Tuesday Blue shuts himself away at Arnold’s farm. He doesn’t want to see anyone really. Ollie and Jett join him for the afternoon and Blue takes them through all of his processes and how they plan to have things working.
Jett is clearly sparked by the logistics side and Ollie is a pig in muck with the actual mixing of the ice-cream and quickly gets the knack of filling containers. Blue sets him up with the small machines and challenges him to come up with 2 flavors that he thinks will scale up.
Jett talks through his ideas and Blue gets excited, they leave Ollie to it and go in the house to find Ella and Nick. They call up Cheryl so she can meet Jett and Blue smiles as they all talk through what is happening. The delays in the parlor refit and the upcoming farmers market.
Arnold comes in through and joins the call.
“Blue we’re going to auction again tomorrow. Small delivery firm has gone bust and they had few refrigerated vehicles in their fleet. Cheryl what do you think? I was thinking we aim for a small one so we can do the parlor delivery and other local stores ourselves.” Arnold says.
“Can we afford it?” Blue asks.
“I think it makes sense, if you have a delivery driver come sales rep who delivers and meets with store owners to build up local business.” Jett says.
“Money isn’t the issue, I’m investing for my kids future. Yeah my investment won’t make a profit short term but I think it will make us more flexible.” Arnold says and Blue knows he won’t be able to change his mind.
“I’m actually going to the deli tonight to let them taste what we have and talk about them stocking us ahead of the market. So if the milkshake stand is a success people can buy their own. Marsha is keen.” Blue says.
“Can I come with?” Jett asks.
“For sure.” Blue says.
“Me too?” Ella asks.
“Of course. I have to drop Ollie on the way. Thanks for your help Cheryl. See you soon.” Blue says.
“Can Ocean have a quick word? It’s his afternoon off from gym.” Cheryl says.
“For sure. Jett go and see how Ollie is getting on. Ella can get a couple of coolers ready?” Blue asks.
“Before we leave, this week’s articles were rubbish. We all know you’re a good guy who would never make someone feel bad on purpose. If your brother ever came to town I’d end up arrested.” Nick says.
“Thanks Nick.” Blue grins.
“Hello Blue. I don’t have to do school or gym on a Tuesday afternoon, unless I have pooey homework.” Ocean grins.
“I hope you don’t poop on your homework. George would find it very smelly to mark.” Blue says and Ocean laughs so loudly Cheryl pops back to check he’s okay.
“Maybe George will poop on my homework.” Ocean giggles.
“If it’s rubbish. You best make sure it’s good. Blue says.
“I get to see you soon. I am sad that Will is hurt. Are you kissing him better? You best kiss his knee from me too.” Ocean says with a cheeky grin.
“I will do that. I bet that will get him better faster.” Blue says.
“Spence is my coach again now and it is the best. I won my meet at the weekend and I made it to regionals. I’m going to win there too.” Ocean says.
“I hope you do. I hope you’re being good for Spence.” Blue says.
“I have to. Spence is so tough, he gives the worst punishments. Chin ups and circles and cleaning the pits.” Ocean says incredulous.
“Do the team like him or think he’s too tough?” Blue asks.
“Everyone likes Spence, he is the best.” Ocean grins.
“And you’re happy not going to school for now? George and the others are being good teachers?” Blue asks.
“Yeah, I love George he gives me so many cool books to read. I miss your yoga class. Can we have yoga this summer? I do lots of stretching at gym I am still the bendyest.” Ocean asks.
“Every day in my garden. You, me and Gervais.” Blue says.
“Yeah! Too cool, me and two teachers.” Ocean grins and they say goodbye.
Blue collects the guys and packs up the ice-cream, Ella will driver herself so Blue won’t need to drop her back.
“Why don’t you come with me, Jett? We can talk about your ideas.” Ella says shyly.
“Sure.” Jett says blushing.
“Ah man I should have known she’d go for crazy hair.” Ollie says.
“I thought maybe you liked boys.” Blue says.
“Boys, girls, all humans. Nick and Ella are both so hot.” Ollie says.
“Nick is single.” Blue says.
“I could never.” Ollie blushes.
“He’s older than you but he’s not too smart. Lovely man though, kind and thoughtful. You could do worse.” Blue says.
“Is he gay?” Ollie asks.
“I’ve never asked. Ella liking Jett is the first time I’ve seen either of them interested in anyone.” Blue says.
“Your Will is amazing.” Ollie says.
“I am so lucky.” Blue grins.
“Do you think Marsha will like my popcorn flavor?” Ollie asks.
“Maybe. I like your chocolate cherry, was that based on my cheesecake?” Blue asks.
“Yeah. I have tried to make your cheesecake at home but I cannot do it. It’s okay but not good and nowhere near amazing.” Ollie says.
“So forget it and work on your own thing. I think you could make your lemon drizzle cake better, it’s good now but you could work on refining it. It takes time. My cheesecake took forever to get amazing and only when the basic one was did I work on other flavors. Now I can experiment successfully 80percent of the time as I get the relationship between the basic recipe and the additional ingredients.” Blue says.
