“George, George.” Blue calls as he runs down the sand.
George starts rapidly reeling in his kite and grins broadly at Blue. Robin watches and laughs, where the sexual chemistry between Gervais and Blue was always present there is something sweet and natural between George and Blue. Robin is happy for his friends, Blue needs someone uncomplicated in his life and George deserves someone great.
Robin heads on down the beach feeling a little isolated as it looks like he and Dylan are the only single guys and Dylan is not someone he wants to hang out with. He’s sure he’ll find some girls somewhere.
Blue and George sit next to each other on the sand and catch up on the last few weeks.
“I still feel the same. When you’re ready I’m here.” George says.
“I don’t want to hurt you. Can we somehow be exclusively casual?” Blue asks.
“What not date anyone else but not be boyfriends?” George asks.
“Is that okay? I don’t want to dive in to anything but I don’t want to let you go. Sorry it’s too much to ask.” Blue says shaking his head.
“No, no it isn’t. I want to take things slowly too. I don’t want to move straight in with you the way you did with Gervais. I’ve never had a boyfriend, keeping it casual until we’re ready for something more sounds perfect.” George says.
“That’s it, I want more than I had with Austin but less than Gervais, not feelings wise but yeah I don’t want to share a room with you fulltime yet.” Blue says.
“I still can’t believe you like me back.” George says.
“I was stood over there looking at you thinking wow he’s cute and then realized it was you. You look different, I don’t know you’re usually quite dressed up with shirts and sweaters, seeing you just in shorts and shades, showing off that cute stomach, you look amazing.” Blue says.
“I’m not so much of a nerd that I wear a shirt on the beach. Thank-you.” George says shyly.
“I like the way you dress, you always look really smart.” Blue says.
“I don’t care enough about clothes to shop and just wear what my mom buys me.” George admits.
“I had Robin take me shopping when I first got to school as I had no clue what I should be wearing.” Blue says.
“It doesn’t matter, everyone is picturing you naked any way.” George laughs.
That evening they cook out in the yard. Andy makes a huge deal of enjoying his steak, complaining that Blue has kept him deprived all summer.
The group catch up on their summers. There is clearly some tension between Elliot and Jesse and Jesse is flirting heavily with Dylan.
“Are you two in a fight?” Robin asks.
“We actually broke up 2 weeks ago.” Elliot says.
“We’re taking a break.” Jesse says.
“We kind of had too much of each other’s company this summer and didn’t really socialize with anyone else.” Elliot says.
“Not even work people?” Blue asks.
“We tried but we were often on different shifts so felt like we were never spending any time together.” Jesse says.
“And Jesse would get jealous if I went out when he was working.” Elliot says and Jesse shrugs, everyone knows what he’s like.
“So we’re taking a break but we didn’t tell you as we didn’t know if we’d be together again for this week.” Jesse says.
“Ah just be yourselves. Robin or I can switch rooms with one of you if you like.” Blue says.
“I’ll go with you, else I’ll get jealous and angry.” Jesse says.
“Let’s go sort that now.” Robin says getting up.
“Wait are you and George not sharing?” Andy asks.
“We’re taking our time.” George says with a shy smile.
“Don’t let Blue walk all over you.” Spence says protectively.
“I won’t. We’ve had a long talk and we’re happy, we both want to take it really slowly.” George says
“But you are a couple?” Spence asks.
“We’re not dating anyone else.” George says.
“I am so happy for you.” Spence says.
“Me too.” Jesse says coming back out.
“Thanks bro.” George says.
“He’ll be good for you. We might not get along but he’s a good guy.” Jesse says.
“Will you be making a move on Gervais when he gets back?” Andy asks.
“No way. I know he’s grieving for his dad but what he did to Blue is not right. I would never want to be with him again.” Jesse says and Elliot smiles he needs a break from Jesse but he really doesn’t want him to find anyone else.
“We are just taking a break. It’s not like we want to f other people we both need some space to breathe.” Elliot says.
“Did Gervais house not sell all summer?” Blue asks.
“Yeah it did but the new owner is military and was delighted to have us housesit while he’s away. We totally lucked out.” Elliot says.
“Did your family work out what was going on?” Blue asks.
“They have totally disowned me. I am going to have to work my butt off this year to make sure I keep my scholarship and all my summer money will be paying for the dorm. I’m kind of regretting going in with you guys now but Jesse thinks I’ll save on not going out. I’ll have to get the cheapest meal plan so you lot better plan on using your guest passes for me. It’s not like they could afford to help a lot before but now nothing.” Elliot says.
“I’m so sorry and if you’re not too proud we’ll cover your meal plan.” Blue says and Spence nods.
“What about other stuff?” Spence asks.
“I have applied for a ton of jobs on campus and am pretty certain I’ll be okay for clothes and incidentals. Let be honest I am so lucky I fell in with you guys as I know you guys will take me in over breaks if things don’t get any better with my family.” Elliot says.
“You can always stay up at mine for the summer and there is always casual farm work going.” Blue says.
