“Come on let’s go.” Peter says.
“Where?” I ask amused at his enthusiasm.
“To the beach, we need to play pirates, we forgot yesterday.” Peter says gathering up some towels and water bottles.
“Sounds good. It’s a beautiful day again.” I say.
Peter skips ahead of me and clambers down the path quickly. He looks so alive, so relaxed. We two grown men run around the beach like 8 year olds chasing each other, wrestling and being silly. It is glorious. Peter looks so sexy I can’t resist kissing him deeply the next time I catch him.
“Hey I thought games shouldn’t always lead to sex.” Peter says, eyes bright with happiness.
“I was young and stupid. Now kiss me.” I say pinning him to the sand.
We kiss by the shore, having our ‘From here to eternity’ moment. I fuck Peter and the waves begin to get us urging us on. We finish and roll on into the ocean to clean off. Our skin stiff with salt we walk back up to the house. The shower in the guest room isn’t great but we’ve cleaned it up the best we can and wash off.
“I’m starving.” I say as we dress.
“Hotdogs?” Peter asks with a grin.
I screw up my face but agree. He knows he can get away with anything this weekend. We have my favorite weekend ever.
On Wednesday we take Felix and Gavin out to dinner to talk about the house situation.
“Oh wow. I don’t know.” Gavin says as Peter explains our offer.
“You don’t like the house?” I ask surprised.
“It’s too much. We could afford Peter’s without too much of a friends discount and without feeling we were taking advantage.” Felix says.
“Felix you have been there for Peter when no one was. Both recently and back in school when I was on the island. I owe you a million times over and would happily give you the house but I know you won’t be happy with that. Make me an offer you can afford and not one that would make things too tight for you. Low ball me. But not if you hate the house. If you hate it we’ll see what else we can do.” I say.
“We love the house, the view, the bathroom, the space. Felix could work from home. It’s close to work and the beach. It’s just a couple of steps up from what we’d imagined.” Gavin says.
“So take a shortcut. I try not to take advantage of Alexander but when he is offering it is because he wants to. It’s not like he isn’t getting anything out of it. He’ll feel good, twice over because I’m keeping my house and he’s helping you guys. We love you two. Gavin you fit right in to our group. You clearly care about Felix. Do you know how hard it is for us two to meet new friends? We both have crazy trust issues, yet we trust you and did from day one. Go home after dinner and think about it. Properly think about it. Don’t take it if you don’t like the house but if you can see yourselves there then do. It saves us a lot of hassle if nothing else.” Peter says.
“I love the house. The extra space would mean I could stop paying for office space out here and I’d love for my family to be able to visit. It just doesn’t feel right.” Felix says.
“Why not? Alexander would have given you a wedding gift just like he did Jamie and the others.” Peter says.
“But he already helped with the business.” Felix says.
“And you repaid me even though I asked you not to and we put the money into scholarship funds. “ I say exasperated.
“Don’t feel pressured to take it. If you’re uncomfortable we’ll be totally offended but get over it.” Peter laughs.
“You suffer for my fame too. Things are not as difficult for you as they have been for Peter but I know you still have to be careful. I know you’ve had clients who were just after info on me and Peter. Call it an apology.” I say.
“Has that happened?” Gavin asks.
“Yeah. Whenever one of these two is in the news or Eric and Max come to that. It’s never that much hassle and I still get paid.” Felix grins.
“It’s so weird what people will do.” Gavin says.
“It could happen to you. Though you’re classes are pretty hard to get into.” Peter says.
“You’ve been checking up on me.” Gavin smiles.
“Yup, sorry. Only to see when best to ask you for lunch.” Peter grins.
“Oy, no stealing my boyfriend.” Felix laughs.
“We will think about it. I don’t know how things work in your circle but I really don’t think you two would hold it over us.” Gavin says.
“They don’t, neither of them do, Alexander helped Jamie and Brian buy their place, Harry and Bobbie too. Alexander never uses it as leverage for visits or anything. If anything they’ve been more distant since it happened.” Felix says and I feel kind of shit.
“I don’t try and buy friends but sometimes it stings.” I admit.
“But he keeps trying and it’s not always like that. You, Blondie and I hope me have always shown we’re grateful.” Peter says.
“When I let you.” I say squeezing Peter’s hand.
“I remember Peter buying Blondie that suit. I don’t think he ever quite believed it was real.” Felix says quietly.
“He looked so good in it. I wish you’d been there that day.” Peter says looking at me.
“Me too.” I say quietly, thinking about all the things I missed.
“When are Jamie and Brian arriving?” Peter asks.
