The boys soon get back into rhythm at school, new classes, new sleep schedules. George and Miles fit into the group seamlessly and Elliot spends as much time in the suite as he did when he lived there, only going down the hall to his new room to sleep. Jesse having taken the break to get over Gervais is also welcomed back. He fits in far better as a friend than as Gervais boyfriend, so well that the group soon forget he and Gervais were together at all
Blue’s baked goods last no time at all other than a tin or two of biscotti he hides away for his more homesick days. Andy and Blue have settled into a close brotherly friendship, they consider each other true family now with Clara and Roe as their parents. Both are happy the women have each other to lean on while they are gone.
Blue feels things are going well with Austin, they make sure to see each other as often as they can. Austin still isn’t keen having Blue stay over when he has an early start but they usually have all weekend together. Blue hasn’t brought up the sex issue yet, he is happy enough with everything else that he doesn’t want to rock the boat and risk making Austin unhappy.
Spence and Andy are as strong as ever. They both accept the other’s cheating without too many issues. They accept that while they can be fully faithful when together breaks are more difficult and they are both happy for the other to explore as long as they are honest about it and its just physical.
Robin and Emilie are very happy. They tend to date away from the group now that Miles has become closer and sometimes Robin feels a little left out. But he has joined climbing club and tries to have one night a week with Blue if he can. Now he’s decided to stay Robin is throwing himself into school. Unsure of what he wants to do in the future he is taking an eclectic mix of courses and not worrying about the quality of teaching.
Gervais is pretty down. He still goes to climbing and yoga so sees Blue then but they haven’t got back into their morning routine and they don’t have time alone together. He misses him more than he thought he could given they live together. He’s not looking for another boyfriend though. Managing his anxiety without a boyfriend is much easier. He’s happy to be working on himself but wishes he had Blue to share his progress with.
Jesse is happy to have a group of friends who understand him. He misses the physical side of being with Gervais but not the constant nagging insecurity that he could lose him any second for Blue. A few week in to semester and Jesse and Miles start to contemplate dating each other. Jesse is holding back in part because Miles is bi and that adds another level to his insecurities and partly because Miles and George are so close. Both say nothing is happening there and they are just friends but of course Gervais always said that about Blue.
Miles is a little frustrated over his progress with Jesse. He and George really are just friends. George is working through his sexual identity and still not sure what he feels or what anything means. He knows he likes to look at Blue, but that is the only thing he is sure of. He has nothing more than feelings of friendship for Miles.
Miles liked George but it was a fleeting rebound crush after breaking up with Emilie. He likes to look at Blue too but he knows that will never happen. With Jesse its been a slower burn. He looked up one day and there Jesse was, his smile and laugh caught him by surprise and he realized he had pretty strong feelings. He’s made moves, they’ve spent a few nights together and had a couple of dates but whenever he pushes for more Jesse comes up with an excuse. They are both keeping it on the down low to avoid upsetting the group but of course everyone knows.
One Friday night Blue is alone in the suite. Austin has gone to New York with his course to watch shows and take some dance classes. It’s the first weekend he’s had without him since returning to school and he’s enjoying it. Spence and Andy, Robin and Emilie are out on dates and Gervais is out too so he’s enjoying the quiet and getting some study done with plans to watch films until he falls asleep. He’s eating a rice dish that Cheryl gave him the night before and feeling happy.
Gervais comes in just as he’s finishing his work.
“Hey I thought you must be on a date too.” Blue says.
“No, I was in the library for a bit. Why are you not with Austin?” Gervais asks.
“He’s away on a study trip for a few days. I was just going to clean up and watch some movies. Want to join me? I may have cookies.” Blue says with a big grin. He’s missed Gervais in a nagging at the back of his mind way. Wanting to spend time with him but not able to make it a priority or admit he wants to make it one.
“That sounds great. I will go to the café and get some hot chocolates. It is cold in here tonight. You find those cookies, I can’t believe Andy hasn’t sniffed them out.” Gervais laughs.
“I am sneaky. Hot choc would be awesome. Thanks you.” Blue says and Gervais skips out the door. An evening with Blue will be perfect Gervais thinks floating on air down to the café.
Blue quickly tidies up, digs out his cookie tin and puts a few on a plate before turning his attention to the TV.
“Two hot chocolates and some chocolate.” Gervais says coming in and putting the drinks down.
“To go with mocha biscotti.” Blue says with a grin.
Gervais sits next to Blue on the couch and dips his cookie in his drink.
“You will be an amazing husband.” Gervais says munching away.
“I hope someone lets me.” Blue says quietly.
“Do you think about working with food? I know you’ve talked about making wine before.” Gervais asks.
