When Alexis first told David that she was getting married, David pinched the skin on his wrist because he was convinced that he was in some kind of drug induced coma. When Alexis said she was getting married to Stavros, David checked the temperature of his forehead because he was convinced he was in a fever dream. And when Alexis asked David to be her man of honor, he checked his pulse because he was convinced that he had just passed out.
When it turned out that he was sober, fine and conscious, he just looked at his sister with a blank stare before screaming, “What?!”
“Ew, David,” Alexis said, tossing her hair back. “It’s like not a big deal.”
“Alexis, how is getting married not a big deal?” David asked maniacally, throwing his hands every which way.
“Because I’m bored and this sounds like a fun idea,” Alexis said, shrugging her dainty shoulders.
David continued to wave his hands in the air, pacing back and forth and loudly sharing his thoughts on Alexis’ impending nuptials until he was too worn out to talk anymore. But Alexis never budged. She never changed her mind.
That was four months ago, and now David finds himself being fitted into his suit as he once again thinks about the mistake his sister is about the make only two weeks from now.
“The world is ending, but at least I’ll be dressed in Burberry,” David murmurs to himself as the tailor pins up the hem of his pants.
“That’s the spirit,” a dry voice from besides him says and David turns his face to look at Patrick lounging in a chair, flipping through a magazine.
Patrick. Sweet, dependable Patrick. If only his sister were marrying Patrick instead, then maybe he wouldn’t be spiraling out of control because at least he would know she was with someone nice. But actually no, he doesn’t want his sister to marry Patrick because he wants to marry Patrick.
Patrick who knows how to push David’s buttons. Patrick who knows how to bring him back down to Earth when he feels like he’s losing control. Patrick who just knows David at all.
But Patrick isn’t interested and David isn’t going to go chasing after him. He’s made himself look like a fool enough times in his life. He refuses to do that in front of Patrick.
“Tell me why I can’t pretend to be lost in the Bermuda Triangle in Judy Dench’s yacht until all of this is over again?” David asks Patrick through the reflection of the mirror in front of him.
“Because she’s your sister and you love her and you would regret it if you weren’t there to support her,” Patrick replies not taking his eyes off the magazine.
“Would I though?” David asks and knows immediately that he would. But Patrick puts down the magazine and makes eye contact with David through the mirror.
He sighs and stands up from the chair, moving until he’s next to David, their shoulders almost touching. “You and I both know how much it would hurt her if you weren’t there,” Patrick says and David swallows thickly.
“I don’t know how I can stand there and watch her make a mistake,” David replies, blinking away tears.
“She has to make the decision on her own,” Patrick says softly. “And if things go south, we’ll be there to pick her back up."
David closes his eyes, nods his head and takes comfort in knowing that Patrick will be there to help Alexis too if she needs it. He feels Patrick’s hand on his shoulder squeeze and opens his eyes, looking at their reflection in the mirror and wishing again that it were a different wedding he was getting fitted for.
“You look great,” Patrick murmurs from beside him, and with one last pat on his shoulder, sits back down in the chair.
David looks at himself and agrees with him, he does in fact look good. If only he felt good too.
David met Patrick three years ago through Stevie when she was in an off-off Broadway production of Once. They were both in the ensemble, Patrick being the understudy for Guy and although he never actually had to step in for the role during their run, he sang Falling Slowly with his guitar during a drunken wine night at Stevie’s and David did anything but that. With his cheeks stained pink, his cap on sideways, Patrick sang like he meant it, his eyes closed and imagining someone to sing the words to, David watching him and wishing it were him.
But it couldn’t have been him because at that point Patrick was only five months away from getting married. And even though the wedding was called off two months later and Patrick came out to them, it always felt like it wasn’t meant to be, that Patrick was just too good for him.
So they became friends instead, Patrick always smiling at David and his antics, being his voice of reason whenever things became too much.
Patrick helped him with his business, helped make sense of David’s erratic ideas and formulated a plan to help David get up on his feet.
Patrick helped him with his family and was always there with Stevie after every failed relationship, pouring him wine, holding his hand and being his friend. And David loved him for that.
Although choosing David to be the man of honor was the obvious choice, Alexis’ picks for the rest of her bridal party left something to be desired. Klair took every opportunity she could to make the wedding about herself, Jenna was just a walking magnet when it came to bad luck and unfortunate accidents, and poor Albany just bobbled her head with everyone else, too scared to actually ever say something.
Alexis had also asked Stevie to be a bridesmaid, one glimmer of salvation for David, but she declined the offer, David smacking his forehead from behind Alexis in agony, throwing her the middle finger when she smiled over Alexis’ shoulder. Stevie was a terrible traitor, but she was his best friend.
But David was surprised when he found out that Alexis didn’t ask Twyla to be a bridesmaid. They had gotten close over the last year when they met at a yoga class downtown, frequently getting smoothies together. Out of all of Alexis’ friends, Twyla was the only one he genuinely liked for her. She was nice and always ready to help Alexis out of any sticky situation she found herself in. So David thinks Alexis didn’t ask her out of fear of her other friends making her uncomfortable and singling her out, wanting to protect Twyla from Klair’s judgemental glare. Although it doesn’t seem like there’s much that can bring Twyla down based on her rather dark familial history.
So David being the dutiful brother and man of honor, helped Alexis plan her wedding, going with her, albeit begrudgingly, to pick the flowers, the venue, the centerpieces and the cake (he actually wasn’t invited to the cake tasting, but he took it upon himself to go).
And now he stood behind her as the rest of the girls fluttered around Alexis during the final fitting for her gown, looking so beautiful David would have wept if not for the deep frown on Alexis’ face.
“Personally I would have gone with the mermaid, but like this works too,” Klair says from besides Alexis. “Are you going to wear a veil, Lex? I wouldn’t wear one.”
“You look so pretty, I just want to slap you!” Jenna says from her other side with a smile too big to actually fit her face. Albany stood in the corner and took a large swig of her champagne.
The girls continued to talk around her while Alexis continued to frown and David’s worry grew.
“Okay, so I think Alexis needs some shoes,” David says stepping towards them. “Who wants to go pick them out?”
“As if anyone else could pick them,” Klair says flipping her hair over her shoulder and sauntering away to the accessories floor of the bridal boutique.
“I saw a pair that would look so good on me, I mean on Alexis,” Jenna said following Klair out. Albany left as well, but not before swiping the champagne bottle on the table on her way out.
Alexis continued to stand on the pedestal, frowning deeply and David wonders if she’s noticed it’s just the two of them now.
David walks up to her and stands beside her knocking his shoulder into hers and watches as her shoulders drop an inch. “Hey.”
“Hey,” Alexis mumbles back, her eyebrows pinched together tightly.
“Is everything okay?” David asks.
“Yeah, of course, why do you ask?” Alexis asks vacantly.
“Because you’re giving yourself permanent frown lines?”
“Ew, David!” Alexis says, swatting his arm, and she smiles, a small quirk of her lips and she almost looks like herself again.
“Seriously, is everything okay?” David asks again softly.
“Yes,” Alexis replies, louder this time. “Everything is fine.”
David nods his head and leans it against Alexis’ shoulder. “You look beautiful.”
And she really did. She’s in a backless sheath dress with a cowl neck and embellished crystal shoulders, a long train flowing elegantly behind her. When they were younger, they would sneak into their mother’s closet and pick out one of her beautiful gowns and pretend to be marrying the people of their dreams, the gowns always swallowing their tiny frames. Now as a woman, she is a vision in white, and David feels so happy that he got to watch her grow up to be so beautiful.
“Thanks, David,” Alexis says, leaning her head against his, taking his hand and holding on tight.
