware of hands on his arm shaking him and his name being said over and over.

“Justin…. Justin it’s time to go.” Joey stood next to him, shaking him gently.

Justin rubbed the heels of his hands over his eyes, blinking in confusion. “Joe?”

The big man grinned. “The Chasez’s have arrived about twenty minutes ago. They were asking where you were.”

The younger man shook his head, trying to clear his senses. “I should go to them”

“Let Lance deal with the guests. You just relax.” Joey watched his little girl playing by the pool with her mother.

“Did you see him?” Justin asked. “How does he look?”

Joey smiled. “Beautiful, he made his momma cry.”

“I should go to her.” Justin stopped himself as he started to walk up the steps towards the house. “What’s going on Joe? I’ve been here before, done this before.”

Joey laughed loudly and slapped Justin across the back. “Sure you have. Come on we’ll be keeping everyone waiting. It’s going to be a long hard day.”

Justin looked across to where the flower filled gazebo stood, brimming with people. “Let’s just do this.” When they reached the gathering Justin took his place down at the front with Chris. Justin watched as the short dark haired man fiddled with his tie and got a slap across his head by Lance for loosening it again.

Just opposite him JC’s mom and dad slipped into their seats, Karen sniffling into her handkerchief, Roy’s arm around her Justin began to sweat as the priest moved to the front of the gazebo. He kept his eyes locked on the ground, too afraid to look up and see what was next to him.

The priest greeted the guests and began to read from the bible. Justin swallowed hard and looked to his left. He gasped as two steely blue eyes met his. He dropped his gaze to the slightly curved full pink lips then looked back up and into the beautiful depths of JC’s eyes.

The priest started to speak again capturing his attention as he stood side by side with his soon to be husband. He reached out and felt JC’s fingers brush against his. He caught them in his grasp and took a breath.

“I do.” JC’s melodic tones flowed like melted butter over Justin’s eardrums and sent shivers up his spine. He turned, facing his lover for the first time since they had both stood next to each other. His heart burst with pride as JC stood straight and proud. He knew how much it hurt the slender man to straighten his body and yet JC was doing it and for him.

The priest gave a little cough and repeated his question. Justin looked at him blankly for a split second. “I do,” he said quickly.

JC grinned at him happily and held out his left hand so that Justin could slide his ring on his finger.

They kissed, their lips barely touching. JC’s eyes sparkled with joy. “I love you, I wanted to give you a family,” he whispered.

All memories of the bad dream Justin had were erased as he gathered his lovely husband in his arms. “I don’t need children all I need is you. I thought I’d lost you.”

JC smiled the serene smile that he had taken to using since his brush with death. “Never.” he said softly as he stroked Justin’s face.”