James & Ashton

Chapter One

A hate group against gay men in New York has been growing since 1999. Their leader set up a website for them so they could arrange and delegate jobs more easily to harass and abuse gay men. Somtimes this abuse escalated into murder if the gay man they were tormenting pissed them off enough. If one of them would die or not was up to the leader of the group, Marcel. Their newest concentration was on Ashton. A few of the members had encountered him and his boyfriend in an amusement park a few months ago. In a gay relationship they tended to go after the weaker one of the pair which as far as they could tell from the confrontation, was Ashton. They had been studying the pair and decided to start the torment. They planned on harassing him for as long as Marcel dictated then kidnapping him in Marcels van.

They would take him back to an abandon building the group had obtained and make him pay for his disgusting acts with his partner. They considered going after James too but studying further into him they weren’t sure if they would be successful in obtaining him. They figured he would suffer enough with Ashtons death since Marcel had already given them permission to kill Ashton if the whim washed over them. They were instructed to spend the first day making a nuisance of themselves at the grocery store Ashton worked at. He was the manager so anything they did would be his problem.

What was next they wouldn’t know until Marcel emailed or texted them the next phase of Ashtons torment. They were allowed to stray a little from the plans and do what they wanted but if they went too far from Marcels wishes they all knew they would have to pay in blood. Marcel was cold blooded and was why they could get away with the murders they did. If any screw ups happened two members of the group worked in CSI and could easily destroy any evidence the police obtained. Marcel had shown many times that he wasn’t afraid to kill any of his men that diverged from his plans.

“I’m going to work now.” Ashton said after taking the last bite of oatmeal. James dried his hands and leaned over the breakfast bar to kiss him. Ashton smiled the pulled back. “I love you.”

“I love you too, be careful.” James said then kissed him again.

“I have to go or I’ll be late.” He stood and James grabbed his bowl to wash it as he walked out the front door.

Ashton was in an extremely good mood when he got to work and unlocked the front doors. James had made it so easy for him to forget about the homophobes. All that mattered is that he was loved by James and easily accepted by his family. His coworkers started showing up and they helped him get everything ready for the day. It was a few hours into the day when he noticed the small group of men setting out in the parking lot smoking. He kept an eye on them as he worked. He had never seen any of them before and got a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach as he watched them. After awhile they started harassing the customers, asking them why they shopped at a store where a faggot worked. The word didn’t particularly bother Ashton, but the men were making his customers uncomfortable. One of them flicked a cigarette at a young woman and that was the last straw. He pulled out his cell phone and switched on the video camera to capture their faces to show to the authorities. He held his phone in a way that didn’t look like he was recording them.

“You all need to leave right now.” He said sternly.

“What are you going to do if we don’t?” The man who had flicked the cigarette asked as he stood and got in Ashton’s face.

“I’ll call the cops and have you removed so leave on your own or I’ll call.”

“You think you’re so tough don’t you, you stupid fag.” He pushed Ashton, almost knocking him down. “We’ll come on then, fight back, do something.” He shoved him again. “Look, he’s totally scared.”

“You punks leave him alone.” A female voice said angrily from the store doorway. It was Shauna, one of the women he worked with. “The cops are on their way so you better leave.”

“fucking bitch” They knew they had to go incase the cops really were coming so got in their car and drove off. Shauna ran over to Ashton “You ok?”

“Yeah, did you really call the cops?”

“No, I just saw what was happening and came out. Should I?”

“I have them recorded on my phone. If they come again we’ll call but there isn’t much the police will be able to do with one incident and them not being here any longer. I’ve known I was gay since middle school and have delt with enough of that to know it will do nothing for me to call the cops. It will take a few incidents that I can prove for them to do a thing for me.” Shauna frowned “Yeah, cops are mostly around for show when it comes to protecting people. One of my girlfriends was being stalked and they didn’t do anything until he stabbed her in the stomach.” Ashton cringed “well lets just hope they don’t come back. If they do I’ll record it again. If it escaltes more I will have two times on film”

“Maybe you shouldn’t open alone, just incase. Bring James with you” Ashton laughed “James would rip out their throats and there would go my boyfriend. Most men like that are all bark and not much bite. I’ve been hurt on very few occasions.”

“They seemed serious though Ashton. My brother is here visiting me. I’ll have him bring me early so we can be in the parking lot so you don’t come in alone. He’s pretty kick ass like your boyfriend and can be talked down much easier. He was thinking of joining the classes your boyfriend teaches.” Ashton smiled “Thank you”

“No problem, you’re such a sweetie and I’m not going to let some insecure men bully you. I bet you anything they just want your body and dont want to admit it” Ashton laughed “lets get back to work” Ashton saved the video on his phone and walked back inside with Shauna who called her brother on the way in to ask if he woudl come early to work with her and explained what happened. When she hung up she said “he would be happy to”

“If he goes to James classes I don’t want him telling James. He seriously flips”

“I’ll talk to him Ashton. You just take your cute butt back to work so you can bring home some money for that model you have. Thats an idea too, I bet they are jealous of your boyfriend. I know I am” Ashton laughed again and shook his head. The people he worked with were all so nice and friendly. He really loved his job.

James was growing a little frustrated with one of the women he was teaching mixed martial arts to. He had started a self defense class for women at a gym and one woman in particular, named Heather, was not satisfied with his answer of being gay and in a relationship. She would purposely fail at learning certain moves just to get close to him. “Hey James, am I doing this right?” A woman named Anita asked while she grappled with her partner.

“Not quite.” He made a slight adjustment to her stance.

“Thanks James.”

“Remember I don’t want you guys to injure each other, I just want you to get a feel for the hold. Keep practicing, even at home. I want it to be perfect, flawless. Dana if you keep doing that you’re going to hurt your wrist.”

They practiced until lunch time then he allowed them to go home. Heather stayed behind to help him clean up the mat they practiced on. He rolled his eyes, but kept silent. “So, do you want to have a drink with me later?” She asked.

“No, I’m not big on alcohol.” He did have an occasional beer, but only with his close friends.

“Come on, it’s just one little drink.”

“No thank you.” She was suddenly standing beside him and he came to his feet and walked into the washroom to toss his rag in the hamper. She followed him. He was cornered so he just stared passively down at her. “Is there anything else you’d like to ask me?” He could tell by her movements that she was about to try and kiss him and grabbed her arms before she got them around his neck. “Don’t come back tomorrow.” He said angrily before moving her out of the way and leaving.

His patience had run completely out with that. It was highly unlikely but he didn’t want her to succeed in fondling him somehow or kissing him. He only wanted Ashton kissing him and touching him the way Heather wanted to. He had no other classes to teach today so decided to go to the store and buy some stuff to romance Ashton tonight. James planned on getting him flowers and buying a movie. He would wander around the store to see if anything gave him an idea. Ashton wouldn’t be off work for a few more hours so James had plenty of time.  He pulled up to Harris Tetter, knowing they always had beautiful bouquets near the front of the store. James decided to pick a movie from Red Box first since nobody else was there. He knew if he didn’t do it now there would be a long line later simply because he didn’t do it now. James decided on Love and other disasters, Tucker and Dale VS Evil, along with The Ramen Girl so Ashton would have a choice of what to see.

He didn’t feel like carrying the movies so he took them out to his car then went back inside. James had a harder time picking out flowers. he just stood there until a lady came up beside him “trying to pick somthing for your girlfriend?”

“Boyfriend and yes” She blushed “Well I like the ones on the top row that are all the way to the left” James grabbed them “these?”

“Yes, sorry for assuming they were for a girl”

“Don’t be sorry, there’s less gay people than straight. I really appreciate your help”

“He should love them” The lady said as she walked away. James strode around the store thinking. He decided to buy what he needed for Honey Pecan Chicken. He knew they had instant potatoes at home he could use as a side. James thought dessert would be good too so he grabbed some sugar cookies aswell. James couldn’t wait to see Ashtons smile tonight. He bought his groceries and headed home. Once he was inside he laid the flowers on the table and looked at the time. He hadn’t made Honey Pecan Chicken in awhile so he went ahead and started preparing it so he could be slow and careful.

He happily cooked then set the food in a small pan and turned the oven on it’s lowest setting to keep the food warm. James looked at the time and was glad the girls class didn’t wear him out so he barely sweat. James smiled, he could always take a shower with Ashton later tonight. James put his deodorant on then pulled his shirt off before messing with his hair until it laid the way he could tell Ashton preferred. Once he was ready he looked at the time again and took the food out, turning off the oven.

“Are you sure you’re okay to lock up alone tonight?” Shauna asked at the front door.

“Yes, no worries. If those idiots show up again I’ll call the cops.” Ashton reassured her.

“Don’t try to fight them okay, just run.”

“You saying I can’t hold my own? James has showed me a few things.”

“I’m sure he has.” She winked and he blushed. “See you in the morning Ashton.”

Ashton got to work sweeping and mopping the floors then made sure to put the list of things they needed to order on the desk in his office. He would call first thing in the morning. He was tired, but very excited to be going home. He grabbed his keys and made sure the front door was securely locked before turning to leave. He froze when he saw the men from before setting in the parking lot again watching him. He took a deep breath and walked to his car, reaching in his pocket and grabbing his phone. He managed to get his car unlocked and get behind the wheel. He got out of the parking lot as quickly as he could, not willing to wait around and see what would happen.

Marcel had not counted on Ashton having any balls. In his experience gays had only ever been sniveling, whining little wusses who always begged for their lives. It pissed him off that the pretty little bastard would so readily stand up to his men. He sent them a message ordering them to take Ashton the next morning while he was unlocking the store. He was sure he could get him to beg like all the others.

When Ashton finally made it home he took a couple of minutes to collect himself before heading in. The most delicious smell met his nose, but before he could see where it was coming from, he was wrapped in a tight hug and being kissed. “Welcome home.” James said, making him smile

“Happy to be home. I missed you today.” He replied and wrapped his arms around James’s neck. “I love my job, but I feel a little lonely when you’re not around.”

“Me too, you should start coming to my classes.”

“I’ll think about it. What is that yummy smell?”

“More interested in the food than me huh? Well I guess it can’t be helped.” He teased then kissed him again. “Come on, let’s eat.”

