Blue and Will are sat in the kitchen eating another omelet, Will asked that they had another meal at home rather than go out. Blue is happy to stay home, he loves how much Will loves his house and his food.
“We should work out the next few weeks.” Will says.
“Yeah, I’ve been sent the market dates already. I’d like to be here for the first one.” Blue says.
“I’d like to be here for that too.” Will says.
They work through their calendars and Blue makes plans to visit Will when he’s competing at home and Will wants to come up all the other weekends.
“Why am I not seeing you in 2 weeks? You don’t have a meet.” Blue asks.
“That’s winter cup in Las Vegas, my last ever elite meet.” Will says.
“Am I invited?” Blue asks.
“I’d love you to be there but I won’t have much free time. We compete Thursday and if we get through Saturday and we have loads of meetings and events in between. I already have my room booked and a roommate.” Will says.
“And its Vegas and not easy for me to get a room when I’m not 21.” Blue sighs.
“I could book it in my name and you pay for it. Maybe you could invite a friend. Would Robin maybe be able to come?” Will asks.
“I was thinking I could ask Spence. He’s 21 which makes it easier. Not sure he’ll be able to take off from work. At least he’s love to watch the meet and explain what’s going on to me.” Blue grins.
“And he can afford it last minute.” Will grins.
“Yeah. Only issue is we’re not really friends and I feel like I’m using him. I’m going to try and be there. We’d have a little time together.” Blue says.
“We would. Thanks Blue. Ugh I hate this long distance thing.” Will says.
“It’s a million times better than not being together at all.” Blue says.
“Oh yeah. I couldn’t get you out my head or my heart. It hurt.” Will says.
“You’re my crazy boo.” Blue grins.
“I am.” Will grins back.
They spend a little time in the garden together. Blue has planted a small flower garden for Will and they are working out if they will be able to grow roses along the walls. Will shows that he really has been reading up on plants and is serious about growing as well as displaying flowers.
They have a final meal together to warm up and Will sets off back to school. Blue wonders through the house and straightens up. His heart is always heavy after saying goodbye. Blue smiles as Will has left his laundry behind in the bedroom. He texts Will in case it was an accident, gathers it up with his own and puts a wash on.
Gervais calls just as Blue is making hot chocolate.
“Thought you might need cheering up.” Gervais says.
“Oh I do. I love having him here but I hate saying goodbye and how empty the house is without him.” Blue says.
“I don’t like you being alone so much. We are all going to make up for it over summer and you’ll be working all hours and not notice.” Gervais says.
“I’ll notice. The house feels different when others are here. Even when the renovations were happening it was different as there was always a pot on the stove and dishes for me to do.” Blue laughs.
“The house looks so good now. I can’t wait to be there with you. Going to miss being in your bed. I loved the three of us over break. I love a full bed.” Gervais says.
“Maybe you could give Tad another try. He isn’t all bad. He’s pretty smart and interesting when you brush away the attitude and you’ve a lot in common.” Blue says.
“Not like you to push me to be with someone. I don’t think you ever have. Must be serious with Will.” Gervais says.
“It is. I know it’s not been long but it is serious.” Blue says.
“I am so happy for you. Its about time. He’s right for you. He is right for you where Birch wasn’t.” Gervais says.
“Yeah, I mean he’s probably a few notches out of my league but he loves me anyway. We fit. So yeah I can afford to be generous and help you find someone. Unless you have news?” Blue asks.
“No, no one has grabbed my attention. I think we ran through all the guys here. I’m okay with that. I still don’t feel quite ready.” Gervais says.
“I get it. How are the others?” Blue asks.
“Spence is completely different this week since his career is back on track. He is back to being busy 26 hours a day. It’s good to see. Andy, is Andy. He’s happy on the surface but as much as he loves fucking around he hates being single. Robin is happy too, he’s doing pretty great. I’ve not heard from the demon spawn.” Gervais grins.
“So the house is all sorted and okay?” Blue asks.
“Yeah it’s all good. Andy sleeps in whichever house he feels like. Gives, Dylan and George some space and us some company. Clara called me. She told me she was happy about the house and she trusted me. It was weird.” Gervais says.
“She didn’t ask about me?” Blue asks.
“No.” Gervais says wondering if he should have kept it quiet.
“I need to call Spence. It was good to speak to you. Thanks for getting the timing just right.” Blue grins.
“Its good to see your cute face.” Gervais says.
“Yours too sexy.” Blue says and blows Gervais a kiss.
Gervais sits and thinks for a minute. He’s happy for Blue and heartbroken too. Still he has a job lined up for the summer and so does Robin. He’ll get to see how his life could be if he and Blue are just friends in the future. Gervais is pretty certain he’d rather be around Blue than not and maybe Tad or Larry will be a distraction.
Blue calls Spence a little tentatively and explains his issue.
“I’d love to come. I want to meet some of those elite coaches and I want to see all those guys in action. I’ve not been to a big elite meet and this would be perfect. Let me check I can get off work, if I can then I’m there.” Spence says.
