Blue and Andy are spending the day working together on their business.
“So you and Spence?” Blue asks.
“I know, I am so contrary. He lets me free and I cling on.” Andy grins.
“You’re happy though. I mean he’s shaped up and you see a future together. Long term,” Blue says.
“I really do. I’ve been so cautious and so worried but it can work, it will all fall into place if we work at it.” Andy says.
“So amazing you found your husband at 15.” Blue says.
“Yeah. I feel so much calmer now I know it will happen and my appetite for other guys is falling away. I’m not saying it will go for good. But we’ll work through that. There are times we’ll be open and times we’re closed and I am good with that and so is Spence.” Andy says.
“So you’re making real plans?” Blue asks.
“We’re talking through potential issues before we commit again.” Andy says.
“Should I be working on a wedding cake design?” Blue asks with a grin.
“You know it’ll need to have about 18 layers to cover every combo I want.” Andy laughs back and Blue takes note that Andy is clearly very seriously considering marriage.
A little before lunch Abby appears.
“Hello Abby, I was going to bring some food around later. We’re doing a big cook tonight.” Blue says and hugs his friend knowing she won’t mind the dirt.
“You two are really making something here. Will you be after more space when Andy graduates?” Abby asks.
“It’ll be a while before we can afford it and we’re not sure we want to be big farmers. But we could do with a little more.” Andy says.
“My farm has another 2 years on the lease and the family that have it now are already beginning negotiations. I’d hoped they would buy it along with my house.” Abby says.
“I thought you’d sold it long ago. Other than the house.” Blue says.
“I still own a good chunk. I try to keep my business my business so sometimes I don’t tell the full truth.” Abby says with a twinkle in her eye.
“Let’s go and have some lunch and talk. You clearly have a plan.” Blue says.
“What on earth is this?” Abby asks and Blue places steaming bowls on the table.
“Purple carrot soup.” Andy grins.
“And a little rainbow chard salad.” Blue grins
“How marvelous. You two certainly know what you’re doing.” Abby says.
“We’re just getting started but we have plans.” Andy says.
“I can see that. What are your plans for rotation in such a small space?” Abby asks and Andy launches into his plan and gives Abby a full detailed run down. Blue smiles at the two of them as they discuss the merits of various options both utterly in their element.
“Do we pass?” Blue asks as they finally slow down.
“I know you are vaguely looking for a restaurant property. Do you think mine would work?” Abby asks.
“Yes. It’s a little off the beaten track but we want a place used by locals which eventually becomes a destination restaurant. What happened to your farm tenants taking on the house too?” Blue asks.
“For various reasons things will not be working out. For their privacy I won’t go into it but let’s just say, despite Andy’s lack of experience I have absolute confidence in him not ruining the land. I know that the pair of you understand your market, Andy is a natural salesman and no one understands seasonal flavors the way Blue does.” Abby begins.
“Thanks.” Blue and Andy stutter out, both blushing.
“I want you two to take on my farm, in addition to here. I want Andy to be a supplier to the soup company and dammit I want your restaurant to come off because I want to eat there. I want to be able to take my friends there. I love the bakery and my waistline is glad the ice-cream parlor didn’t open a few years ago. We need a local restaurant showing off local produce and you two are the ones to do it.” Abby says.
“What about Heidi?” Blue asks.
“I think Cheryl would be able to help you with the restaurant running, training staff, hiring and all that.” Abby says.
“We’re not on the best of terms but I’d hate to cut her out. Especially as we’d be balancing the soup, ice-cream, growing and the restaurant.” Blue says.
“Yeah it is a lot. We won’t be able to manage.” Andy says.
“You don’t trust her. I love the girl very much but I don’t see her in this business, I have other plans for her.” Abby says and Blue nods.
“Spence and Gervais will want to invest.” Blue says.
“Slow down. I’ve not even seen the place.” Andy grins.
“This weekend I’ll show you all round.” Abby says and Andy smiles.
“Do you need a ride? Who dropped you off?” Blue asks.
“Claud dropped me by, we’ve been talking about my land too but he isn’t in a position to take it on right now. He was the one who suggested my house might make a restaurant site for you.” Abby
“So we’re second choice.” Andy grins.
