Remember The Nights Ch. 10
Time stood still as Charlie Weatherly picked up the bouquet of lilacs, his fingers touching the tender blossoms and the delicate fragrance filling his nostrils. Only she would have known that lilacs were his favorites. Only she would have known the effect the flowers would have on him. Tamiko was asking him to make a choice.
"Charlie, what's wrong?"
"Nothing." He replied to James, gently handling the bundle and setting it back on the pillow. "Let's go."
He left the small changing room with his best man at his elbow and they strode the length of the church, shaking the minister's hand as they took their positions in front of the altar. Both sides were packed with relatives and friends of the bride and groom and Cynthia's father had footed the bill for the entire ceremony, spending $25,000 alone on the rare orchids that had been flown in from the Amazon and now graced the aisle caps.
Charlie took a deep breath and knitted his fingers together. In a few short hours, this would all be over. He would have a bride that could make him an extremely wealthy man and he could ardently work on forgetting Tamiko. Except that he knew that it was a lie. He wouldn't be able to forget Tamiko. Not for as long as he lived. He took another deep breath and swallowed, forcing his tears away. He had to be strong.
The ceremony began and the obligatory wedding party came down the aisle: bridesmaids and grooms, ring bearers and parents were escorted in and seated comfortably. Charlie took Cynthia's arm and they stepped up to the minister, waiting for his words.
"Dearly beloved ... " Charlie didn't hear any of the words. A high-pitched buzzing filled his ears and he couldn't care less. He was making a mistake; a huge mistake and he felt paralyzed, caged inside his body. He wanted to scream, to cry out ... HELP ME! "If anyone can show just cause of why these two people should not be joined in holy matrimony, please speak now or forever hold your peace."
The thick silence was broken by a hoarse whisper. "I object, sir."
Charlie whirled at the same time that his bride-to-be did and both stared at the Asian woman that stood in the center of the aisle. At Cynthia's nod, Simon moved to handle her but two thickly-muscled gentlemen in dark suits blocked his path, their eyes flinty and unforgiving. The ex-boxer reluctantly returned to his seat, his eyes squarely focused on the men and his pride and reputation lying in tatters.
"Tamiko?" Charlie gasped at the elliptical bruises that covered her beautiful features and the cast that was on her left hand. "What happened?"
"Your fiancée had me roughed up. She was upset that you were seeing me."
Cynthia smiled her perfect blue-blood smile at the audience, shaking her head. "I did no such thing, Charles."
Charlie wanted to believe her but the tightness in her smile told him differently. She had gone as far as to hurt Tamiko when he'd already hurt her more than anyone else had. "I don't believe you." A collective gasp arose from the wedding entourage and whispers arose. "Tam has been nothing but a lady. She did nothing to hurt you."
"She was fucking you!" Cynthia screeched, forgetting her manners. "Didn't you think it would hurt me to know that you were plowing someone else's pussy?"
More gasps arose and Charlie caught Tamiko's eyes, his heart melting as it always did under her gentle gaze. "Remember the nights, Charlie." She pleaded as she wiped falling tears away. "Remember the nights that we shared."
Pregnant silence filled the air and he felt his heart pounding in her chest, memories of their evenings together flooding his mind. Remember the nights. He remembered easy conversation and heart-stopping lovemaking. He remembered holding her small hand at the Art Museum and loving the feel of her tiny body in his arms. He remembered the way her body responded to him and the sensuous darkness in her eyes just before she came. She gave him a subtle nod.
"I wasn't plowing her pussy, Cyn, because she doesn't have one." Mrs. Winslow fainted with a theatrical wail and Cynthia threw her arms around James. "Tamiko is a she male, a female with male genitalia and ..." He met her eyes again. "I love her."
Tamiko smiled at his words, grimacing at the pain. "I love you, too, Charlie."
Cynthia walked over to him, her manipulation skills in full effect as she laid on the charm. "Charles, we can work this out. Daddy can pay her off and we can forget that this had ever happened." She batted her big eyes. "And if it's ass you want, I'll let you fuck mine."
Charlie stared down at the woman whom he thought he would marry and shook his head, realizing that there were things about her that he hadn't seen, things that he couldn't live with, things that he didn't want to live with. He removed his $3,000 boutonnière and placed it in Cynthia's palm. "I can't marry you, Cynthia." More gasps of outrage rent the still air, her father the most verbal of the group. "And my name is Charlie."
He was free. He walked down the steps and headed towards Tamiko, gathering her into his arms when he reached her. She sobbed freely, burying her face in the side of his neck. "Charlie ... "
"I hope you'll forgive me for being so stupid."
Tamiko laughed as he used his thumbs to wipe her tears away. "I forgave you for wearing that suit."
Charlie pulled back, staring at her. "You didn't like my linen suit?"
She nodded. "Not at all. Makes you look like a fag." They both exchanged smiles, then he bent to kiss her softly. "If you come by the shop, I can help you with that."
"I'm going to need your help in more areas than that, Tam."
She seemed to understand what he was saying and sighed in the comfort of his embrace. "Let's go home, Charlie. Let's just go home."
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