“I’m scared.” Spence says standing outside his parent’s house.
“It’s do or die. W and AB will support you. You need to sort this whole situation out, you don’t want to be like Gervais left with a million what if questions and a shit ton of anger.” Andy says.
“I know, I know.” Spence says. Andy kisses him and takes his hand and they walk in.
“Oh Spence darling we weren’t expecting you.” Spence’s mom says.
“Fergus said there was a family dinner.” Spence splutters out.
“Yes we wanted to talk to your brothers about you. But I think we’ve made up our minds. I’m sure we can stretch the food for 2 more.” Spence’s dad says.
“I can go.” Andy says.
“No, no, you’re family too.” Spence’s dad says to Andy’s surprise.
“But if the baby plays up we’d appreciate it if you’d be the one to take him out.” Spence’s mom says.
“Of course.” Andy says.
Spence and Andy hug W and AB who is about ready to pop with her second baby.
“Where’s Fergus? We had a fight.” Spence says.
“He’s just getting changed.”
“Where Vase?” Tommy asks tugging at Spence’s legs.
Spence picks him up and tosses him in the air. Tommy squeals in delight, Spence repeats the action before settling Tommy on his hip.
“Vase?” Tommy asks again.
“Gervais isn’t here today buddy. This is Andy, he’ll play with you.” Spence says handing his nephew over.
AB hands Andy a book and he sits down and reads to the kid while the others get ready for dinner.
“Maggie! I didn’t expect to see you.” Spence gets up to hug his sister in law.
“I came back to talk about you and to try and intervene for Fergus.” Maggie says.
“It’s always good to see you.” Spence says.
“Do give my condolences to Gervais, I didn’t know where to send a card.” Maggie says.
“Wow that’s nice of you considering.” Spence says.
“Oh he kept Fergus occupied and out of my way, I have no ill feelings towards him. I cannot imagine what he is going through.” Maggie says.
“He’ll really appreciate that.” Andy says looking up for a second.
They filter through to dinner and eat in silence other than Tommy chattering away.
“Come on dad spill the beans.” W says between courses.
“Right we were originally going to run this by you and Fergus first but we may as well go ahead.” Spence’s dad says. “Spence we know we’ve not been around for you as much as you need. We want to tell you just how proud we are of how you’ve managed.” Spence’s mom says shocking Spence who reaches for Andy’s hand. “You dropped out of prep saving us 3 years of school fees and maintained excellent grades while excelling in sport. This year the only time you’ve asked for money over your allowance was to furnish your dorm room, you haven’t cost us a bean this summer, we checked your bank statements and you’ve earned more than you spent. Something your brothers have never managed.” Spence’s dad says. “What are trusts for if not to cover our lifestyle?” Fergus asks. “You’ll not have anything for your kids and grandkids with that attitude.” Spence’s mom says. “Ugh.” Fergus shudders. “And you have continued to have excellent grades in college, have a clear career plan, you’re working and volunteering and we’re very sorry we’ve not been around to see more of your achievements.” Spence’s dad says. “And to top it off we’ve had non-stop calls the last 2 days telling us what a fine young man you are and what a wonderful party you hosted.” Spence’s mom says. The boys hosted a party for their neighbors at the beach, Dylan organized the lighting, Jesse and Elliot the music and the others catered and decorated. It wasn’t exactly any of the boy’s style but Spence figured it was a good idea to meet everyone properly so they would be able to keep an eye on the house more. “You hosted all the beach families?” AB asks. “Yes, your parents were there.” Andy says with a grin. “My mother never talks of anything but the baby. I will have to ask her for the gossip.” AB laughs. “My aunt went and said I must get the name of your caterer.” Maggie says. “We did it all.” Spence says with a smile. “No way.” W says. “Blue taught Andy and Robin to cook this summer and Gervais and George are already pretty good. We had a blast doing it.” Spence says eyes lit up. “But to cater a party? My goodness I hope you did more than nachos and devilled eggs.” Spence’s mom laughs. “Blue was the genius behind the food. He made all our favorites in miniature for canapés and then a clambake and baked potatoes to soak up all the alcohol. It was so tasty I was in a food coma the whole next day.” Andy says laughing. “I wish we’d seen it, it sounds marvelous.” Spence’s mom says. “I didn’t know that you’d welcome an invite from me.” Spence says.
