After a painful outing experience that was a defining moment for Ian, he left school early, earned his GED, and eventually moved on. But he never really lives in the open, as an out-and-proud gay man.
The morning after his sister's wedding, Ian wakes up next to the best man at his sister’s wedding -- Andrew. Though his new in-laws are "slightly homophobic," Andrew is able and more than willing to keep Ian company ... and more.
What surprises Ian even more is that Andrew is interested in more than just a one-night stand. Much more. Can a wedding night romance end up in a wedding of its own?
Ian came back into the Family Cardiac Waiting Room and saw his mother stretched out on one of the sofas. His father lay relaxed and sleeping in one of the four recliners set about for waiting family members. He had just spoken to the desk nurse and was updated on Frank’s condition. Blood work and further tests indicated a heart attack but the extent of damage wasn’t known and they were having a hard time stabilizing him. They were hopeful a heart catheterization would tell more, but the doctor was wanting to wait till morning. What wasn’t said was they’d do the cath only if he survived the night.
Flopping onto the one short sofa in the room -- was it called a loveseat if it was in a waiting room? -- he kicked off the dress shoes that looked so good but not made to be worn for hours on end. Andrew came into the room, sat down next to him, and handed him a cup of steaming black coffee.
“You were impressive tonight,” Andrew leaned close to speak in hushed tones so as not to disturb others waiting for word on loved ones.
“I thought I was pretty impressive on that bathroom floor,” Ian teased, sipping his coffee.
“Oh, impressive wasn’t the word. Inspiring is more liked it,” Andrew smiled but became serious, “I had no idea you were a nurse or a physician’s assistant. Stephen never mentioned it.”
“Stephen and I never really ever had a heart-to-heart. When he realized, I was gay, he pretty much avoided me, and then last Thanksgiving didn’t endear me to him or Frank, for that matter.”
“Well, Stephen has some history and issues about people like us and I cut him some slack in that regard.”
Ian rolled his eyes, “You are far more understanding than I am, then. I never did anything except tell him if he hurt my sister I’d rip his heart out.”
“You know his mother left Frank for another woman?”
Ian almost did a Danny Thomas-like spit-take with his coffee and looked at Andrew, “No, didn’t know that. But damn.”
“I don’t really want to feel sorry for Frank,” offered Ian. “But it puts a different spin on the issue, I guess.”
“Frank was given full custody of Stephen, and Stephen and his mother never really had a great relationship after all that. When she died, Stephen didn’t go to the funeral.”
“Still, I’m not his mother and I didn’t fuck over his life, so why am I paying for it?” demanded Ian of no one really.
“He spent his childhood hearing his father rant about queers and then having to deal with his mother,” Andrew shrugged. “I guess he’s doing as well as can be expected.”
“Frank never remarried?”
“No, there were a parade of ‘aunts’ through Stephen’s life but nothing permanent. One of the things he told me about your sister was the normal family she came from.”
“He didn’t meet me right away,” offered Ian.
Andrew laughed ruefully and shook his head.
“I was ignored a lot when I was present. In fact, I tried to talk her out of marrying Stephen every chance I could. And then last Thanksgiving ...” Ian’s voice trailed off in memory.
“What exactly happened last Thanksgiving?”
“All hell broke loose,” was the reply but before he could finish the thought, Andrew and Ian’s mobile phones went off at the same time.