You must be at least 21 years of age to view this blog.

Friday, June 23, 2017


Coral & Ryan’s Wedding

Harry woke Ryan at about eleven o’clock. He knew the young man was used to staying up all night and sleeping until late, but this was his wedding day and he was responsible for him to be fed, dressed and to the gazebo on time for the ceremony. “Ry…Ry…come on it’s time to get up. You gotta eat somethin’ and get dressed. You’re gettin' married today,” Harry urged. 

Ryan groaned and pried open one eye. He realized he wasn’t in his usual bed and looked for Castiel and realized he also wasn’t there. Then he remembered that he was at Harry and Brody’s. He hadn’t lasted long after they had arrived and his best man had showed him where to sleep.  He sat up and rubbed his face.  “I’m up Harry…I need to shower.” 

The other man smiled.  “Come on…the shower’s this way.”  He led Ryan to the bathroom and while he cleaned up Harry laid out the young man’s robe. He didn’t want him to get anything on his wedding clothes. He set about putting out the black tuxedo, the white shirt and Ryan’s silk green tie that matched his eyes.     

When Ry was finished with the shower Harry helped him into his robe and led him into the kitchen where Brody had whipped up a hearty breakfast for the three of them. 

Ryan smiled and although he was nervous ate enough to satisfy Brody and Harry. He knew after the wedding they’d have plenty of food. 

Just after Brody finished with the dishes, Cary showed up and began to take pictures of Ryan and Harry getting ready with Brody's help.

The best man put the finishing touches on both their outfits, pinning a red, partially opened rosebud to Ryan’s tux and one red rose on his own lapel.  Finally dressed in his suit, Brody came in with a smile.  "You two look amazing," he praised.  

"So, do you," Harry replied.  He reached out a hand and tenderly touched his lover's cheek, pulling him gently into a kiss.  

Seeing that everything was in order, Cary put his camera back in it's protective case and announced that he had to be leaving, "Meet'cha at the gazebo."  He smiled broadly, waved goodbye and ran out, relieved that none of the men had felt the need to include him in much conversation.  

The still somewhat nervous groom shook his head in mild amusement as the man left, then turning to Harry, anxiously asked, “Do you have the ring?” 

The other man grinned, "Jonathan has it, remember? Don't worry, I know Jeff made sure those bows are tight." 

Ryan smiled. “Good.” He began to pace then as it wasn’t quite time to leave. 

Brody pulled him into a hug.  “Mine may not be as good as Coral’s but I know they can calm you down when you’re agitated or upset.” 

Ry grinned at his friend.  “It’s what Coral does for me too. Sure wish Castiel could be there, but I doubt if Cor will bring him.” 

Harry shook his head. "A weddin’ is no place for a half-grown cat.” 

Ryan nodded.  “Yeah, but it doesn’t make missin’ him any less.” 

The other man checked his watch and said, “Time for us to walk over to the Gazebo.” 

The young groom bit his lip, but then nodded. “All right.” 

Harry said, "Are you sure you want to go through with this? There's still time to back out." 

Ryan looked at his best man as though he'd grown another head.  "Back out? Who said anythin' about backin' out?" 

"No one," Harry said with a smile.  "We know you love Coral, and he loves you. We know that this is the day you've both been waitin' for, it's only normal to be a little nervous." 

"Yeah," Ry said, "I'm a little nervous, but I don't wanna back out. I do love Coral. I have for a long time, I just never realized it, or how much.  Does that make sense?" 

"Yep, that makes complete sense.  So, if you're sure about this, it's time to leave," his best man said. 

Ryan smiled and nodded at Harry.  It was time to head to   the gazebo as the wedding party had to be there a bit earlier than the guests.  Brody, throwing a reassuring arm around each man's shoulders, walked with them at a leisurely pace.


Coral woke early as he was used to doing and was in the middle of his calisthenics routine when Duke came into the living room, rubbing his eyes and looking rumpled. 

He grinned at the groom. "Gettin' ready for tonight?" he teased. 

"Gotta be in shape," Coral grinned as he did some sit ups. "I have to be able to keep up with the kid," he joked. 

Duke chuckled. "Kid is right. He's somethin' else and I'm glad you got him. He keeps you young." 

Cor jumped up and did some cool down exercises before he answered. "He does. Did I tell you that he asked me to teach him how to ballroom dance? He wanted me to be proud of him on the dance floor," he laughed. "I taught him how. I also taught him the Electric Slide, and the Cha Cha Slide, even the Macarena," he laughed again, "but he put his foot down at the Harlem Shake." 

"You had to see his face when I taught him the Chicken Dance.  He thought I was crazy, but I've never been to a wedding where we didn't dance that." Coral laughed again at the memory of Ryan's expression. 

Duke chuckled at his last comment.  "Yes, everyone does the Chicken Dance like in the old days when everyone did the Hokey Pokey and the Alley Cat." 

The best man grinned. "You'll be quite prepared and be the center of attention I'm sure. Now I think if you're finished getting all sweaty it's time for you to shower and I'll get us something to eat." 

"Oh! I forgot to teach him the Bunny Hop!" Coral laughed. "Can you just imagine his face if I'd showed him that? Ah well, another time I guess."  The man continued, "Shower. Breakfast." He glanced at his watch. " I already feel like today is going in slow motion," he said as he headed toward the bathroom. 

Duke laughed.  "Yeah... since he can be so literal at times the bunny hop would have been hysterical." 

Coral's laughter could be heard even over the sound of the shower running, and his friend took that opportunity to go out into the kitchen to make the promised breakfast. 

Duke prepared the food and then went into the bedroom to lay out the groom's wedding outfit as well as his own. 

Coral had just finished drying off when there was a quiet knock at the door. He slipped on his shorts then answered it and was surprised to find Tank on the porch holding a camera. 

Duke called out, "Who is it Coral?" 

"Heya Tank!  Come on in." He smiled then answered his friend, "It's Tank!  I guess that James sent him over to take the 'Morning Of’ pictures." 

The man came in quietly and began to take pictures of Coral and Duke as they began to get ready for the wedding.  The groom leaned in toward the big man and whispered something in his ear that made the other man blush and grin. He nodded his head and followed Coral into the bedroom while Duke went back into the master bedroom to start getting dressed.

When the best man walked into the bedroom he found Coral, dressed in his slacks, socks and unbuttoned shirt standing at the mirror, looking at a picture of Ryan while Tank took a picture of that. 

The large man smiled. "That will look really interestin'." 

The groom began to sing, 'You ain't seen nothin' yet. B-b-b-baby, you just ain't seen n-n-nothin' yet. Here's something that you never gonna forget. B-b-b-baby, you just ain't seen n-n-nothin' yet.' And then he grinned and said, "Well, what shall we do to pass the time until we head to the gazebo?" 

Duke laughed and shook his head. "You know Cor, the two of you deserve each other." 

The other man laughed. "Yes, absolutely." 

