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New Beginnings, Chapter 7

Reply to Alex Parrish

Posted to the RoswellSlash mailing list October 6, 2003

Part:7/19 "New Beginnings"
Author: Alex Parrish
E-mail: alexparrish@wi.rr.com
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Katims, Metz and the WB. No infringement is intended. I own nothing, Trust me. Suing is futile!
Paring: M/K
Feedback: Please
Distribution: Roswell Slash Archive/Others Ask
Rating: X? Explicit sex and language
Spoilers: Nothing in particular and seasons 1,2,3 in general
Thanks: To aunty_mib, Beta extraodinaire, eh!
Summary/General: The lives of the 7 primary characters for 9 months after they leave season 3.
Summary/Chapter: Vignettes from the trip.



Liz and Max廣 Wedding

      By the middle of June, Max and Liz decided that they should go ahead and get married as soon as possible. No one else could think of any reason they shouldn't. The big question was, where? That was a no-brainer; Las Vegas is the 'Wedding Capital of the World' and we had not been there since our little field-trip organized by Michael, which ended with Dad being really pissed at Tess and me. I was expecting a quick "do you/I do/I do" at someplace like 'Joe廣 Drive-by Wedding Emporium' and then some time to hit the casinos while the bride and groom spent a hot day or two in the bridal suite of some inconspicuous hotel or motel, and then we would hit the road again. I guessed wrong.

      Liz did agree that she didn't want anything too elaborate, or conspicuous, but she felt she did want some kind of 'dignified' ceremony in a nice environment. Typical woman; take a 5 minute task and turn it into a three-ring circus. We found a wedding chapel which appeared slightly less bizarre than some of the others, and Liz decided that it was dignified enough for her. The problem was, the chapel was booked until Thursday and today was Monday. Max thought, for a moment, of suggesting we move along to find another place, but, the disappointed look on Liz's face made him change his mind, so we all agreed that we could lay-low in Vegas for that long. We also agreed that we would leave Vegas right after the wedding and that the happy couple could spend their honeymoon night elsewhere. We were, after all, still on the run and didn't want to take reckless chances. What the guys didn't realize at that moment, was that this plan provided Isabel with two full days to turn a simple wedding into an extravaganza worthy of Liberace.

      Liz -- with look of resignation on her face -- put herself in Isabel's hands, and Isabel was in heaven! The rest of us, particularly the guys, were in hell. Thank Buddha, the men's duds were taken care of pretty quickly on Monday afternoon. Liz -- or was it Isabel -- had decreed a classic black tux for the guys, white formal shirts with little tiny pleats -- I幟 sure some 8- year-old in a third-world country went blind making them --black tie, cummerbund, and rented patent-leather shoes. She replaced the cummerbund with a silvery vest for the groom. Michael, Jesse and I were all dressed exactly alike, after a stern lecture from Isabel -- aimed mostly at Michael -- about the importance of wearing black socks. Pretty usual wedding garb; fairly painless, as long as we didn't have to wear it for too long.

      Early in the planning Liz suggested that, since we were embarking on a "rather unusual family design,"(her words) that she and I should stand-up for each other -- to signify our willingness to commit to the relationship of the other as well as to our own. That was OK for me if it was OK for Max. It was. That actually took a little pressure off him, since he wouldn't have to choose between Michael and me for his 'best man.' As far as I was concerned, he never would have had to choose; I would gladly have stepped aside for Guerin since he and Max had been best friends forever. I felt badly that I was filling what should have been Maria's role as 'maid of honor' but she insisted that she was OK with the arrangement, and that she believed in Liz's approach. So, Isabel stood with Michael as Max's attendants and Maria stood with Liz at my side. Jesse was assigned to stand-in for Liz's father and then morph into the photographer, a role he willingly accepted, provided he would be allowed to buy a new digital camera. Money was not at issue, so we agreed. That meant that there would at least be wedding pictures, even if we could never show them to our families. Liz also insisted that we purchase a good guitar, even if it was awkward to carry on the road, so that Maria could sing at the wedding. We all agreed, and sent Maria off with Jesse to make the purchases.

      Michael and I were chomping-at-the-bit to hit the casinos, but all the others were solidly against that idea. Part of our overall plan was to utilize some of the casinos later in the summer to supplement our 'special withdrawals' from the ATMs, and no one wanted to risk being banned from the casinos before we could put our plan into action. That廣 another story. The upshot was, that we were cooling our heels in a motel for the time being.

