I'd never been a huge fan of weddings, but watching Tom get married? Level ten on the fun suck-o-meter. Tom and I had a good thing going the past few years, and while I was kicking myself for letting the fun little omega get away, I was also happy for him.
Ugh. Weddings and Christmas. Two things I preferred to avoid, and now they were combined into one big happy event. Of course my favorite little ginger would get married on Christmas Day. Why not? I was pretty sure he didn't plan his happiness based on how to make Ian miserable, but if he had? Yeah, the little shit nailed it. Hole in fucking one.
Shaking my head, I grabbed a glass of champagne from a passing waiter and pasted on my best happy to be here face.
"You might want to try having that fake smile reach your eyes, buddy. People might think you don't really want to be here, you know?"
I glanced over to see an adult Harry Potter smiling back at me as he grabbed his own glass of champagne. He grinned and shook the loose curls back from his face as he held out a hand.
"Hey, Cecil. I mean, I’m Cecil, not that you’re Cecil. Oh, hell. Please make me quit saying Cecil?"
I grinned at the awkward introduction and shook his hand. "Sure I can’t just call you Harry? I don’t see a lightning bolt scar, but I gotta say..."
"Because I look like my surname should be Potter? Nope. Sorry to disappoint you. Just Cecil, I'm afraid. I'm not a wizard, although sometimes I play the role of dungeon master? But yeah. I’m just a boring guy who runs a second hand store here in town. Maybe you’ve seen it? It’s call Second Chances. Annnd now I'm rambling about both my job and my predilection for gaming like an obnoxious twatwaffle. I apologize."
Chuckling, I released his hand. "I'm Ian; should I tell you I'm a lawyer? Would that even the score, if you could tell a few lawyer jokes? I could even go with the pretentious sounding barrister if you prefer? I mean, I do advocate for minors with the courts, so it is a reasonable title choice."
Cecil's eyes twinkled over the rim of his champagne flute as he drained the glass and set it aside. "I'm good with forgetting all that other shit and just going with Cecil and Ian. So, tell me? Which groom are you here for? I go way back with Tom."
"Oh, hell. Can I just lie then, and say that I’m friends with Colin? I’m pretty sure you’re going to walk away if I tell you the truth and this is the most fun I’ve had recently.”
Cecil snorted. "Sorry. Too late. Unless you really do know Colin well enough to call him a friend too? Then it’s not a lie, just a slight prevarication or misdirection."
I shrugged. "We've hung out here and there? But honestly, I'm Tom's ex something or other. Which I probably shouldn't admit now. Can you forget I said that and let me go with I’m just a friend of Tom’s?"
"Oh, snap! No wonder you look so thrilled to be here. Why the hell would you come to an ex's wedding? Are you insane or just a glutton for punishment? Scratch that. I'm being invasive."
"No, you're not asking anything that I'm not already asking myself. But as to why the hell am I here? Tom and I have a lot of mutual friends, and our best friends married each other a couple of years ago. It's not like I can just avoid him. Besides, it's not his fault that I was married to my job and he wanted more than I had to give."
Cecil nodded kindly. "I feel you. My job is not anywhere as high powered as yours, but I'm pretty sure that my best relationship is with my store if I'm being honest. Or maybe the guy at the coffee shop?"
"Oh, don't ever forget that guy! Coffee guys are the true heroes for us single working stiffs.”
"Exactly right! I should probably have given mine a Christmas bonus, now that I think about it."
Cecil's face lit up with a broad grin that made me smile right back. I was finding myself intrigued by this awkward little geek. Who knew I'd ever find myself drawn to a awkward guy with glasses and a perfectly aligned bow tie?
"Cecil! I've been looking all over for you!" I looked over to see Tom's buddy Liam walking up with a baby in his arm. "You've been a hard guy to pin down lately!"
"Well, I've been out of town. You'll remember that I always close the store and do Christmas in Hawaii? I didn't want to cancel my trip for the wedding, so I went early this year. I just got back yesterday." Cecil was talking to Liam and looking everywhere but at the baby, who was desperately reaching for him.
"Oh, look! Tyler wants Uncle Cecil to hold him!" I bit back a laugh as Liam all but shoved the infant into Cecil's reluctant arms. I'd never seen an omega look quite so uncomfortable with a baby. Intriguing.
Cecil awkwardly bounced the boy on his arm. "Hello, Tyler. How are you today?" He spoke to the baby quite reasonably, as though the kid could answer back. The baby pulled his glasses off and threw them before grasping at Cecil's curly hair with his chubby fists and letting out a satisfied chortle.
I caught the glasses midair while Liam rushed to extricate his friend from the little rascal's clutches. "Okay, sweetie pie, no grabbing Uncle's hair," Liam crooned as he expertly detached the tiny fingers and lifted him back into his own arms.