Castiel, who had been enjoying some overlooked treats on the floor, ran into the bedroom and swiped at Coral meowing loudly and rubbing himself against his legs. He wanted to know where Ryan was. 

Duke chuckled. "Looks like you have a brat cat too." 

"Yep, I'm outnumbered. I'm going to have to keep an eye on these two," Coral joked as he bent down to swoop up the good-sized kitten into his arms.  He stroked and petted the furry thing until he settled down. "Don't worry, Cas, one of the twins is going to take you to the kennel to get you used to your digs for when we're away, Ok?" Cas meowed loudly as though he knew exactly what Coral was saying and Duke laughed. "I swear that cat is human." 

"Smart as a whip. Same as his human," the groom quipped. "Well," he said, looking down at his watch again, "I’ll finish getting dressed." He laughed, " Would you call the twins and ask one of them to pick up Cas?   I'll start getting myself looking presentable." 

Duke nodded. "All right, then I'll start getting myself dressed as well." 

"Sounds like a plan," Coral grinned as his best man called the bunkhouse. 

"Shorty," came the brusque answer. 

A little surprised by the abrupt tone Duke hesitated for a moment and then said, "Heya Shorty, Duke here.  I need a twin or two to come get Cas." 

"Sorry, Duke," Shorty replied in a more polite tone, "Cas is going to have to stay at the bungalow for the time being. I hope that won't be a problem." 

Duke frowned in concern, "The twins ok?"  

"For the time being," Shorty laughed.   "Right now I have to get to the bottom of which one of them thought that putting salt in the sugar bowl, and sugar in the salt shaker, was a good idea." 

"No doubt it was both of them." Coral laughed after Duke told him the story.  "No matter what one does, the other isn't far behind him. Shorty'll get them straightened out soon enough. Good thing they don't need to sit down much." 

The big man winced.  "Well I hope you figure it out soon," he said, "but don't go too hard on them, alright?   We still have some time though before we need to get to the gazebo." 

"Oh, don't worry, Duke my boy, these kids're gonna crack like the eggs that got spoiled when I sprinkled sugar on them," Shorty promised.  "That reminds me, with Bo busy and my hands full, would you please ask Coral if he'd mind if one of us picks up Cas tomorrow morning?" 

Duke relayed the request and Coral immediately agreed. "I know Ry won't object," he grinned, "but I have a feeling that I'm going to have to fight that cat for some alone time." 

Shorty, who had heard the reply, and Duke, both laughed. 

"Alright then, I guess I'll see you in a few," the vet promised before he hung up. 

"I have a feeling that Cas might win that fight tonight," Duke joked, "You're going to see him every day for two weeks." 

"We'll see about that," Coral said, allowing himself a wry grin.  "Now, if you'd be so good as to help me with my tie, I'd appreciate it and we can head out." 

"All right if you'll return the favor." Duke smiled as he expertly tied Coral's green silk tie. 

"That's a promise," Coral said. 

Once the big security guard dressed himself and the groom helped him with his tie, he said, "Well, it's just about time to get goin'. Ready?" Duke asked. 

Coral took a deep breath and grinned.  "As ready as I can be." 

"There's still time to back out, Cor," his best man said quietly. 

Coral looked at his friend, more understanding rather than angry.  Everyone knew that Ryan wasn't a low maintenance Brat. 

"No. No, there's no chance of that,” he replied.  "I know that he's my other half. He's what I've been missing all these years, and I'm not about to lose that over a little case of nerves." 

Duke smiled.  "Ok, then, it's time we got goin'," he said as he opened the door, and the two men headed toward the gazebo.


Coral's retinue surrounded him to keep him out of sight of his husband to be and the crowd in general while Ryan's did the same.  Duke and Harry both looked around to make sure that everyone was being seated. 

The four boys were doing a great job and the seats were nearly full. Taking a peek at Noah, they saw that the boy was just handing out the last of the carnations.  Noah noticed their attention and grinned, giving them the thumbs up.  Seeing that everything was ready, they returned the gesture and went back to their grooms.  

James, checking his watch and seeing that there were no more guests arriving, stood up and addressed the crowd who were all speaking in low tones to each other. 

"Good afternoon everybody.  Welcome to Teardrop Lake Resort and welcome to Coral and Ryan's wedding," James said, smiling widely at the people who had congregated at the gazebo. 

"As you all know I’m James Harrington and it is my honor to be performing this wedding.  Before we begin, I'd like to ask everyone to please turn the volume of your phones up as high as possible, so that when somebody gets a phone call during the ceremony we all know whom to blame. Alternatively, please silence your phones. The wedding is about to begin," he said, a twinkle in his smokey blue eyes.  He waited until the laughter died down and then said, "Please rise to meet our happy couple."  He gave an almost imperceptible nod in Tank's direction to start the music. 

The strains of Pachelbel's Canon wafted through the gazebo and over the standing participants like a fresh breeze.  James noticed that even Mrs. O'Donnell, who had been wearing a somewhat pinched expression throughout the morning smiled at the beauty of the music.   

Cary, who had been partially hidden behind a gauzy curtain that had been set up between himself and James, reveled in the project before him. He loved to make videos and he especially loved editing, and he was much happier as 'the man behind the curtain' than being in the limelight. Carefully watching each monitor, he adjusted focus and sound levels. 

The groomsmen began their walk up the center aisle, once they found their places on either side of James, Austin and Angela started up the outside aisles with Jonathan walking up the center.  Everyone oh’d and ah’d as the grooms along with their parents came into view marching up the sides. 

Tank, once the entrance music ended, and Mike who had the day off and had offered his services as a photographer, picked up their cameras and wandered quietly around the people congregated, capturing candid shots of not only them but of the grooms and wedding party as well. 

Once the two men had met in the center and Lucas had joined their hands together, James said to the gathering, "You may be seated, thank you."  He motioned the elder O'Donnell's and the Okoro's, along with Lucas to their seats in the front row. Zhara smiled down at her youngest son and put and arm around his shoulders as they sat, giving him a hug. 

"I'd like to welcome everyone today.  We're very pleased that so many of you could make it.  One of the wonderful things about a wedding is that it also serves as a family reunion, and it touches my heart to know that people have traveled to be here today to help Coral and Ryan mark this happy occasion." 

"The grooms would like to thank their parents and families for attending, and to let them know that it means a great deal to them," the resort owner said, nodding and smiling toward the O’Donnell’s and the Okoro’s in turn.  He noticed a smile on Mrs. O'Donnell's lips although it was clear that she was trying to suppress it, and he couldn't help but to smile again.  

"Ryan and Coral have asked that an excerpt from Plato's Symposium be read, and our Master of Ceremonies, Samuel Shortelle, has volunteered to read for us.  Sam,” James said, motioning the veterinarian toward the podium. 

Shorty stood up and smiled as James stepped aside, then cleared his throat and began to read. 

