“Why did you spring that on me?” Blue asks in the car on the drive back to Will’s school.
“You’ve been begging for weeks. You are not turning this into a fight, you could have said no.” Will says.
“It was a shock. I’ve been a total pain haven’t l?” Blue says.
“I’ve been feeling so inadequate. I was so jealous of Tad but you looked so happy and I had some fun too.” Will says.
“I was jealous when I saw you and Tad. I really hope you’re given the all clear soon. You were amazing for doing it, you were but I can’t do it again.” Blue says.
“Good because I can’t either. I want you all to myself.” Will says.
“Same baby. I am sorry for being so dumb.” Blue says.
“It’s okay. I promise I am going to heal up and keep you happy.” Will says.
“You need to be happy too.” Blue says.
“I always am around you. A few weeks and I will graduate and be back with you most the time. I can drive Ocean to the gym most days which will help Cheryl out.” Will says.
“I know. It was just being away from you for so long. Now I can just drive up and see you when we need a cuddle it’ll be okay. Just knowing that I can makes me feel better.” Blue says.
“Can you come up next weekend? I know I’ll have a lot of work to catch up on. I can get a mattress for you.” Will says.
“Or we can get a hotel. Be quieter for you to study.” Blue says.
“Sounds good. I hated being away from you too you know. I almost gave it all up.” Will says.
“I don’t want you to do that. Plans change and I have to accept that I need to wait a while. I’m just scared. I waited a long time for Gervais to be ready and it was worth it but it ended so fast and I waited and waited for him again and it just didn’t work out. I worry that when you’re done you’ll see you have options and I won’t fit in your life and this time will have been wasted.” Blue says.
“I am not Gervais. I know right now I have conflicting priorities but I am certain you are my future. I don’t want to look for anyone else. The thought of being with you gets me through every tough session. Our future is more important to me than any medals, any team. I don’t know how I can prove it to you. Please just have faith in us.” Will says and Blue nods quietly.
“I don’t know why I keep pushing you. Or I do it’s because I always end up in a disaster, Austin, Gervais, George and Birch all disasters and I still don’t really know what caused everything to fail. Whatever it is about me that turns guys off I can’t change.” Blue says.
“Blue I love that you go too fast, I do too. I love that you are a homemaker, I loved how you treated me when I moved in to your place. I knew I wanted us to work the minute you offered to get groceries for me. I love that you have high expectations, I want to meet them. I hate that you don’t always talk and that you sometimes bury yourself and hide or run away. But I know that you do that and I push myself in and force you to talk and I grab your hand when you try to run. We work Blue, I know I am so much more into you than you are to me but I know, I really trust that you’ll catch up.
We’ve got something special and I am prepared to work hard to keep it, none of your previous boyfriends were, you had to do all the lifting alone.” Will says and Blue gasps inside finally believing that maybe Will can deal with his flaws.
“You are amazing. I keep saying I’m a dick but not changing. I need to be better for you, you deserve better.” Blue says.
“I love you as you are, I just told you I can deal with your flaws. I’d rather love the real, flawed you than a robot version. Gives me leeway to be a dick about things later.” Will grins.
“Silly. I get it. It’s exhausting trying to be perfect. I’ve always been able to relax around you. I guess when time together is short I put pressure on to make it perfect.” Blue says.
“And I don’t need perfect, my day job is all about perfection. I need okay with you.” Will says.
“I like that. We need to treat time together as normal. Chores and people and lots of snuggling.” Blue grins.
“With Cheryl and Ocean around you’ll have less chores to do.” Will says.
“Yeah more laundry but less cooking and cleaning.” Blue says.
“And less time for you to be lonely.” Will says.
“Yes, more happy Blue chatting with Will.” Blue grins.
“And Cheryl knows to give us alone time. Everything is going well. Enjoy it.” Will says.
“Thanks for making me talk, you are very good at it. I don’t know when I stopped. Believe it or not momma and I used to be pretty open with each other and very close.” Blue says.
“The big city shocked you into silence.” Will grins.
“Yeah country life suits me for sure, I am a small town boy and that is okay.” Blue grins.
“Me too.” Will smiles.
Blue carries Will up to his room, mostly because he wants to rather than Will needing it, though stairs are still exhausting. He lies Will on his bed and kisses him before dashing back for his bags.
“Here is a bag of fruit and a tin of protein cookies. Here is the leftovers from Cheryl and a loaf of Heidi’s bread. Shall we go and get you some avocados and things now?” Blue asks.
“No I can get them from the dining hall. I can use the elevator, stop worrying, it’s just the steps at the front that are a pain but I will manage.” Will grins.