“I think Alexis regrets the wedding,” David says to Stevie and Patrick later that night.
“What was your first guess?” Stevie asks from the couch. It’s Pizza night at David’s, three empty boxes stacked high on his dining table as he grabs wine glasses from the cabinet.
“Okay, but this is serious now,” David says opening up a bottle of wine and filling his glass up to the top. “She looked like she saw death during her final fitting today.”
“Pre-wedding jitters?” Stevie asks. “Patrick, how did you feel before you almost got married.”
Patrick turns to glare at her as David tenses up, moving further into his kitchen so that he doesn’t have to look at Patrick, or more importantly, Patrick doesn’t look at him. It’s never been easy for David to listen to Patrick talk about his previous relationships, but hearing about Rachel always makes David anxious, especially because Patrick almost spent the rest of his life with her three years ago.
“I felt like I was suffocating, so thanks for reminding me Stevie,” Patrick says annoyed.
“When was the moment you knew you had to call it off?” Stevie presses on and David closes his eyes and rests his head against the kitchen cabinet, cursing Stevie in his head.
“I don’t know, I just woke up one day and realized I couldn’t do it. Can we go back to talking about Alexis please?” Patrick asks pleadingly.
“Yes,” David says quickly, walking back into the living room with the glasses to stop any more conversations about Patrick’s past relationships. “There’s something off. I just have to figure out what’s wrong so I can whisk her away and shove Stavros into a broom closet.”
“What do you think it is?” Patrick asks.
“He did something, or he’s doing something. We have a family dinner this weekend at my parent’s. I’ll probably be able to scope out the situation there,” David says taking a deep sip of his wine.
“David Rose, private eye,” Stevie teases and David smirks back. “I do look lovely in a trench coat,” he says and pretends not to notice Patrick’s inquisitive face.
Dinner at the Rose Mansion is always a fiasco, but even more so with the wedding just around the corner. The social event of the millennium as his mother likes to say, pulling out all the stops to ensure Alexis’ big day comes with all the bells and whistles.
Seated to the right of his mother, his father to his left, and Alexis and Stavros across from him, Moira lists off all of the preparations she’s been spearheading, his father nodding along across from her.
“Anything for my little girl,” Johnny Rose says with a tear in his eye.
“Oh, John. Save the lamentation for the day of the wedding,” Moira says, dabbing her lips with her napkin.
The conversation about the wedding continues, Alexis nodding every now and then, still unusually quiet. Stavros’ attention is mainly on his phone, his fingers quickly typing away as David watches him carefully. He and Alexis barely speak during dinner, barely even looking at each other which was odd. His fork is halfway into his mouth, his focus all on Stavros, when his mother brings up David’s date to the wedding, or lack thereof, causing him to choke around the horseradish mashed potatoes.
“Excuse me?” David says after taking large gulps of water.
“I know you marked yourself as attending alone, but surely there must be someone you can bring with you to your sisters nuptials,” his mother says. “It is to be a glorious day only to be squandered by your solitude, David.”
“Okay, I won’t be in solitude while surrounded by hundreds of people,” David snaps back. “I’ve been very busy helping Alexis with the wedding as well you know.”
“Too busy to secure an ardent companion for the evening?” His mothers tsks at him and David feels the beginnings of a migraine at her disapproving tone. “David, you must find a plus one.”
“What if I’m not interested in finding a date?” David counters back.
His mother gives him her patented look, the look that says, “You’re not fooling anyone dear”.
David sighs, resigned to his fate. “Fine, I will find a date.”
“Excellent! Now, about those ice sculptures…” Moira’s voice fades away in David’s head as he begins to rack his brain for possible dates. Stevie’s a no, having snagged Jake as her date about a week ago. He was seeing a lovely woman named Sheila, but she is currently on the run from the police, or so she says. And there’s always Sebastien who is more than up for an opportunity to attend any kind of soiree in hopes of nudging his way up.
Sebastien who always managed to weasel into anything, leaving people for dead along the way, including David and his battered heart. But he was an easy date in the sense that he would leave David’s side the moment they entered the venue which was just fine by him.
Yes, Sebastien will do. He’ll bring Sebastien, make sure his mother sees him with him and then ditch him by the time the ceremony is over with. Because fuck that guy.
David goes back to eating his dinner, looking up every once in a while at Stavros and Alexis, all the while trying not to think about who it is he actually wants to bring as his date to the wedding.
Sebastien Raine had been a mistake. A terrible, terrible, kind of sexy, but still terribly awful mistake. He wooed David at an art exhibit five years ago, turning up the charm and snaring David into his sexy-homeless fashion trap, only to dump him outside of a club on the Upper East Side once he was able to secure some contacts through him. It was humiliating, but even more humiliating when David took him back two more times out of sheer loneliness. He always knew exactly what to say to get David to bring his walls down just enough.
And through David’s naivety, Sebastien has been able to make a decent name for himself, showing up to some exclusive parties without David’s influence now.
But even though David fell for Sebastien’s tricks one too many times, he now had some tricks of his own, tucked away into the sleeve of his Givenchy. For example, he knows Sebastien will be found at an exclusive speak-easy around midnight on Saturday night hoping to schmooze high profile patrons.
So David shrugs on his fool-proof sex magnet leather Rick Owens jacket and makes his way there, nodding to the bouncer and being let in within seconds of stepping out of his cab.
And finding Sebastien is never an issue. Because Sebastien always finds him.
“David,” Sebastien says, appearing next him at the bar only six minutes after David walked in, leaning up against it in his usual nonchalant swagger. “Surprised to see you here.”
“Sebastien,” David drawls out. “Just grabbing a drink. I was just with a friend, but I wasn’t ready for my night to end,” David says taking a sip of his gin and tonic.
“Hm,” Sebastien hums. “What friend might I ask?”
“Madison Blaire,” David says, feeling smug inside as he watches Sebastien’s eyes light up.
“Madison Blaire,” Sebastien repeats. “She did a stunning piece with Ludwig last month. The photos were exquisite.”
“Yes, I thought it might be nice to catch up with her over a burrata. I won’t be able to see her again until after the wedding,” David say casually, signaling for the bartender to refill his drink.
“Ah yes, dear Alexis. You must tell her congratulations for me,” Sebastien says cooly.
“Hm, why don’t you tell her yourself?” David says, dropping his voice and looking at Sebastien with a pointed stare. And even though David’s skin crawls at Sebastien’s shark-like smile, he smiles back, digging his fingernails into the palm of his hand as he listens to Sebastien gloat.
“What?” Patrick asks shocked the next day. They’re at their usual restaurant for Sunday night dinner, just the two of them because apparently sleeping with Jake took precedence over Korean barbecue. David does not understand.
“Sebastien is my date to the wedding,” David repeats, wincing slightly because he still feels kind of gross about it.
“Why would you ask Sebastien to be your date?” Patrick asks, crossing his arms against his chest.
“Because he’s easy,” David says. Patrick raises his eyebrows and David groans. “Easy in the sense that I don’t have to babysit him. Once my mother sees us together, he’ll back off and go off on his own to suck up to Ashley Simpson,” David says waving his hand.
“There was nobody else?” Patrick asks. “Nobody halfway decent?”
“Not really. I mean I could have found a random, but there are certain risks I don’t think I should take during my sister’s wedding. I could have brought a serial killer.”
Patrick, despite his annoyance, finds this amusing and his mouth quirks up a little.
“Besides, I didn’t even want to bring a date to the wedding,” David says, using his chopsticks to pick up some grilled meat. “There’s too much to do to also be concerned about a person’s well-being while being surrounded by my family.”
Patrick looks at David for a moment before looking away. “You could have asked me.”
David drops the meat he just picked up and looks at Patrick with surprise. “What?”