Ashton smiled when James grabbed the flowers from the center of the table and gave them to him. Ashton smiled “You’re so sweet”

“you like them?”

“Very much, they should be in water since they are real. I want to keep them as long as possible.” Ashton went to grab a vase then came back, filling it with water and setting it in the center of the table. James hugged Ashton from behind and kisses his neck “I’m really glad you like them so much. Lets hope dinner is just as big of a hit.”

“It certainly smells amazing” They sat down together and took their first bite. Ashton almost moaned it tasted so amazing. “wow” was all he could say and James gave a proud smile. Ashton took a few more bites then asked “what did I do to deserve this?” James swallowed what was in his mouth and said “just being you, you make me so happy Ashton. You are by far the greatest boyfriend I’ve ever had. I love you so much. I just wanted to remind you of that” Ashton smiled “it was a hard day at work today. I needed this, thank you”

“It only gets better, I got three movies from Red Box. We can watch whichever one you feel like after we eat” Ashton ate slowly, savoring his food. James happiness kept building as he watched Ashton to the point he wanted him to finsih so he could cuddle with him on the couch. The second Ashtons plate was clean James picked it up and rinsed it off in the sink then started heating the oven for cookies. Ashton walked over to the living room table, knowing that’s where James would’ve put the movies. He looked at them and couldn’t decide. He decided a laugh would do him good in preparation for whatever those men did tomorrow so he chose Tucker and Dale since he heard a few customers talking about how funny it was. Ashton put the movie in the DVD player and walked into the kitchen. James walked over and held Ashton in a hug “I’m making us sugar cookies. This stupid oven is taking too long to preheat” Ashton chuckled “you just turned it on. If you want to watch the movie that badly lets not have cookies. We can eat them a night when you aren’t in such a lovey mood.”

“you sure?”

“yes, now turn off the oven.” James turned it off then carried Ashton to the couch “what did you pick?”

“Tucker and Dale” James grabbed the remote to get it to the menu then pressed play. James positioned himself and Ashton so they were laying on their side on the couch. They had bought a large couch so they could do this comfortably. James kept one arm over Ashton while the other supported his head. As the movie played James hand traveled more and more until he pushed it under Ashtons shirt to slide it across his skin. Ashton laughed “I thought you wanted to watch a movie with me.”

“I have my shirt off, you should too, it isn’t fair”

“Good excuse.” Ashton gave a happy sigh and sat up to pull his shirt off. He was still a little self conscious about his looks since he was a lot thinner and kind of on the short side.

“I know what you’re thinking and you better stop.” James said and pulled him back down. “I love the way you look.” He kissed the back of Ashton’s neck.

“I know, it’s just I’m such a string bean. You’re all muscular and I’m built like your sister, well minus the tits and rounded hips, but still.”

James laughed and gave him a squeeze. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

James let Ashton watch the movie, enjoying his laughter. By the time the credits started rolling Ashton was sound asleep. He kissed his cheek then switched off the TV and gently shook him awake. “Let’s get in bed.” He said softly and Ashton groaned. “Come on, if we fall asleep here you’ll be late for work in the morning.”

“I don’t know why I’m so tired. You work harder than me training people.”

“Your job is both physically and mentally draining though. You’re on your feet all day, you have to deal with belligerent customers and making sure everything is in order. I have to say your job is way more exhausting than mine.”

“You’re so sweet.” He sat up and rubbed his eyes then headed for their room. He flopped down on the bed and made sure his alarm was set.

“Did you forget your pants?”

“Nope, just to tired to care.” James chuckled and pulled Ashton’s pants off then tugged off his own shorts before climbing in next to him. “You didn’t have to do that, I could have slept in them.”

“Not comfortably.”

“You’d be surprised.”

James pulled him into his arms and Ashton rested his head on his chest. He gave a contented sigh and kissed his chest. His favorite place would always be in James’s arms. He felt so safe and warm when he was with him. He even had an amazing new family thanks to him. He had never known that kind of loving acceptance, that promise of always sticking together no matter what happened. He was very thankful.

“Thank you for dinner and the flowers and just being the most amazing boyfriend in the world.” Ashton said sleepily.

“I’ll do anything to make you happy, now go to sleep.”

Ashton was soon sleeping soundly. He fell asleep not even thinking about those men that harrassed him this morning. James had this amazing power to make him forget everything else about the world.James laid awake a little longer just to enjoy Ashton in his arms. He couldn’t wait until their day off together in two days. Without even trying, the relaxation of being with Ashton put James to sleep. Neither of them wanted to move when the alarm sounded. They pressed snooze twice but the third time Ashton knew he had no other option but to wake up. James releuctantly got up, hoping Heather would stay away. He would hate to get a restraining order on her but he would if she forced his hand. He would need one so he wouldn’t lose his patience and accidently hurt her. As annoying as she was he would feel terrible if that happened. “want to take a shower with me Ashton?”

“sure” They both stripped and went into the bathroom. Ashton got the water ready and they stepped in. James could see the lust in Ashtons eyes as he washed him.James laughed “well if someone hadn’t fallen asleep last night we could have made love” Ashton smiled “well tonight that’s what we’re doing the second I come home” James smile grew wider “good, I can’t wait” James said then gently bit Ashtons shoulder. “Hey, stop that or I wont leave on time”

“So?”

“Be good James and you’ll be rewarded tonight” James chuckled happily then pulled Ashton into a hug as the hot water ran over them. They stood there until Ashton knew he had to hurry, Shauna and her brother would be meeting him this morning and he didn’t want them out there alone any more than Shauna wanted him to be out there alone. “I’ve really got to go” Ashton said softly and with absolutely no conviction. James released him and they turned off the water. Ashton grabbed a towel from under the sink and dried as fast as he could before putting on his work uniform. James made them both bagels which Ashton opted to eat on the way. “well you can’t leave without a kiss”

“Of course I can’t” Ashton said as pushed his lips against James’s. James wrapped his arms around Ashton to savour the kiss a little while then released him from work. “You know you don’t have to work right? I make enough for both of us” Ashton smiled and gave him another light kiss “I know, I just enjoy my job” Ashton grabbed his breakfast bagel and his lunch for the day then headed out the door and down to his car. James sighed then went into their bedroom to get himself ready for the day. On his way out James took Tucker and Dale out of the DVD player to return it after work. He kept the other two movies so they could watch them another time.

When Ashton got to work he didn’t see a sign of Shauna or her brother. He also didn’t see the men from the day before. He checked around him before getting out of his car and making his way quickly across the parking lot. His heart was hammering out a fearful tat too as he pulled out he is keys. It was the sight of blood on the door handle that first warned him he was in danger. He dropped his keys in shock and pulled out his cell, hastily dialing 911. The sound of feet moving across pavement alerted him that he was not alone and he was struck from behind just as the dispatcher answered. He dropped his phone and turned to defend himself from the three men from yesterday. He managed to hit one of them in the throat the way James had showed him. The man choked and staggered backwards, obviously in shock.

The other two were on top of him in an instant and beating him mercilessly. He was sure the dispatcher heard everything and hoped that would be enough for them to get the cops here. He fell face first onto the pavement, hurting everywhere. He groaned in agony and the man he had punched kicked him in the ribs. “Little fucking piece of shit.” He said in a pained whisper that would have made Ashton laugh any other time.

“Did you make sure the other two are tied up tight?” Another asked.

“Yeah, we left them in the back. They’re both out.”

Ashton was glad that at least the very protective Shauna and her brother were not dead. He knew they were probably just as hurt as he was, but at least they were alive. He was suddenly being dragged away and thrown into the back of a van where he was bound, gagged, and blindfolded. He did his best to stay calm, taking deep breaths and trying to think of a way out of this situation.

James was happy when he didn’t see Heather. They were one person short so he offered to spar with the odd woman out. They were all nervous since he was a lot bigger, but with some coaxing he managed to get Anita to be his partner. He had the women put on sparring helmets and put in their mouth guards. In reality he knew they would have neither of those, but until they were in better control of their movements he thought it would be a good idea.

“Good, you guys are doing amazing. Remember fluid, controlled movements. Don’t be afraid to kick the shot out of me Anita, I do this in the ring a lot.” An hour later he heard his cell ringing. The ring tone was something he didn’t really like, but Ashton had put it on there and said it was his favorite song so James didn’t have the heart to take it off. He called a break and the girls stopped to take a sip of water.

James answered the call and the deputy, who was obviously used to making these sorts of calls due to the lack of emotion in his voice said “Is this James?”

“Yes it is”

“I’m with your local police department. I’m sorry but I’ve called to inform you that your boyfriend has been kidnapped from his place of work and we’re looking into it. His friend Shauna and her brother Todd gave us what information they knew and we would like to ask you a few questions at the station. We will tell you in more detail what we know so far when you are here. Once again I’m very sorry. Please come right away” James heart sped up and he said he would be coming right now. “I’m sorry ladies but class is over. I’ll refund you for all of today even though we’ve gotten through most the class” They could hear the panic in James voice “what’s wrong”

“I don’t have time.” James said as he ran out. He jumped in his car and drove straight to the police department. When James walked in and told an officer who he was and why he was there the officer got a very shocked look on his face that this man was Ashtons partner. They would have never expected a man that looked like him to be gay. Officer Mullings stood “I’m the officer that called you. Come with me to an interrogation room so you wotn be bothered of the racket in the office while we talk.” James silently obeyed and they both sat down. Mullings sat there nervously, if eyes could kill he would be laying there dead. James looked absolutely outraged, all the panic gone and replaced by adrenaline to find Ashton. “Sorry it took us so long to call you but Shauna didn’t know your number and we also had to wait until we could get her and her brother Todd awake. Thankfully this happened in a viewpoint of one of the stores few cameras but you can’t see everything because it’s the camera that’s supposed to view people walking in and Ashtons assault happend in front of the doors outside. The store has already given us the video and one of our deputies are reviewing it. From what I understand this all started yesterday and I was hoping your boyfriend came home and talked to you about it.”

