“You don’t need to worry about Tom. I love him and he’s a great friend but I don’t feel about him the way I do about you.” Peter says quietly as I wake.
“I know. But you are pretty close and if he had been making films here and not overseas you’d likely be together and not with me.” I say.
“We have to accept that everything aligned and we do get to be together. The last few years are just a blip given we’ll be together for the next fifty.” Peter says.
“Accept everything aligned. I love that. I was talking to Jay yesterday and saying that even if there was no you that he and I would never have worked out. We don’t want the same things. With us, we have such a strong need for each other that nothing else matters.” I say.
“Why would you be talking to Jay?” Peter asks upset.
“I wanted to clear the air. It is better to have him on side.” I say.
Peter kisses my cheek briefly then gets up and heads to the shower. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!
I follow him into the shower and hold him close under the spray before washing him gently.
“I’m sorry. I just hate hearing his name and I really hate that you spent time with him when I was missing you. I know what you did was best for us. It is just hard.” Peter says as we dry off.
“I know. I couldn’t not tell you, you’d have been more upset to find out later and I couldn’t tell you last night because you were so happy.” I say.
“I’m not mad at you. I’m mad at the situation. That you have to be nice to him.” Peter says.
“He’s sorry about what happened.” I say.
“Then why hasn’t he apologized to me or Harry? Or you for that matter. Yet again you made the first move even though he was in the wrong. Nothing fucking changes with him.” Peter says angrily.
“I know but my relationship with him is complicated. You know that. It is done now.” I say.
“Okay. Are you driving me to work?” Peter asks.
“Yes, Tom might need a car later. Baby you do know I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you, to hurt us?” I ask a little wary of what Peter is actually feeling, what he might be hiding.
“I trust you. Baby I do trust you. You are mine and you’ll never be his again. I wish I could tell you never to speak to him again but I can’t and I won’t. You know how much it hurts me to hear you talk about him. I know you don’t want me to hurt more.” Peter says.
“You are so right. Let’s get you to work so you can be home before I know it.” I say with a smile. We’re getting there, it isn’t perfect but it is better.
I pick up breakfast for me and Tom on the way home. Being out every day we’ve had no time to shop or cook. I miss it, I really miss my homemaker role when I’m in LA.
I also call the vendor of the property I want and ask if it’s okay to view again this morning.
Tom is awake and drinking coffee when I get back in. I hand him the food.
“Thanks. I couldn’t believe Peter had a near empty fridge.” Tom laughs.
“My fault, it’s my area while he’s working and I’ve been in the city all week.” I explain.
“He’s doing so much better, he looks really good and he’s effortlessly happy. Whatever you two are doing it is working. I feel like I have my best friend back.” Tom says.
“He’s up and down. It isn’t all like last night but it is better and he recovers faster from setbacks.” I say.
“He’s excited about the future; ne hasn’t been that way for a long time. You should take more credit.” Tom says.
“I’d never seen him as bad as he was when he broke up with Jorge. It was extreme and I thought he wouldn’t recover, I was so scared.” I say quietly.
“And now he’s happy, he’s comfortable in himself and his confidence is coming back. You got him there, you’re still his anchor.” Tom says.
“Thanks. I’d do anything for him, having him back in my life is a gift. What about you, you mentioned a change of direction?” I ask.
“Yeah, done a couple of big money makers and I’m done. I’ve the one in September and the one with you which we hope is a good little indie. I’m wanting to do more theatre but I’m thinking of a move behind the scenes, there is a job going for an artistic director of a theatre company up here and I’ve applied. I’m ready to settle down, obviously I’ll look for opportunities at home too or even start my own company but it is time for putting down roots. I want kids, I want a dog, some stability. I’m finally ready to settle down.” Tom says.
“Don’t you dare steal my Peter to settle down with.” I laugh.
“Wouldn’t dream of it mate. Though I know Peter had issues finding anyone half decent here so I’m not expecting miracles. There are a few old flames I’ll be looking up while I’m out here no doubt.” Tom says.
“Peter will be delighted if you settle out here. If you are around this summer we should talk to Felix about running some master classes, on film and acting with his kids. Be good for both of us.” I say.
“Absolutely. I love doing things like that.” Tom says.
“If you’re finished will you come and see the property I want to buy. Peter suggested we build somewhere together for when we’re married, I found a place and then he backtracked. He says he’s back on board but I’d like your view too.” I say.
“Sure I’m free for a few days. I’d love to see it.” Tom says.
On the drive up I explain the Jay situation and about Peter’s trust and his reaction. Tom listens intently.
“You were right to dump him as your agent. I can’t believe you ever thought that would work. Hopefully he won’t go off on one again.” Tom says.
