In preparation for our wedding, Gabbie stayed with her parents on the Thursday and Friday before the Saturday ceremony. To keep me company, and to save them money, I asked my best man Todd and my other good friend Donny to stay with me for those two nights.
Both of them were still living in the same state as our college so they took the same flight to San Francisco and I picked them up together at the airport on Thursday in the early afternoon. That day was slightly crazed because as soon as I picked them up we had to drive an hour, get ready for the wedding rehearsal and dinner, then drive another hour in order to participate in those two events.
Both went very well. After the church rehearsal we had a fantastic dinner at an Italian restaurant in North Beach; the restaurant was owned by a couple from the Italian Village that Gabbie's family had known for years.
On Friday, after spending most of the day doing some quality sight-seeing in San Francisco, Donny, Todd and I returned to my condo around 5:30pm. We hadn't made any special dinner plans, but as we arrived Todd said he had an idea. He said we should "dress to impress" and be ready to leave at 7.
At ten minutes to seven Todd told Donny and me, "We should go outside. There are more people coming."
I grinned. "Ah! A surprise for the groom?"
"Oh yes. It'll be quite a surprise."
Fifteen minutes later an extra long black limousine turned the corner and pulled directly in front of us. "Surprise," Todd whispered to me. The way he said it was strange. It was as if having a limo pick us up was something to be afraid of. I gave him a confused look. He shook his head slightly, but didn't say anything.
The chauffer got out of the car, said hello, and opened a door to the back of the limousine.
Inside were my two cousins, Michael and Jim, my cousin's husband Jeff, and my aunt's husband Mike.
"We're taking you out for a wild night, bachelor! You'd better drink up, because this is going to get crazy," my cousin Michael said as he handed me a glass of champagne.
My relationship with Michael was slightly complicated. He was two and a half years younger than me, and in fact had turned 21 just six weeks before the bachelor party. If I had to pick someone who was the closest to being the brother I never had, Michael was him. However, we weren't as close as we once were. We hadn't spent much time together in recent years because I had gone to school out of state and even after I graduated I lived some distance from him. As a result, I felt like I knew him best when he was 12 or 13.
From the time that he was about eight, Michael and I slept over at each other's house a few times a year. We always had a blast. One of our favorite things to do was to build forts and haunted houses.
At one sleepover when I was 12 and he was 10, I woke up in the middle of the night and found myself admiring Michael, sleeping in his underwear, right next to me.
After a few minutes of looking, I couldn't help myself, I had to touch him. Very carefully I moved my hand down his chest, across his leg and onto his crotch. Touching his body was exciting---but I really wanted to hold his dick.
Very cautiously I slipped my hand into his underwear. It was rapture to touch his penis. But even that was not enough. I wanted to see it.
Very carefully, I slid his underwear down. His dick was still pre-pubescent but I couldn't help touching it more, hoping that I could make him hard.
His penis didn't respond but mine sure did. After a few more minutes of fondling him I couldn't ignore my cock any longer. I quickly jacked off to an intense orgasm.
Satisfied, I clean-up, pulled up my underwear and went back to sleep.
The next morning Michael said to me, with a big smile on his face, "Did you pull my underwear down?
"No." (Have you ever seen a 12 year old lie effectively? They generally can't do it. I certainly couldn't.)
"C'mon, you did."
"No, they probably slipped down while you were moving around in your sleep."
"It's never happened before......but maybe."
He badgered me for a while longer but there was no way I was going to tell him the truth.
For the next several years I continued the pattern. I couldn't help myself---he was lying right next to me! The first time was the only time I made the mistake of leaving his underwear down. Mostly I didn't bother with his underwear, I just massaged his dick until he was semi-hard, then I beat off.
