“It’s my day off.” Will says waking slowly next to Blue. They cuddled a lot in the night and Will feels so good.
“You want to do anything? I bet you need to just chill. Your muscles must ache.” Blue says.
“You offering to stay in bed with me?” Will asks with a grin.
“I am pretty tired.” Blue says and pulls Will close.
“You’re toying with me.” Will says.
“Sorry. I have sleepovers all the time with my friends.” Blue says.
“I love it. I love how you’re affectionate with everyone and they are with you. If I didn’t have such a huge crush on you I’d be totally happy with this tactile friendship.” Will says.
“I don’t want you to be unhappy.” Blue says.
“Same. I know you’re conflicted and we only have a short time. I’ll suck it up and enjoy being with a friend who kisses me good morning.” Will grins and lays one on Blue. They pull apart quickly aware the spark is so strong. They snuggle and fall back to sleep.
Down the street Andy and Chris are waking up. Or rather Andy is waking Chris with a super hard fuck.
“Thanks baby.” Chris says when they’re done.
“Love your ass.” Andy says kissing Chris on the shoulder.
“Let’s go get mcdonalds breakfast then help my sister move. I have had a huge craving for every fast food going since we got back to town.” Chris says.
“I am in.” Andy says jumping out of bed and helicoptering his dick.
Chris looks at him and laughs and laughs.
“This is so good.” Andy says licking the grease from his fingers.
“So good.” Chris grins.
“With you I can be a normal college student. I love it. We’ll be ordering in normal not fancy pants stuff and I can get generic chips and not be frowned at.” Andy says.
“I love the fake Cheetos.” Chris grins.
“But you like fancy stuff.” Andy says.
“For clothes and gadgets but not for food.” Chris shrugs.
“I do want to cook to keep costs down. Maybe get Blue in to help me make a pot of soup to freeze.” Andy says.
“Momma has brought us both basic mealcards so we can have a massive lunch at school then not much for dinner. You can make your bread.” Chris says.
“I can, for you.” Andy grins his life still revolves around his stomach and his d.
“I’m kinda sad we can’t have lunch together. You better not be off ogling hotties.” Chris says.
“Send me some good nudes and I’ll be fine.” Andy grins.
They laugh and head over to the apartment to get Bea. DeShawn, Magnus, Grant and Birch have everything down and she’s loading her car. Chris and Andy quickly fill Chris’s car too.
At the house the other guys come down and help unload.
“You know 5 of us in one house and you all alone. You should have George and Dylan in yours.” Bea says.
“That doesn’t work for me.” Blue says simply.
“Come on sis he’s let you have a room at all. Don’t be asking for more. This is literally costing you your share of the heat and cable, which momma will no doubt pick up if you behave.” Chris is surprised at her reaction but knows he would have done the same a few months ago.
“I can’t believe you call her momma.” Bea says shaking her head.
“No? Would you be more comfortable if I called her Clara? Mom? Her? She’s been more of a parent to me this year than our own have in 20 years and you know it.” Chris says and Bea sighs. She is finding it very hard that her parents were the ones to cut contact with her and not her with them
Gervais sees Blue is uncomfortable, takes his hand and leads him back to his house, Will following behind quickly. The three sit on the couch together.
“You need a tv.” Gervais says.
“Not for just me.” Blue says.
“I can’t believe there are 3 of you. So weird. Is she always so mean?” Will asks.
“Yes. Unless she wants something. She is super manipulative.” Gervais says.
“You were the one who guilted me in to letting her stay.” Blue complains.
“I just understand why she is like that. And you get points with Clara for doing it and you know it. You don’t have to see her again.” Gervais says.
“You two are super close. I love how you call each other out.” Will says.
“Let’s go to a movie. I’ll call Robin too. 4 of us singles go see some silly comedy or something.” Blue says.
“Sounds perfect.” Will grins happy to stick to a low key day and hoping they can at least hold hands in the theatre.
“What about Spence?” Gervais asks.
“Meh.” Blue says and Will grins.
“I’ll call Robin.” Gervais grins happy that Blue is keeping some of his backbone intact.
The four happily head to the theatre and Will grabs Blue’s hand in the dark and Blue doesn’t let go, and pulls Will’s head onto his shoulder making Gervais and Robin grin. They go for frozen yogurt after and chat about the movie and classes they plan to take. Robin and Gervais will be taking a lot together and are keen to revive their game project with George.
“What are you studying Will?” Robin asks.
“Business management. I want to be a sports agent when I’m done.” Will says.
