The guys call for Katelyn and head to the lake. Ocean is super excited to be around the teens and is telling them all his plans for the summer.
Katelyn is soon off with her friends, laughing and having fun.
“She’s settled in well.” Blue says.
“I know in her tiny school she has more friends than I ever did in a school of 2000.” Andy laughs.
“Has she got a boyfriend?” Gervais asks.
“She better not.” Andy says with a smile.
The guys get in the water with Ocean and take turns watching him. He’s a bundle of energy but they all welcome the cool water of the lake on a hot day. Finally feels like summer break has begun.
“Will you be my teacher all summer?” Ocean asks Gervais.
“Maybe, depends how many kids are around. We’ll hang out lots I’m sure.” Gervais says.
“Blue will we hang out too?” Ocean asks.
“I think so, maybe you can come help me and Andy some days.” Blue says.
“I am a good gardener, I made squash and zucchini and you ate them for dinner and then pooed them.” Ocean says laughing and laughing. Andy can’t keep a straight face either.
“I bet you pooed them too.” Gervais says.
“No I never did.” Ocean says.
“Oh no, he’s going to blow up and explode from all the poo.” Andy says crying and lifting Ocean to throw him in the water.
Blue introduces Andy and Gervais to a few people he knows from school.
“Andy, Gervais, this is Deacon, Deke, he just graduated. Where are you going next man?” Blue asks.
The shy redheaded beanpole blushes deeply and can barely stutter out an answer.
“I’m going to your school.” He says.
“Cool, be nice to have someone from home around.” Blue says.
“What will your major be?” Andy asks.
“I’ve been accepted to the engineering school but I don’t know where I want to specialize in yet.” Deke says looking Andy up and down a little scared.
“That’s cool. If you have any questions we’re all around all summer. Are you going to open mic Friday?” Blue asks.
“Uh we’re having a party here Friday night. You guys should come.” Deke says shyly.
“Will all the boys be as cute as you?” Andy asks subtle as ever.
“I uh uh.” Deke tails off not sure what to say.
“Don’t worry about him his boyfriend is hours and hours away for the summer and the thirst is already rising.” Gervais says.
“Boyfriend? You’re all gay?” Deke asks.
“Us 3 yes, Ocean is not sure yet.” Gervais says straight faced as Ocean jumps on his back.
“Are you still dating Charlotte?” Blue asks letting Deke off the hook.
“No, well yes but. I didn’t know you were gay Blue.” Deke says changing the subject back mid-sentence.
“Oh, I guess I never said. I thought everyone would have known already.” Blue shrugs.
“Blue no one ever guesses about you. Girls still asked for your number when you were dating Austin.” Andy laughs.
“Yeah but I mean I was out when I was home for winter break, I thought the gossip would have travelled. I guess I’m not worth talking about.” Blue laughs.
“Ego out of control babe.” Gervais grins.
“Time to get you home Ocean. I need to get started on dinner.” Blue says.
“Noooooooooo.” Ocean says trying to escape from Gervais grip.
“Come on you must be starving.” Gervais says.
“Oh, I am.” Ocean says stopping for a second.
“Nice seeing you Deke.” Blue says with a wave.
“He’s cute and he likes you.” Gervais says as they get in the car.
“I thought you said there were no gays here, now every time I visit another pops up.” Andy says.
“He had a girlfriend through school.” Blue says.
“He’s one of us.” Gervais says.
“Totally.” Andy laughs.
“I don’t know. I think he was just uncomfortable that a guy called him cute.” Blue says.
“So many girls at school like him. There are so few cute boys you can’t have them all on your team.” Katelyn says.
“I am the cutest.” Ocean pipes up.
“Oh you sure are. When you grow up all the boys and girls will want you.” Andy says.
“I have 3 girlfriends now.” Oceans says.
“Do they know you are full of smelly poo?” Andy asks.
“Shut uuuuuup.” Ocean laughs.
They get to the retreat and soon find the cabin that Ocean and Cheryl will be staying in. Blue shows Andy and Gervais around and introduces them to the leaders.
“Gervais we are sorry for your loss and hope you will take some time to heal here.” Moonstar says.
“And we are very grateful you are still here to help us despite your loss.” River says.
“I’m happy to be here. How many kids are here?” Gervais asks.
“With Ocean arriving there are 5 under 10s at the moment. A few babies too but they stay with their parents.” Moonstar says.
“That’s not so bad. Though Ocean is a ball of energy he’ll wear me out in no time.” Gervais laughs.
“We are lucky to be near beautiful nature trails and have many talented artists nearby who teach adults and children alike. Some days you’ll have all 5, others 1 or none. You are welcome to join in any classes or therapy sessions when you’re free.” River says.
“Thanks for the welcome. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Gervais says.
“Nice to meet you.” Andy says cheerfully as they leave, he loves meeting people and integrating more and more into his new community.
Blue drops Andy and Katelyn off and takes a quick detour before going home.
“I need to kiss you good.” Blue says pulling over. He leans in and kisses Gervais then gets out the car.
