My reply shocked me as much as it did him. His face changed almost completely. I could have sworn he was going to gasp. He raises an eyebrow and I can hear his breathing through his chest at that moment. He’s pissed off and I know it.
His eyes almost throw me daggers as he says, “Excuse me.”
“No. I’m not marrying you.”
“You realize me asking you to marry you is a favor, to you right?” he asked me.
“Why me…what’s so special about an asexual?” I asked him.
His eyes looked at me. He was hiding something. I could see that he was hiding something. He didn’t look right in my eyes when he thought about an answer. For a moment I examined Marcel’s face. His handsome demeanor got to me but I wondered if there was anything behind that gorgeous face.
“I have my reasons.”
“And that’s not enough,” I replied.
I didn’t tell him everything. I knew that I wanted to marry for love. Ever since I was younger that was what I wanted to do. I didn’t know this boy. Sure, he was cute. He was beyond cute. He was the most attractive man I’d met in my life probably but that was it. My attraction to him was only skin deep. His attitude was disgusting and he seemed to be showing that disgusting attitude right now.
“Do you know who I am?” he asks me again almost as though talking to a child. Maybe he thought I was an idiot. I was pretty sure that he thought I was an idiot actually. The way he looks at me pisses me off. Who does this guy think he is? Sure, he has money. Sure he looks beautiful. The disrespect though was just something I couldn’t tolerate.
“You’re rude. That’s what I know. And I know you’re a dickhead.”
His eyes got wide, “Dickhead? Dickhead! I’m trying to save you from squalor. You smelled like dog shit and sweat when we got you.”
“Got me? You mean when you abducted me.”
His voice was booming. I had the feeling that people didn’t say no to Marcel. I mean it was probably hard to say no to a guy that looked like that. Maybe that’s why he was in politics. People loved to kiss his ass maybe. They loved to please him. They were drawn to him because of his attractive face and his classy attire.
I was different though. I had spent my whole life being rejected. Rejected by my father. Rejected by the scale. At this point in my life I didn’t need to be accepted by anyone… including the magnetic Marcel.
I could see he was getting irritated and honestly so was I. Dr. Cid must have been standing right outside because he ran in.
“Calm down everyone,” the Doctor said.
“Your plan isn’t going to work. I refuse to marry this…thing…” he replied looking over at me.
I couldn’t help but to laugh. It was clear we weren’t getting along. It was worse than getting along. I found Marcel to be beyond bearable.
“You refused to marry me?” I asked him, “That’s not how I remember it…”
The doctor seemed to be calming us down. It was clear this wasn’t what he had planned. It was even more clear that Marcel wasn’t having it.
“Marcel think about this. You getting along with this boy could mean you winning the election. You guys can go your separate way after four years. Never see each other again.”
“He called me a dick.”
“You are one.”
“No, fuck you…”
The tension in the room got so bad that at this point the kind doctor looked like he was blushing red.
Marcel walked out of the room at that moment before letting out a hard, “Send him back.”
The doctor looked over at me at that moment. It was honestly unfortunate that Marcel was such a dickhead because the doctor honestly seemed like a nice guy for the most part. He forced a slight smile at me.
The doctor came and sat next to me on the stretcher, “Believe it or not he actually considered one of the most charming men in New Jerusalem.”
It was hard to believe. I wasn’t calling Dr. Cid a liar. I didn’t know Dr. Cid. Hell I was pretty sure he knew more about Marcel than I did. All I knew about Marcel was what he was telling me right now. Right now he was showing me that he was a rude asshole. My heart raced, my blood pressure getting high. I never got out of character. That was usually the things Silk and Roman got into. I always maintained a natural cool.
I was always the voice of reason.
What was it about Marcel that got under my skin so bad?
“I want to apologize for my reaction,” I told Dr. Cid, “Your proposition is fair and honestly a lot better than what most people in the Breeding Grounds are afforded. It’s just…”
“You want more,” Cid stated.
I looked over at Cid and nodded, “Yes. More. Than some arrangement.”
