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Chapter 1

Luke James, lying alone in his bed on the morning of his wedding, asked himself aloud. After sitting up in bed, he asked it again. Then while he walked around his hotel room to find the remote control. Another time while he was swabbing his ear. And then just about twenty more times in the shower as he attempted to prepare himself for the most important day of his life.

The handsome 27-year-old EMT stepped out of the shower and looked at his blurred reflection in the stylish hotel restroom. It was almost a year to the day he asked for Felicity Newman’s hand in marriage. That started the ball rolling for what became an extremely unnerving period for the handsome young man. From that first day, Luke saw a side of Felicity that wasn’t nearly as attractive as she was on the outside.

From searching for a wedding dress to deciding on flatware, Felicity revealed her more bitter and narcissistic leanings. She continually measured herself against her friends and family, based on their weddings. Any choice she made was followed up with a particularly nasty reminiscence of someone she was supposed to love.

“This dress looks similar to Patty’s. But doesn’t it fit me better?”

“This is how I’ll be doing my hair. Mom tried to do this at Grace’s wedding, but her hair is so thin. She looked so white trash.”

“Isn’t this sash elegant for the chairs? Remember Bill’s wedding? Purple sashes on silver chair covers. It looked so cheap. God, Lonnie deserves that idiot.”

For Luke, it became something of a game to try and recall one sincerely nice thing that came out of his fiancée’s mouth during the entire engagement. Even with Luke, Felicity would only be kind to him when she was trying to steer his decision in a specific direction. From the colors to the cake to the music, Luke often conceded to his manipulative lover. The single perk was the frequency of the blowjobs he was receiving.

Standing nude in the restroom, the svelte young man started his grooming regimen. He primped, preened, and primed before taking stock of his trim, muscled body in the mirror. I’m not half bad, Luke thought to himself. He walked over to the closet where his suit hung and tried to put it on quickly, getting frustrated at the complicated assembly.

“Fucking suspenders… what the fuck is the use?” he wondered aloud.

Once the outfit was constructed, and on all the right parts, Luke went to the full-length mirror in the hotel room to see how he looked. He was impressed.

“I have to give it to Felicity. She has good taste.”

Modeling the suit, Luke checked himself out from different angles. His ass, his back, his biceps. Everything was accentuated in the perfectly tailored jacket, shirt, and pants. He could get some serious tail in this outfit he thought. Or not. Probably not today.

A test notification rang from Luke’s phone. A second followed.

“Are you ducking ready?”

This was followed by a duck emoji, a recurring joke from Luke’s older brother, Flynn. The two were to drive to Beaumont Ranch, the outdoor wedding site, where they would meet up with the groomsmen before the wedding. The brothers met in the lobby of the Papillon Hotel five minutes later.

 

“This seems way fucking early,” Flynn said. “And whoa, by the way. You clean up good, little brother. Your suit fits you perfectly.”

“Thanks,” Flynn said. “Sorry about the early hour. Felicity insisted… asked that we arrive early. It’s just, you know, her way of trying to control… ensure that nothing goes wrong.”

“Dude, Felicity’s become something of a Bridezilla through all of this, huh?”

“Yeah,” Luke answered, before a long pause. “No. No, it’s more than that. This isn’t just about her being on edge. Ever since I proposed, she’s revealed herself to be… uh…”

“A real shit,” Flynn interjected.

“Yeah,” Luke sighed. “And then some.”

On the drive to the ranch, Luke filled his brother in on the last year, not mincing a word about his feelings for his fiancée. The two men made light of the situation, laughing their asses off at Felicity’s expense. A trace of relief overcame Luke after finally enlightening his brother. Keeping information bottled up wasn’t characteristic of the brothers’ relationship as they shared a closer bond than most siblings.

“You know you don’t have to do this if you don’t want,” Flynn proposed as soon as they parked at the ranch.

“I couldn’t,” Luke said, startled at the suggestion. “We’ve put so much into this. All the planning and Felicity has put so much—”

“Do you love her?”

“I, yeah, of course! I’m sorry. I was just unloading this morning. I do love her. I can see us together for a long… I mean, I can see us growing old together.”

“You’re sure?”

“Totally. This is all just nerves. Just nerves.”

“Okay, bro,” Flynn said, placing his arm around his brother’s shoulder. “I just want you to be happy.

The two, standing in front of the Beaumont Ranch, soaked in the beauty of the impeccable home and its equally magnificent garden.

“Jesus,” said Flynn.

“The pictures do not do this place justice,” said Luke.

Just then, the estate’s front opened to reveal Paul Norton, Luke and Felicity’s handsome young wedding planner.

“Double Jesus,” whispered Flynn. “He looks like he just walked off a runway.”

“I know,” Luke sighed. “Felicity has made no secret that he makes her wet.”

“Fuck, he’s making me wet.”

“Good morning, gentlemen,” Paul exclaimed as he put his linebacker-sized arm around Luke. “Looking very handsome. How are the nerves?”

“I’m good,” said Flynn, who was rightfully ignored.