Patrick rubs the back of his neck awkwardly. “You could have asked me. To be your date.”
David blinks at him. “I thought you were bringing Ken with you.”
“That ended actually, a couple of days ago. I called it off,” Patrick replies looking down at his bowl of rice.
David swallows thickly and lowers his chopsticks. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Don’t be,” Patrick says quickly. “It was never going to work out. I just wasn’t feeling it,” Patrick says, shrugging his shoulders and giving David the most boy-next-door grin that makes his heart flutter. “Besides, I hated his shoes.”
“His shoes?” David asks amused.
“Yeah, they were like long and pointy-”
“And squared off at the toe?”
“Yes!” Patrick says laughing and David laughs with him because he loves Patrick like this.
“So,” David says clearing his throat. “I guess we have to find you a date!” He says with what he hopes is a cheerful tone.
“No,” Patrick says shaking his head. “I think I’m just going to go solo. Too much of a hassle to try and find a new date now.”
“Yeah, I guess,” David replies smiling.
“And since it looks like you’ll be dateless about 10 minutes into the ceremony anyway, we can just stick together,” Patrick says, his cheeks reddening because of the heat from the barbecue grill in front of him.
David smiles wide and nods his head. “Yeah, we can do that.” And Patrick smiles back.
Between the two of them, Alexis has always been the one to be able to adapt in any situation she found herself in. Whether it be on a pirate ship in the middle of the Chilean Sea or at an underground rave in Amsterdam, Alexis always managed to keep cool, calm and collected.
Which is why David is perplexed as he watches Alexis stomp around her apartment in a frenzy, looking for, well David doesn’t know what she’s looking for.
“What are you looking for?” David asks as he watches in amazement as Alexis takes apart her closet.
“My brown bag,” Alexis shouts, slightly muffled because her head is stuck deep into a pile of clothing in her closet.
“What brown bag?” David asks confused.
Alexis emerges from the clothing pile. “Mom gave me a brown bag when I got engaged to Stavros and now I can’t find it!”
“Okay, what does this brown bag look like?” David asks, carefully stepping over the mess of Alexis’ floor.
“It’s brown and it’s a bag,” Alexis says, now rummaging desperately through her dresser.
“Alexis, I know you know more descriptive words than that,” David replies and grimaces at Alexis’ frustrated shriek.
“David, don’t just stand there and help me!” Alexis shouts.
“I don’t know what the fuck I’m even looking for!” David shouts back.
“Ugh David!” She says, stomping her foot before freezing. “Wait. I remember now,” Alexis says before walking quickly out of her bedroom.
David follows her out and watches her rip open her hallway closet and reach up onto her tiptoes. “Found it!” She says, turning to David triumphantly with the ugliest brown bag David has ever seen.
“That bag looks like a dinosaur fossil,” David says with disgust. “Why the fuck would mom give you that?”
Alexis ignores him and walks back to her bedroom, sitting down on her bed with the bag in her lap. David sits next to her and watches as she strokes the handle. “Alexis?”
“Mom said I might need it for when I’m married,” Alexis says.
“What the fuck does that mean?” David asks, staring down at the bag.
“Something about it being passed down, I wasn’t like really paying attention,” Alexis says.
“Why do you need it now? You’re technically not married yet,” David says and Alexis nods her head. “Just wanted to like, make sure it was close by,” Alexis replies.
David sighs and rubs his forehead with his fingers. “Alexis, what’s going on?”
“Oh my God, David, nothing is going on,” Alexis says standing up and placing the bag carefully on the bed.
“Something is clearly wrong because you have been psychotic for the past four months,” David says following her.
“I’m like about to walk down the aisle in less than a week David. According to my therapist and a wide selection of bridal themed reality television, I’m allowed to be a little bit stressed,” Alexis harps back, reaching into her fridge and taking out a bottle of wine.
“This,” David says gesturing Alexis’ apartment. “Is not stress. There is something that is obviously bothering you and you need to tell me now,” David says firmly and Alexis rolls her eyes.
“Fine,” she says, sitting down at her kitchen table with the wine. “Stavros wants me to quit my job.”
“What?!” David shrieks and Alexis looks at him annoyed. “Oh my God, David! Stop shouting.”
“Why the fuck does Stavros want you to quit your job?” David asks, sitting down across from her.
Alexis looks away with her eyes closed, her shoulders shimmying around like they normally do when she doesn’t want to give an honest answer. “He doesn’t want me to like be the main breadwinner.”
“What are you talking about? Stavros runs a company with his dad and makes twice as much as you do,” David says confused.
“So like, they may have filed for bankruptcy before he proposed,” Alexis says.
David is quiet for a moment before her words settle around him. “He’s marrying you for your money.”
“Well, technically, he’s marrying me for mom and dad’s money. Or like an investment of it. I’m his liaison,” Alexis replies.
“Why does he want you to quit? That doesn’t make any sense?” David asks, leaning back in his chair.
“Pride? I don’t know, he just said he’d prefer it if I didn’t work after he like got a new company or something,” Alexis says, pouring herself a glass of wine.
“Well he won’t have to worry about that since you’re not going to marry him,” David scoffs and Alexis very pointedly does not look at him. “Alexis,” David says carefully. “You’re not still thinking about marrying him, are you?”
“Um, well, we can’t get out of the venue contract,” Alexis says.
“Alexis! You can’t be serious!” David says exasperatedly.
“David, it’s going to be fine,” Alexis says trying to soothe him. “It’ll all work out in the end.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?” David says, covering his face with his hands. “Alexis, no.”
“David, I got it covered. I told Stavros explicitly that he cannot ask mom and dad for money unless he has like a really good business plan.”
“And your job?” David asks tiredly.
Alexis purses her lips together tightly and looks away. “That’s still negotiable.”
David stares at his sister, trying to piece together her logic. “Why are you getting married?” David asks.
Alexis looks at him and shrugs her shoulders. “When else am I going to do it?”
David has watched his sister make it out of some of the world’s strangest and difficult scenarios. He doesn’t know how she’s going to make it out of this one.
“You can’t be serious,” Patrick says later that night from David’s couch. “She has to call it off!”
“She won’t,” David sighs. “I know I joked about knocking her out and sneaking her across the boarder to Canada, but I just might have to do it.”
“I can’t believe she’s still going to marry him. He’s an idiot,” Patrick says shaking his head.
“I know, this is the type of thing that would normally happen to me,” David says with a snort and Patrick is quiet besides him.
“What do you mean?” Patrick asks confused.
“Between the two of us, it seems more on brand for me to be marrying someone who just wants me for my money,” David says.
“Are you serious?” Patrick asks, his eyebrows knit together closely.
“Although now that I say it out loud, it might not even be a possibility since I won’t be able to find someone to marry me anyways,” David says, popping a piece of popcorn into his mouth.
“David,” Patrick says running a hand over his face.
“What?” David asks confused.
“What makes you so sure that there is no one who wants to marry you?” Patrick asks.
“Um, based on my track record of failed romantic relationships, I have more than enough data to support me on this,” David replies. “Samantha left me for a stuffed animal. If that isn’t a clear indicator, I don’t know what is.”
“All of those people were wrong for you,” Patrick says passionately and David rears back in shock. “Excuse me?”
Patrick takes a rough breath and stares ahead of him. “All of those people were lousy and selfish. They were wrong for you.”
“Okay,” David says slowly. “But I was also wrong for them? I mean it goes both ways,” David says.
“You just haven’t found the right person yet,” Patrick says frustratedly.
“Okay,” David says unsurely. “Or maybe I’m just not meant to get married. I mean, there’s a reason why everyone I’ve ever dated has broken up with me,” David says matter of factly.