      The very idea of being in Vegas and not gambling almost sent Michael off the deep-end and I wasn't too happy about it either, especially since we had both been so lucky, at least money-wise, the last time we were here. We didn't give up without a fight but, in the end we agreed to abide by the group decision. That didn't mean, however, that we were banned from bitching and complaining about it, which we did; Michael especially and constantly. We did, at least, get to organize a poker game in our motel room; a pale imitation of what we really had in mind. Jesse cleaned-up. Who would'a thought?

      We managed to occupy ourselves for the duration without getting into too much trouble; I'll tell you about the funeral later. When the big day came, we packed the van before leaving for the chapel, each keeping aside a change-of-clothes so we could change immediately after the ceremony and pictures, and then return the rented garb on the way out of town.

      The ceremony was actually all right, as weddings go. I'm not a big fan of them, myself; too much pomp and frill, too many people, too many bucks spent, and there's a 50/50 chance that they will divorce in the end. Not this couple, of course. The minister or justice, or whatever he was, used the traditional words and both Liz and Max came up with a solid "I do" when their turn came. Isabel hired a string quartet -- just like at her wedding -- and Maria sang a special song which she wrote for the ceremony. Liz cried. Isabel cried. Maria cried. Two members of the string quartet cried. The rest of us held up as well as could be expected, given a noisy and half useless air-conditioner.

      Liz looked incredibly fine in a white floor-length number (with no silly train) with a very full skirt, a fancy lace veil that almost reached the floor, and a tiara on top. She really is a fine-looking babe -- she really looked like 'The Queen.' She carried a bunch of fresh flowers. Isabel and Maria both had expensive dresses which didn廠 match -- so they each had a style that suited them. Isabel was in a floor-length crimson raw-silk dress, trimmed in one-inch bands of black velvet at the edges. The dress had a straight skirt , split up each side about halfway and a plunging neckline that almost made Jesse blush, but was pretty well covered by a tiny jacket of the same materials. Maria was in a teal-blue dress, also floor-length, but with a very full skirt. Her's was silk too (I think) and had a 50's Chanel look about it. I don't know that much about style and fashion, but when I saw her I thought of Paris in the 50's. Isabel explained the details of her dress to all of us as though she were lecturing on national defense.

      The dresses were cool -- I was afraid Isabel would stick them in some ugly dress that no one would never want to see again, but I hadn't considered that, Isabel, herself, would be wearing whatever she chose for the attendants, so good taste was dispensed all around.

      Max was so, so, beautiful in his tux, I just wanted to grab him and run. I had seen him in a tux before -- at Isabel and Jesse's wedding, and at the prom, but somehow, he was even more gorgeous that day. As a group, we all looked pretty fine. Even Guerin cleaned up OK after Isabel made him dig some black socks out of the back of the van. The ceremony came off without a hitch and when Max and Liz kissed at the end, I wasn't sure if they were kissing or having some secret version of "hot-alien- sex" right in front of all of us. Michael even smiled.

      We hit the road again without any problems, except that Jesse had somehow mislaid his cummerbund, and we ended up having to pay an exorbitant fee to replace it. We made him pay out of his poker winnings. There is some justice in the world.

The Funeral

      We were in Las Vegas for Liz and Max's wedding, and Isabel was in 'hyper-drive' planning for the wedding. Poor Liz, never had a chance; the word 'micro-management' was coined specifically for Isabel. Even her 'Christmas Extravaganza' pales by comparison with Isabel planning a wedding. She and Liz had been out shopping most of the day; Like I said, 'poor Liz.' The rest of us were just hanging around killing time and trying to lie low until the wedding, the day after tomorrow.

      The calm was shattered when Maria yelled "Oh, No! I can't believe she's dead! That got our attention. Maria had been reading the newspaper in a chair by the window, and in a moment's time, the rest of us were gathered around her.

      "Who's dead?" Max asked anxiously.

      "Dolores Rizzo -- Dolores Rizzo is dead!"

      Max, Michael, Jesse and I all looked at each of the others in turn, and we each had the same expression which silently asked the question; "Who the hell is Dolores Rizzo?"

      Finally, Jesse asked it aloud.

      Maria was incredulous; "You cannot mean that not one of you cultural miscreants knows Dolores Rizzo, one of the finest, no, THE finest and most popular chanteuse in the world. Her records are classic - most of them have been converted to CD and she gained a whole new following a few years back. I can't believe you don't know her music."

      Jesse next asked the question, so that the rest of us wouldn't look totally stupid: "What廣 a chanteuse?"

      To my genuine surprise, Michael answered. "It's a fancy name for a lounge singer. I heard her on some of Maria's disks -- shes OK."

      "I have GOT to go to the funeral." Maria sighed, "The paper says it's tomorrow morning."