“I think a vineyard is still the dream. Having a café on site for visitors, maybe. But I like the idea of making something slowly.” Blue says.
“But you still need to eat, you’d grow food too like you do at home.” Gervais says.
“Oh for sure I’d want to be as self-sufficient as possible too.” Blue says.
“I don’t think city living will ever be for you.” Gervais says.
“It might have to be for the right man. I mean Austin will need to live in a big city to be in a dance company or even teach.” Blue says.
“He’s not the right man.” Gervais says quietly.
“I don’t like to think he’s only for now. I figure I need to approach all relationships as if they are forever. Which means maybe thinking about a new dream for me.” Blue says.
“You are too young to give up your dreams.” Gervais says feeling a little worried that Blue is that invested in Austin and that maybe Austin is that influential.
“If we were together how would you live your life if I was a farmer of some kind?” Blue asks.
“As long as there is a good internet connection I can work from home. I’ll be in tech of some sort, hopefully in game design but even if its banking or telecoms I’d hope to at least part work from home and only be away from you a few days at a time. Wine country in California would be pretty perfect for me.” Gervais says losing himself in a dream for a minute.
“Sounds perfect. That’s a lovely dream life. Not sure I could ever afford the land there though.” Blue says.
“Well it is just a dream.” Gervais says.
“Come here.” Says Blue standing up and pulling Gervais to his feet and into his arms.
Holding his friend, in his arms reawakens all of Blue’s strongest feelings for Gervais and for a moment his breath is taken away. He buries his nose in Gervais hair and enjoys the smell.
Gervais feels pure joy. It has been too long since they hugged properly, too long since they had much of a conversation alone and this feels so good.
“I have missed hanging out just us.” Gervais says.
“Me too. This is my first quiet night in all semester so I’m glad it’s with you.” Blue says.
“Me too. I feel like I don’t know anything about your life right now. How is your Momma doing? How are classes? How are things with Austin?” Gervais asks.
“Momma is doing okay, I still don’t call enough. She and Roe are really close friends already. I think those two are a really good match and Momma is enjoying talking about art and listening to concerts with Roe. Classes are okay. I miss you in chemistry and wish we had something together. Everything is still pretty easy but I’m getting better at asking for deeper work. Things with Austin are good. How was your break with Spence? I think with all Andy’s family drama we didn’t talk about your trip.” Blue says.
“I skied, I drank and I slept with a married man. Break was good but exhausting but I managed myself the whole time and took myself away to the quiet when I needed to and I’ve not had an anxiety attack since that big one last semester.” Gervais says.
“How do I tell you how proud I am of you? Babe that is amazing good news. But a married man? Seriously? Straight married?” Blue asks.
“I can’t tell you much. He and his wife are bi and are married for money reasons. Actually I spent time with his wife and I’d say she’s not into men at all. Not that its an excuse. It was a moment of madness, of feeling flattered that a straight guy wanted me, an older handsome guy.” Gervais says trying to explain.
“Doesn’t sound too good, a cheater who married for money.” Blue says.
“No its not. I was caught up in something, I was lonely and he was persistent. I wouldn’t do it again.” Gervais says.
The two go quiet contemplating what Gervais has revealed and also thinking about their dream life together. It’s the first time they’ve said anything out loud. Blue is seriously thinking about what it means for his relationship with Austin.
Gervais is feeling pretty emotional, it’s the first time he has ever imagined having a normal life with someone who loves him. The thought of living on a vineyard with Blue and their kids, chickens and a garden sounds amazing. He’s never ever allowed himself to think about having a family. But with Blue it would be the most natural thing in the world. They’d be good parents.
They drift off to sleep wrapped up together with the TV on dreaming good dreams. Blue’s laptop wakes them with a start with a call from Austin. Blue sits up and answers, absentmindedly he smooths Gervais hair from his face and kisses his cheek before taking the call through to his room.
“What was that? Why were you kissing him? What’s going on?” Austin asks upset.
“We fell asleep watching movies. I was waking him up a little. If something was going on I’d hardly do it in front of you.” Blue says.
“Of course not. Sorry I miss you and was jealous. I want you kissing my cheek, and neck and ass.” Austin says smiling.
“I miss you too. I want to be kissing you.” Blue says with a sigh.
“I have to go. I just wanted to say goodnight. We’re about to go to a club and who knows what time I’ll be up tomorrow.” Austin says.
“Nice to hear your voice and see your cute face even if only for a minute.” Blue says.
“I’m screen capping like crazy so I have a slide show for the plane ride back.” Austin grins.
“Just make the pilot fly super-fast.” Blue says.
