The Wedding

Kenny was nervous as he stood at the back of the chapel. He'd been

to other funerals, but this one would be different. The chapel

wasn't full, but it was well filled as the soothing music ended

and Bob Fuller walked up to the casket.


"Ladies and gentlemen," Bob began, using the lid of the closed

coffin as a lectern of sorts. The low murmur of conversation

ceased. "Rick McCleary asked me to say a few words here, and so

I'm speaking to you now. I knew Rick and Anne well, but not so

well as I would have liked. As most of you know, Rick knew he

was going to die more than a year ago, and many of you know that

this last year has been harder on those of us who know Rick than

it was on him. I don't know that I'd have the strength to take

things in the calm way he did, and I'm sure I'm a better man for

having known him.


"Before he died, Rick made some very special requests of some of

us, and as his minister, he consulted me on some of these re-

quests. I'm afraid that some of his requests may shock some of

you, I know they shocked me when the two of us first talked about

this together. Anyway, after hesitating a long time, I agreed to

go along with his wishes, and so, here I am.


"Ken, Anne, would you and the other pallbearers come forward?"


Ken walked to his place at the side of the coffin, opposite Anne.

She smiled a thin smile at him, then took her place opposite him

and next to the minister; the other pallbearers, two men and two

women, all good friends of Ken and Anne, took their places by the

sides of the coffin.


"Normally," Bob Fuller said, addressing everyone. "Normally, I'd

have objected to Rick's idea of playing a tape of him at his

funeral. It's usually something egotistical and tacky, but this

time, I agreed to do it because of his special wish. Here it



Bob Fuller walked over to the side of the room and pushed a

button on a tape player. As he came back to his place at the

head of the coffin, Rick's recorded voice filled the room. Ken

was a unnerved by the sound of Rick's voice. It wasn't the weak

voice of a dying man he had heard the week before, but the strong

healthy voice he'd almost forgotten. He guessed that the tape

must have been made months ago.


"Friends," Rick said, and then paused. "I suppose if you're

listening to this, I must be dead. Sorry, I don't mean to sound

so corny. Well, if everything goes as I planned, Al, Beth, Fred

and Ellen should be around my coffin right now. I asked you four

to serve as pallbearers for two reasons. First, you are my good

friends, and second, you are all good friends of Ken and my wife

Anne, who should be serving as the other two pallbearers.


"Anne, my love of ten years, I suppose I've been a real pain this

last year, and in a way, I'm glad for you that it's over at last.

I know it's awfully unconventional to ask the widow at a funeral

to serve as a pallbearer, but I'm glad you agreed to do it. I

know enough about what you like to have felt awful about what

I've denied you, and, well, to be blunt, if you've been unfaith-

ful during my illness, thank you for being discrete, and I hope

it was with Ken."


Ken glanced nervously at Anne, wondering what had come over Rick

to make him record such an odd tape and why Bob had decided to

play it.


"Ken," Rick went on. "I've known you longer than I've known

Anne. Remember long ago, long before I got sick, we were joking

about things, and you said that, if it hadn't been for me, you'd

probably be going after Anne? In a way, that's what inspired

this whole idea of mine. Some of you might call it a damned

idea, and maybe it is."


While Rick's recorded voice spoke, Ken wondered what he had in

mind. He'd had some pretty weird talks with Rick after he got

sick, and on at least two occasions, Rick had more than hinted

that Anne and Ken should get together. Ken had agreed with him,

to quiet him down, but he hadn't followed through and actually

approached Anne. He really was in love with her, but at an

honorable distance. Just the same, he was more than a bit un-

nerved by Rick's open discussion of his interest in Anne.


Rick continued. "I've spoken to many of you about my hopes for

what would happen after I die, but I haven't told my entire plan

to anyone, that is, anyone other than Reverend Fuller. He didn't

like my idea at first, but if he's playing this tape for you, he

must have agreed to it at last. I hope so, because I did my best

to talk him into it.


"Anyway, Anne, You also told me once that if it hadn't been for

me, you thought Ken was as close to your dream man as they come.

