For a moment Reid looked up and after looking Bob in the eyes, he felt himself smile. Bob had helped him out with emotional stuff before and he needed to talk to someone, before his brain would explode.
“I proposed and Luke said no.”
It felt weird to have the words out there and he felt hurt all over again. When Bob didn’t respond, Reid looked up again and saw the man smiling at him. Smiling?
“I can imagine he did,” Bob said calmly, stirring up Reid’s annoyance even more.
“You do? Well, finally you’ve found something you’re better at, then, because I don’t understand any of it.”
“Of course not,” Bob’s smile was still there, “and that’s completely understandable. I watch it from a distance, so I have a better overview.”
“Well…please enlighten me.” Reid sounded sarcastic, but a part of him was longing for answers. Luke’s reaction had completely overwhelmed him and he could use some grip.
“Do you remember breakfast, yesterday?”
Reid frowned. Was Bob turning senile on him now?
“I do. Do you want me to list what I had?”
“Please, I don’t have all day so spare me,” Bob winked, “but I do want you to think about our conversation about weddings and marriage in general and your personal loathing in particular.”
“So…you didn’t beat around the bush about it… a wedding is not your thing. And Luke was very clear, too. He respected your opinion.”
“Still no clue what that has to do with…”
“Really? You can’t connect the dots? Turn the table for a minute. Let’s imagine that Luke is the one with a passionate dislike for weddings. How would you feel if he would propose?”
“I guess I would be surprised.”
“I think you would be in shock,” Bob said calmly. “And I’m pretty sure you would also question Luke’s motivations. Why would he propose, while he had been adamant about his dismissal of the whole concept?”
Reid looked at Bob again. Slowly he started to feel some understanding. Walking in Luke’s shoes for a moment, the whole situation did feel weird and even insincere. And Bob wasn’t even finished.
“And also consider the timing of the proposal. Luke’s father just married Molly. Knowing Luke, he would hate to steal their thunder. This is their day and I’m pretty sure Luke wouldn’t like to draw any attention to himself.”
“I never thought of that,” Reid looked lost. “It was a spontaneous action and…”
“What made you change your mind?” Bob asked and both men were startled by another male voice next to them.
“Good question, Bob. I would love to hear the answer to that one too.”
While Reid lowered his head, physically not capable to look at Luke, the blond found a seat next to Reid. He wanted to touch Reid’s hand, but he changed his mind and folded his hands in his lap.
“I was watching the wedding and all of a sudden I pictured myself up there with Luke…” Reid looked up at Bob, still ignoring his man on the other side. “And I really liked how that felt. And then I saw Luke’s face. He was clearly enjoying the ceremony too and the thought of him never experiencing a wedding of his own suddenly felt cruel.”
“I don’t want you to sacrifice your personal truth, Reid.”
This time Luke did put his hand over Reid’s and their fingers started a dance of their own.
“You were obviously caught up in the magic of it all. I know how that feels. But we both know how you feel about this stuff…”
“And I can’t change my mind?”
Reid’s hurt was still very apparent and Luke softly squeezed Reid’s hand.
“Of course you can. And if you still want to marry after a few weeks, after the magic of this wedding has worn off, I will say yes with every fiber of my being.”
“Assuming I would ask again,” Reid said, half-jokingly.
“Assuming you would ask again,” Luke nodded.
“You looked so outraged…” Reid’s voice was a whisper now.
“I was,” Luke caressed Reid’s cheek. “I thought you were making fun of me.”
“What? That would have been cruel…”
“I know…after the initial shock wore off, I realized you wouldn’t do something like that. But please remember how explicit you always were about weddings. I just couldn’t believe this was real.”
Reid was clearly letting Luke’s words come in and then looked at him. For the first time after the whole confusing ordeal. And all he saw was love. He nodded.
“I guess the timing was a bit weird…”
“A bit?” Luke teased, making Reid grin. “You totally freaked me out. I never saw it coming and my brain just couldn’t handle the information that my eyes were giving.”
Both men hadn’t even noticed that Bob had left a while ago and when he joined Kim, Katie and Simon, he had their full attention.
“You were right, Katie. Reid proposed.”
By putting her hand before her mouth, she prevented herself some screaming. She loved weddings and she loved Reid and Luke. The idea of…
“But Luke said no.”
Katie removed her hand and watched Bob in confusion.
“Exactly. So they’re now talking their way out of that awkward situation.”
They all watched the two men for a while.
“Do you think Reid will ever propose again?” Kim asked to no one in particular and Bob shrugged.
“I honestly don’t know. But at least this wedding showed him that it can be magical and inspiring.”
“Let’s hope it’s a first step…” Katie looked all dreamy and Simon grinned.
“We both know that a wedding isn’t any guarantee for universal happiness.”
“I know,” Katie had to admit, “but still…you can’t blame a girl for hoping…”
She watched how both men walked onto the dance floor and held each other tight.
“At least this whole thing didn’t mess them up…”
Kim smiled at her. “They look happy enough.”
Bob kept silent. He’d noticed something in Reid’s eyes that bothered him. His protégé was trying hard to go back to normal, but Bob could see the struggle in the blue eyes. Reid was not happy. Not happy at all.