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The morning light managed to sneak around the partially closed windows to fall across the face of the man lying on the couch. He grunted in his sleep and turned his head so that he was facing the back of the couch instead of the window. The movement caused his short brown hair to stick up in even more unruly spikes than it normally did. Unable to completely wake him from his slumber, the patch of sunlight continued on its way, bringing light to the room. He was just about to slip back into deep sleep when something landed in the center of his back.
Cameron grunted as the weight hit him. The weight was then followed by the sensation of something licking his back.
"Get off of me, you stupid cat," he grumbled. Cam pulled his arms underneath him and pushed his upper body off of the couch. The cat hit the floor with a squeal. Cam gave a small snort of laughter. "That's what you get for jumping on me."
Cam sat up completely and rubbed sleep-heavy blue eyes. He ran a hand through his hair, doing nothing to tame the wild spikes that were sticking up all over his head. He scratched at the couch indent on his cheek with his left hand as his right hand fell to hang off the couch. Puddles, his cat, butted his hand and started to purr.
"Okay, I'll get up." Cam got to his feet with a groan and padded barefoot to the kitchen. He stumbled slightly as he stepped on one of the threads hanging from the cuff of his torn and faded jeans. Thankfully, he had managed to make it to the kitchen, so he was able to stop his fall on the center island.
Pushing away, Cam walked over to the fridge and yawned. He was just about to open it when he noticed the note stuck to itwith an annoyingly bright daisy magnet.
You really shouldn't sleep on the couch, Cameron; it just isn't good for your back. You should throw out those jeans as well, or else people will think that you can't afford to buy nice clothes. Don't forget to pick up your niece at the airport and remember to tell her that I got her a summer job at the vet's. I bought you groceries so you and Emily will have something to eat for dinner. Have a good day, sweetie. Love, Mom.
Cam sighed and pulled the note off of the fridge. He was starting to regret that he had given his mother a key to the house. She was constantly coming in while he was either out or asleep. Cam looked down at Puddles as the purring cat wound around his feet.
"You know, if you were a dog, she wouldn't be able to get in the house without me noticing," he commented. The only response he got was a louder purr from Puddles and the feel of a lick to his ankle.
Cam laughed at the cat and opened the fridge. It was indeed filled with food. Possibly more food than he really needed. It wasn't like he didn't know how to go grocery shopping and he wasn't sure if Emily would like some of the stuff he could see sitting on his shelves. Hell, he didn't like some of the stuff sitting on his shelves. Pulling the orange juice from the fridge, he walked over to the cupboard to get a glass. As he was reaching for the glass, he noticed the time.
He had twenty minutes before Emily's plane landed, which gave him just enough time to have a quick shower and change. Shoving the juice back into the fridge, Cam dashed out of the kitchen and headed for the stairs. He really should sleep in his bed instead of on the couch. His room had an alarm clock.
Thirty minutes later, Cam ran into the arrivals area of the airport. There were still people milling about, so he wasn't that late. He hated being late to pick up his niece. While he loved his sister, he didn't like the way that she treated her daughter.
His sister Amanda had gotten pregnant young. She'd always been a rebellious child, but when she found out she was going to become a mother, she had attempted to settle her ways. Diane, their mother, had accepted her daughter and her new granddaughter into her home with her usual charm and grace. After several years, Amanda had decided that she wanted to live and raise her daughter on her own, like she believed a mother should. That was when Diane and Cam started to notice the differences.
When Amanda and Emily had still been living at home, Emily had always been full of laughter. Since she and her mother had moved out, she had become more subdued. While she had always done well at school, her letters hardly ever mentioned friends or even class trips. She seemed to brighten while she was visiting and then lose that sparkle when she left again. Emily was spending the entire summer with Cam and he hoped that it would be a good one.
Scanning the crowd, Cam finally spotted his niece. She was talking to an elderly woman who was holding a map. Emily's sandy-colored hair was pulled away from her face by two butterfly clips, revealing her sparkling blue eyes. She was the image of her mother. She finished helping the woman find her way on the map and looked up and caught Cam's eye. A bright smile crossed her pretty face.
"Uncle Cam!" Emily launched herself into his arms with a delighted shriek.
Cam stumbled slightly as he caught her. "Damn, Sprite, I think sixteen is getting to be too old for you to do this."
"You're just not strong enough to catch me. Stopped going to the gym, did we?"
"Does this look like I stopped going to the gym?" Cam lifted the hem of his T-shirt to reveal a nicely defined set of abs.
"I stand corrected. You must just be getting old."
Cam slung one of her bags over his shoulder. "Or it could be because you aren't eight anymore. Do you have more bags?"
"Two more. We need to head to baggage claim." Emily looped her arm through Cam's free one and they started walking to baggage claim. "So, what do I have to look forward to this summer?"
