“I’m going to sleep in my room tonight. I’m really tired.” Blue says to George.
“Okay. Maybe we can have a real date tomorrow?” George asks.
“I’d like that. Shall we go to a comedy show or something?” Blue asks.
“I’d like to plan it. Pick you up at 6.” George laughs.
“Okay. Thanks George.” Blue says and kisses George gently.
“If you get lonely just come in, my door will be open.” George says and goes to his room, he still has lots of unpacking to do.
“Thanks for dinner.” Andy says to Blue once George has gone.
“It was nice to be able to do it.” Blue says.
“Are you okay?” Andy asks surprised that George has gone to his room alone.
“I’m tired, it’s been full on recently.” Blue says.
“Lets have lunch tomorrow, just us, I feel like we’ve barely spoken since we got to the beach and so much has happened.” Andy says.
“I’m meeting Deke, showing him round a little then having lunch. Join us and we can talk after?” Blue asks.
“Wake me and I’ll come with. We went to see him tonight but he had plans with his roomies.” Andy says.
“Cool.” Blue says and hugs Andy goodnight.
Spence watches them as he’s talking to DeShawn. He can’t quite figure out what has changed between those two and if he should be concerned. They’ve been friends for a long while and Andy has always been protective but they are more tactile now and much, much closer. Maybe it’s the cooking Spence laughs to himself.
“So I don’t get the massive room to myself?” Robin asks when he comes in later.
“Sorry, I need some space to properly decompress and I could do with a chat.” Blue says.
“Sure thing.” Robin says stripping off and climbing in with Blue.
“Do you think things will work with George?” Blue asks.
“Do you want them to?” Robin asks wanting to stay neutral and find out what Blue really wants.
“I think so. I like George and I feel it should work but I’m not ready. I was selfish, I didn’t want anyone else to have him so I agreed to date no labels but it is already more than that with me meeting his parents. I know he wants more and I know he is prepared to wait for me to be ready but I feel an awful lot of pressure to be ready.” Blue explains.
“And you can’t just switch your feelings from Gervais to George.” Robin says.
“Why didn’t Gervais want me back?” Blue asks.
“I think he needs some time too. So much has happened to him. He has been emailing my mom a lot, they’re working together to find out more about his mom. Neither of them believe she had no other family. I don’t think he can be in a relationship at all right now. He needs to deal with all his feelings and his anger.” Robin says.
“I should have waited. I shouldn’t be with George. I should have stayed single and waited for Gervais to be ready.” Blue says.
“But you didn’t want to be alone.” Robin says.
“Gervais treated me badly and I thought I should never go back but it is so hard when I see him. He’s in my head so much.” Blue says.
“Gervais treated you badly before his dad died, all last year he kept you dangling on a thread. Don’t let what has happened to him cloud your judgement. I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever be together but maybe you should try being with someone who has always treated you well.” Robin says suddenly switching from team Gervais to team George in his head.
“I know. I know that if Gervais took me back, I’d always be waiting for him to find someone better. He has never chosen me when another option was available.” Blue says sadly.
“It’s hard. You two were so good together and we all wanted it to work out. I guess we need to step back some. Both Andy and I thought you should get back together because you’re meant to be but he left you even though you had a strong, loving relationship. If I had what you guys had I’d never let it go whatever was happening in my life. Gervais will never be happy with anyone if he can throw away something so great.” Robin says.
“It wasn’t that he threw it away it was that he didn’t even contemplate asking for a break or asking me to go with him. I don’t know if I can give George what he needs but you’re right I need to give up on Gervais because he isn’t worth it. I need to avoid him for a bit. I thought we could be friends but we either fight or get too close.” Blue says.
“I’ll help and so will George. Hell me and George are still working on out project with him which will give you time to hang out with the others without worrying about him being there.” Robin says.
“And I can find a new activity or club to join. What sport do you think I’d be good at?” Blue asks.
“What do you mean?” Robin asks.
“Well I was talking with DeShawn and I told him I never played team sports as my school was too small and he suggested I try.” Blue says.
“Let’s try a bunch together. I’m sure we can find some beginners clubs and DeShawn and Spence can help you with rules and tips.” Robin says.
“You’d do that for me?” Blue asks.
