Orlando Bloom sat in the back room of a church in LA, feeling as though time could not pass fast enough. For almost a year now, Orlando had been planning his wedding and now the day had finally arrived.
When they’d first started planning the wedding, one of the things his fiancée Kate Bosworth had insisted on was the tradition of the bride and groom not seeing one another for the last 24 hours before the wedding. So far, this ‘tradition’ was driving Orlando mad and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could take it. That was why his heart started racing when he heard a soft knock on the door. He was hoping that it was the minister coming to tell him it was time to start.
“Who is it,” he asked, perhaps a little too enthusiastically.
Slowly, the door opened and Billy Boyd, Orlando’s best man, peeked in. “Mind if I come in?”
Orlando slumped back in his chair, bubble of excitement now deflated. “Oh, it’s you. Come on in.”
Billy stepped in and shut the door behind him. “I feel so loved, Orli. What’s wrong?”
Orlando shook his head. “I was just thinking it might be the minister. He said he’d tell me when it was time to get started.”
Billy smiled as he sat down in the chair facing Orlando’s. “Ah, I see. Nervous then?”
“Yeah. What did you want when you came in?”
There was a moment of awkward silence then, during which Billy stared at his feet. He seemed to be debating about how to say something.
Orlando cocked his head to one side and looked at Billy’s face as best he could from his position. “What’s wrong Billy? Something on your mind?”
Billy sighed. “I guess. I’m just not sure how to put it into words.”
“Well, the wedding starts in about half an hour, so…”
“What I have to say may end up taking longer than that, but… Well, here goes. Orli, we’ve known each other for a long time now, right?”
“Yeah, nearly eight years. Why?”
“Well, what would you do if you had feelings for someone you’d known for as long as we’ve known each other? Would you hold it all in or would you tell them how you felt, even if there was the possibility you could ruin what you already had with that person?”
“God, I don’t know. I guess it would depend on the person. Are you saying you fancy one of your friends? Is it someone I know?”
“Is it Miranda?”
Billy looked up into Orlando’s warm brown eyes. “You know I don’t fancy women that way.”
Orlando blinked rapidly. “Oh… right. Uhm, is it Dom?”
“No. He’s engaged to Elijah, remember? They’re moving to Vancouver in a couple of weeks so they can get away from Hollywood and get married.”
“How about Craig? I know he’s said something about how he fancies you.”
“Not Craig, but you’re pretty damn close.”
“How close,” Orlando asked. Intrigued by where this conversation was heading, Orlando pulled his chair closer to Billy’s. So close, in fact, that their knees were touching.
“He was an elf.”
“That narrows it down. It’s not Craig… I hope it’s not Hugo. Not that there’s anything wrong with Hugo if it is. He just gives me the creeps sometimes… Are you going to tell me or are you going to make me keep guessing?”
Billy felt his face start to turn a deep shade of red as he locked eyes with Orlando. Somehow, what he’d come in here to say now seemed a thousand times harder and much more risky.
“It’s you, Orli.”
“Me? You… fancy me?” Orlando was in complete shock as he said this. “I don’t understand. Why me?”
“I didn’t think you would understand. I’ll just leave.” With that, Billy stood and headed for the door.
At the same time, Orlando slumped forward and hid his face in his hands. Just as Billy started turning the doorknob, Orlando stopped him. “Damn it, Billy. Don’t leave.”
“Why? It’s just going to hurt more to hear that my feelings aren’t returned.”
“What makes you think that I don’t care for you? Billy, come here. Sit down.”
Slowly, and without looking up at Orlando, Billy returned to his chair and sat back down. Orlando placed one of his hands over Billy’s and the other underneath Billy’s chin, forcing him to look into Orlando’s eyes. “Billy, listen to me. I care for you more than anyone else I know. I feel… I feel as if I’ve grown so close to you in the past eight years. I know there have been times that we’ve drifted apart, but… You make me feel as if nothing could go wrong whenever you’re around. And I wish that… I truly wish that I could express the love I feel, but… I just don’t know how to do that.”
Billy blinked back the tears that had started rolling down his cheeks and reached out to hold the hand cupping his chin.
“I know how you feel and I understand if you can’t say anything, Orlando.”
“You know, you haven’t called me Orlando since the day we met.”
“Maybe it’s a sign.”
“What kind of sign?”
“A sign that perhaps this, what we have right now, is as far as our relationship can ever go. I mean, you’re getting married in just a few minutes.”
“You’re right, but…” Orlando felt his heart start racing again. What he was about to say was either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid. He couldn’t tell which.
“But what?” Billy’s heart was racing as well. What was Orlando thinking?
Orlando shifted so that his legs were between Billy’s, bringing them even closer together, and held both of Billy’s hands in his own. “A few minutes is all we need, isn’t it? And then we can go out there… And start acting. It’s what we do best, right?”