"Your grandmother got you a summer job."
"Yep." Cam grinned at the shocked look on her face. "Hey, she got me my first summer job when I was sixteen and would have done the same for your mother, except she had just had you."
"So Mom got out of a summer job because she had me?"
"Yep, my big sister was a bad influence. I wanted to have a baby of my own so I didn't have to work."
"Hey, do you think that will work for me?"
"No, and don't even think about it. Your grandmother would kill you and then she would kill me while telling me that she always knew that you should have stayed with her instead of me."
"Well, we don't want that," Emily replied with a laugh. She stopped at the baggage carousel and started looking for her bags. Luckily, not only were they two of the first pieces, they were also actually together. Bags in hand, the two headed for the parking lot and Cam's truck.
"So, Sprite, where to?"
"Do I have to start my summer job today or do I at least get to wait until tomorrow?" Emily asked, climbing into the slightly battered pickup.
"I think you're clear for today. Although we should probably stop off and see when they need you."
"Where does Grandma have me working?"
"At the vet's."
"So I get to spend my days with Dr. Montgomery? That is not a bad way to spend the summer," Emily replied. She made a happy sound and licked her lips.
Cam shook his head at her actions, but privately, he agreed with her. Dr. Jeremy Montgomery had been fueling his fantasies for years. The local veterinarian had been two years ahead of him when they were in school. Cam still remembered when Jeremy had been assigned as his math tutor when he was in the ninth grade. That was when he had come to accept that he was gay and realized that he was in love with his math tutor. Nothing had really changed over the years.
"No drooling over your boss."
"Yeah, sure, whatever. Can we go to Maude's? I'm hungry."
"Sure thing." Cam put his truck in gear and headed into town. "They didn't feed you on the plane?"
"No, and I didn't get breakfast." Emily shifted uncomfortably in her seat. "Mom says that I need to lose weight."
Cam noticed how Emily seemed to shut down after that comment. He also noticed that she was looking pale and a bit too thin for his liking. Amanda had always been obsessed with her weight. It had been hard for their mother to make sure that Amanda ate enough when she was pregnant. Every time she gained even a pound Amanda immediately went on a diet. Unfortunately, it seemed as though she was starting to drag her daughter with her.
"You're beautiful, Em. You don't need to lose weight. In fact, I think we should head over to Maude's and let Betty spoil you," Cam announced. He got a slight blush and a small smile from Emily. For now, that would have to do. Everything would get better once they saw Betty.
Betty was the granddaughter of the original Maude and had taken over the diner with grace. She still used all of her grandmother's recipes and, when she made them, they tasted just as good as the originals, or so people said. Betty was in her sixties and not many who had known her grandmother were even around anymore.
Cam pulled the truck to a stop in the parking lot of Maude's. Turning the truck off, he looked over at Emily and grinned. It was common knowledge that Betty spoiled the people that she liked, and she absolutely adored Emily.
"Come on, Sprite. Let's get moving." Cam got out of the truck and headed for the door of the diner with Emily practically on his heels. She was obviously excited to go see Betty. Either that, or her mother had been starving her enough that all she wanted to do was eat. Cam really hoped that the second thought wasn't the reason. He loved his niece and wanted her to be happy.
"Now, that can't be little Emily Walker, can it?" Betty called when she saw Emily. She came out from behind the counter and pulled Emily into a hug. "Darlin', look at you. You've gotten so big."
"I haven't changed that much, Betty," Emily remarked. She returned the hug with a slight blush.
"Nonsense. You've become quite the stunning young lady." Betty pulled away and gave her a beaming smile. "Now, you and your uncle sit down and I'll bring you some juice while you look over the menu."
Cam put a hand on Emily's shoulder and steered her into a booth. They had just gotten comfortable when Betty placed a pitcher of juice, two glasses, and two menus on the table. Cam smiled his thanks. Betty gave him a wink and patted his shoulder as she walked away. It seemed as though she had noticed the change in Emily as well. Cam poured them each a glass of orange juice while Emily gazed at her menu.
"It all looks so good."
"I'm having waffles."
"You always have waffles, Uncle Cam."
"I like waffles."
"You should try to broaden your horizons," Emily remarked slyly. She shot him a smirk that was more like her old self and continued to study the menu.
"I like waffles," Cam muttered. He gave his smirking niece a halfhearted glare over the top of his menu. He couldn't really be mad. He did always order waffles when they ate at Maude's. Betty made the best waffles that he had ever eaten.
Betty came and took their order. Cam got his waffles and Emily ordered eggs Benedict with a side of bacon.
"Are you still seeing Paul?"
Cam nearly choked on the orange juice that he was drinking. "What?"