When I was 14 and he was 12 I thought he might be old enough to cum so I got really bold one morning and showed him my hard on. I told him how great it felt to cum and proceeded to demonstrate by successfully fucking my pillow. He was definitely interested in what I was showing him, and he even tried it himself for a bit, but he was still too young. That was as overt I as I ever got with him while he was awake. Sadly for me, our sleepovers dwindled as we got older.
All those years I assumed that I was the homo pervert and Michael was the straight, innocent child.
Then, one time I when I was 17 or 18, I had to take a shower at his house. About 10 minutes into the shower I saw Michael outside the house trying to sneak a peek at me through an open window. If I had been smarter I would have given him a show. Instead I yelled through the window, "I see you!" I was worried that he was going to try to play a joke on me or something. Then, when I saw his embarrassed reaction I KNEW he was hoping to catch me masturbating. The incident made me wonder just how straight and innocent Michael was.
That was the last interaction with a sexual overtone I had with him, until the bachelor party.
Once I was in the limo, toasting my last day of being single, I was excited and happy. Gabbie had explicitly, vehemently told me that under no circumstances was I to participate in any kind "gross" bachelor party. I had made sure to pass that message along to all my groomsmen, especially Todd, who as my best man would normally have had the party-planning responsibility. So, to be having any kind of party at all was a huge, pleasant surprise.
"Thanks, you all, for coming and for planning this. What are we going to do?" I asked.
Michael answered for the group. "We can't tell you, it's a surprise."
"Alright, I can live with that. Just so long as we don't do anything that is going to get me in trouble with Gabbie."
"Don't worry! Everything will be fine. Have more champagne."
Todd spoke up, "Do you have any vodka? I think I could use a few shots." I watched in amazement as he took three large shots in quick succession. Todd was not a big drinker. In fact, the only other time I remember him having a shot was at a floor progressive when several of us held him down and poured it down his throat.
"What are you doing?" I whispered to him.
"Trust me, you're going to want to drink a lot." He looked afraid as he said it.
Usually I would have trusted his judgement but I was already pretty hungry and the thought of slamming a bunch of shots on an empty stomach sounded like a recipe for disaster. I decided that I would wait until we ate something, then I would drink more.
We grabbed some fast food on the way into San Francisco and about an hour later we were getting out of the limo in front of Centerfolds, a high-end strip club.
Just as we entered, the night-long fog and alcohol-induced blur kicked in.
There were poles and busty topless girls and strippers who took it all off. There were curtained booths where you put $5 into a machine and a barrier that moved up from behind a glass wall, exposing a naked girl who played with herself and seductively pushed her tits at you.
And there were girls offering lap dances, one of which Michael very enthusiastically bought for me.
I was much less enthusiastic. I found it awkward to make small talk with her while she was grinding away.
The lap dance didn't really do anything for me but Michael watched the whole time to make sure he got his money's worth.
As uncomfortable as I was being in the strip club, Todd was petrified. I had to laugh at him because he looked so afraid that I thought he might pee himself. He was such a spectacle that I realized I could take the pressure off myself by directing more attention to him. I gave a girl a few dollars to flirt with him and he squirmed nervously the whole time. Watching him fidget had me doubled over with laughter.
After nearly two hours Michael told us it was time to leave.
"Thank god that's over," I said on the sly to Todd. He quickly agreed. But our hopes that we were done ogling naked women were soon dashed.
After a short drive, the limo dropped us off at another strip club, the Mitchell Brothers' O'Farrell Theater. The alcohol was in full-effect then. I only remember one detail about that place:
Michael had us all sit at a booth with a table, like in a restaurant. After we were seated a naked girl used a short ladder to step onto the table. She positioned herself as provocatively as she could across the table and said, "Hi boys. I hear this is a bachelor party. Which one of you is the groom?" Everyone except Todd gleefully pointed to me. I blushed bright red. She pushed her chest out toward me and said, "Hi, I'm Katie."
"Hi Katie." I gave her my biggest fake smile, "I'm Cam."