“You were the second idea and once Claud said the words you became first choice. Andy you’ve made a big impression with Claud. He’s not too keen on you being a rival or on distracting Blue from the soup business, but he really wants the restaurant.” Abby says.
“He wants his name on another board.” Blue grins.
“He wants to be able to sell more meal packs.” Andy laughs.
“Both and he wants our town associated with quality produce. Word is getting out but it will take time.” Abby says,
“We want that too. I can’t wait to be able to use more local fruits for the ice-cream.” Blue says.
“You’re welcome to stay the afternoon. We can set you up with a chair. I’d love to talk more about your ideas.” Andy says.
“Thank-you. I love Gladys but I can’t talk farming with her.” Abby grins.
They have a nice time, Blue leaves them after a while to get started on the savory cooking and is soon joined by Roe and Katelyn who help with the prep. They have had a nice day visiting museums and galleries in the city.
Spence, Will, Gervais and Ocean arrive loaded down with goods for the baking and the kitchen switches modes to baking. Mike and Cheryl arrive with Gladys and they all share a makeshift meal before carrying on with the preparation for Friday.
Blue drops Gladys and Abby home and fills up their freezer with meals and treats. The he hesitantly heads over to see Robin with a box of cookies and brownies as a peace offering.
“You are welcome for dinner any time or to just hang out.” Blue says.
“The whole point of moving out is so I don’t have to spend lame evenings in.” Robin says.
“Well if you find you’re at a loose end or lonely or just want to tell us all about your amazing nights out the door is always open.” Blue says and leaves feeling sad. He is determined not to apologize but dang Robin could meet him half way.
Friday morning Blue helps Gervais pack his car with treats for the office. He’s going in earlier than
Spence and the others so he can leave early to help Blue get set up.
“You are going to make so many friends today. Don’t hide.” Blue says giving Gervais a big hug.
“I’ll call you if it’s too much. Thanks for doing this.” Gervais says.
“Ahh I always want new tasters for my experiments. Give Brian a big birthday kiss from me.” Blue says and kisses Gervais on the cheek.
Brian is practically bouncing as he opens Gervais door in the parking garage.
“Wow someone got a sugar craving?” Gervais teases.
“You brought so much.” Brian exclaims.
“We can take anything not eaten tonight. Blue wanted to try a few new things.” Gervais says and
“Is that Blue cheesecake” Jeremy the founder and CEO asks coming in to make coffee.
“Yes. One is new, piňa colada flavor and the other is dark chocolate, white chocolate and ginger.” Gervais says excited to finally be talking to the company founder.
“But I thought they were only monthly now. My husband and I once queued for 3 hours to get one to take to a dinner party. Chocolate cherry it was divine. Do you have an in?” Jeremy asks.
“Blue is my best friend and he was happy to make some for Brian’s birthday. We’re having a party tonight, you and your husband are welcome.” Gervais says surprising himself.
“We’d love to and not just because there will be more of this, email me the details. I am just going to steal a piece of each and hide them in my fridge for later. Happy Birthday Brian.” Jeremy says and leaves and Gervais and Brian burst out laughing.
“You invited the boss to your house. You’ve been here a week.” Brian says.
“Hey why not? When I had the chance.” Gervais grins.
“I guess we know he has a sweet tooth now.” Brian grins.
The pair grab what they want for themselves and head back to their desk. Through the morning people drop by to say they enjoyed the goodies and they made a change from the usual donuts.
“This is my husband Saul.” Jeremy says coming by their desks mid-afternoon. Gervais and Brian jump to their feet to shake hands.
“That ginger and chocolate cheesecake was divine. I have so many jealous friends on Instagram right now.” Saul grins.
“Blue’s been working on that one for a while, he has an ice-cream to match. He’ll be so pleased people like it, he wanted some new tasters.” Gervais grins.
“Well he is welcome to bring treats in any time.” Jeremy grins.
“Not too often.” Saul says eying his husband’s trim figure.
“Can you make it tonight? It isn’t just me, we’re celebrating our friend’s college graduation too.” Brian asks nervously.
“We will absolutely be there. We went to the ice-cream place on opening day with some friends. We apparently just missed Blue and we’re dying to meet him.” Saul says.
“And I would love to celebrate with you.” Jeremy says with a smile.
