There’s something about the ocean that seems to soothe the soul. Perhaps it’s the smell of salt in the air, or the way the sun shines down and burns away every trouble imaginable. For the six gay couples in the Let It Beatle series, living in a small town near a large body of water has brought love and happiness to everyone, whatever the reason.
All My Loving is a collection of snippets that give a glimpse into the daily lives of these men, whether it’s to get married -- or not; celebrate a promotion; write a song of love; or discover the love of painting again.
Love is all you need.
Wheeler & Gregory
Will he forgive me?
I had entered photographs of Gregory’s paintings in a prestigious art competition a couple of months ago. Naturally, my lover didn’t know about it because he would totally freak out. And get mad at me. And there’d be no sex for a week, which was a very effective punishment, I assure you.
Ever since that heinous assault that had caused him to leave university where he’d been an Art major, Gregory had shut himself off from everyone and doing the things he loved, like painting, until his parents helped him find a way to cope. They had assisted him in opening a daycare business, and working with children gave him some measure of peace. The only painting he’d done since school was the mural at the center, and helping tots with their art projects.
He used to be known as the “ice queen” by everyone in town, until I came along and, with quite a bit of effort, finally got him to open up to adults, not just children, and let himself be vulnerable and love again. He’d come a long way, and I wanted him to keep moving forward.
I had seen some of the pictures of his old artwork, pieces he’d worked on in school and before. They were exquisite. I encouraged Gregory to pick up his brush again and paint on canvas because art was how he bared his soul and he was so, so good at it. Also, it would help him heal that part of him he’d ignored for so long. After a long while, he began working on a few pieces which were absolutely magnificent. He’d recently finished a series on the town and the ocean, and I couldn’t stop looking at them.
I wanted the world to know about Gregory’s talent, and it was a shame his work was languishing in the house somewhere. Which was why I had decided to be slick and underhand. I hoped he wouldn’t hate me when he found out. The decision would be made soon, and I would have to figure out how to tell Gregory and convince him it was a good thing, whether he won or not.
I’d even gone so far as to contact his old professors -- I’d done some research on the sly, including talking with Gregory’s parents, who were almost in tears when I told them my plan -- to let them know what was going on. His former teachers were ecstatic I was doing this, and they raved over the images I sent them.
And now here I was at the gym, looking at the message I’d opened in my email box while working at the front desk. Gregory had won first place, and he’d been invited to attend an event where he would receive his prize, which was a check for five thousand dollars and a gallery exhibit.
I looked across the street and saw Gregory talking to a group of parents as they collected their kids from daycare. His hair was a little bit longer than when we’d met, and he wore his glasses, which always made me hot. When I heard him laugh, it melted my heart. He hadn’t done that very often before we’d met, and it was a matter of pride he did so freely now, with everyone.
He caught my gaze and waved at me briefly before going back inside. I’d have to tell him tonight. The event was a week from Saturday, after all.
“If you’re done mooning over your boyfriend, Wheeler, how about you spot me with the weights?” one of the patrons, Mr. Hastings, said as he stood before me, a smirk on his gently wrinkled face. I refused to blush.
“Can you blame me?” I replied as I walked around the desk and followed him. “The man is hotter than fire.”
“You’re not biased at all, are you?” he said, smirking as he lay on the bench.
“I absolutely am,” I replied, grinning as we got down to work.