You know I don't like mourning, we've mourned together for more

than a year, ever since I found out that my condition was termi-

nal. Enough mourning! You know I didn't really want a funeral

at all, I'm dead now, it doesn't do me any good. You folks who

are still alive can remember me if you want, but don't be sad

about it! Celebrate what I accomplished, if you wish, but spend

your time looking forward to a fun future, and while you're here,

make friends, renew acquaintances, and enjoy yourselves.


"With that in mind, I've asked the Reverend to spend some of my

money and book a place for dinner after you've planted my re-

mains, but before you do that, I've got some business in mind."


While Rick's voice paused, Ken realized that he was looking idly

at Anne. He'd never known that Anne had any romantic interest in

him after she married Rick, although she'd occasionally teased

him and she'd always been a very open and friendly woman. As

what Rick had said sunk in, Anne smiled weakly at Ken from across

the casket, then looked down at her hands as if she might be a

bit embarrassed.


Rick thought that she looked pretty, dressed in a black dress

that he at first thought looked very modest. The dress had long

sleeves and a long hemline, and Anne wore the cowl neck of the

dress up over her head. As Ken looked more closely, Ken realized

that the dress clung revealingly to her slim figure, it was not

merely pretty, it was sexy, and it was only the black color that

made it discrete.


"Ken," Rick's recorded voice continued. "Do you really want to

marry Anne? If you do, and if she's interested, do it now!

Right here.


"Anne. Please don't mourn my passing. If you have anyone else

you'd like to love, don't let my memory get in the way. If you

think it would be fun to marry Ken right now, do it! I've asked

the Reverend, and he's agreed to do it under one condition, that

is, that I give both of you a way out if you don't like my idea."


Rick's recorded voice paused again while Ken tried to deal with

the shock of what he'd said. Ken had never thought of himself as

a very proper person, but his sense of propriety was offended by

the idea of getting married to the widow at a funeral. Even so,

as he looked up at Anne's shocked face, he felt tempted to do it.


"Here it is, and these are the last words I've recorded. I've

asked the organist to play a meditative interlude when this tape

ends, and I invite you two to whisper over the casket, consulting

with the Reverend if you want. When the interlude's over, you're

free to get married if you want, or free to go home single.


"You know how I'd like this to turn out, but let me say one more

thing. Don't worry about satisfying me, I'm dead. Satisfy

yourselves. That goes for all of you who are here for my funer-

al! Bye folks!"


The recording ended, and as promised, the organist began to play

something that was quiet enough to allow whispered conversation

and loud enough to mask the sound of such a conversation from

anyone else who might try to listen in.


"This is the craziest darned thing I've ever heard of," Ken



"You're not kidding," Anne whispered in reply. She paused and

then went on. "It's just like Rick, though, you know that?"


Ken looked down at his fingers on the lid of the coffin. "Right.

So what should we do?"


"Do we have any choice?" she asked.


"I guess it depends," he whispered.


"On what?"


"On us. When Rick first suggested that I start courting you

behind his back, I was offended by the idea, it just seemed so



"I know what you mean," she whispered as the music continued.

"Rick told me I should be flirting with you. I guess I took it

as a kind of joke at the time, but..."


Ken paused to let her continue, but when she didn't, he did.

"But what? The truth is, I didn't follow up then, but in a few

months, after things settle down, after you've had a decent time

to get over Rick, I was thinking of calling on you."


She smiled quietly and reached over to put her hand on his. "I

was only going to wait a few weeks before I called you."


"OK," Ken whispered, smiling faintly. "But I don't like being

manipulated like this. I liked Rick a lot, but in a way, I

resent what he's suggesting."


"Me too," she said, "but is it really manipulation when someone

tells you to do something you already want to do?"


She broke off, as if startled by what she'd just said, and it

took a long moment for Ken to realize her full meaning. He

looked at her as her smile broadened, and then she leaned forward

to whisper. "Want to do it?"


Ken looked at the mischievous twinkle in her eye, stunned, and

then smiled as he realized that it would be a fitting memorial to

Rick. "OK."


She motioned to Bob Fuller and whispered something in his ear,

and judging by his expression, he asked her a question, to which

she replied at length, glancing at Ken as she spoke. Bob looked

up at Ken and smiled, then leaned his way. "You really want to

go through with it?"


