Blue and Robin head Off to the for a few for the first Of wine tours leaving trio move to a guesthouse at Coogee beach, Bea feels perfectly safe sharing a room with the two and it works out only marginally more than a dorm would be. Birch and Grant are both drawing a lot and photographing everything for later pictures. When they are in creative mode they get along perfectly, when Grant is in rich boy mode not so much.
Bea and Birch find a lot of common ground and happily explore the tourist spots together and get a good feel of the city.
The three are enjoying the nightlife that Sydney has to offer and soon settle in to partying all night and recovering on the beach in the day. It’s not hot but warm enough for them to lie out and read or draw. They get along pretty well and decide to plan their trip together. None of them have any desire to go south with Blue. They figure they’ll head north and hit the tourist spots along the coast and meet Blue and Robin for the red center in a few weeks.
“We should buy a car and drive.” Grant says not wanting to deal with the greyhound.
“I’m down with that.” Bea says surprising Birch.
“Really? The bus passes are super cheap.” Birch says not sure he wants to be stuck in a car with these two all the time.
“Yeah but I don’t want to sleep on a bus all the time. Get a car and then we’re on our own schedule. We can stay at nicer places that are a bit out the way and we can change plans last minute.” Bea says.
“I guess. I just worry about the price of gas and not having a fixed budget.” Birch admits. Money is tighter for him than Bea, who is also on a limited budget but has a bit more flexibility.
“I will cover gas. Don’t sweat it. Worth it not to get a numb ass.” Grant says.
Birch nods but feels uneasy.
Robin and Blue are loving their time out of the city. Blue has booked a bunch of private tours and Robin is surprised at just how interesting he is finding it all. Blue asks more and more questions each tour he goes on and they end up being invited for dinner at several places and getting the warts and all stories which they both love.
They get emails from the trio about their plans and talk about how to balance things.
“We want to do these things too, we want to see Fraser island, we want to go sailing and we’d love to see the reef but I’d planned to do all that last.” Blue says.
“I’m happy with your plans. We’ll find people as we go. Bea is super safe with Birch, he won’t leave her behind anywhere.” Robin says.
“Agreed I just worry that it’s less fun for you. I’m okay if you want to join them.” Blue says.
“No, we’ve earmarked things I can do when I get bored of the tours. We’ll have a break in the middle to see the center before we head west. If I want to I can join them then.” Robin says.
“Cool, sounds good to me. I’m happy not to be around those 3.” Blue says honestly.
Birch is super disappointed that Blue isn’t going to change his plans but totally understands and throw himself into planning with Bea and Grant.
After a few nights staying late to watch and help Will train Spence starts to come in for the morning sessions too and joins in with the conditioning for support and to improve his own body. He’s fascinated by all the exercises that use your own bodyweight and whilst he can’t do half of what Will does he feels a real sense of accomplishment every day that he hasn’t had since he quit wrestling.
“You should have been a gymnast, you have a great work ethic.” Will says one morning.
“I loved wrestling, it was a great sport for me. I don’t know that I’d have been much good as a gymnast but I am happy to try your conditioning.” Spence grins.
“It’s nice to have you here. All my old team mates have retired or stayed up at school to train and it’s nice to have another guy with me. The girls are amazing and incredibly motivating but we train differently.” Will says and Spence nods.
“I’m learning so much. I love coaching the rec kids and the lower levels but I want to be able to take kids right through to the top one day. Learning from you and your coaches is incredible. I can’t believe the hours you put in.” Spence says.
“I love it. I love the sport, you have to. Anyone who doesn’t truly love it quits during high school. The scholarship money isn’t there for men like the women and coaching won’t make many rich so the incentives are not there unless you’re Olympic track and to be on that track you have to love it.” Will laughs.
“Are you going to coach?” Spence asks.
“I want to be an agent. I want to help raise the profile of men’s gymnastics, make some superstars like the big name swimmers.” Will says.
“That’s cool.” Spence says surprised.
“Do you want your own gym one day?” Will asks.
“I don’t know. I kind of like the idea of working as a club coach and not having the responsibilities of ownership. But being my own boss would be cool. If I found the right business partner then maybe.” Spence says.
“That Ocean kid, do you always cover his fees?” Will asks throwing Spence off guard.
“How did you find out?” Spence asks.
“I was in the office the other day and I saw your check for his day camp fees. He’s promising, that trio are causing a stir.” Will says.
“He is. His mom is a good friend and I got him into this on the cheap weekend sessions run by the college team. He loved it so a friend and I offered to pay for more classes for his Christmas gift. Now I cover it and my friend covers his uniform and extras and another friend helps Cheryl make it to meets and things. He’s a little brother to us and we’re glad to be able to help.” Spence explains. He loves Ocean and Cheryl and like Blue and Gervais considers them family. Cheryl has been a great role model for him as a parent and businesswoman and Spence feels far closer to her than either of his parents.
“That’s really cool. Must be nice to be able to afford it, as a student. You don’t make much here.” Will says.
“I volunteer here, in all my coaching jobs. It’s mutually beneficial, I’m useful as a solid, strong spotter to have on hand and I get to learn a lot about coaching.” Spence says not wanting to delve into his finances with someone he barely knows.