“They come in on Wednesday. Can we leave any decision until after they go?” Felix asks.
“Of course, no rush.” I say smiling.
On Thursday I drop Peter at work as Tom has borrowed a car to go to a meeting about his theatre job. Not 20minutes after I get home Peter calls and asks me to come and get him.
“What’s up?” I ask.
“Blair called we need to get to his office now. He said it can’t wait til tomorrow and your lawyer will meet us there.” Peter says.
“Shit did he say what it was?” I ask.
“No, just that it was really urgent we were both there.” Peter says.
“Are you okay to take the day off?” I ask.
“No, not really but I don’t think he’d ask like this if it wasn’t a big deal. He said he called you but your phone was off.” Peter says.
“I guess I lost signal. I’ll be with you in two minutes.” I say grabbing my things and heading out the door.
“Blair what is going on?” I ask calling from the car.
“You just need to get here. I’ll go through it all then. Calm down, can’t have you crashing.” Blair says.
“Get out I’ll drive.” Peter says as he gets to the car. I laugh and do as he asks.
We call Blair when we’re close and my lawyer is arriving just as we are.
“What’s the big drama? Why did Peter need to miss work? Is it something on Eric’s show?” I ask as we sit down.
“Nothing to do with Eric, as far as we’re aware no. There is apparently a sex tape of Peter for sale. They haven’t confirmed who it is with so we got you both here. Obviously with recent action the gossip sites are more wary of such things right now but we’re concerned that it will be used for blackmail or an overseas site will bite.” Blair says.
“But I’ve never put anything online. How did it get out and who is selling it?” Peter asks.
“So you’re not denying a video?” The lawyer asks.
“Only solo stuff that I’ve given to Alexander when he’s on tour. But those went from my laptop to his via a usb drive, nothing was emailed or held in a cloud account.” Peter says.
“And you never uploaded anything? Recorded a facetime and kept it online?” Blair asks.
“No, I am totally paranoid about everything, you know that. We have laptops which we don’t use online at all, just for our work and things, which is where those were. But this doesn’t sound like a solo. Peter could it be anything else?” I ask worried for him not mad.
“There are 2 recordings of me and Gabe, I have the only copy. It was password protected and again never been uploaded anywhere. If they’ve got those then I’m done for.” Peter says totally white.
“Who could have had access?” The lawyer asks.
“No one. I’m the only one who uses that computer, I have a backup drive but its in a safe, his paranoia rubbed off.” Peter says.
“Is it in the safe at your house? Could Felix or Harry have got to it? Or Gavin? He’d be able to crack a password.” I say feeling sick.
“It’s still at the house yes but they won’t know where it is or have opened the safe.” Peter says.
“Where is the safe?” I ask.
“In my room, in the closet fixed to the wall.” Peter says.
“I’m calling Felix to check its still there.” I say.
“No, check it when you get home, so they’re not alerted. Who is Gavin and would he want to fuck you over?” Blair asks.
“Gavin is Felix boyfriend and has no reason to do this. I don’t believe he would. I don’t believe he’d try and open the safe, or would be able to. He’s a computer nerd not a master criminal.” Peter says.
“We don’t know that.” I say.
“It’s more likely I left my laptop unattended somewhere, maybe on tour I was working and didn’t lock it when I went to the bathroom but I’d have thought someone who was going to do this would just have stolen it.” Peter says.
“Can you give a list of people who might want to do this, money or revenge?” Blair says.
“Jay and maybe Jasper but I don’t think so. Neither had access.” Peter says.
“Can we not pretend to be a buyer and find out who it is?” I ask.
“We’re on that already. I’m worried they’ll have copies and just upload it if they work out it’s us or blackmail you anyway.” Blair says.
“Have you asked Jay?” Peter asks.
“He would never do this. His career would be over.” I say.
“So what? He would have you. The world would see me as a pervert and you would have to distance yourself and he would comfort you.” Peter says. I glare at him certain it’s Gavin after money.
“It won’t be Jay. I’ve hired an investigator and I’ll send them a list of people from your tour to check out along with this Gavin person.” Blair says.
“Look if it is the recording I think it is it would ruin Gabe’s career. It cannot be seen by anyone. I need to warn Gabe, we’re the only two who have ever seen it. I should have deleted it years ago.” Peter says and leaves the room.
“So you suspect Gavin?” Blair asks.
“I actually really like him. The good news is if it is him I can buy him off, he wouldn’t be after any sort of revenge. Felix previous boyfriend jasper might want revenge as Peter kind of caused their break up. It could be him, and taken him a while to be able to open the file.” I say.
Peter comes back in shaking.
