Robin looks around the party and spots Ella and Heidi laughing together. He had reservations about coming after how last night ended but doesn’t see why he should miss out on any fun. Since Brian is dating Larry he hasn’t come through on showing Robin the city nightlife and Gervais still being 20 is Ella having lived here forever and being in her twenties should be the ideal person to show him where the fun is Robin reasons and heads over to join her and Heidi.
Heidi grins as Robin switches so easily into charmer mode and Ella although very cautious after Jett is very much enjoying Robin’s company. Sometimes Ella feels a little left out as there are so many gay men around and so few women her age. She and Heidi get along now but they’ll never be close.
Ella misses her friends from college but is very content to live at home and work in the ice-cream business, she doesn’t envy her friends struggling to pay big rents and the pressure they are under.
She might look like a city girl and enjoy wearing nice clothes but she is very much a country girl at heart and would love to raise a family here, if only she could find someone.
Ella trusts Robin, he works for the firm, is a longtime friend of Blue and Andy and so he can’t be so bad, she things. He’s also really cute and actually listens and seems interested.
“So your dad is my boss I guess. Was that weird with Jett?” Robin asks.
“No, dad is pretty easy going really. I mean he can come across as a tyrant at times but he’s a big softie. He is loving the new business and my cousin has taken on most of the dairy farming now. Dad is concentrating on the new ventures to my mom’s delight.” Ella says.
“Shall we get out of here?” Robin asks.
“I’m not that easy.” Ella grins.
“I just meant away from these people. Could we go to a bar or something?” Robin asks.
“I’d like to stay a little while longer. Until the cake comes out. Blue is a good friend and I am here for him.” Ella says not letting herself be pushed around.
Robin smiles, the gentle, soft looking Ella has a core of steel and he likes that, a lot.
Ollie is talking with Spence and Andy, he loves the pair now they are back together and sees them as having the sort of relationship he would like in a few years’ time.
Will brings out the cake for Blue, Heidi made it and kept it secret, it is an incredible concoction of 4 layers, each a different flavor and she has made a rainbow sheet cake so there is enough to go round. Blue is utterly overwhelmed as everyone sings to him. Blue and Will sit with Spence, Andy and Ollie to enjoy a slice.
“I don’t know how you all kept that quiet.” Blue says.
“Got to keep you on your toes. You couldn’t do all the cooking.” Will grins.
“Great job with the corn boys, we are going to sell, sell, sell.” Claud says coming by.
“It is so tasty, I don’t know how you got it ripe for this time of year.” Andy says.
“l have the main crop in the fall but I have been experimenting a little.” Claud says.
“It has paid off.” Blue grins.
“I just wanted to know I appreciate you guys. Things were looking a little bleak but everything has started to tick up already. We had gotten lazy, all of us. We had good contracts and we relied too heavily on them. Blue showed us all how good our produce was and Andy has woken me up to new marketing. I’m back out there knocking on doors trying to get chefs to see me, sending baskets out, invites to the markets and to private showings at the farm. The soup will be great when it starts production but I am changing everything.” Claud says.
“That is wonderful. You are the best advert for your produce as you love it so much, you’re infectious.” Blue grins.
“Hello Blue I made this for you.” Freddie says thrusting a paper bag at Blue.
“Oh wow this looks good. Did you make it?” Blue asks.
“Yes it is my five fruit loaf. It’s made with beer too and you can have beer as you are turning 21.” Freddie says.
“That was so thoughtful of you. You are becoming an excellent baker.” Blue says.
“Thank you so much for inviting us. We won’t stay long.” Angela, Freddie’s mom says.
“Freddie I have a microwave if you need to make any food hot.” Blue says.
“Thank-you Blue.” Freddie says and promptly leaves to do that.
“He’s so confident.” Blue says.
“He is and he loves baking, he is training two of his friends, we found the worst sleepers of the group.” Angela laughs and she and Blue have a good chat.