"Are you still seeing Paul? You haven't mentioned him since I got here."
"No, I'm not seeing Paul anymore," Cam replied. He tried to ignore the memory of the hurtful words that Paul had shouted at him as he stormed out of the house and out of Cam's life.
"Good. He wasn't right for you," Emily stated. She smiled her thanks at Betty as their food was placed in front of them. "I didn't like the way that he talked to you."
Cam simply stared as Emily started to eat her food. He hadn't realized that his problems with Paul had been that obvious. Emily was only around in the summer and on holidays and she had noticed. Cam was just thankful that he had never asked Paul to move in with him. He didn't think he could have handled the breakup if Paul had been living with him.
They managed to have a nice breakfast. The conversation turned away from Cam's personal life to what it was that Emily wanted to do while she was in town. They succeeded in finishing all of the food that Betty gave them, including the extra plate of bacon that Betty had deposited on the table when she saw that Emily had polished off the first one. Emily ate most of the food herself, which made Cam wonder if his sister was feeding her daughter at all.
As Cam paid for their meal and took the pie that Betty shoved at him he noticed that Emily was starting to relax and her old smile was starting to surface. Holding the pie in one hand, Cam opened the door and let Emily precede him to the car. He could only hope that the smile stayed on her face.
Dr. Jeremy Montgomery stood and stretched his back with a wince. He had spent the past twenty minutes trying to pry a stuck thorn out of the paw of a puppy that wouldn't sit still. Eventually, the puppy's owner had been forced to hold the squirming animal. Jeremy had managed to pull the thorn out while bent over at the waist to get at the puppy in the young man's arms.
"Thanks, Dr. M."
"You're welcome. Now be sure to keep Spot out of your mother's rosebushes from now on. Okay, Todd?"
"Sure, Dr. M."
"Head out to the desk and settle with Tammy."
"See you later, Dr. M." Todd smiled and placed Spot on the floor. The puppy bounded out of the room pulling on the leash, the thorn already forgotten.
Shaking his blond head in amusement, Jeremy followed Todd and Spot out of the exam room. Todd refused to call him Dr. Montgomery, and insisted on adding "Dr. M" to the end of every exchange. He was stretching his back and rubbing a hand over his shoulder when he heard Spot barking happily and Todd apologizing to someone. He was heading to the front to see what was going on when Melanie, his nurse, came from that direction.
"Mel, what's going on?"
"Todd is trying to flirt," she replied. Brown eyes dancing with merriment behind her glasses, she motioned for Jeremy to come closer to the door. Leaning next to her, Jeremy peered into the waiting room.
Spot was happily lapping up the attention that a pretty girl was giving him. When she looked up at the lightly blushing Todd, Jeremy recognized the face of Emily Walker. Glancing around the room, he spotted Cam standing at the desk talking to Tammy. Jeremy's breath caught as he looked at the younger man, just as it always did. He couldn't help himself. He found Cameron Walker absolutely breathtaking.
"What are they doing here?" Jeremy asked, hoping that the tremor wasn't in his voice.
"Getting Emily's schedule. She's working here for the summer to help out since Tammy is about ready to pop that baby out any time now." Melanie gave Jeremy a sly look. "I hear Cam isn't seeing Paul Stevens anymore."
"Paul Stevens is an asshole," Jeremy growled. He gritted his teeth as his hands clenched into fists. Jeremy was not a fan of Paul.
"I'm not going to argue with you on that one," Melanie replied. "You know, you should come out and say hello to your new employee."
"Sometimes I hate you," Jeremy muttered darkly. Melanie simply laughed and headed into the waiting room. Taking a deep breath, Jeremy followed her.
Emily was still playing with Spot, but the blush on Todd's face had faded. It seemed as though Emily was returning his interest. When she spotted Jeremy, a bright smile crossed her face.
"Hi, Dr. Montgomery."
"It's nice to see you again, Emily." Jeremy smiled at her as she gave Spot one last pat and got to her feet. "He seems to like you."
"I like dogs. My mom won't let me have one. She says they take too much time." A hint of sadness that Jeremy had never seen before crossed her eyes. The expression was gone so quickly he almost thought that he had imagined it. "That doesn't matter now, since I'm sure that you'll have some dogs here that could use some attention."
"We take boarders, so there are always animals here to look after. I'm sure that you'll find that you fit right in."
"How about I take you to look at your schedule?" Melanie suggested. She gave Emily a bright smile then led her behind the door to the exam rooms. Jeremy watched them go with a slight smile then turned back to Cam. As he turned back, his sore back protested and he winced.
"Are you okay?" Cam asked. "You look like you hurt yourself."
"I may have pulled my back a bit while I was getting that thorn out of Spot's paw."
"You should take a hot shower when you get home," Cam suggested. "It should help to get the tension out of your muscles."