“He didn’t tell me anything about anybody” The man sighed “that’s what I was afraid of, Shauna said Ashton wasn’t planning on telling you. She didn’t see the whole altercation but as she was walking by the doors she saw Ashton outside surrounded by three men. When she walked out she heard one of the men say “You think you’re so tough don’t you, you stupid fag.” then the man pushed Ashton, almost knocking him down. The man then continued “We’ll come on then, fight back, do something.” With another shove he said. “Look, he’s totally scared.” The cop looked at James again who looked even more menacing somhow. “Um, then she told them she called the cops and they left Ashton alone. Shauna and Todd were worried about Ashton so they went to work early this morning so he wouldn’t come in alone incase they came back. They were beaten and tied up so were no help to Ashton once he arrived. I ahven’t seen the video from the camera yet but deputy Dantzler should be done soon”

Chapter Two

“He should have said something damn it.” James slammed his hand against the table. “Why didn’t he say anything?”

“Most of the time the victim of a hate crime thinks they can handle it on their own or maybe he thought it wouldn’t escalate to kidnapping and assault.” Mulling cleared is throat. “We also found his phone, Shauna said he recorded his first encounter with these guys so we have a couple of faces.”

“Can I see it, maybe I know them.”

“It might not be a good idea.”

“Please, I just want him home. If I can help then let me.”

Mullings didn’t want to further enrage or panic this man. Even though they were setting in the middle of a police station he was still scared out of his mind. He had never been so intimidated in his life. “Alright, just wait here.” James got up and paced, wondering why these men had targeted Ashton. He never hurt anyone, he was one of the sweetest guys on the world. He never lied or cheated or argued. Mullings came back with another officer who was wheeling in a TV. “We thought you might want to see the video too.” He showed James the video on the phone first. James studied the faces of the three men, but had no idea who they were. They then put the video in. He felt himself get angrier at the sight of his boyfriend being attacked. The only time his anger wavered was when he saw Ashton hit one of the guys. He was very proud of him. Ashton had never been a fighter, but when he was cornered he had done whatever it took to survive.

Ashton had a splitting headache and it hurt to breathe. He didn’t think anything was broken, but it was definitely bruised. The van came to a stop and the back doors opened he was dragged out and forced to walk. His arms were untied and he was forced to sit in a chair that he was promptly tied to. He struggled against his bonds and was punched on the face. His blindfold was torn off and he blinked to bring the faces of his kidnappers into focus. He knew their leader immediately, had seen a picture on of his friends had taken to warn others about Marcel’s hate for gays.

“So the little homo is still awake. How shocking.” He said.

“Because your men fight like girls. Maybe they’re bigger fairies than me.” He was hit in the face again, the force whipping his head to the side and hurting his neck. He knew it had been stupid to taunt these men, but he was more pissed than scared.

“Watch your fucking mouth or I’ll cut out your tongue.”

Ashton started laughing and then glared up at Marcel. “You won’t be able to walk when he finds you. If I were you, I would let me go because whatever you do to me he’s going to do worse to you.” He spit some blood out of his mouth.

“You talk big, but we all know you’re not a fighter. Your nothing but a pansie bitch.”

“You’re right, but at least I’m a pansie bitch with a boyfriend who is going to kill you when he finds you and that gives me the strength to stand up to you and not be afraid.”

His words earned him another punch in the face. One of Ashtons teeth came loose but didn’t fall out from the force. More blood filled Ashtons mouth but he showed as little of the pain he was in as possible. He wished he would have had James take him to work but he didn’t think they would go from causing trouble in the parking lot to this. If Ashton would have known Marcel was behind it from the start he definitly would have told James right away. Ashton hoped that James atleast knew he wasn’t at work. Ashton then noticed he couldn’t feel his phone and silently cursed. There was no hope in fumbling for it and making another call. The men started berrating him and became angrier as he barely even listened.

Ashton concentrated on James and the romantic evening they shared. He regretted falling asleep now. His thoughts were stopped when Marcel punched him in the gut, knocking the wind out of him. Marcel yelled ‘leave me alone with this disgusting piece of shit!” They all said yes sir and walked out. Marcel grabbed Ashtons jaw roughly causing Ashton more pain where the tooth had bene knocked loose. “You listen to us when we talk faggot! I promise you, before you die you will cry and beg for me to stop”

“I don’t and won’t beg. My boyfriend is coming, just wait and see”He recieved another blow to his cheek. This time the tooth came out. Ashton was relieved it wasn’t too near the front so it wouldn’t look ugly when he smiled. His teeth were near perfect and now this one man and his assholes friends destroyed the mouth he had worked so ahrd to maintain. They took away one of the few things he was proud of and felt anywhere near equal to James.

James finally calmed down enough to call his sister and Kellen. He needed to talk to someone before he exploded. Capricia was shocked and told him she would meet him at his house. He hung up and told Mullings he was headed home, but to call him if they found anything. Mullings asked if James had a picture of Ashton and he told him there was probably one of them together on the phone. He was allowed to leave and quickly drove home. Capricia and Kellen were waiting for him outside and his sister pulled him into a hug where he finally cried.

“It’s okay, let’s get inside.” She said softly and he unlocked the front door. “Tell us what happened?”

“Some men attacked and kidnapped Ashton, they beat him up really bad.” James flopped down on the couch and buried his face in his hands. Capricia sat down next to him and wrapped her arms around his shoulders.

“Do the cops know anything?”

“Not yet. He didn’t tell me he was being harassed.”

“He probably thought he could handle it himself.” Capricia said softly.

“That’s what the cop said. He should have told me so I could have kicked the shit out of them.” He cried harder.

“I wonder if the news is reporting on it yet.” James shrugged and Kellen switched on the TV. He flipped through the channels until he landed on a station that was reporting on Ashton. They showed the pictures of the kidnappers and Capricia screamed at Kellen to pause the TV.

“I know that guy.” She said and pointed to the one in a red baseball cap. “He came into the veterinary clinic when I was volunteering there. He has a Rottweiler named Hannah. His name is Robert Clements.”

“would the vet have records of his address?”

“Yeah, but they aren’t really allowed to give them out. Maybe Austin would make an exception because of this. I’ll have to talk to him.”

“Then please hurry and talk to them” Capricia had never seen such a heartbroken look on James’s face before. Capricia opened her phone and dialed the clinic since she didn’t have Austins personal number. “Hey is Austin Jennings there?” The woman on the other end said yes and handed Austin the phone. “Hey capricia, what’s up” She explained everything and what she saw. He told her not to tell anybody how she got his home address and he gave it to her. Once it was written down on paper James brought over to her she hung up “Thank goodness Austin has a crush on me. He could get in serious trouble for giving me this address. We should check it out.”

Capricia grabbed James’s hand “Remember James, he can’t tell us anything about where Ashton is if you kill him. If you kill any of these men you’ll go to jail.”

“I wouldn’t kill them but they will be suffering when I’m done”

“Good, you better pay them back for hurting Ashton” James didn’t have a GPS so they took Kellens car. Capricia typed in the address and they took off. James stomach was in knots from all the anger, worry and sheer terror hoping they weren’t hurting him too badly. James tried not to imagine what may be happening to Ashton. His mind wasn’t giving him any mercy though and he once again began crying. Capricia wished she would have gotten in the back seat now. She knew she wouldn’t be much comfort. If she wasn’t pregnant she would have crawled over the seat.

Once they pulled up to the house Kellen said in a serious tone “You are staying in this car Capricia.”

“Yes you are” James added sternlt. “Ok, don’t kill me too boys” Kellen kissed her head. “Lock the doors and call me if anybody even looks at you for too long”

“I will, just get in there incase this is where they have Ashton.” James and Kellen got out then Capricia locked the doors. Once they heard that sound Kellen and James approached the house. There wasn’t any cars there but they knocked anyway. James about punched a hole through the door with how load he knocked “I don’t think anyone is here James. Let me take Capricia home where she will be safe and then I’ll wait with you here. Want to come or wait?”

“wait, I can handle any of them. You get my baby sister safe” Kellen nodded and ran to the car. James walked around and tried windows until he found one that gave. James smiled thinking of how stupid this man was. James crawled in and shut the window back. It would be easy to take him by surprise in the house. James started searching for any guns and knives. He collected all the ones he could find and put them in a grocery bag before sliding them under the bed.

Ashton was barely conscious and his body was in so much pain. He wanted to cry, but absolutely refused to. He was panting, trying to catch his breath after the beating he had just received. The chair had been knocked over so he lay on the cold, damp floor. Marcel had taken a break, but promised to return. He wiggled his wrists, the rope tearing into his skin until he started to bleed. He heard footsteps and pretended to be unconscious. The footsteps came into the room and crossed over to him. The chair was tipped back up and he kept himself as limp as possible.

“Wake up faggot.” Marcel said close to his face. He reeked of booze. “I said wake up.” He hit Ashton in the face and he jerked his head up to glare at him. “Not done with you yet.”

“Stop this and let me go home.” Ashton said angrily. Marcel gripped his hair and wrenched his head back. There was suddenly a knife in his hand and he had it pressed against his throat.

“I don’t take orders from no queer. I’ll slit your fucking throat and have you special delivered to your boyfriend. I still can’t believe he’s one of you, maybe you’re forcing him to be gay. Maybe he’d thank us for cutting you up.”

“Fuck you.” He spit blood in Marcel’s face, making the man growl and stab him in the stomach, leaving the knife there in his drunken state.

“Don’t worry, that wasn’t fatal. I’m not ready to kill you yet.”

He left Ashton in agony once again. Ashton wiggled his arm again, the blood making his skin slick. He worked hard and finally slipped himself free. He gritted his teeth and pulled the knife from his abdomen. He cut himself loose and tried to stand. He fell on his hands and knees then struggled back up. He gripped his stomach with one hand, while the other held the knife. He walked slowly to the door to the dimly lit room he was in and pushed it slowly open. He could see from a window that he was in the middle of nowhere which frustrated him. He decided to find somewhere to hide. He moved silently through the house, listening. There were some stairs and he went slowly up them. He found a crawl space in one of the bathrooms and tugged the small door open and crawled inside. He moved as far back as he could and around a corner, hiding quietly in the walls and finally allowing himself to silently cry.

