“I can’t believe we’re going home.” I say as we settle into our seats.
For once I’m glad of the big seats protecting my cast from being knocked about. Somehow Alexander has wrangled us the front two seats so we are closest together. I look at him and grin. I skipped the pain killers this morning so we could toast the trip properly. Truth is I’m not feeling much pain now. I feel pretty good. My bruises have mostly faded pretty well, a few on my back are not great and my face looks human. My hair is a disaster but I will deal with that at home.
“I’m ready for it.” Alexander says raising his champagne glass to me.
“I cannot wait for home cooked food.” I say.
“Can your Mom cook well?” Alexander asks.
“Yes, she’s not Blondie’s Mom who is amazing but she makes good family meals. We can cook okay too. We should as Mom will be at work.” I say.
“Yup we can. Well you might be a bit limited with one hand but together we’ll be fine.” Alexander says.
The food on the plane is really good. I stuff myself every course. My appetite has been quite poor since I got hurt, I stuck to thin soups and fruit mostly, I was a bit Alexander.
“Wow you’re finally hungry. I’ve been worried.” Alexander says.
“You didn’t say, I have been eating some. I had to take the pills with food.” I say.
“Yeah but you were literally having half a banana or 3 sips of soup.” Alexander says.
“Well I didn’t do it to worry you but now you know what it’s like.” I say.
“You are right baby. You look happy today. You look relieved to be going home.” Alexander says.
“Yeah, I miss my Mom. I’m ready to be in similar time zones to my friends. I want to exercise properly and eat normally. I can’t wait to get back to school and sleep in our bed.” I say.
“Hotel beds have been really good.” Alexander says.
“I like your sheets better. I like that we can change them when we want. I like how we can roll over and over in your bed and not fall out.” I say.
“You won’t be doing that for another month.” Alexander says.
When we finally land after our second flight I stand up and kiss Alexander hard.
“Welcome home baby.” I say.
“Love you baby.” Alexander says kissing me back.
Alexander grabs both of our bags and we head off, Mom meets us and we load up the car with all our stuff.
“So good to see you boys. You both look exhausted. Are you hungry?” Mom asks.
“We ate a lot on the plane. I think we just need to shower.” Alexander says.
“I’ve made a hair appointment for tomorrow for both of you. Might not be as fancy as you are used to Alexander but they are happy to do you both before opening time, so it’ll be an early start.” Mom says.
“I don’t do fancy, I am sure it will be fine. I just hope they can do something about Peter and not reopen his cut.” Alexander says.
“It’s healed up good baby, they wouldn’t have taken the stiches out if it was still a problem.” I say.
“I still worry.” Alexander says.
“You two would be balls of anxiety if you were parents.” My mom laughs.
“I don’t think we ever will be.” I say.
“Yup no kids for us.” Alexander says.
“You might change your minds.” Mom says.
“No way. I do not want to be a single dad and that is what I’d be every time Alexander was working.” I say.
“It’s a shame you always enjoyed working with kids at swim camp.” Mom says.
“Stop it Mom, you’re making Alexander feel guilty.” I say.
Alexander smiles faintly at me, I know he’s already taken it to heart.
In my room we strip off quickly and shower. I’m getting better at keeping my cast out the way but Alexander still likes to help.
We get dressed from my at home clothes.
“Well you sure have a lot of implements in here.” Alexander says holding a paddle up from my underwear drawer.
“I guess so.” I say.
“I hope you didn’t get beat up on purpose.” Alexander laughs.
“There was nothing sexy about either incident, I like pain but not to the extent of broken bones and not by surprise by strangers.” I say.
“I hate it when you’re bruised however it happened.” Alexander says.
“I know. I’m okay with that.” I say.
“You don’t feel you’re settling?” Alexander asks.
“Baby I just followed you around the world. I don’t know what else I can do to prove how much I love you. How much I love being with you and how much I hate it when we’re apart. This summer sucked but I thought it was perfect because we came out of it so strong and so committed. If you don’t feel that way then go.” I say utterly defeated.
“I do feel that way. I’m going to show you just how committed.” Alexander says.
“You already did.” I say happy.
We head down to see Mom. We have a low key evening, watching movies and dealing with laundry. Telling her about our trip.
“I have work tomorrow and there isn’t much food in. I’ve been living on freezer meals I’m afraid. I did remember milk and bread but you’ll need to go and buy some groceries. I’m sure you won’t be bothered other than by people who know you Peter and want an update.” Mom says.
“We can get groceries after our haircuts. I need to make a doctor’s appointment too. The hospital in Australia will have sent my records on.” I say.
“Are you feeling okay?” Alexander asks.
“Yes, yes I’m fine. I just want to be checked out here and find out what they think the time line is so I can make plans.” I say.
“Okay.” Alexander says still tense.
“I’ll make the appointment for you.” Mom says.
“Thanks. I think we need to go to sleep. It’s so great to see you mom, I’m so happy you’re letting us stay.” I say.