“Cool.” Gervais says.
“What about you Blue? These two are clearly going to be code bunnies.” Will asks.
“I want to make wine. Have a vineyard and produce wine. I know its years away and I’ll probably teach yoga and do catering while I save.” Blue says.
“Wow. I can see you doing that.” Will says picturing Blue cooking in a big farmhouse kitchen.
“He is going to do it. He visited so many wineries this summer in Australia and stole all their secrets.” Robin grins. They all love Blue’s dream and want him to succeed.
“So that’s why you went to a country having winter during summer break.” Will says and laughs.
“So are you two official now?” Robin asks as Will has his arm around Blue.
“We’re just tactile friends.” Will grins.
“You’re so cute together. I wish you were at school closer.” Gervais says.
“You are like the coolest ex.” Will says.
“We’re stuck with each other. Us three.” Blue grins.
“Yup. Especially being single. I can’t believe George and Chris are in relationships and I’m not.” Robin sighs.
“You’ll wow the girls next week and have dates every night.” Blue grins.
“I know.” Robin smiles.
“You’re bi right?” Will asks.
“Yeah I enjoy some physical stuff with men but only feel romantic to women.” Robin says.
“You look so much lighter now you’ve worked through all that. I love how confident you are with yourself now. I mean you were always confident with girls but admitting to yourself and us that you’re not limited to girls has given you a glow.” Gervais says.
“I know. I am fully confident in who I am and I don’t need to run off after any experience, I can just enjoy it for what it is.” Robin says with a smile.
“You look better too G. Our friend was murdered last semester and it hit us all hard. I think we’ve all spent the summer healing in our own way.” Blue explains to Will.
“Spence told me a little. Explains why you’re all so reluctant to leave anyone out. Even if they are annoying cockblockers.” Will laughs.
“That’s true. We’re all super aware but I’ll still be keeping my distance from Spence for a while.” Blue says.
“I’ve been avoiding him in the gym. Summer classes are over now so I’ll be done training before he arrives for work.” Will says.
“You have an amazing body.” Gervais says.
“I work really, really hard.” Will says.
“Hey G the art studio works well as a yoga studio if you want to come down in the mornings before school.” Blue says.
“I would love that. I was so lucky this summer. W and AB put me in their pool house so I did my yoga poolside in the morning and swam before dealing with the kids. I loved it.” Gervais says.
“I bet exercise helps with your anxiety.” Will says.
“For sure. Blue introduced me to yoga when I was close to my worst, multiple panic attacks a day, not able to be in a group for long and he showed me how to have control over my body and my breathing and it has helped more than anything.” Gervais says and Blue smiles and Will and Robin grin with pride.
“You helped yourself. I am so proud of how far you’ve come given the setbacks.” Blue says.
Andy has retreated to his room as Chris helps Bea unpack and talks to her properly about the money and their parents.
“So still no word from them at all?” Chris asks.
“Nothing since I left for Australia. I have tried calling and I emailed them with pictures from the road but nothing. I ended up calling some friends from high school just to make sure they were still alive.” Bea says.
“I drove by the grandparents when we went to get the cars and they were partying. Thought they had got away with it. Conned momma and me.” Chris says.
“Yeah. I bet they never gave any money for college, I know for sure that Lyndsay doesn’t have anything from them. I don’t know why they medaled.” Bea says.
“I thought maybe it was to get to momma. But I don’t know that it was. You know if they did get the money from dad mom could divorce him and then get it all back.” Chris says.
“They genuinely wanted to meet Blue you know. The day they did they showed real emotion, it wasn’t fake but I think since he pretty much rejected them they shut down. They knew they could lose me to Clara and they didn’t care. I don’t think they ever dreamed you would chose her.” Bea says.
“I am glad we have Clara, I’m glad you messed things up and we got to meet her and not just because of what she did for me this summer or because she’s paying for my tuition. She’s really smart and interesting. I’ve no idea why she is so down on Blue but other than that she’s amazing.” Chris says.
“I’m glad she’s giving me another chance and that she gave me the summer off. It didn’t work in getting me and Blue back on track but I had so much fun. I have never had that kind of hedonistic spring break type fun and I did. I let loose. I drank and sailed and snorkeled and had the best time.” Bea grins and Chris can’t help but smile back at his nerdy sister admitting she needed to let loose.
“And lots of sex.” Chris says.
“Yeah, but just with Grant. A rich kid artist. So far my type its unreal.” Bea says.