"Love is our best friend, our helper, and the healer of the ills that prevent us from being happy.  To understand the power of love, we must understand that our original human nature was not like it is now, but different. Human beings each had two sets of arms, two sets of legs, and two faces looking in opposite directions. There were three sexes then: one comprised of two men called the children of the Sun, one made of two women called the children of the Earth, and a third made of a man and a woman, called the children of the Moon." 

"Zeus divided the humans in half. Each of us when separated, having one side only, is but the shadow of a person, and we are always looking for our other half. Those whose original nature lies with the children of the Sun are men who are drawn to other men, those from the children of the Earth are women who love other women, and those from the children of the Moon are men and women drawn to one another. And when one of us meets our other half, we are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and would not be out of the other's sight even for a moment." 

"We pass our whole lives together, desiring that we should be melded into one, to spend our lives as one person instead of two; this is the very expression of our ancient need. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called Love." 

Shorty finished the reading with a smile toward James and the grooms then went back to his seat. 

The resort owner looked out into the gathering of people and smiled again as he began to speak softly. 

"The love between Coral and Ryan began at the police Academy. He saw potential in this young man that Ry didn’t see in himself. As they interacted through the academy together as instructor and student there was a thread that began to form between them. Neither knew that that thread would strengthen and become stronger and stronger as time went on." 

"Then one night when Ryan was in need Coral rose to the occasion and from that time forward a bond was forged that has led to this day. Coral, I’m certain that the night you came to Ryan’s aid that there wasn’t a thought of this day, but the caring and love you felt for him came out in full force. Ryan I know you tried to resist the bond that began to forge between you, but it had started long before that night and continued to draw the two of you together. Once you realized how strong your love was for Coral you were drawn to him, and he to you, which has brought the two of you to this point sharing a bond that will last forever." 

"Now, please face each other and take each other’s hands.  These are the hands of your best friend, strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever." 

Coral gripped his husband to be’s slightly trembling hands and smiled at him. Ryan smiled back and his trembling stopped.  The man found, as he had that night at his lover’s trailer, that he only had eyes for him, and was pleased to find that Ryan never took his eyes off of him either. 

"These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.  These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it, support and encouragement to pursue your dreams, and comfort in difficult times. These are the hands that even years from now will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just one touch." 

James took his position in front of the podium, before Coral and Ryan and placed his hands on their shoulders. He smiled at the grooms and instructed, “You may share your vows with each other now.” 

In a strong voice, and with eyes only for his lover, Coral said, "I, Coral, take you Ryan, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know. I will respect your integrity and have faith in your abiding love for me, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us." 

Ryan began a bit nervously, but gained strength as he spoke, “Coral, I take you as my husband, with your faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths. I will help you when you need help, and turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life." 

During their vows, James had gestured to Jonathan, the ring bearer to untie the rings from the pillow and hand them to the best men, which the little boy did with a smile before going to sit with his parents who hugged and kissed him. 

James moved on to the exchange of wedding rings.  “The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual bond which unites two loyal hearts in endless love. It is a seal of the vows Coral and Ryan have made to one another.”  

He took the rings from the best men and held them up so all could see them and began, “These rings are a symbol so that Coral and Ryan who give them and who wear them may ever abide in peace, living together in unity, love, and happiness for the rest of their lives.”  

James then turned to Coral, “Please take your partner’s left hand, and as you place the ring on his third finger, repeat after me. “I give you this ring as a symbol of our vows, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you. With this ring, I thee wed." 

Coral repeated the phrases and placed the ring on the third finger of Ryan’s left hand. 

James then turned to Ryan and handed the larger ring to him and repeated the instructions and the vows. 

Ryan repeated the words, all the time his green eyes locked with the brown ones. 

James then smiling said, “You, Coral, and you, Ryan, having come to me signifying your desire to be formally united in marriage, please join hands and answer 'I do’ to the questions now asked you.” 

Ryan and Coral each took their right hands and clasped them together in front of James. 

James continued, "Coral, in taking the man whom you hold by the right hand to be your lawful and wedded husband, do you promise to love and cherish him, to honor and sustain him, in sickness as in health, in poverty as in wealth, and to be true to him in all things until death alone shall part you? Do you so promise?" 

Coral responded looking at Ryan with passion in his eyes, "I do." 

James then turned to Ryan and asked, “Ryan, in taking the man whom you hold by the right hand to be your lawful and wedded husband, do you promise to love and cherish him, to honor and sustain him, in sickness as in health, in poverty as in wealth, and to be true to him in all things until death alone shall part you? Do you so promise?" 

Ryan responded smiling at Coral and looking deep into the brown eyes, "I do." 

James put a gentle hand on each of the men's shoulders and said, “Because you have so affirmed, in love and knowledge of the other, and with the power vested in me by the State of Maine, I now pronounce you married. You may kiss your husband.” 

Coral gently tugged Ryan by his tie and pulled him forward. Ryan willingly followed and went up on tiptoe while Coral bent down to meet his husband's lips, conveying through that one gesture all the love and devotion he felt for his new husband.  

"Now, Mr. and Mrs. Okoro would like to give a gift to the newlyweds in the form of an old tradition. Folks?" James prompted with a smile. 

The Okoros reached beneath their chairs and pulled out a broom which Zhara had made by hand using long twigs and straw bound to the handle with twine which was beautifully covered by a weaving of bronze colored ribbon and ending with a bow to cover the twine. 

"This is to signify the beginning of your lives together, sweeping away the old and welcoming the new.  It also represents the joining of our two families, showing respect to those who have come before us, making this wedding possible," Zhara said, tears of happiness glistening in her eyes. 

Together, the Okoros placed it on the floor a few inches away from the groom's feet and smiled as they gestured to their sons. 

Ryan was a little confused until he saw Coral smile, the twinkle in his eyes becoming brighter as he looked upon the gift his parents had given them. 

The man smiled widely. He hadn't expected anything like this and appreciated his parents even more.  He looked at the still confused Ryan and leaned down to whisper in his ear.  "All we have to do is just jump over it, sort of like what we did after we came home after our vacation, except this time we won't fall." 

Ryan grinned at the memory and watched Coral for the cue.  The other man nodded once, twice, and a third time before taking his new husband by the hand and pulling him gently. The two men jumped and landed gracefully, looking at each other with smiles of pure happiness. 

James announced, "May I present to you Mr. Ryan Jerome and Mr. Coral Fynn O’Donnell-Okoro." 

Everyone stood and applauded, and Ryan was touched to see his mother and father among the crowd, smiling.


After the ceremony the newlyweds, and their groomsmen and parents, greeted their guests at the entrance to the gazebo as they exited to head to the lodge for the reception.  Not for the first time, Coral was grateful that he had such a generous and thoughtful boss.   

He was also grateful for the weather which had apparently decided to be cooperative.  It was a beautiful day. The sky was blue and cloudless, and the temperature was in the mid-seventies with only a mild breeze and the scent of spring flowers.  The sun warmed their shoulders and picked up the vibrant, new green of the leaves and seemed to enhance them.  