“And you think that’s your fault?” Patrick asks, his voice hard.
“Well, yes,” David replies, blinking at him.
Patrick shakes his head and stands up from the couch. “You drive me crazy, you know that? It pisses me off how you don’t think you deserve to be treated well,” Patrick says angrily walking to the door.
“Patrick?” David calls out his name in shock, but he’s out the door, slamming it shut behind him, leaving David alone in his apartment, staring at the door for longer than he cares to admit.
Patrick doesn’t talk to him for two days, the longest they’ve gone without speaking. He hasn’t even reached out to Stevie either and David worries that he’s somehow managed to lose Patrick too.
During those two days, David juggles between being at the store, managing Alexis, and trying not to think about Patrick, a permanent migraine taking up residence in his head.
He’s going over the weekly reports with his store manager when Stevie strolls in. “What did you say to Patrick to piss him off?”
“Well hello to you too,” David says dismissing himself from his meeting. “And I didn’t say anything!”
“You did enough to have him avoiding you and by association, me as well,” Stevie says following him into the back room. “What did you guys talk about?”
“The usual. About how Alexis getting married is a mistake. About how Stavros is a piece of shit. About how I’ll never be able to find someone to marry me-”
“Woah, woah, woah,” Stevie says stopping him. “What was that last bit?”
“We talked about how unlikely it is that I’ll ever get married because there is literally no one on this earth who would want to marry me,” David says and Stevie stares at him blankly.
“David, are you serious?”
“What?” David asks confused.
“Oh my God, David, Patrick wants to marry you,” Stevie says and David rears back like he’s been slapped. “What?!”
“Well, not right away, he would obviously want to date you for an appropriate amount of time first. But I’m sure if given the chance, Patrick would marry you right now,” Stevie says casually and David feels like his chest is about to cave in. “What?!”
Stevie rolls her eyes. “I know you have a wider grasp of the English dictionary than that, David.”
David blinks rapidly at her and crosses his arms against his chest. “Why on earth do you think Patrick wants to marry me?”
“Um, because he’s in love with you?” Stevie says raising and eyebrow. And just as David is about to burst again, she says, “If you say what one more time, I’m taking an entire case of wine with me.”
David sputters, unable to form words as he stares at Stevie with disbelief. “He doesn’t love me,” David manages to say and Stevie looks at him as if he’s the dumbest thing on this earth. “Yes he does, David. And you love him too.”
“Wha-Excuse me?” David says and Stevie lets out a rough sigh.
“I have had to watch you two have this weird, intense, sexual tension for the last three years. Let’s not pretend like you’re not in love with Patrick,” Stevie says and David presses his lips tightly together. “David, you can’t be this clueless.”
“I’m not clueless, I’m rational, and rationality tells me that Patrick Brewer does not feel that way about me,” David says, even as his body wants to believe he might.
“I fucking can’t with either of you,” Stevie says shaking her head. “I’ll see you at the wedding. Don’t talk to me until you’re both done being idiots and actually do something about your feelings for each other,” Stevie says walking out as David makes an embarrassing noise from his throat.
On Saturday morning, David is leaving his apartment to go to the store when his phone rings, Alexis’ face glowing on his screen.
“What is it Alexis?” David asks, pressing the button of his elevator.
“David! I need you to pick up my dress!” Alexis says frantically from the other line.
“What dress?” David asks confused.
“My rehearsal dinner dress!” Alexis replies.
“What are you talking about? I saw it hanging in your closet the other day,” David says and Alexis groans from the other end.
“That dress got ruined last night,” Alexis says.
“Oh my God,” David says rubbing his face with his hands.
“I had the girls over last night and we got drunk and apparently someone spilled wine all over it! I had to make calls this morning to find a replacement,” Alexis says, her voice getting increasingly more frantic.
“Not someone, it was probably Jenna,” David murmurs to himself.
“Okay, okay, I’ll go get it. What are you doing right now anyway?” David asks, getting out of the elevator.
“I have my makeup and hair trial in 10 minutes. Please, can you get the dress? It’s at Saks.”
“Yes! I’m getting the dress! I’ll drop it off at your apartment. Don’t let Jenna in there!” David says walking quickly to the curb to flag down a cab.
“Okay, thank you,” Alexis says, breathing out deeply. “Hey, David?”
“What Alexis?” David says, opening the door to a cab.
“I love you.”
David closes his eyes and shuts the door behind him. “I love you, too.”
After calling the store and letting them know he won’t be coming in today, David manages to pick up Alexis’ dress from the department store, a frazzled sales associate telling him she was able to locate the specific dress Alexis asked for.
When he goes back outside, it’s pouring rain and fails miserably to hail a cab. Groaning in frustration, David takes out his cellphone and calls the one person he knows will always come and pick him up.
Which is how David finds himself in the front seat of Patrick’s car, the awkward silence suffocating him.
Patrick is gripping the steering wheel tightly, looking straight ahead and barely acknowledging David’s presence.
David is keeping himself quiet, trying his best to be as small as possible. But then his cellphone starts to ring loudly and David curses because of course his ringtone is Fantasy by Mariah.
“Hello?” David hisses into the phone.
“David,” Alexis’ voice rings from the other end. “Change of plans. Bring the dress to mom and dad’s house. I had to move my hair and makeup trial there because we were running late.”
“Alexis, I can’t do that right now,” David says through gritted teeth. “Patrick is driving and I can’t ask him to drive outside of the city right now to drop off your fucking dress.”
“David, please,” Alexis says just as Patrick adds in, “I don’t mind driving you to your parent’s house.”
“You don’t have to do that,” David says wincing and Patrick shakes his head. “No, I’d like to. Tell Alexis we’ll be there in forty minutes.”
David sighs and says, “You’re lucky Patrick is a better person than all of us combined.”
“Tell button thank you!” Alexis says before hanging up quickly just as David shouts, “Stop calling him button!”
David puts his phone back into his pocket and cautiously looks at Patrick. “Um, thank you, for doing this.”
Patrick’s hands tighten on the steering wheel. “Of course, David.”
David leans back into the seat and focuses on the road ahead of him as they drive out of the city and into the suburbs, Stevie’s voice annoyingly cutting through his head.
Patrick wants to marry you.
No, that can’t be right. Sensible, loyal, kind Patrick would never marry David.
He’s in love with you.
How is that possible? When Patrick is Patrick and David is…David?
And you love him too.
Well that doesn’t come as a shock. Of course he loves Patrick. Has loved Patrick for a long time now. Will always love Patrick.
David turns his head and looks at Patrick, studies his face, watches him clench and unclench his jaw and feels reckless for a moment. “Why did you leave my apartment that night?”
Patrick looks at him with shock before quickly turning his eyes back onto the road. “David, I don’t think now is the time to have that discussion.”
“Seems like the perfect time actually. Why were you upset when I said there’s no one who will want to marry me?”
“Seriously? You want to seriously do this right now?” Patrick asks with disbelief.
Patrick clenches his jaw tightly once more before saying, “Okay, fine,” and signals the car and pulls over into a side street. “What is it you want to know David?”
“Why are you mad at me?” David asks, his heart beating fast.
“Because people have treated you poorly and you think it’s your fault,” Patrick answers angrily.
“But why does that bother you?” David presses on.
“Because I care about you David!” Patrick says exasperatedly. “Because those people didn’t know what a good thing was even if it was thrown in their face.”
“I’m a good thing?” David asks, his lips pressing into a crooked smile.
Patrick’s lips also twitch. “Sometimes.”
David lets that sink in for a moment before steering towards a different direction. “Are you annoyed that I’m going to the wedding with Sebastien?” David asks.
“Yes,” Patrick answers simply, no hesitation whatsoever.