Gervais follows with a smile, Blue grabs his hand and pulls him into the woods. Picks him up and kisses him hard against a tree. Gervais smiles inside so much as he focuses on how good Blue makes him feel.
“1 am looking forward to lots of outdoor fun.” Gervais says.
“Every day babe.” Blue says kissing Gervais neck.
“Feels good.” Gervais moans lightly. “You taste good.” Blue says gently putting Gervais down and dropping to his knees nuzzling at Gervais crotch. He sucks and kisses at Gervais dick over his shorts before pulling them down and feasting away. Gervais eyes roll back in pleasure and he runs his hands through Blue’s hair. “You spoil me baby.” Gervais groans. Blue smiles to himself and carries on, enjoying every moment. “I am going to have to make a simpler dinner.” Blue says as they get to the house.
“I will help.” Gervais says.
The two wash up and set to work making dinner. Clara watches them from the doorway so happy her son has found someone to share his life with.
“You two are a good team. What color wine do you want?” Clara asks.
Gervais is shocked for a moment.
“White, it should be white with this summer squash.” Gervais says.
“Momma has no trouble with us drinking. She likes a glass after a busy day and doesn’t like to drink alone.” Blue laughs.
“Cheek!” Clara says hugging her son.
“Something smells good.” Andy says walking straight in with Roe and Katelyn.
“It sure does.” Roe says coming in.
“There better be dessert.” Andy says.
“Goat cheese cheesecake with sour cherries we canned last year. I can’t believe there were any left.” Blue says.
“Without you here fulltime we have a lot of preserved fruit and veg left. I took some up to the store a few months ago.” Clara says.
“Did Blue cook a lot?” Katelyn asks.
“We split it pretty evenly and often cook together. We both love to bake and would spend Sundays filling the freezer with things for the café or for me to take on visits. We push each other to try new things and we’re still trying to come up with the ultimate tomato sauce.” Clara says.
“We try and change what we grow each year, not the fruit trees but the vegetables and that forces us to be creative and not always do the same thing. When I was about 10 we taught ourselves how to preserve fruits and vegetables, beyond drying chilies and freezing beans and corn. We already made jams with the fruit but we’ve added a lot more flavors and techniques since then.” Blue says.
“The best mother son time.” Clara says with a smile.
“I think me and Roe need a project like that but Roe isn’t keen on cooking.” Katelyn says.
“I do love to garden. I can grow and you can cook.” Roe says.
“I want to garden too.” Katelyn says.
“We brought loads of stuff for you. Andy and I can come up Friday and help you with what you have growing and planting new. Momma and I can show you how to get canning and freezing the excess.” Blue says.
“I want to make bread and jam too, for Andy.” Katelyn says.
“You spoil me little sis.” Andy says.
“I like my friends but they all live on farms and have lots of chores. I might as well do some of my own. Roe can’t do everything for us.” Katelyn says.
“You’ve been great but need to concentrate on school and being a kid and not worrying about anything else right now.” Roe says firmly.
“What’s happening with Mom?” Andy asks quietly.
“She’s doing well in treatment. We’ve not decided about after.” Roe says.
“Katelyn are you okay if we talk about everything? It’s almost time to make decisions and I think you need to talk everything through with Andy.” Clara asks.
“Do I need to hear it all again? Can I be excused?” Katelyn asks.
“Are you not hungry?” Blue asks.
“The food is lovely and you need to save me some cheesecake.” Katelyn says.
“Can it wait until we’ve eaten?” Blue asks.
“Take your plate and go on Blue’s computer. Blue cut her some cheesecake to take.” Clara says.
“Sorry for spoiling everything.” Katelyn says.
“Your feelings are legitimate and we love you very much. You are not spoiling anything but we need to have this talk. Getting everything sorted is in your interest you know that.” Clara says.
“But I don’t want it and I don’t want to talk about it or hear about it ever again.” Katelyn says angrily.
“What’s going on?” Andy asks confused and concerned.
“Katelyn I’ll come with you. I have my console we can set it up and play zombies.” Gervais says.
“Thank-you.” Roe says looking grateful.
“Here take my plate, I’ll get our dessert.” Gervais says.
“Are you two an item?” Andy asks once Gervais has gone.
“What makes you ask that?” Roe asks.
“The way Ms Day talks to Katelyn, it is so parental and Katelyn acts like you are both her Mom.” Andy says.
“Call me Clara and no we’re not an item. I’m not trying to replace your mom, I never set out to have that kind of relationship with your sister but just as you and Blue have become like brothers the parent child relationship has evolved between us.” Clara says.
“I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Roe never wanted kids herself and she’s had us thrust upon her and needs a hand. I’m glad you’ve stepped in to our lives.” Andy says.
“Thank-you. Jacob changed his will a few months before he died, right before he got engaged.” Clara begins.
“That makes sense as he was marrying mom. Is mom rich now?” Andy asks.