“This will always be your home, which goes for both of you. I’ll wake you in the morning. You can drop me at work.” Mom says.
“Of course. Goodnight.” I say.
It isn’t late but our body clocks have no idea what time it is. I can see Alexander is woozy and I don’t feel good. We undress quickly and slip into my bed together.
I lie on my good arm and Alexander spoons in behind me kissing my gently as I drift away. We wake in the early hours and Alexander fucks me gently, sending me into the stratosphere. I don’t know how he can doubt us for a moment. Everything feels so good, so, so good. I am loved.
My mom’s knock at the door wakes us again and we rush around to get dressed. We are totally loved up. I look at the diamond on my wrist and the fish around his neck and just feel warmth.
At the barbers Alexander explains how he wants our hair cut, it seems I get no say. I just laugh when I’m asked if it’s okay.
“Sorry baby, I’ve been thinking lots about what to do with yours, to deal with the bit that was shaved and the scarring.” Alexander says.
“And you want us the same?” I ask laughing.
He shrugs, smiling.
“Is that okay?” Alexander asks.
“I think we’ll look cute.” I say.
Alexander relaxes and gives me a huge smile. This clearly means a lot to him and I’m really not that bothered, he has to look at me more than I do. He won’t want me to look bad.
At home we eat some breakfast and then lie out in the back yard tanning. After a while Alexander leaves me to it as he has to make some calls.
He returns with food for lunch and gives me a sweet kiss.
“Everything okay?” I ask.
“Yes. I really need you to come with me to LA for a meeting. I’d like you to come and see my film too but understand if you don’t wish to ever go to another premiere again. Eric’s mom, Cindy, thinks we should walk down the red carpet together. Thinks we should give them a little of what they want before we go back to school and go off grid.” Alexander says.
“Okay. You just want to show off my new haircut.” I say laughing.
“You sure? No pressure from me.” Alexander says.
“I really want to see the movie and I’m happy to escort you. How is uh Cindy doing?” I ask.
“Really good. I apologised over being premature about Phillip but she said it got her into action and she’s doing great. Sal is helping and Blair has given her office space in exchange for some work. She thinks she and Sal may end up in business together, I think Sal has been doubting herself.” Alexander says.
“Leaving you high and dry again.” I say.
“Yeah but I want to take a break and finish school and then think about doing the career I want. London plays, indie films, writing. I’ll be able to take the time to find an agent who understands what I need. If I fail, I fail, so what, I’ll be your househusband and write and do student films and Community Theater.” Alexander says.
“I think not having external pressure to work will be good for you. But it will also mean missing out on things you might want to do.” I say.
“Yeah but I will always miss out on roles it is part of the job, taking one always stops me doing another and it isn’t like I get cast for every role I’m seen for. I need to step back. I need to grieve my parents, I need to enjoy my studies and focus on them fully and I need to be the best boyfriend I can be to you. I gave that list the wrong way round, you come first, always.” Alexander says laughing.
“I think you are finally talking sense. Not about me but in general. No point you doing roles because they fit your schedule and no point taking a break if you’re going to work non-stop afterwards. I know you worry because your parents died young that you have to fit everything in now but you need to pace yourself.” I say.
“You talk so much more sense than my therapist ever did.” Alexander says.
“I knew you hated it, I was terrified at the time when you stopped but you are so strong.” I say.
“Because of you. You pulled me out of hell, you might try sending me back now and then but you are the only one who really gets me, the only one who pulls me free. I know what you did for me.” Alexander says.
“You were worth it. Every day of worry, every day of pain. You were worth it.” I say.
We have a lovely couple of carefree days. Cooking, tanning, sleeping, fucking. Mom takes the day off to take me to my doctor’s appointment. As things have been hassle free since we’ve been here we don’t take any precautions and park in the normal lot and walk in the front door.
The doctor is happy with my treatment and thinks I’ll be out the cast in time for school to start. The doctor checks me over and isn’t entirely happy with the bruising that still remains on my back.
“It was a lot, lot worse.” Alexander says showing her the photos.
“No pain in your ribs? I’m concerned some injuries were missed.” The doctor says.
“I’ve stopped with the pain killers, my wrist aches a lot but the rest of me feels good. Well my head itches but it is more than my life is worth to scratch.” I say.
“We might need to check your iron levels. I imagine your diet has been less than complete while travelling.” The doctor says.
“We tried to be healthy but yes we didn’t eat as we usually would.” I say.
We escape with a lecture to eat better and head out to the car.
We are instantly surrounded by photographers, we can barely see with flashes going off. Alexander grips my hand and Mom’s hand and drags us through the crowd to the car. It is scary as fuck and I can feel Alexander’s anger radiating with every step.
We fight our way inside and lock the doors but we can’t move, totally surrounded.
“Call the police.” I say.
“I am.” Mom replies.