“You’re okay missing a couple of days of school?” Blue asks.
“Oh yeah. I’m doing great, all that time not working I’ve been getting killer grades. I can miss a couple of days. Thanks for asking me.” Spence says.
“I wasn’t sure. I was a bit worried you’d think I was using you. I really love watching Will compete, he’s incredible. I hoped you’d want to go. For sure it helps me out too.” Blue says.
“Is it okay if I invite Andy? He’d love to see you. I know you’ve held off so he doesn’t accidently tell your mom where you are.” Spence asks.
“It would be good to see him. I guess it might be good for the two of you to have some time together too.” Blue grins.
“I’d hope it couldn’t hurt. I miss being with him so much. I hoped that after he and Chris split he’d think about me but he has moved on. I just want to maybe remind him what we had.” Spence says.
“I can disappear with Will and give you the time you need.” Blue says. He thinks it would be good for both of them to get back together.
“Thanks. I think Andy will want some alone time with you too. I can go and stalk some coaches.” Spence grins.
“You are back to being yourself.” Blue says.
“Yeah. I feel stupid, wasting a whole semester but still my new gym is awesome. New equipment, loads of space. New team, new parents club, not too political yet and Ocean is doing great.” Spence says.
“You had him quit school!” Blue says.
“Everyone has pitched in and it’s great for all of us. I think George would be a great teacher. I know it doesn’t fit his plans for wealth and world domination but he’s be good.” Spence says.
“Ocean is smart and will soak everything up. I get the feeling he was bullied in school more than he let on.” Blue says.
“Oh I think kids tried and failed. Ocean just doesn’t give them the reaction they’re after but yeah it was probably tough for him putting on that front.” Spence says.
“He’s okay in the gym though? Not picked on?” Blue asks.
“Not when I’m around. We all stamp on it quickly and the older kids are good at policing it too. They work too hard to deal with petty shit.” Spence says.
“That’s good. Just something made me worry. Cheryl is pleased anyway, nervous but happy.” Blue says.
“She’s such an easy gym mom. So many are as pushy as other sports parents. It isn’t so bad on the boys side but the girls can be cut throat. With the boys the best make the regional teams and its usually pretty clear cut, no one good enough gets left out. With the girls there are so many who are good and so few places and certain gyms have reputations and those girls get scored better. It can be a nightmare.” Spence says.
“Sounds it.” Blue says.
“It’ll do me good to have a change of scene. I’ll call you in a few days once I know for sure. Oh and thanks for thinking of me first.” Spence says.
“You’re the only one who can explain what is going on.” Blue laughs.
Blue goes to bed and Will soon calls. Even though it’s only been a couple of hours Blue feels like it has been forever.
“You look so cute and tired.” Will laughs.
“You too. I wish I’d come with you.” Blue says.
“I miss you already.” Will says.
They talk a little while before they both need to sleep. Will has early practice and Blue will be at the bakery in a few hours.
Blue is in a bit of a bad mood in the bakery. He is back to feeling a little frustrated again about working for everyone but himself, even though he loves the bakery. The pay what you can market is next weekend. Abby has worked her magic getting permits through and Mike has all the farmers on board.
“I think we should sell dollar cups of soup and bread for a quarter.” Heidi says.
“I was talking to Marsha and she said about trying to get a cheap family portion up too. Is there anything we can do?” Blue asks.
“I think we have all the customers we can manage for food here so don’t need to do anything else. I just need to be seen to be a part of the day.” Heidi says.
“Okay. I think we’ll do one veg and barley, something filling and the other a cheesy one, broccoli or whatever shows up.” Blue says.
“How about the baked potato one? That goes down well with kids.” Heidi says.
“Okay. Can we knock out some pies cheaply? Or a fruit loaf? Just thinking of a dessert.” Blue says.
“I think Mike still has a lot of beets, lets do that again. We can sell by the slice or the cake. Beets won’t go easily as other veg on the market.” Heidi says.
“Cool that is in the right spirit. I’ll call Mike later.” Blue says perking up.
The week is busy again, Blue has no idea where the time goes and some nights falls asleep before Will calls, he wakes up and Will finds him super cute when he’s sleepy.
Sunday morning its cool and sunny. Blue gets up early to help Mike and the other farmers set up. Heidi and Oliver will be sorting the bakery’s stall, they just have a stand outside the bakery, for the soup and cake.
The day goes well. Blue is on the go all day running round for everyone. He’s also giving out recipe ideas to people who know him as the soup guy. The cheap cups of soup sell out quickly, as much from the stall holders as shoppers.
Blue checks in with Marsha and she’s had a good day. She’s given out coupons for the deli with her dishes and hopes people will be back.
“Looks like the prepared stuff sold as quickly for you as for us.” Blue says.
“Yes. For the farmers market next month I’ll need to rethink volumes. Though of course the price points will be higher for most of it.” Marsha says.