“Is it because I’m not good enough for him?” David asks, the devil on his shoulder whispering into his ear.
“Are you not listening to me?” Patrick asks wildly. “It’s the other way around! He’s not good enough for you David!”
David is quiet for a moment, watching Patrick breathe heavily. “Do you want to go to the wedding with me?” He asks softly.
Patrick finally turns and looks at David, his eyes soft but scared. “Yes.”
David nods his head. “Stevie said some interesting things to me the other day.”
“Like what?” Patrick asks weakly.
“She said to not talk to her until we’re both done being idiots.”
Patrick lets out a harsh laugh. “Did she?”
“Yeah, I think she’s serious.”
“Probably,” Patrick says and smiles gently at David. “Well if that’s the case, I’ll start.” Patrick takes a deep breath, closing his eyes for a moment and opening them back up. “I love you David. I’m in love with you, have been for three years now. And I know this is a lot to take in, but I want you to know that there is someone who thinks you’re important and a good person who deserves good things.”
David blinks at him, his mind short-circuiting.
Patrick runs a hand over his face. “Look, David, I know this changes things between us but-”
“I love you,” David blurts out, his eyes wide and Patrick looks back at him with shock too. “I’ve loved you forever.”
“Okay,” Patrick says weakly. A few seconds tick by before their bodies crash together over the gear stick, impossible to tell who moved first. But it doesn’t matter because Patrick is kissing David like he means it, like he’s been waiting for forever too. And David thinks that just might be true.
Patrick pulls away, breathing heavily in the small sliver of space between them. “David,” he says carefully, like David’s name is a prayer and smiles at him so beautifully that David can’t help but kiss him again.
“David,” Patrick says again when they come up for air, his hands stroking all over David’s face. “God, I’ve wanted to do this for so long now,” Patrick says, a laugh bubbling from his chest.
“How long?” David asks, smiling too, wanting to know, selfish in wanting to know.
“About a month after I met you?” Patrick says with a grin.
“Wait, really?” David asks and Patrick laughs. “Yeah, I dreamt about you, about us, about a future with you. When I woke up the next morning, I wanted you so badly I felt like I was going to cave in. Knew I had to break things off with Rachel because my feelings for you became too strong.”
“You called off your wedding because of me?” David asks in shock and Patrick nods his head. “I never felt right, until I met you David,” Patrick says, leaning his forehead against his and David tries his best not to cry.
“Patrick,” David whispers and Patrick pulls him back him, growing frantic with his kisses, the air between becoming hot and charged. They’re grabbing at each other the best they can, the center console stopping David from climbing into Patrick’s lap in order to kiss him harder.
“Can you come over tonight?” Patrick mumbles into David’s ear. “Come over so I can show you how you make me feel right,” Patrick says, biting down on David’s earlobe.
David is about to say screw it and crawl into Patrick’s lap anyway when his phone begins to ring, David ripping himself away from Patrick and shouting, “FUCK!”
Patrick laughs as he presses kisses along David’s jaw. “Answer it,” he mumbles into his skin and David rips his phone out and snarls, “What?!”
“David!” Alexis voice says. “Where are you?”
“I’m on my way to mom and dad’s house, just like you asked Alexis,” David says into the phone, running his hand through Patrick’s hair as he noses along David’s neck.
“Well come quicker,” Alexis says frantically into the phone. “I have an emergency.”
“What is your fucking emergency, Alexis?” David asks, frustration dripping from his voice. Alexis doesn’t say anything, but a text message comes through to David’s phone and he pulls his phone away from his ear to open it. “Oh my God.”
It’s Alexis in what can only be described as a 90s corporate power do, her hair teased and pulled back into a towering pompadour on top of her head and silver eyeshadow coating her lids. “Oh my God,” Patrick says from beside David.
“Who the fuck did this to you?” David asks.
“A hair and make up stylist that Jenna recommended-”
“Don’t ask Jenna for anything else!” David says wildly. “Okay, okay, what time is the rehearsal dinner?”
“Right, right, okay,” David says looking at Patrick who was looking back at him still with a lot of heat in his eyes. “6 o’clock. We can do that. We still have a couple of hours,” David says nodding his head, Patrick nodding with him eagerly, his eyes hot and dark, looking like he’s ready to take David apart. Oh God. “We can do a lot in a couple of hours.”
“What! No! David, I need you right now!” Alexis shouts from the other end. “We have photos at 2!” And David goes from nodding his head, to shaking it, feeling the resignation deep in his stomach, Patrick mirroring his movements, shaking his head with him before clunking his head onto the steering wheel and groaning loudly.
“What was that?” Alexis asks. David reaches out and begins to rub Patrick’s shoulders with his free hand, feeling the muscles tense up at his touch before settling down and loosening, Patrick leaning in to press into David’s palm.
“Nothing, a bear, a big, big bear with really strong hands and really nice shoulders,” David says, trailing off as Patrick raises his head and he looks deep into his eyes and begins to lose himself and Patrick’s face is getting closer and his lips still look really red from when they were kissing a few minutes ago and they might not have hours, but they at least have a couple of minutes to just kiss a little more -
“David!” Alexis shouts and that breaks David out of his spell again. “What?!”
“I’m in a crisis here!”
David closes his eyes and tips his head back onto the headrest. “I know, I know. I’m coming, I promise. I’ll be there soon.”
“Okay,” Alexis says more calmly. “Okay, I’ll see you soon.”
“Okay, bye,” David says, finally hanging up. He and Patrick look at each for a moment before Patrick starts the car again, reversing out of the side street and onto the main road.
“We could-” David begins to say but Patrick is shaking his head with a smile on his face. “Alexis needs you.”
David pouts and slumps down in his seat. “This is so unfair.”
Patrick chuckles from beside him and David’s hand with him, lacing their fingers together. “We’ve had three years of foreplay, what’s a couple of more hours?”
David sighs and squeezes Patrick’s hand. “You’re right,” David agrees, but adds lowly, “But the minute I can get away your ass in mine.”
Patrick laughs and holds onto David’s hand tighter. “I look forward to that.”
David presses a hundred kisses all over Patrick’s face before he’s able to rip himself away and hurry into his parent’s home, holding the garment bag close to his chest as he looks around to make sure Jenna is out of sight.
He makes his way to Alexis’ old bedroom and opens the door, someway prepared for what he’s about to see, only to realize he’s really not at all prepared for what he does see.
Alexis is sitting in the center of her bed, her eyes closed and hair even taller in person.
“Oh my God,” David whispers, closing the door behind him.
“I don’t want to talk about it, just help me fix it please,” Alexis says with an eerily calm voice.
“Alexis, you’re going to have to take a shower, there’s too much product in this,” David says poking her head.
“Okay, I can take a shower. Can you hang up my dress?” Alexis says, standing up from the bed.
“Only if you have a padlock to keep this dress from Jenna,” David says, walking to her closet with the garment bag.
“It’s fine David, she said sorry like a million times,” Alexis says from the bathroom.
“Ten minutes ago you were screaming in my ear about being in a crisis,” David says, looking through her vanity for everything he needs to make Alexis look halfway decent. “Now you sound almost calm."
“Well ten minutes ago you weren’t here. But now you are so obviously I feel much better.”
David stops moving around and closes his eyes, feeling the emotions inside of him welling up.
“Alexis, are you sure about this-”
An hour later, David is brushing out Alexis’ fresh curls, her reflection in the mirror that of a perfect Grecian statue.
“Where’s Stavros?” David asks, pinning one side of her hair down.
“I don’t know,” Alexis says absentmindedly.
David sighs and puts the hairbrush down. “Alexis, why are you doing this?”
“Because, David,” Alexis says, fluffing out her curls. “It’s going to be fun.”