Marcel sent Robert home to get the beer he had in his fridge and his pornography collection. “where the fuck is Robert” Marcel slurred making Ernest shrug. As Robert walked in his front door he was suddenly slammed onto the floor. Robert was pressed on his stomach and James had his arm twisted behind his back. James had it right at the point of breaking then asked menacingly “where’s my boyfriend Ashton?” When Robert didn’t answer James broke his arm causing him to scream. James flipped him and punched him hard in the face, knocking out teeth with every blow. “where the fuck is my boyfriend!” Kellen ran in and froze not sure of what to do. This time Robert answered “He’s at Marcels” James had him by the throat but it was loose enough for Robert to talk. “what’s the fucking address?”

Robert told him then James broke his other arm and one of his legs before leaving with Kellen. Robert just laid screaming with the immense pain. Kellen was actually a little nervous even though he knew James wouldn’t hurt him. Kellen started the car and James typed in the address. Once it was leading them James wiped the screen with his shirt “sorry for the blood.” James wiped his hands on his shirt so he wouldn’t get blood on anything else he touched. “it’s ok James, remember what Capricia said though. You can’t kill anybody”

“I wont but when I go into Marcels you call an ambulance for that monster I left. Once you’re done come inside. I need you to get Ashton out of the house.”

“Ok” They drove until there was nothing but farms and woods. They turned onto a dirt path that became gravel about halfway up. They drove up it until a house came into view. Kellen went slower to decrease the chances of the men hearing their car. James about gave Kellen a heart attack when he suddenly opened the door and ran for the house. Kellen worried they may have guns. Kellen parked and called an ambulance then called the police and told them where they were. The police were upset they went alone but Kellen didn’t care. Ashton could die waiting on them to do somthing.

“I think Robert’s back.” Ernest said.

“It’s about fucking time.” Marcel said angrily. The front door burst open and they were both shocked to see James. Marcel dove over the back of the couch, leaving Ernest all alone with the very terrifying cage fighter.

“Please, don’t…” Ernest said as he slowly stood with hands up. James punched him hard in the face, sending him falling over the couch. He went after Marcel, seeing red.

“Come out you fucking coward.” James said through gritted teeth. Kellen came in and checked Ernest’s pulse, relieved to find him alive. “That fucker is still down here somewhere.”

“Then I’ll go up and search the upstairs for Ashton.” Kellen said and moved quietly up the stairs. “Ashton.” He said as he moved from room to room. “Ashton, it’s Kellen.”

Ashton was jerked awake by a voice. He froze, gripping the knife so tightly his knuckles turned white. He was so weak, his body a mass of cuts, bruises, and cramped muscles. “Ashton, come on out.” His heart skipped a beat. He knew that voice. He crawled back toward the small door and shoved it open, almost falling on his face.

“Kellen, I’m here.” Footsteps came running toward him and Kellen grabbed him by his shoulders and helped him to his feet. He winced and hissed in pain.

“Holy fucking shit, what did they do to you?”

“A lot of things, even stabbed me. Is James here?”

“He’s downstairs.”

“He has to be careful, Marcel is a real bastard. He fights dirty.”

“Don’t worry about him, lets just get you out of this house.” Kellen pulled Ashton’s arm around his neck then wrapped one of his around Ashton’s waist. He took him slowly downstairs and outside where he sat him down next to the car. James was nowhere to be seen.

“You have to make sure James doesn’t kill Marcel, please go back in there and watch over him.”

Kellen tugged off his shirt and handed it to Ashton “press that into the knife wound. You have obviosuly lost too much blood with how ghostly you look right now” Ashton smiled and did as he was told “thank you” even his voice sounded weak. ‘Just stay alive, James needs you Ashton.”

“Just run and find him before he does somthing that will put him in jail. Are the cops coming?”

“Yes, I already called them”

“Ok, run” Kellen was afraid for Ashton but knew James needed someone to keep him from murdering Marcel. Kellen ran back into the house. It worried him that there wasn’t any sound. He ran around and realized James nor Marcil were in the upper level of the house so Kellen looked for the basement. Ashton just concentrated on breathing and forcing himself to press the shirt into the wound. It made him hurt worse but it slowed the blood and he knew they were far away from a hospital that could close him up. Ashton shifted himself to lay down on his back so less blood would come out.

Fighting sleep was hard but he worried about waking up again if he passed out. He wasn’t leaving James, wouldn’t let these bastards end his life. Ashton kept breathing through the pain as he clutched Kellens shirt. When James opened the basement door was when he finally heard them and ran down. There was blood everywhere and Marcel barely even resemebled himself but Kellen could tell he was alive. “stop James! I have Ashton! He’s outside! Stop before you kill the bastard!” James groaned angrily as he got off the sobbing man. James pushed past Kellen and walked out. Kellen caught up to him “Ashton looks pretty bad and they stabbed him but he is doing ok. He was able to walk with my help”

“I wish I could kill them” He said icely as he exited the house and saw Ashton laying in the grass. He could see from here how badly beaten Ashton was and ran. His anger turned into a river of tears. Ashton heard James coming and opened his eyes as James picked him up. Ashton gave James a small smile which made James cry worse. It wasn’t long after that they finally heard the cop cars and ambulances. Kellen called Capricia while James took Ashton over to an ambulance.

“You shouldn’t have come here by yourself.” Mullings said as he rushed angrily over to James who just shot him a very dark look.

“The fucker you’re after is crying in the basement, go arrest him before I go back in there and snap his neck.” James said as he climbed into the ambulance with Ashton. Mullings swallowed, feeling like he had just cheated death.

“I’m okay James, just a little roughed up.” Ashton said as they stuck an IV in him. James took his hand and Ashton gave him a reassuring squeeze.

“You should have told me you were being harassed.”

“You have enough to deal with already. I didn’t want to worry you and I guess I wanted to be able to take care of myself for once. I hit one of them on the throat, I was so surprised.” He gave a small chuckle. “If you had waited I would have had then right where I wanted them.” James cracked a smile. “There we go, that’s what I want to see.” The ambulance hit a bump and Ashton groaned.

“Sorry.” The driver said and James shot him a dirty look that made the man cringe even though he couldn’t see his face.

“Stop being so short tempered.” Ashton said, drawing James’s attention back to him.

When they finally made it to the hospital Ashton was taken quickly away and James was asked to fill out some paperwork for him. He was crying so hard he couldn’t even see the words on the paper. Kellen and Capricia came in soon after and she handed the paperwork off to Kellen. She held her brother, wiping away his tears and shushing him. He only spoke when Kellen asked him for answers to some of the questions on the paper.

“I’m so scared sis.”

“I know sweetie, but he’ll pull through. He’s really strong even for such a little guy.”

“I know, I just can’t help but worry. I’ve been so panicked since the police called me to let me know he had been taken. There was so much blood all over him. I really wished I could have pounded into those monsters harder. How could they do that to him?”

“Don’t think about it. Just think about the fact doctors have him now and are making him better” James nodded as he continued to cry and hug his sister. A few hours later a nurse called James and the nurse told him he could see Ashton now. “Can they come?”

“It’s fine James. Call us when he’s awake. You need to be alone with him”

“Thanks Capricia and Kellen, for everything”

“You’re welcome” They both said as James was lead away and Kellen turned in the paperwork. The nurse told James that Ashton would most likely be sleeping until tomorrow somtime but he was stable. James pulled up a chair next to Ashtons bed and grabbed his hand. James brought it to his lips to place a gentle kiss on it. “I love you Ashton” James whispered as a few tears drops escaped his eyes. James still felt scared, like more terrible men were going to take Ashton away and hurt him. James stayed awake all night watching Ashton to make sure he was ok. Ashton woke around nine thirty, his eyes meeting James. Ashton smiled “stop looking so sad handsome. A frown doesn’t suit you” James leaned over and kissed Ashton.

“are you feeling ok?”

“Yeah, they have me on some serious pain killers.” James couldn’t resist kissing Ashtons lips again. James softly pushed his forehead into Ashtons. “Please, always tell me if someone bothering you. I can’t go through this again. I need you so much, so incredibly much Ashton. I’ve never been more afraid in my life. Please tell me that you will let me know if you’re having trouble with anyone.”

“I’ll tell you James, I’m sorry I didn’t this time”

“Don’t be sorry Ashton. Could I get in the bed and hold you?”

“I’d really like that but are you allowed”

‘Do you think I care what this hospital says?” Ashton slowly moved over and James pulled out his phone “I told Capricia and Kellen I would tell them when you were up” James sent them a text then placed his phone beside the bed. James was careful not to lay on any wires as he climbed in beside Ashton. James felt relief when he had Ashton once again in his arms where nothing could harm him. It gave Ashton relief too as he leaned his head against James. Ashton let out a breath of laughter when he noticed James was much too big for half the hospital bed. “Honey I’m fine, You are too big to be laying like that. It looks uncomfortable” Just as he finsihed his sentence James was crying again. “I don’t care, I have to hold you. Just let me and don’t worry about how comfortable I am”

Chapter Three

“I’m really okay. That bastard knocked my tooth out though. I worked so hard for something and then that asshole goes and takes it from me.”

“It’s just a tooth and I didn’t even notice.”

“It’s closer to the back of my mouth and one of the top teeth.”

James lifted his head and frowned at him. “How can you be worried about a tooth? You got the shit beat out of you.”

Ashton teared up and James kissed his cheek. “It was just something to be proud of. I can’t fight, I’m not strong, the only thing I’m good at is my job.”

“Please don’t cry. I didn’t mean to sound so upset. You look amazing no matter what. I love you.” He brushed his fingers through Ashton’s hair and kissed him again. “I just hate seeing you in pain.”

“I kind of brought it on myself. I may have got a little mouthy with Marcel. I told him he had repressed homosexual desires.” James actually laughed even though he didn’t want to. He kept kissing him as he laughed and Ashton smiled happily. There was a light knock on the door and Capricia and Kellen came in. James got up so Capricia could hug Ashton.

“I was so scared.” She said and then kissed his forehead. “Little guy like you getting beat up.”

“You’re not much bigger than me. I guess us little people should stick together. Strength in numbers.” They both laughed.

“How are you feeling?” Kellen asked.

“Alive.” He smiled warmly.

“Good, I’m glad. We just wanted to come by and see of you guys needed anything. Clothes? Non hospital food? Tickets to somewhere you can get married?”