“Or house sit for my family and find work round there. Robin’s mom will feed you. Or do what George and I did and find camp work. The pay isn’t good but you’re housed and fed.” Spence says.
“It really sucks when you can’t rely on your family.” Andy says.
“Any news from your mom? I thought she was due out a while ago.” Blue says.
“She decided to stay a little longer and has just moved to a sort of half-way house where she still gets counselling and starts to rebuild her life. I’m going to see her next week.” Andy says.
“And she’s still not lodged an objection or contest or whatever it is?” Blue asks.
“No, just a few more weeks. I’m meeting the lawyer and accountant at the same time. I am going to be super busy.” Andy says.
“Anything you need just say.” Blue says.
“Thanks.” Andy smiles.
They talk long into the night sharing more stories from the summer and talking about their hopes and plans.
“Have you heard from Gervais?” Blue asks Jesse as they get into bed.
“No. He always had an impulsive streak but what he did to you was crazy. Stringing you along all year and then just imploding everything once you’re finally settled. Whatever he’s going through he can’t have an excuse for that.” Jesse says.
“I don’t regret any of it. Not waiting for him or being with him. Everything this year was worth it for the time we had together. I figure it was just too good to last.” Blue says.
“And now you have George.” Jesse says.
“Maybe. I worry that Gervais will come back and I’ll be too weak to stay away. I don’t want to put George through that but at the same time I really like him. I’m being so selfish.” Blue says.
“George isn’t a baby, he might be a bit innocent but he knows what the risks are.” Jesse says.
“I guess so. I just never want to hurt him. I mean I hope no one sets out to hurt anyone but I feel particularly protective of George.” Blue says.
“I get it, I feel that for Elliot and I never did for Miles. Miles and Gervais always had some distance from me, neither willing to be fully vulnerable.” Jesse says.
“I thought Gervais was with me but he wasn’t. He was when we were friends, when he was dating you he was more open with me and I’m sorry I didn’t shut that down.” Blue says.
“You didn’t know how. You were just being a good guy, helping him open his shell. I get that now, was hard at the time. I clung to him for a long time, even when you two got together I held a llttle space for him, a llttle hope. Then this summer things with Elliot just clicked and I didn’t think of Gervais anymore.” Jesse explains.
“So why are you taking a break?” Blue asks.
“It got too intense. We’re too young to be cleaning up after each other and making grocery budgets.” Jesse laughs.
“So you’re kind of happy you’re not living with him at school?” Blue asks.
“Yeah. I will keep my name on the list to transfer in to your building. But not sharing a room full time will probably save us.” Jesse says.
“I’m glad we’re friends now.” Blue says.
“Me too.” Jesse says and they go to sleep.
In the morning Blue gets up early, heads down to the beach to do some yoga in the sun and then drives to the store. He wants to enjoy using the big fancy kitchen and help keep costs down for the others.
“Are you staying at the Spencer place?” The cashier asks.
“Yeah we got in yesterday.” Blue says.
“Good, let me know if I can help.” The cashier says.
“Are these eggs good?” Blue asks looking at the trays on the counter.
“They’re fresh and local.” The cashier says and Blue adds a tray to his haul.
“Do you know if the family are planning to sell? This is the first time the house has been opened this season.” The cashier asks.
“I don’t think so. I’ve only met the sons. I’m at college with Spence and his parents have been overseas all year far as I can tell.” Blue says.
“It’s a beautiful house, we’re all hoping it doesn’t fall into disrepair. Old Mrs Spencer had the most amazing parties every summer and she’s greatly missed.” The cashier says.
“I’ll let Spence know. No doubt he’ll be down to see you if you knew his grandmother. Or feel free to drop by one afternoon.” Blue says before leaving.
As Blue is driving home it starts to pour down and his plans for a day on the beach are instantly squashed. He gets going in the kitchen baking and hums happily to himself. He’s feeling a lot brighter about the future. Not that he’s thinking long term with George but he is happy that he’s not going to be alone.
“That’s not breakfast.” Andy says coming in and kissing his cheek.
“Soup, trying to make a few things people can grab or just heat up. Given budgets are tight.” Blue says.
“Smells good. Spence needs to watch out because I could happily marry you.” Andy says hugging his friend close from behind.
“Like Blue would put up with you.” Spence says coming in.
“There are muffins just cool enough and fruit unless you want eggs.” Blue says.
“You spoil us, you really do. That soup smells great. Is there cheese? Can we have grilled cheese later?” Spence asks.
“Yes and yes. I bought some bread from the store and I’ll bake some too, the dough is just proving.” Blue says.
“Sod Andy, I can offer you this beautiful kitchen so I win your hand.” Spence laughs.
“Hands off he’s mine.” George says coming in.
“You’re very’ lucky.” Andy says.
“No I am.” Blue says and kisses George good morning.
“So what can we do while its raining?” George asks.
‘Well your boyfriend is hogging the kitchen. There is a library still full of my grandparent’s books and there are bound to be playing cards. How about we play bridge or poker?” Spence says.