      Almost instantly, Michael was in the bathroom, locking the door, Jesse suddenly forgot something in his room and was out the door, and Max decided he had left something in the van and was out the door, right on Jesse's heels. I don't know what I was thinking of; I guess I was just slow on the takeoff.

      Maria looked up from the newspaper as she was calling, "Michael..., Max... Where did everyone go?"

      It suddenly dawned upon me why they had all taken off so quickly. I turned to escape, but was too late; I was caught.

      "Kyle, you'll go with me won't you? This is really, really important to me, and I can't find my way around Las Vegas by myself, besides, it would be against the rules, remember?"

      "Me? Go to a funeral of somebody I don't know, and never even heard of? That's just creepy."

      "Kyle, I know Liz would go with me if she and Isabel weren't so busy getting ready for the wedding. I really want to go. It won't take long; you don't have to do anything but drive with me and sit with me, and we'll leave right as soon as it's over."

      "Geeze! A funeral? I don't know; like I said, it's too creepy." I shuddered.

      "Kyle, have I ever asked you for a favor?"

      "Yes." (I thought it was worth a try.)

      "I have NOT."

      "Oh."

      "Please Kyle, as a personal favor to me. Dolores Rizzo was my idol, and I never heard her live. Now that she's dead, I never will; the least I can do is to go to her funeral."

      Why don't you get Michael to go with you?"

      "Michael? Funeral? I don't think so...,"

      "Well, I hate funerals, too."

      "But at least I can count on you to behave and to be polite. Please, Kyle, I'll owe you a big one."

      I knew when I was beaten. It would have been against our rules for her to go by herself, and the thought of taking Michael anywhere slightly formal...,well, I knew she was right about that. Max and Jesse had beaten me out the door, fair and square, before I even realized it was a game of tag, so, I was going to have to face it like a man -- I was 'IT.'

      "OK -- we go, you say goodbye, we get out of there pronto! Those are the conditions." I don't really know what else I thought she might do, but it's best to be on the safe side.

      Maria flashed me a very fake-looking sweet smile. "Thanks, Kyle, You're the best."

      At 9:00 the next morning, Maria and I were in the van, street map in hand, trying to find a Catholic church, named after someone I'd never heard of, like 'St. Gertrude of Pisa' or, maybe it was 'St. Buffy of Pittsburgh;' I don廠 remember. We drove to an older part of Vegas -- I didn廠 even know that Vegas had an older part -- and soon saw a monstrous gray pile of stones looking like something out of 14th century Europe, via Disneyland. The name on the sign was correct, and there was a hearse out front, so we knew that it was the right church. What was missing was a place to park. This gigantic edifice must be the only building in Vegas without its own parking lot, and street parking was already full as far as I could see. "Looks like we're going to have to walk a bit," I observed, hoping she would want to call it quits and leave -- I could see she was in rather high heels, and she had already stumbled on the way to the van. She didn't take the bait.

      "Kyle, be a dear, would you?" she smiled sweetly, "I影e got these heels on and I don't really want to walk very far in them. How about dropping me off at the door, and then parking. I'll wait for you inside."

      I agreed adding, "You know, I could just wait for you in the van."

      "Don廠 be silly, I幢l save you a seat. -- I'll try to be on the right -hand side of the church." With that she was out the door and gone.

      I wandered around a bit, finding a parking space just a couple blocks away from the church, locked the van, and walked the distance all in less than 10 minutes.

      I was surprised to see that the service was beginning already; according to Maria, the paper said the service was at 10:00, and it was now just a little after 9:30. The priest was already moving down the central aisle behind a cross and candles carried by some altar boys, and someone in front of them was leaving a trail of smoke like an old Chevy that needed a valve-job. The priest was followed by what I presumed to be the casket, under a fancy blanket of some kind, and then, I guess, the grieving family -- at least they looked properly grief-stricken. I sidled over to the side aisle on the right and began to look for Maria. She was nowhere to be seen. Great! By now the priest was talking, and people began to stand, so there was no way I was going to find Maria. I chose a seat near the rear and decided I would catch her on the way out. It seemed like the priest kept referring to the deceased as "Theapola" and I almost chuckled thinking. 'if that was my name, I寮 change it too.' Most show-biz people use stage names, so this seemed perfectly normal. I noticed that some people had programs, but no one offered me one, and it was too late to go searching. I really had no idea what was going on in the service, but I dutifully stood, sat and even kneeled as the people around me were doing. This was much more athletic than Buddhism.

