Andy heads up to Deke’s farm and is soon immersed in the day to day running and tasks. Deke’s dad isn’t treating him like free labor but is making sure he shows Andy all aspects of his work and explains the reasons and traditions behind everything.
Deke’s dad and younger sister clearly love the farm and its way of life, they both prefer gradual change to big new schemes and have respect for traditional methods. Andy can see why there is a clash with the older brothers and understands their frustration. He sees both sides. The farm is doing well and has adapted to the market but more could be done.
Andy is eyed warily by the seasonal staff who are not sure if Andy is some sort of spy for the boss or not. He pitches in with the jobs assigned and leaves them when he’s called to see something new.
He works hard and loves every second.
After his first day he collapses into Deke’s bed exhausted.
“Finally some alone time.” Deke says annoyed nothing happened at the lake the week before and that he wasn’t invited on the camping trip.
“I’m tired Deke.” Andy admits. He and Chris had a phenomenal weekend camping, lots of playing in the woods, swimming naked and fishing. He and Chris actually get along really well. They have a lot in common and the sex was great, really great and he doesn’t want to go back to Deke right now.
“I could ride you, no effort on your part.” Deke says.
“No thanks.” Andy says and is asleep in seconds.
On the second day Chris picks Andy up on his way home and they soak in the tub together at Clara’s before making dinner together.
“You should get a hot tub.” Andy says over dinner.
“What do I need with a hot tub?” Clara asks with a smile.
“I’m aching and I bet Chris is too. You can get inflatable ones. After a long day a lovely soak under the stars with a nice glass of wine. You can’t object.” Andy says with his full charm.
“It’s a good thought.” Clara says with a smile. She loves having Andy back to help keep her from being too full on with Chris.
“It would be appreciated. The lake is great but cold.” Chris says.
“We should get one for the house too.” Andy says.
“Are you planning to live together?” Clara asks.
“I don’t know what I’m doing depends on the court case if I get to go back at all. Unless you’re willing to co-sign my loads.” Chris says.
“You absolved me of helping you the minute you tried to get Blue and Gervais removed from school. You won, they won’t be there next semester and as school and your parents didn’t see fit to punish you I have to. Although if your legal action works then you’ll be able to continue as if you did nothing wrong.” Clara says shocking Chris who had assumed he had won Clara round and stirring Andy who despite his current estrangement from Blue and entanglement with Chris feels good that Clara is sticking it to Chris for what he did.
“That’s the first time I’ve heard you stick up for Blue.” Andy says.
“Blue is very difficult to like and very easy to blame as in most situations he will be the root cause despite it seeming otherwise on the surface.” Clara says.
“Blue is very easy to like.” Andy says.
“Yet you’re not friends again. He has failed to sustain a romantic relationship for more than a few weeks, unlike you who had a long and successful one with Spence, who you are still friends with. Blue is just very bad at personal relationships and very hard work to be around.” Clara says.
Chris gulps at her candidness.
“Would you say the same of me?” Chris asks.
“I don’t know you that well. You don’t seem to have developed any long lasting friendships other than with your sister which is a dysfunctional relationship at best. You lasted with Gervais a lot longer than Blue did. Perhaps you’re very much the same and there is less in nurture than I’d like to believe.” Clara says.
“When you trash your son’s self-esteem so much that he is unable to find anything about himself that is likable, it is no wonder he can’t let himself be loved by a partner, or even his friends when he hates himself and believes, because of you, that he is thoroughly rotten and unlovable? I messed up our friendship, he wasn’t the root cause of our fall out I was, again.” Andy says sticking up for Blue and finally admitting to himself that he is totally in the wrong for their friendship breakdown.
“Our views differ very much. He has a long, long, way to go to understand how relationships work.” Clara says.
“You haven’t exactly shown him the way. You’ve never modelled a good relationship for him. Not yourself or your friends. You’ve paraded a stream of single women recovering from disasters in front of him and you’ve avoided being close with the intact families here. No wonder his first instinct in an argument is to flee. It’s all he knows.” Andy says.