David throws his hands into the air. “That’s not a reason to get married to an asshole like Stavros!”
“Well what other reason is there?” Alexis asks.
“I don’t know, love maybe?” David replies passionately. Alexis looks at him through the reflection of the mirror before bursting out with laughter.
“Oh my God, David!” Alexis says giggling.
“I’m serious!” David says defensively.
“Um, okay, David, whatever you say,” Alexis says standing up from her vanity and booping David on the nose.
“Alexis, I mean it-”
“Yeah, yeah,” Alexis says waving her hand and walking to her closet.
“Can you get me champagne please David?”
“Oh my God.”
The photos go on with no accidents, Alexis looking beautiful in a strapless, gold Gustavo Cadile dress with a sheer slit skirt.
David stands off to the side and watches her with Stavros, and even though they learned from their mother how to pull off a seemingly perfect smile for the camera, David can see the strain behind it.
Stavros for his part keeps to himself, looking down at his phone more than he looks at Alexis. They pose together for the camera, two incredibly beautiful people dressed in expensive, designer clothing, but you never would have known they were to be wed the next day. There was no love between them at all.
After the photos are taken, Alexis is rushed away by the other bridesmaids to record a video for social media about the wedding at the insistence of Klair. David declines in joining them because filming a video with Klair really means just filming Klair.
He escapes to his old bedroom, locking the door behind him and calls Patrick.
“Hi,” Patrick breathes out and David immediately starts to smile, feeling giddy inside as memories of their morning crash over his head likes waves in a tidal storm.
“Hi,” David says softly, sitting down on his bed. “Where are you?”
“Back at my place, trying to watch the game,” Patrick says with a smile in his voice.
“Mm, who’s winning?” David asks, pressing his lips down in an effort to keep his smile down.
“Couldn’t tell you, I’ve been distracted,” Patrick replies and David doesn’t stop himself from smiling now.
“Distracted? By what may I ask?” David says, laying down on his bed, wiggling his body against the soft, satin sheets.
“Oh you know, by this guy I’m now seeing,” Patrick says with laughter in his voice and something in David’s chest blooms.
“Tell me about him,” David says.
“How about I tell you about what I’m not wearing instead?” Patrick replies and David is ready to explore some naughty territory with Patrick when someone starts pounding loudly on his door.
“What?!” David shouts angrily.
“David! I need your assistance with the caterers!” His mother’s voice rings from the other side.
“You do not need my assistance with the caterers!” He shouts back as Patrick laughs loudly in his ear.
“Darling I need someone to help finalize tonight’s menu and I can’t possibly taste all of Wolfgang’s creations by myself.”
“Your father is out golfing with Stavros’ father. David, I expect to see you in the kitchen in five minutes,” she says and David hears her heels echoing away.
He groans loudly and buries his head into one of the pillows as Patrick continues to laugh in his ear.
“I’m so glad you think this is funny because this means you also get deprived of sexy phone sex,” David says and Patrick snickers.
“David, we have all the time in the world for sexy phone sex,” Patrick says and despite his annoyance, David’s heart flutters.
“All the time in the world?” David mumbles, feeling a rush of heat in his cheeks.
“Yes, David,” Patrick says fondly and David smiles into the phone, missing him so much.
“I’ll call you after the dinner. Maybe you can pick me up and we can go back to your place?” David asks, trying his best to keep his eagerness out of his voice.
“Sure, sure, we can definitely do that,” Patrick says, also trying to keep his excitement down, but David can hear it anyway.
“Okay then, I’ll call you later,” David says softly.
“Okay. Bye David.”
“Bye.” David say before quickly adding, “Send me a picture!”
Despite his annoyance of being so rudely interrupted, David is appeased by the scandalous photo Patrick sends him and tasting the food for the rehearsal dinner tonight, stealing away extra pieces of the grilled Tandoori chicken wings when no one is watching. Except Adelina who winks at him and sneaks him a piece of the bruschetta too.
His original outfit is back at his apartment, forgotten about during his chaotic haste to get here with Alexis’ dress and the distraction of Patrick’s kisses. But he’s able to find something suitable enough in his old closet and makes his way downstairs, keeping his eye out for Alexis.
There’s only fifteen other guests, a gathering of the groom and bridal parties, and David spots Stavros by the bar set up in the family sitting room, taking a sip from his cup and looking around bored.
“What are you drinking,” David says walking up to him and signaling for the bartender.
“Bourbon,” Stavros replies. “From Hudson’s family’s private collection. A gift for the wedding.”
“Mm,” David hums. “That was nice of him. Must have been a very expensive bottle.”
“Well, we can all afford it,” Stavros says with a smarmy smile and David wants to slap the drink out of his hand.
“So,” David says picking up his gin and tonic. “Tomorrow’s the big day! Are you excited?”
“Of course,” Stavros answers cooly. “It’s an honor that your sister chose to accept my proposal and I will do everything I can to make sure she's taken care of and loved.”
He sounds like a fucking robot.
“I have no doubt you will,” David says, clapping him hard on the shoulder. “I haven’t even had to think about what consequences our family would bestow upon you if you were to hurt my sister.”
“Consequences?” Stavros asks, his eyebrows lifting.
“Yes,” David says nodding his head. “I haven’t had to think about how to bring you down into the ground if I ever caught wind of Alexis’ unhappiness in her marriage with you,” David says with a megawatt smile. “Not to mention what my mother would do. She looks lovely in Balmain, but nothing compares when she’s in vengeance.”
Stavros’ eyes widen slightly and he takes a large sip of his bourbon.
“But no worries,” David says patting his shoulder. “As long as you make Alexis happy, you’ll never have to find out.”
The sound of the dinner bell rings signaling the start of dinner.
“Oh good, you’ll enjoy the beef, it’s to die for.”
David makes it back up to his room at around 9:30, shrugging off his dinner jacket and running a hand through his hair.
Dinner wasn’t awful, but it did have its moments. Like how Klair very openly flirted with Stavros the entire evening, Jenna managed to spill three water goblets around her, and Albany was four glasses of wine deep by the time the appetizers came out and proceeded to eat it with her hands like they were chicken tenders and french fries. Not to mention some of the groomsmen were obviously very high.
His mother, for her part, made sure the conversation flowed smoothly, acting as the perfect hostess that she usually is.
But through it all, Alexis stayed quiet, picked at her food and gave a half-hearted smile when Stavros stood up at the end of dinner to announce how thrilled he was that such a magnificent creature chose to marry him.
David wanted to scream.
He flops down onto his bed and pulls his phone out of his pocket, tapping Patrick’s name and listening to the phone ring.
“Hey,” Patrick says. “How was dinner?”
“As good as it could have been,” David mumbles. Patrick chuckles and David feels warm inside.
“Do you still want me to pick you up?” Patrick asks and David sighs deeply.
“About that…” David trails off and Patrick hums.
“It’s okay, David,” Patrick says kindly and David groans.
“No it’s not! We finally profess our love for each other and we haven’t had any alone time together to explore our feelings-” David says, slapping a pillow onto his face.
“But you need to stay with you sister,” Patrick finishes for him.
“But I need to stay with my sister,” David grumbles.
“We just need to get through tomorrow and my ass is yours,” Patrick says laughing into the phone.
“Mm, is that a promise?” David says, rubbing his belly through his shirt.
Patrick laughs again, but it’s breathy this time and David is about to steer them to some sexy phone sex when Alexis barges into his bedroom.
“Noooooo,” David moans out loud.
“Can I sleep in here tonight?” Alexis asks ignoring him. She looks tired and David sighs and nods his head.
“Yay, David!” Alexis says clapping her hands. “I’m going to change, maybe we can like do a mask!” And with that Alexis struts out of his bedroom and David’s head fall backwards.