Jeremy was suddenly glad that he was wearing a lab coat. The mental image of Cam and showers sent all his blood rushing straight for his groin. Jeremy couldn't help imagining what the 5'11" frame would look like naked and covered in water. He hoped that his thought didn't show in his eyes. He nervously tucked several strands of blond hair that had come loose from the braid hanging past his shoulders behind his ear.
"I'll have to do that," Jeremy responded. But I know that I'd like it more if you were in the shower with me.
"I'm ready to head out if you are, Uncle Cam," Emily announced, walking back into the room. She had several sheets of paper in her hands and a bright smile on her face.
Cam tossed an arm around her shoulders when she reached his side. "So, when's your first day?"
"Well, I'll be sure to get you here on time."
"If you don't, I'll tell Grandma."
Jeremy laughed. "I don't think you want that, Cam. I've met your mother."
"You've got a point there. I'll have Emily here on time; don't you worry."
"I won't." Jeremy turned his attention away from blue eyes he wanted to drown in and smiled at Emily. "I look forward to having you here."
"Thanks, Dr. Montgomery. I'm looking forward to it as well. See you tomorrow." Emily waved as she left the clinic with her uncle.
Jeremy sighed as he watched them leave. He couldn't keep his eyes off of Cam's retreating form. His gaze kept darting to how nicely the snug denim hugged Cam's ass.
"When did you meet Mrs. Walker?" Melanie asked. She hadn't missed the looks her boss had been giving the other man.
"Fourteen years ago." Jeremy smiled at the confused expression on Melanie's face. "I used to tutor Cam in math."
"Wow, you've known Cam for a really long time, haven't you?"
"Not as well as I would like to," Jeremy muttered. He gave Melanie a dull smile and headed back to the exam rooms. He had more patients to see. And if he spent most of his time picturing a pair of blue eyes, his patients wouldn't mention it.
"Come on, Sprite. We gotta get moving!" Cam finished packing up the last of his equipment as he called out to Emily. Puddles was coiling around his feet, obviously not pleased with the fact that both of the people in the house were leaving for the day. Cam gave the cat a gentle push away from his feet. The last thing he wanted to do was step on his cat.
"I know you don't want me to be late on my first day, but do you really need me to be this early?" Emily muttered coming into the room. She stopped when she got a good look at her uncle. "Wow."
Cam's normally unruly hair was in some semblance of order. He was wearing black dress pants and a blue dress shirt. The shirt, which his mother had purchased for him, made the color of his eyes practically glow. He also enjoyed the way it managed to outline the muscular build to his shoulders and chest. The black pants were his favorite and hugged his lower body like they were happy to be there and didn't want to leave. Cam loved how the material was comfortable and not too hot for summer wear.
"I look okay?" Cam asked. There was a small note of uncertainty in his voice and he hated it, but some of the things Paul had said to him still lingered in his mind.
"You look more than okay. Where are you going?"
"I'm taking pictures at a wedding today."
"You do weddings?"
"You didn't really think I made all of my money off of my gallery prints, did you?"
"I'm not that popular. Plus, I really do like doing weddings." Cam reached out and tugged one of her braids. "Keeps me busy in the summers."
"I guess we both have summer jobs."
"I guess we do. Come on, Sprite. I gotta get you to work and make sure that I make it in time to keep the bride from freaking out," Cam announced. Emily grabbed the lunch she had packed out of the fridge and headed for the door. Cam had offered to make her a lunch, but she had made some mumbled comments about his cooking and said she wanted to do it herself. Cam hadn't pushed.
When Cam pulled in front of the animal clinic and let Emily out, he had to smother a sigh of disappointment. He had hoped that he would get a glimpse of Jeremy. Especially since Emily had decided that she would let him drive her to her first day, but after that she was riding her bike unless it was raining. Giving the clinic windows one final glance, Cam drove away with a sigh. It looked like he was going to have to face the bride without a glimpse of the man of his dreams. It didn't seem fair that she got to marry hers while he didn't even see his.
Cam quickly drove himself to the gardens just on the outskirts of town. They were beautiful at this time of year and most of the local weddings took place in them. The beauty of the flowers had the magic to make even the most homely of brides look stunning. Cam's own mother had gotten married in the gardens. How radiant his mother had looked in her wedding photos was what had prompted Cam to start photographing weddings.
As he grabbed his equipment out of the truck and started walking to the gazebo, he spotted the mother of the bride walking toward him. He managed to smother a groan and place a smile on his face.
"Where have you been? I told you to be here for eleven."
"It's only quarter to, Mrs. Watson. I'm right on time."
Mrs. Watson made a sound that was almost too dignified to be a snort. "Grace and the bridesmaids are waiting for you over by the fountain. Once you get some shots of them you can set up in the gazebo for the ceremony."