      The service lasted at least 45 minutes, and I stood at the rear of the church for another 10, waiting for Maria. The church was empty; she never appeared. I looked outside at the front of the church -- maybe she had to sit on the left side, I reasoned. No Maria. I went back in, wondering where she could be; she didn't know where I parked the van, so she couldn't have gone there. A well-pressed man in a black suit came up to me and, in a very funereal voice, (about an octave lower than Max's) asked, "Were you a friend of the deceased?"

      I stretched the truth a little, explaining that I wasn't, but my friend was, and that she was now missing. The gentleman suggested that, perhaps she had gone with someone else to the luncheon at such-and-such a banquet hall, just a mile or two down the road, and that I might go there and find her safe and sound.

      Now I was pissed. She had promised that we would go to the funeral, and then leave. Going to a 'lunch-e-on' with strangers was not part of the bargain. I would make her pay for this. I fired-up the van and made my way to the hall; at least the directions were accurate.

      This time a valet took the van from me while I wondered if I had brought enough money for a tip. I entered the hall, telling the doorman that I was there for the funeral luncheon, and he directed me downstairs to a large private room. There must have been 400 people there for lunch, but I still couldn't see Maria anywhere.

      An older gentleman in a threadbare suit approached me immediately and introduced himself as "Carl-- Carl Satzmary -- with Random House Books for 35 years." and then introduced his wife, Alice whose red hair was a little more red than anything nature ever concocted. I had no choice but to give my name, but I stuck with the fake one.

      "How do you do? My name is Jamie."

      "Jamie, glad to meet 'cha. Jamie... Jamie," he pondered for a moment and then struck a notion, "Of course, your the Grand- nephew; James' son; the one who studied at the Sorbonne in France. (but he pronounced it 'Sour - bahn') Theapola talked about you all the time, and my, my, my, was she proud of you. Did you come all the way from Paris for the funeral?"

      Before I could launch a denial, or straighten anything out, he was motioning to another elderly gent with a woman in tow who looked as though her face had been stretched so many times, she probably couldn't close her eyelids. "Herbert, Herb and Sophie, come over here! This is Theapola's great-nephew, come all the way from France for her funeral. Isn't that wonderful? My, the way you young people do get around these days."

      I shook Herbert's hand and gingerly just touched Sophie's because I was afraid I might tear her. Just then, my prayer was answered, as a waiter approached me and suggested that the serving line was shorter on the far side, and that I should feel free to serve myself.

      I excused myself, saying, "I'm really starving: that French food isn't all that it's cracked-up to be. Nice to meet you."

      I still couldn't see Maria, but by now I actually was hungry, having skipped breakfast because Max...delayed me in bed this morning and I was running late. I decided, that at least I would get lunch out of this fiasco. I went through the serving line. I didn廠 make a pig of myself, but neither was I shy, filling my plate with a good portion of everything. I found a vacant chair at a table near the line, asked if it was free, and then sat down with the group of 6 strangers already there. I was halfway through my plate when one of the strangers asked me if I knew "Theapola" from the library.

      "Excuse me?" I said after emptying my mouth.

      It was a gentleman, easily in his late 70's who seemed to be with a blue-haired woman of the same vintage, who had asked. He repeated, "I say, did you know 'Theapola' from the library -- oh, she was with the library for over 40 years, her life's work! Is that where you met her?

      I avoided answering the question by asking one of my own; "Did you ever hear 'Theapola' sing?"

      "Why no! I didn廠 know she sang." He turned to the woman. "Martha, did you know that 'Theapola' sang?"

      The blue-haired matron responded curtly; "She did no such thing. I knew her from a child and she couldn't carry a tune in a bushel basket. I remember the music teacher saying that she didn't have a musical bone in her body, and I can vouch for that, because I sat beside her in church a few times, and believe me, that woman could NOT sing."

      I put my napkin to my face, and then excused myself, explaining that I needed to find a restroom, took the stairs three at a time and tried to be inconspicuous as I waited for the van to be brought around. Fishing a small tip out of my wallet, I had the van in gear and moving so fast I nearly ran-over the valet.

      When I got back to the church, there was Maria, looking absolutely deadly. I pulled up and she opened the door and got in, already in mid-sentence, berating me.

      "Where WERE you?" she demanded. "I waited in the vestibule until nearly 10:00 and then went in and you never showed up. I影e been waiting out here for 20 minutes, now. How could you do that to me?"

      When she wound-down a little, I carefully began my line of defense. "I went in the door on the right side, just as you said. I thought you said that the funeral was at 10:00, but when I got there at 9:35 it had begun already. I had no choice but to sit down and wait for you."

      "But it DID start at 10:00. I waited at the bottom of the stairs for you until the very last minute and then went in," she countered.