“For sure we should do something together, climbing was good but so much drama, it’ll be easier just you and me and if it’s a mixed club I can meet some girls.” Robin says.
“You need a new girlfriend. I’m so sad Emilie didn’t work out she was so nice when she was sober.” Blue says.
“I am ready for someone new.” Robin says.
“And until then you have me.” Blue says cuddling Robin close.
“I do.” Robin says and kisses his friend.
Blue wakes early, extracts himself from Robin, puts on swimming shorts, grabs a towel and heads up to the roof. He begins his yoga totally unselfconsciously under the morning sun, he loves being outdoors and spends longer than usual working every part of his body before relaxing on his back looking at the sky.
“Wow.” DeShawn says approaching.
“Early morning swim?” Blue asks.
“Yeah I love the mornings up here. You are the most flexible, muscular guy I have ever seen. Your chest is amazing, what do you lift?” DeShawn asks.
“Logs and spades. Andy and I spend a lot of time working people’s gardens, chopping wood and building fences this summer. Like I said I only worked out in the gym a few times last year for the first time.” Blue says and DeShawn laughs.
They get in the pool together and begin methodical laps, DeShawn is faster, being so much taller and in amazing shape helps but they don’t race just swim and swim until they’re done.
“That felt good.” DeShawn says as they dry off.
“Yeah I feel great.” Blue grins.
“Is it true you had never been in a pool before you got to school?” DeShawn asks.
“No but it was a good joke. I had mostly swum in the lake at home but I have been in pools too. I love to swim.” Blue says.
“Me too. I like having a workout partner, are you usually up early?” DeShawn asks.
“Yup, Gervais and I would do yoga most mornings last year. So much better doing it up here in the sun.” Blue says.
“Well if it’s raining use my workout area and we can do some cardio together after.” DeShawn says.
“Cool want to check out breakfast downstairs or do you make it up here?” Blue asks.
“Let’s go check it out.” DeShawn says.
They shower, dress and head downstairs together. DeShawn is relieved that the guys all seem cool and interesting. He was worried about who he might end up with and Blue, Andy and Spence are exactly the type of guys he wants to be friends with.
They both load up their plates and laugh at how much they both eat.
“It’s nice to be with someone who doesn’t eat like a bird. Though I don’t know how you can eat all those pancakes and have the body you do.” DeShawn says.
“Luck I guess. I’m an outdoors guy, never been one for sitting indoors. School can be tough for that, especially when I didn’t have a car.” Blue says.
“I get out for a run a couple of times a week. I like to drive out to the national park and just go. I get recognized too much close to campus and can’t get it done. I hate the treadmill.” DeShawn says.
“That sounds so good. I love to run but having Andy and Gervais around and then Robin I didn’t get out so much this summer.” Blue says.
“Once we’ve sorted our schedules we’ll sort something. I get so busy with school and practice and we have to do community service and mandatory tutoring if our grades are not sky high. That’s without factoring in games and all the travel. I’m so glad you guys have made the suite so homely and I’ll be able to just kick back with whoever is around.” DeShawn says.
“Sounds exhausting. You should get one of us assigned as your tutor so you can just study when you want.” Blue says.
“If only, we have a tutoring center and have to check in there. Everything is pretty regimented.” DeShawn says.
“Then we’ll have to get your grades sky high. Any help you need just ask. You’re rooming with smart guys, we all have top grades.” Blue says.
“You’re not shy about it.” DeShawn laughs.
“We’re in college, good grades should be everyone’s aim, else what are we paying for, or playing for in your case.” Blue laughs.
“It’s nice to hear it. The women’s teams, their coaches are all about academics and it’s pretty inspiring to listen to some of their team talks. Us we’re revenue guys and no one has any expectations of us academically, beyond enough for the team to compete.” DeShawn says.
“You’re too smart not to take advantage of this place. Though last year classes were so easy.” Blue says.
“I heard, I took the lightest load I could during season because I knew it would be hard to get homework done and I did more intense classes for summer school but they weren’t too bad, I thought it was just because I had more time to focus.” DeShawn says.
“Robin almost dropped out because classes sucked. I’m hoping its better this year or we’ll all start transferring.” Blue says.