"Yes," Ken whispered.


"OK," Bob Fuller said, and then stood up straight at the head of

the casket and looked meditatively down at his hands while the

soft music continued. Ken tried to do the same, but he couldn't

keep his eyes off Anne, and when he looked at her, he saw that

her eyes were on him and that she had a faint smile on her lips.


As the music came to an end, Bob Fuller stood straight. "Well

folks, we've all agreed, so this will be more than just a funer-

al. Anne Smith McCleary, I've had long talks with you while your

husband was ill, and I know that you know Kenneth Anderson quite

well and you've known him for a long time. Do you take Ken to be

your lawful wedded husband?"


"I do," she said, faintly but clearly.


"Kenneth Anderson, do you take Anne McCleary to be your lawful

wedded wife?"


"I do," he said, shaking his head with wonder.


"Then I pronounce you man and wife," Bob Fuller said. "Rick

asked me to make a specific request at this point. He asked me

to ask that you two kiss each other over his dead body, to be

quite literal."


There was a nervous chuckle from more than one person in the

chapel as Ken reached across the coffin to Anne and took her

hand, and then leaned over to kiss her.


"Anne," Bob Fuller said, after they'd kissed. "Ken. I've known

the two of you for some years now, and I've known you were close

friends. Ken, you were Rick's roommate when he was courting

Anne, but if Rick hadn't set this up, I'd never have imagined

things working out like this. Social convention would have you

two waiting a good six months after the funeral, but you know

what? I figured that you two would marry then, and I think Rick

really is right, it's better that you two should comfort each

other. My blessings go with you."


The organist started playing a march as the pallbearers picked up

the coffin, but it wasn't a funeral march, it was a wedding

march, slow and dignified, but full of joy.


"Sorry about the mess," Ken said, opening the door to his apart-



"You should see my mess," Anne said. "I don't really look for-

ward to going through all of Rick's stuff, that's one reason I

said we should come to your place."


Ken paused after he shut the door. Somehow, his thoughts all

afternoon had been dominated by the excitement of sharing some-

thing daring with Anne, and her mention of Rick's stuff was



"Anne," he said, and then hesitated. "Anne, what can I do to



She walked silently into the middle of his living room and looked

around briefly before turning to face him with a sigh. "Tomorrow

you can help me go over Rick's stuff, separating the trash from

the keepsakes from the rest." Her expression clouded briefly.

"I guess the rest goes to Goodwill or the crisis center."


She paused, looking at Ken, then grinned. "Third, make that the

day after tomorrow or later! These last few weeks have been

hell, and I need to totally wrap myself up in something else for

a while. Help me do that, will you?"


Ken wasn't entirely sure he was ready to face what she had in

mind as he took her long coat and hung it in the closet by the

door. When he looked back at her, he almost did a double take.

She'd changed the way she wore her dress again. At the funeral

service she'd worn the cowl of her long black dress up over her

head, looking properly like a modest if slim and beautiful widow.

At the dinner party Rick had set up for after the burial, she'd

worn the cowl down around her neck, but now, she'd pulled it down

off her shoulders so the cowl formed a tight band around her

upper arms and over her breasts.


She smiled at his attention and posed. "Like this?"


"Yes, that's quite a dress."


She grinned. "Would you believe Rick bought it for me six months

ago? He got it specifically for the funeral!"


Ken shook his head and then chuckled. "So he did it to you too?

This is the suit he told me to wear!"


"I like it," she said, and then hugged him.


Ken enjoyed her hug and returned it warmly, enjoying the soft

inviting texture of her dress under his hands and the warmth of

her skin under it. As he swept his hands slowly down her back,

he grew uncomfortably aware of her. Her hips were pressed

against his, and as his hand swept from her back to her hip, he

could feel nothing to hint that she wore anything under the



"What a day!" Ken said, breaking the hug and sitting on the



"Is something wrong?" Anne asked, sitting next to him.


"I don't know," he said, putting his arm around Anne's shoulder

more because the way she sat demanded it than because he felt

comfortable doing it. "It's been a long day, and I'm, well, I'm

not really prepared for the way it turned out."