“Excuse me?” James and Ashton said at the same time.

“You two have been talking about it for awhile now and we figured it would be a nice thing to do for you after all this crap. I’ll send you anywhere you want to go. It’ll be a nice vacation.”

James teared up again and Ashton joked “You may want to ask him that when I’m not so ugly, I can’t fix my missing tooth but the rest of this” Ashton couldn’t finish what he was saying. James had once again pressed his lips against Ashtons. When James pulled back he said ‘shut up, you are handsome even now. I want to marry you so badly. I’ve meant it all the times I’ve said somthing Ashton. Where do you want to go to get married.” Ashton smiled with damp eyes where all can gay men get married Kellen?”

“I’ve already looked it up” Said Capricia excitedly. She began naming off states and James looked at Ashtoin, wanting him to choose. “why not Hawaii? I’ve never been but could we wait until my face is healed?”

“Of course we can” James kissed Ashton again and Capricia squeled excitedly. “Big or small?”

“I just want your parents there, Shauna and her brother, you and kellen and thats it unless James wants anybody”

“No, just you” James said softly and went over to hug Kellen. “Thank you so much. I can’t tell you what this means to me”

“You two deserve to get married more than a lot of straight people do. We’re going to let you two ahve your alone time. I know how I was when Capricia got hurt. Want some clothes?”

“Please” Ashton said. Kellen nodded “we’ll bring back somthing from Taco Bell too”

“Thanks” James and Ashton both said. Once Capricia and Kellen were gone James crawled back into the bed. “we need to hire someone to take pictures of us getting married” James said as gently wrapped his arms around Ashton again. “I’m sure Kellen wouldn’t mind doing that.” James lightly rubbed Ashtons cheek saying “so you’re taking my last name right?” Ashton laughed and James kissed him. When James pulled back Ashton said with a bright smile “of course” James grabbed his cellphone. “what’re you texting” Ashton asked making James smile “I’m asking him to buy us two wedding bands. I want us to go ahead and start wearing them” It warmed Ashtons heart and sent butterflys through him how excited James was about getting married.

When Kellen recieved the text he smiled “I guess we’re making a stop at the first wedding ring store we see. They want bands.”

“aw” Capricia said happily. They saw a Kays when they were almost to Ashton and James apartment. They quickly bought two silverbands then went into their home to get clothes for each of them. Once they had that they stopped at Taco bell then returned to the hospital. Whenthey arrived Ashton was sleeping again so Kellen whsipered “we have everything” Capricia handed James his ring and he slipped it on while tears dripped from his eyes again. “give me Ashtons” Capricia did and James slid it on Ashtons finger as gently as he could.

“We’ll just leave the food here. Call if you need anything else, day or night.” Capricia whispered. “I have him up every night at midnight to get me chocolate anyway.” She kissed Ashton’s forehead and then she and Kellen snuck out. James pressed his forehead against Ashton’s temple and draped an arm protectively over his chest. Nothing would take him away again. He allowed himself to drift off, his head feeling with nightmares.

Ashton woke when he heard James crying again. He looked at him, seeing he was still asleep, his face twisted in agony. He was having a nightmare and it had to be something bad enough to scare him in his sleep. He leaned in and kissed him lightly on the lips. James’s breathing evened out and his expression changed from anguish to calmness. Ashton felt so bad for putting him through so much. He was sure James would be very exhausted the next couple of days. The next thing he noticed was the third finger on his left hand felt weird. He was a little worried so lifted it up to look at it. He almost started crying when he saw the silver band. It was simple yet incredibly beautiful at the same time.

“I love you so much.” He said softly. “You think you know the depths of my feelings James, but you’re wrong. You have no idea how much I love you.” He kissed him again and snuggled as close as he could. He was to excited to go back to sleep so he just admired his ring. He was going to have James’s name engraved on the inside.

An hour later James woke and smiled when he saw Ashton staring at the ring. “I have one too.” Ashton jumped and James laughed. “Sorry.” He kissed his cheek.

“Let me see.” Ashton said and James held up his hand. “Awesome. Would you get my name engraved on the inside of yours? I’m going to get yours on the inside of mine.”

“Of course. Are you hungry?” Ashton nodded.

James got up carefully then grabbed the food. He slowly moved Ashtons bed up so that he could eat without moving. James sat back down beside Ashton and they ate together. “I wish I could change. Do you think I could?”

“But I have easy access to you this way.” James said wiggling his eyebrows making Ashton laugh. “When I’m home I’ll just be naked for you. Here I would rather wear my clothes.” James grabbed his phone and started a video “say that again so I have evidence if you deny these words later” Ashton laughed again just as James had hoped he would. Ashtons doctor cleared his throat behind them. James held in his groan then stopped the video. He saved it anyway since it had Ashton laughing. “I want to check your stitches.” Carver checked them and asked “How do you feel”

“Great but it’s hard not to feel great with James here”

“I could see that coming in. You two make a very sweet couple. I’ve actually come by your room a few times and saw you two together. Anyway you’re doing fine. Only real damage is your missing tooth and of course your knife wound but it wont leave a very big scar.”

“Can I get dressed now?”

“Sure, just let me take out your IV. You don’t really need it any longer” Carver quickly took it out “If you’re still feeling fine at six pm I will let you go home but you shouldn’t be alone. Who knows what was on that knife he stabbed you with. If you feel ill atall you should come back. We gave you antibiotics but it was generic without knowing anything. Understand?” Ashton nodded “very good, I’ll leave you two men alone” Carver walked out and James picked Ashton up. He leaned down near the chair so Ashton could grab their clothes. When James walked into the bathroom Ashton saw himself in the mirror and his mouth dropped. He couldn’t believe how bad he looked. He was almost ashamed for James to be looking at him. James could tell, as he always could. “Stop that Ashton. You are gorgeous and I hate when you criticize yourself like that. I love you no matter what. Please stop feeling bad about yourself because you are amazing to me” Ashton kissed James “You’re the best boyfriend in existence James.”

“I hope you always feel that way. Soon we will be in Hawaii and you’ll be stuck with me. Just you try to get a divorce. I’ll drag it so long that it would be easier to stay with me” Ashton laughed even though James sounded a little serious. James set Ashton down and took off his hospital gown and held back his frown. It wasn’t that he was unattractive but every mark put horrible images into James’s mind. It was hard for his heart to take when he thought about Ashton being hurt by those monsters.

“James, you just said I look fine so stop frowning. They’ll heal.” He stepped in closer so James could only see his face. “Stop or I’ll make you leave so I can get dressed on my own.”

“You won’t be able to manage on your own.” James replied and grabbed his face gently in his hands. “I’ll try not to feel guilty for not getting there in time. I’m so afraid of what might have happened to you.”

“Hush now, it’s over and I’ll be fine. Now, help me get dressed because standing here naked is getting a bit awkward.”

James kissed his nose and helped him into his clothes. “Isn’t this strange?”

“What?”

“Me helping you into your clothes.”

Ashton started laughing then winced in pain, his hand flying to his abdomen. “Shut up, don’t make me laugh so hard.”

“Sorry babe, lets get you back to bed.” He lifted him slowly off the ground and carried him back into the room then lay him gently on the bed.

“I feel like a helpless princess.”

“Well, you don’t look like one.”

“Thank heavens for that.”

“You are absolutely adorable.” He sighed. “I want to go home so bad.”

Ashton laughed. “Someone missing alone time with me already? Well there probably won’t be any of that until my stomach has healed.”

“Well then I’ll just have to make love to you multiple times a day once you’re healed to make up for it.” Ashton swallowed and blushed.

“I won’t be able to walk if you do that.”

“At least it’ll keep you away from harm because you won’t be able to go anywhere.”

Ashton smiled “I love you”

“I love you too.” Six pm came around and Ashton was still doing good so they discharged him. James called Capricia while they did the paper work. Capricia and Kellen came right away and drove Ashton and James home. Once they were inside they all hugged then Capricia and Kellen went to leave. James stopped them “can you lock up the gym where I teach the womens self defense class on your way home? I didn’t lock up”

“Of course, you two just relax” When they were gone James got his computer and quickly sent a mass email to his students saying he wouldn’t be unable to teach until further notice. Ashton was reading over his shoulder “you don’t have to do that James. I’m fine now”

“I do, I need to be here with you for awhile to make sure you’re ok. You need to call your store and get what time off you can.”

“I only have so much vacation and sick leave. I’ll need all that for our wedding.” James frowned and looked at Ashton. He didn’t like Ashton working before because it gave them less time together but now he practically hated Ashton working. Eight hours a day Ashton would be at risk for sombody snatching him up again. James desperately wanted to beg Ashton to quit but he loved his job. Ashton could see the war in James’s eyes as he sat there staring. James started to cry again out of frustration and Ashton hugged him “don’t cry again James”

“I’m sorry, I just don’t want you to work. I didn’t like it before and it scared me now. Sombody could take you again and if theres a next time you could die” Ashton could tell James intended to say more but could no longer speak as he began to cry harder. Ashton had to admit he was a little shaken too and he could still have his friends from work if he quit. Shauna came over all the time anyway. When James settled down Ashton grabbed his face “I’ll quit James, I wont stay in the house all the time but I wont work any longer. I like work because of my co workers but I see them outside of work too. I don’t need my job but that means you cant just quit teaching indefinitly. I can come to work with you. Just relax with me through the weekend then begin again. Send a message to your students telling them you already know when you’ll resume and I promise I’ll call my bos and quit.”

“You don’t have to do that Ashton. I wasn’t trying to guilt you”

“I would never think you are that manipulative. I want to quit.” James gently hugged Ashton “thank you” James opened bak up their laptop and sent a second email then shut it. “when are you going to call?”

“Tomorrow morning”

“are you hungry?”

“Yeah, for those cookies” James chuckled “Ok” James turned the oven on to preheat then carried Ashton into their bedroom. James took off their shoes then grabbed Ashtons pants making him laugh “what’re you doing?”

“Don’t you recall telling me you would be naked for me here?” Ashton blushed and let James finish undressng him. James kissed his chest “I love you so much Ashton” was all he said before kissing Ashtons lips. James got undressed too and they cuddled until the oven was preheated. James stuck the cookies in then waited impatiently in the kitchen. When they were done James put them on a plate then returned to the bedroom to eat them with Ashton.