“I bet you’re just super smart. You, George, Robin and Jesse just talking to you guys and seeing you talk to each other, you’re not normal smart.” DeShawn says.
“Ahh you’re not a dumb jock. Have some confidence.” Blue says.
“Thanks. I will and if I fail out I’ll blame you.” DeShawn laughs.
“I’m taking your advice, Robin and I are going to try some sports together, see what sticks.” Blue says.
“Robin has quite the body for a little guy, is he a gymnast?” DeShawn asks.
“I think he was for a while but he did cheer and wrestling in high school.” Blue says.
“Ahh with Spence, yeah you said. Cheer can be hardcore too, all that flipping and lifting. I hope you find something. I have always been on sports teams and its weird to me that you’ve never played.” DeShawn says.
“We all swim and run and do yoga at home. We never had pickup games of soccer, no one had a basketball hoop in their yard. We’d play volleyball or badminton at the lake sometimes but not that often. Just not part of our culture I guess.” Blue says.
“I love this, I love sitting here with a hot guy who has had an entirely different life to me but is charming enough to make me feel like we have loads in common and have known each other forever. You are something Blue.” DeShawn says as they clear their plates away and head back upstairs.
“Thanks, you are too. You’re so open. I think you’re great.” Blue says.
“Mutual appreciation society right here.” DeShawn laughs.
“Same time tomorrow?” Blue asks.
“For sure.” DeShawn smiles, he can’t believe how well things are going, its so nice to be accepted without question.
“Andy you getting up.” Blue shouts knocking on his door later.
“In a minute.” Andy replies and Blue sits down and flicks through tv channels.
“Hey you going out?” George asks.
“Yeah to see Deke with Andy. We still on for our date?” Blue asks.
“Yes. Looking forward to it.” George says, he feels shy around Blue sometimes. Not sure quite where the lines are with their not quite together, not apart situation.
Blue gets up and hugs George close and kisses his forehead.
“More.” George says with a smile and Blue kisses him deeply.
“Are you going out?” Blue asks.
“Breakfast and exploring this building.” George says.
“I’m ready.” A disheveled Andy emerges.
“See you later babe.” Blue says kissing George again and leaving with Andy.
“I need coffee.” Andy says cramming some of Blue’s cookies in his mouth.
“You like those?” Blue asks.
“Classic choc chip, perfect.” Andy smiles crumbs flying everywhere.
The guys grab coffees and meet Deke outside his building. They give him an unofficial tour and hear all about his road trip with his mom.
“Sounds like a good time.” Blue says.
“It was, we had so much fun together away from the others.” Deke says.
“Did your brothers come home?” Blue asks.
“Not yet and my dad and sister are managing everything pretty well.” Deke says.
“Just them for the whole farm?” Andy asks.
‘No there are loads of farm hands, but they’re running things together and my sister really appreciates being given a real shot without my brothers pushing her around.” Deke says.
“How are your roomies?” Blue asks.
“Okay, bit full on. I’m really happy I got the single because I need to retreat from it at times.” Deke says.
“Already? You’re welcome at ours any time.” Andy says.
“Thanks but I need to make my own friends.” Deke says.
“We are your friends.” Blue laughs.
“You know what I mean, I need to make my own college friends and not just latch on to your social group, however easy that would be.” Deke says.
“I get it. It is hard though. I found it hard to be superficial while getting to know people.” Blue says.
“Luckily for Blue he lived with me and I am an oversharer.” Andy laughs.
“I do want to hang out sometimes.” Deke says.
“We have a really hot guy in our suite. So, so hot.” Blue says.
“You liiiiiiike him.” Andy says smiling.
“In a friendly way.” Blue says.
“Just because you’re with George doesn’t mean you can’t find someone else attractive.” Deke says.
“This is breaking news, for the first time ever Blue is attracted to a man who isn’t super petite.” Andy says.
“He’s universally hot, you should have seen him in the pool this morning.” Blue says.
“Did you do your yoga in your pants up there?” Andy asks.
“In my swim shorts, I’m not that much of a show off.” Blue says.
“So was he all glistening muscles?” Andy asks.
“Yeah nothing else on him. He’s amazing.” Blue says.
“A real crush from Blue.” Deke laughs.