“Okay. I will be here Friday and I love you so much.” Blue says as all his feelings for Will that he has put on lockdown come flooding back.
“Come lie with me for a bit.” Will says and Blue helps get him comfortable then lies alongside him.
“You’re so hot.” Blue grins running his hands over Will’s chest.
“All yours.” Will grins.
Blue relaxes and lets all the worries wash off of him. He knows what Will will do to keep him and it feels good. He feels loved and cherished. He knows he needs to up his own game to make Will feel the same. Blue giggles to himself.
“What is it?” Will asks.
“I can’t believe I’m the high maintenance one.” Blue laughs.
“You’re worth it.” Will says.
“You say all the right things.” Blue says.
“I have to, to make up for not being able to do all the right things.” Will says.
“This feels pretty great. I best go though as I’m in the bakery tomorrow.” Blue says.
“I can’t wait for Friday.” Will grins.
“Same.” Blue smiles and kisses him gently goodbye.
Tad is a ball of confusion as he drives back to school. All semester he’s been chasing guys who remind him of Gervais and they’ve all come up short. The sex has been poor or the conversation, none have given him that spark. None have been as pretty and he thought it was that. But the spark was there with Will and Blue today.
Will is stunning and Blue is so sexy. He enjoyed it with Blue before but today with the two of them was crazy, even with Will not fully participating. Tad is so confused, he loves Will and Blue as a couple but would be super happy if they split and he could date one of them. He loves how they can both do their own thing and be supportive but not over involved. He loves how secure and together they were yesterday and though clearly struggling at lunch today they worked it out without big drama.
Tad knows he messed up with Gervais but is hopeful he’ll be able to try again over the summer. He knows he can go out with Andy and find guys but he wants to have a relationship, he liked having girlfriends in high school. He wants someone to keep him grounded to stop him slipping back into his prom king ways. Like Blue or Will would. He sees how those two pull each other back and push each other forward. He really wants that.
Only a few weeks left of school and then he can get on with his life at the farm and promoting the markets and living. He can’t wait.
“Will get settled okay?” Cheryl asks as Blue comes in.
“Yeah. You guys want oatmeal in the morning? I have an early start at the bakery. What are your plans?” Blue asks.
“We’re going to the gym in the morning for a proper look round and chat with the coaches. How about we come to you for lunch and then you can show us round in the afternoon.” Cheryl says.
“Sounds good. Then you can spend the day with me at Arnolds tomorrow. Ocean will you want to come with us or shall I see if you can spend the day with Wilson’s wife and baby?” Blue asks.
“I want to see the ice-cream.” Ocean grins.
“Okay. I am sure you can spend some time with Ella or Nick too in their house. Once we know your schedule we can sort out a proper plan.” Blue says.
“Can I spend time with you some days here?” Ocean asks.
“For sure, you’re my number one chicken and garden assistant.” Blue says.
“I am, I am.” Ocean grins.
“Finish that milk and get to bed.” Cheryl says.
“Awww.” Ocean pouts and immediately yawns.
Blue kisses his cheek goodnight and gets on with the oats.
“He seems happy to be here.” Blue says.
“He is. He loved Mike’s farm and Mike is happy for him to go there whenever he wants to. Childcare will not be a problem in this town as long as he behaves himself.” Cheryl says.
“And did you like Mike’s farm?” Blue asks suggestively.
“I did, very much. I hear you helped him get the house back into shape. It is a beautiful house, not quite as nice as this one, but still lovely. The farmhouses out here are all beautifully built.” Cheryl says.
“Yeah it is pretty amazing. I love that you feel at home already.” Blue says.
“You and Will are easy to live with. This place is amazing. I suggest we keep things casual for now but we might want a cleaning roster when the others arrive, just so we don’t end up doing it all.” Cheryl says.
“Yeah, Andy is useless in the house but great at outdoor stuff. Spence is useless but will buy groceries and Gervais and Robin are both fine at pitching in with a bit of direction. Spence and Will will be able to split the driving to the gym too. It’ll work out.” Blue says.
“Would you be okay to look after Ocean Thursday evening, if I have a date?” Cheryl asks.
“Sure he can come to old people yoga and I’ll take him out to dinner in the city or to a movie, we’ll have a guy date.” Blue grins.
“That sounds good but you don’t need to spoil him.” Cheryl says.
“I’ve missed him. It’ll be good to do something fun.” Blue says.
“He’s missed you too.” Cheryl says with a smile.