“James you’re going to get crumbs all over me.” Ashton said with a laugh.

“I’ll lick them off.”

“No you won’t. I’m supposed to be healing, not getting molested.”

“I’m sorry, I’ll be good.” He kissed Ashton’s cheek then they finished the cookies. Ashton brushed the crumbs off himself then pulled the covers over his body.

“Come on I was enjoying looking at you.”

“You know, I can still get to you.” He grabbed the end of the blanket and yanked it from his hands. He crawled up so he was on hands and knees above him. He ran his fingers over Ashton’s cheek then leaned in and kissed him. “Just kidding, but you thought for a minute that I was going to have sex with you anyway.” He grabbed the blanket and lay down next to him.

“You can be very intimidating sometimes.”

“I love you so don’t worry. I won’t do anything until you feel better.” He pulled Ashton into his arms and switched on the TV. He still felt a lit bad for getting Ashton to quit his job, but he knew he would be in a constant state of panic if they were separated all day. He’d probably leave his class just to make sure he was safe or text him nonstop throughout the day until he became annoyed. He just loved him so much and would die without him. Ashton could always be his assistant and show any woman who tried hitting on him that he was taken.

“Going to Hawaii is going to be so much fun. Getting married is going to amazing. I’m so excited.” Ashton said and kissed James’s chest. “We can go sight seeing and surfing.”

“You didn’t tell me you knew how to surf.”

“Well there’s not really anywhere to surf over here. I told you I used to live on the west coast, I thought I told you I surfed too. Sorry.”

“Don’t be, it’s just interesting to find out something new about you.” He kissed the top of his head. “Rest okay.”

“Okay.”

James rubbed Ashtons back to help him sleep then just held him and continued watching TV. Eventualy his eyes got heavy so he switched the television off to rest. He felt much more secure in their own home so was more comfortable falling asleep than he was at the hospital. James carefully pulled  Ashton so more of his body would be on him then wrapped his arms back around Ashton before kissing his head again and falling asleep. Ashton woke needing to pee but James’s arms were tight and unmoveable. It was amazing to him that a sleeping man could still keep such a tight hold. Peeing couldn’t wait so Ashton coaxed James out of his sleep. “I have to pee James” James let go and Ashton got up. James watched Ashtons butt move as he walked and smiled. James thought Ashtons butt was adorable.

When Ashton came back he was smiling too. “I felt you eyeing me”

“What of it”

“You aren’t going to be able to wait until I’m better.”

“Yes I will, you’re sexy and hard to resist but I will do it to ensure I don’t hurt you.”

“I was sent home from the hospital. I’m sure I’m fine James.” James shook his head “I’m pretty sure you are too but after all of that I’m not sure if my heart could take it if I hurt you some how while we made love. You need to heal Ashton. Sex isn’t important, albeit amazing and fun but not important. I enjoy just holding you and being with you. I just need you to stay in my arms where I know you are safe. Atleast let some of your bruises fade before we make love.” Ashton kissed James and left to grab his cellphone. Ashton got in bed where James pulled him back into his arms. Ashton dialed his boss and updated him on everything then explianed he was quitting. The owner of the store understood and wished him well. The owner also assured him that if Ashton got a call in the future he wouldn’t tell the new business that Ashton quit without two weeks notice. Ashton thanked the man and hung up.

“You really are ok with that?”

“Yeah, Like I said, I can still see my work friends so I’m happy. Don’t feel like you forced me. I told you I knew that you weren’t crying to get me to quit. You were actually worried and it really shows how much you love me. I know you’d support me working the best you could despite how worried you’d be because you want me to be happy. I promise I know all those things.”

“Good, I really am happy you quit. We’ll get so much more time together and I think you’ll have fun working with me when you can. You can’t jump into any cages but classes should be fun” Ashton chuckled and set his phone on the nightstand “what’re we doing about breakfast?”

“Breakfast burritos fine?”

“That would be great” James smiled and kissed Ashton before getting up and going into the kitchen.

Ashton followed him out to watch, setting down at the breakfast bar and resting his chin in his hand. He admired his boyfriend as he cooked and hummed. He really did have the sexiest man alive. It had been such a shock when James had approached him in the mall. He had been setting there reading and waiting for his brother to show up when he noticed two men talking and then one pointing at him. At first he thought he was about to get the shit beat out of him when James came over and introduced himself. He had politely asked if he could sit on the bench that he occupied.

Finding out James was gay was surprising and had made Ashton laugh when he realized he wasn’t about to have his back broken by someone bigger than him. The had talked for awhile then the other man, who had introduced himself as Kellen, came over and told James they needed to find Capricia James’s twin sister. Ashton sighed at how happy that day had made him.

“Hey Mr. Daydream, time to eat.” James said with a warm smile as he sat a plate down in front of him.

“Thank you.” James sat down next to him and kissed his cheek.

“What were you thinking about?”

“Robert Downey Jr.” Ashton said jokingly and James started laughing.

“Well at least if you leave me, it’ll be for Iron Man.”

“Iron Man has nothing on you.”

“Nice save there buddy.”

James’s phone rang and he hurried to get it and answered. “Oh my god, you’re getting married?” It was his mom, her voice excited, taking on that high school girl quality.

“Yes mom, we’re going to Hawaii.”

“Are we invited?”

“Of course you are.” She squealed and he held the phone away from her face. His dad took the phone from her and congratulated his son before telling them to call when they set a date. They hung up before Ingrid got ahold of the phone again.

“I’m sure you could hear without me explaining” James said with a smile. Ashton nodded happily “I love your parents.” James frowned slightly “I’m sorry about yours. They are the ones missing out Ashton. They are lucky to have you as a son” Ashton grabbed his hand “I”ve told you not to worry about that. I’ve got your family and they are wonderful. I especially love Capricia.” James lifted Ashtons hand and kissed it. They finished eating then James asked “want to watch one of the other movies I got from Red Box? If they don’t interest you I can return them all.”

“I want to watch them both. Lets watch Love and other disasters first and then we can watch the ramen girl.” They went over to the couch and James put Love and other disasters in. They laughed at the male protagonists attempts to tell the woman he loved that he wasn’t gay and had feelings for her and every time somthing happening. Ashton laughed hardest when she took him to a male strip club as a surprise and paid men to dance around him. James covered Ashtons eyes during the scene which was why it was so funny. When James moved them Ashton gave him a look and James laughed. “I’ll dance for you later. You don’t need to watch them” James said with a wink.

When that movie was over James needed a drink so grabbed them each a pepsi from the fridge. They sat back down after switching the movies out. Once that one was over James said “if you feel like going out I’ll take you to Applebees. I really feel like their food but if you need to lay down that’s fine.”

“I told you I’m fine James” Ashton was a little sore in some places but wanted to go out too. They got dressed and ready for lunch then walked down to the car. On the way there they discussed stuff about the wedding. James sounding just as excited as he was in the hospital. When they figured out a date they wanted they called Kellen and asked if it was ok for them to get married next month. Kellen told them he could easily work that out and he would hire a photographer and find a good caterer.

Chapter Four

Ashton wrapped his arms around his neck and pulled him into an excited kiss. “I can’t believe this is all happened so fast. It’s exciting and kind of scary.” He said when he pulled back.

“We can wait longer if you want, I’m not in any hurry.” James replied as they got out of the car and walked around to each other.

“Absolutely not, next month is perfect. It’s normal to be nervous about getting married.”

“Unless you’re Capricia. She’s never really nervous about anything.”

They went inside and found a seat in the corner where there weren’t a lot of people. James ordered the quesadilla burger and Ashton the tomato Basil soup, with two glasses of tea. James reached across the table and took Ashton’s hand, making him smile. They could feel eyes on them and they both wondered if people were more concerned about them being gay or the fact that it looked like Ashton was a victim of domestic abuse. James frowned and started to pull away, but Ashton grabbed him.

“Don’t let them get to you. You and I know what happened and it’ll probably be in the paper and in the news. It’ll probably help other hate crime victims and stop Marcel’s little club.”

“It’s amazing how you can find something positive about what happened.”

“I’m not the only one they hurt and I bet there are some who got it a lot worse and didn’t say anything out of fear. I’m not afraid of them because I have you and you make me strong.”

Their food came and they both thanked the waiters before digging in. They talked more about Hawaii and James said he wanted to go on a boar hunt. It made Ashton laugh as he thought about how cute James would look trudging through the woods looking for a big angry pig.

When they were done they dropped the movies back at Red Box. “want to get more movies since we’ll just be relaxing?” James asked and Ashton responded “I was kind of thinking about getting Netflix. Shauna has it and she loves it. The movie selections change alot and its rarely the newest movies that you can see instantly but I’d really like to have that.”

“Do we need to buy anything for it?”

“No, we can watch it on our PlayStation 3 but I thought it might be fun to go to Game Stop and…..well never mind”

“You want one of those japanese games again don’t you?” Ashton blushed ” they are RPGs James. James kissed Ashton with a smile “lets go get it” They went to Gamestop and James almost laughed again at how quickly he started scanning the PS3 games. He finally stopped and grabbed Eternal Sonata. Timohty, who he also worked with told him how much fun it was and that if he could convince James to try they could play it together. Ashton wasn’t so sure he was going to ask James since he knew his boyfriend would probably only say yes because he had been hurt. Ashton didn’t want James to play if he didn’t really want to. James really didn’t show an interest in any video games aside from his Silent Hill games. Ashton started walking towords the register and James grabbed his shoulder “is there any other games you want?”

“Not any specificly that I can actually play”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the only other game I want is Pikmin 3, but that’s for Wii U”

“Why don’t we get a Wii U?”

“Because you and I are getting married and are using our money for that. I promise I don’t want it right now” James nodded and let Ashton pay for his game. They left the store and went home. Once they were in James asked “can i hold you while you play?” Completely loseing any nerve to ask James to play aswell Ashton just nodded. Ashton put his game in and sat in James’s lap as he often did while playing. Ashton got a text from Timothy so Ashton used the opportunity to tell him that he was playing Eternal Sonata and really liked it. Timothy texted back “Is James liking it?” James who was reading over Ashtons shoulder said “what does he mean? Your RPGs are one player.”