“So you think my sponge is already great and it’s time to work on refining my best flavor then think about chocolate or a swirl or other fruits?” Ollie asks.
“It’s what I would do. I’m wanting to improve my pastry next. I was hoping my cooking class would help but I got chucked out.” Blue says.
“No way?” Ollie says.
“If you are free Wednesday nights maybe you could take my spot. Jett is going.” Blue says.
“I’m busy Wednesdays plus I have the early start Thursdays.” Ollie says.
“Of course.” Blue says knowing Ollie has a lot of commitments at home.
“I can do these Tuesdays though. I loved today. Can I stay for the sales pitch?” Ollie asks.
“Of course you can. You did a good job today.” Blue says and they go into the deli with Jett and Ella right behind them.
Jett looks like the cat that got the cream, he has a full swagger in his step and just can’t hide his smile. Ella also looks happy and Blue is pleased. He’s not sure Ella will hold Jett’s interest for long but they look sweet together and Blue hopes they’ve arranged a date or something.
“Gosh four of you have come to feed me.” Marsha grins as they come in.
“Well you’re the safe person to try our first sales pitch on, we hope you’ll give us feedback on that as well as the ice-cream.” Blue says.
“Well I won’t need much of a pitch. I know I need to take the ice-cream if I want the soup, especially if I want an exclusive on a particular variety or a month of no competition.” Marsha says waggling her eyebrows.
Blue runs through the basics and then lets Ella take over. She’s shy to start and then picks it up. Blue thinks she’s done really well as they hadn’t planned for her to be here.
“The chocolate cherry, you say it’s not available yet?” Marsha asks.
“Ollie made it today, first try, we’ll need to scale it up properly and maybe make it a little less sweet.” Blue says.
“I’d obviously take the core flavors, they are all good and I think they’ll sell. I’d like a range that fits in with your cheesecake flavors, so this chocolate cherry, the caramel. Could you add a lemon and a chocolate peanut butter that matches your chocolate pie? You know where I’m going with this.” Marsh says.
“We have a lemon sorbet that I didn’t bring. We’ve only used pistachio and pecan for nut flavors so far. We can try but no promises. You want the four exclusive to here?” Blue asks.
“Yes. We can start with 2. I also want to order the vegan ones, I know those will fly out. The ones I have are not half as good and sell very well.” Marsha says and Blue grins.
“We can’t make the lemon sorbet exclusive.” Ella says.
“She’s right. Do you want a sorbet? Or us to work on a lemon cheesecake flavor?” Blue asks.
“Sorbet would round out the range. Maybe make it Lime for me, or lemon lime.” Marsha says and Blue nods.
“You’re showing a lot of faith in us. We never expected you to take so many flavors.” Jett says.
“I know Blue’s stuff sells. I think a lot of businesses were surprised at just how well his Christmas pies sold and we were all caught on the back foot a little. We all did okay, don’t be feeling guilty but Blue’s pies were bought by people who usually made their own. I know I’ll be stocking them this year.” Marsha grins.
“We can see how it goes, but my cheesecakes will be seasonal, we can try and work on an ice-cream to match ready for when I bring it out.” Blue says.
“Perfect, we’ll see how it goes, if it doesn’t work and I don’t pick up those who lost out on the real thing we’ll have a rethink anyway.” Marsha says.
“The last thing is, we are naming the flavors after people, those who supply the fruits and people from around town who have a favorite. Would you like a Marsha flavor and if so what is your favorite?” Ella asks.
“Really? If it comes off the chocolate, peanut butter please.” Marsha grins clearly flattered.
“When we get going with the marketing properly we will be offering a suppliers name board to local businesses. I don’t know if you have room for one.” Blue says.
“Will Wilson be making it?” Marsha asks.
“Probably.” Blue says.
“I’ll talk to him myself. Of course I want one. That dang Claud always asks why I don’t have one when he comes in to buy anything that uses his onions. Complains that all the cheese and deli meats show the farms on them.” Marsha laughs.
“Thank-you. We’ll be in touch on timescales.” Blue says.
“Sooner the better. I mean it. I’m ready to give you a good freezer spot.” Marsha says and Blue grins knowing things are really starting to move.
“That was fun. Want to go for food?” Jett asks.
“I need to get back.” Blue says.
“Me too.” Ollie grins and Ella blushes scarlet.
“You feel good that she loves your flavor?” Blue asks.
“For real. You were right it’s too sweet right now though. I’ll work on that next Tuesday and the peanut butter one too.” Ollie says and Blue grins.
“I’ll give it a go too. Maybe one of us should do chocolate with peanut butter as a swirl through it and the other try a peanut ice-cream with choc chip or something.” Blue says.
“Cool. Thanks so much for today. I loved every second. I think Ella and Jett should do the deliveries and pitches together.” Ollie says.
“So do l. Although I think they’d be great running kid’s parties too.” Blue says.
“Yeah kids will love Ella because she’s so pretty and Jett’s mad hair will make them laugh.” Ollie says.
“Exactly. You did a great job today.” Blue says and Ollie grins. His confidence is coming on so much since he started in the bakery. Blue hopes he’ll become at least a shift manager for ice-cream as it takes off.
