Journey to Love
Edited by Cole, Peter and Scott
When we got back from church, Sam made hot chocolate and Brad played Santa Claus. All our gifts were nice and the nicest of all was the love that accompanied them. Truly no child had a better father than I and I had a double helping!
One of the presents was to both Jayden and me and was from a whole host of people ranging from family—my dads, my mom and DeAngelo—to the people I had grown to love in Arizona and Georgia. When we opened the box, there was an envelope inside. There were reservations at a bed and breakfast in Middleboro, Massachusetts, a paper from the governor of the state authorizing the elder to marry Derek Edward Wilson and Jayden Marshall Fulton December 30 in Middleboro, Massachusetts. Neither Jayden nor I could speak.
“It's all in there, but you two will fly to Boston the twenty-seventh as will Kathryn and the elder. They will be arriving quite late, but we want to make sure the four of you get there in case the weather turns nasty. If the four of you are there, the marriage will take place. You'll rent a car and drive to Middleboro, pick up the marriage license and check into the B&B. Sam and I will fly in on the twenty-eighth with your mom and Sergeant Major,” Brad said. “We will join you at the B&B. We have pretty much taken over a small motel in Middleboro where the other guests will be staying. They are arriving the twenty-eighth or twenty-ninth. We'll have dinner there the twenty-ninth and breakfast at the B&B the morning of the wedding. The B&B has a conference room where the wedding will be held including the marriage meal, which I understand is actually a part of the Navajo wedding ceremony. Kathryn is taking care of that.”
“I guess this means a trip to Richmond to pick out rings,” Jayden said.
“Not really,” Sam said. “When Kathryn was given the news, she asked if she, Richard and Lupe could buy your rings. They arrived yesterday.” He went to the mantle and came back with a small box and handed it to Jayden. “I understand they were made by one of your mother's cousins.”
Inside the box were two wide silver bands with a band of turquoise inlaid around the center of each band. They were absolutely beautiful. Both of us got tears in our eyes as we slipped the rings on to check the fit. When we did, Jayden grabbed me and started dancing around the room singing “I'm getting married in December!”
There was no discussion of what we would wear for our wedding—we would dress as Navajo. Jayden said he would have to do something to get his jewelry from his father's house. “My mom gave me all of it; it was made by my grandfather and uncles. I don't know how I can get it.”
“Does you father actually have it?”
“No. In fact, he doesn't know I have it. When Mom gave me the jewelry, she said, 'You'll have to hide this. Your father thinks it looks too Indian, but these pieces are your birth right.’”
“Anyone you trust you could call about it?”
“Well, Juanita practically raised me and she knows where it is hidden. I'll call her.” It took awhile for Jayden to get to talk freely to Juanita, but when he did, she said she would retrieve the jewelry and send it immediately. I expected a few pieces and was amazed when a rather large box arrived having been sent overnight. The fact that it was delivered by itself, an ID and signature required before it was given to Jayden was an indication of its value even before I noticed it was insured for $50,000!
The next two days we were busy making lists, forgetting and remembering, but the day of departure finally arrived and we left Grace House at 6:00 in the morning for a 9:30 flight. We made special arrangements for the Navajo jewelry and our wedding bands to fly in the cabin with us locked in the plane's safe.
Everything went smoothly until we reached Middleboro. For some reason the address we had been given to the marriage license bureau was wrong. We called the B&B where we were staying and the host met us and escorted us to the proper office. The clerk didn't seem too happy about issuing a license to two men and may have balked had the inn's host not been with us.
We were both tired from the trip—Jayden was exhausted—so we went out for an early dinner, came back and went to bed. After a few gentle kisses, we fell asleep; it was only 8:00. I woke at 10:00, disoriented and confused before I remembered where we were and why we were here. I smiled, leaned over and gave Jayden a soft kiss. He smiled, opened his eyes and pulled my lips to his for a very gentle kiss.