“I am sure he won’t. He is good at his job, look how fast he rose and he takes great care of Mart and John. I think I’m sometimes an outlet for his frustrations.” I say.
“He could be mother fucking Teresa but he’s still a major dick around you. You two cannot be near each other it is just too destructive.” Tom says.
“Here we are.” I say opening the gate. I mull over what Tom has said as I show him round. How can I be so good for Peter and so bad for Jay? Will I always hold such guilt over how Jay’s life has gone, even though I have contributed to the good as well as the bad?
“You have to get it for him. If you don’t I will.” Tom says quietly as we look out to the ocean.
“You can see him here? Even without me?” I ask.
“I can. I can see you both here holding parties and entertaining like you used to when you were still students, you’ll be like Mart and John. But I can also see Peter walking down this path to the sea in the early morning. I can see him standing here with the wind in his hair watching a storm. I can imagine him lying naked on that beach calling us down to enjoy the sunshine. This place is far more him than you. He’d be very happy here.” Tom says.
“If Peter is happy and feels at home I will too. I love the idea of him cooking outside having you and Felix and Harry over with your partners and kids, wolfing down hotdogs and playing in the pool. Having our secret slice of normal behind the gates.” I say.
“I best get that AD job and look for a place nearby.” Tom says.
“Don’t you miss home?” I ask.
“I miss having a place of my own. I sold my LA house and my London flat. My things are in storage and I’ve lived out of a suitcase for ages. I don’t really feel like anywhere is home.” Tom says.
“I know that feeling. Buying my LA house was such a relief then I remembered how much I hated LA. When I moved out here it felt just right.” I say.
“Did you move here for him?” Tom asks.
“I was looking to move out here for Eric, to get him out of the party scene. I thought living near our college friends would help. I fell in love with the town. Put plans to buy on hold until the divorce was done. Then yes, I moved here for him. I knew he was with Jorge but I was prepared to wait it out. I felt awful wanting his relationship to fail but I would have waited 30 years.” I say.
“You were that sure?” Tom asks.
“Once I saw the rings he’d had made for us I knew I couldn’t love anyone else. It the confirmation that he had felt that deeply and he still knew me better than anyone.” I explain.
“It was so hard at your wedding not to just stand up and shout at you that you were with the wrong man. Peter and I tried to make a go of it after that. I thought with you finally, officially out the picture it might work but he could never have dealt with me being long distance. I am glad he has you and I hope you’re okay with me being in his life knowing I’m in love with him too.” Tom says.
“Are you?” I ask.
“Oh at times we’re like brothers but yes I’ve been hopelessly in love with him for years. He loves me too but not in the same way he does you. That bond you two have is so strong, it is wonderful to see him so happy again. I could never be for him what you are, I wish I was but I’m not and I would never try and come between you.” Tom says.
“I know you wouldn’t. I want you in his life, if it isn’t too painful for you. Hey Peter never wanted kids so you’d never get the life you want with him.” I laugh.
“I know we’re better as friends, we always were. Not easy to have a friend that hot and not be attracted though.” Tom says laughing.
“Agreed, it is why he and I never worked as friends. Can’t keep me out of his pants.” I say laughing.
“So how can I help with the wedding? Or this place? Let me earn my keep.” Tom says.
“I’m seeing some architects next week, and I’ll set the lawyer off on making an offer today before Peter has a chance to change his mind again.” I say.
“I’ll come with you to the meetings if you like. And do give me errands, I’ll be bored in a couple of days. I’ll get talking to Felix about summer classes. See what he can set up too.” Tom says.
It’ll be good to have him around, keep me company while Peter is at work. I’m not worried about Tom, he’ll find a man when he’s in one place no problem. He never has that much trouble finding a boyfriend, he’s far less paranoid than I am.
We walk round the property again and I set the legal team on it. I’m so excited that this could be our home. I almost want to hold the wedding off until it is ready but the idea of camping out is good too. At least then we have an excuse for some hotel trips.
I want to spoil Peter; I want to shower him in gifts and take him on trips and build him a beautiful home. But he wouldn’t enjoy it all. Sometimes we are both difficult to treat.
“’So Harry is single right?” Tom asks in the car on the way to collect Peter.
“Yes, you interested?” I ask.
“In some great sex while I’m here, yes.” Tom laughs.
“I know he won’t turn that down. Will you call him or shall I invite him and Felix round tonight?” I ask.
“Invite them round, let me be a little subtle. I need to talk to Felix about your bachelor party anyway. I take it it’s going to be a joint party as you wouldn’t to be separated. A celebration or your reunion, rather than goodbye to freedom.” Tom says.