Blue goes home feeling happy, potters in his garden for a while before taking a good long soak and calling Will.
“I’ve had a bitch of a day, you nude and all pink from the bath is a beautiful balm.” Will grins and Blue makes sure to show his man everything.
“What happened babe?” Blue asks.
“Rehab was hard and I have a couple of new big assignments to do and just getting round school while trying to protect myself is taxing. Seeing you makes it really worth it.” Will says.
“Can you not email your professors and explain you can’t get to some classes?” Blue asks.
“I learn best from the classes. Still it’s nearly spring break. I’m sad I don’t get to spend it at yours.” Will says.
“Me too. Not so long to wait. Shall I come over on the weekend? Bring you some food?” Blue asks.
“That would be perfect. Is it okay that you can’t stay over?” Will asks.
“Of course. Babe, I miss you and a couple of hours is better than nothing.” Blue says.
“I wish I could come back with you again but I have rehab every day and a lot of study to do.” Will says.
“Don’t worry. A few hours in the car is worth it to hold you, and share a meal.” Blue says and he sees Will relax.
“Thank-you.” Will grins and he goes back to admiring Blue’s body.
“Never, ever tell me not to come, unless you really don’t have 30 seconds to see me. At least don’t tell me not to, because you feel guilty.” Blue says.
“I know, I’d feel the same the other way around and sometimes it will be that way. I would hate it if you told me not to come, to save me the travel.” Will grins knowing he’s really lucky that Blue understands him so well.
“What are these big assignments?” Blue asks and they chatter away about their days until they need to sleep.
Blue hears from Clara on Thursday night. He’s pushed everything out of his head because, well because in his mind it has all gone away, He just doesn’t care at all about Paul or Chris and the way they are milking things, Its pretty abhorrent.
“Bea is not in a good place. That Chris appears to have teamed up with Paul was the last straw. I want to bring her back with me.” Clara says.
“Not here, the town hate her.” Blue says wanting to shout and scream that this is his home and if Clara brings Bea here they will never see or hear from him again.
“Oh gosh I hadn’t thought of that. You’re right. She’s staying out of school next week and then its spring break. I think, I think I’m going to take her away, Mexico or the Bahamas or something. Oh gosh with is being spring break season that might not work.” Clara muses and Blue exhales figuring he’s got off lightly.
“You’ll think of something. Go expensive and exclusive. Treat yourself momma. You’ve never taken a real vacation, at least not in twenty years. Go enjoy some warm seas and fresh seafood. Get back into running, go snorkeling and get wasted.” Blue says with a laugh.
“I’ve never felt the need before. That sounds perfect, exactly what I need for myself never mind Bea.” Clara says.
“Out of curiosity, as they’ve fallen out, what has happened to the book deal?” Blue asks.
“That is still going ahead. Bea, being Bea had all her chapters ready to submit as soon as the deal was done. They did reduce the advance though to cover some of the legal costs of settling with us, same parent company you see.” Clara says.
“l bet Chris loved that.” Blue says.
“He and I are taking a break.” Clara says.
“He’ll end up a mess too. You can’t ask him to give up his dad for you. You can’t.” Blue says.
“I know but I need some space from him to cool down so I don’t demand anything like that. I hate that he is happy to spend time with Paul when Paul and Lana refuse to even talk to Bea, even though it was Chris who pushed the legal action.” Clara says.
“If you can’t stand to talk to him text him from time to time. It would have meant everything to me and I know it will to him. You need to hang on and hope that the Chris who lived with you last summer is in there.” Blue says.
“That is generous of you.” Clara says.
“Self-preservation. You’ll only blame me for losing them in the end.” Blue says.
“You can’t think that.” Clara says.
“I do. You need to get used to me calling you on your BS.” Blue says with a laugh and Clara manages a smile.
“I will send through all the details from here. I hear you made your first ice-cream sale.” Clara says.
“Yes though with Arnold buying two refrigerated vehicles yesterday we’ll never make a profit.” Blue laughs.
“Two?” Clara asks shocked.
“A small one for local deliveries and a sort of mid-sized one for longer trips and with a view to it being part of the service at the pickling factory. I really think he imagines it is for his cheese empire when that gets going.” Blue laughs.
“I hope he got a good price.” Clara says.
“They were a steal. Both less than a year old. I just hope in a year it isn’t all our things up at auction.” Blue says.
“How was your class yesterday?” Clara asks.
“I was asked not to come back after last week. I transferred my place to Ella. She and Jett who I met in class seem to have hit it off and it will do her good I think.” Blue says.
“That sounds good. I don’t know that Ella will ever truly leave home, I imagine when she marries her father will rustle up a cottage on the farm somewhere.” Clara says.
“She and Nick are adorable but should have existed in the 1700s and sat around being decorative.” Blue says laughing.
“We should consider using them to advertise the ice-cream.” Clara says.
“Yes we should. Arnold would love to have his kids on the side of the new vehicles.” Blue laughs.
“I’ll let you know what I decide about vacation. Take care son. I love you.” Clara says and Blue tries not to gasp.
“Love you too momma.” Blue says and smiles.