Cecil smiled blindly while Liam gushed about the wedding. I looked around and spotted a glass of water and a linen napkin sitting abandoned on a nearby table. I sprang into action and cleaned the grubby drool marks off the poor guy's glasses. I walked back over and easily slid them into place, earning myself a grateful smile from Cecil.
The alpha that worked for Tom and Milo came walking up with a toddler on his hip. He nodded a hello and turned to Liam. "Christian is looking for you, Li. He says we're taking all three of Tom's kids home with us tonight?"
Cecil's eyes bugged out while Liam nodded. "Yes. Milo was supposed to take them while the grooms have their honeymoon, but they got a call right before the ceremony that Rafe's mom has passed away. They're leaving town, and we're taking all the kids. Crystal and Artie too. The last thing they need to deal with is traveling with toddlers."
Kent took the information in stride. "Okay, so we have Allie, and then six little guys under the age of four all week? I guess it's good that we're all off for the holidays."
Liam smiled happily. "Yes, isn't it perfect?" He turned to Cecil and smiled sadly. "I'm so sorry to rush off, but I really should see to the details. Two preschoolers, a toddler, a ten month old, and twin four month olds are about to descend on my home! Well, this one and one of the older tots already live there, but you know what I mean. I better go see about coordinating everything with my husband. My alpha's a planner, you know how he is."
Cecil gulped and nodded with a cringing smile. "Good luck with all that. Merry Christmas to everyone!"
Liam reached in for a quick hug, giving the baby a chance to grab at Cecil's hair again. I looked away and bit my cheek to keep from laughing as they extricated him yet again. This time the little bugger had a clump of hair in his fist when Liam pulled him away. Cecil took a polite step back and waved them off with the best facsimile of a smile I'm sure he could muster.
Once they were gone, he turned to me. "Do I have a bald spot now? Be honest. Did you see how fast his hands moved? Like an octopus. I swear babies have extra hands or something."
I lost it then, barking out a laugh as I grabbed him a fresh glass of champagne from another passing tray. "Here, drink up. You earned it for not losing your cool."
Cecil drained it one gulp and set it to the side. He looked up at me with a look of shame. "I bet I'm the worst omega you've ever met, right? I mean, babies are supposed to come easily to us. I think I missed that class, or maybe I lack a crucial gene?" He sighed and looked around uncomfortably.
"Hey, I'm the last one that you need to apologize to," I assured him. "I work in family law, but that doesn't mean I'm any more comfortable than the next guy with those little things."
When he started to relax again, I continued. "Riddle me this. Why is it that the ones of us who are least into kids are the ones they flock to first? That baby was coming at you like a magnet! My buddy Rafe's kids are the same way with me. It's like when you have a pet allergy and visit someone with pets, you know what I mean? The fuckers won't leave you alone!"
Cecil tipped his head and looked up at me with a considering smile. "You know what? You're totally right? It's like we're magnets to the beasts!"
"Shall I take it that you will be avoiding Liam's house this week?"
Cecil shuddered. "Like the fucking plague. God. Can you imagine? It's going to be like the seventh layer of hell over there. At least Allie is ten. She's old enough to be cool now. But the drool factories and diaper-filling machines? No thank you! I'm gonna have to nope right out on that scenario."
I grinned, liking this guy more by the second. It was like a refreshing breath of air to meet an omega that wasn't looking to settle down and have all the babies. It startled me a little when he looked up at me and spoke bluntly.
"So now that we've established where we stand on procreation, wanna get out of here? I have a drawer full of condoms, so you can even double up if you want."
Without hesitation, I nodded with a grin. "Let's do it. Only problem, I don’t have a car here because I'm not driving today, are you?"
He shook his head and pulled out his phone, tapping away as he spoke. "I'll use the ride app. I didn't drive today either. Weddings always make me want to drink more. Something about all the schmaltzy feelings and crap always makes me want to either get drunk or punch something. Drinking is the more socially acceptable option, thus no car today."
After another moment, Cecil looked up with a blinding smile. "The car will be here in five, let's sneak out the side before any more babies find their way to my hair."
I reached out and brushed his hair back. "To be fair, those curls do look crazy fun to play with and sink your hands into."
He grinned up at me and spoke just softly enough for me to hear but nobody else. "How about I let you be the judge of that when my mouth is full of your dick?"
My eyebrows just about reached my hairline as I looked back at him in shock. "That sounds like the kind of offer that I'd be a fool to refuse." Cecil winked at me and all but swaggered as he led me out the side door to catch our car.
I'd always wondered about my buddy Rafe's attraction to his mousy little Milo, but now I was starting to get it. Maybe the quiet ones were the guys to watch? I hadn't come to the wedding with the intention of leaving with anyone, especially not a mildly awkward little omega.
But in the short space of time that we'd already spent together, I could tell that this guy was nothing like anyone I'd ever met before. I couldn't deny it. I was definitely intrigued. If tonight was anywhere near as cray cray as I had a feeling it would be, this would definitely go down in the books as the best wedding I'd ever attended.