WHEN is a free trip to Paris not worth the trouble? I know what you’re thinking: when it’s actually a scam to sell you a time share. That might have been bad….
But this was worse.
It was early Sunday morning when the phone rang. Jared of course was still sound asleep. I wondered who could possibly be calling before seven a.m. Angelo was the only other person I knew who made a habit of waking up as early as I did, but he would have called my cell, not our landline. It seemed like it could only be bad news, and I debated not answering it at all.
I should really learn to trust my instincts.
“Well hello, lovey. How are you this morning?”
The voice was light. Feminine. Mocking. And just hearing it caused my hackles to rise.
Of course it was Cole.
“I’m fine,” I said through clenched teeth.
“I’m so glad to hear that, sweetie.”
“My name is Matt.”
“I know. Is Jared available?”
I fought back my irritation at him. It was a knee-jerk reaction I had to everything he did. And everything he said. And everything in the world that reminded me of him. It was completely unjustified, I knew. It wasn’t his fault he had met Jared years before me. It wasn’t his fault he had shared Jared’s bed more times than I cared to think about.
Or was it?
“He’s sleeping,” I said. The stupid thing was, I knew Jared would want to talk to him. He would want me to wake him up. But I hated to do anything for Cole.
“That’s too bad. If you could just give him a message, sweetie—”
“It actually concerns you and Zach and Angelo as well, so it would be terribly helpful if you could just pass the info on to all of them. Jon and I have decided to get married.”
“Well, it’s not legally a marriage since the state won’t recognize it, but just a little commitment ceremony. Symbolic really—”
I interrupted him to say, “I’m really happy for you,” because I knew that I should be happy for him. Even though I wasn’t. Not really. “I’ll let Jared know—”
“Honey, you haven’t let me tell you the good part!” Oh shit. Anything Cole thought was good was bound to piss me off. “I’ve decided to fly all four of you out here for the wedding—”
“Because we don’t have any family at all you know, except George, and it seemed silly to have a ceremony where he was the only guest. So we talked about it, and we decided that the four of you just have to come. It’s the first weekend in February, and I’ve already reserved the rooms—”
“I can’t just drop everything and fly to Phoenix at the drop of a hat!”
“Oh, honey, it’s not in Phoenix! We’re doing it in Paris of course—”
“And you might think the City of Love would be more open-minded about gay marriage. Honey, they’re not, but we’ve decided to do it there anyway. I was going to book the flights for you—”
“Wait a minute!”
“But then I realized I don’t even know your last name, or Angelo’s for that matter, so—”
“If you could just ask Jared to e-mail that information to me, I would really appreciate it, sweetie. And then we’ll get the tickets reserved, and everything will be all set. Now I know Zach might think it’s odd, coming to see Jonathan get married, but just tell him—”
“I’m not telling him anything!”
“That it’s all water under the bridge and we’d really love for him to come. Listen honey—”
“No, you listen—”
“I’m on the plane, and the stewardess is just glaring daggers at me. I have to turn my phone off now.”
“I’ll be waiting for Jared’s e-mail. Bye!”
“Cole? Cole?” But the line was already dead. I resisted the urge to throw my phone across the room. I settled for calling Jared’s ex-fuck-buddy every bad name I could think of—and thanks to Angelo, that list had grown significantly over the past couple of years.
Technology had failed me. We could put a man on the moon and make computers that fit in my back pocket, but I still couldn’t strangle anybody via telephone. Life really was a bitch.