“I don’t know how to stop this,” David mumbles into the phone.
“Did she tell you why she wants to get married?”
“She’s been giving me stupid answers that don’t make any sense. It’s as if she doesn’t think she deserves to marry someone who sees her for her,” David says frustratedly.
“Sounds like someone I used to know,” Patrick replies and David blinks up at the ceiling.
“Oh my God.”
“I could have married Stavros.”
“Well, not Stavros exactly, but some version of him.”
“Fuck that guy,” Patrick says fiercely and David can see him scowling in his head. He laughs because he’s so happy before groaning out loud. “I forgot Sebastien is my date tomorrow.”
“How could we forget,” Patrick says, his voice strained.
“Maybe he won’t show up?” David says, but even he doesn’t believe that.
“It’s fine. As long as he doesn’t touch you. I’ll break his fingers if he does.”
David laughs. “Patrick Brewer, you’re jealous.”
“Am not,” Patrick replies petulantly and David laughs some more.
“I like having a jealous boyfriend,” David says and he can hear Patrick’s smile through the phone.
“Ugh, can we ignore that?”
“Fine, but don’t tell my boyfriend, he’ll get jealous.” Patrick laughs and David feels at peace at the sound of his voice.
“I should go, Alexis will be back any second now,” David says sadly and Patrick chuckles.
“I think you have some things to say to her tonight,” Patrick says and David smiles.
“Mhm,” David says, nodding his head with his eyes closed even though Patrick can’t see him.
But Patrick chuckles softly on the other end like he can and says, “Hey.”
“Hey,” David breathes back.
“I love you.” And David doesn’t think he’ll ever get used to hearing that. But he’s beginning to believe that he deserves to.
“I love you too.”
Facial masks smeared on their faces, David and Alexis sit on his bed surrounded by magazines and bowls of snacks.
“Where are the other girls?” David asks eating a pretzel.
“At Klair’s apartment,” Alexis replies, flipping through this month’s Vogue. “They’re doing this like deep tantric, meditation narrated by Kevin Bacon.”
“You didn’t want to join them?”
“No, there’s no point since I have to be here early in the morning anyway.”
They’re quiet again except for the occasional page flip.
“Okay, I can’t do this,” David says closing his magazine. “Don’t get married tomorrow.”
“Oh my God, David,” Alexis says rolling her eyes.
“You don’t love him, he doesn’t love you, why are you doing this?”
“Because it doesn’t matter!” Alexis says looking up at him.
“What?” David asks shocked.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Stavros or some other guy, this is what marriage is going to be for me so might as well get over it.” Alexis says.
David stares at her, his mouth trying to form words. “Oh my God, ew David, say something!”
“Why do you think this is what you deserve?” David finally asks.
“It’s not about what I deserve, it’s about accepting reality,” Alexis says.
She meets his eyes and sees what he failed to see in himself that night in his apartment with Patrick: fear of being left alone because he isn’t good enough.
“Alexis,” David says softly. “You are a good person who deserves good things,” he says, repeating Patrick’s words to her.
“Yeah, okay David,” Alexis scoffs, crossing her arms protectively across her chest.
“I’m serious. I don’t know how we got to be so fucked up, but mom and dad have the perfect marriage. Why shouldn’t we want that for ourselves?”
“Why do you believe in love all of a sudden?” Alexis asks.
“Stevie told me I was being an idiot and I’ve decided to listen to her for once,” David replies.
“Good for you, but like it doesn’t matter,” Alexis says opening up the magazine again. “Stavros asked me and I said yes.”
David stares at her and asks softly, “Is that what you want for me too?”
“What?” Alexis asks confused, looking up from the magazine.
“If Sebastien asked me to marry him, would you want me to say yes?”
“Ew, no! Sebastien is a monster,” Alexis says disgusted.
“Then why do you think you deserve the same thing?”
“Because it’s not the same thing! Stavros isn’t Sebastien,” Alexis says and as the words leave her mouth her face twists around, as if she doesn’t believe what she just said.
“Marriage doesn’t have to be a transaction, Alexis. Especially since you are getting literally nothing in return.”
Alexis groans and flops down onto the bed, David laying beside her and pressing his shoulder against hers.
“This was so much easier four months ago,” Alexis mumbles. “It didn’t seem like a big deal to say yes. I thought everything would be the same anyways so might as well.”
“What do you want to do?” David asks.
“I don’t know,” Alexis whispers, but takes a hold of his hand and squeezes.
Stevie swings by David’s apartment to pick up his suit, scowling at him when he takes it from her because she had to wake up early to get it. “I expect-”
“A free case of wine, yeah I know you vulture,” David says letting her into the mansion. “Come on, Alexis needs help getting into her dress.”
“She’s still going through with it?” Stevie asks, following him up the staircase.
“For now she is,” David replies.
“And what about you? Still being an idiot?”
“By your standards, I’m always an idiot.”
“On his way to the venue.”
“He’s very excited for the wedding.”
“Okay, he’s mostly excited to see me so that we can make out in a broom closet, there are you satisfied?”
“I will be once I have a glass of wine.”
“You’re a monster.”
David doesn’t let anyone near Alexis’ hair and makeup, taking it upon himself to get his sister ready. Jenna has also been banished to a separate room in the mansion.
“Lex, you look so good,” Klair says from behind her. “We have to take a few snaps for my insta.”
They move to the venue and by noon, David watching guests fill up the ceremony space, keeping an eye out for Patrick, hoping to pull him in for some light canoodling before the wedding begins.
He doesn’t find Patrick, but Sebastien finds him, sauntering his way up to David with a sly grin, leaning in to kiss him, David ducking away just in time for it to land on his cheek instead.
“David, you look exquisite,” Sebastien purrs.
“Thank you so much,” David says quickly, and once again looks around for Patrick.
“I can’t wait to twirl you around the dance floor later,” Sebastien says and David grimaces. “Yeah, about that, there’s been a change in plans-”
“David,” someone says from behind him and David turns around and sees Patrick, looking so handsome in his suite David wants to weep.
“Patrick,” he breathes out and begins to move towards him when he feels Sebastien snake his arm around his waist, holding on to him.
“Brewer,” Sebastien says. “Looking sharp for once. I’m impressed.”
Patrick looks at Sebastien like he wants to rip him apart, and David fails at not being turned on by that. He tries to pull out of Sebastien’s grasp but he holds on tighter.
“I think David would like it if you let him go,” Patrick says with a steely voice and David shivers.
“Well I was hoping to show off my handsome date to everyone,” Sebastien says with a smile.
Patrick snarls and David is now 100% turned on. He steps closer to them and Patrick, despite being shorter than Sebastien, holds himself up like he’s 10 feet tall and says, “Let him go.”
Sebastien looks at him for a moment, his eyes widening before he scoffs and lets go of David’s waist, Patrick immediately pulling him towards him and wrapping his arm possessively around him. And David would be lying if he said that this whole jealousy thing really wasn’t working for him.
“Whatever,” Sebastien says and saunters off leaving just the two of them.
“Okay,” David says swallowing hard. “That was really, really hot.”
Patrick, who was still glaring at Sebastien’s retreating back looks at David and asks, “Yeah?”
David nods his head eagerly. “Oh yes. Definitely yes, mhm.”
Patrick smiles at him and David feels himself unfurling, placing his hands on Patrick’s shoulders and smoothing out his suit. “You look very handsome.”
“So do you,” Patrick murmurs, wrapping both of his hands around David’s waist and pulling him in closer. “God, David, you look so beautiful.”
David flushes and Patrick smiles wider and they’re about to kiss and David thinks he can drag Patrick into the closet down the hall for just five minutes when he hears his father say, “Oh David, there you are!”