      "Stairs? What stairs?"

      "The stairs to the lower church. There was another funeral going on upstairs and...Oh-my-god! Kyle! Didn't you see the sign? It was right in the middle as you entered the front door of the church. The 'Rizzo' funeral was in the lower church at 10:00. Tell me you didn廠 go to the wrong funeral."

      "No, Maria, I didn't just go to the wrong funeral; I went to the luncheon too."

      "Oh-my-god, Oh-my-god, Oh-my-god! I can廠 believe this. Wait 'til everybody hears this." She dissolved in to a fit of laughter. Tears were streaming down her face and I was a little afraid she might wet herself.

      She was still laughing when we got back to the motel, and there was no way I could dissuade her from blabbing the full story. I decided I may as well laugh along, and filled everybody in on my excursion to the 'luncheon' and my encounter with the 'blue- haired-lady.' To this day, all Maria needs to hear is the word 'funeral' and she bursts into laughter all over again. I幢l never live this one down.

Paybacks are a Bitch

      Now, the women will swear to this day that they had no hand in planning this little encounter; no foreknowledge of the situation, and pre-arranged nothing. I'm not buying it. Nothing this perfect ever happens just by accident.

      This day, Max was driving and Michael was beside him when the red and blue bubble-gum-machine lit up the mirrors. Max was groaning and Jesse was reminding us of our plan-of-action.

      Suddenly, Liz called out, "It's a woman; the trooper is a woman. Max, take off your shirt to distract her."

      "Very funny," Max responded, "How many times do I have to apologize for that?"

      "No, I mean it," Liz countered and Maria joined in with "Yeah, do it, Max take off your shirt. It'll work, I'm sure of it."

      "No way." Max wasn't even smiling.

      Moments before the trooper approached the van, Isabel reached out a hand to the front seat and 'sha-zam!' just like that, Max and Michael were both shirtless. I, for one, enjoyed the view of Max, or at least the little I could see. The female trooper apparently enjoyed her view too, because, as before, we got off with a stern warning. The women were hysterical with laughter as the trooper pulled away, and, although I tried not to let Max see it, I had to laugh too.

      Max and Michael both fumed for a few minutes, then, even they admitted that it was pretty damn funny. That was not the last volley in the war of the sexes for the trip, but, amazingly, it was the last time we were stopped by the police.

Max and I are Married

      The ceremony officially uniting Max and me was quite a contrast to the affair which Isabel had stage-managed in Las Vegas. Of course, we weren't in Las Vegas, so that 'bigger-than-life' atmosphere was not working against us.

      Exactly where to tie-the-knot was a question we went back-and-forth on several times. Vermont is the only state in the US where we could be married legally, but we weren't headed for that extreme edge of the country in the near future, if we followed Jesse's plan, which we were inclined to do.

      In the end, geography wasn't the deciding factor. Even though same-sex marriage is legal in Vermont, the number of same-sex couples being married there is still kind-of small. The state is small enough that such marriages can still draw attention, and that was the last thing we wanted to do. We decided, instead, to go to the only place in the USA where gay marriages are so common that no one at all would bother to notice; America's gay mecca -- San Francisco. Although our marriage would not be recognized as legal in any jurisdiction outside the city, it would go absolutely unnoticed to anyone but us.

      I wasn't really concerned with the legality of it, since, the only people it would matter to were Max, me, and Liz, and, perhaps, the members of our little group. I trusted that everyone in our group recognized our relationship, even Michael, though I still lived under the threat of his 'Not right now' timetable for killing me and reclaiming Max. He hadn't made any further threats against me, and though we were not 'buddies,' we did tolerate each other and were very nearly civil in our day-to-day transactions.

      I took Max aside shortly after his first wedding ceremony, and warned him that, even though I was trying to learn to love his sister, there would be bloodshed if he turned the ceremony over to her, as Liz had done. I didn't specify exactly whose blood would be shed, because I was a little afraid that if push came to shove with Isabel, it would be my blood that was shed and I didn't want to go there. As we rolled into the 'City by the Bay' we made telephone contact with a 'big fat Wiccan dyke' named Sister Solstice who advertised she was authorized to perform the ceremony and it turned out she was available the very next day. She even suggested a small quiet park she knew which, she said, would be a beautiful location, and didn't even require a fee or a permit. Sounded like a plan to Max and me. We agreed to meet her there at 1:00 the following day to do the deed. Now before you go all politically-correct on me, or accuse me of being insensitive for calling her a big fat dyke, you should know that this was how she described herself. She even answered the phone, "Sister Solstice, Wiccan dyke!" In addition she told us that, for such ceremonies, she wore a "festive caftan of rainbow stripe", laughing with an infectious cackle in a deep, whiskey- and-cigarette voice. She actually advised us to "Just look for a huge rainbow tent with a head -- that'll be me!" Her description was accurate.