“See you Tuesday.” Austin says.
“Call me lots before then.” Blue says.
“I will. Sleep good baby. Love you.” Austin says.
“Have a great time partying, be careful, stay safe.” Blue says and hangs up feeling guilty that he can’t return Austin’s words.
“All okay?” Gervais asks.
“Yeah I miss him. But its nice to be here with you.” Blue says.
“I feel so bad about how I treated you.” Gervais says as they lie down together on the sofa and channel surf with the sound low.
“You did what you needed to.” Blue says, it is all in the past.
“No, I mean I never quite understood how you felt. When you used to tell me you wanted to nibble my ears or kiss my neck I didn’t realize quite how hard it was for you to control the impulse. I had Jesse for affection and now I don’t and you have Austin and all I want to do is lift my head and kiss you. It is so hard not to.” Gervais says looking up at Blue and shyly smiling.
Blue nuzzles his face against Gervais neck and nibbles at his ear.
“I always have a thing for your ears and your feet. I have never been a feet person but yours are so little and cute and clean.” Blue says feeling himself rise against Gervais but not worrying about the message it sends.
Gervais wriggles round so they are face to face, his own erection pushing in to Blue’s stomach through his jeans. He just about resists throwing his arms round Blue’s neck and kissing him.
“I used to get mad at you for saying you loved me. It always felt amazing but I hated how you added to my confusion.” Gervais said.
“I didn’t want to make you confused. I wanted you to choose me.” Blue says quietly looking at Gervais and enjoying every detail of his face, his pale baby blonde hair, his deep blue eyes, his cheeks so slightly pink.
“I wish I had.” Gervais says.
“You weren’t ready and now I’m not free. Its funny I am lying here with you and it feels so good and comfortable I don’t want it to end but I also miss Austin and I care for him a lot.” Blue says.
“Do you love him?” Gervais asks.
“I feel close to him. I feel like maybe I could love him.” Blue says.
“I love you. No could about it.” Gervais says enjoying the role reversal for a moment.
“He loves me too.” Blue says.
“We’re not so good at loving the ones we are supposed to.” Gervais says.
“I can’t breakup with him for you. I’m not punishing you, it’s not revenge. I need to see things through and see where it goes.” Blue says.
“I know and I know you won’t ask me to wait, like I told you not too. But I will. I’m working on myself and when you’re ready for me I’ll be ready, I’ll be strong enough.” Gervais says.
“Don’t turn away from an opportunity if one comes along.” Blue says.
“No, but I’m not out looking for one either.” Gervais says and kisses Blue lightly on the mouth for barely a second. They watch TV and doze off again, comfortable together. Happy to know they are loved even if they still can’t be together.
“Look how adorable they are.” Elliot says quietly coming through with Spence and Andy, they’ve been at a gay bar together and had a fun night.
“Biscotti, where has he been hiding these.” Andy says taking a piece and trying to eat it without chipping a tooth.
“We should wake them, Blue will be sore tomorrow if he sleeps all night like that.” Spence says.
“Pictures first, these two deserve a hundred goals comments. Maybe then they’d realize what they have.” Elliot says.
“You don’t want that.” Spence says.
“Are you kidding? My reputation means you all think I’m a fuck boy and maybe I am but I want that. I want someone to fall asleep on me like that, so blissful.” Elliot says snapping away with his phone.
“Don’t let Austin see those.” Andy says.
“I forget Austin exists as he never comes out with us, just steals Blue every weekend.” Spence says.
“This is their first weekend apart since we got back, we shouldn’t have left Blue alone.” Andy says.
Spence crouches down and puts his hand on Blue’s shoulder to gently shake him awake.
“Blue wake up. Andy is stealing all the food.” Spence says and Blue tries to open his eyes.
“We don’t want your back and legs to hurt tomorrow. Go to bed.” Andy says.
“Sorry, we fell asleep watching TV. Did you have a fun night?” Blue says, gently waking Gervais.
“We did, so much fun.” Andy says.
“Thanks for the invite. Oy stop stealing the cookies.” Blue says.
“These are so good. I can’t believe you hid them.” Andy laughs and shuts the tin.
“My boyfriend will be so fat next year when we have a proper kitchen.” Spence laughs.
“Oh he is going to be doing manual labor all summer to prepare.” Blue laughs.
Elliot reluctantly says goodbye and they all head to their rooms to sleep. Blue really wants to follow Gervais but knows it’s a bad idea.
“Gervais, yoga in the morning? We’ll need the stretch.” Blue says as he reaches his door.
“Sounds good. Thursdays are kicking my butt right now.” Gervais says with a smile. He falls quickly back to sleep, dreaming of Blue chasing after their kids in the fields, while he watches from his study window.