“Your mother has only shown you unequal abusive relationships, she didn’t have friends around and Roe has been single most your life. Yet you managed a strong multi year relationship.” Clara counters.
“I had Robin and Jenna’s parents. Two strong couples who loved each other and showed it. Robin and Jenna too, the four of us navigated first love together. The only interactions Blue had with potential partners was the odd j o on Skype with a stranger.” Andy says.
“Blue’s boyfriend problems are with the guys he picks and not how he treats them. He might push too fast but Birch knew what he was getting, so did George and Gervais.” Chris says.
“He has flaws and you both know it, you’ve both had problems with him. I know my son isn’t perfect and I know that my honesty about him furthers your resolve Andy to rescue him. He doesn’t need rescuing he needs to learn how to fit in and how to make people comfortable.” Clara says.
“Jeeeeeeeeze she’s hard on him.” Chris says in bed later.
“Right and he’s still super nice.” Andy says,
“His mother actually doesn’t like him. I thought my parents were bad to Bea, they are bad to Bea but I’m sure she knows they love her. Clara doesn’t love Blue at all.” Chris says still unable to process the evening fully.
“She loves him, when he does what she says and keeps the drama down.” Andy says.
“How was the farm, how come you wanted picking up? Chucked you out already?” Chris asks not really wanting to talk about his twin in bed.
“It’s amazing I’m loving every minute but Deke wants my irresistible body and I don’t want his so it is better to sleep here. You have to start early so you can drive me.” Andy grins.
“Ah but I also want that body and will need payment.” Chris laughs cuddling Andy close.
“And you shall get it.” Andy grins he’s always ready for Chris.
He flips Chris over and in minutes is pushing in as he pushes Chris’s head into the mattress.
“You are good. You’re not Gervais good but I get the quantity I crave with you.” Chris says.
“Trying to reel me in with insults, getting me to try harder? You know I’m killing it.” Andy laughs.
“Maybe. This weekend was good.” Chris admits. He’s surprised how much he and Andy are craving each other, he thought it would be just a placeholder benefit until they smoked out someone else.
“This weekend was outstanding.” Andy grins.
“Okay it was. This fish sure were biting.” Chris grins and kisses Andy.
“Are we okay?” Andy asks Clara over breakfast worried about all his relationships imploding.
“Of course. I wouldn’t hold a grudge over a difference of opinion and I’m pleased despite your recent fall out you still care for Blue.” Clara says.
“Why haven’t Roe and Katelyn been over for dinner? I’ve barely seen them other than taking Katelyn to the party at the lake. She’s always vague.” Andy asks worried.
“This isn’t a conversation for now. We’ll talk tonight. Please don’t worry.” Clara says gently.
“Tonight?” Andy asks.
“Yes. I am happy you and Chris are becoming friends. He needs someone like you in his life.” Clara says just before Chris comes in.
“Hurry up.” Andy says to Chris with a smile. Chris bends and kisses Andy good morning before doing the same to Clara. It is such a Blue gesture that both Andy and Clara are taken aback for a second.
Chris east rapidly as Clara and Andy put together coffee and lunches to take with them.
“Have a good day boys.” Clara says and hugs them both.
As Chris pulls over to drop Andy off at the farm he tips Andy’s chin towards him and kisses him hard.
“Something to remember for later?” Andy grins.
“Yeah, go get muddy babe.” Chris says with a grin. Andy steals another quick kiss and heads up the track to start his day.
Chris isn’t sure what is happening between him and Andy. He feels a little like he’s met his match and knows that it is more than just sex. He likes Andy, it’s not like he’s a toy he’s stealing from Blue like Gervais was. Andy isn’t physically his type and he really doesn’t go in for the dom/sub sex that Andy has enjoyed in the past, but the sex they do have is great. Andy is an excellent lover, probably the best he’s ever had.