“I can happily let you take over in here.” Blue laughs.
“As if.” Andy laughs.
“We’ll go look. Thanks for the food Blue.” Spence says.
“Spence called you my boyfriend and you didn’t say anything.” George says.
“Neither did you.” Blue says.
“I liked hearing it.” George says leaning his head against Blue’s back and cuddling him as he cooks.
“I thought so.” Blue says.
“So you don’t mind.” George says.
“How uptight do you think I am?” Blue asks with a smile.
“Babe I’m new at this and I don’t want to frighten you off.” George says.
“The way I see it is if people think you’re my boyfriend they’ll hopefully leave you alone and they won’t pressure us if we don’t correct them. We know where we are or at least we’re working on it and that is what matters.” Blue says.
“You’re lovely.” George says.
“So are you.” Blue says turning around, picking George up and placing him on the kitchen counter and kissing him.
George looks at Blue and plays with his hair, which has gotten longer over the summer. Blue moves to kiss George again and George smiles until their lips meet.
“Is this going to become unhygienic?” Spence asks coming back through.
“Let me have some fun.” Blue says and goes back to kissing George.
“The others are just emerging. We’ll play in here as its more comfortable than the dining room.” Spence says.
“You need to show us round properly. It’s an amazing house. The lady at the store said your grandmother used to throw major parties here.” Blue says.
“I wish we could be I’d be terrified of trashing the place. At least I mostly trust you lot.” Spence says.
“I said she should come up one afternoon. She was asking if you were going to sell as no one has been up for a while.” Blue says.
“Wow I’d not thought about it. It’s part of the family. Thought W was bringing his family up this summer but they changed their minds. I guess it costs a lot.” Spence says.
“Do you not have aunts, uncles and cousins to use it?” Blue asks.
“My Mom has siblings and they have kids and grandkids but they use their families beach house. No need to use this one.” Spence says.
“Well its really cool. I hope we can come again.” Blue says.
“Spring break for sure.” Andy says.
“I’d love to spend the holidays here one year, this place would be amazing with the fires lit.” Blue says.
“Its almost cold enough today.” Spence says.
“I’m going to brave the rain and go for a quick walk. I want to see how rough the ocean is.” Blue says.
George looks at him confused. He doesn’t want to stay without him but doesn’t want to go out in the rain either.
“I won’t be long.” Blue says kissing George.
“You better not.” George says and hugs him close.
“Is he okay?” Robin asks once Blue has gone.
“I think so.” George says a little confused.
“Take him at face value, he wants to go and look at the ocean.” Andy says.
“He really does love the outdoors. Unless he’s cooking he is happiest outside.” Robin says.
“Yeah he always said it at school but he just changed when he got home, and we were barely indoors at all. He’s go out and do his chores in the rain not problem. I’m glad it was dry when we were working. No way would I have been happy out in the rain.” Andy says.
“Did him changing lead to Gervais leaving him?” Dylan asks.
“No, not at all. Unless Gervais was really hiding it but looked totally in love they were affectionate, too much for me but they didn’t fight. They did their whole mind reading thing all the time. Gervais niggled at him a bit, finding his life wasn’t maybe as perfect as he’d portrayed but mostly that was Gervais wanting to understand Blue better. They kissed goodbye that morning and by dinner time Gervais was gone and Blue was a broken mess. We were all blindsided.” Andy says.
“Am I being stupid going after him?” George asks.
“He likes you. You’ve made him smile. But try not to get too invested because Gervais will be back and you don’t know what will happen. However much Blue says he won’t take him back he won’t know that until he sees him.” Robin says.
“I know, I just don’t know how to hold back my feelings.” George says.
“Just live George. You love him, enjoy it while it lasts. Honestly I put John off for so long and fucked it up because I just couldn’t deal. Maybe it won’t work out and maybe it will. Lets face it Blue is not the sort of guy to dump someone for another option.” Dylan says.
“He isn’t. He is a really good guy and Gervais fucked up.” Jesse says.
“Do I need to worry?” Elliot asks.
“No, well you need to win me back. If I’m single when Gervais gets back who knows.” Jesse laughs.
“Shut up and kiss me.” Elliot says grabbing Jesse’s arm and pulling him close.
“Ugh just you and me now Robin.” Dylan says.
“You have too much penis to be my type.” Robin says.
“Oh I hear you sometimes make exceptions.” Dylan says.
“No thanks.” Robin laughs.
“Senior this year maybe you’ll need to concentrate on studying and not boys.” Spence says.
“Ha, I want to make full advantage of being out and enjoying guys. Lots and lots of them.” Dylan says and the others laugh.
They have a fun day messing around as a group, playing cards, eating and drinking too much. The following day is bright and sunny and they all head to the beach. Blue and George stay out longer than the others taking advantage of the evening breeze to fly George’s kite.
On the way back to the house George jumps on Blue’s back and gets carried into the house.
“Didn’t take you two long.” Gervais says from the sofa.