“And now you’re helping me out. You’re pretty special.” Will says with a grin and Spence’s heart flutters.
Spence gets up and goes to get a drink of water. He needs to shake off this crush. He never has straight guy crushes, they’re just not him. He’s not even usually drawn to good looks. Grated he’s had fun with DeShawn and Blue but he loved Andy and it is always personality that draws him first.
Maybe it is the work ethic along with the killer body that is such a great combination. Maybe he’s just crushing on someone out of reach because deep down he knows he isn’t ready for anything new.
The breakup with Andy was months and months ago but Spence is still struggling with the finality of it. That Andy is happier without him hurts his ego but also his heart. Despite his ambitious shell Spence has a huge heart and capacity for love and he really, really misses sharing his life with someone. He misses Blue and Robin too. His friends had done a great job filling in that gap for him and since Jesse’s murder everything has been off between them. He really hopes that time will heal everything this summer.
Thoughts of his friends sober him up and he heads back into the gym to work with Will. They work together with the kids after and have a blast. They are two popular figures in the gym, Will the hero champion gymnast and Spence the young coach with a hundred different games for conditioning.
Ocean as always loves it when one of his big brothers leads his class and he works doubly hard to make his big brother proud.
“Can Spence come for dinner tonight?” Ocean asks Cheryl at pickup time.
“I’m not training tonight, so no need to stay on my account. Not that you need to any night.” Will says overhearing.
“I’d love to. Will why don’t you come too?” Spence suggests before he can stop himself and Ocean’s eyes bug out of his head.
“Sure beats going home alone.” Will says.
“Do your parents not live here?” Spence asks.
“No I moved here to train when I was 12 and lived with host families. I sublet a studio for the summer.” Will says.
“I had the opposite adolescence, my parents moved out and left me behind.” Spence grins.
“This food is delicious. Thanks so much for including me.” Will says over dinner in the café and Spence melts again at his fine manners.
“Will is the bestest ever gymnast mom.” Ocean says. He’s perched himself on Spence’s knee and is drinking his usual banana smoothie.
“I’m not the best ever. Best at our club.” Will says enjoying a bit of hero worship.
“Spence is the bestest coach and he is my big brother but Blue is my bestest big brother and he is in Australia leaving me all alone with no yoga teacher.” Ocean sings and Spence and Will laugh at his silliness.
“Blue sent you two postcards already. He is taking a well-earned vacation.” Cheryl says.
“He’s doing okay?” Spence asks.
“He saw a kangaroo and the ocean. Do you have a boyfriend Will?” Ocean asks.
“He might have a girlfriend.” Cheryl says.
“Oh yes do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend or intersex friend or alien friend?” Ocean asks.
“No I’m single. Do you have a special friend?” Will asks.
Drat Spence thinks, he was sure Will had a girlfriend and now he doesn’t know for sure he’s straight.
“I did have 2 girlfriends and 3 boyfriends but we broke up as summer is long and I’m going to the retreat after gym camp.” Ocean says seriously.
“I’m sure you’ll make some new ones next semester.” Spence says.
“Will you and Blue be boyfriends?” Ocean asks always wanting to match make his big brothers.
“No. I thought you wanted Blue to marry Gervais?” Spence says.
“I do but they broke up ages and ages and ages ago and mom says they’re not going to be together. I want Blue to have a boyfriend because he gets lonely. Birch was mean to him so he needs a new boyfriend and you’re nice and you need a boyfriend.” Ocean says.
“1 love that you want your friends to be happy but you know that you can’t ask them to date.” Cheryl says weary, it’s clear she and Ocean have had this conversation before.
“It’s nice that he cares so much.” Will says.
“You could be Spence’s boyfriend.” Ocean says.
“No more.” Cheryl says shutting the conversation down. Spence doesn’t dare catch Will’s eye in case he gives his feelings away.
“Sorry Ocean was intrusive. Since my friends Blue and Gervais broke up he’s been trying to fix everyone’s relationships.” Spence says as they walk to their cars.
“No problem. He’s a really sweet kid, young for his age but that means he fits right in with most gymnasts.” Will says.
“See you tomorrow.” Spence says and heads home crush growing stronger and stronger. A guy who humors Ocean is right at the top of his list.
Gervais has settled in to a routine. AB is working 3 long days a week and W works late most nights. Taking care of two kids is not easy but he enjoys it and the kids love him. The baby adjusts to Gervais quickly and Tommy loves having someone who will play with him all day.
Each week they go to story time at the library, to events in the park and Gervais meets other nannies and au pairs. He starts to get a social life around the kids and meets with friends so the kids can have playdates.
He and an English au pair called Danny start to hang around a lot. Danny has four year old twins to look after, a boy and a girl. Tommy enjoys playing with them and so they have them over for pool time and lunch a couple of times a week.
AB is working from home while they visit and is delighted at how well Tommy is playing with the twins. She comes out to hang around the pool and picks up the baby from Gervais.
“I hope you don’t mind us coming over so often. As guys its hard to get included with the other nannies.” Danny says.