Cid nodded, “It’s understandable. But look at it like this. We can get you into New Jerusalem. Marcel has the resources to do that. Think of it as a business deal. You and Marcel don’t have to get along. You just have to fill that role of a loving husband.”
“But I don’t love him.”
Cid nodded, “You don’t need to. You said you wanted more right?”
“I want you to hold off on making your decision. We are about to dock into New Jerusalem. You can have more once you see the city. If you decide to leave. If you decide to go back. We won’t force you. We’ll take you back to the ghettos. If that’s what you decide to do.”
Time passed quickly in silence and I knew we were pulling up to the floating city. Cid opened the blind of the hovercraft and let me look out. At that moment I think about all my friends. I think about Roman. He would be so excited to be in the spot where I am now. I think about Silk. It bothered me most that I didn’t get a chance to say anything to him before I was taken. I knew he was worried sick about me. So much of me wanted to return to the Breeding Grounds. So much of me wanted to let them know that at least I was ok.
“Are you watching?” Cid asked me, “Are you paying attention?”
He was too late. We were pulling into the city now and immediately I was blown away. He must have knew that I was going to be blown away. The city was a metropolis. Technology that I had never seen before littered the streets. Robots far more advanced than I had ever seen before swept the streets below us keeping it clean. As we pulled into the dock I looked up and saw the skyline of New Jerusalem over me. The buildings were all different lengths. Neon lights lit up the streets. Holograms of advertisements filled the streets.
Much. That was the only word to describe the city. Flying vehicles filled the air. The buildings were actually in tact. They weren’t run down relics of old days like in the breeding grounds. There wasn’t a stadium in the distance. It looked like people probably still even used it for more than just storing homeless junkies. There was no stench. As Dr. Cid opened the window a breeze filled the hovercraft. No. Smog. No odor.
The only thing that stunk…was me…
“You said you wanted more. This is more. Now tell me…” Cid looked over at me, “Should I tell the driver to turn this flying boat around or do we have a deal.”
I looked over at Cid. My heart raced. This would be the most important decision that I had ever made in my life. I could marry a man that I didn’t love for a reason that I didn’t know. Or I could go back to my friends. I could go back to straight people who I didn’t have much of anything in common with really. I could go back to the stench. I could be miserable.
I thought about Silk. He would want to see me. As I thought about him though I knew that I couldn’t. I had to do what I had to do. I had to stop thinking about others though. I had to begin thinking about me.
“You have an agreement,” I told Cid, “I’ll marry Marcel.”
Marcel had been standing outside of the hovercraft when Dr. Cid walked me out. Marcel was talking to someone. At first I wasn’t too sure who this person was but I quickly realized that it must have been something like a limo driver. We didn’t have limos in the Breeding Grounds but I read about them in some old history books I found at the abandoned library. Silk used to say I read too much but honestly reading was definitely starting to come in handy.
He shot me a look and quickly entered the the hovercraft after grimacing a little bit. His usually handsome face damn near shot me the rudest look I’d ever seen.
“I had a talk with him. He’ll come around,” Dr. Cid tells me immediately in reference to Marcel, probably noticing the little interaction at the same time that I noticed it.
I sighed. This was going to be a very…VERY difficult marriage. I already knew it. Regardless of his attitude I had to admit Marcel was nice to look at. His butt filled his pants as he walked away. Even as he had an attitude climbing into the cab I couldn’t help but to tilt my head and lean a little bit. My dick definitely gained some weight on it. It definitely made me wonder how I would scale on the Kingsley Scale right about now.
The limo ride remained just as awkward with Marcel. He sat on the other side of the limo only separated by Dr. Cid. He looked heavily annoyed like a kid who had just gotten all his candy taken from him. I ignored him though and pressed my face so hard against the window that my hot breath fogged the glass.
“Is this really happening right now?” Marcel asked.
I wasn’t sure if he was asking me or Dr. Cid. I knew he was talking about me but he was looking at Dr. Cid. Cid just decided to laugh at me amused. I could only imagine Marcel’s smug look. I didn’t care about him right now though. I wanted to see the city around me. The beautiful city with neon lights, flying cars and robots! I was amazed.