“Are any of the guys you’re sharing with hot?” Blue asks putting the focus on Deke.
“Not my type.” Deke says unable to stop himself looking at Andy.
“Want us to take you out? We’d be great wingmen.” Blue says.
“I’ll be okay. Maybe in a few weeks. I’m glad I have you guys here. Blue I don’t know how you did this alone last year. Knowing I have you guys if I need you means the world to me.” Deke says feeling embarrassed that he’s being mushy.
“Hey we are both going to need you too. You’ll be the go to place when the suite gets too much.” Blue says.
“Come over whenever.” Deke says.
“Is it lunch time yet?” Andy asks.
“Is it ever not meal time for you?” Blue laughs.
“Lets eat outside.” Deke says.
They grab to go boxes and sit in the sunshine eating and chatting about classes and things they want to do this semester.
“I best get back and be social.” Deke says.
“See you soon.” Blue says and Andy kisses Deke’s cheek.
“Is Deke what you need to talk about?” Blue asks once Deke is out of earshot.
“No, not really. Deke was fun and I know he’s in to me and I should stop encouraging him because I’m not going to be his boyfriend.” Andy says.
“So you’re struggling to reconnect with Spence?” Blue asks.
“Yeah. Not because I was with Deke or he was with George but we’re disagreeing over things and sometimes I just don’t like him very much. I missed him like crazy this summer but now we’re back together I am having doubts.” Andy says.
“You had those doubts this time last year and you nearly lost hm for good.” Blue says.
“I know. I feel like Spence grew a lot last year and I grew a lot since the crash. This summer working with you and spending time with you and Gervais I felt envious of what you had. I know it imploded and I don’t want to make you feel worse about that. The way Gervais would talk about your future kids and business I want that. I want exactly that and I don’t see Spence having that life with me.” Andy says.
“The future is forever away. And having amazing plans got me and Gervais nowhere.” Blue says.
“I know, but you two could reunite down the road. I am wondering if I need to end it with Spence to find the guy I want. I’m thinking maybe Spence isn’t my forever guy.” Andy says.
“You need to talk to him. You were so close before we left for the summer. You need to spend some proper time reconnecting. You’ve had so much going on with your families and you’ve just not had any decent time together. You have spent so much energy worrying about Katelyn and me and about your mom that you needed Spence to take care of you but he couldn’t because he had his own family stuff going on.” Blue says.
“You are right I know it and you know I love him but there is still that thing in my head that it’s not right. I mean Deke and I had a relationship this summer, however much I deny it, it was a relationship and I wasn’t in love with him but I care about him a lot.” Andy says.
“You used him as a substitute, if there had been other men around you might have explored further. I mean could Deke have been anyone?” Blue asks.
“I don’t know. I don’t want to date Deke. I really need some space from guys.” Andy says.
“So ask Jesse if you can use his room.” Blue says.
“I don’t know. What if I’m wrong and it’s just a blip? I don’t know that moving out even for a few nights would help if I want to make it work with Spence.” Andy says.
“You need spoiling. You need a massage and kissing all over and movies and treats.” Blue says.
“That’s the thing, I need that exactly. I need Spence to make me feel loved and secure right now but he hasn’t noticed I’m crumbling. You’re here for me, you know what I need. Why doesn’t Spence?” Andy asks.
“You’re putting up a front. You’re trying to be strong for all of us. Go talk to him. Tell him you’re close to the edge and for fucks sake push me away, because you can’t take on any more shit right now.” Blue says.
“I couldn’t leave you alone when you were so hurt and confused. You were there for me when I needed you in the biggest way and you’re here right now. I’m fucked off with Spence and I know I can’t expect him to be a mind reader, I know I should sort it out. I’m not sure I want to.” Andy says.
“Talk to him. You have to. You saw what Gervais not talking before dumping me did to me.” Blue says.
“For sure I owe him that much. It’s not like last year, I don’t want an open relationship. I don’t want to fuck around.” Andy says.
“Tell him. You have been together so long and you are still super attracted to him and it’s not like we have loads of choices.” Blue says.
“You have options right now.” Andy says.
“I have George.” Blue says.
“You have options.” Andy says holding Blue’s gaze.