“Hey Saul didn’t expect to see you tonight.” Gervais says.
“Well I won’t stay too long but can’t miss out on these events. I have 3 college students home for the summer who are all happy to do evenings and weekends. They are working out just fine and I’ve a recent college grad who is shaping up to be assistant manager. He insisted he could run the show tonight and I am ready to trust him.” Saul smiles.
“Cool. I am glad it is going well. Its good things are lighter for Blue and Cheryl.” Gervais says.
“Did Blue make this?” Saul asks motioning his plate of food.
“I made the cornbread, Blue made the salsa and Spence grilled the steaks.” Gervais grins.
“So you are a good cook too. Great to know.” Saul beams.
“Blue has taught me a lot. I love it to relax. I used to game every spare moment and now have so many different hobbies.” Gervais says marveling to himself just how far he has come and that talking to his boss’s husband at a party would have been unthinkable a few years ago.
“l have a huge favor to ask.” Andy says to Spence when then both head to get drinks.
“Ollie?” Spence asks.
“Yeah. I think he wants to.” Andy says.
“And if I were with Will and maybe Blue too?” Spence asks.
“So hot.” Andy grins.
“I don’t want to play too often, not like before.” Spence says.
“I know and I am the same. You mean so much more to me now. I feel like this would be a final thing.” Andy says.
“Same.” Spence grins. Things are so much easier with Andy now, they are communicating better and treating each other better than ever.
The crowd thins and the guys make their way to the barn. Gervais and Will have put out loads of blankets and pillows and made the space quite cozy.
“No Robin.” Blue says.
“He left already.” Will says.
“Shame I was hoping we could make up with birthday treats.” Blue shrugs.
“I’ll suck your dick if you let your boyfriend pound me.” Spence says.
“What about Andy? He usually likes control.” Blue asks.
“Look.” Spence says pointing to Andy and Ollie deep in conversation, sat on pillows against the wall.
“Really? Is that a good idea? He might get attached.” Blue says.
“Andy’s last chance at a virgin. I think Ollie wants someone who will treat him right the first time.” Spence says.
“Yeah but you know how it goes. Guys fall for Andy.” Blue says.
“You think I should stop it? We already agreed.” Spence says.
“Tad and Nick like Ollie.” Gervais pipes up.
“Really?” Spence asks.
“Yeah. Let Ollie be with someone he has a chance with.” Gervais says.
“He likes both those guys.” Blue says.
“Sorry to interrupt Ollie. I have it on good authority you can have your pick of your crushes, they are drooling over there.” Spence says with a grin.
“Really?” Ollie asks.
“Really. Now come on Andy. I am going to pound your ass.” Spence says and winks at Ollie.
“Oh boy.” Andy says with a grin and happily follows Spence up to bed.
“Come on babe, it was a nice idea but I want you in bed not on the cold floor.” Will grins.
“That sounds good. You be okay?” Blue asks Gervais.
“Yup, I think I’ll leave the three of them to it. I am pretty satisfied from yesterday.” Gervais says.
On Monday evening Blue, Gervais and Will show up at Saul and Jeremy’s place for dinner. Blue is holding a cheesecake and Gervais some bread he has baked.
“I got that butter you recommended just in case.” Saul says beaming and taking the items.
“Guys this is Norm, Norm meet Gervais, Wull and Blue.” Jeremy says.
“Pleased to meet you.” Gervais says shaking his hand. Norm is late 30s in good shape with expensive looking clothes on. Gervais is intrigued.
“I don’t usually set my interns up with friends, frankly I find the idea weird but Saul insisted the two of you would hit it off and when my husband has a plan there is no stopping him.” Jeremy laughs.
“Don’t worry I’d never say anything at work and I consider Saul a friend.” Gervais says.
“You are Gervais boss, Blue is my boss it evens out.” Saul says coming in and handing out plates of smoked salmon.
“This looks lovely.” Will says.