"So tell me, Cam, do you know how to make a girl REALLY happy?" As she spoke she changed positions and seductively pushed her ass and cunt toward me.
"Um, yes. My fiance' has no complaints."
Katie switched positions again. Now she was kneeling in front of me, her perky tits only inches from my face. "Well, let me show you, just in case."
She rolled back slightly to a sitting position but kept her legs directly in front of me. "A lot of guys have no clue where a girl's special button is."
"Our hot spot is right here." As she said that, she arched her back, spread her legs and with one hand holding her cunt open, used the other to point to the nub at the top. "This is a clitoris."
I nodded again.
"When you fuck your wife you want to make certain your dick is giving a lot of stimulation to her clit."
I didn't need the anatomy lesson but I found it somehow appropriate that a stripper should be explaining to a gay man where a woman's clitoris was on the eve of his wedding.
Katie continued to talk to me for five very long minutes and as she talked she put every part of her body as close to me as she could, without ever touching. Nothing I had seen in the strip clubs had been very arousing but having Katie so close and so focused on me, I must admit, was kind of hot.
Except for the twinge of excitement I felt for Katie, I mostly found the strip clubs to be enigmatic. What was so thrilling about being teased for a few hours? Blue balls? If a woman opened her legs in front of me and pushed her pussy within a few inches of my face, I didn't want to just sit and watch. I wanted to either turn away in embarrassment for both of us, or, to put my tongue in her twat and go to town.
Katie's tutorial was the highlight of our time in the O'Farrell Theatre. Not long after she left our table Michael loaded us into the limo and off we went to another destination. This time it was the Embassy Suites near the airport. The plan was that we would drink and then collapse there. Since I was already pretty sauced, that sounded good to me. I was just relieved to be finished with the strip clubs.
Michael rented a mini-suite, that is, a living room and a bedroom. The idea was that there would be enough space for the seven of us to crash. Prior to our arrival he had stocked the room with a good supply of alcohol and snacks.
We weren't in the room for long before there was a loud knock on the door.
We all looked at each other.
Then a woman yelled through the door, "Police! Open the door!"
Michael, who was nearest the door, opened it and a short police woman entered. In her hand was a black police baton, which she repeatedly slapped in her open palm.
Not far behind Police Girl was a tall, dopey thug, holding a boom box. The girl looked believable as a cop but the boom box dufus behind her completely killed the illusion. Seeing them together made me laugh. Then groan. ANOTHER stripper?!!!
As soon as the door shut behind the thug, he turned on the boom box and Police Girl began her strip show. Within seconds it was obvious that she was less polished than the women from the fancy strip clubs, but that made her all the more likable. At first I enjoyed her earnest effort but then a thought hit me that made me panic: Two strip clubs and now a stripper at a hotel? Wait. Maybe this girl is MORE than a stripper...maybe she's a prostitute? Are they going to make me fuck her?
Once that thought was in my head, I was so freaked out that I hardly paid attention to what the girl was doing. Just as I was able to re-focus my scotch-saturated brain the song on the boom box ended. The strip was over.
Police Girl, I noticed, had not gone the full monty---she still had on a pair of black laced panties. I relaxed a little and hoped that her restraint was an indication that she was not a prostitute.
The next part of Police Girl's show was requests. She went through a laundry list of things she would do and how much she expected to be paid to do them. I think a lap dance was $10. Notably missing from the list was anything approaching sex. No blow jobs, no cunt licking, no fucking. Now I felt better.
After Police Girl finished reading her list, she scanned the room in search of takers. No one wanted to throw any money at her. She begged a few times and finally my cousin Jim fished out a few bills. He said he wanted her to rub her hits in his face and give him a lap dance. Michael then paid for a lap dance for himself. After than that, Police Girl had no takers. She looked pretty annoyed, then at the last minute Jim said he would buy a snake dance.
The highlight of her show ended up being the snake dance.