“He didn’t change it in favor of your mother, well a small part, the house and one insurance policy, which might not pay out due to the nature of the crash was left for your mother. The rest of the estate, all his businesses, his savings and investments all of it he left to Katelyn.” Roe says.
“So he’s fucking with her from beyond the grave? Holy shit.” Andy says understanding his sister’s mood.
“No wonder she’s upset. And she wants none of it? Can she refuse it? Can we make her take enough for college, for a house? Can she own the businesses? Are they in trust?” Blue asks.
“We have a court date next week to appoint a property guardian for her. We wanted to talk to you about this earlier but we wanted you to get through finals first then Gervais dad died and we thought it was best to wait until that was settled.” Clara says.
“I am happy to stand but I thought that maybe you would prefer to do it yourself.” Roe says.
“What would I have to do? Should it not be Mom?” Andy asks.
“I don’t trust your mother to carry out Katelyn’s wishes.” Roe says and Andy nods.
“You two have a plan right?” Blue asks.
“We do but we have obstacles too. He changed his will after getting engaged but not after he married your mother.” Roe says.
“I’ve made sure your mother has had legal advice. She still has time to contest. There was a prenup and her inheritance, if it is paid is more than the prenup would have given. If she contests we wouldn’t want to fight too hard against her, she’s too fragile and it could harm any relationship she has with Katelyn in the future.” Clara says.
“Oh hell. But we can settle?” Andy says.
“Yes we can and if your mother doesn’t contest we still have to be careful. We can’t give away all the money immediately as that isn’t, in the eyes of the court the best thing for Katelyn. But we understand and fully respect her wishes, she is the priority and we want this to be as painless as possible for her.” Roe says.
“For sure. Can she not just reject it all?” Andy asks.
“At the fear of sounding far too vindictive I don’t want your mother to have it all. I worry she’ll find another awful man and be taken advantage of. The program she’s in should help her but I can see a fortune being overwhelming and her handing control over to the first gold-digger who flatters her haircut.” Roe says.
“That doesn’t sound vindictive, it sounds like you care very much.” Blue says.
“So you or I keep it all in trust until Katelyn is 18 and then she can give it away if she wants to or use it for college?” Andy asks.
“Yes.” Roe says.
“That doesn’t sound too bad as long as we can do it without Katelyn having to worry about it. I guess we have to be careful when paying for anything that Katelyn knows he isn’t paying for it.” Andy says and Roe and Clara nod.
“What about the businesses? Will they need intervention? Or selling?” Blue asks slicing up dessert for them all.
“We’re investigating the possibility of management buyouts. We want them to stay local and open. Right now they’re all doing fine and Jacob’s lawyer and accountant are dealing with any issues. Despite his disgusting nature he was a good boss and had great teams in place.” Roe says.
“Unless any of them appeal to you? If any are something you would want to run one day then we can work that out.” Clara says.
“Nah. I don’t ever want to go to that town again. I’m thinking I want in on Blue’s vineyard.” Andy says.
“Really?” Blue asks.
“I think so. Not on the plant side exactly but if it works there’s tech and logistics and engineering that need sorting and I think I could be useful.” Andy says.
“Vineyard?” Clara asks.
“I like the idea. It’s not farming exactly. I want to make something, wine makes sense to me. I promise I am learning for the joy in college and not taking classes in estate management or farming or anything.” Blue says laughing.
“1 hope not. I want to see history of art, Swedish lit and the like in your transcript. That’s the deal.” Clara says.
“Well maybe next year, this year was so many required classes.” Blue says.
“You better. Back to Andy are you willing to do it?” Clara asks.
“Yes, if I can at 19.” Andy says.
“We’ll all help.” Blue says. “I’m counting on it.” Andy says. “We’ll set up a skype call with the lawyer and you can talk it all through.” Clara says. “Thanks. Has this been affecting Katelyn a lot?” Andy asks. “Now and then. It’s been a really tough few months and mostly she’s shining, school is back on track and she has friends. We’re not worried about her but anything to do with Jacob or your Mom and she blows up. Your crash being on TV nonstop didn’t help.” Roe says. “So she doesn’t want mom back here?” Andy asks. “No or at least not living with us. I don’t want your mom to be without support but I don’t know that she’s like it here.” Roe says. “I don’t know if I could cope with her fulltime either.” Andy says. “No, you boys need to live independently at school.” Clara says. “She might have plans of her own.” Blue says. “I guess.” Andy says. “Blue the food was delicious.” Roe says. “Thanks. There are leftovers Andy and I can take for lunch tomorrow.” Blue says. “What is tomorrow’s job?” Roe asks. “Tidying the Carlton’s garden, they’ve both been sick all winter and it has got away from them. Probably 2 days work.” Clara says. “Safe to come out now?” Gervais asks with Katelyn behind him. “Yes all done. Andy has agreed to be the property guardian as long as that is what you want.” Clara says gently and Katelyn nods and hugs her brother. “We’ll head off. Thanks again for dinner. Andy come by after work tomorrow.” Roe says and hugs him goodbye. a