The next morning Blue and Ollie are working away, no sign of Heidi so Ollie is doing the bread as Blue preps the rest. About an hour before opening Heidi appears and Blue looks through to see Jett leaving out the front.
“Are you fucking insane?” Blue asks.
“What?” Heidi says defensively.
“If Ella or Arnold find out that could be it for the business. You have to stop.” Blue says.
“I like him. It’s not like he and Ella can work, she’s too dumb. And Arnold can’t complain as he’s still with his wife,” Heidi shrugs.
“If Arnold finds out that you are doing something that will hurt Ella then he will make sure you are done with in this town.” Blue says.
“He couldn’t. He wouldn’t, he’s crazy about me.” Heidi says.
“He would put Ella first.” Blue says.
“Told you.” Ollie says quietly.
“You knew?” Blue asks gently.
“I told Heidi it would make everyone mad. I told her.” Ollie stammers.
“Liberty could really do the damage, she is on every board and committee.” Blue says.
“She could but she’s gone off me and feels guilty so wouldn’t mess with me.” Heidi says.
“You can’t be so sure. You know how protective those two are over Ella and Nick. Either end it, or pull out of the businesses.” Blue says.
“He has promised to end it with Ella.” Heidi says.
“And you buy that? Him telling you he isn’t happy, she doesn’t understand him, that he’ll end it soon? Please.” Ollie says surprising them both.
“Ugh you make it sound like a soap opera. But I take the point. I’ll steer clear until it is over with Ella.” Heidi says.
Blue looks at her and doesn’t trust that she means it. He’d already gone off Jett and this has cemented that feeling, not that he should be judging but he loves Ella and Heidi and feels they both deserve better.
“Why are you lying and trying to sabotage everything?” Blue asks.
“Stop being so fucking dramatic. You can’t be moralizing to me. Your family shit beings us all so many difficulties and you were fucking Larry and Tad.” Heidi says.
“I’m done here. I can’t be around you.” Blue says.
“Me too. I can’t work here anymore.” Ollie says.
“Don’t be so hasty. If you both leave then Arnold will know something is up.” Heidi says.
“He doesn’t know I exist and Blue has cut back his hours anyway.” Ollie says.
“If I stop selling Blue’s soups everyone will be on my case.” Heidi says.
“You’re a trained chef. You can make soup.” Blue says.
“You’re both really leaving? Because I’m fucking Jett? I would never fire you over who you fuck.” Heidi says.
“It’s about Ella who is a good friend. She doesn’t deserve this and I know that it’s on Jett not you but you know what a mess you are heading for. You know I have to tell her. I won’t tell her it’s you but I have tell her Jett is cheating.” Blue says.
“You wouldn’t.” Heidi says shocked.
“If he doesn’t I will.” Ollie says.
“Don’t be absurd. I have told you he’s going to end it and I will stay away for a while, t was fizzling out anyway.” Heidi says.read isn’t my future.”
“He has 24 hours and this is my last shift here.” Blue says.
“Me too.” Ollie says.
“You are stupid Ollie. I have so much more to teach you.” Heidi says.
“You have all these skills but I learn better from Blue. I’m sorry. I am really grateful for my start but bread and coffee are not my future.” Ollie says.
“Okay. If you are sure.” Heidi says sadly.
“I am.” Ollie says and Blue reaches over to squeeze his shoulder.
Heidi goes through to stock the counter.
“Are you okay?” Blue asks.
“Yeah. I wanted to work for you more. I love the ice-cream more than here and I want to do the soups you know that. I’m useless out front too, makes me to anxious.” Ollie says.
“I can give you all the hours you need. And you can work around your other commitments.” Blue says.
“Thanks, a few early shifts like this would be great then I can look after the kids after school.” Ollie says.
“That works for me. Cheryl will be with us tomorrow and we can formalize it then. Shit was I too hard on her? I’m not exactly well behaved always myself.” Blue says.
“I like Ella and she likes Jett so much. I hate the thought of her being hurt. Heidi knew Jett was dating her and that is just wrong.” Ollie says.
“Jett is a dick.” Blue says.
“He is.” Heidi says coming to get the next tray.
“I knew you liked him but could you not have waited a few weeks? Were 2 lovers not enough?” Blue asks.
“Just go. I don’t need you moralizing at me. You have done just as bad. You’re only mad at me because I might run your empire. You care more about these businesses than you like to let on. I’m jeopardizing your bottom line and that is all you care about. Saying you care about Ella who you talked shit about for months. You’re a joke. You’re a child with no fucking clue and I am glad this has happened before we got into business deeper together because you are a fucking nightmare.” Heidi says.
Blue takes off his apron and leaves.