David groans and lets his head drop onto Patrick’s shoulder. “Hi Mr. Rose”
“Oh! Hello there Patrick!” His dad says with surprise before a soft smile settles onto his face. “Glad to see you here. Son, we’re about to start lining up and Alexis said she needs you.”
David nods against Patrick’s shoulder as his hands run up and down his back soothingly.
“Yup, I’ll be there in a minute,” David says, burying his nose into Patrick’s neck and take a deep breath.
Patrick continues to rub his back until his lifts his head up and looks into Patrick’s eyes. “I’m glad I got to see you at least.”
“Me too,” Patrick says softly, kissing him gently on the lips. “Go help Alexis.”
David finds the rest of the bridal party in the suite, ready to line up to enter the ceremony. Alexis is sitting down on the pouf, an absolute vision and he goes to sit next to her. “Ready?”
Alexis nods her head slowly and stands up, her head up tall and her shoulders set.
He helps her out of the suite, making sure the train behind her is straight.
He sees Stavros and his groomsmen also lined up, all of them rowdy and swaying slightly.
The girls are chatting with each other, oblivious to Alexis and her cold stare.
Suddenly Stavros’ sharp laugh pierces through the air and David winces at it. He sounds triumphant, as if he’s gloating. Alexis also grimaces before her face settles back.
The music is starting and Stavros is about to walk down the aisle when he suddenly feels Alexis’ razor sharp nails digging into his arm.
“Ow, Alexis,” David says, his eyebrows furrowed, until he sees his sister’s face. “Oh.”
“Yeah,” Alexis says weakly.
“Okay,” David says nodding his head. “Okay, okay, okay.”
“Okay, kids! Ready to walk down the aisle sweetheart?” Their father says from behind them.
“Um, dad?” David says using his head to gesture towards Alexis.
“Huh?” He asks confused. He looks between his two children until it dawns on him what they’re trying to say. “Ah, I see.” Johnny Rose clears his throat and goes to look for his wife.
“David,” Alexis whispers urgently to him and David takes her hand, squeezing tightly.
“I’ll go get Stavros, meet us in the grooms suite,” David murmurs as he watches his parents from the corner of his eye walk to the front of the ceremony, knowing if there’s anyone who can announce the unfortunate cancellation of a wedding, it’s film and television’s Moira Rose.
Stavros isn’t happy when Alexis gives him back the ring. He’s also not very sober and kind of slumps into a chair and rocks back and forth.
He also kind of cries? David can’t tell because he ushers Alexis out of the room quickly and shuts the door to the groom’s suite behind them.
Most of the guests leave except for a few, congregating to the reception hall at Alexis’ insistence. His parents, Stevie, and Twyla, all stick around to celebrate Alexis’ non-wedding, making the best of the situation in a very Alexis sort of way.
“Well, we did shell out quite a bit of money for this wedding,” they father says as he takes a bite of the wedding cake. “Might as well enjoy it.”
Alexis is still in her wedding dress, but her hair is down and she looks like her usual self, laughing and booping everyone on the nose.
Patrick finds David leaning against the wall watching his family and stands next to him, knocking their shoulders together. “So, I take it her older brother bestowed upon her some sage advice?”
David hums and links their fingers together. “I might have told her some things my boyfriend told me.”
Patrick squeezes back and David adds, “Speaking of boyfriends, I wonder where Sebastien is? He kind of disappeared.”
Patrick pinches his side and David laughs. “I may have had a part in that.”
“Oh?” David says shocked, turning to face Patrick. “What more could you have said to him?”
“Just the normal jealous boyfriend stuff,” Patrick says shrugging his shoulders.
“You threatened to break his fingers?”
“I threatened to break his fingers, yes.”
David laughs and wraps his arms around Patrick’s neck. “I’m not going to lie, this is doing a lot for me.”
“Good to hear,” Patrick mumbles and kisses him sweetly.
“Oh David,” his mother’s voice rings from behind them. “I would like a dance with my only son please.”
David groans as Patrick pushes him towards his mother with a laugh. “Go, we’ll continue this later.”
“But how much later,” David whines and stomps over to his mother.
He takes her in his arms and leads them around the dance floor like they’ve done so many times, and despite his annoyance at once again being ripped away from his boyfriend, David smiles at his mom, letting the relief of the day wash over him.
“All’s well that end’s well,” she murmurs between them.
David snorts and nods his head. “You can say that again.”
“I was expecting more fanfare, but overall I’m pleased that Alexis went with a more subdued approach. Much more classier,” she says, smiling softly to herself.
David looks at his mother inquisitively before looking over his shoulder at his dad and Alexis dancing, her head leaning on his shoulder as he places a gentle kiss on her forehead.
“You both knew,” David says with amazement. “You both knew Alexis wouldn’t actually marry Stavros.”
“Well of course we knew, dear,” his mother says with a fond pat on his cheek.
“Then why go through with the wedding at all?” David asks wildly.
“Because it was a decision that Alexis had to make on her own. What good would it have done for us to have intervene during such a crucial moment of self reckoning,” she answers cooly.
“What is she didn’t come to the realization?” David asks.
“Well then I would have made an impassioned objection!” She says, fondly looking over his shoulder at Alexis as they continue to sway to the music. “But rest assured dear, I had the upmost confidence that Alexis would be the one to save herself today.”
“Unbelievable,” David says shaking his head.
“And you my dear also rose to the occasion!” She says squeezing his hand.
“I don’t know if I would describe my panic as something triumphant,” David says rolling his eyes.
“Oh no, not that dear, you held yourself together with but a sliver of thread,” she says chuckling. “I meant finding a companion. You really did make quite a marvelous choice.”
“Okay, Sebastien is not that great,” David says, his face pinching together.
“Sebastien? Sebastien Raine was your plus one?” She asks surprised.
“Um, yes? Who are you talking about?” David asks confused.
“Why, dear Peter of course!”
“Peter?” David asks. “Oh my God, do you mean Patrick?”
“Yes, Patrick, that’s what I said.”
“Oh my God,” David says shaking his head. “How was I supposed to know you wanted me to bring Patrick to the wedding?”
“It was an obvious choice, I didn’t think you would have such difficulty disassembling my intentions, David.”
“You gave me zero clues!” David exclaims.
“Well, I can’t say you inherited my astuteness,” she says patting his cheek fondly. “He sees you, for all that you are and that’s all a mother could ever want for her son,” she says and David feels his throat closing up with emotion.
“It seems both of my children will be alright through just about anything,” she says, kissing his cheek, David nodding his head while trying not to cry.
“Oh,” his mother says pleasantly. “It seems as though you have a gentleman caller.”
David steps away from his mother’s embrace to turn around, Patrick behind him with a shy smile on his face. “May I cut in?”
“Perfect timing, Parker,” his mother says. “I was just about to be whisked away,” and with the kind of telepathy you can only get after being married for several decades, David’s father is there in a heartbeat, taking his mother into his arms and taking her around the dance floor, forty years of practice under their belts.
“Where’s Alexis?” David asks as Patrick winds his arms around his waist.
“Drinking champagne with Twyla,” Patrick says gesturing behind him with his head. “They’re talking about taking a trip to Twyla’s hometown.”
“Isn’t she from a town with a weird name?” David asks. Looking over at the two of them giggling together, David feels warm inside at knowing she might have a friend she can finally depend on. She’s smiling wide now, head thrown back and looking lighter and brighter for the first time in months.
She’s going to be okay, he thinks to himself with relief.
Patrick shrugs his shoulders and says, “What can be weirder than this?”
David smiles and leans his forehead against Patrick’s. “Nothing,” and kisses him again.
”Okay, now can we go have sex?”