"Of course. I'll head right over." Cam smiled at Mrs. Watson then turned and headed to the area of the gardens where the fountain was. "Ungrateful bitch."
Mrs. Watson was the perfect example of the only thing he hated about weddings. Cam disliked overbearing mothers-of-the-bride. He liked calm mothers, but the ones who planned their daughters' weddings without consulting what the daughters wanted were the ones who drove him crazy. He was fairly certain that the only decision Grace had made about the wedding on her own was who the groom was. He was also certain that Mrs. Watson had made comments about that as well. Cam was starting to wonder how a woman like Mrs. Watson could have produced a daughter like Grace.
"I just can't believe she did that."
"Forget about it, Gracie. This is your wedding day. Don't let her ruin it."
"This a bad time?" Cam asked. He stepped under the awning that had been erected to keep the sun off of the bridal party. Five girls in pink and one in white turned to stare at him.
"Cameron, you're here," Grace remarked. She was a stunning vision in white, but her eyes looked worried. That wasn't the normal reaction for a bride on her wedding day.
"Of course I am. Your mother told me that I was late and I better get over here and take some pictures before I set up at the gazebo." Cam smiled at the women as he pulled his camera out of his bag.
"My mother tends to be a bit of a bitch."
"Really? I hadn't noticed." Cam sent a wicked grin in Grace's direction and was happy when he got a laugh in return. Whatever had been bothering her was starting to fade under the onslaught of Cam's attempts to make her smile.
Within fifteen minutes, Cam had Grace smiling and laughing, just like she should be on her wedding day. The only tears that he captured on film were ones of the joy variety as her bridesmaids put the finishing touches on her outfit. She looked like a fairy-tale princess and her smile was bright enough to power an entire city.
Satisfied that Grace was going to be fine, Cam packed up his camera and headed toward the gazebo. About half of the guests had arrived, allowing Cam to have a good idea of where everyone would be. He needed to judge the crowd so that he would have a good line of sight for the procession. Finding the perfect spot, Cam went about setting up his camera equipment. He had just finished when Mrs. Watson sauntered back over.
"Mr. Walker, if you would be so kind as to take a few shots of the ushers leading people to their seats? I believe that it always a nice thing for the happy couple to have some photos of the people who shared their special day with them." She gave him a very good imitation of a pleasant smile then walked back out into the crowd of relatives and friends.
Cam stared at her retreating form with shock on his face. Not only had she called him by his name, she hadn't once insulted him. Apparently having her friends and family within hearing distance made Mrs. Watson a tad more polite. Still marveling at her split personality, Cam picked up his camera and snapped a picture as she walked away. He needed to at least have a picture of the moment that the world spun out of control.
Chuckling to himself, Cam started to do as Mrs. Watson had asked. He was happily taking pictures of the ushers and guests when his lens captured a very familiar form. Cam panned the lens away from the striking green eyes to get a better look at the blond hair that was pulled tightly into a braid, causing a splash of gold to divide the black of the jacket. He had to pull the camera away from his face. There was no way in hell he was getting his first look at Jeremy in a tux through a camera.
Jeremy looked positively edible. The lines of the tux helped to outline the long lines of his body. The crisp cut of the suit accentuated the strong shoulders. Cam let his eyes wander from the top of Jeremy's blond hair to the tips of his black dress shoes and then back up to the top of the 6'3" man. Both times he lingered on the tempting swell of Jeremy's ass. Even with the jacket his ass was a sight. When he managed to pull his gaze away from the walking wet dream in front of him, Cam found green eyes gazing back at him.
Flushing brightly, Cam quickly pulled his eyes away from Jeremy. He pulled his camera back in front of his face to hide the fact that he was still looking. Through the lens he caught the smile that Jeremy sent in his direction. Cam almost dropped his camera. From the looks that Jeremy was sending his way, it almost seemed as if the other man was interested. Cam forced himself to look away from Jeremy and shoved the feelings to the back of his mind. The last thing he needed to do was get fired for jumping one of the groomsmen during the ceremony.
The wedding went perfectly. The bride was stunning. Her father handed her to her soon-to-be husband with tears in his eyes. Even her bitch of a mother seemed moved. Grace glowed as she said her vows to her tearful husband and smiled at him when he was almost too choked up to say his. The happy couple shared their first kiss as husband and wife among the cheers of the gathered guests. Cam captured every moment on film. After the bridal party marched down the aisle following the newly married couple, they moved further into the gardens for pictures.
Cam was busy setting up his tripod and ignoring slightly veiled insults from Mrs. Watson when a shadow fell across his field of vision. "Excuse me, you're in my light."
"Sorry." The shadow moved to one side. "I didn't know that you did weddings."