“I did get it right, you two eat fish but not meat?” Saul asks.
“Yes that’s right. So nice of you to remember.” Blue says.
“Ahh I cater to my guests preferences and try not to have vegans over.” Saul laughs.
“These two cook loads of vegan dishes but they’re both cheese fiends so could never manage to be one full time.” Will laughs.
“How did you meet Saul and Jeremy?” Blue asks Norm remembering why they are there.
“I was at college with Jeremy. He actually lived with me for a while when he moved the business here.” Norm says.
“Like me living with Blue.” Gervais says, living with Robin did not last long.
“What is the dynamic with you three?” Norm asks.
“Blue and I are together. Gervais and Blue are exes but the best of friends. Gervais and I have not known each other long but we’re becoming close friends. Blue and Gervais have both had less than conventional upbringings and look out for each other like family. They might seem over familiar at times but it is brother not Iover.” Will grins and Blue and Gervais laugh.
“And you are interning for Jeremy this summer, are you in school?” Norm asks.
“Yeah I have one year to go. When Blue moved up here I applied to a bunch of places here and got really lucky that I landed in a firm that wanted some real work from me.” Gervais smiles.
“Go on tell the truth what do you really think of it?” Jeremy asks suddenly.
“You have a split workforce, those of us who have skills, ideas and a work ethic and a bunch of poseurs who don’t. 1 know some of them fashion themselves as designers or marketing but they don’t seem to produce much and the tech guys are more likely to bring drawings and character ideas.” Gervais says.
“I had a business partner who brought in a lot of friends kids. Most of them have contributed but I agree their work rate has gone down. Is it affecting morale?” Jeremy asks.
“Enough with the shop talk. Blue and I will not be talking ice-cream tonight. If you want to Pick Gervais brain do it when he’s being paid.” Saul says.
“Sorry, you know me any excuse. That is why I need you to keep me in line.” Jeremy smiles not at all offended.
They move to more neutral topics and all the guys try and get Norm and Gervais talking. They both seem a little shy and Blue is sure that Gervais doesn’t want to reveal too much too soon, especially
“That went pretty well. Did you swap numbers?” Blue asks in the car.
“Yeah we did. He was really nice wasn’t he?” Gervais asks.
“I met a guy in Australia who was older and I loved his company so much. Not my usual type but interesting to talk to and I could have seen myself with him.” Blue says.
“I’m glad he’s far away.” Will grins.
“So am l. Meeting you was the best thing ever.” Blue grins.
“Barf. Just kidding I love you guys and I’m going to have lunch with Norm on Friday.” Gervais grins.
“Good, I’m not saying you should settle for stable. I just think stable and solvent is what you need right now.” Blue says.
“Yes no gold diggers after Chris. Norm is hot it wouldn’t be settling, hot and smart and stable sounds just about perfect to me right now. I very much doubt I am what he wants.” Gervais says.
“Gervais you are beautiful. Utterly beautiful. You are smart and interesting and you are not after a sugar daddy. The upside to being an orphan is you don’t have any parents to disapprove of your relationship. He is also up for meeting someone, else Jeremy would not have allowed him to meet you. The last thing he needs is you being used by a friend.” Will says.
“Thanks Will. Man you two as a pair are even better for my self-esteem than Blue was on his own. I have spent so long keeping away from guys while I fix my head that I have forgotten that I have been single on my terms and not because t am undesirable. I am young, rich and pretty and anyone would be lucky to have me.” Gervais says in an exaggerated accent and the three of them howl with laughter.
Wednesday Will and Blue have taken the day off to celebrate Blue’s actual birthday together. They are enjoying a lie in in the empty house and contemplating getting up to make some lunch but they are too comfy and happy.
They hear a knock on the door. Blue is surprised as no one should expect them to be in but he grabs some shorts and goes downstairs to answer.
Blue opens the door. It is Lana.
“I just wanted to see all my children on their birthday.” Lana says and Blue stands there gobsmacked.