      She turned out to be a prize -- a loving and gracious 'earth-mother' who, by her own admission, never met a living being she didn廠 love, with the possible exception of George W. -- but then, she allowed that she had not met him in person, so the jury was still out on him. She even had Michael laughing in a matter of a few seconds. Max and I both loved her instantly; but, between you and me, I wouldn't want to meet her in a bad mood in a dark alley.

      Max and I agreed that our wedding would be 'semi-casual;' the 'semi-' part because Isabel and Maria wanted to wear the outfits they had worn at the first wedding, which were hardly 'casual.' We suggested to Jesse and Michael that they just dress 'casual- nice' trusting Jesse to interpret that, and taking Maria aside and asking her to dress Michael. That left only Liz, Max and me to dress. Max and I were happy with our favorite jeans and decided it might be fun to wear matching shirts. Liz had more of a problem, since the other women were wearing more formal dresses, and she had only her wedding gown. She behaved like a saint. She announced that she would need a "new gown," and that she would, of course, require Isabel's help to select just the right one. That took Isabel off our hands for a while, and cheered her from the devastation of not being in charge of the affair. Liz ended up in a dark green velvet get-up, and was as beautiful as ever.

      It took Max and me all of 30 seconds to agree on the matching shirts; a deep burgundy with pointed collar and western-style dual pockets with flaps. They were even on sale. I chose the burgundy for the way it brought out the highlights in Max's hair, and he chose it because the red in the shirt emphasized my blue eyes. Were we disgustingly romantic or what? When Max explained our selection to everyone at dinner, Guerin threatened to puke if we didn't drop the subject.

      When I woke up the next morning, I had butterflies. Max and I had already been in a sexual relationship for over a year, so I don't think it was 'performance anxiety.' Everyone at breakfast had a good laugh when Max asked me if we needed to allow time in the ceremony for me to throw-up. I laughed too, but I was secretly a little afraid of exactly that happening.

      I shouldn't have worried; Sister Solstice had us in stitches from the moment she opened her mouth. I don't mean that we didn't have our suitably romantic moments at the appropriate places in the ceremony, but they were contrasted to Sister Solstice's sage 'instructions and advice to the newlyweds.' One thing she said stuck with me. She said,

      "Don't you dare presume to come into this relationship to be fulfilled, or because you are not a whole person without 'him.' It 's not your lover's job to make you a whole person; he couldn't if he wanted to; that's your job, so make damn sure you take care of that yourself. A marriage made up of two half-people, does not add up to either of you being a whole person. If you are not whole as a person, you will have nothing to spare for the relationship. A marriage of two whole people has the strength of two supporting it."

      I wondered for a moment if she knew something about Max being half-human, but then realized I was just being paranoid; that wasn't at all what she was talking about. Still, it stuck with me.

      Sister Solstice had us write our own vows, which we decided to do separately. We both came off sounding like wimps. That's OK. The exchanging of the vows was one of the quiet and touching parts of the ceremony, and I will admit to getting a little 'misty' as Max recited his vow to me. I went second, and at first had a little catch in my throat as I began, but I managed a strong finish. Here is what we said; Max first and then me: (We wrote them down so I can put them here.)

      Max said: "Kyle; I want to give you the stars, but , I realize now that you are my guiding star; my trusty light by which I steer my path in life; steady and sure, and no matter how dark or how cloudy it gets, I know that you are shining there for me, to show me the way to you. I want to give you diamonds, but I realize that you are my diamond -- the hardest substance known on earth, and the most precious of gems-- unscratchable by any other substance, just as your faithfulness and your unflinching loyalty and the love you've given to me is unscratchable and unwavering and tougher than anything the world might throw at us, and you are more precious to me than all the wealth of this world, or any other. I would give you a song, but I know that you are my song, singing my life into a new plane of existence, where our love is the soaring theme and quiet harmony is the rhythm. So, I have no gift good enough for you, but I ask you to accept my heart, my love, all my being, and my abiding devotion. I offer them to you, to have, and to hold, for as long as we live."