Cameras are surrounding us and they are taking pictures through the windscreen and banging on the windows hard. It is crazy and terrifying. Mom looks scared to death. Suddenly the window nearest me smashes and glass flies everywhere. We all bend down to take cover, I can see Mom has some small cuts, thank goodness we all have sunglasses on.
The shock of the break makes them all back off.
The doctor suddenly appears beside us flanked by 2 security guards.
“Come back in and we can get you cleaned up. The police are on their way.” The doctor says.
We reluctantly get out the car and brush ourselves off, the cameras are snapping away but this time they keep their distance.
“How did they know?” I ask.
“Well I hardly think Mom tipped them off and we didn’t even know what time the appointment was, must have been someone who works here. We’ve been pretty complacent, we should have used a fake name or something.” Alexander says.
A nurse ushers us in to a side room and cleans up our cuts. Nothing is deep thankfully. We’re all just shook up.
“What do we do now?” I say.
At this point my dad comes bursting in.
“I heard on the radio. Are you all okay?” Dad asks.
“No lasting harm we’re all really shaken.” Mom says.
“I’ll organize the garage to collect your car. I’ll drive mine up to the door and you can run straight in. Is there anything left in the car you need?” Dad asks.
“Thanks. I have my bag, I don’t keep anything but empty shopping bags in the car.” Mom says.
“Thanks for coming down Dad, we were totally stuck, Mom couldn’t pull out and then they broke the window.” I say.
“I know you’re famous Alexander but you don’t usually have these extreme issues. I don’t understand why they would do this to you.” Dad says.
“I don’t know either. I’m not that interesting. I guess we’ve just hit some scandals with Peter getting beat up and they want pictures of him more than me right now.” Alexander says.
“It’s just crazy Dad, some days are fine and we can do our own thing, maybe get approached for pictures and other days we get mobbed. I’m sure it’ll be fine once we go back to school.” I say.
“It better be. Can’t have your studies interrupted due to things like this.” Dad says.
Alexander looks thoughtful.
“Right I’ll get the car. Get ready to run.” Dad says.
Run we do and get in no problem, they seem to have gone and we don’t seem to be followed.
“I need to talk to Cindy and Sal. Think we need security when we’re in LA. I don’t want you getting hurt.” Alexander says.
“Won’t that just draw more attention?” I ask.
“Worth the risk. I want you safe.” Alexander says.
As he goes to make his calls I go and sit with Mom and Dad.
“I think I should stay over just in case.” Dad says.
“We’re going to LA tomorrow. I doubt Mom will get any hassle.” I say.
“Well for my peace of mind I’d like to stay, just for tonight. Is that okay?” Dad says.
“Of course, I feel quite shaken up. I don’t know how you boys cope with all this.” Mom says.
“Peter are you sure all this is worth it? I like Alexander a lot, I really do but you are in a cast, pictures of you naked, pictures of you bruised and pictures of you just going about your day have been beamed across the world. Then today you were set upon by a pack of wolves. It is a lot to deal with, wouldn’t it be better to end things now and let your life go back to normal.” Dad says.
“I love him. You don’t get any say in my life anymore. Yes things are difficult and yes I’ve been hurt but that could have happened in a bar or on the street. I’m not giving up on the best thing in my life.” I say and leave the room.
Alexander is in my room just finishing his calls.
“What’s the plan? I need to get away from my Dad as soon as possible, I have no idea why Mom is okay with him being here.” I say.
“Come on today was fucking scary. You can’t be mad at her for wanting some company.” Alexander says.
“She could have called a friend.” I say.
“It’s not your choice baby. Now we’ll go to LA first thing tomorrow. I’ve booked a car to take us to the airport. Cindy has arranged for me to do a quick statement tomorrow afternoon. Sal has a house for us to stay in, it’s in a gated development so no hassle and there will be a car for us. We also will have a security person for a couple of days. I don’t think we really need it, but it is just in case.” Alexander says.
“You are so sexy in organisation mode.” I say and kiss him gently.
He shakes me off a little.
“What?” I ask.
“You just reminded me how I used to be around Jay and it felt weird.” Alexander says.
“I do not want to remind you of him.” I say.
“We need to meet Cindy together tomorrow after we arrive, the afternoon I need you to come and see Mart and John with me. Then I have 2 days of interviews and the like before the premiere of the comedy.” Alexander says.
“Tom is over and I’ll see if he wants to hang out. When is Eric arriving?” I ask.
“Eric flies in the day before the premiere. He is going to dance on a morning show, he is so excited.” Alexander says.
“The when the premiere is done, all work is over?” I ask.
“I have a few meetings Sal has set up. I don’t think I’ll be interested but I need to show willing. Then we’re free. But I don’t suppose you want a beach holiday now.” Alexander says.
“No. I don’t. I’d rather go home and hang out and get ready for school. See some movies, I can workout on a stationary bike. What do you want? Especially as you’re not friends with Brian and Jamie.” I say.
“Honestly any time with you is the best thing for me.