Cam looked up into Jeremy's green gaze. "Have to pay the bills somehow."
"Your gallery stuff doesn't pay the bills?"
"No." Cam frowned at the attractive man. "You know I sell my photos in galleries?"
Jeremy flashed a flirtatious smile. He was toying with the end of his braid with his left hand. "I know more about you than you think."
Cam swallowed nervously as Jeremy simply continued to smile at him. He was starting to feel a flush creep up his neck. "I need you to go and stand with the others so I can get the pictures taken."
"Sure thing," Jeremy remarked. He smiled and headed back to the others, tossing the braid back over his shoulder. As he left, he let his fingers trail across Cam's arm. Cam had to suppress the gasp that caused. Shaking off his sudden case of nerves, he turned to face the bridal party.
"Okay, everyone. Why don't you all get closer together?" Cam made motions for them to move closer. He snapped pictures while they moved as well as when they were in place. He'd found that he sometimes got better pictures when they didn't know that he was taking them. Cam preferred the natural look to photos that were posed.
The pictures went well. Cam managed to get a lot of the bride and groom even though all he really wanted was to keep his eyes on the blond groomsman. The little smiles that Jeremy kept sending his way were incredibly distracting. After about an hour, Cam was done.
"Okay, everyone. That's it. You're free to go," Cam stated. He smiled at the happy group and started to pack up his equipment. He was putting his camera away when another shadow fell over him. "You're standing in my light again."
"Are you going to the reception?" Jeremy asked.
Cam looked up at him. "Of course I am. Mrs. Watson wants to make sure that I get photos of everything. I'm amazed she didn't want me to follow Grace into the bathroom."
"Not that she wanted you to follow Grace into the bathroom, but that you're going to the reception. Maybe I'll be able to steal you for a dance." Jeremy flashed his flirtatious smile once more then moved back over to the others.
Cam watched him go, feeling slightly stunned. The man he had been in love with since he was fourteen had been flirting with him. He wasn't sure if he was excited about the upcoming reception or terrified. The one thing he did know was that it was going to be an interesting time.
Jeremy watched as Cam moved around the reception hall, snapping pictures whenever he paused. It was fun to watch him work. Cam really seemed to put his heart into what he did. Jeremy smiled when he saw Cam lean down to answer a question from Grace's grandmother. He liked the way that Cam was so open with people. He also liked the view of Cam's ass that he got as Cam bent over to talk to the elderly woman.
Jeremy was actually starting to enjoy the wedding. When his friend John had asked him to stand up in his wedding, he had had visions of a day full of boredom and fake smiles. Finding out that the wedding was on Emily's first day of work made him feel even more annoyed. He had thought that he would miss out on a chance to see Cam. When he spotted Cam taking pictures at the wedding, he'd almost dropped the wedding programs he had been holding. From that moment on the day had only gotten better.
Watching Cam was something that he had always enjoyed, but didn't get much of an opportunity to do. Jeremy liked to see him smiling. Cam hadn't been doing much smiling while he had been seeing Paul. The lack of that smile had increased Jeremy's dislike of Paul to the point where he wanted to throw things at the other man every time that he saw him.
"Hey, buddy!" John suddenly appeared at his elbow, swaying slightly. He had a champagne glass in one hand.
"Does your new wife know that you're drunk?"
"I've only had one glass!"
"We've always known that you were a cheap drunk," Jeremy remarked. He turned slightly and smiled at his friend. "Being married seems to suit you, Johnny. I don't think I've ever seen you look this happy."
"I'm married, Jer. Can you believe that?" There was a wide grin on John's face.
"I know. I was at the wedding, Johnny. Grace looked beautiful."
"She did. My Grace is a beautiful woman. God, Jer, I don't think I've ever been this happy before." The dopey smile that adorned John's face could have been from the booze, or from the sheer joy of being married. Jeremy couldn't really tell which one, but he liked to assume it was the second.
"I'm happy for you, Johnny," Jeremy stated. He smiled and pulled his newly married friend into a quick hug.
"So, dinner and speeches are over. You gonna ask him to dance?"
John smiled at him. "I've seen you lookin', Jer. You've had your eyes on the photographer since the wedding started. Go and ask him for a dance."
"What would your new mother-in-law say? She seemed to have some very strong opinions about me."
"I don't care if she has a problem with you being gay. You are one of my oldest friends and I want you to have a good time at my wedding. Now, go and ask him to dance."
"Dude, you've had a crush on him since high school. Just go ask him to dance." John smiled and clapped him on the shoulder then headed back to his wife.