“You know premarital sex will be a thing of the past soon,” he grinned. “I think we should take advantage of it while we can.” I agreed. “Then make love to me?” Jayden asked, which was our way of saying, 'I want you inside me.' Sometimes when we made love it was hot, passionate, even rough and at others it was hot and passionate, but soft and gentle. That night was a soft and gentle night.
After making love to Jayden, we went back to sleep. Jayden awoke at 1:00, went down on me and when I was fully awake, I said, “Now make love to me. Don't hold back.” Jayden wasn't nearly as strong nor did he have the endurance he'd had before the attack, but his aggressive lovemaking was not to be dismissed. I knew he had been inside me and knew it well when we had both reached our second climax of the night.
Since we were the only guests at the B&B, and our host knew why we were in Middleboro, he had asked us if we would prefer a late breakfast at 9:00. We thanked him and said that would be perfect. When we went down, he and his wife were just putting the finishing touches on a delightful breakfast. We were just ready to sit down when Kathryn and the elder came walking in. After a round of hugs, we sat down for breakfast. Jayden always referred to the elder as ‘the elder’ and I had as well, so when I started to speak to him and called him Elder, he stopped me and told me his Anglo name was Ernesto Silver.
After breakfast the four of us sat in a small sitting room and got caught up as best we could. When the subject of the summer came up, I said, “If I am welcome, I will be in Arizona this summer. Ernesto, I think I need to spend some time at the Pueblo, maybe with you. Counseling has helped a great deal, but emotionally and psychologically I am not in nearly as good shape as Jayden and I give you credit for that. I also want to spend some time working at the clinic.”
“I don't think it wise for me to be your spirit guide, Derek, since I am Jayden's. That's more for my protection than yours. Your spirits are so united that it is possible I could become enmeshed in both and not be able to discern where I am. I do agree that time at the Pueblo would be of benefit to you and I am sure another will be a worthy spirit guide for you. We will look forward to your spending time at the Pueblo this summer. You as well, Jayden. But now to the more immediate concern.
“You are getting married. I have had many surprises in my life, but few have been equal to learning that the very governor of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts had designated me as the one to do your marriage ceremony. I am deeply honored.”
It was well into the afternoon before we decided we needed to have lunch and went into town for a very late one. There was another car parked in the drive when we got back. Mom, my dads and Sergeant Major were having tea. No one had explained to our hosts that I had two white dads. They had assumed Sam was one of our dads and Brad the other, but they were really confused about how mom fit in the picture. That led, of course, to a great bout of story telling.
While we were deciding about dinner, Sam's phone rang and he went into the hall to answer it. When he came back he had what Brad called his ‘shit eatin' grin’ on his face, a clear indication that something was up. “That was the motel calling to remind me we had reservations at the adjoining restaurant twenty minutes ago. Let's get a move on as they are holding them for us.” We piled into the two cars and headed for the restaurant. Kathryn and Ernesto rode with us and when we were on our way, Jayden said, “I don't recall anything about our having dinner reservations.” Neither did I.
When we arrived we were shown into a private dining room and as we stepped through the door, a shout of “Surprise!” erupted. Seems our friends had plans of their own and had arrived a day early. The hugs took several minutes and were accompanied by several surprises. Philip and Peter had decided they couldn't miss our wedding and had flown up. Mr. Manning and Stu were there, but the biggest surprise was the appearance of Levi and Telvin. They had headed to Las Vegas after spending time at the Pueblo and when they arrived, decided the wedding was more important and flew to Boston. They would fly back and pick up the mobile home New Year's Day and head home. DeAngelo and Angelica, Jeremy and Penny were expected, but had arrived a day early. Joe and Katrina had put their wedding plans on hold until after our wedding in order to be with us. There were many toasts and much laughter, lots of stories. During dinner Jayden leaned over and said in my ear, “This is my family.” I agreed.
The morning of the thirtieth dawned bright and sunny and COLD. We thought we were prepared for cold weather, but this was Massachusetts! The B&B had agreed to have our breakfast and we were spread all over the downstairs enjoying a delicious breakfast buffet. Jayden and I were so excited we couldn't hold still and were constantly on the move talking to our family. In spite of our excitement and roaming all over the downstairs, we never unclasped hands but did stop long enough to exchange a kiss from time to time.