“Well…part of my interest in this one was that you can have two players. You can control one when we are fighting. You can be any of the other players that I’m not playing.”

“Of course I’ll play with you if you can be patient. I’m always embarrassed to play these because you’re so good. I’ve played when you weren’t home and was glad I didn’t in front of you” Ashton kissed James happily “You really want to play these?”

“Yeah, I just dont want to look like an idiot”

James really got into the game. He liked the story line and the music. He explained how his mom was a big fan of classical music and had listened to it a lot while he and Capricia were growing up. They finally stopped when dinner time rolled around and Ashton said he would cook so James could keep playing if he wanted to. He decided on shepherds pie since it was easy. Ashton switched on the oven to preheat and started cooking the meat and potatoes.

“Need any help babe?” James asked as he put in Silent Hill.

“No, easy meal tonight so don’t worry.” Ashton answered and James went ahead and started playing.

Ashton got the pan in the oven and peeked into the living room. James was really engrossed in his game. He snuck up quietly behind him and jumped on him, startling him. “Boo.” He said and smiled.

“You scared the shit out of me.” He grabbed Ashton’s hand and pressed it against his chest. “See, it’s about ready to beat right out of my chest.”

“Awe I’m sorry baby. Game to scary for you?”

“It’s pretty scary. Maybe you should try playing.” He held up the controller and Ashton stared at it for a moment before getting between his legs and taking it. James showed him all the buttons then rested his head on Ashton’s shoulder. He could feel Ashton tensing up as the game started to get scary again. His breathing got heavy and he was gripping the controller really tight. The timer for the shepherds pie went off and he yelped. James kissed his cheek and got up to get it out of the oven so he could keep playing.

“No, no, no. Ah, no. Run, run, run.” Was all James heard and he almost dropped the pan he was trying so hard not to laugh

They spent their days just relaxing and having fun like this until James had to start teaching again. All the women loved Ashton just as James knew they would. The class went by much faster with Ashton there. James was ebullient in every class he taught since he was no longer missing Ashton all day. A few more weeks past of classes, cuddling, fun, planning and making love. Now it was time to fly to Hawaii. James, Ashton, Capricia and Kellen were all seated on the same row in first class. Kellen had paid for their tickets too so had no idea until now Kellen had paid so much for the tickets. “You didn’t have to do this Kellen.”

“Yes I did. You two deserve an amazing wedding” When they arrived they went to the hotel because Ingrid and David were already there. Shauna, Timothy, and Lisa from work wouldn’t be here for a few more hours. Shortly after they walked in the doors of the hotel Ingrid spotted them. She ran for Ashton and gave him a tight hug. “I’m so happy you two are getting married. Thank you for making James so happy” She let go when her husband caught up. They all exchanged hugs and checked into their rooms. It was lunch time in Hawaii so they all met back downstairs to go eat somewhere near their hotel. It felt weird since New York if five hours behind Hawaii but everybody was excited to eat some food there.

They decided on Bali Steak and Seafood. When the waiter came and James said they would split up the check Kellen shook his head “What part of me paying for your wedding don’t you understand? I’m paying for everything.” James and Ashton smiled and they all ordered. They all concurred that everything tasted good once they were finished. Since more people were coming they decided to just go and relax in their rooms until Ashtons friends arrived. When they got up James grabbed Ashtons hand and guided him to the bathroom. “we’re taking a shower gorgeous” James said as he switched on the shower. James undressed Ashton, giving him light kisses as he went. Once Ashton was naked James took off his own clothes.

They got in the shower and James started sensualy washing Ashton, purposfully trying to turn him on. James smiled when Ashton got hard and rinsed him. Ashton was a light shade of pink “you were doing that on purpose” James lick up Ashtons neck and over his ear where he whispered “Yes I was” James slipped his hand into Ashtons hair, pressing his mouth hard into his as his became rough and hungry. James used his free hand to wrap around Ashtons hard shaft. He began to rub Ashton as they kissed, eliciting deep moans of pleasure from Ashton which got James up. James didn’t stop until Ashton exploded on him. James released his fiance and rinsed off. James turned off the water then got out to dry. Ashton didn’t even get a chance to dry his hair before James picked him up and threw him on their bed.

James needed to be inside of him. He crawled over him and kissed Ashtong forehead before lifting his hips and thrusting in. Ashton nearly let out a scream as James took on a steady pace. Ashton ran his hands up James arms then gripped them tightly when he was almost to James’s shoulders. James bent down and started kissing Ashton again. Ashtons hands scracthed down James before his grip was now locked on his back. Their moans mingled until James released. Ashton thought they were done but he was very wrong. James sat up and pulled Ashton into his lap so his back was pressed against him. Ashton couldn’t believe how hard James was after he had just seeded himself deep inside of him.

Ashton let out a deep and almost hoarse moan as he felt James spear him. James took on the same steady pace and slide his hand down Ashtons chest then stoamch until he was between his legs. James began to stimulate Ashton again as he thrust. Ashton became unable to make a sound. They spurt at the same time leaving Ashton panting and James breathing heavily. “can you move” James whispered and Ashton weakly said “I can still manage it.” He was suddenly pressed on his back into the bed “that just wont do.” James said in a lusting tone and passionate eyes.

He took Ashton into his throat and worked him. Ashton let out the occasional whimper but couldn’t make any more noise than that. James licked and sucked his fiance until his warm liquid filled his throat. James swallowed “can you move?” Ashton just barely shook his head and James smiled before kissing his cheek “good” He grabbed Ashtons phone and told everyone that he was tired from jet lag and needed to rest today. Once Kellen responded James set Ashtons phone down and pulled him against his chest “Now you’re only mine” James whispered.

“I think I may be in trouble.” Ashton said exhausted. “Should I scream for help?”

“I have ways of keeping you quiet.” James grabbed his chin and ran his thumb over his lips.

“Can I at least have a little nap before we do it again?” James seemed to contemplate this. “I’ll do whatever you want, just a small break.”

“Anything?” Ashton swallowed and James laughed at the nervous look on his face. “I’m kidding, I’ll watch TV and you rest.” He kissed him then went and got the controller before crawling back in bed and pulling Ashton into his arms.

“I’m sorry I need a break, but you have way more stamina than me. Maybe I should start working out with you.”

“You don’t have to keep up with me, I’m completely satisfied with our sex life. Now rest.” He rubbed Ashton’s back as he watched some show on free running. Ashton’s eyelids grew heavy and soon he was asleep.

James smiled down at Ashton, feeling truly blessed to have such an amazing fiancé. He kissed his forehead and continued to lightly rub his back and arm. Ashton sighed in his sleep and mumbled an I love you. James didn’t know why, but he found that incredibly arousing. He reprimanded himself, wanting to give Ashton time to recover. He tried to be good when they had things to do or when Ashton was working, but he was so excited to be in Hawaii to get married to the love of his life. He wanted to show Ashton how happy he was, wanted to express how he felt from the very depths of his heart.

Ashton slept until dinner. He only woke then because James didn’t want his already small boyfriend to miss a meal. They ordered room service since Ashton was sore. Once Ashton was done with his food he felt like texting his friends to see if they had settled in alright. “where’s my phone?” Ashton asked and James responded “I don’t know, use mine”

“You only have Shaunas number but I can ask her about the others.” Ashton opened his boyfriends phone and instantly smiled at his new background. Ashton looked over at the already smiling James. “You took a picture of me sleeping in your arms just now?”

“Well not just now, it was a little bit after you fell asleep. I liked the picture so much it’s my new background.” Ashton chuckled and texted Shauna. He stayed sitting up since Shauna always responded quickly. She wrote back that everything was good and told him to get back to sexing it upo with James. Ashton blushed and James took the phone. He laughed and pulled Ashton back down. “That sounds like na order, we better obey” Ashton smiled and James could tell he didn’t honestly want more. James kissed his noes “I’m joking. We have the rehearsal tomorrow and you need to be able to walk”

“I feel really bad”

“Don’t, I always tell you not to. I promise I’m satisfied. I’m just always happy to have more of you my love” They watched TV for the remainder of the day. When morning came they got dressed and went to meet everybody for breakfast. They would eat and then rehearse the wedding in their casual wear before exploring Hawaii. James seemed even happier today than when Kellen had first offered to send them somwhere to get married. It really made Ashton feel special that James was so ecstatic about marrying him.

They ate as quickly as they could, chattering the whole time. Kellen paid and then they left for the chapel Ashton had picked out. It was beautiful, made of white stone with seashells carved in the pillars at the entrance. The walls on the inside had beautiful detailed murals of the ocean and jungle. “I just love it so much.” Ashton said excitedly. The pastor was waiting for them and greeted them with a warm smile. He directed the where to stand and told Ashton where he would be coming out of. They practiced for a little over an hour, James and Ashton enjoying the part where they got to kiss.

Everyone smiled and laughed, enjoying the rehearsal. Ashton was a little nervous and very happy.  Ashton wanted to check out the Haiku Stairs on O’ahu island. He had heard the climb up was gorgeous. They agreed to make the trip over to the other island and went down to rent a boat and a driver. James pulled Ashton down to set on his lap when they got in the boat. Kellen held Capricia close, worried about her falling out of the boat. Everyone could help but smile at his protectiveness and James and Ashton knew their relationship would be just as amazing.

Everyone enjoyed the cool sea air and the warm sun. The was was gorgeous and every now and then they would catch a glimpse of a dolphin swimming next to the boat just below the surface of the water. When the docked at O’ahu, Kellen rented a van and drove them to the stairs. Ashton just stood there staring, mouth agape. He had never seen something so amazing.

“Do you want to go up?” James asked.

“We don’t have to, it’s quite a climb.” He answered.

“Then we’ll just go up a little bit.”