After the guests had gone, Mike and Tank stayed behind to take more pictures of the newly wedded couple, their groomsmen, and their parents in some of the most romantic places on the resort, while Cary went to the lodge to check on the cameras he'd set up there. He began taking video of their friends and family, feeling the excitement and anticipation of capturing the newlyweds as they made their big entrance. 

Everyone admired little Angela who shone in the sun like a bright light herself in an off-white taffeta dress with gold trim.  The boys in their neat, pressed suits presented themselves as young gentlemen and seemed to be acting as Angela's own personal body guards. The effect was not only impressive but very sweet as well. 

"We can't take too long,” Jeff reminded Coral quietly.  "You have a bunch of hungry guests waiting and they can't start without you and Ry." 

Coral smiled and nodded toward their photographers, signaling that the photo shoot had to end.  Tank, in his usual quiet way, nodded back then turned toward the lodge to continue his role as photographer, grateful that Cary was already there. Mike grinned and hopped into the cart that held his and Tank's equipment and made their way quickly toward the reception.  
Bo, who had stayed behind at the bunkhouse, reluctantly missing the wedding to watch over yet another very pregnant mare, was looking forward to the pictures and the video of the wedding. 

It had taken some time to reason with Shorty that he had to be at the wedding. While Bo had admitted that he was no veterinarian, he did know how to assist in the birth of foals, plus he'd promised to call Shorty if anything went wrong.  He had vowed to himself that there would be no emergency, and contented himself with the soothing ritual of seeing to the horse's needs and letting them out into the corral while he cleaned their stalls.  

He'd been told the time for the reception and had decided to attend for an hour or so, sorely tempted to guide the pregnant mare to the reception so that he could keep an eye on her.  He checked to see if she'd dilated, but all seemed in order, so he went into the bunk house to shower and dress.  When he reached the reception, he was heartened to receive so many smiles and pats on the back, and the words "Glad you could make it!"

Charles had gone to great efforts to see that the decoration in the lodge was done to his specifications.  The tables had all been arranged along the walls, leaving a large space in the center for dancing.  

Gauzy material had been draped from the gleaming center chandelier and extended outward toward the four corners and sides of the room. Some of the bulbs in the canister lights had been replaced with green ones causing every other drape to glow with the soft light. 

The tables were all neatly and perfectly covered, set with gleaming silver and china, the chairs covered in matching material. On each table was a vase containing red and pink rosebuds accented with green fronds. 

Charles smiled warmly as the children, their parents, and Cary arrived to get ready for the newlyweds' grand entrance. He greeted his young lover with a fervent hug and kiss.   He reluctantly let Mike go as the guests began to arrive and watched, pleased, as the children immediately took their places to carry out their roles. The girls greeted each person warmly, welcoming them. Two of them took turns carrying gifts to the designated table.  He was impressed by their easy and friendly manner, and would have given serious thought to asking them to work for him once they were of age and if they lived closer to the resort. 

Tank stayed behind to take a few last shots of the husbands by themselves.  He had been instructed stall long enough that the grooms families, parents, and the other men from the wedding party could prepare themselves for their own roles for the next part of the ceremony. 

Tristan had been delighted to be asked to fill in as DJ since Torren was part of the wedding party. He set up the multi disc CD player and began to choose the music that would play during dinner so that he'd be able to sit and enjoy the meal with Brendon and their friends. 

He'd burned another CD with the songs he would need when the newlywed couple arrived, and double checked the list of dance music. Finally, sure that everything was covered, he began to play soft music for the folks to enjoy until the happy couple arrived. 

James walked in and took stock of the situation. He was very pleased with how things were going so far and couldn't help but to smile.   

The two little girls had done a great job of stacking everything carefully. Not one bow had been squashed. They looked at James and grinned. For his part, the resort owner smiled widely and gave the girls the thumbs up sign. 

Tristan stood at the stereo system, providing music for the waiting guests, taking requests.  Some of the wait staff from the lodge walked gracefully through the crowd, offering hors d’oeuvres and drinks. 

Brendon, who had been acting as lookout   for the newlyweds, tapped Shorty on the shoulder. Once the grooms and their men were in position, music played softly, announcing the beginning of the grand entrance.  

Shorty walked over to the stereo system and picked up the mic, and began to announce each person as they entered the room. The four youngest of the wedding party entered first, smiling and waving at their parents. The groomsmen followed two by two, and after a short pause, and a cue to Tristan to raise the volume just a little said, “Ladies and gentlemen, may I now introduce our newlyweds making their first public appearance as husbands, Ryan and Coral!" 

The guests returned to stand at their tables and clapped as Coral and Ryan entered.  Ryan blushed in sheer pleasure at the reception they received. 

Coral bent down and pulled Ryan into a bone crushing hug and kissed his new husband. After a moment, Ryan returned the kiss, hugging back as hard as he could. 

The applause grew louder amid shouts of congratulations and cheers. 

"Ryan and Coral will begin the festivities with their first public dance as a married couple,” Shorty announced.  He stepped aside and pointed to Tristan who grinned and started the music. 

Love is All Around Us began to play and Coral and Ryan began to dance a simple box step.  Ryan was grateful that Coral had taught him how to dance before the wedding because he was confident in his steps, allowing Coral to lead.  He rested his head against Coral's chest and closed his eyes, still not believing that he was now a married man. Not only married, but married to the sweetest, kindest man he'd ever met. 

Coral drew Ryan closer, loving the feel of his boy's body close to his, feeling his heartbeat through his shirt and jacket.  His own heartbeat accelerated as pride in his boy, and nearly overwhelming love coursed through his body.  He leaned down and kissed the top of Ryan's head.  Ryan opened his eyes and tilted his head back, his intention clear to Coral who bent down to plant a deep, loving kiss on his husband's full lips.  The audience clapped again. 

"Our new husbands would be pleased if their parents would join them on the dance floor," Shorty prompted.   

With only a little coaxing by Ryan's mother, Jerome finally stood and joined his wife in the dance, unconsciously mirroring Coral and Ryan, Lydia's head resting on her husband's shoulder with her eyes closed and what looked like a contented smile on her face. 

Coral's parents needed no coaxing, and happily joined their sons in the dance area, smiling widely and looking lovingly at each other. With no self-consciousness at all, they kissed and drew closer. 

"Everyone, please join our happy couple and their parents in their first dance," Shorty said. 

Mutt and Jeff as well as many others, stood and paired up, each holding their partner or husband close, some chatting quietly and smiling.  Coral's nieces and nephews paired up to dance together as well.  The youngest girl had no partner and looked on the verge of tears when Little Jake asked her to dance with a courtly bow.  Angela beamed when the boy picked her up and began to sway with her to the music.  No one knew what he said but the air was filled with her delighted and charming laughter as the song faded away. 