After breakfast, Jayden and I met with Ernesto. He said, “Since there are very definite roles for the bride and groom in a traditional ceremony, we are going to have to make some decisions. I suppose you could flip a coin to decide who is bride and who is groom, but I know that neither of you see yourself other than as a man who is marrying a man. The only way I could come up with is for you both to present the wedding basket, one to the other ...”
“How about each presenting the corn meal to you, you put it in the basket and place it before us?” Jayden asked.
“That would work,” Ernesto said.
“Which means we come in together, present the meal to you and sit down. Then our mothers sit beside us.”
“And I'll sit in front of you,” Ernesto said. “Your mother, Jayden?”
“Of course. Anything else?”
“We have rings,” Jayden said.
“How about a kiss?” I asked.
“After you have finished eating the corn meal, exchange the rings and a kiss, okay?”
“Okay,” we both answered.
When we had finished talking about the ceremony and working out how it would work for us, Ernesto and Kathryn took us to their rooms to get dressed.
I was dressed in jeans and a loose turquoise shirt worn on the outside. It was belted with a heavy silver belt decorated with turquoise. Wide silver and turquoise bracelets encircled my wrists and an elaborate squash blossom necklace hung from my neck. I had planned to wear my dress-up boots, but Kathryn put her foot down and said she would see I had proper footwear. She produced a pair of soft almost white buckskin boots. She was quite pleased with my look as she tied a band the same color as my shirt around my head. I had long ago drawn the line when Jayden suggested we get our ears pierced, so no earrings. Kathryn had despaired of doing anything with my hair. I had let it grow longer than usual, but no way was it going to allow itself to be worked into a Navajo bun at the back of my neck.
“Derek, you are a handsome young man. Beautiful,” Kathryn said. “And of far more consequence, you are as beautiful inside as outside.”
“I am also a very lucky young man. I am loved by Jayden, by ...” I called him by his Navajo name.
“As he is lucky, ...” she said, calling me by my Navajo name.
When we were ready, we went to the conference room where the ceremony was being held. We were in one of the two anterooms waiting and when Ernesto gave us a small hand signal, Kathryn handed me a small basket with blue corn meal in it.
As I stepped out of the door, I saw Jayden step out of the other one, my beautiful Navajo. He was dressed in a deep red shirt with a matching band encircling his head. His jewelry was decorated with deep red coral. He was also carrying a small basket.
When we reached the blanket covered area where we were to sit, we handed Ernesto the baskets and he carefully poured my blue meal in one side of a large basket and Jayden's red in another. When Jayden and I were seated, he placed the wedding basket in front of us as our mothers came and sat beside us. Ernesto told me to take a pinch of the red meal and eat it. When I had, he nodded to Jayden to eat a pinch of the blue. After we had eaten the meal, Ernesto mingled the red and blue and we reached into the basket and each took a pinch of meal from the center of the basket and fed it to the other.
Ernesto then talked about how tradition must yield to the broadness of the human heart and spirit and the importance of supporting our mate’s spirit. He then whispered a Navajo blessing and we exchanged vows. We each placed the wedding rings on the finger of the one who held our heart, then exchanged a kiss and we were married. When we stood, our friends and family cheered. I could see happiness in all their eyes and faces, but it was nothing compared to what I could see in my husband’s eyes, and what I felt in my own heart.
There was the obligatory picture taking before we could sit down to dinner, but fortunately it didn't last too long. The dinner itself lasted two hours and included many toasts and good wishes. When asked about a honeymoon, we said that would have to wait. “Remember, we all are due in class Monday!”
As the dinner ended, Telvin and Levi gave both of us a kiss and said they had to head back to Vegas. “We have a lot of traveling to do before Monday. Your wedding gift will be waiting for you back in Norfolk,” Levi said with a twinkle in his eye. Philip and Peter likewise left. They had a very early flight out of Boston and wanted to stay near the airport rather than make a drive in the morning. The other young folks went to the motel for a rumored party. The old folks settled down in the sitting room to talk about all sorts of things I am sure. All gave us a little smile when we went in to say good night.