“Ah yes sorry for being crass Brian.” Saul says.
“You just want to meet him because of his food.” Gervais asks protectively.
“Yes, yes. Oh gosh, we’re not some triplet stalkers or anything.” Saul laughs.
“How did you meet?” Jeremy asks.
“At college, we lived in the same suite freshman year and became close friends. I applied for the job here so I could stay with him for the summer.” Gervais says.
“And I’ll be living with his boyfriend, part time.” Brian says and explains about Will.
“Well I hear great things about you both and you have the best treats so I am very glad you’re both here. Why don’t you get going now so you can get ready?” Jeremy says and they thank him and get going.
The house is a hive of activity when Gervais gets back and he is soon helping out. Wilson has arrived with more tables and chairs and Mike is setting up extra grills. Larry arrives with Tad and Blue gives him a huge hug.
“Are you okay?” Blue asks.
“Yeah I am. We never really got off the ground.” Larry says.
“You’ll find someone soon.” Blue says.
“I know. I’m feeling positive.” Larry grins.
“I have to go finish up in the kitchen. Hope you have a great time.” Blue says.
Many people from the town arrive and the party is soon in full swing. Tad and Will make speeches and everyone sings happy birthday to Brian. Jane introduces Ocean to other kids and they are off running around and exploring and having fun. Katelyn finds a few other teens and they take themselves off to the front lawn to chat out of adult earshot,
Blue is steadily making the rounds of friends and neighbors. Will is watching on in delight, he loves to see Blue being appreciated.
“Thanks for the heads up about Andy.” Larry says.
“I’d have wanted to know.” Will says.
“I should have known that I could never compete with Andy. Still we had an amazing times and I’ve no regrets.” Larry says.
“l hope you find someone soon. Have you met Brian?” Will asks.
“Is that a suggestion?” Larry grins.
“Well I know you and Blue have a history, have to look after my own interests.” Will grins.
“Oh he wouldn’t look at me now. He’s clearly all yours.” Larry says and Will can’t help but feel all giddy with love.
“Tad is still totally in to Gervais.” Will laughs looking at Tad trying to join in a conversation between Gervais and Saul.
“He really wants a second shot. Gervais is way out of Tad’s league. I know my brother is hot and he’s not dumb but Gervais is a ten and rich and smart.” Larry says.
“I don’t think Gervais, Blue or Spence think that way. Spence can be big headed at times but I don’t think he gets how hot he is, none of the three do, they’ve all been through rejection and pain and had their self-esteem knocked. Spence knows he’s a catch but the other two think the bad outweighs the good.” Will says.
“Could say the same about you.” Larry says.
“Oh that I’m a gymnast lifts my desirability I know that. I also know my lifestyle is a pain. I got lucky with Blue we had a sheer chemical reaction to each other and found we had similar values and goals. I know exactly how lucky I am to have him.” Will says.
“You’re a proper catch just like those three.” Larry says.
“Thanks. Come on lets get you and Brian talking. Unless you like Nick? Or Ollie? Or Gervais?” Will asks laughing.
“Wow I never ever had so many options. Ollie? Really?” Larry asks.
“He’s bi and he had a nice date with Andy. Why not Ollie? He’s cute, ambitious and really, really nice.” Wii’ says.
“I know he’s not that much younger than me but I still think of him as a little kid. I will make more effort to be a friend, god knows he needs as many as he can get coming from his family but I could never date him and Nick is way, way out of my league.” Larry says.
“So you are pretty open to all types of guys.” Will says.
“Yeah I am. Despite my track record I’m not hung up on looks like my brother. I need a good Vibe between us and him to be kind and interesting” Larry says.
“Nice list. Brian you and Larry haven’t really met properly” Will says pushing tarry forward.
Brian does a double take at the big farm boy. He’s been crushing heavily on Gervais but Larry is a nice change of speed.
“We’ve seen each other a little. Your dad said you were at summer school?” Brian asks.
“Yeah just getting an extra class done that t couldn’t get into last semester. You work with Gervais?” Larry asks.
“Yeah he’s just started with us. What are you doing for the summer?” Brian asks.
“Well was going to work on a cheese project with Andy but that is off the table. I am going to either work with my uncle or see what I can do for Blue.” Larry says.