The audience clapped again when the music stopped and returned to their seats at a prompt by Shorty. 

Shorty smiled at Coral and Ryan and announced, “The grooms will now dance with their mothers.” Coral and Ryan led their mothers out onto the dance floor as the strains of A Song for Mama began to play. 

After a bit Shorty announced, “If everyone will join our new husbands and their mothers the happy couple would appreciate it.” 

Jerome looked at Omari and smiled as they were temporarily without partners.  Without thought, the two of them stood and went into the dance area to claim their wives.  Coral kissed his mother and happily handed her to his father who held her close. He was happy to see that Ryan's father had done the same, leaving he and Ryan to dance with each other. 

When the dance ended, Coral and Ryan went to the head table but remained standing. Coral took the lead by saying, "Ryan and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for coming. It's a pleasure to see you all.  Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedules, and thanks to our parents and families who came a long way to be here.  We love you all, and are grateful that we have such wonderful people to surround us on our special day." 

Ryan smiled a little shyly and said, “I never thought this would happen to me and I too would like to add my thanks to our parents, family and friends for attendin' our weddin’ and sharin’ our special day.” 

When the applause died down, Harry stood up and clinked his spoon against the crystal water glass before him. 

When the party goers were finally silent Harry said, lifting his glass of sparkling cider, "Excuse me, everyone, if I could have your attention, I'd like to take a moment to say a few words about our grooms.  For those of you who don't know me, my name is Harry, Ryan's best man and longtime good friend." 

"First, I'd like to thank James for his gracious and kind offer of this place to hold this wonderful reception, and for his vision in creating Teardrop Lake Resort. Without his vision, I wouldn’t be here today as part of a beautiful wedding between two people I both love and admire.” He smiled. 

“I have known Ryan for the past four years, and he and I have gotten close, almost like brothers.” He grinned at Ryan. “I know I can always count on Ryan to have my back in any situation. He's a good friend and a remarkable man.” He smiled at everyone. 

"Before Coral came into Ryan’s life, he lived alone and didn’t seem very happy, although he was always friendly.” Harry grinned. "The times we patrolled together, he admitted to me that he felt a bit alone, as though a part of him was missing. Coral coming into Ryan’s life is the best thing that could have happened to the both of them, and as a result Ryan is a whole lot happier than I’ve ever seen him. The words that come to mind when I think about Ryan are a quick smile, responsible, a good friend, willing to help whenever necessary and fun to be with.”

"After Duke fractured his arm by hitting a moose over the head, Ryan, when we patrolled together, would say to me, 'Wonder if that’s the one? It looks like it has a dent on its head.' I couldn’t help but laugh that he was trying to find the exact young bull moose Duke had tried to scare away.  We never did find one with a dent on its head.” Harry laughed. 

Duke colored slightly but grinned sheepishly and laughed with the rest of the audience.

“I want to say that Coral and Ryan deserve all the laughter and cheer in life and I know that they'll find it within each other for all of their lives! Here’s to the wedded couple!” 

Everyone stood and toasted with the non-alcoholic champagne that Jake had been kind enough to order.  Ryan, despite his insistence that it wouldn't taste the same, raised his eyebrows in appreciation of the flavor.  He grinned and blushed a little when he saw Coral looking down at him, a knowing smile on his face. 

After the toast, Duke stood and said, "Excuse me everyone, if I could have your attention.  Before dinner is served, I'd like to take a few moments to say a few words about our groom, Coral.   I'm Duke, Coral’s best man and longtime good friend." 

"I’d also like to thank James for hosting this wedding and reception. I know we’re all delighted to be here today on this joyous occasion.” 

"I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Coral for some time now, both as my friend and as second in command of our security force at the resort. The words I find describe Coral best are, dependable, steady, caring, patient and loving.” 

"Before Ryan came into Coral’s life he was too serious. After getting together with Ryan he’s become more relaxed and laughs more." 

He grinned at Coral. “When I think of the Coral of today, I think of a person who’s good at setting and keeping boundaries, a man who is kind, stern when he needs to be, who is gentle and who loves Ryan to pieces.” He chuckled. 

"No one would ever know that the Coral you see here used to be 5'4" as a freshman in high school, and lucky if he was 100 pounds in full snow gear. But he was scrappy, and determined to be a police officer.  He joined the academy when he turned 18.  Normally the academy would take recruits at the age of 21 but once they saw Coral and his test results, they knew he was for them, not only that but he was the youngest ever to be promoted to Lieutenant. They were happy when he decided to teach for a while at the academy, and were sorry to see him go when he decided to come here.  Definitely our gain," Duke said enthusiastically.  "And through him, we now have Ryan, a great asset to our little community." 

"Now, I would like to wish Coral and Ryan a lifetime of happiness, and unconditional love. Congratulations,” he said, saluting the couple with a fresh glass of champagne, "to our newlyweds!"  

"Ladies and gentlemen, dinner is about to be served, if you'd all please take your places we can begin," Shorty said after Duke had seated himself and the cheers had faded away. 

The announcement was greeted with more cheers from the TLR men and smiles and groans of appreciation by the guests.  The servers, who had taken the opportunity to sit near their friends for the toast, got up and began to bring out the large containers of food to set down on the table that held the plates.  Guests began to get up in an orderly fashion and approached the table. 

Gary was pleased to see the food disappearing so quickly and promptly ordered his workers to bring out new containers.  He laughed to see Coral and the rest of his family quickly empty out the container filled with broccoli rabe and motioned to another worker to bring out another one.  He'd gotten the recipe from Coral who had gotten it from his mother.  He'd never had it before but had to admit that it was quite good, and he looked forward to when everyone had served themselves so that he and his wait staff could get their food and sit with their friends. 

He looked over at one of the tables and saw Charles, amiably speaking to the two people nearest him.  Charles glanced up, saw Gary's gaze and patted the chair beside him, letting him know that he'd saved him a seat.  Mike, who was sitting on Charles' left, smiled and waved and made a hurry up gesture before blowing him a kiss.  Gary smiled and nodded.  'Soon,' he mouthed. 

Before long the guests had served themselves and were enjoying the various food that had been offered, and after the wait staff and bartenders had supplied the multitudes with drinks, they were once again sitting with their friends, laughing and joking between bites of food.     

Ryan watched thoughtfully as his husband and family help themselves generously to the broccoli rabe before deciding to take a small portion. He'd had some at the Okoro's the previous Thanksgiving and had decided that it was alright. He wrinkled his nose playfully and leaned in toward Coral so that only he could hear, “I still think it   tastes like broccoli,” he said, “but I guess it’s not so bad after all,” he said with a shy smile. 

Coral grinned at Ryan's reaction, decided not to tell him that it wasn't actually broccoli, and proceeded to wolf down the food he considered to be a delicacy, since it was something his mother made only on holidays and special occasions. 