Jim was 22 and a devoted baseball player from a young age through college. He had a solid, athletic build, big dimples and a cute smile. If he could've figured out how to charm a woman he would have gotten laid every night. He was so goodlooking that when Police Girl made him strip down to his tighty-whities and lie on the floor, I thought, Finally, a hot body to appreciate.
When he was ready, she got down all fours directly above him and slowly rubbed her bare tits all over his body, inch by inch, from his toes to his neck.
I thought for sure he would pop a nice boner for Todd and I to ogle but somehow he never made it past half-hard. I was surprised because he was a pretty vocal pervert.
When the snake dance ended and he still had no boner, I was really disappointed. I thought, Even I would be at full mast if a hot girl was rubbing her tits all over my bare body!.
I did, however, like the idea of a stripper who made the guys drop their pants.
After the snake dance Police Girl and Thug Boy left. Then we drank, ate, and some time later, passed out.
I had dozed off in a big armchair and jolted awake when I heard the room's front door close shut. No one had entered so I figured some one must have left. I had no idea who. Now that I was a little awake I decided to move to the bedroom and see if I could crash on the bed.
The bedroom was pitch black so I couldn't see who was who or where, exactly, they were. Two or possibly three guys were on the floor.
Once my eyes adjusted a little I could see that there was one guy in the bed, Todd. I wasn't going to sleep in my pants so I took those off and crawled into bed with him.
Lying next to him, half-dressed and under the same sheet, made me smile. All my "what if" questions returned, including What if Todd and I had become a couple? I laughed to myself when the answer popped into my head: Then I would spend every night lying next to him just like I am now. I lifted my head up to look at him. He looked back at me; I must have woken him when I got into the bed.
I whispered, "Thanks for being such an awesome best man... And thanks for setting this all up," meaning the strip clubs and the stripper.
He smiled, knowing I was kidding, and replied, "You're welcome."
Lying in the bed with Todd was the first chance we had to talk intimately, in-person, since we had come out to each other over the phone. Thinking about him lying next to me in a bed made me glow inside.
Aided by the alcohol, the warm glow soon turned hotter and I couldn't help myself---I reached over and took his hand. After such a crazy night, it meant a lot to me that Todd had been there to share it.
I gently caressed his hand. My touches brought him more to life.
Soon he was caressing my hand as much as I was caressing his. Excited and intrigued, I slowly moved my hand up his arm. Then to his chest. Then to his stomach. Then to his crotch. At each stop, his hand followed along and traced my body in exactly the same way.
Under normal circumstances I would have been rock hard and bristling with an electric, sexual energy. But the room was dark, it was very late, and I was barely holding on to drunken consciousness. Todd was at least as drunk as I was. With our hands somewhat noisily crinkling the sheets, we fondled each other's cock as quietly as we could. In very little time, I was fully hard and starting to get into it. Todd had a semi but was steadily growing in my hand. Then, just as things were about to get really good, whoever was sleeping on the floor on Todd's side of the bed, got up and left the bedroom. The abrupt departure broke the spell of our hazy tryst.
"Who was that?" I whispered.
"I couldn't see."
"Do you think he heard or saw anything?"
"I don't know....I don't think so."
"Do you think he's coming back?"
"I don't know. Maybe."
I thought for a minute. So much of me wanted the intimate encounter with Todd to continue. But, had we been heard? And more importantly, was it right to fool around with my best man only hours before my wedding?
"We should probably go to sleep."
"Yeah. We should."
"Cam! Wake up!" It was my aunt's husband Mike---my uncle, technically, although he was only a few years older than me.
"I'm awake. What's going on?"
"You need to call Gabbie. She's pretty upset."
I looked at the clock on the nightstand. It said 8:22. I felt tired but thankfully, not hung over.
Between the surprise of the party, the booze, the girls and the relentlessness of the night, I hadn't thought about calling Gabbie once. Now that I knew she was pissed, I really didn't want to talk to her. Why should she be mad at me? All I did was get into the limo when I was told to.