“So was Robin.” Chris says.
“Underneath the cute Robin is very, very smart.” Bea says.
“I guess. Blue only has smart friends. Have you noticed that?” Chris says.
“Even DeShawn is smarter than most the athletes on campus.” Bea says.
“Is Grant dumb?” Chris asks.
“He is not at all academic. At all. I think Magnus got all the brains and not in the way you were insecure about your smarts way.” Bea says.
“I did amazing in finals last semester, Gervais and Blue are so good at studying they helped me and DeShawn focus so much.” Chris says.
“Do you think I need to apologize to Blue, for how things went over winter break?” Bea asks.
“Yes.” Chris says without even thinking.
“We never apologize to each other.” Bea says.
“Well we kind of have been, in our sessions with momma.” Chris says and Bea smirks again as he calls her that.
“You sound 5 when you say it.” Bea says.
“It’s a good distinction from mom. I was calling Clara mom but I don’t know it morphed.” Chris says.
“It’s like we have lesbian mothers.” Bea says.
“Just the one.” Chris laughs.
“She had a boyfriend back in the day.” Bea says.
“This is gross but she and Willow like each other. I doubt anything will happen because of Cheryl but Willow is seriously in to her.” Chris says.
“Ew.” Bea says.
“Right totally grim.” Chris says.
“Can I tell Birch?” Bea asks.
“Why are you still friends with him?” Chris asks.
“He’s good fun. He was great to travel with to be honest. We’re really good friends now.” Bea says.
“l thought he was a good guy, like a bit of a goody two shoes like Blue but he was a total asshole at the end.” Chris says.
“And you were a saint when Gervais dumped you.” Bea laughs.
“I guess. What do you think of Andy?” Chris asks.
“I think he has tamed you and that’s no bad thing. I was expecting you to come home with stories of seducing the vet and instead you came back properly in love.” Bea says.
“The vet was old and had bo issues. I mean he was awesome and I got to do so much and he’s given me an amazing letter of recommendation. I helped with births and watched a day of insemination. The whole conception, birth, death cycle.” Chris says.
“If nothing else Clara has really helped you out with your confidence and ambition. I have to love her
“I know that she can change like the wind and she can be stubborn and almost vindictive but she has done me the best turn. That is why it is less of a deal the parents rejecting me. She sees more in me than anyone has, good and bad.” Chris says.
“I have been close to giving up on our parents for years. It just grates that they cut me off and not the other way around.” Bea says.
“You backing me on the lawsuit was you cutting them off. That is the story we tell.” Chris says.
“I want to call Aunt Val. I speak to Lyndsay now and then, she wants to come and stay for a few days while she tours schools. I think I should call Val and Uncle Leonard and let them know we’re okay.” Bea says.
“Do you think they’ll care?” Chris asks.
“I don’t know. We never got along great but I expect our grandparents played us all off against each other, mom and Val too.” Bea says.
“I guess. Lyndsay and Callum are good kids I don’t want to lose touch completely.” Chris says of their oldest cousins.
“Do you think Blue would host Val? If she wanted to come too?” Bea asks.
“Lyndsay could come in with you and Auntie Val have the spare room. But it would be nicer for her at Blues. I’ll ask him and you sort out dates.” Chris says.
“What can I get Blue to ease the path to forgiveness? Its not like I can bake him a cake.” Bea asks.
“I’d go with some plants. He has made himself a little kitchen herb garden. I’d get him some chili plants or similar he can grow in the other window. Andy is planting vegetable gardens in both houses as part of his redemption. Maybe you could buy him a tree.” Chris says.
“Can we go shopping together for that? I love the tree idea. Let’s do both between us, some to say sorry and some as thanks for our rooms.” Bea says.
“After classes tomorrow?” Chris asks.
“Yeah are we going to car pool?” Bea asks.
“Yeah once we know everyone’s schedules there are us 2, George, Dylan, Spence and DeShawn so we should be able to save on gas big time.” Chris says.
“Cool. Clara has actually been really generous with my allowance. She covered the summer without complaint, because of Birch we stuck to budget options so it wasn’t excessive and has set up a monthly allowance as long as I do my volunteering and given me money upfront for supplies and a meal card. I kind of feel bad that she’s done so much.” Bea says.
“I have the same, plus my summer money. I didn’t expect the allowance. She said she thought we should be more like normal affluent students for a bit, that it would make us less material or something. I don’t know, sometimes she’s crazy.” Chris says.