      I said: "Max; When I was a child, I knew I was drawn to you, but, I was afraid -- and so we stayed distant from each other. As a young man, I knew that I had a deep longing for you, but I was afraid, and so, we were still distant. As a young adult, I began to know the depth and breadth of my love for you, but I was still afraid. Then, you came crashing into my life, giving me back my life, when it was taken away, and, more than that, giving me a concrete example of what it is to face fear, and to live your own destiny, on your own terms. From you Max, I drew the strength to discover my own destiny, and I know, more and more each day, that you are my destiny, my longing, and my love. I love you, Max, and I always will. I promise that I will be faithful to you, and I will stand by you, whatever the future may bring. So, even when everything else sucks, you're stuck with me, dude. Get used to it."

      Everyone snickered at that except Isabel, who was too busy crying again -- she and Michael stood with Max again, but this time switching roles with Isabel taking the role of 'best man.' Liz was, as agreed, my best man, and Maria stood with her as well as singing. Jesse was the photographer again - I was worried that he would feel left-out, but Max and I had a talk with him, and he seemed to be OK with the arrangement, and said that he enjoyed the role of photographer, especially with the new digital camera. No one gave anyone away. This was a big point of contention with Isabel, who desperately wanted to give her 'little brother' away, but Max was firm with her, and convinced her that he needed her beside him as 'best man.'

      I didn廠 time the ceremony -- I think it would have been all of 10 minutes without the song, but it was a little over 15 minutes with it. I think the best part was the kiss, but I am understandably biased. Afterwards, everybody said it was 'just right' with Michael adding an explanation of his criteria; 'it was real short!' Max said we should take that as 'high praise' from Michael.

The Honeymoon.

      After our goodbyes to Sister Solstice, we all piled back in the van and Michael delivered us to a small hotel which was to serve for our 'Honeymoon.' No one batted an eyelid as we registered for the 'bridal suite,' reserved in my (fake) name; this was after all, San Francisco. We didn't have any luggage so we waved-off the bellboy and found the room ourselves. As we approached the door, Max announced that he would, of course, carry me over the threshold. I took exception to that, insisting that it should be I who carried him over the threshold.

      "Furthermore," I said, "I doubt you could lift me, let alone carry me through the door."

      Max took that as a challenge, insisting that he was much stronger than I could even imagine and bragging that he could "bench press me above his head all night long" if he wanted to.

      I could see that we weren't going anywhere with this, so I declared that it was a "stupid custom, anyway."

      Max readily agreed and suggested that we settle it with a kiss and step over the threshold together. I, of course, am always agreeable to kissing Max, so that was a winner as far as I was concerned. Max unlocked the door and let it swing open while we still stood in the hall, but, as we kissed, Max began to try to pick me up. I hadn't won seven wrestling medals by allowing my opponent to just pick me up, so I spread my legs and lowered my center-of-gravity, and then began to try to lift Max; the wrestling match was on. In the end, no one carried anyone and we both fell into the room, but I finally managed to pin Max, holding him to the floor by his lips, with my own. He lifted a leg and kicked the door shut.

      I didn't even bother with foreplay; I immediately slid down to Max's crotch, tearing open his pants -- well, they were jeans, so they didn't rip, but had they been dress pants, I'm sure they would have -- and I dug in his underwear until I liberated his cock, holding it in my hand for a few moments, just to admire it, and to watch the tip magically grow out of his foreskin and stretch into a throbbing rod of iron.

      I had just begun to tease it with my tongue, when there was a knock at the door. I looked up at Max and he put his finger to his lips to indicate quiet; maybe whoever it was would go away. There was another knock, this time, followed by a male voice, "Mr. Lawler, Room Service."

      Max rolled his eyes and started to get up, but I held him down for a moment while I tried: "I didn't order any Room Service."

      "No, sir. It's your complimentary nuptial basket, a gift from the hotel."

      "Can you leave it in front of the door?" I pleaded.

      "Sorry, sir; I need a signature."

      Max shook his head and began to get up as I called out, "Just a minute."

      I dug in my jeans for my wallet, coming up with a tip before I opened the door, insuring that I could scratch my name, snatch the basket, jam the tip at him, and close the door again in the shortest possible time. I thought I had taken only a second or two, but when I shut the door and turned around with the basket, Max was stark naked and lying on the bed with his hands behind his head and the devil's own smile on his face. I didn't take my eyes off him as I put down the basket, almost missing the table, and walked deliberately to the side of the bed. I started to unbutton my shirt, but Max , speaking in a low, husky, very sexy voice, said, "Leave it on, leave it all on." He held out his arms beckoning me to the bed, where I lie atop him, fully clothed and began a slow lying-down version of a lap-dance.

