Brad’s Search : Part 44


We walk into the room, pulling our suitcases behind us.

I look around. “If it’s possible, the room looks even more magnificent than the lobby.”

“Then I guess it’s possible. They weren’t kidding when they called this place the best hotel in Portland.”

“So, which bedroom do we get?”

“Hmm... We should obviously save the biggest one for Patrick and Damon, since they’re the ones getting married and all. But after them, first-come, first-served?”

I point to one of the bedrooms on the right side of the suite. “How about that one?”

“Works for me.”

We pull our suitcases into the bedroom and unpack a few essentials. We then head back into the living area to admire the view outside the window. The hotel is just a few blocks away from the Willamette River, and we have breathtaking views of the Columbia River, the Gorge, and Mount Hood.

James wraps his arm around my shoulder, caresses it a few times, then sighs. I turn my head to look at him. “What’s wrong?”

He continues to stare out the window and into the distance. “Being here again just brings back so many memories.”

“Memories of what?”

He takes a deep breath. “My first boyfriend lived in Portland.”

“Oh.”

A few more seconds pass before he continues. “His name was Jeremy. We met in Seattle. He came up for Pride, and he ended up standing next to me at one of the parades. That’s how we met. That was about eight years ago now, I think. God, so much has happened since then...”

I rub his back. “You don’t have to talk about it if you’re not comfortable-”

“-No, no, no, it’s OK. It’s just been a really long time.”

“Was it serious?”

“Oh, was it. I fell in love with him, hard. I mean, he was my first, so it was only natural.” He sighs quickly. “After Pride, he went back home and we stayed up late so many nights and just talked - about everything. I went down and spent a few weekends with him. We eventually made plans for me to move in with him, and when December rolled around and I got a break from college, I put those plans into action.”

Really?

“Yeah. I was about 20 at the time. Dad was a bit wary of the whole thing, but he sat me down one day and told me that I was an adult, and that I was responsible for making my own decisions. I felt a bit tense, but then he told me he brought me up the best that he could, that I had a good head on my shoulders, and that he knew the decision I was making was the best for me.” He wipes a tear from his eye. “I think that’s when he finally accepted me for who I really am. He was always uncomfortable bringing it up before that. It all changed in that moment. He told me he loved me and that he would always be there for me.”

I take his hand in mine and squeeze it.

“So luckily he kept his promise. Jeremy and I eventually broke up and I moved back home.”

“Why did you two break up?”

He turns to me. “Oh, I don’t want to get into that right now. Maybe later. I’d rather focus on what I have right in front of me.”

He leans in closer and we kiss a few times. He grabs the back of my head, pulls me closer, and we kiss more passionately. I move my hands down to his ass and massage and squeeze it as he lets out soft moans of pleasure.

James turns and leads me to the couch and we sit down. As we keep kissing, he places his hand on my knee and moves it higher and higher along my thigh until he reaches my cock, grabbing and massaging it through my pants. I shove my tongue down his throat and kiss him more passionately than before. We are getting so into it, I hardly hear the door unlock and open.

“Ooh, are we interrupting anything?”

James looks over at the door. “Not at all, Damon. Come on in.” He smirks and whispers at me, “I guess we’ll have to continue this later.”

Damon and Patrick enter the room with many bags in tow. James and I get up and walk over to help them; I hold the door while James helps carry their bags in. Freddie, Charles, and Hadim follow suit.

“How was the drive?”

Patrick sets his bags down near the couch. “Oh, the usual. Tie-ups in Seattle and crossing into Oregon.”

James snorts. “I didn’t know you were into being tied up.”

Everyone chuckles. Damon retorts, “I guess there’s a lot we’re going to be learning about each other this weekend.”

James points out which bedroom we’ve already taken, and we help the guys move their bags into the other three bedrooms. Once they’re all settled in, we head back to the living area and sit down. James cuddles up next to me on the couch, while Freddie sits next to us. Hadim, Charles, Damon, and Patrick all sit in chairs on either side of us.

Patrick turns to James. “So how was your drive in?”

“Well, Brad did the driving. I talked to Paul.”

Everyone is genuinely surprised to hear the news. After a few seconds, Charles chimes in. “What brought that on?”

“He had started calling and asking for me at work, over and over, every single day. I kept refusing to talk to him, but Dad convinced me to call him back. I truly didn’t expect what was coming.”

Everyone sits in silent anticipation, until Hadim speaks up. “And? What was that?”