Gervais wakes early disorientated, his dream was so real, so vivid. He’s disappointed that it was just a dream. He gets up to pee and finds Blue waiting for him.
“I’ll be a minute. You look good.” Gervais says, realizing he doesn’t tell Blue that enough, none of them do and Blue looks really good, his upper body defined, his large dick barely contained in his briefs, his legs muscular and tanned.
“You look crinkly. See you in a minute.” Blue says smiling and stretching out.
They push each other hard, not wanting the session to end. But tired muscles mean they have to stop.
“I had the most amazing dream about our life.” Gervais says.
“Were we happy?” Blue asks.
“You really are that good a person. You are the one who can say as long as they’re happy and mean it. You are incredible.” Gervais says.
“Wow. Thank-you. All I want for all of us is to be happy and loved.” Blue says.
“I was so happy in my dream that I was sad when I woke.” Gervais says.
“Really? I’m glad you had a nice dream. Shall we breakfast together? Its raining, we could round up the others for pool later.” Blue says.
“Shower then breakfast then chill. Perfect.” Gervais says reaching out to stroke Blue’s face. Blue catches his fingers and kisses them. For a moment they stare into each other’s eyes with intent before Blue looks away, a little scared at how quickly his feelings for Gervais have returned.
They shower separately then eat and eat. Enjoying a long conversation about their new classes and talking a little about spring break which is fast approaching.
The group gradually joins them in the rec room and they have a fun day watching sports and playing pool together.
“Someone want to go on a burger run? I am starving and the dining hall is rank on a Saturday night.” Elliot says.
“I’ll drive if someone comes with me as I’m bound to get the order wrong.” Blue say with a smile.
“I’ll come.” George and Elliot say at once.
“Cool anyone have a pen to write down the order?” Blue asks.
“We’ll message you.” Spence says.
“I am still rubbish at remembering how useful my phone can be.” Blue laughs.
“It was pretty liberating being without one over break. Katelyn has got over that though and is now complaining a lot.” Andy says.
“Momma said she’s the leader of her class, they all worship her.” Blue says.
“Oh she is doing fine and loves how friendly they all are. The lack of social competition is great. She said she loves how backwards everyone is. None of them are caught up in boys yet which makes things stay calm.” Andy says.
“I’m glad she’s settled in so well.” Blue says.
“Do you need some cash or can we pay you later?” Jesse asks.
“It’s on me. Don’t think I don’t know you’ve all given up your day to keep me company.” Blue says.
“Blue for sure we thought about that but it has been raining all day and we didn’t have anything better to do.” Spence says.
“But you can treat us if you like.” Elliot says with a grin knowing he can now order enough food without worrying about the cost.
The three head off, Blue drives slowly as the rain is really heavy and he’s always aware it isn’t his car. The drive through line is long so they brave the weather and go inside to order.
“Can I add…”Elliot begins.
“Get exactly what you want Elliot. Don’t even think about it.” Blue says.
“Thanks, I love it when we go to buffet places on Wednesdays, my budget is pretty tight so that’s my main expense for the week.” Elliot says.
Blue smiles and begins to order. It takes a while for all the food to come for the big group. George and Elliot wait inside for Blue to bring the car to the door as the rain is getting worse.
They watch in disbelief as when Blue goes to get in a man and woman grab him and start punching him.
Elliot quickly shouts to the security guard who looks in shock for a second and regret at the rain before running out. As he approaches the couple run off and Blue gets in the car.
“What the fuck was that about?” George asks climbing in.
“Are you hurt?” Asks Elliot.
“I’m fine. I think that was Andy’s Mom and boyfriend.” Blue says.
“Oh my god.” Elliot says. The three sit in silence for the drive back.
Blue drops them at the dorm door.
“Are you sure you’ll be okay?” Elliot asks.
“We can come back or send Spence.” George says.
“Its fine. Go deliver the food. I don’t think they followed us.” Blue says and goes to park the car.
He looks around several times to make sure no one is there before running back to the dorm.
“What happened?” Andy asks as he steps through the door.
“They knew the car plate, and so ambushed me. I don’t know why they haven’t just come to school to see you.” Blue says.
“Because he is a homophobic cunt and won’t want to talk to me directly. They must have thought you were Roe’s toyboy or something.” Andy says.
“I might be being paranoid but when the weather is better we need to check they didn’t put some sort of tracking device on the car.” Blue says as they walk to the rec room.
“Agreed. At least before we go back to yours. Hell maybe we should talk to Roe about selling the car.” Andy says.