He’s much lower maintenance than Gervais, calls him on his bullshit and is so fucking sure of himself that he really turns Chris on sexually and intellectually. Chris likes that Andy is smart and expects him to be smart too, not in a Blue and Bea superbrain way but in a regular educated smart way. He is never patronizing and expects Chris to keep up. He’s super interested in the work Chris is doing too. “Damn I’m falling hard.” Chris mutters as he pulls up at the vets.
He has another day driving all over the countryside routine visits and a few sick animals. A lot of it is pretty mundane but Chris is hooked and ready to help any way he can, even if that is just driving and passing the vet a coffee.
“It sure is nice to have some company. And to be able to rest between calls. I might see if I can hire a driver once you go back to school.” The vet Angus says.
“Its been an honor, I’m so glad you were able to do this for me.” Chris says kissing ass a little much.
“I owe Clara a million favors, helping her son out is no trouble. You’ll have the hours you need for vet school in no time. You’ve done well having the shelter experience. Add this and all being well I’ll put you in touch with some friends with small animal practices. You’re not scared of shit or hard work I can see that already.” Angus says.
“Doesn’t bother me at all.” Chris grins.
“Good to hear.” Angus says.
That afternoon they attend to birth of a foal that is breach. Angus is incredibly calm and matter of fact throughout and Chris helps as much as he can and is totally overwhelmed. The sense of achievement and wonder is incredible and he feels so certain he’s on the right path.
“What do I need to do to get you to help me through college? How can I make it right?” Chris bursts out as they sit down to dinner that night.
“My goodness. Finally some fight and passion.” Clara says.
“I have to do this. I have to become a vet. I can’t leave college right now.” Chris says.
“We have a meeting with your lawyer next Friday. Andy you too. They’re both coming to the city to meet with us.” Clara says.
“Why me?” Andy asks.
“We have some things to sort with the trust.” Clara says and Andy nods.
“Will you help me?” Chris asks annoyed at the change of subject.
“No.” Clara says.
“No?” Chris asks shocked.
“I’m sure you’ll get this year’s tuition from your parents. You can ask your brother for a room and get a job to cover your living costs. Or you can take a year out and work and save.” Clara says.
“I don’t know how you can live with yourself.” Chris says.
“Same to you.” Clara says.
“Ask Spence or Gervais for a loan or to co-sign your loans.” Andy says.
“Don’t you dare go to Gervais.” Clara says fiercely.
“Why not?” Chris asks.
“You have messed with that boy enough.” Clara says and Andy feels bad for mentioning him thinking about how Chris targeted Gervais and then turned on him. Andy has a cold attack of conscious about what he’s doing with Chris. He knows Blue and Gervais are being friendly with Chris but he doesn’t know what their feelings are and he can’t help but feel that if he continues with Chris that he’ll lose them both.
“What about Roe and Katelyn? Why are they avoiding me?” Andy asks.
“It’s me they’re avoiding. Your mom is not keen on Katelyn seeing me and it has been confusing for her, having the three of us as parent figures. So I’ve taken a step back and your mother is living with them part time which is why they are selective about when they see or speak to you. I’m sorry.” Clara says.
“So my mom has made Katelyn choose between her and you. You and Roe have fallen out because the choice means I’m out with all of them. You’ve been delaying telling me because you hoped me being here would bring them round.” Andy says and all three are crying.
“But they came last week and you took Katelyn to the party.” Chris says.
“Katelyn has always been there for me. Risked her safety to go against mom and our stepdad and now I guess she’s at the age where she needs her mom more than her big brother.” Andy says.
“I’m sure it’s not like that and you will see more of her as the summer goes on. Take her and her friends camping and have some more bonding time.” Clara says gently.
“I don’t want to stop her from having a relationship with mom. Katelyn is the priority. I’m surprised Roe has given up on me though. Thanks for letting me stay here.” Andy says quietly.
“You know it’s your home no matter what.” Clara says.
“Fuck. Each of you guys makes me realize having money hungry fraudsters as parents isn’t so bad.” Chris says and they all smile through the tears.