“Are you free tomorrow?” Brian asks figuring he might as well ask the handsome guy out.
“I’ve no plans.” Larry says.
“Nick has shown me around some but I bet you’d do a better job. Despite my clear nerd credentials I do love to fish and hike. Maybe we could go on a picnic.” Brian suggests.
“That sounds perfect. I really need to unwind from school.” Larry says,
“Cool. Meet you at the deli at 11? We can buy supplies.” Brian says.
“Sure. But you and Gervais not?” Larry asks.
“We work together. I admit I totally have a crush on him and maybe I’d be using you to distract me from that. Full disclosure I totally had a thing for Andy recently too and he, Nick and I had one hell of an amazing night together.” Brian says.
“Well just dumped Spence because I heard he wanted Andy back. We never really got off the ground though. Just a few wonderful weekends.” Larry says.
“Are you uh similar to Andy you know… As you dated Spence I mean?” Brian asks blushing a deep red.
“I never thought about that stuff until I met Spence and I had a million situations running through my head. I enjoyed more physical control than the psychological side I hear Andy is great at. But I’m very, very happy with vanilla too, everything before Spence was.” Larry stutters out.
“Do you have a barn?” Brian asks figuring he might get a birthday treat.
“Lets go, I’ve only had one beer.” Larry says.
Will watches them depart and smiles.
Gervais has been chatting with Saul, his boss Jeremy’s husband much of the evening, at some point Wilson handed him the baby who has been happily in Gervais arms since.
“You are great with kids, do you have younger siblings?” Saul asks.
“Just my chosen little bro Ocean but he’s only been in my life three years. I love kids and can’t wait to have a bunch running around. Do you have plans for any?” Gervais asks.
“No we are utter urbanites, I don’t think we could even live this far from the city. Though it is a beautiful property and we are so glad you invited us. Jeremy misses these neighborhood parties.” Saul says.
“We used to have Sunday night dinner at college, Blue would cook or we’d order in and have a bunch of friends round. A way to keep us all connected to each other.” Gervais says.
“I can’t believe you’re so slim eating this food all the time. If Jeremy didn’t stop me I’d have been face first in the cheesecake all night.” Saul laughs, he’s a chunky guy but still attractive.
“I remember Blue giving me one of his goat cheese cookies when we were first in school and they were so good. Like a dream. He’s improved so much since then too. Fortunately he also introduced me to yoga.” Gervais says with a smile.
“So you’re charming and flexible.” Saul says.
“And you are married to my boss.” Gervais says.
“I am, very happily. Sorry if I am flirting too much, I don’t mean anything by it. You are pretty different to most the young employees.” Saul says.
“Ahh I’m less desperate to suck up.” Gervais laughs.
“That is exactly it.” Saul grins and Jeremy and Blue join them.
“Saul this is Blue, Blue Saul loves your cheesecake.” Gervais grins.
“Jeremy was telling me. I love to make them now I’m not doing it week in week out.” Blue grins.
“Well its welcome in our office any time.” Jeremy grins.
“I honestly didn’t believe it when Jez called and said he had some in the fridge. I came right in.” Saul grins and Blue smiles.
“I’ll have to come up with something else for Gervais birthday.” Blue says.
“Thank you for a lovely evening. You have such a wonderful home.” Saul says.
“Yes we’ve had a lovely time.” Jeremy says.
“We’ll sort out having you over for a normal dinner.” Blue says.
“That would be marvelous.” Saul says.
“We must go we have an early start.” Jeremy says.
“Thanks for coming.” Gervais says.
“You’re in your bosses good books. They’re a lovely couple.” Blue says.
“They are. In a way I wish Jeremy wasn’t my boss because we don’t have older gay friends like that.” Gervais says.
“Oh I think you do now. We’ll have them round one Sunday.” Blue says.
“I’d love that.” Gervais smiles.
“Can I whisk my boy off to bed?” Will asks coming over.
“Yes you should. I’ll organize the cleanup. Thanks so much for tonight. I know it wasn’t for me but it worked out that way.” Gervais says.
“Oh I had a lovely time too. It was nice to have Abby and Gladys celebrating with me.” Will says.
“Our chosen family is awesome.” Blue grins and takes Will’s hand as they head to their room.