In our room, I pulled Jayden to myself and said, “Jayden, did anyone ever tell you what a beautiful, wonderful man you are. You are my beloved Navajo and I am so very, very happy.” I kissed him deeply, passionately.
When we broke the kiss, Jayden looked into my eyes and said, “Derek, I know you thought getting married was not important, but I am so glad we did. It means so very much to me. It's not recognized everywhere, but we are married, joined, united and at least the Commonwealth of Massachusetts agrees.”
“Jayden, I was wrong. Today meant more to me than I could ever have imagined it could. You and I have now formally said before our family and friends that we love each other and are joined forever. And, yes, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts heard us say that and they have formally acknowledged, 'Yes you are.' I couldn't be happier, my Beautiful Navajo.”
“Nor I, my Dark Lover.”
We undressed each other with great ceremony, taking our time, loving and admiring the beauty of the other, kissing each other's body as we removed our wedding garments. Undressed, we made sweet, gentle love for the first time as a married couple until we could only hold each other and sleep.
Next morning we went to the motel to have breakfast at 8:00. Needless to say, we were not the only ones to have had a late night, so the crowd was pretty subdued. By 9:00 all had finished breakfast and were on the road to Boston and flights to Richmond or Flagstaff. Jayden and I were left alone. We had another night at the B&B before we flew to Richmond. Our dads would meet us there and we'd spend time at Grace House before going on to Norfolk Sunday late, ready for classes Monday. We had already registered and got our schedule, so we'd just have to show up for classes.
When we got home, we found the package from Levi and Telvin waiting for us. Inside was a priceless chess set with Hopi and Navajo figures. Levi had found Hopi and Navajo artists who were chess players and were delighted when he described what he wanted and commissioned a set. Both Jayden and I were overwhelmed. Also in the package was a video of our wedding ceremony which I did not realize had been made, but I was glad to have.
Louis, of course, had already registered us and because of the attack, the twenty of us who were seriously injured got preferential treatment. Having first choice meant Jayden and I had two classes together and one of the other three classes we had was the same day and time.
Brad had designed a personal fitness program for us and we would go to the gym and swim together, so with carrying a pretty heavy class load and spending at least an hour a day in training/rehab, we had a busy schedule.
Within a week after classes started we were settling into a routine. We had consulted with the other two couples, Penny and Jeremy and Levi and Telvin, before we registered and we all had one class together. “So far as I am concerned, there will be no outside study group for creative writing,” Jayden said. “I think the six of us will make a nice group.” We agreed. In fact, I guess because of what we had gone through, we really were like a family. We had minor disagreements, but those were soon dealt with and to attack one of us was to have five mama bears at your throat.
Jeremy's speech had nearly returned to normal, for which we were thankful, but he still had memory problems. He was working with a therapist to develop ways of working around that. It also helped that among our group, at least one of us shared all of his classes except one and it was the art class I had taken earlier. He took it with the idea of doing a film and worked hard on developing a script and story board most of the semester before he began filming in April.
Jayden had insisted I continue counseling, but I saw no change in myself. I was still skittish, had nightmares and was prone to a very hot temper when there was any suggestion of homophobia in my presence. The latest episode occurred in the sociology class Jayden and I had together.
I would have thought the attacks and aftermath would have had some impact on students at OCU and it did on those of us who were attacked. In those who were indifferent to the problems and dangers faced by those of us who were gay or who were actively hostile, I saw no change. In a sense I was not surprised when the question of marriage came up in sociology.
“I don't see how people can be so stupid and ignorant,” Grady, a guy from Alexandria spouted when the professor had said marriage was a matter of custom and tradition and changed from age to age and place to place. “Marriage is between one man and one woman. That's clearly spelled out in the Bible. Where do all those perverts get off on claiming they are married? Two men can no more be married than two dogs can. At least two male dogs don't fuck each other. Two men who think they are married are worse than dogs.”