“That he’s actually been gay this whole time, and that he cheated on his wife, who then ran away with their kids to Illinois.”

Everyone’s jaw drops.

“And that was my reaction.”

Damon sits with a puzzled expression. “How are you not in hysterics right now?”

“Honestly, I don’t think all the news has sunken in yet. It’s way beyond anything I could have expected. One thing is for sure, though - I am definitely in need of a drink. A strong drink.”

I chime in. “Like one of my ‘world-famous lemon drops’?”

“That would be amazing, babe. Can you make me one?”

“With what? I didn’t bring any ingredients.”

“No-” A devilish grin washes over his face. “-But I did. They’re in my suitcase.”

I smile and shake my head, then walk inside our bedroom and open his suitcase to find all the ingredients for making lemon drops. So that’s what I heard rattling around. I grab everything and head into the kitchenette.

Charles eyes me as I walk in. “Damn, James - you save any room for clothes in that suitcase?” Everyone laughs.

While the guys continue conversing, I set everything on the counter, then turn and search through the cabinets until I find the glassware. I grab a martini glass and set it on the counter. I collect some ice out of the freezer, shake up enough lemon drop for James, and pour it into the glass. “Order up!”

I walk over and hand the drink to James. He takes a sip. “Perfect. Thanks, babe.” He turns to the guys. “I swear, these will be the death of me.”

I sit back down next to him.

Patrick leans closer. “That looks delicious. Mind if I try some?”

“Sure, Pat. Go ahead.”

James hands the glass to Patrick, who takes a small sip and sets it back down. “Damn, these are good. James, this one is a keeper.”

James chuckles. “Thanks, Pat. I’m glad you think so.”

Patrick smiles and winks at me.

James continues, “All right, guys, enough about me and my dysfunctional family. This is your weekend. You’re getting married!”

Patrick and Damon laugh excitedly and everyone has smiles all around.

I ask, “What time will the rehearsal and dinner be tomorrow?”

Damon answers, “So the plan is to have the rehearsal at 5 and have dinner around an hour or two after that.”

James places his hand on my shoulder. “Hey Brad, do you want to try on Charles’s suit tonight to make sure it fits?”

Patrick responds, “Yeah, that’s a great idea. One less thing to worry about tomorrow before the rehearsal.”

“Sure, I can try it on tonight.”

Charles stands up and heads for his room. “I’ll go and grab it for you.” We wait for a few seconds until Charles returns with the suit. “Here you go.”

“Thanks. Can you head to the bedroom with me, James?”

“Absolutely. We’ll be right back, guys.”

James and I head into the bedroom. He sets his drink on the nightstand and lies back on the bed while I take off my regular clothes and pull on the suit - shirt first, then pants, and finally the jacket. It’s a remarkably good fit.

“What do you think?”

He makes a spinning motion with his finger. “Turn around. Let me get a good look at you.”

I do as he says, then stop to face him again.

He stands up and takes my hand. “You look so stunningly beautiful, Brad. You’re gonna look great on Sunday.”

We embrace, and then kiss as we pull away. He says to me softly, “I’m pretty beat. How about we show the guys the suit, and then head to bed?”

“Sure. It’s about time I got into a horizontal position.”

We walk out of the bedroom to show off the suit to the other guys, who cheer and wolf whistle at me as I step out.

I walk over to Charles and place my hand on his shoulder. “Thank you so much for letting me borrow your suit.”

“Think nothing of it. I’m glad it fits you so well.”

James speaks up. “Well guys, Brad and I have been through a pretty exhausting day. We’re going to go turn in and we’ll see you tomorrow.”

The guys wish us a good night. James takes the final sip of his drink, and then we head back into the bedroom.

I take off the suit and carefully hang it up in the closet while James takes off his regular clothes. We go through our regular nightly routine and crawl under the covers.

“James, I have a question for you.”

“What’s that?”

“Do you ever think about being here with Jeremy from time to time?”

He sighs. “Yeah. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. He and I were in love, after all. We did lots of things together here. Even though it’s been several years since he and I have broken up, he still holds a special place in my heart. I hope he’s happy wherever he is.”

“And are you happy? Right now?”

He brushes my hair with his hand. “Of course I’m happy right now. How could I not be?” He leans down and kisses my cheek. “Are you?”

“Never been happier.”

He wraps his arms around me and we hug tightly. As we pull away, he whispers in my ear, “Pleasant dreams.”

“You too.”

I roll over and he spoons me from behind. We drift off to sleep.