“Not a problem at all. I totally understand its hard that you two don’t fit with the stay at home parents or the full time nannies. I want Tommy to be social and he seems to enjoy playing with the twins.” AB says.
“I wasn’t sure if they liked Tommy or the pool but I think it’s both.” Gervais laughs.
“Danny seems to like you too.” AB says over dinner that night.
“Nah, he’s just a flirt. He flirted with you too.” Gervais laughs.
“Ah true. I just think it would be good if you had some nights out.” AB says.
“Am I here too much? I can have dinner in my room.” Gervais asks worried.
“I love having your company. Goodness knows I rarely see W for dinner in the week. But it is summer and you need to let loose. You’ll not disturb us coming in late, that’s why you’re in the pool house.” AB says.
“I’ve had a lot of drama recently. I’ve been enjoying gaming and reading. It’s been nice to be myself and chill. Plus your two tire me out a lot.” Gervais laughs.
“Then at least get out and explore the city on your days off.” AB says.
“I will. I have therapy on my days off and that exhausts me to be honest. I need to get out the mornings before my appointments.” Gervais sighs.
“That sounds like a plan.” AB grins.
DeShawn and Magnus have a date at the ballet. DeShawn has dressed up smartly and Magnus has a smile a mile wide with his s boyfriend on his arm. They are sharing a box with Magnus parents and so he’s a little nervous about them meeting. He needn’t have been Magnus dad is a huge fan of DeShawn and is delighted that he’s with them.
DeShawn pops to the restroom before the start.
“My goodness he’s a step up from that Andy, charming as he was, DeShawn is a superstar. My goodness what a catch,” Magnus dad says shaking his head.
“Did you not realize that DeShawn was one of the guys who I’d moved in with?” Magnus asks bemused.
“I just didn’t put it together. Well son am really proud of you,” Magnus dad says.
“Over my choice of boyfriend? You’re okay with him not being like us?” Magnus asks.
“Greats transcend background, and he’s here tonight dressed well and speaking properly. You’ve chosen well.” Magnus father says.
*He chose me, Spence introduced us.” Magnus says.
DeShawn returns along with Magnus mother, they’ve clearly been having a great chat also and sit down with big smiles on their faces.
Magnus and DeShawn hold hands, DeShawn squeezes hard during the emotional parts and is visibly moved, Magnus is surprised and then kicks himself for being so prejudiced. Why shouldn’t DeShawn be moved? Why wouldn’t a smart educated man enjoy the performance?
There is no naughty intermission action. DeShawn makes polite conversation and is a real hit with Magnus family.
When they get home DeShawn undresses Magnus like an exquisite gift. They make love slowly and carefully, kissing and touching and savoring every moment.
“That was beautiful,” Magnus says as they rest.
“You got you a man who can do both.” DeShawn grins.
“My parents really like you. You charmed my mom and my dad is a huge fan. I think if he’d realized it was you I was living with for the summer he’d have been over a lot.” Magnus smiles.
“I liked them. I was worried it was going to be nasty but it was a lot easier than I thought. It’s funny they do all these things to support the arts except support your brother.” DeShawn says.
“I know. Hypocrite central my parents. If he makes it big just watch them change their tune and watch him disown them.” Magnus says.
“Are you free this weekend? Can we have some proper time together?” DeShawn asks.
“Yes I am. I’ve put my foot down over weekend work. I just don’t care if it hurts me, half the people I work with will be burnt out by the time I graduate law school. If I even go.” Magnus says.
“What are you thinking?” DeShawn asks.
“That I’d rather be an accountant.” Magnus replies truthfully.
“As long as you don’t start wearing cheap suits.” DeShawn laughs.
“It’s just I’m okay with repetitive and I’m okay with putting the work in but I hate the politics and crazy competition.” Magnus says.
“You’re amazing and smart and beautiful and all mine. You can do anything. Be what you want to.” DeShawn says.
“Thanks. It means a lot to have your support.” Magnus says.
“I am falling for you. Big time. I’ve missed having a boyfriend and I think you’re a really sweet one. You’re so complex, so many things. I love that.” DeShawn says.
“You too. I was mad at myself earlier for thinking patronizing thoughts about you at the ballet and when I pushed them out I realized just how lucky I was to have you with me. So proud to have you on my arm, not because you’re an athlete, because you’re a good man.” Magnus says.
“All the feels baby.” DeShawn says and kisses his man.
“I love you sweaty from the gym and I love you all clean and dressed up and everything in between. I love being over your knee and held in your arms.” Magnus says and then blushes realizing what he’s said and how it’s too soon.
“I love you too. I don’t care if it’s too soon. When you know, you know, right?” DeShawn asks and Magnus melts.
“I know for sure.” Magnus whispers into DeShawn’s chest and DeShawn grins and feels his smile flood his body head to toe.
DeShawn knows this is real and he feels amazing. He cuddles Magnus close and breathes in his sexy scent.
Andy has just ploughed Chris out in the woods. It’s the third time today and he cannot believe they have been at it like bunnies since that first night. It’s Friday and they both start working on Monday. They have one more job to do and then they’re off camping for the weekend. Andy has plans, big sexy plans.