Before anyone could stop me, I had jumped over two rows of seats and had the guy on the floor. Jayden and Levi grabbed me and pulled me off the fellow before any harm was done. While the two held me, I shouted, “You ignorant bigot! I am married to the most beautiful and wonderful man in the world. Legally, too, and Levi and Penny were there as witnesses. How dare you call my husband a dog! He suffered from ignorant bigots like you as have we all. If you don't like our being married, tough shit! If you ever find someone stupid enough to marry you, I hope both of you are sterile because the world would be better off without your kind.”
“Yeah? Well, the only reason your kind is still polluting the world and this campus is because we didn't get to finish the job we started. We should have been allowed to finish off your faggot swim team.”
“You were among those who attacked the aquatics team. You fucking bastard!” I struggled to get away from Levi and Jayden.
“You ass fuckers and cocksuckers are the half-human fucking bastards! Yeah, I'm proud I got in a few licks including one to you, Mr. Fudgepacker Wilson!”
“I'm sure the FBI and police will be glad to hear that,” Jayden said through clenched teeth. “Sir, we will be holding this man for the police who have been called.” He and Levi turned me loose, grabbed the fellow from the two students holding him. They marched him outside the door and waited for the police who hauled him away.
The professor had given up getting control of the class until students had handled the matter. I was really surprised when he didn't dismiss the class as soon as things were under control. Instead, he said, “You have just witnessed a clash of cultural and social values. I want a two page paper next session of class. You may discuss today’s incident here in the class room or the question of marriage. Both of those are intended to be broad enough to allow you a wide range of subtopics from which to choose. Questions?”
“Professor, would it be possible, if he is willing, for Derek to tell us about his marriage. Who'd you marry, Derek? Anyone we know?” Agnes, not the most alert student in the class, asked.
“Girl! You've got to be kidding! Don't you have eyes? Derek is married to that good-looking Indian he's with every time they walk in the door. Take a look at their left hands,” LaLisa, a smart young woman from Clifton Forge said, laughing. At least half the class had joined in her laughter. A few minutes later, Levi and Jayden walked back into class. Levi was in his John Wayne mode and said, “Jayden and I have once again protected you, Jayden's husband,” as the two took their seats.
“Mr. Fulton, Mr. Wilson has been asked to talk to the class about your marriage. Would the two of you be willing to do that?”
I looked at Jayden who leaned over as if to speak to me and instead, kissed me full on the mouth. “Of course we would,” he said. “It's all legal so far as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is concerned and was performed by a real Navajo medicine man.”
“Next time?” The professor asked and we nodded. “Class dismissed.”
Jayden and I decided to make the presentation into a decent one, hoping it could replace our final paper in the class, giving us less to do at the end of the semester. We went by professor's office the next day and asked him about it. “Sounds like a fine idea,” he said. “Do you need more time to prepare?”
“It would be welcome,” I said.
“How about next Tuesday? That gives you a week to prepare. Plan to take all the class period if you need it.”
We decided we'd dress as we did for our wedding—but take the jewelry in a case rather than walking across campus with a fortune on display. We found a video of a Navajo wedding ceremony and would start with that. Then we'd talk about why we had chosen to have a Navajo ceremony and why we had an elder to perform it. We’d tell why we had gone to Massachusetts for the ceremony and give a brief history of the struggle which resulted in that Commonwealth legalizing same sex marriage. Finally, we'd show the video from our wedding and project photos from it while we answered questions. To be honest, it would be an excellent presentation.
Tuesday, we got everything ready and got dressed. I did Jayden's hair and he just shook his head as he tied the band around my head. “I guess I could get my hair straightened,” I said.
“Never. I want you the way you come.”
“Well, I like the way you make me cum,” I laughed.
“Well, we don't have time for that right now, Husband, but hold the thought.”
The presentation lasted just over an hour and was followed by applause, then it was time for questions. We had discussed this and Jayden had warned me to keep my temper regardless of what was asked. “If a question is off the subject ignore it, otherwise take it seriously.”