She laughed gently. "I certainly never expected to get married

at my husband's funeral, but I'm glad I did. Come on, it's not

that late in the evening, and although we've known each other for

a decade, we've got a bit of work to do getting to know each



Ken blushed. "I thought you might want to be alone. Are you

sure you want..."


"Ken," she said, leaning her head against his shoulder and speak-

ing in a soft, sad voice. "I've been alone and lonely too much

these last few months, what with Rick in the hospital and all.

Every night I slept alone, I had to face the fact that my husband

was dying, and towards the end, it was awfully hard on me each

time I visited him."


"He was my friend too," Ken said, remembering how Rick had

changed towards the end of his hospice stay. "So what do you

want to do with the rest of our evening."


"For now, just hold me like you are, make me feel secure."


Her head was resting against his shoulder, with his arm around

her and his hand resting gently on her hip. As she nestled

against him, she reached out with her free hand and held his free

hand to her stomach, stroking his wrist with her fingers.


"You know," she said, "sometimes, when Rick and I had a disagree-

ment, I used to wonder how things would have worked out if I'd

married you instead of him. Sometimes, I'd fantasize about

having an affair with you, or making love to you. How about



Ken was slowly relaxing under her touch, letting his hand rest

against the warmth of her stomach as she stroked his wrist. "I

don't know, I guess I suppressed those kinds of thoughts, I

didn't want to hurt my best friends by threatening their mar-



"But you had thoughts to suppress."


"Yes, you're very desirable, you know. I guess I always hoped

I'd find another girl who was as bright and pretty as you, but

nobody ever came close."


Her hand on his wrist gently urged him to shift his hand upward,

and now he found his thumb occasionally brushing the bottom of

her soft breast. "I like the way you're holding me," she said,

in a quiet voice. "Do you mind if I ask you how much experience

you've had with other girls? I mean, you introduced Rick and me

to a few of the girls you dated, but you never seemed to stay

with any of them for long."


"Do you mean, am I still a virgin?" he asked, tensing up.


"No, I just wondered why you never found anyone. No, that's not

really right, I guess I wanted to balance things. I mean, Rick's

name keeps coming up, and I thought that was unfair to you." She

was sounding flustered. "Oh hell, I guess I also wondered about

your sex life. Hold me!"


She pulled his hand up to her breast and held it there with her

hand while she continued to nestle her head against his shoulder.

He could feel her hard nipple through the tight band of her

turned down cowl, and the tip of his thumb rested against the

exposed flesh of her chest above her dress. He slid his other

hand up to cup her other breast before he went on.


"All right," he said, and then paused. The last time the topic

had come up between the two of them must have been back when

they'd dated each other, more than a decade ago. Ken had been a

virgin then, and so had Anne. "No, I've had sex with a couple of

the girls I've dated; should I name names? Oh hell, I've got to

live with you now, remember Karen? We slept together on and off

for a couple of years."


"Was she good?" Anne asked, gently stroking his wrist as he

cupped her breasts in his hands.


"Good? I liked her, I liked sex with her, we had lots of fun,

but..." He paused, wondering how to go on as he gently began to

fondle Anne's breast. "I guess she wanted lots of independence,

and I gave it to her. We never even mentioned marriage."


Anne sighed comfortably as he gently slid his hand over her

breast, and he wondered if she wanted him to slip his hand under

her dress. The way she'd folded her cowl down was inviting, and

he wondered how it would feel to slide his hand over her bare

breast and hard nipple. He slid his hand up and gently ran a

finger along the rolled top edge of her dress, letting it trail

under the edge a fraction of an inch.


She patted his hand with hers, then pulled at the fabric of her

dress, opening an inviting gap between fabric and flesh. He slid

his hands down over the rounded flesh of her breasts, feeling her

nipples between his fingers as he cradled her soft small breasts

under the tight band of her turned down cowl.


"So how do you like sex," she asked, speaking softly as she held

his hands to her breasts.


"I like it," he said, sliding one hand down to her stomach be-

neath the elastic fabric. "How do you mean?"


"What do you like doing?"


"Kissing, hugging, touching, intercourse, it's all fun..." He

was comfortably aware of the building pressure in his penis. "I

guess we didn't really try very many ways of doing it. Karen and

I didn't talk about sex much, we just did it. Cindy, well, she

liked talking about sex, but we didn't stay together very long."