“It’s not guilt money. I think she thinks you’ll stop being jealous of what others have if you have the option to have things yourself.” Bea says.
“I spoke to Andy about it. I never feel like she’s buying us. She always makes it clear that she will cut us off without regret if she thinks we need to be. But at the same time she has kind of bought us.” Chris says.
“Maybe. It’s funny I always thought Clara might be the key to family for me, that she would be my real mom. You always saw her as money and nothing more. And it turns out she’s a real mom to you and money to me.” Bea says.
“We need some patience. You wanted everything now, an instant connection and relationship. In a year I bet you two will be really close and it will be forever. She’ll encourage you in your graduate studies and you’ll click together over being smart or something. Travel she always wanted to travel more. I bet if you go and study in Italy or Iceland she’ll come visit and you’ll bond. Especially with Willow and Roe able to handle things up there, she can go away more.” Chris says.
“When did you get so smart and so sensitive? Where’s my brother gone?” Bea jokes and Chris laughs.
Andy hears the laughter and smiles. He really wants Chris to have a healthy relationship with both his siblings. He doesn’t like Bea much but figures if Chris can change she can.
“Can we go to buy some plants tomorrow after class? Me and Bea want to get some things for Blue. I know you have orders coming next weekend but can we go get some indoor things?” Chris asks.
“And a tree.” Bea says.
“Sure thing. I’ll text you where. He’ll love it, that’s really thoughtful.” Andy says with a big grin.
The following evening the three knock on Blue’s door and go straight in. Will grins at them, it’s clear already that Blue has an open door policy whether he wants it or not.
“He’s in the shower. Want to join us for dinner? Blue has made a mountain of soup.” Will says.
“Something smells good. Is he baking cheesebread?” Andy asks taking a big sniff of the air.
“How did you know?” Will asks.
“Ah I know all Blue’s best bakes.” Andy grins.
“So consensus is I really do owe you an apology, I know it’s more than one how I acted on our trip to you and I know it’s way too late. So I got you this dwarf avocado tree and a pepper plant to say sorry.” Bea says when Blue comes in catching him totally off guard.
“And this little lemon tree is from all of us as a housewarming gift. Though your house is already a warm home. How did you do it?” Andy asks.
“Will helped, he has a great eye for arranging rooms.” Blue says with a smile. He hugs and thanks all three of them for the perfect gifts.
“Those trees will work in the studio.” Will says.
“I was thinking that, and the chili’s in here. Please stay for soup, its goat cheese and red pepper.” Blue says.
“Will already asked and I’d have stayed anyway as soon as I smelled that bread.” Andy laughs and starts to get out extra bowls and spoons as if he was at home.
“Bea these were really thoughtful. Thank-you.” Blue says taking her aside as Will and Andy manage dinner.
“I asked Chris what you’d like. We thought these would be loved and used.” Bea says.
“I hope I can keep them alive, the/ re perfect. Hatchet buried.” Blue says.
“Thank-you. It’s been one hell of a year.” Bea says.
“I hope things are more even now.” Blue says.
“How did you have time to make bread and soup?” Bea asks.
“Oh my classes start next week. Just had to confirm registration today.” Blue says.
“Nice. You could have stayed in Australia longer.” Bea says.
“I was ready for home. I had a great time though.” Blue says.
“Me too. Loved every minute, bar our fight. I didn’t get to thank you properly for the Red Centre tour, it was perfect, just perfect. Grant and Birch have been so inspired, they have some amazing photographs in their new place that Grant has blown up.” Bea says and Blue nods.
“Come on and eat.” Andy says putting the bread into a basket.
“This is too good.” Bea says.
“I missed this bread, you’ve not made it in forever. We need a day together to swap all our summer news, I need to tell you about the produce and you need to tell me about the wine. Was it amazing?” Andy asks.
“It was. I wished you were there at times, even though we weren’t talking. I wanted to discuss all the methods with you.” Blue says.
“Same with the vegetables. I had an amazing time and Chris and I worked a farmers market in the city and we sold everything in record time.” Andy grins.
“Andy did, he has a real gift for selling weird vegetables.” Chris laughs.
“We need to sort out cars, as we’re not going to be going in the same direction.” Blue says worried.
“Bea and I will get rides with the others so Andy will always have one of ours to use.” Chris says.
“Oh good.” Blue grins he had been a bit stressed about everything.
“Why are you eating with your left hand?” Bea asks.
“They’re holding hands in secret. Its loooooooooooove.” Andy grins and Will and Blue blush.