“Other than my stomach doing a 360 every five seconds, I’m great,” Luke answered. “My comedian brother has been trying to calm me.”

“To be expected,” Paul said with a beaming smile.

The wedding planner took them into the estate and showed them to the Groom’s Room, where they would wait until the ceremony begins. The room was immediately inviting, fitted with two comfortable looking couches, a spacious chair, and three vanities. Luke was relieved to see a television since they had three hours to wait for the wedding.

“Three hours?” Flynn groaned.

“Three hours,” Luke confirmed.

“Just three more hours!” exclaimed Paul to a sour audience. “Sorry, gentlemen. Felicity wanted—”

“We know,” Flynn said. “Thanks.”

“Just text me if you two need anything. I heard a car pulling up. I assume it’s your groomsmen. I’ll bring them up in a jiff.”

Luke checked his phone and scrolled through endless texts from friends and family. Felicity let him know that she and her bridesmaids were getting ready and having photos taken on the other side of the property. The most recent text stung.

“Did you see Paul? Yummo.”

“Too bad you don’t realize he’s gay,” Luke mumbled.

“Huh?”

Smarting from the insensitive message, Luke handed the phone to his brother. Anger crossed Flynn’s face as he examined Felicity’s text.

“Yeah, she’s a real shit,” Flynn said.

A silence fell over the room as Luke stewed. Flynn had his arms folded and appeared deep in thought. It was evident to Luke that his older brother was struggling to bite his tongue. Pulling a flask from a case around his ankle, Flynn removed the top and took a swig. Then another.

“Look, little brother—”

Before Flynn could voice his disapproval of his soon-to-be sister-in-law, Paul opened the door wide to deliver the remainder of the groom’s wedding party.

“Can I just say that this has got to be the best looking set of groomsmen I’ve seen since I started this gig?” Paul said.

“That’s a hell of a compliment coming from you, Paul,” Flynn responded with a smile. “Hey, guys! Ready to play the waiting game? We’ve got just under three hours before the nuptials.”

“I’m glad I brought these,” said Dutch Thomas, Luke and Flynn’s cousin on their mother’s side, pulling out a bottle of Smirnoff and Jack Daniels.

Dutch brought his younger brother Ryder. Dutch was a 24-year-old mechanic from Northern California. His muscular frame is vast, with rounded shoulders that look like small bowling balls. At six foot two, he was only slightly shorter than Flynn. Ryder, who was 23, wasn’t as broad as his brother, but he was equally as athletic. The college student didn’t have an ounce of fat, and his messy hair and wide eyes accentuated his boyish demeanor.

“Gosh, Luke,” said Ryder. “Nice job! This place is way nice!”

“We should play a drinking game where we take a shot every time Ryder says ‘nice,'” said Emmett James, a cousin on Luke and Flynn’s father’s side.

Emmett was a 26-year-old Carpenter who lived in Central California with his girlfriend, who was one of Felicity’s four bridesmaids. Emmett had dark features and was thick with muscle; his piercing hazel eyes always seemed hungry for sex. Felicity told Luke that he was something of an animal in bed. He brought his 18-year-old brother, Cody, whose confident air filled the large room. The high-school wrestling champion’s gigantic arms were practically bursting out of his fitted suit.

“Just under three hours!” Paul repeated. “Text me if you men need anything!”

This time it wasn’t as easy for Paul to leave. Luke saw him give the entire room a leisurely once over.

“I think we can all use a few of these to loosen up,” said Flynn, pouring shot glasses with the Jack Daniels.

Ryder looked uncomfortable before he finally said, “That’s nice of you, Flynn, but I…”

All of the men immediately took a shot.

“…never really drink… oh! Ha… that’s a good one!”

“Just take a fucking drink, little brother,” Dutch said. “You need to chill more than Luke, and he’s the one getting married today. You look wound up as hell, Luke. You okay, cuz?”

With just a shrug of his shoulders, Luke communicated that he didn’t want to discuss what was bothering him. Flynn handed his brother another shot and Luke downed it, and then handed the shot glass back to his brother.

“Typical wedding jitters,” Flynn said.

Finished with the bottle of whiskey after thirty minutes, the men cracked open the vodka. Luke, feeling much more open (and drunk), admitted his frustrations over the past year. It was mostly a repeat of everything he told Flynn on the way to the ranch. The men listened and offered support as Luke grumbled about Felicity. It felt gratifying to finally get it off his chest.

“She always seemed nice to me,” said Ryder, followed by the men taking yet another shot.

“Honestly, guys,” Luke said, “this is all just nerves getting the better of me. I just need to get my mind off things.”

Each of the men exchanged knowing glances before standing up and not bothering to hide the fact their slacks were all tented from their swelled cocks. Flynn took his brother by the arm and led him to a large chair on the other side of the room.

“Go lock the door, buddy,” Flynn instructed Ryder, who quickly did as he was told.

“What’s going on?” asked Luke. “What are you doing?”

“You said you wanted to take your mind off things,” said Dutch, opening his slacks to remove his thick cock.

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