The marques arrived early and the party of ten men that arrived with it quickly got to work erecting and positioning it. No sooner than they had left the furniture people turned up and Justin forced his mind away from the long limbed man that was still sleeping naked in his bed. Right now he needed to get everything organised. JC was a great architect but party planning was not his forte. JC would be late for his own funeral.
“No not there,” he shouted as one of the workmen started to set up the cake table in the wrong place. It goes in front of the top table, dead centre, haven’t you ever set up a wedding party before?”
Justin indicated where he wanted the table as he joined the decorator and florist that had just arrived to dress the tables and decorate the marques.
“You let me sleep in again!”
Justin smiled as JC came into the party area pouting. “Baby I want you to take it easy today, pamper yourself. It’s not everyday you celebrate being with your soul mate for two years.”
JC sighed softly. “Two years, wow. That’s just so amazing; before I met you I had never had a relationship that lasted more than a few weeks.”
Justin wrapped his arms around his lover. “That’s because you were looking for love in all the wrong places. I was always there JC. You just never saw me.”
JC lowered his head, resting it on Justin's shoulder. “I saw you baby. I just wouldn’t admit that you were what I wanted all along. I was straight, I wanted to be straight. I was so stupid.”
“Not stupid sugar just blinkered. But I opened your eyes.”
JC chuckled. “You certainly did that. If I remember rightly it wasn’t just my eyes you opened.”
Justin slapped his ass. “Get back in the house and get yourself all beautified the caterers will be here soon.”
“Well I want to help. This is my party too remember.”
Justin squeezed his lover tightly and kissed his cheek. “I know you do baby but I want to do this for you so be good and stay out of here till tonight.”
JC scrutinised Justin's innocent face. “You’re up to something.”
The blond man managed to look suitably hurt. “All I’m trying to do is make things nice for you sugar. Go take a swim then relax.” The two men kissed lovingly the younger tenderly caressing the back of the older mans neck.
“I’ll be by the pool then,” JC whispered as he gazed into Justin's eyes.
“Wear shorts sugar.”
JC rolled his eyes. “Like you had to tell me! No one gets to see this booty but you babe.”
Justin pinched the firm peach that was cupped in his hand. “Just checking babe.”
It was just after two when the caterers arrived. Justin made sure that everything was in order and the menu was right before ensuring the wedding cake was set up properly. It stood tall on its silver stand, four tiers of ivory draped in icing ribbons and trimmed with pale pink flowers. Justin stood admiring it; he knew JC was going to love it. It was simple and understated just like JC; there was no need to dress it up with fancy designs or colours. It was all that was needed, all that was wanted. He looked around taking in the whole effect of the banquet hall, the pale ivory silk cloths that covered the tables, and the pale pink flower arrangements that echoed the iced flowers on the cake. His eyes were drawn to the altar that had been erected on the far side of the marques, again in ivory silk and tiny pink flowers and he imagined JC standing before it saying ‘I do.’
The guests would be arriving in a few hours and the party starting. He couldn’t wait until he placed the ring on JC’s finger. Justin gasped the ring he hadn’t picked up the rings. He would never make the shop in time, it was clear across town. Fumbling in his pants pocket he found his cell and quickly dialled. After a couple of rings it was answered.
“Dude thank god you are there. I need a big favour. Can you go get the rings for me?”
The person on the end of the phone agreed.
“Man you have no idea how much this means to me,” Justin said thankfully. “I’ll be over in an hour to pick them up from you.”
He hung up then went back up to the house. After searching the downstairs for his lover and not finding him, he decided to look upstairs. JC was in the shower, his clothes for the night laid out on the bed. Justin put them all away and got out the suit he had hidden in the back of his closet and laid it in their place. He wrote a note and laid it on top of the new clothes then smiling he left.
JC loved to shower. The sheer pleasure of having hot water cascading over his body was enough to keep him under for hours but conservationist JC always kicked in and reluctantly he dragged himself out. He stopped dead catching sight of the dark suit matched with an ivory silk shirt that was lying on the bed. Slowly he picked up the baby pink silk cummerbund and bow tie, caressing the fine fabric with his puckered fingers. He gave a half laugh and reached for the letter that was pinned to the jacket.
‘Baby I know you are probably wondering what this is all about but I thought it would be nice if the party was black tie (well in your case pink, ha ha) Stay out of the marques until I get back. I have a couple of jobs I need to do in the city so I will be gone for a couple of hours but I will be back in plenty of time.
I love you JC
JC shook his head and laughed, Justin always managed to surprise him. He hung the suit and shirt on the door of his closet and laid on the bed, relaxing back and picking up the phone. It only rang a few times before his best friend Joey answered.
“Hey Joe,” JC said as the Italian answered.
“JC, dude why you phoning? I’ll be there in what 30 minutes.”
JC sighed. “I’m bored. Justin has banned me from the marques, he’s organised the food. Hell he even organised a suit for me. He just won’t let me help.”
Joey laughed. “Jace, Justin is an organiser. You knew that when you first got involved with him.” Joey paused a minute. “So what did he buy you?” he asked unable to contain his curiosity any longer.
“As of this minute I think a suit,” JC replied eyeing the tuxedo hanging on his closet door.
“A suit!” Joey repeated. “You gave him the tickets right?”
JC rolled his eyes. “Yes I gave him the tickets.”
“And he liked them right?” Joey asked confused.
JC’s face was split with a massive grin. “He liked them.” Justin had liked them alright he had spent half the night proving just how much he had liked them. “Well Joe it’s getting late I guess I had better start getting ready. I got a touch of waxing to do.”