Gary, who had been keeping an eye on the guests throughout the dinner, noticed that nearly everyone was full, many of them having pushed their plates away, leaning back with contented smiles on their faces, and some of whom had politely covered their plates with their napkins, also an indicator that they were finished, got up and rang a small bell, the wait staff’s signal to begin clearing the dishes and bringing out the desserts.  His wait staff, always professional, promptly got up and proceeded to do the job they'd volunteered for. 

As some removed the containers of leftover food, others brought out fresh bottles of non-alcoholic champagne and wine and began to refill empty glasses with the guest's beverage of choice.  No one seemed to mind that the drinks were non-alcoholic.  Some had even gone to the bar and happily ordered virgin daiquiris and other drinks which, as promised, tasted like their alcoholic relative.  

Big Jake grinned as people complimented him on the drinks, asking him how he did it. 

"That's classified information, sorry," Jake replied with a laugh, unwilling to give away his secrets which included several types of spices, juices and over-brewed sweet tea. 

Duke got up and tapped his glass to get the guest's attention. When everyone had quieted down he said, "On behalf of Coral and Ryan, I’d like to thank everyone for coming here today. I have to tell you, once Coral and Ryan got together, I knew it was all over for Cor. He's always been a very serious sort of man but after Ryan a completely different side to him emerged. He walked around with a goofy look on his face and he joked around a lot more." 

He waited for the laughter to die down and then continued, "I have never seen Coral so happy and contented. So, Cor, Ry, I wish you both the best of luck and a life together filled with health, happiness and joy. Congratulations!" he said, toasting them with his champagne.  

The guests all cheered and toasted the couple who grinned and blushed a little as they raised their glasses first to the guests and then to each other before taking sips and kissing each other. 

"Now, let the party begin!" Duke said happily.  He queued Tristan to begin the music and the speakers blasted the song For Your Love. Coral pulled Ryan up and the two of them began to dance, Ryan obviously having the time of his life as he danced with his husband. 

That song was followed by Wild Thing, which made Ryan grin and blush because it was what Coral used to call him at the academy.  He'd never known that it was a real song, and the lyrics made him look wide eyed at Coral who met the beautiful green eyes and smiled, nodding in answer to the boy's unspoken question. 

Jaxon, James and Heath joined the throng of people who had gotten up to dance. Jax loved the song as he too had been called Wild Thing by his friends back in California. 

With a little cajoling, Dean led a smiling Griff out to the dance floor where they danced and talked quietly. Mutt and Jeff couldn't help but to notice that Griff was smiling a lot and seemed truly happy for the first time since he'd arrived at the resort. 

Music ranging from the twenties to the present were played, as well as typical fun dances like the Macarena, the Cha Cha Slide, the Electric Slide and to Ryan's surprise, The Chicken Dance.  

Although it was one of the dances that Coral had taught him he had thought Coral was having some fun with him and had been convinced that it wasn't a real dance.  At first, he watched in disbelief and then he began to laugh and joined in. Coral leaned down to kiss Ryan and they danced, forgetting that they were surrounded by other people. 

The dancing would be called to a halt on occasion so that everyone could rest and catch their breaths between rounds at which point Shorty would get up and point to a glass jar that had everyone's names in it and hold a little drawing, giving away small, fun gifts to the recipients so that everyone would come away from the evening with a pleasant reminder of the event, including dolls, and toy trucks and cars for the youngest of the lot. 

At one point, Shorty stood once again and said, "We'd like to give everyone here the chance to win the centerpiece on their table.  Would the people who most recently celebrated a birthday, please stand up." 

He looked carefully around at the several people who stood at various tables, including one of Coral's nieces.  Coral's birthday had been celebrated on the 19th of that month so he stood also, fully intending to give her the centerpiece from the head table.  By process of elimination they winnowed it down to the people whose birthdays had been most recent and those were the people who won the centerpiece, Coral's mother and new mother in law being among them.  As expected the little niece lost by a couple of weeks and seemed on the verge of tears when he took the centerpiece he had won and presented it to her.  The smile that appeared on her face was reward enough, and he sent her back to her parents, carrying the vase of flowers. 

The party was still in full swing at six that evening and it was then that Shorty looked at the little ones. He could see them beginning to rub their eyes and yawn.  He rose and tapped his spoon against his water glass again. "Now folks, it's time for the happy couple to cut the cake, after which they will open their gifts," he announced. 

Applause greeted the three-tiered cake that was carried in carefully by two of the wait staff, and placed on the main table in front of Coral and Ryan.  The cake was a thing of beauty, decorated with swirls of frosting with sugar 'pearls' accentuating them.  A waterfall in muted rainbow colors cascaded down one side, and on the top, a heart with two doves. 

More wait staff brought out platters of cookies, and to the children's delight, stacks of colorful Rice Krispy Treats which seemed to perk them right up.  Yet more arrived with jugs of milk for the children, large carafes of coffee and hot water for tea as well as an incredible selection of teas both regular and herbal, and small jugs of various creamers and sweeteners. 

Ryan was serious as he helped Coral cut the first slice of cake and then began to giggle as he fed half of it to his new husband, who gave him a look that said quite plainly 'Smear that on my face and suffer the consequences,' even though his eyes were twinkling.   

When it was his turn to feed Ryan, the boy was giggling so hard that he only got a small bite and the rest fell down the front of his shirt, leaving a trail of rainbow colored frosting in it's wake. Coral and Ryan both laughed then as the piece fell onto his shoe, stuck there like glue with splattered frosting.  They spent several minutes in the men's room after which they emerged clean and grinning ear to ear. 

Once everyone had stopped laughing and the cake had begun to be served, the newlyweds went over to the gift table and took turns opening the pile of gifts that had been stacked so carefully by Coral’s nieces.  

Once the last gift had been opened and everyone had seen it, it was then that Tristan began to play the Tarantella.  Mrs. Okoro gasped in happy surprise and grabbed her husband to begin the dance, followed by Jake and Duke, Dean and Griff, then the twins and all the nieces and nephews. Soon the dance area was filled with three rings, one inside the other, of dancers laughing and kicking to the music. 

Jake broke the ring and jumped into the center, breaking into dance while the others cheered him on.  Soon, little Jake and Jarrod joined him and shouts of 'Go little Jake! Go Jare!  Show em how it's done Big Jake!' could be heard. 

Finally, the music ended and the dancers went back to their tables, laughing and gasping for breath. 

"I can't remember the last time I had so much fun," said a smiling Jerome. 

"Nor I," Lydia added, still laughing. 

Jake, and Duke, who had taken seats next to them grinned broadly.  These two people who had seemed so harsh and unforgiving at the beginning had taken a turn for the better over the past day or so.  Without the sour expressions, it was easier to see the family resemblance between Ryan and his parents. 

"I have a question, if it's alright to ask," Jerome said looking at Jake with a puzzled expression. 

Jake cocked his head a little in inquiry and shrugged his shoulders, "Sure. What's up Mr. O'Donnell?" 