Before long I realized the limo itself was a flying vehicle zooming through the air.
“Relax,” Cid stated, “You’ve seen others who came from the Breeding Grounds. Marxis is just taking everything in.”
I had to admit I was acting like a tourist. Holograms floated around the city. They were advertisements that just hung suspended in the sky in between skyscrapers. I looked down at the city and saw the people. They were all so colorful. That was the only way I could describe them. Their clothes weren’t run down colors of browns and grays like the Breeding Ground. They were colorful, bright and dramatic outfits that lined up the streets. Everyone looked so rich. Everyone looked so…happy.
Marcel had his eyes look over at me, “He’ll never pass.”
I didn’t know what he meant by that. A part of me felt like he thought I was too busy focusing on the city to realize they were talking about me like I wasn’t right there. I didn’t care though. He was probably half right. I still heard how he was discussing me though. What did he mean by me “passing?”
“It’ll work. Don’t you trust me?””
Marcel sighed. His sigh said it all. It was disappointment. He didn’t care for me. We didn’t hit it off from the gate and he was clearly expressing his distaste for me right at this moment.
“It’s him I don’t trust,” Marcel replies, “When are we going to make this happen?”
“Tonight,” Cid states.
It isn’t just Marcel that says that. Marcel and I say it almost at the same time. The shock comes over us. There was no way in hell I was ready to get married tonight. Marcel and I exchange glances at each other. The stare lingers longer than it probably should. There is this awkward tension that is just so present with Marcel that I just don’t understand.
Cid’s eyes gleam up. I know there is something that he knows that he isn’t telling me. Maybe Marcel is in on it too. Maybe not. I’m not sure. I don’t know what’s going on. All I know is that I’ve made it. I’m in New Jerusalem but for some reason I can’t even take in the view.
Butterflies rattle my stomach.
“It’s all part of the master plan boys. My master plan.”
Marcel is beyond angry by the time we reach our destination. He leaves the limo not waiting for either Cid or I and disappears completely. Cid calls out to him a few times and even attempts to chase him down. That doesn’t work though.
As I get out of the car I’m greeted by a door’s man. In front of us there seems to be a hotel or at least a hotel building of some sort. I’m not sure. Maybe it’s even an apartment building. I want to ask but I don’t want to sound more ignorant than I already look. I clearly was out of place and it wasn’t hard to tell. They looked over at me and I could feel my entire body tremble under the circumstance.
As we walk into the building I realize it may be an apartment building despite the bellboys who are carrying bags of luggage beside Dr. Cid. The staff in the building greets us. They smile. Their teeth are white. They look clean.
I find myself staring…taken away by everything around me.
“This way Marxis my boy, don’t lag behind.”
I smile at Cid. Even with him hiding his secrets I realize that I don’t know anyone here. Marcel doesn’t want anything to do with me and Cid is the only friendly face that I assume is going to be around. I figure he is going to be my only friend.
“I’d like you to call me Marx,” I smile at him trying to seem as welcoming as humanly possible.
He must fall for it. At least I hope he does. Hell. I don’t know if he honestly likes me or if he is just putting on a friendly front.
“Well Marx,” Cid’s eyes smile with his grin, “I have a surprise for you.”
The penthouse floor. Marcel must have had another room because I didn’t see him as we walked into this room. He disappeared right after Cid’s announcement that we would be getting married tonight. You would think Cid was more concerned about Marcel ditching this whole shotgun-arranged-political-watchumacallit but he seemed more interested in me.
As we walked into the penthouse a robot scanned Cid’s hand as though making sure he should have access to the room and it quickly retreated away riding on four wheels and resembling nothing more than a fancy early century vacuum cleaner.
“This will be your room Marx…at least for tonight,” Cid explained, “Get used to the hotels. The campaign trail is full of them.”
“It can be glamorous however,” a voice says.