“Time ran away from us this year and we’re sorry. We really are.” Spence’s dad says. “We forget just how young you are, you cope so well on your own.” Spence’s mom says. “So did you call us here just to rub it in how much of a perfect son Spence is?” Fergus asks. “W and Fergus received their trusts at 25, once they began working.” Spence’s dad begins. “Is that why mine stopped? Because I needed time off?” Fergus asks. “Once you honeymoon became a permanent state and it was clear you had no intention of working again it stopped. Get a job, show some responsibility and you’ll get it back. So far you’ve mooched off of your wife and one of Spence’s school friends.” Spence’s mom says wearily. Fergus rolls his eyes and Maggie laughs, the others can’t help joining in. “As Spence has shown he is far more mature than either of you two were and we have no worries that he will squander it. We propose that Spence gets full access to his trust when he turns 20 in September.” Spence’s dad says. “For real?” Spence asks. “That sounds like a great idea.” AB says. “Yeah full support from me.” W says with a smile. “No objections here. Spence is so much more responsible than I am” Fergus says. “We need to take you through the responsibilities for the beach house. We hope you’re not planning to sell it.” Spence’s dad says. “Can I afford to keep it? I mean the taxes and upkeep.” Spence asks. “You don’t need to worry right now. Everything in the house including the cellar contents are yours, it was all catalogued. There are one or two things I would like.” Spence’s dad says. “Of course, anything of your parents you should have. I don’t have any great attachment to anything.” Spence says feeling totally overwhelmed. “Labor day weekend come down and we’ll go through everything. If it is okay with you we’ll be staying there from now through most of September.” Spence’s mom says. “Of course. All of you let me know when you want it and once I have your dates I can look for paying customers for the rest of the time.” Spence says. “That brings us to the other news.” Spence’s dad says and W and AB smile. “We’re selling this house as we hate it and none of you use it. AB and W are moving into the big house and we’ll live with them some of the time.” Spence’s mom says. “I rented it out when I first got it but with our family expanding and AB not wanting the kids to grow up in the city we’re moving out there and I’m going to start my own practice. It is close to AB’s parents and there is more than enough room for Mom and Dad to stay when they’re not on the road.” W says. “No problem as long as someone has space for me when I’m on break. I can stay with Andy but it’s a long way.” Spence says. “You are always welcome, Andy too and Gervais, Tommy is always asking for him.” AB says. “Vase?” Tommy says looking up making the family laugh. “Fergus maybe you could help me find people for the beach house like you do with the lodge.” Spence says. “I guess so. Mom is that enough work?” Fergus laughs. “No.” Spence’s mom laughs. “Maggie your parents told me about the trouble with the housekeepers and caretakers letting places for cash on the sly. They don’t need the money from people using their places but it might give them better security.” Spence says “My parents would be delighted if you’d step in and help manage their properties.” Maggie says quietly. “Why did you never say?” Fergus asks. “I didn’t think of it. Spence has got the cogs turning.” Maggie says. “But he isn’t managing the lodge well at all.” Spence’s mom says. “No but I didn’t need to until you stopped my money. I’ll be better now.” Fergus says. “He can do it Mom.” W says. “Sounds like you have 2 clients in your brother and your parents in law. That could be a good start in turning things around. Do I take it the divorce is off?” Spence’s dad asks. “Yes. We just had a small blip this summer. We were always going to be fine.” Maggie says. “Yes no harm done.” Fergus says. “Except to Gervais.” Andy says. “I didn’t have to work too hard to get him.” Fergus says. “He was grieving and losing Blue on top of that was too much.” Andy says. “He’s young he’ll bounce back.” Maggie says and dessert is served. “We could have got an apartment after all.” Andy says later that night in bed. “I’m happy to be with the guys. We’ll buy a real bed though.” Spence says. “Yeah I don’t want to leave Blue alone.” Andy says. “Did something happen with you two this summer?” Spence asks. “No, like I told you, just Deke. Blue’s my bro and we country kids need to stick together in the wild city.” Andy laughs. “You’re as suburban as I am.” Spence laughs. “Ah you wait til winter break and I take you home and show you just what a farm boy I’ve become, collecting eggs, growing potatoes and chopping wood.” Andy says. “Is that why your arms are now so buff?” Spence asks. “I chopped logs for every old person in town.” Andy says flexing. “You’ve changed.” Spence says feeling Andy’s body. “I ate a lot too. Blue is one hell of a cook, not just baker.” Andy says. “I know he cooked for us all week and the party food was amazing.” Spence says. “He had time. Katelyn does so much now, cooking and gardening, her nail business, she plays the flute and guitar and has heaps of friends. She only uses her computer to call me or do her homework. It’s weird but she is so happy.” Andy says. “The nail thing took off?” Spence laughs. “Oh yes she wanted to pay you and Blue back but I told her you both thought it a gift not investment.” Andy laughs. “She’s a good kid.” Spence says. “Now we’re all sorted with your family I want to go and see my mom.” Andy says. “Okay. We can do that.” Spence says and holds Andy close all night. At George’s house his parents have welcomed Blue and Gervais with open arms. They might not show affection