"Call me Jerome, please," the man replied with a slight smile. 

"Jerome," Jake repeated, grinning widely.  "What's your question?" 

"Are those twins yours?" 

"Mine?" Jake asked, confused.  He looked at Duke for clarification, but before the big man could respond, Jerome continued. 

"I mean, everyone keeps calling one of them Little Jake. I wondered if they were your sons and that's why one of them is named after you." 

"No, they're not my sons," Jake replied with an understanding smile. "See, Little Jake's name is really Jacob, but of course, his nickname is Jake.  It got to the point where when people would call the name Jake, we had no idea which Jake was being referred to, so it just became easier to call Jacob, Little Jake." 

"So, your name is Jacob too," Lydia half asked, half stated. 

"No, ma'am. My name is actually Jake, not Jacob."  When he saw their confused expressions he continued, "See, when I was born my parents had been convinced that I was going to be a girl so when I was born and turned out to be a boy, my grandfather... on my father's side... smiled and said 'Well that's jake.  That's real jake.' meaning that he was extremely pleased with the surprise, so my mother, when she filled out the birth certificate named me Jake.  Just Jake."  He grinned. 

"What a fascinating story," Lydia said with a smile.  "Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man." 

"He was," Jake replied.  "He was the first person to ever get me to laugh as a baby.  He used to drive my mother insane because he'd hold me up and balance me on my feet on one of his hands.  My mother knew that Papa would never allow me to come to harm, but she told me it made her heart race every time he did it.  Pop was one of the strongest men I'd ever known. He was a mechanic and taught me a lot about cars.  He used to take me and my father fishing and skeet shooting," he continued with a far off expression as he remembered the things they'd done together. 

"He's... passed away?" Lydia asked tentatively. 

"Yes, when I was in grammar school," Jake answered. Seeing the sadness on Lydia's face he hurried on, "But there's nothing to be sad about.  Pop left behind a wonderful legacy and lots of great memories.  No one is ever truly gone who is remembered in the hearts and minds of the people who love them." 

"He even used a paraphrased quote from Winston Churchill for his epitaph, which gives us all a good laugh when we visit him at the cemetery.  It reads, 'I'm ready to meet my maker, but I'm not sure he's ready to meet me.' " Jake smiled when the two O'Donnell's smiled despite themselves. "He was never serious about anything, always cracking jokes and making people laugh, and that's how we remember him." 

"That's very sweet," Lydia said, wiping away a stray tear.  Jerome didn't speak, but he did put a comforting arm around his wife's shoulders. 

"But today is a day of celebration, not sadness," Jake said, coming to a decision.  "Madame, would you do me the honor of dancing with me?" he asked as Nights in White Satin began to play.  He took her by the hand and planted a chaste kiss on the back of it as he bowed and gestured her toward the dance area. Lydia blushed as she hadn't done since she'd been a school girl, glanced at Jerome who smiled and nodded, before following Jake into the dance area.  

Jerome watched as Jake made his wife laugh as they danced, and he smiled, seeing the young girl she had been not so long ago emerge once again, her green eyes, so like their son's, shining with happiness.  He poured himself a cup of coffee and had nearly finished his slice of cake when the pair returned, smiling and happy.   

"Come dance with me," Lydia said, her face glowing with happiness as she reached out toward her husband.  Not willing to do anything to take that happiness away, Jerome stood up with a smile, bowed and kissed her hand as Jake had done, and waltzed her off onto the dance floor. 

Jake grinned at the pair before turning toward the table laden with cookies.  He wrapped up an assortment of cookies and a couple of large slices of the wedding cake and placed the plate on the table where Lydia and Jerome had been sitting, before turning back toward Duke and smiling.  The song was romantic and slow, and he had a sudden desire to hold Duke in his arms. 

As it got later and later, the children began to tire and little Angela, sound asleep and propped on her father's shoulder, as well as a very sleepy Austin and fussy Xander, carried by his mother, said their goodbyes and returned to their bungalow. 

The other guests began to leave little by little, saying goodbye to the grooms with a final 'Congratulations' and pats on the men's shoulders. 

Coral and Ryan began to help with the cleanup but James told them in a very calm but no-nonsense voice to stop and get back to their bungalow.  

"You have to get up very early tomorrow to set out, so you'd best enjoy the rest of your night and get some sleep. Understand?"  The resort owner handed them a small cake box that contained the top layer of the cake along with the cake top which traditionally would be frozen and eaten on their first wedding anniversary. 

Coral took the cake box the older man handed him and laughed self-consciously but capitulated, "Yes Sir!" he replied with a salute.  "Come on, Angel," he whispered to Ryan. "Time to start our Honeymoon. I have a wedding present for you," he said, waggling his eyebrows. 

Ryan grinned, his green eyes sparkling with anticipation, and followed Coral willingly. 

The younger man sighed as they neared their bungalow. "I had a great time, did you?" he asked quietly. 

Coral grinned and leaned down to kiss his new husband.  "Not to sound like a syrupy Valentine's Day card, hon, but any time with you is a great time." 

Ry smiled up at his now husband and smiled. "It woulda been better if Cas coulda come too," he sighed. 

"Well, a wedding is no place for a cat, sweetheart, but... part one of your wedding day surprise is behind that door.  Shall we?" he asked as he put his hand on the knob to open the door for his better half. 

As they entered the bungalow Ryan's green eyes widened as one rather extra-large kitten charged at him, landing on his shoulder, knocking him off balance, causing him to stagger back. "Cas!" he cried, happiness evident in his voice. 

"Thought that might get your attention," Coral laughed, as he steadied his new husband.  "Go ahead, have some fun. Just promise me that come 10 o'clock, you're all mine."  

"I promise!" the younger man said and happily stroked the furry thing. "How come he's still here? I thought the twins were goin' to take him to his kennel at Shorty's?" he asked. "Not that I'm not happy that he's still here or anything." 

Coral explained the situation with the salt and sugar with a grin. "I did that once on April Fool's Day. My parents were not happy in the least," he laughed. "So, here he is. Someone will pick him up in the morning before we leave." 

Ryan nodded. "I wondered why they didn't sit much, but I didn't know they'd been in trouble with Shorty. What a dumb thing to do on the mornin' of our weddin'," Ry said, shaking his head and cuddling the very large kitten. "Well it's my gain." He grinned and then set to work playing with Cas. 

Coral smiled at the scene before him. He loved anything that put a smile of such happiness on his boy's face. Without him knowing it, Coral took out his phone and took a candid picture of the two.  Afterward he asked, "Can I get you some coffee or tea, Hon? Cocoa?" 

"Cocoa sounds real good about now Cor. I'll give Castiel some treats too for me bein' gone so long," he told his husband, getting out the cat treats and pouring them into a bowl for the furry feline. 

The large fluff ball raced over to the bowl as his master put it down and began crunching avidly. 

The young man laughed at his precious overgrown kitten. 