Instead of Marcel I am greeted by two girls. They smile wide. One’s hair is pink and the other is a lime-green color. The one girl’s hair falls all the way down to her butt in soft curls while the other’s is slightly shorter. They are both dressed in black peplum tops and tube skirts that are fall to their ankles. They are barely able to walk in them but somehow they manage to shimmy their way towards me.
“There’ s a lot of work to be done here,” the girl with the lime-green hair stated looking over at me.
Cid gave me a look, “Meet…Natasha and Latosha…your stylists. Ladies, I trust he’s in good hands.”
I wanted to call back for Cid.
Natasha and Latosha looked at me. Their eyes studying me up and down. It kind of scared me a little bit as they did it. Cid left me in the room with them disappearing into the hallway as with a quick ease.
Hours passed. Natasha and Latosha were lesbian lovers who just so happened to be make-over artists. When I say make-over I meant they really went all out. Natasha commenced to shaving me. Latosha continued to give me a hair line up. They made sure I washed in this high-technology shower and dried me off. That is when they started with the trimming my nails and polishing my feet.
“You’ll look like a new man,” Natasha stated, “We get you guys all the time. People that come from down below.”
“I remember when I came up,” Latosha stated,
The two laughed as though saying something that I didn’t understand.
“So you guys both came from below?” I asked.
“I was 11…so young and horny. You’ll learn fast. You don’t really have a choice. If you aren’t fab in New Jersusalem…then honey…who are you?”
“Exactly,” Natasha laughed, “Fab or die.”
That was another thing about the two lovers. They talked a lot. Natasha was the lighter of the two. She never seemed to shut up. Latosha had milk chocolate skin almost my skin tone.
“Open wide sweetie,” Latosha commanded me, “You ready for your veneers?”
“You guys are dentists too?”
There was laughter at that moment, “Darling. We do it all.”
I sat in the chair not moving as Latosha commenced to filing my teeth. They talked to one another the entire time. They gossiped with a vengeance. It was unlike anything I had ever heard before. People really didn’t gossip in the Breeding Grounds. When everyone was doing bad it was hard to talk down about someone. Natasha seemed to have all the dirt. Who was sleeping with who. What celebrity was getting a sex change. How ugly so and so’s dress was at some party that they’d gone to. The way Latosha listened to her lover you would have thought Natasha was giving her the secret to eternal life.
When they were done with my teeth they began bringing out outfits.
“So what kind of boy are you. I mean besides the rags and filth or what not?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“Do you like drag or…”
“Um. No. I don’t wear drag,” I replied.
Was that a common question for New Jerusalem? I wasn’t sure. I could tell they weren’t joking when they were asking however.
“If you are going to marry Marcel you’ve got to be on it,” Natasha stated, “Marcel’s a pretty big deal around these parts.”
“You have to work it hunny,” Latosha replied, “Work. W-E-R-Q.”
“I’m kind of simple,” I replied, “I don’t know.”
They both seemed so loud. They both seemed so out of this world. I didn’t know how the hell I would pull off anything that they could possibly give me.
“We have just the thing…”
It was almost midnight by the time I was finally walked down by the two stylists. They had adorned me dramatically in a white hood. By the time I got down stairs I realized I was being escorted to a chapel. It just seemed convenient that a chapel was in the building but then again it seemed like Dr. Cid had this planned from the start. The plan however still scared me.
But what choice did I have? I could blindly (and possibly stupidly) follow whatever Cid told me to do or I could go back to hell. I had no choice at this point.
So I walked into the chapel…literally blindly because the cloth the lesbian stylists put on my head was definitely way too thick for me to see.
“You ready? TA-DA!” Natasha said.
I was in a small room. The only other people in the room were Marcel, Cid, the stylists and a man who I knew for sure was some sort of priest.
Marcel and Cid looked at me. Their eyes looked at me and then looked back at one another. They weren’t saying anything. I didn’t know how to react to that. Was it a good thing or a bad thing. I hadn’t even had a chance to look myself in the mirror.
Cid’s eyes raised, “You look…amazing. Doesn’t he Marcel?