Joey groaned. “Too much information dude, straight man here, I don’t need to know about your back and crack wax.”
“Eww dude I do so not need to go that far. If you must know it is chest and groin, I wanna be baby smooth for my boy tonight,” JC said slightly insulted.
Joey cracked up laughing at his friend’s indignation. “Dude I’m just playing with ya. I still remember a certain hairless guy hiding in the back of the showers because he got teased for being the only one with out a thatch.”
“Oh man don’t go there, that was so humiliating.”
Joey laughed at JC’s discomfort. “How old were you dude?”
“14,” JC sighed making Joey laugh all the harder. “Well at least I didn’t turn into a gorilla when my balls dropped,” JC huffed.
“Touché I’d better let you go and get beautiful for your boy. I’ll see you at eight, later dude.”
JC spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening readying himself for the coming night. He checked his watch, it was nearing 7:30 and Justin had said he would only be a couple of hours, he had been gone nearly four hours. JC paced back and forth in his dining room looking out across the lawn at the marques and the guests arriving. He should really go and greet them but Justin had told him not to go into the massive tent until he got there. He loosened his silk bow tie and crossed the room to the phone. He dialled Justin's cell. The answer phone picked up and he left another message the fifth in the last ten minutes. He was beginning to worry now. Justin never ignored his messages, he always replied straight away.
He spun around expectantly as the dining room door opened only to find Joey hovering in the doorway. “Dude you look amazing,” Joey said and JC blushed.
“Thanks,” JC replied in a whisper. He began to chew his nails and went over to the phone again dialling only to get the same infuriating answer phone. “I can’t find him Joe. Where is he?”
“Find who Jace?”
“Justin. He went out earlier; he left me a note to say he wouldn’t be long. That was four hours ago Joe. I’m scared.” JC slumped down on to the couch and began to cry softly.
The bearded man shuffled uncomfortably from foot to foot, he had never been particularly comfortable around an emotional JC. “Look Trace is in the marques maybe he knows where Justin went.”
An hour later three men were pacing the wooden floor of JC and Justin's dining room. Trace chewed his lip as he rested his hand on JC’s shoulder comfortingly. “Jaycee I think maybe we should tell the guests to leave.”
JC looked up at the wall clock and burst into tears. “Where is he Trace? Something must have happened to him. He wouldn’t do this to me. I know he wouldn’t.”
Joey came back into the room after having disappeared with the phone ten minutes before. “There’s no sign of him JC. I phoned all the hospitals, he’s not been in an accident. I think we should call the police.”
“Everyone is waiting,” JC said as he stared out at the now lit marques. “I had better go and tell them that the party is off.”
“NO!” Joey exclaimed. “I mean no JC, Trace will tell them. I think we should go to the precinct and report Justin as missing.”
The slender man nodded brokenheartedly and slipped his jacket on over his ivory silk shirt. “They’ll find him won’t they Joe?” JC asked, his tone begging for reassurance.
“They’ll find him baby,” Joe replied even though he wasn’t totally convinced.
The police precinct was heaving. It was a typical Saturday night in respect that they had the usual splattering of drunks and the usual caseload of abuse, domestic and otherwise. JC and Joey sat in the waiting area, still waiting to be seen. Before they had left they had Trace promise that he would call them if Justin turned up, that was three hours ago. The big white clock that hung above the check in desk was creeping closer and closer to midnight and still there was no word. JC had retreated into himself and stared dejectedly at the dirty grey tiles that covered the floor.
Joey sighed and stretched. “Jace can I get you a coffee.”
The brunette looked up with tear filled eyes and shook his head. “I don’t want anything, I’m fine.”
Joey regarded his best friend. He had known him since they were in sixth grade and if there was one thing he did know that was that JC was not fine. He felt helpless all he could do was sit and watch as the sensitive brunette fell slowly apart.
JC leaped to his feet and almost ran to the desk. “Did you find him?” he demanded.
The police sergeant looked at the suited man, taking in the pale pink cummerbund and bow tie that was now hanging loosely around JC’s neck.
“Nothing yet, I’ve put out a call on his car but in all honesty that’s all I can do.”
JC covered his face with his hands and fought not to cry. Joey pulled him to him letting the smaller man rest his face against his chest. “What do you mean that’s all you can do? Our friend is missing, find him.”
The sergeant rolled his eyes. “Look I shouldn’t have even put out an APB on the car yet. Your friend is an adult, until he has been missing 48 hours there’s nothing we can do.” He looked at JC with pity. “Son go home. Maybe he’s already there. I don’t like to say this but maybe he changed his mind, its been known to happen.”
Joey shook his head at the middle aged man warning him to silence, but the damage had already been done.
“Changed his mind about what?” JC demanded.
Joey tried to clam him. “Nothing Jace. The sergeant is right, let’s get you home. Justin is probably there waiting and wondering why you ran out on his party” Joe steered his fried back towards the seats they had vacated. “I’ll just fill in the required forms Jace I’ll be right with you.”
As soon as JC was far enough away the bearded man addressed the desk sergeant again. “He didn’t know about the wedding it was meant to be a surprise for their anniversary that’s how I know Justin hasn’t ran out on JC. If he had wanted to call it off he could have done and JC would have been none the wiser.”
The desk sergeant looked over to where the crestfallen young man sat, grief written all over his face. “I’ll see if I can push it though.”
Joey reached out and grabbed his chubby hand, shaking it thankfully. “Thank you,” he whispered. “Thank you very much.”