Of all the problems Matt diLorenzo anticipated might derail his wedding, a pandemic wasn't one of them.
It's 2020, and Matt's stuck at home because the gym where he works has shut down due to COVID. Matt's lover, Vic Braunson, is a city bus driver and has to continue to work. Because he's regularly exposed to the public, and possibly the virus, Vic wants to make sure Matt is covered in case anything happens to him. The best way to do this would be to get married, but their city isn't issuing marriage licenses and the justices of the peace aren't performing weddings at the moment.
Their problems are solved when they learn they can get a virtual license in another city, and they find a venue that will perform an outdoor ceremony in compliance with COVID guidelines. But Vic has the ever-present problem of what superpower he'll get when they make love the night before the ceremony. Will Vic and Matt be lucky enough to tie the knot, or will last minute problems unravel their plans?
They lingered in bed, neither willing to get back to the real world just yet. Vic curled against Matty, head on his shoulder, while Matty traced faint patterns on the top of Vic’s bald scalp with his fingers. Finally Matty asked, “Should I go get dinner started?”
“I’m good,” Vic told him. “Are you hungry?”
Matt leaned over and kissed Vic’s temple, his lips leaving a damp imprint on Vic’s skin. “No rush. How’d your day go?”
Vic shrugged, settling in closer to his lover. “Nothing all that exciting happened. We got to listen to someone selling life insurance at the meeting this morning.”
“I thought you already had a policy through work.”
“This is additional,” Vic explained. “Because, you know. COVID.”
Matty grunted in response. It was the reason for everything anymore.
After a long moment, Vic asked, “How about you? What’d you do all day?”
“Oh, you know,” Matty said with a sigh. “Nothing much. Walked the dog. Sat in another boring ass meeting --”
“At least they’re paying you,” Vic pointed out.
“True. And if I make the Zoom window small enough, I can surf the web while they’re droning on and they think I’m paying attention.” With a laugh, Matt added, “Roxie told me today she only sits in these meetings because she hopes you’ll walk by naked behind me one day.”
Vic grinned. “Yeah, yeah. She acts like she’s all into me --”
“But I think it’s you she really likes.” It was something Vic long suspected. Her relentless teasing of and, now that they were in lockdown, near constant texting with Matt was more telling than anything she said otherwise.
Matty wrinkled his nose and grimaced. “She is not. You’re all she talks about.”
“Only to rile you up.”
“Yeah, well, she’s pretty good at that.” Playfully Matt tugged Vic’s ear. “She’s still insisting she’s going to be my best man when we get married.”
“If,” Vic replied darkly. Who knew how long lockdown would last?
But Matt was more optimistic. “When. We’ll get back to normal sooner or later. Things can’t stay like this forever.”
Slowly Vic sat up, propping his chin on his hand that rested on Matty’s chest, and gave his lover a long, thoughtful look. “The meeting this morning got me thinking.”
A slow grin crossed Matt’s face. “Uh-oh. About what?”
“If something happens to me --”
“It won’t.” Matt’s grin disappeared in an instant. “Don’t say that, babe. Don’t even think it.”
“But if it does,” Vic pressed on, “I need to make sure you’re taken care of. You’re listed on my current policy as the beneficiary but you aren’t technically my next of kin.”
Matt frowned. “Do we have to talk about this now? We’re sort of having a moment here --”
“I just think we shouldn’t wait to tie the knot.”
That stopped any further protest on Matt’s part. “The venue’s closed, though,” he murmured. “We can’t no matter how much we want to.”
“How about a justice of the peace?” Vic countered.
He’d been thinking about it all day long, working it over in his head, trying to see it from all angles. From the look of dawning hope on Matty’s face, Vic didn’t think the possibility had even crossed his lover’s mind.
Before he could let the idea take root, though, Matt asked, “Where are we going to find one of those? Aren’t all city offices closed until further notice?”
True -- Vic had already considered that. “I don’t know what exactly a justice of the peace is,” he admitted, “but I know an officer of the peace. Kendra works for the city police department.”
Matt gasped. “Can she marry us?”
“Couldn’t hurt to ask.”
They stared at each other for a moment as hope blossomed between them. Finally Matt gave Vic a little push. “Well, ask her and see. If not, maybe she knows someone who can.”