Marcel’s eyes locked on mine. For the first time he didn’t seem to have this weird resentment towards me that I didn’t understand. For the first time he seemed to soften up. He possibly even seemed a little friendly. He looked at me for so long and I had to admit I was blushing by how he was looking at me. It was almost like Marcel was looking right through me.
Butterflies ran through my stomach. Why the hell was I nervous at him staring at me? This wasn’t a real wedding. This wasn’t love. Why the hell was I excited?
“Marcel?” Cid stated, snapping Marcel out of his daze.
All of a sudden the old rude ass Marcel was back. I could see it as he looked away from me so quick that he almost snapped his neck.
“He looks good enough,” Marcel replied as though trying his best to seem nonchalant, “Let’s get this over with ok?”
Yes. Definitely the old Marcel.
I wished I could say the rest of the marriage ceremony was beautiful. It wasn’t. It wasn’t memorable. Marcel didn’t look in my eyes the entire time. Truth was I wasn’t looking at him either. I rolled my eyes maybe a million times. Marcel probably assumed I was rolling my eyes at him but truthfully I was rolling my eyes at the stylists. They were sitting there crying. Real shit. They were crying. Tears sobbing down their cheeks as they cried and held each other as though this was the most emotional wedding they had ever seen. Between Marcel looking like he was holding back a yawn, Cid more concerned with some gadget that seemed like a phone and me rolling my eyes the wedding ended up being the most uneventful thing that actually happened to me.
“Marcel Anthony, do you take Marxis VII to be your wedded husband to live together in marriage? Do you promise to love him, comfort him, honor and keep him for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health and forsaking all others, be faithful only to him so long as you both shall live?”
Marcel sighed deeply. He still wasn’t looking at me. He seemed beyond irritated. God knows what Cid had to say to him to get him to agree to something like this which he clearly didn’t want to do.
I still didn’t get it. Ok. I broke the Kingsley scale. What was Marcel getting from marrying me though? Was this some sort of political statement? Was he trying to show that he had a charitable side or something? Giving to the poor?
“I do,” Marcel finally managed to mutter.
Marxis VII, do you take Marcel Anthony to be your wedded husband, to live together in marriage? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, and forsaking all others, be faithful only to her, for as long as you both shall live?
“By the power invested in me, by the state of New Jerusalem, I now pronounce you husbands. You may now kiss one another.”
Kiss? No one said we had to kiss.
Marcel looked over at me. His eyes seemed to be having just as much panic as mines was. At that moment I seemed to understand him. I had to kiss this stranger.
The priest waited looking at us as though confused on why we were taking so long. It seemed like the world got quiet. The only thing we could hear was the whimpering of Natasha and Latosha.
“Um…er…” Marcel started.
He slightly leaned into me.
I leaned in as well.
Then out of the blue something happened. I wasn’t sure what it was. I wasn’t sure who started it. All of a sudden we were kissing. It wasn’t the awkward kiss that I was imagining it to be either.
“Holy shit,” I heard Cid say.
Cid wasn’t the only one shocked. The lesbians were clapping by now loudly and cheering.
Marcel and I were kissing each other. It wasn’t just a normal kiss. No. This was sparks. At this moment I was transported somewhere it felt like. My mind went somewhere that I’d never been. At this moment I had an attraction that I had never felt before. I didn’t know what this meant. I didn’t know what it meant when I opened my mouth. Why did I open it? Why did Marcel stick his tongue down my throat at that moment? Why was I allowing him to do it? Why was I welcoming it? I was more than welcoming it!
I had my hand on the back of his head pulling him closer to me. Our tongues smashed against one another. He pushed his tongue so far down my throat I was afraid I would gag a little bit but instead I eased. My whole body welcomed Marcel.
And Marcel had his hand on the side of my face as I pulled him even closer.
I could feel his dick. Yes.
Oh yes…he was hard. He wasn’t the only one.
When we stopped Marcel and I seemed to understand each other. It wasn’t weird that we were married without barely knowing each other. It wasn’t weird that I wasn’t even according to the law “a gay” male. What was weird was the kiss…
What the FUCK was that kiss all about?
I looked at Marcel shocked that fireworks had just sparked with my husband…