After stalling for more than a half hour, I called Gabbie at her parents' house.
Within seconds of my hello she launched into a venomous, screaming tirade: What had I been doing? Why hadn't I called? Why didn't anyone tell her what was going on? Why didn't I tell my family there was not going to be a bachelor party? What did I do? Were there any disgusting girls there? Did I sleep with them?
Then, once she had exhausted every question she could, she declared her unyielding hatred for my immediate and extended family: "No one would tell me where you were. They all knew and no one would tell me. They're all a bunch of liars, I hate them!"
The high point of the call came next when she said, "I don't know if I want to marry a man like you, with a family like yours. How could you do this to me? I really have to think about this. I don't know if I want to marry you today. Or ever."
I was as humble and apologetic as I could have been. Mike, Donny and Todd all left the room within the first minute of the call, as soon as they heard her screaming into the phone.
After about 25 minutes of listening to her rant, I was able to calm her down enough to tell her that I had to go, I had to get home and get dressed for the wedding. Her reply was, "Fine. Go home. But you had better call me as soon as you get there so I can tell you if there's even going to be a wedding!"
Mike drove us back to the condo. The hour's ride was slow and somber. No one was in the mood to talk.
By the time we arrived it was nearly 11am. The wedding was scheduled to begin at 2, and if there was going to be a wedding, we had to leave no later than 12:30.
As instructed, once I was inside the house I called Gabbie. I apologized again and reminder her that I had nothing to do with the party, "Basically I was kidnapped."
After a good ten minutes more of my begging, she delivered her verdict: "I have to go now. I have to get ready. I'm the bride and I can't be late to my own wedding."
An hour later Todd was still getting ready in the bedroom as Donny and I waited for him in the kitchen.
Donny and I had not been alone since his arrival on Thursday. He had been uncharacteristically low key during the bachelor party. I think he knew it was not the kind of party I would have wanted for myself. And he knew that Gabbie would not like it either, but he had no choice but to participate.
"Cam, this may not be the best time to tell you this...but as your friend...I have to say...I don't think you should marry her. If you do, she will be an anchor around your neck for the rest of your life."
I nodded and absorbed what he had said.
"You might be right, Donny. But I don't think I have much of a choice at this point."
I thought about the guts it took for Donny to say that to me, less than two hours before the wedding.
"I know that saying something wasn't easy to do, so I really appreciate your honesty. You might be right about her. But I think I have no choice but to be optimistic and appreciate her good qualities...and forget all her not-so-good ones."
Just then Todd appeared from the bedroom, ready to go.
We left at 12:40, nearly right on schedule.
As I drove us to the cathedral in San Francisco, I kept thinking about what Donny had said to me, she will be an anchor around your neck for the rest of your life.
EPILOGUE: I found out later that day that my other groomsmen, Qais and Gabbie's brother, had been invited to participate in the bachelor party. Both declined. They each knew it was a horrible idea.
I never understood what possessed Michael to plan a party so focused on sex and strippers. It was exactly the kind of party Gabbie did not want me to have. But more importantly, it was not the kind of party I would have wanted, even on my straightest day. I have often wondered why he did it. He was only 21 so maybe he thought that was what every bachelor party was like. Or maybe he thought it was what I wanted. Or maybe he wanted to prove his, or my, heterosexuality. I just don't know, but it was always something that I wanted to ask him.
Later, I realized that he had gone to a lot of trouble and spent a lot of money he didn't have to make the arrangements. For him it was an extraordinary effort that I had never seen him make for anyone else. Because of the bad way the party ended I never told him how much I appreciated his good intentions.
I would tell him now, if I could.
About five years after the bachelor party a driver ran a red light and t-boned him in his car, breaking his neck and killing him instantly. He was 26.
To my knowledge, he never had a girlfriend.
He died more than 14 years ago but I think about him all the time.
I love him like crazy.