“Sounds perfect. We have a no night’s apart rule and have the same guest list.” I say.
“Cool. We’ll plan something fun.” Tom says.
Peter runs straight over to us as I pull up outside his building. He jumps in the back full of energy and excited to see us. He leans forward and kisses each of us quickly before settling into his seat.
“Alexander took me to see where your house will be. Don’t you dare try and stop him buying it. You know it suits you perfectly.” Tom says sternly. I watch Peter shiver a little in the mirror.
“I do. I just felt overwhelmed and guilty I was spending all Alexander money.” Peter says.
“Forget that. You need somewhere nicer to put me up when I stay.” Tom laughs.
“Understood honey.” Peter says smiling his face off.
“Can you call Felix and Harry and invite them over this evening?” I ask Peter.
“Okay.” Peter replies and gets to it.
“We’ll need to buy some supplies on the way back. We’ve not food and we’re almost out of coffee, it’s desperate.” I say.
“No problem. I am fully domesticated; I know how to navigate a supermarket unlike some of our contemporaries.” Tom says.
“What you don’t have an assistant that shops for you and another that carries your wallet?” I ask in mock shock.
“They are both coming, Felix is bringing Gavin too.” Peter says.
“Who is Gavin?” Tom asks.
“A guy from school I set Felix up with 2 days ago.” Peter says.
“2 days and he’s already bringing him to meet the rest of us.” I say surprised.
“I told you they hit it off.” Peter says.
“You did. So with Felix bringing someone that makes it all the much easier for you to have Harry.” I say laughing.
“Sounds like it.” Tom says happily.
The three of us shop together easily. Tom and Peter are catching up and are very, very cute together. Tom being older naturally falls into the caregiver role with Peter and it is nice the way Peter just accepts it. It is a good job I am secure in my feelings because from the outside I know they look like the couple.
I’m daydreaming a little when Peter approaches me from behind grabs me round the waist and bites my neck.
“Mmmmm tasty.” Peter says nuzzling me a little.
“Yes you are.” I say turning to kiss him quickly. I love him in his goofy moods.
“I love Tom but I was looking forward to some alone time with you after not having you around this week.” Peter -says slipping his hand into mine.
“Me too. But I’m pretty sure he’ll be spending some time with harry shortly.” I say.
“I hope so. Be amazing if they got together.” Peter says.
“You wouldn’t be jealous?” I ask.
“No, why would I ever be. I have you.” Peter says simply and my worries disappear.
“For sure.” I say feeling good.
“Baby I would be really happy if Tom found someone. If he found someone worth sticking around for I’d have him in my life more.” Peter says.
Tom catches up with us and we pay and head home. Peter cooks while Tom and I watch and we all chatter away about Tom’s job prospects and dating ideas and the house and design ideas. Tom has a lot of good suggestions. Peter seems totally at ease with the idea now. I forgot how back and forth he can be at times.
Tom heads off to shower and change leaving us alone at last. Peter comes and sits on my lap, wrapping his arms around my neck.
“All mine.” He murmurs. I hold him tight and breathe him in.
“Oh yes. I am so lucky.” I say sighing, super content.
“I quit today.” Peter whispers quietly.
“What?” I ask in shock.
“I quit.” Peter says again shocking me.
“Why?” 1 ask.
“I don’t want to do it. I was being stubborn. The house is too big a project for you to manage alone, I want to help, be a full part of it.” Peter says.
“Wow. So when do you finish?” I ask.
“The school want me to stay on in some capacity and I said maybe. I’ll see through what I’m working on so probably May or June. That gives us a whole year off together.” Peter says.
“Well unless we make a TV show.” I say.
“Can I have my break first?” Peter asks.
“I’ll check bookings and see if we can have a month or so on the island.” I say as I try not to squeal out loud in excitement.
“That’s my man. Mine.” Peter says hugging me so tight.
“Is it a secret or are you telling the others?” I ask.
“Keep it quiet until everything is worked out.” Peter says.
“Are you sure? It wasn’t just a reaction to a bad day or being annoyed to be at work when I was home with Tom?” I ask.
“I spent the first hour daydreaming about the house and I felt fired up about the project. The idea of doing something physical appeals so much. Even if I’m removing rubble and fetching coffee. And I thought why am I wasting time, wasting someone else’s opportunity? I need to go. So I asked for a meeting. They said they’d been expecting it and could we think of a compromise.” Peter says.
“My brave boy, taking a leap.” I say.
“Just like you. You said no to everything and the perfect project with perfect timing came up. Let’s hope I have some of your luck.” Peter says.
“You will baby. You will.” I sigh so happy.