James tightly grasped Ashtons hand and they slowly walked up. Ashton seemed a little nervous which had James fighting off a smile. He didn’t want Ashton to be upset with him. Once Ashton really began to look around he became less and less scared but never let go of James’s hand. Ashton stopped and got nervous again once they were half way up.James kissed his cheek “we don’t have to go higher, everyone else is having fun without us”

“I’m sure you want to go”

“I just want you to have fun and to marry me tomorrow. If I get those things I’m happy” Ashton hugged James and it gave him courage to keep enjoying the amazing view. Ashton had absolute faith that James would never let anything happen to him if he could help it. They walked and Ashton snapped pictures with his phone. Eventually they caught up to everybody else at the top. Capricia ran over and hugged them “I knew you guys would make it” They stayed only a short while longer since Kellen worried about Capricia being up there so far along in her pregnancy. They slowly decended back down so everybody could enjoy the view once again on the return.

One the way down Ashton didn’t hold James’s hand because he got too distracted talking to his friends. James wished Ashton was only talking to him again but wasn’t selfish enough to try and grab him. This was Ashtons time just as much as it was his own. He would have Ashton to himself once again tonight. When they arrived at the bottom and loaded back into the van Capricia asked “so whose room are you staying in tonight Ashton?” Ashton looked at her confused and she said “you can’t be with your groom the night before your wedding.” James quickly added ‘well our wedding isn’t traditional anyway so we’ll be fine sleeping together.” Capricia laughed at James and he blushed “well, do what you want Ashton” James said as his blush got even worse.

“Do you actually believe in all of those weird traditions?” Ashton quietly asked Capricia.

“Not really, but it’s nice to tease James. He always acts so tough so I try to do something to make him blush.”

Ashton smiled and laced his fingers through James’s. When they made it back to shore and then the hotel it was starting to get dark. Ashton apologized for making them miss lunch, but everyone waved it off. They all decided to order room service and went their separate ways. Once they were in their room James pulled Ashton into his arms and kissed him.

“Are you trying to keep me in here tonight?” Ashton asked breathlessly.

“Yes, don’t leave. It’s hard to sleep without you. I know that sounds stupid and maybe a little corny, but I need your warmth next to me or I’ll toss and turn all night.”

“You’re right, that was pretty corny, but highly effective.” James hugged him tightly and breathed a sigh of relief. “Let’s get dinner, I’m starving.” He kissed James’s cheek and he finally let him go.

“I love you.”

“I love you too. How about we just get pizza?”

“Okay.”

James ordered while Ashton went and jumped in the shower. He smelled like sweat and dry sea water clung to his skin. It looked like white powder and itched. He washed his face and felt arms wrap around him. He jumped, spitting out water and turned to glare at James who was doing his best not to laugh.

“How long until the pizza gets here?”

“About twenty minutes. Sorry for scaring you.”

“I wasn’t scared, I was startled. There’s a difference.”

“Sorry for startling you.” James said with a laugh.

“It’s okay, I forgive you.”

“good, I just couldn’t resist holding you” James said then kissed Ashtons neck “did you come in here to clean yourself or mess with me?”

“Maybe both” James said with a grin. Ashton chuckled “could we eat first?”

“of course we can. I would like to eat right now.” James turned Ashton around and took him in his mouth. “James” was all the protesting Ashton could offer. There wasn’t much Ashton could ever say once James started. James could tell when Ashton was about to release and stopped “you’ll have to use me to finish” James put his hands against the wall and Ashton slammed himself in, hard and quick. He was craving his release. Once he was done they both got out and dried “Just as I thought, you didn’t come in there to get clean atall” Ashton chuckled. James winked “had to make sure you weren’t leaving tonight” Ashton laughed again. “I already told you I was staying”

“well, just wanted to be sure” After they ate their pizza they cuddled until they fell asleep. Ashton woke nervous but it wasn’t too bad. They had already been living together a long time and Ashton knew he would be a fool to think James would back out of this. Nothing short of an idiot would doubt how much James loved him.They helped eachother into their suits and James was already taking a million pictures and changing his background. “Has your phone background ever stayed one thing for over a week?”

“Not since getting with you” James said then kissed his head “lets go meet everyone downstairs. We’re a little late” Just as they thought they were the last downstairs but nobody cared. In fact the only thing anybody said were praises on how handsome they looked. The photographer met them at the beach where they decided they wanted their wedding. Capricia had her own camera out to be sure to get as many pictures as possible of James crying when Ashton walked down the aisle. She was going to tease him about it and milk as many blushes as she could from it. Shauna didn’t think he would really cry. “He’s too tough” Capricia laughed “Not when it comes to those he loves and he doesn’t even love me as much as he loves Ashton. Ashton is his world and has been since they got together. My brother will cry and I’ll be ready” Capricia whispered back.

Ashton was really happy to see his brother there playing the guitar. He had not expected him to come since their father tended to berate both of them anytime homosexuality was brought up. Howie gave him a bright smile as Ashton started walking down the isle. “Here it comes.” Capricia said to Shauna and sure enough James started crying. He wasn’t bawling, but a few tears slipped down his cheeks and Capricia took as many pictures as she could. She would send them to Ashton first after they all ate.

Ashton reached up and wiped the tears off of James’s face before taking his hands. James smiled down at him, fighting the urge to just kiss him already. Howie sat down and everyone grew silent as the pastor started speaking. They had not had any time to write vows while Ashton was healing and James was working doubly hard so they just gave each other and I love you and it warmed everyone’s hearts. They could hear the sincerity in those three simple words. When they finally got to kiss James couldn’t help but give Ashton a playful dip which had everyone laughing. Ashton blushed and straightened his jacket when James lifted him back up.

Everyone stood and clapped and took pictures as they walked back down the isle together. James’s heart was beating so fast with excitement and he almost couldn’t believe Ashton was his husband. He had also been willing to take James’s last name since Ashton’s belonged to his father, a man who had turned on his son the moment he came out to him. He kissed Ashton on the cheek once they were in the car they had rented.

“I’m so happy right now.” Ashton said. “I’m married to the most wonderful person and my brother is here. You finally get to meet Howie. He’s like your family, very open and understanding. Shauna must have told him about the wedding.”

“I’m glad he came and I hope he sticks around. Even though you say you don’t care it has to suck having none of your blood family.” Ashton smiled “they don’t have to be blood to matter. I’ve missed my brother but your family has more than enough love in it for me not to need mine. Just the love you give me is more than what I need.” James kissed Ashtons head “we need to invite him over to our house so you two can reconnect. Now that you don’t work you’ll have plenty of time to spend with him.”

“I’m glad I quit already” James smiled, his heart swelling even more. When they arrived where the reception was behing held Ashton and James walked in holding hands and were greeted by smiles and more clapping. When everyone was seated it was time for toasts. First Kellen stood “Congratulations you two, who would have thought that day in the mall I was going to find you your soulmate James.. I mean, am I good or what?” Everyone smiled or lightly laughed. “I’ll have you know Ashton, up until we stumbled upon you I was just pointing out men to James I was sure were gay but he specifically asked about you. There were two little blonde men in the area he was talking about but I was abel to point you out and confirm who he was asking me about. I honestly wasn’t one hundred percent sure but I was sure enough to tell him to go for it. I’m really glad I did and that you two have ended up here. I know you two are going to live long and happy lives together.” Kellen sat down and Howie nervously took the mic from him. Since a toast was planned for him too Ashton wondered if Capricia and Kellen knew Howie was coming.

“I know you were surprised to see me here little brother. I may have not reacted like dad did when you told us you liked men but I still have let dad keep me from spending the time with you I’ve wanted to. I’m really sorry for that and am so happy Shauna told me you had found the love of your life and were getting married. At that moment I didn’t give a flip what dad would say. I wasn’t going to miss this and I hope I don’t miss anything else Ashton. You and I are going to get just as close as we were when we were kids if you’ll let me” They clapped for Howie as he sat down. That was it for toasts and they all were served so they could eat.

After dinner they talked with everyone and Ashton made plans to spend time with his brother when they got back. Howie had always been there to defend him from their father, but Ashton had stopped talking to his brother to spare him the drama of having to deal with an insensitive prick of a father.  In the end their father had been happy about being able to pretend he never existed.

“Call me anytime, day or night, rain or shine.” Howie said and hugged his brother.

“I will, I really love and miss you.” Ashton replied and squeezed his brother back.

James marveled at how similar they looked. Same smile, same eyes, and same unruly hair. The only differences were Howie being four years older and over six feet tall. Ashton sometimes called himself the runt of the litter. He had always been small for his age. James grabbed his hand, making him smile as he promised his brother they would be spending more time together.

“You two look like you’re ready to get out of here.” Capricia said with a warm smile. They both wrapped her in a hug and kissed her cheeks as she stood sandwiched between them.

“Yeah I think you’re brother is getting impatient.”

“No, it’s you who is so desperate to get me alone.”

They all three laughed. “Well tell everyone you’re ready to go. We can clean up.”

“How long is Kellen paying for our room?” James asked.

“For as long as you want to stay here.” Kellen said from behind his brother in law. They let Capricia go and he pulled her into his arms.

“That’s so awesome. We can really explore all the islands then.” Ashton said excitedly. “Thank you so much.”

“it’s no problem, I mean honestly James, I would have never ended up with your sister if it wasn’t for you. Now get out of here and enjoy your husband.” James picked Ashton up making him chuckle and their friends say awe. They went straight back to their room where James set Ashton down gently on their mattress. James slid off his jacket as Ashton jerked off the belt and pants. James smiled sweetly then pushed off Ashtons jacket then also undid his belt like Ashton had done for him. Once all their clothes laid scattered on the floor James began to give Ashton long, love filled kisses across his abdomen, then shoulders before cupping each of his cheeks “I love you so much, I really couldn’t be happier than I am at this very moment Ashton.” James let his fingers brush feather light over Ashtons cheeks as Ashton said “I love you too James. I’m one lucky man to have chosen to be at the mall the day Kellen was helping you hunt.” James kissed Ashtons forehead and whispered “No, I was”

James slowly moved Ashton on the bed and pushed him down. They began to kiss, slow and needily. The only sounds being their breath and pounding hearts as they lost themselves in one anothers love and heat. They spent a half hour working eachother up then filling their room with moans as they dove further into their passion for one another. Silence only settled in when neither man could move. James kissed Ashton one last time before they just held eachother, soaking in the day and each moment they had shared. They both knew their life together would be miraculous and they wouldn’t let a single hateful soul dampen the true love they shared.

~ The End ~

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