"Then maybe..." Anne said, and then paused. Without warning, she

eased his hands out from under her dress and got up from the

couch. She turned to face him, and then spoke in a low uncertain

voice. "Let me undress you, OK?"


"OK," Ken said, excited by the prospect of being undressed by the

woman he'd loved at a distance for so long, but frustrated that

she'd pulled away from his hands. "Rick and I tried everything

in the book," she said, undoing his tie. "You know the kind of

man he was, always wanting to try things. Well, that applied to

sex and we tried quite a bit. Just about all of it was worth the

effort, and I think, right now, I'd like to surprise you."


Anne undid his shirt, kissing his chest and sucking on his nip-

ples as she exposed them. He'd never really paid attention to

the sexual possibilities of his own nipples before, and he was

surprised to find himself reacting to her attention. His hands

were on her shoulders, and again, he slid his hands down under

the elastic fabric of her dress, sliding his fingers over her

muscular back and down to the sides of her breasts.


He cooperated passively as she pulled his shirt off and set it

aside, but then he realized that it would be fun to take a turn

undressing her. "Can I take your dress off?" he asked.


"OK," she said, standing in front of him."


"How does it come off?"


"Pull down."


He sat up and reached tentatively forward to hold Anne's thighs

between his hands, then paused for a minute looking at her as she

stood in front of him. She was a beautiful woman. He tentative-

ly slid his hands up her hips to her waist and then up to the

sides of her chest where he took the edge of her knit cowl in his



He tugged on the turned down cowl and pulled it down to expose

her breasts. They were small but pretty, not big enough to sag,

with large brown areolas surrounding her nipples. He let go of

her dress to gently touch them, and then pulled the dress down

farther so he could free her arms from the sleeves.


"May I kiss you?" he asked, looking at her breasts.


"You don't have to ask," she said.


He sat forward and gently touched his lips to her nipple while he

held her hips in his hands. She held his shoulders in her hands,

gently pulling him to her, and after gently kissing her other

nipple, he went back to the first, touching the velvet soft skin

of her areola with his tongue as he savored the smell and taste

of the woman he had known and loved from a distance for so long.


As he kissed her, he ran his hands over the soft fabric of the

dress that still covered her fanny. Again, he felt no hint of

underwear through her dress and again he hesitated. Her nipples

were hard between his lips, and he was content, for the moment,

to concentrate his attention on them as she ran her hands through

his hair and down the skin of his back.


"You can slip my dress off, if you want," Anne said.


Ken let go of Anne's nipple as he slid his hands up to the turned

down top of her dress. He pushed down, letting his fingers slide

over her smooth skin as she slid the elastic cloth down over her

rounded bottom.


"You're really not wearing anything under this dress?" he asked,

admiring the smooth curve of her belly and the neatly trimmed

patch of pubic hair between her legs.


"Nope," she said, stepping out of the dress as it slid down

around her ankles. "With dresses like this one, anything you

wear under them shows. You know, panty lines, that kind of

thing. I could have worn panty hose, I suppose, but with a long

dress, it doesn't seem to serve any purpose." She paused.

"Besides, Rick always liked it when I went without underwear; I

hope you don't mind."


Ken looked at her as she stood in front of him, admiring the

clean lines of her body. "No, I don't mind. I never

imagined..." He stopped, unsure what to say.


She knelt in front of him as he sat on the couch. "Come on,

let's get back to getting to know each other. Stand up so I can

finish undressing you."


He stood up and she took his hips in her hands and kissed his

belly, just above the belt, then leaned back so she could see

what she was doing as she undid the buckle. He was acutely aware

of his erect penis, only inches from her face as she opened his

belt and began to undo his pants.


"You smell nice," she said, brushing her nose against the bulge

in his shorts as she slid his pants down.


"I do?" Ken said, surprised.


"You do!" she said, smiling as she pulling his shorts down to

free him. "I always liked the smell and taste of Rick. Come on,

sit down and relax."

That is how the rest of the night went.


"Good morning," she said, and Ken was disoriented for a moment.