Jeremy watched as John wrapped an arm around Grace's waist and pulled her onto the dance floor. Grace smiled as her new husband pulled her into the midst of the dancing wedding guests, accidentally pushing some of them out of the way. They looked incredibly happy together. Jeremy wanted that. He wanted to have someone in his life that made him that happy. Putting his glass down on the table, Jeremy headed over to where Cam was packing up his equipment.
Jeremy reached the photographer and placed a hand on his arm. He smiled when Cam turned to face him. "Dance with me."
"Dance with me."
"Please, Cameron. Just dance with me." Jeremy didn't try to hide the note of pleading in his voice.
"Okay," Cam replied. He put his camera on the table behind him then held his hand out to Jeremy. Jeremy smiled and took the offered hand. He could feel his stomach twist with nerves. He was starting to think the second piece of cake had been a bad idea.
Pulling gently on Cam's arm, Jeremy propelled him onto the dance floor. Unlike John, Jeremy didn't try to get them close to the center. He just wanted to get them onto whatever open part of the dance floor was closest. Once there, he tugged Cam into his arms. His left hand tangled with the fingers of Cam's right and he pulled the entwined hands to rest against his chest. He wrapped his right arm around Cam's waist and pulled him close. Jeremy shivered as he felt the heat of Cam's hand on his back through the thin material of his shirt.
Jeremy looked into Cam's blue eyes as he began to move them in a soft sway to the music. He felt as though he was drowning in the blue orbs. When Cam gave him a soft smile and then rested his head on Jeremy's shoulder, Jeremy had to hold back a shout of triumph. He rested his cheek on the shorter man's hair as he pulled Cam closer. Jeremy sighed in satisfaction as they moved to the music.
"You look really good in that tux."
"Thanks. You look pretty damn fine yourself. I don't think I've ever seen you all dressed up before."
"You've never seen me at a wedding before," Cam remarked. There was a teasing lilt to his voice, but Jeremy was having trouble concentrating on it. Every time that Cam talked, his lips brushed against Jeremy's throat, sending sparks of desire running through his body.
"I'm starting to think I should crash more weddings. Especially if it means that I get to dance with you." Jeremy moved the arm that was wrapped around Cam's waist and started to run his hand up and down Cam's back.
Cam pulled away enough to look at Jeremy. "Or you could just ask me on a date."
"Would you say yes?" Jeremy let go of Cam's hand so he could run his fingers through the brown hair.
"Why don't you ask me and find out?" Even in the dim lighting, Cam's blue eyes sparkled with mischief.
"Why Cameron, I do believe that you're flirting with me."
"I've been flirting with you since I was fourteen, Jeremy. This is just the first time that you've noticed." Cam wrapped both of his hands around Jeremy and gave him a devilish smile.
"Oh, I noticed. Trust me, I noticed." Jeremy ran a finger down Cam's cheek before he put his hand back in his hair. "I just wasn't ready to admit to it. By the time I was, I was away at school."
"And I was still here."
Jeremy chuckled. "You have no idea how much I looked forward to vacations."
Cam laughed and rested his head back against Jeremy's chest, keeping his arms around the trim waist. "Why did you never say anything?"
"There just never seemed to be the right time. You were always with someone, or if you weren't, I was. And then there was that thing with you and Paul Stevens."
Cam tensed at the mention of that name. "I don't want to talk about him."
"Baby, what did he do to you?"
"Please Jeremy, not now. I just want to enjoy this." There was a pleading note to Cam's voice.
"Anything you want." Jeremy pressed a kiss to the top of his head then ran his hands over Cam's back until the tension left. When he had Cam relaxed once again, Jeremy took his eyes off of the man in his arms. The dancing had thinned out slightly, so Jeremy was easily able to see the glare that Mrs. Watson was sending his way. She obviously had a problem with them dancing together, but since he was dancing with the wedding photographer she didn't have to worry about photos of them dancing ending up with the proofs.
"You tensed up a bit. What's wrong?"
Jeremy gave a surprised laugh. He was stunned that Cam had noticed that something was wrong. "Nothing much. Mrs. Watson doesn't seem too happy with us dancing together."
"What?" Cam pulled his head off of Jeremy's chest and looked over at the mother of the bride. "Wow, she's really glaring at you. What did you do to her?"
"I didn't do anything. She's the one who cornered me and told me to make sure that my 'disgusting, deviant tendencies' didn't ruin her daughter's wedding. I think she was worried that I was going to proclaim my love for John and stop the wedding."
"That must have been what had Grace so upset when I got to the wedding. She must have heard her mother."
"You know, her reaction makes me want to act out."
"Is that why you wanted to dance with me?" There was a slight note of hurt in Cam's voice and he refused to look at Jeremy while he asked the question.
"No, baby. I wanted to dance with you because I wanted to ask you to my senior prom, but was too much of a chicken shit to do it. When I saw you at the wedding I thought that this would be my chance to get the dance I'd been dreaming about." Jeremy could actually feel the heat of Cam's blush against his skin. The younger man mumbled something against his chest. "Sorry, baby. I missed that."