“Gabe was so mad that I still have it. Then said he didn’t blame me and wished he had a copy.” Peter smiles.
“What about his career? Is he not worried?” I ask.
“Yes and no. He’s written so much and his reputation as a playwright has grown. He said that it won’t hurt his theater work and if he gets fired from school over it he’d get by.” Peter says.
“I guess all we can do is go home and check the safe.” I say.
“And check when the file was last accessed on my laptop. I’ve not watched it in years.” Peter says.
“Maybe I was rash getting you down here but I didn’t want to speak of any of this on the phone.” Blair says.
“It’s fine Blair. Thanks for everything. You’re going way beyond. If we think of anything we’ll let you know. Of course we do have bigger enemies in our past. We never really found out why I got beaten up or Patrick got killed.” Peter says.
“I’ve not thought of that stuff in years.” Blair says.
“If this turns to blackmail I will want the police involved. I’ve been through it before and know I can’t handle it and I certainly don’t want any of you paying anything on my behalf. I guess I have to do the damn TV show to cover the cost of an investigator.” Peter says and we all roar with laughter.
“If I knew that was how to get you to sign I’d have done this myself.” Blair says.
“And of course if you want to involve the police that is fine. However if they get a copy of the recording it will go to the highest bidder.” The lawyer says.
“Shit I guess so. You know the worst thing is I really don’t want my parent to see this. It’s one thing for them to accept me as gay but quite another to see me beaten and humiliated by Gabe.” Peter says quietly and Blair’s eyebrows shoot up.
“Thanks for letting us know what we’re dealing with. Keep us updated with what you find out and the investigator will be in touch.” The lawyer says.
“Thank-you. I’m sorry you’re all dragged in to this.” Peter says.
“Oh it’s better than the usual hookers and bankruptcy.” Blair laughs.
“I swear we are scandal free.” I laugh.
“If only. We need to run through your upcoming work too. I was hoping to get you to events over the next few weeks but you need to stay low profile until this is sorted. Peter the tour plans are going ahead for next spring with summer workshops and you have filming in 2 weeks for the software campaign, both of you. Then we are shopping your interview for a months time. So much to do but I’ll email you everything because you are clearly not listening.” Blair grins.
“Thanks once I finish work I’ll be able to take things in.” Peter says.
“We have a lot on, houses to build, weddings to plan.” I say as we leave.
I want to rush back and check everything but I can see Peter is tired.
“Want to get lunch?” I ask and he nods. We drive to a fancy place I want to try, might as well make the most of being Sandy Green before any scandal hits.
“Wow this place is scary.” Peter says as we sit down.
“I think it might be one of those places where no one eats.” I say laughing.
“But I am so hungry.” Peter pouts.
“Are you okay? You seem to be handling this really well.” I say.
“I’ve been through it before. Gabe isn’t mad at me. You don’t seem to be mad at me. If it comes out I’ll go to the island and hide away forever.” Peter says with a grin.
“I love you. Whatever happens I love you.” I say.
“I know. I know you won’t leave me over this, at least not in private.” Peter says.
“I’ll stand by you in public too. Babe your troubles are mine, just like the good times. I know I don’t have the best record of sticking with people when they’re in trouble but you are different. My commitment to you is absolute.” I say.
“Good. Now can I have steak?” Peter asks smiling.
“Whatever you want baby. Whatever you want.” I smile back.
I drive us home and we don’t talk much, both deep in thought over what is happening. Peter calls Felix and meets him at his house.
“It’s fixed to the wall so I didn’t think to move it. Forgot to empty it too. Not that it matters if you take Alexander’s house I just need to get something.” Peter says.
“No problem, I’d not even noticed it.” Felix says.
“Thanks.” Peter says and heads to the bedroom, I follow him.
“Is it all there?” I ask.
“Come look. See how dusty the door and number panel are. No way has anyone opened it recently.” Peter says shining his phone over it and I have to agree it hasn’t been disturbed in ages. He opens it and some of the dust falls. I feel a lot of relief that it wasn’t Gavin. Or if it was he didn’t break in to Peter’s safe.
Peter empties it out and we say goodbye to Felix.
“I knew it wasn’t Gavin.” Peter says in the car.
“He could have found it on your laptop at our house. They’ve been over a lot.” I say.
“He’s only been alone to pee. He and Felix are stuck like glue.” Peter says not giving in.
“Then who was it and how?” I ask.
“I don’t know.” Peter says grumpily.
I make coffee for something to do while Peter is checking his laptop and the drive.
“The drive was fine. But it was copied from my laptop before the tour, same time as the others. It must have been you.” Peter says.