He opened his eyes and yawned while he tried to focus. Anne was

sitting up on the bed beside him, resting her hand lightly on his

chest and looking at him with a faint but pleasant smile on her



"Good morning," he said, remembering the events of the day be-

fore. Between the funeral that had turned into his wedding and

Anne's interest in oral sex, he was surprised that he'd apparent-

ly managed to get a sound night's sleep.


She leaned over and gave him a gentle kiss. "Want to play around

a bit before breakfast?"


The idea was tempting, but Ken wasn't sure he was ready. "No,

I've got to piss, then let's get dressed and eat."


"Don't get dressed," Anne said as Ken sat up in bed. "I've been

thinking about this since I woke up. We've got to get used to

each other's bodies, and what better way to do that is there than

to spend the day nude with each other?"


"Nude isn't always romantic," Ken said.


"No, but so what? The point is to get over being shy with each



Ken chuckled. "If that's what you want, you should ask to watch

me while I piss."


"OK," she said, surprising him. "Rick and I always kept the

bathroom a private place, but..."


"I didn't mean to seriously suggest..." he protested.


"I don't care if you meant it," she said. "It's a good idea.

Come on, go pee, I'll watch."


Ken got out of bed and went to the bathroom, with Anne following

close behind. He felt awkward as he lifted the toilet lid and

began to piss, but she broke the ice with a nervous giggle.


"You know something? I always knew men pissed standing up, but

I've never seen it done. Do you ever miss the toilet?"


"I've had plenty of practice," he said, shaking the last drop off

his penis and flushing the toilet.


"I suppose so," she said, sitting down. "Still, it seems odd.

Want to split a shower with me before we eat?"


"Sure," he said, noticing the warm musky smell as she pissed.

The smell was very familiar, but it was a while before he could

remember why. It was a smell he remembered from his childhood,

the smell of his bathroom after his mother had used it.


Five minutes later, they were in the shower together. After they

were both wet, Anne turned off the water and then handed Ken the

soap. He lathered up his hands and then began soaping her wet

skin, starting at the neck and working his way down. Sliding his

wet hands over her soft breasts was fun, and by the time he was

soaping her fanny, he had a mild erection.


"Don't be shy about my crotch," she said, gently resting her

hands on his shoulders as he knelt in the tub in front of her.


He realized he'd been avoiding sliding his soapy hands into her

crotch, and even with her urging, he hesitated for a moment

longer. Finally, he slid his hand up between her legs and cupped

her pubic bone, working soap into her pubic hair before he slid

his hand back to clean her soft lips and farther back between her



"Did you and Rick do this often?" Ken asked, tentatively explor-

ing the warm cleft between her lips.


"That feels nice," she said with a sigh. "No, it's fun, but most

tubs and showers aren't really built for two."


He didn't linger long with his fingers inside her, she was right

that the tub wasn't a very convenient place for such play, and

kneeling in front of her on the hard tub began to hurt his knees.

Even so, he was very erect as he finished soaping her legs down

to her feet and then stood up to let her soap him. He expected

her to soap him as he'd soaped her, using her hands, but she

surprised him, using her soapy body to do the job. She hugged

him tightly in her soapy arms, sliding her body against his, and

only when she'd covered half of his body with soap that way did

she let go and use her hands.


After they'd rinsed and dried each other off, Ken hugged Anne,

kissing her as he enjoyed the pressure of her breasts against his

chest and the feel of her pubic hair against his still-erect

penis. She ran her fingers over his back while his hands rested

on the rounded mounds of her fanny.


After a long deep kiss on the mouth, Ken began gently kissing

Anne's cheeks and earlobes. His lips tingled slightly with his

excitement as he touched her smooth skin and gently nibbled on

her earlobes, and each gentle kiss Anne planted on his shoulder

seemed to stick there long after she'd moved on to other places.


"Let's go back to bed," she whispered, between kisses.


He turned, holding her tightly as they walked back to the bed-

room. Ken pulled down the covers with one hand and sat on the

edge of the bed, still holding Anne's waist. Her left breast was

there, so he kissed it as she began to sit, and followed her

down, never letting go with his mouth as she spread herself out

on the bed.

?1997, 1998 Standard Internet Corp.


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