"I said I would have said yes if you had asked me to the prom."
"So, will you say yes if I ask you out?"
"Why don't you ask me?"
"Still not going to tell me? You're very sneaky, baby." Jeremy had a fairly good idea of what Cam's answer would be, but he was enjoying the teasing almost as much as holding Cam in his arms.
"Sometimes." Cam sighed and pulled away as a faster song started. "I should get going."
"Need help with your stuff?"
"Sure," Cam replied. He walked off the dance floor and headed over to where he had left his equipment. Jeremy stayed just behind him so he could watch Cam as he walked. He enjoyed the way that the dress pants hugged his ass.
When they reached the small pile of camera equipment, Cam picked up his camera. "Smile for me."
"Smile for me. I want a picture of you."
"For the wedding proofs?"
"No, for me. Now smile, Dr. Montgomery," Cam instructed. He lifted the camera to his eye and waited. Jeremy smiled and was nearly blinded by the flash. He could hear Cam putting the camera away as he rubbed his eyes.
"That is one hell of a flash you've got on that camera."
"Sorry. Did it hurt your eyes?" Cam asked. He gently touched Jeremy's cheek with his fingertips.
Jeremy leaned into the light touch. "Not any more than expected. Come on; let's get you all packed up."
Jeremy smiled at Cam and picked up one of the bags. Cam grabbed the other one and the tripod and started for the door. Jeremy followed him out of the reception hall. As he turned to slip through the door, he caught sight of John giving him two thumbs up. Jeremy flipped him off with a laugh and left the hall. Once outside, his longer stride allowed him to easily catch up with Cam.
"You've got a lot of equipment."
"Have to if I want to make any money at this. People can be very particular about their wedding photos."
Cam laughed. "It's a polite way to say bitchy."
Jeremy shook his head and placed the bag in the back of Cam's truck. Once he had his arms free, he leaned against the side of the truck and watched as Cam put everything in its place. When he was sure that Cam had put everything away, Jeremy reached out and pulled the smaller man into his arms. He felt Cam's hands settle on his waist.
Lowering his head, Jeremy caught the tempting lips in a kiss. As his tongue traced Cam's lips, Jeremy fisted his hands in the brown hair. When Cam opened to his questing tongue with a moan Jeremy pressed him into the side of the truck. He could feel Cam's hands grasping handfuls of his shirt. Jeremy angled their bodies so he had Cam trapped between him and the truck. He tilted Cam's head back and plundered his mouth.
Jeremy swallowed the moan that Cam issued as the kiss increased in intensity. Cam's fingers pulled the tie from his hair and then started to release the thick strands from the braid. Jeremy moaned as deft fingers massaged the area of his scalp that had become sore do to the tightness of the braid. He pulled his fingers out of Cam's hair and ran them down his sides. When he reached his waist, Jeremy pulled Cam's shirt out of his pants and ran his hands over smooth skin.
Cam broke away from Jeremy with a gasp. His eyes were dark with passion and Jeremy could feel his erection pressing against his own. Cam panted as he tried to pull much needed air into his lungs. Jeremy continued to run his hand over the skin of Cam's sides.
"Come home with me," Jeremy rasped. His voice was heavy with desire. A desire that was made even stronger by the simple fact that it was Cam in his arms.
"I can't," Cam whispered. His fingers continued to caress Jeremy's scalp.
"I've got Emily waiting for me at home."
"Right. Spur of the moment is a bad idea." Jeremy let out a breath and rested his forehead against Cam's. "Have dinner with me?"
"It's Saturday, right?"
Cam chuckled slightly. "Yes."
"Monday. I'll pick you up at six."
Jeremy pulled back slightly. "What was that?"
"Yes, I'll have dinner with you," Cam replied. He used his grip in Jeremy's hair to pull the taller man down and placed a soft kiss on Jeremy's lips. Jeremy thought that his insides were going to melt at the utter sweetness of that one kiss.
"Damn, baby. You keep doing that and I'm not going to be able to let you leave."
"I'll see you Monday at six," Cam stated. He gently pulled himself out of Jeremy's arms and got into his truck. Jeremy leaned into the open window and stole one last kiss.
"Monday at six, baby. I'll see you then."
"Night, Jeremy." Cam gave him a shy smile then drove off. Jeremy watched the truck drive off until it turned a corner and he could no longer see it.
Once Cam had driven out of view, Jeremy turned and headed back into the hall. He could still hear the sounds of the party. As he ran a hand through his now unbound hair, Jeremy could feel the smile start to form. He knew it was a dopey smile, but he didn't care. He had a date on Monday.