“Lets not worry now. You are safe here but please don’t go anywhere alone. It’s like after the gay bashing all over again.” Blue says.
“We are all careful still, we still worry. You are the only one who goes anywhere alone.” Andy says.
“Really? I am so dumb sometimes, more self-involved than I ever realized.” Blue says.
“No more than the rest of us, lets go eat.” Andy says.
“I’m just going to grab something, be with you in a minute.” Blue says.
“Only you would go on a food run where you don’t eat anything on the menu. You’re way less self-involved than you think.” Andy says laughing.
Blue smiles to himself and worries, about all his friends but especially Andy. From what Roe has said Jacob sees himself as a very powerful man and acts like everyone will do his bidding. He is certain that he can’t do anything to Andy at school but knows they may make a challenge against Roe’s guardianship of Katelyn.
Blue gets some soup and walks back to the room. Andy is sat with Spence who is clearly concerned. Gervais is with George and Elliot getting the full story and Jesse and Miles are together pretty oblivious to the others.
Blue sits by Gervais and slips his arm round him to comfort them both.
“Are you hurt?” Gervais asks concerned.
“No they couldn’t manage much contact in the rain. It was just a shock and I got wetter than I should have. Is the food okay?” Blue asks deflecting.
“It is so good. I rarely get fast food anymore and I miss it.” George says with a smile.
“It is so much better than noodles.” Elliot laughs.
“We need to feed Elliot more often G. If you see him get him food.” Blue says.
“Is that why you keep your food in our suite as us lot don’t need to steal it?” Gervais asks.
“Yeah, or when you do you replace it quickly. You guys are pretty communal with your noodles and oatmeal. You know I add my contribution and don’t mind if I’m a few days replacing what I use.” Elliot says.
“We’ve never run out. It might have been touch and go if Gervais had been well at thanksgiving.” Blue says.
“Yeah mostly its there because Andy can’t eat a meal without needing another 45 minutes later.” Gervais laughs.
“You guys are so easy going. In our place if anyone uses more than their share of the milk people take revenge. We could never keep our food in the communal cupboards.” George says.
“Well next year when we’re all together it won’t be like that.” Gervais says.
“I can’t wait.” George says.
“I thought you were all easy going when we met. Is it you and Jesse against the others now or something?” Blue asks.
“Jesse is as bad as they are at times.” George says rolling his eyes.
“Well you are welcome at our place any time. Elliot practically lives with us still.” Gervais says.
“And we like having him.” Blue says before Elliot can say anything.
“Thanks. I appreciate it. You guys are easy to talk to and don’t push me to be one thing or another. I feel like you are okay with me just being George the nerd.” George says with a shrug.
“We love you for being George the nerd. For sure I’d have liked you to be George the gay nerd and been my boyfriend but that wasn’t to be and I love having you round as a friend.” Elliot says and George blushes crimson.
Blue and Gervais share a smile, they both think George is so cute. Blue snuggles a little closer to Gervais and Gervais doesn’t resist, he knows he should but it feels so nice.
Jesse watches from across the room. He really likes Miles but he gets a little pang seeing Gervais with Blue. They seem closer than ever before and Jesse can’t quite work out what it is. He is certain they haven’t had s but he can see something has changed.
“Still wish that was you?” Miles asks.
“No, I didn’t realize how stressful trying to cling on to him was until it was over.” Jesse says.
“You wouldn’t have that issue with me.” Miles says.
“I have other issues with you.” Jesse says.
“You need to work on your prejudice.” Miles says.
“I know, I know. Give me a little time. Just a bit more.” Jesse says.
“Not too long. If we’re not boyfriends by Spring break then I’ll walk away.” Miles says.
“That’s fair. I deserve that. I’m sorry I’m keeping you dangling. Especially as that is how it was with Gervais when we started out.” Jesse says.
They all gradually drift off and Gervais and Blue are the last left in the room.
“We best do something for Andy tomorrow.” Gervais says.
“Yeah, wish I could bake him something. Maybe you can have one of your gaming days.” Blue says.
“Good idea. Lets go to a bakery and get some nice things for him and I’ll round everyone up for a mission. You won’t feel left out?” Gervais asks.
“No, I enjoy watching you all.” Blue says.
“Want to stay with me tonight?” Gervais asks.
“Yes but I’ll be good. I’ve really loved spending time with you this weekend. You’ve given me a lot to think about and sort out.” Blue says.
“Should my hopes be up?” Gervais asks.
“No, I’m sorry my love. Oh fuck I’m sorry I know it sounded like that. I know what hell you’re in.” Blue says.
“Babe I was kidding. You’ve been honest with me.” Gervais says hugging Blue, letting him know all is well between them.