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FLIPSIDE
AUTHOR'S NOTE
PROLOGUE
CHAPTER I
CHAPTER II
CHAPTER III
CHAPTER IV
CHAPTER V
CHAPTER VI
CHAPTER VII
CHAPTER VIII
CHAPTER IX
CHAPTER X
CHAPTER XI
CHAPTER XII
CHAPTER XIII
CHAPTER XIV
EPILOGUE

CHAPTER XIV

Mike stood in front of the full-length mirror while Eric and Eddie fussed over his tuxedo.

It was white, the pants ending just below his knees. The white shirt and jacket had the usual openings, but were more ornate. The bow tie and cummerbund were black.

"I think I’m going to throw up." he said as Eric tugged at his tie.

"Relax." Eddie said. "You just have those wedding day jitters. It will all be over soon, along with life as you know it."

"Hold still." Eric chided.

"I love this fur!" Eddie said, running his fingers though Mike’s below-the-shoulder length hair.

"Stop that!" Eric yelled, swatting his hands away. "It took us forty-five minutes to get that right!"

"Sorry, mere drummer." He stepped back and admired Mike in the mirror. "Weirdest looking groom I’ve ever seen. What do you think, Alex?"

"At least he’s not marrying a guy with a girl’s name." he replied, fixing a cuff link fastened above his elbow.

"Don’t let him hear you say that."

"I told him last night after I finished using him like a whore."

"I’m definitely going to throw up." Mike said, turning from the mirror and pacing.

"Tuck your shirt."

He did and resumed his pacing.

"You’re making me nervous." Sammy complained from a chair by the door. "Uh-oh, it’s time." he added, waving to the usher outside the door. "Kiss your life goodbye."

Mike stared at the door, contemplating what he was about to do. He had been extremely relieved to discover that he would not be called a "bride." The word didn’t even exist. Since John had been the one to ask, Mike became the "groom" and took his name. Being instantly recognizable, retaining his own surname as a stage name wasn’t necessary. John was known as the "man." Both of them would be given away, and both had a best man.

"This promises to be a very strange wedding." he thought silently.

Everyone fled from the room, leaving Eric with him. "Sure you want to do this after that party last night?"

"Those damned dancers just wouldn’t leave me alone." Mike said with a chuckle. "John cheated on me, I know he did."

"He did not! I swear."

"One last fling with the real thing before he gets stuck with furless old me."

"John had the chance, believe me. An incredibly gorgeous guy was practically dripping all over him. He turned him down, and hard. He doesn’t want regular guys, he wants you. Can’t say I mind about the hunk. Gave me a chance to take him home."

"You slut!"

"It was one of those things. I’m feeling terribly guilty and probably wouldn’t do myself a lot of good to fall asleep begging for forgiveness. Anyway, I wouldn’t lie to you. John didn’t. Maybe I should ask Mark about you."

"Yeah, right. The way John abuses me I wouldn’t have the strength for it." Mike joked as they walked up to Doug.

"I’ve got to get down there." Eric said and rushed toward the alter. "I’ll see ya in a few."

"Yeah." Mike said, hooking his arm in Doug’s. He had to smile at how proud Doug looked, even though they weren’t even remotely related.

The music started and they began walking down the aisle. Aside from John’s family and numerous mutual friends, the guests were a regular who’s who of the rock industry. Mike and the band had made a lot of friends so far.

John was already at the alter, looking positively dashing in his matching white tux. It contrasted nicely with his meticulously combed fur. Mark and Eric were waiting on either side of him, holding the engagement-cum-wedding bands. Worn on the left arm during their engagement, they would now be permanently worn on the right.

They reached the alter and Doug stepped aside, taking his seat. Mike and John faced Reverend Carson together.

"We are here together in this sacred hour to witness the uniting of these two men in the enduring bond of Christian marriage. This most blessed..."

I can’t believe I’m about to marry a guy.

"...In the garden of Eden, in the time of our innocence. God saw that it was not good for man to live alone so he created woman and gave her to Adam to..."

"Here’s where this story takes a seriously weird turn." Mike said to himself as he listened to the story of a werewolven creation.

I can’t believe I’m about to marry a wereman.

"Who then, in the name of our Father, gives this man to wed?" Reverend Carson asked, placing a hand on Mike’s shoulder.

Doug stood briefly. "I do."

"Who then, in the name of our Father, gives this man to wed?" he repeated, moving his hand to John’s shoulder.

Joe stood. "I do, somehow."

Everyone in attendance laughed and Mike and John both blushed brightly.

"And now, John Emerson Carter and Michael Alexander Riggs, having freely and prayerfully chosen each other as partners for life, please hold your right hands."

"John, you are now entering a relationship with many privileges, but also many obligations. The man you love is about to become your husband. In no way could he express his love for you..."

Look at those eyes! He’s as terrified as I am. I get to look into those eyes for the rest of my life.

"...Joys and your sorrows his sorrows. Your friends will be his friends and your God will be his God."

"Mike..."

He looks so cute, and so nervous! I’m about to marry a fangy, furry guy.