The first questions were what you would expect: How did we meet? Was it love at first sight? Had we ever dated girls? When did we know we were gay? Had we tried to change from gay to straight? Then the questions turned to why we really had a medicine man perform the ceremony. “Is that legal?” a girl asked and we explained Massachusetts' law allowing anyone to be declared an official for a wedding. There was some discussion of whether or not that was legal and the professor told the class it was legal because the state said it was legal. “States determine their own marriage laws. In fact, should one state decide not to recognize another state’s marriage law, you can be married in one state and cross a state line and not be married.”
“That's true of our marriage. We are legally married in Massachusetts, a few other states and most European countries, but when our plane landed in Richmond, we were no longer married in the eyes of the state. Virginia does not recognize our marriage although it recognizes a heterosexual couple's Massachusetts wedding. One example of how Jayden and I are discriminated against. I should emphasize that is only one way since, as we are African-American and Native American, there is no shortage of ways in which we are discriminated against.”
“Look, good presentation and all. Nice attempt to avoid the issue, but you are still two perverts, living in sin. The Bible says you deserve death and certainly it makes it clear marriage is between one man and one woman. You perverts are all child molesters and seducers of young boys. You deserve death, the Bible says so!” Dennis, a member of a fundamentalist group on campus, said.
I answered him, trying to keep my cool. “Best I recall, the Bible you are quoting doesn't talk about one man and one woman. It's more like one man and all the women you can round up. It also forbids eating certain foods—shrimp and pork being just two of them. Had any popcorn shrimp lately? Hot dogs? Bacon cheeseburgers? Looks to me like you're wearing a cotton-polyester shirt there. Forbidden. And, say, do you own any slaves? You probably should. Your Bible says that’s perfectly fine. As to child molesters, Jayden was forced into gay porn when he was fifteen and he was taped doing so. The tapes were distributed by the good Bible thumping Brother Fitzsimmons, who, by the way, carried the stamp of approval of the good Jerry Robinson of this fair city and Pat Fallwell of Lynchburg. I'm surprised that you didn't mention that and the fact that he and the producers of his filthy films were put out of business by two men you call perverts and child molesters.”
“If you knew facts instead of spouting ignorant rants supported by equally ignorant people, you would know that most—by far—child molesters are heterosexuals who molest young girls, members of your camp, not mine,” Jayden said.
“The Bible says and the church condemns ...” Dennis was really pushing my anger button.
“Hold it! Neither you nor I accept everything in the Bible regardless of what we may say, so put that aside. As to the church, Jayden and I had our marriage blessed the second Sunday after we were married. It was done in the context of the regular Sunday Eucharist using the same service that you and your heterosexual wife would have had, had you asked for the blessing of a marriage done outside the church. Sorry, but you are off base again.”
“Must be something other than a good Christian church. My church would never bless a sinful marriage.” Dennis just wouldn’t let go.
“Not even after a divorce? Or doesn't the Bible apply in your church.”
“Go on and go to hell, pervert. It's now or later.”
“Must say if you and your kind make it to heaven, I'm not sure but what I’d prefer hell!” I actually laughed which provoked the asshole who headed toward me. Levi grabbed him and suggested he leave the class.
I'm sure the professor would have liked to stop the exchange, but I suppose he realized there was little he could do and expected the students to handle the situation, which they had.
After class, some simply left, others said they disagreed, but thanked us for the presentation and some thanked us and wished us much happiness. The professor said, “Well, I don't think I’ve had this lively a class in twenty years of teaching. Thanks and that's an A+ on your project.”
As we walked out arm in arm, Jayden leaned over and kissed me on the cheek and whispered, “I seemed to recall something about your liking the way I made you cum. Interested in checking that out?” When we reached the house our jeans were stained by precum and our cocks were aching from pressing against the denim, but not for long. We started stripping at the bottom of the stairs and were buck naked before we reached the bedroom. I did like the way Jayden made me cum and he had no objection to how I made him cum!
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