      There was something -- not quite kinky -- but very alluring; I think for both of us, in the juxtaposition of Max's nakedness and my being fully dressed. I stifled his moan with my mouth, slipping my hands under his shoulders to hold him to me. I explored his mouth with my tongue, teasing him by pulling my head back when he tried to put his tongue in me. Soon, he stopped trying and surrendered his mouth to me. Once I had conquered his mouth, I moved on to his neck -- OK, I know it廣 very immature, but I left him a good hickey, my 'mark of possession' and 'emblem of passion' and then gently moved down to his chest. His nipples were hard as porcelain, and I alternated, aggressively sucking and gently biting, first one, and then pulling away for a moment, before attacking the other. He was writhing and moaning and I continued this until I thought he had reached his threshold, then I began to drag my tongue down the middle of his chest until I reached his navel, suddenly wondering for just a passing moment, why he even had a navel. I filled it with my tongue and swirled in and around it while Max's body was bucking in ecstasy.

      Then I pulled away and began to take his cock in ernest, licking it, and sucking the end, while working his loose skin up and down with my hand and twisting my head as I sucked the end of his cock, in effect, swirling around it. I had become much more effective and confident as a cocksucker in the intervening year, partly by just following Max's lead. Tonight I was in the lead, and Max was clearly enjoying it. It took only a couple of minutes to bring him off; he was writhing and moaning and crying O-o-o-o-h! quite loudly as he emptied his hot, hot, jism into my mouth in several waves and convulsions. I savored the 'fizzy-ness' of it and sloshed it around my mouth several times before swallowing. It 'fizzed' all the way down. I took his cock in my mouth again, carefully cleaning up any remaining drops of cum, and making sure I had sucked out every last trace of it.

      We both lie very still for a few minutes, Max on the pillow breathing hard, and I with his cock still in my mouth as it shrunk back to its flaccid size, then, I joined him on the pillow, after a kiss, still fully clothed and we both napped for a few minutes.

      I awoke to his kiss, so gentle and soft; if I were deeply asleep, I might not have wakened, it was so gentle. I could feel his 5- o'clock shadow as he rubbed his cheek against mine, and I could smell his body, a slightly sweet but musky fragrance which always stayed on his pillow. Always, when we were apart, I would put his pillow to my face and smell him there. I started to unbutton my 'wedding shirt,' but he stopped me.

      "Let me," he softly commanded. He began to strip me, item by item, each time pausing to explore my body with his hands and his face before moving on the the next item of clothing. He worked slowly and deliberately, always moving down, missing nothing. he used his tongue on my nipples and chest and navel, but carefully avoided licking my cock, instead licking all around it. He kissed his way down to my knees and ankles, then concentrated on each foot. I'm usually ticklish on the bottoms of my feet, but, tonight, he was so gentle, and I was so turned-on, that I actually enjoyed his barely perceptible touch on the soles of my feet. By the time he had worked his way to my feet, I was naked, except for my open shirt. Max rolled me over to remove the shirt, and then began at the top of my head to explore every inch of my body from this side, missing nothing. When his tongue began to work my hole, I was more relaxed than I have ever been in my life. He continued on until he reached my feet again. He rolled me over again and took me in his mouth. I warned him that I was about to explode, but he ignored my warning, attending my throbbing cock with perfect concentration. Usually, he would insist that I fuck him at this point, but, I suddenly realized what he was doing. Tonight was not about his 'itch' or his 'need' or his 'gland' or his 'fertility.' Tonight was about 'us.' He drained me of every remnant of my cum and then took his place by my side. Then, and only then, did I realize what was missing. Tonight, we had not had 'hot-alien-sex;' we had had super-hot human sex -- and it was absolutely every bit as wonderful as the alien kind. Max had abandoned his role as the alien king, and instead, came to me as Max, the human -- the man. The man I loved more than I could even imagine.

      I don't mean that we had abandoned hot-alien-sex altogether. In fact, later that night we enjoyed the alien enhancements, twice, and both of us got the thorough fucking we deserved and desired.

      As the morning fog crept in on little cat's feet (that's from Carl Sandburg; see - I paid attention in English Lit.) we didn廠 bother with breakfast, instead we found some fruit in the gift-basket. We were going for sex again, but we were both a little sore from the night before, and tired from lack of sleep. We settled for some heavy making-out and a little more napping in each other's arms. Contrary to what you may have heard, aliens do sleep.

      Check-out time was noon. The van full of our companions-on-the-lam, was waiting in front of the hotel, with Michael in the driver's seat. As we entered the van, sharing the remnants of our gift-basket, Michael made a public pronouncement. "Maxwell, I love you, brother, I really do -- but I don't want to hear about it, OK? Keep it to yourselves."

      We laughed; but we complied. I didn't want to share the memories of last night with anyone, anyway. That night is locked away as one of my most precious memories.

Continue to Chapter 8

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