to each other but they are more than happy to hug their son and his friends. “George had a difficult time in high school, it wasn’t that he was mistreated but he never quite fitted in. When he told us he was going on spring break with friends from his climbing club we were delighted that he’s finally found his people.” George’s dad says. “And then he calls to ask if he can bring some friends home, and that one is his boyfriend. Well we were overwhelmed. We are so excited to meet you.” George’s mom says. “We love George, he’s been a great addition to our group. Thanks for letting us stay.” Gervais says. “These are for you. Thanks for being so welcoming. I’ve never met a boyfriends parents before.” Blue says. “These are beautiful Thank-you. I don’t expect gifts from college boys.” George’s mom says. “Here Blue’s famous lavender shortbread and some jelly tartlets we had left over from the party.” Gervais says handing George’s dad the package. “I want to see the pictures. Go and wash up. I’ll make some lemonade and we can enjoy the cookies while you tell me about the party.” George’s mom says. “They’re lovely.” Blue says as George shows them to the bathroom. “They are.” George says. “You’re really lucky.” Gervais says. “I am and I appreciate them, I really do. They’re a little odd but so what?” George asks. “I can’t believe the brattiest brat Dylan had such lovely parents.” Gervais says. “Really nice of them to ask Jesse and Elliot to stay.” Blue says. “Yeah they did seem nice, they don’t deserve someone as obnoxious as Dylan.” George says. “Maybe he’s nice at home.” Blue says. George’s parents make them feel super welcome. George’s mom makes them tell about the party over and over and enjoys all the pictures. Both George’s mom and dad love domestic things and they are soon swapping recipes and gardening tips with Blue who tries to persuade them to take on some chickens. George is bursting with pride at how well his parents and boyfriend are getting along. Gervais looks on with a mix of jealousy and pride. Jealous of how easy going George’s parents and how much they clearly love their son and pride at how easily Blue has won them over. He wonders how Blue might have done with his dad and is sad they never met. “So you need to go to your lawyer tomorrow?” George’s dad asks snapping Gervais from his daydream. “Yes we have the final paperwork to sort, no other claims have come in and it looks unlikely they will, neither of my parents had a secret family out there or anything. So everything will be in place for the deadline.” Gervais says. “I am so sorry about what you’ve been through. I remember what happened with your mom, I’d not long had George and we’d moved here when I was pregnant otherwise it could have been us with that doctor.” George’s mom says shaking her head. “Our friend Robin’s mom said similar. It’s funny I’d never heard of it, so never put it together myself.” Gervais says. “Your dad told you the story he could cope with and you had no reason to question it.” Blue says quietly, worried about his friend. “I know, I just always felt so guilty, that it was my fault so I couldn’t ask my dad anything about her. Then when it’s too late to ask him I find out there really was someone to blame.” Gervais says breaking everyone’s hearts. “I bet you could track down her school friends. Do you have her yearbook?” George’s dad asks. “No, I didn’t find anything like that. My lawyer knew her and has given me some photographs. I need to come to terms with the fact that I’ll never have a relationship with my parents.” Gervais says. “I don’t know between my Momma, and Robin’s parents and these two I think you’re being adopted all over the place.” Blue says with a smile. “I need you around to remind me.” Gervais smiles. Blue smiles. It is so hard figuring out this friendship path, he wants to be there for Gervais without neglecting George and he wants to get things going with George without leaving Gervais totally out to dry. He knows Gervais has other friend and has treated him badly but Blue still feels a strong sense of responsibility to his ex that he can’t shake, it has always been a part of their relationship. Gervais, Blue and George get to school as soon as keys are available. The new dorm is more amazing than they ever imagined. They are on the highest living floor, above them are study rooms and the pool. There are just 2 suites on their floor and the rooms and living area are massive, so much more than they expected. They check out all the rooms and George and Gervais choose theirs and Blue takes the double with the better view for him and Robin. “What do you think this is?” Gervais asks trying a locked door. “Store cupboard or something?” Blue suggests. “Weird, there’s more than enough space for it to be an extra room.” George says. “I love the kitchen, weird there is stuff in the fridge. Are we in the right room? Were these used for summer school?” Blue asks. “We’re supposed to be first in.” George says. “Shall we wait for Spence and Andy or go to the storage place?” Gervais asks. “They’re going straight there. W and Fergus are going to help.” Blue says. “Fergus again, great.” Gervais smiles. “Hey we need all the people we can get to bring the furnishings up. They’re only 30minutes away once that’s done we can go to the supermarket.” Blue says. “Always thinking with his stomach.” George laughs. “I thought we could have a nice welcome dinner tonight as the dining hall won’t be open.” Blue says. “You need pans and things.” Gervais says. “Robin’s mom is donating stuff and Spence’s. They are selling up and don’t need it so we should be in good shape. That’s why they needed W, for an extra car.” Blue says. “Hey guys, I’m DeShawn.” DeShawn a towering handsome guys says walking in to the suite.