Coral went to make the drink from scratch, which he and Ry both preferred, then topped it off with marshmallows and whipped cream.  He brought the large, steaming cup to his husband.  He grinned widely at the thought.  His husband. He liked the way it sounded. 

Ry took the hot drink and smiled a bit shyly at Coral as he checked the time. It was nearing ten o'clock. 

"When you're done with everything, I have another present for you," Coral said with a gleam in his eye. 

The younger man drank his hot chocolate slowly. "Our first time as a wedded couple," he said quietly. 

"Actually, something I hope you'll like, and then... if you're in the mood," Coral smiled, "our first night." 

Ryan responded, "'Kay," looking a little nervous. 

Coral sat down beside his husband and put his arm around him. "Talk to me, Angel. What's on your mind?" 

"Umm... will it be different now... I mean that we're married? Will it feel different somehow?" he asked softly. 

Coral sat and thought for a few moments before answering, "To be honest, love, I can't see where it would be. We've lived together for a while now so we have a pretty good idea of what each other are like... there's still a lot to learn about you which I'm looking forward to," he said, giving Ryan a soft kiss on his forehead, "but the most important thing to remember, is that we're now, just as before, equal partners, in everything.  All our marriage proves is that we're committed to each other, to have and to hold for always. Does that help? Why don't you tell me what you're worried about." 

Ryan said, "That helps. I was worried that somehow our love makin' would be different and that we'd treat each other different... sorta like I belonged to you now... that you'd tell me what to do... I guess sorta like my parents," he answered quietly. 

"I'm not your father," Coral said with a soft smile. "I'll never be a parent to you. And yes, you belong to me.  However, I belong to you as well.  As far as our lovemaking... if there's anything you want to do, to try, just tell me. If there's anything you don't like, just tell me. I may sometimes make a final decision about something, but I'll always listen to your input first. Equal partners, sweetheart. Alright?" 

Ryan snuggled into his new husband's arms. "Yes, and it was more my mother than my father I think. Whatever she said seemed to be the order of the day so to speak. It was she that didn't want me to make a lot of noise or to have a pet, stuff like that. I'm real glad though they relaxed and seemed to have a good time." 

Coral nearly laughed. Jeff had filled him in on what they'd missed at the gazebo during the rehearsal. "I think they finally got their wake-up call." He joked, "and frankly I'm glad. I only wish that they'd shown that side of themselves to you much sooner. Now... now, I think they're more on board," he assured his husband, "and I think you'll be catching a lot less grief from them, if any. Don't forget, you have me and every other man on this resort to have your six, not to mention my parents, my sisters, their husbands and even the kids."

The young man snuggled close. "Yes, and I'm so glad. I've never been happier," he told his man and then leaned up to kiss him soundly. 

Coral returned the kiss, hoping that Ryan would be willing to leave his kitten and accompany him to the bedroom. He'd looked forward to this night for quite a while. 

"Cor, umm... I meant to ask... who has my six?" he asked with a blush on his fair face. 

Coral hugged his husband to him, "You have a lot of friends here who won't let anything hurt you ever again." 

Ry grinned. "'Kay, I like that," he said. "Now...let's see how quickly I recover from heavy breathin'," He told his new husband, taking hold of his hand and tugging him toward the bedroom they shared. 

Coral had been looking forward to this part of the evening all day. Their one night apart had made him appreciate Ryan all the more, and he intended to prove it. He decided to give Ry the 'special' gift in the morning over breakfast because he didn't want to wait one moment longer to celebrate their wedding night.

 Author's Notes

No Copyright Infringement Is Intended, No money has been made from these stories nor from the use of the pictures, information and songs that follow:
Thank you to the people who put them on the internet for us to learn from and to share.

Most of the ideas for Coral and Ryan's wedding came from an example of a Secular wedding performed by Christopher Shelley, New York State Wedding Officiant and Life-Cycle Celebrant at 

We'd like to thank Mr. Shelley for giving us his example to work from and with.

The vows were found on The Knot


The concept of "Jumping the Broom" is an old one and some history and new twists on that tradition are found at this link:


The cake topper was created by Kim Lawrence, and is sold by the Gregg Gift Company

Below are the songs listed in the story. All information is supplied by Wikipedia, and as always, NO copyright infringement is intended.

You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet:  Bachman Turner Overdrive
Album: Not Fragile
Released: 1974
Labels Mercury, MCA, Curb

Pachabel's Canon in D
By German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel. Neither the date nor the circumstances of its composition are known. The oldest surviving manuscript copy of the piece dates from the 19th century.

Love Is All Around Us:  The Troggs
Released October 1967
Label Page One, Fontana, Mercury
Songwriter(s) Reg Presley
Producer(s) Larry Page 

A Song for Mama: Boys II Men
Album: Evolution
Released: 1997
Label Motown Records
Songwriter(s) Babyface 

For Your Love:  The Yardbirds
Released 5 March 1965
Recorded 1 February 1965
Studio IBC Studios, London
Label Columbia
Songwriter(s) Graham Gouldman
Producer(s) Giorgio Gomelsky 

Wild Thing:  The Troggs
Released 22 April 1966
Label Fontana
Songwriter(s) Chip Taylor
Producer(s) Larry Page 

Macarena: Los del Rio
Released August 15, 1995 (U.S.)
Label RCA
Songwriter(s) Rafael Ruiz Perdigones Antonio Romero Monge SWK
Producer(s) Los del Río 

The Cha Cha Slide:  by DJ Casper
Released August 2, 1998
Genre Dance. electronica. house
Songwriter(s) Callum Wood
Producer(s) Willie Perry & The Platinum Band/Frederick Johnson  

The Electric Slide is a four-wall line dance set to Marcia Griffiths and Bunny Wailer's song "Electric Boogie". Choreographer Richard L. "Ric" Silver created the dance in 1976 from a demo of the Marcia Griffiths recording.  

The Chicken Dance also known as the Birdie Song or the Chicken Song, is an oom-pah song and its associated fad dance is now a contemporary dance throughout the Western world. The song was composed by accordion (hand harmonica) player Werner Thomas from Davos, Switzerland, in the 1950s. 

The Tarantella is a group of various folk dances characterized by a fast-upbeat tempo, usually accompanied by tambourines. It is among the most recognized forms of traditional southern Italian music.  It is most commonly played with a mandolin, a guitar, an accordion and tambourines. Flute, fiddle, trumpet and clarinet are also used, and is a dance in which the dancer and the drum player constantly try to upstage each other by playing faster or dancing longer than the other, subsequently tiring one person out first.  

Nights In White Satin: The Moody Blues
Released 10 November 1967
Label   Deram
Songwriter(s) Justin Hayward

Producer(s) Tony Clar


  1. Absolutly lovely. Thoroughly enjoyed this chapter and looking forward to more. Thank you.

  2. Thank you so much, Dragonquest,

    I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this chapter, and yes, there is more to come. Thank you for your encouraging comments. :D