“Different crowd. We’ve more time to advertise and prepare. This was so fast but all the locals are here.” Blue says.
“I think the whole town is here and a fair number from further afield. It’ll be interesting to hear how much is raised and what people paid.” Marsha says.
“I’ve seen loads of kids munching on apples and plums. I just hope those who need it most got here early enough for the good stuff.” Blue says.
“Yes me too. Though I didn’t sell much to my regulars so hopefully it’s worked out.” Marsha says.
Blue works late in the day packing away and cleaning up. He’s sad that Will couldn’t be here, he had extra voluntary practice for next weekend and couldn’t get away. Blue hates long distance. Hates it. Hates, hates, hates it. For all he has said about it better than not being together at all he’s not sure his heart can take it. The joy of being together and then the loss and the longing. It is hard. He’s lonely and it’s hard.
Blue tries to concentrate on the fact he’ll see Will on Thursday, that it isn’t long to wait. He’s a little wary of seeing Spence and Andy but excited too. He’ll feel good if they can be real friends again.
“You get on home Blue, we’ll all be round soon.” Mike says touching Blue’s arm and knocking him out of his thoughts.
“Sure. I’ll get the food on.” Blue grins.
At home he heats up a giant pot of dahl and another vat of the bakes potato soup. He worries everyone will be sick of his soup by now as he fries up flatbread.
Mike, Abby and Gladys arrive first and Blue gets them hot chocolate and settled by the fire and the other farmers soon start arriving and Blue starts passing out food as Mike deals with drinks.
They are soon talking about what went well and what went badly. What they sold, who showed themselves to be a cheap ass.
“I think we should do this as a quarterly end of season event and the farmers market the other months.” Arnold says.
“Agree.” Mike says.
“Yeah we can’t do this more often. I think feeding extras over to Blue for soup at the bakery works out best. I know the ice-cream is full speed ahead and the fruit growers here are excited but the rest of us wish it was those soups that were being made commercially.” Jack another farmer says.
“That’s so flattering. I never saw them as special, just tasty basic food.” Blue says.
“They sell. We all love them. We all love the farms getting known. You need to think about it.” Jack says.
“I’ve asked him over and over. We need to put the issue aside for now, this is the market debrief.” Mike says.
“I have no problem with someone else doing it. You don’t need me or Heidi. You guys grow great produce, anyone can make tasty soup out of it. You need to do what we’re doing with the ice-cream and get your names on the flavors.” Blue says.
“You’ll have them at the farmers market?” Jack asks.
“We will, more than today and normal size, normal price.” Heidi says.
“Good, now is there any more dahl? Nice and mushy for me.” Abby says. Abby is fascinated how people treat Blue and Heidi and the expectations they all have of them. Not so different from how they treated her husband back in the day. Expecting him to help them make their fortune through building projects. Now everyone is hoping to get rich through Blue and Heidi’s talents.
They talk late into the night. Blue is happy to be able to host but aware he and Heidi need to be up early.
“I think Gladys needs a ride home.” Blue says as she yawns loudly.
“Come on lets go.” Heidi says getting up.
“Young man come and see me tomorrow.” Abby says as she leaves.
“Sure. I’m at the bakery tomorrow so it’ll be the afternoon.” Blue says.
“We’ll come in for morning tea.” Gladys says with a smile and Blue kisses them both goodnight.
By the time Abby and Gladys come in Blue is near dead on his feet. He orders a triple espresso for himself as he puts in Abby and Gladys orders and they sit together.
“You are still being pulled in every direction.” Abby states.
“Mostly it’s good. I didn’t expect the ice-cream to take over so much. I’m going away for a few days to see Will compete at the end of the week and I’m honestly not looking forward to getting back to it when I get back.” Blue says.
“Would you rather it was the soups?” Abby asks.
“Not really. I don’t want to be in food production really. Its all good business learning but I really wanted to do that with my wine and I feel like I’ll never have the time to do it.” Blue says.
“Stop badgering the boy. The soup is the core of Heidi’s lunch trade we don’t want to dilute that.” Gladys says.
“And you two shouldn’t be worrying about me.” Blue says.
“I just feel like they could put the town on the map. They bring the town together.” Abby says.
“The ice cream might do that.” Blue says.
“Maybe it will.” Abby sighs not convinced.
Blue goes home feeling like a disappointment. He can’t work out why. He’s grumpy on his call with Will and they come close to their first argument.
“I just feel shit and I’m alone. I hate being alone and waking alone.” Blue grumbles.
“I’ll see you in a couple of days. You knew this wouldn’t be easy.” Will says.
“But we won’t wake up together.” Blue says.
“No we won’t. We will be able to hug and kiss and chat.” Will says he hates not being together too but understands Blue has more alone time than he does.
“I just miss you. Sorry to be shitty. I’m having a weird time.” Blue says not able to articulate what is going on.
“I love you baby. Just a couple of days, you can hang on.” Will says and Blue nods and then cries himself to sleep.