"...Your love will be his inspiration and your prayers will be his tower of strength. And here in the presence of God and these witnesses, you do take each other as man and husband, agreeing to love each other with devotion..."

God, I love him! What if he backs out? What if he changes his mind about us? Oh God, please...

God, I love him! But marry a guy?

"Will you take the band, John," Reverend Carson began as Mark handed it to John, "And place it upon Mike’s right arm, and repeat after me these words."

Mike held out his right arm and John deftly attached it, keeping a hold on his arm afterward.

"With this band I wed thee, and all my worldly goods I thee endow."

John repeated the words, his voice shaking slightly.

"In sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth, until death do us part."

John finished, removing his shaking hand from Mike’s arm.

"John, it is Mike’s desire that you too shall wear a band, a band to remind you of the entirety of his love for you."

As if, after all this heartache, I needed a band for that! He’s so cute...for a monster.

"Will you Mike..."

Eric tapped his arm to get his attention and handed him the band.

"Repeat to him after me these words. With this band I wed thee and all my worldly goods I thee endow."

Mike repeated the words, looking straight into John’s eyes. It was hard to believe that he meant them. He changed his mind before finishing the sentence with "and all my worldly goods I will let thee borrow," seeing that Joe had already broke up the audience once.

"...Until death do us part."

"...Until death do us part." he finished. I did it! I just married a monster. A guy monster! What would my friends say? Oops, I forgot who my friends are now. I guess they’d be all for it. I wonder if I’ll wake up now, now that the story’s over.

"...And having sealed the pledge with the marriage bands, I do, by the authority vested in me as a minister of the church of the living God, and in conformity with he laws of the state of Illinois, pronounce you man and husband. And what god has joined together, let no man put apart. You may kiss the groom."

The leaned forward and kissed briefly and softly. Cameras flashed from the selected press gathered at the back of the church. A few were allowed in to film the ceremony.

"Let us pray."

The reception was held at a local hotel and was resplendent. John’s parents couldn’t afford such excess, but a lot of Mike’s friends had pitched in, wanting it to be a grand occasion. Paul had chosen the hotel, it’s location preventing press helicopters from getting close.

Mark soon announced that it was time for them to have the first dance. They stepped to the middle of the dance floor as the song started.

"Do you realize that this is our first dance ever?" Mike asked as they moved closely.

"Great, isn’t it? I’m getting horny. We should have been doing this for months. Where was my head?"

"Between your legs. So much for romance. You know, I still can’t believe that I just married you." Mike said with a smile.

"I’m that bad?"

"You know better than that. It’s just the enormity of it all."

"We do make a bizarre couple, don’t we? Now, shut up and put your head on my shoulder."

Mike obeyed and they finished out the song. As the second started, Joe cut in on John.

"Not exactly what you expected for your boy, am I?" Mike asked as they embraced. "By the way, I’m going to get your for that little "I do" stunt you pulled."

"No, can’t say that you are." Joe answered, smiling at his little giving-away joke. "Well, let me rephrase that. You’re exactly what I expected for my boy, you just don’t look like what I expected for him. You’ve made him very happy."

"I intend to keep him that way. I want you to know that."

"I’m sure you will."

"Hey, stop hogging the groom." Josh said, prying them apart. "It’s my turn."

Mike looked up at Josh, one of the few wolves he had to look up at, and grinned bashfully.

"Let me guess," Josh began with a smile, "He threatened to kill you if you ever did anything to hurt John."

"Actually, he didn’t. I guess that makes it your job."

"Keep your hands off his belly button." Joe called from where he was dancing with, of all people, Nancy Wilson.

Josh smiled and stuck out his tongue in Joe’s direction.

"...And that too! Especially that!"

"Don’t tell me you two have been lusting for me behind my back, too."

"I’ll never tell. Although it was interesting trying to picture you and John that night at our place. He told us about that."

"About what?"

"Oh, I believe it was something about tracing the patterns on his coat. How you pointed out his patterns. You did that for...how long was it? Apparently you’ve got a velvet touch."

Mike blushed, something Josh was very good at making him do. "I’ll never tell. Why are you so darned good at making me blush?"

Josh adopted a serious expression, the mischief still dancing in his eyes. "Do anything to hurt our boy and we’ll hunt you down like a dog."

Mike laughed before turning serious. "I would never do that. He’s made me so happy." He looked down between them. "Without John I would have been a very lonely person for the last two years. He’s shown me how it feels to love again, and I don’t ever want to lose that feeling. I don’t ever want to lose him. He’s everything to me. What would all the money be without someone to hold on to? Why am I starting to sound like a bad movie?"

"It does that to you. Disgusting, isn’t it? We’re just happy that Joe can retire early so we can leech off of you for the rest of our lives. You know how things like that play on the minds of us old folks."

"You’re only as old as you feel, right? And from what John’s told me, you two feel very young together. As for leeching, just as long as you don’t want to move in..."

"Wouldn’t think of it. Just buy us a house in Malibu."

"Malibu? What do you want me to do? Rent?"

"All we really want is our boy to live a happy life. Money or not, we think you can do that for him."

"I wouldn’t have it any other way."

"Hey, stop hogging the groom..."