Blue is utterly Overwhelmed by the gifts from his friends and Will. The favorite being the new coffee mug from Ocean with a picture of the two of them on.
The food is great and they are stuffed and is running through ideas for the leftovers in his head.
“I need to be a little rude. I hadn’t planned to do things this way but with Blue generously letting us be here to celebrate it makes things easier.” Clara says.
“You’re being confusing.” Blue says.
“Sorry I need to talk to you, Bea, Chris, Andy and Gervais alone. Will and Spence this is nothing against you, I’d prefer to keep it purely family initially.” Clara says.
“Are you sure you want me?” Gervais asks.
“Yes, I told you from the start, you’re family and that hasn’t changed. Just as Andy getting married doesn’t change things. You and I may have been estranged for a while but I still count you as one of mine.” Clara says and Gervais nods feeling secure.
“Come on Ocean, lets go outside.” Spence says and Will and Robin get up to follow them.
“You’ll be okay?” Cheryl asks Clara.
“Yes I’ll be fine. Sorry to kick you out.” Clara says and hugs her friend.
“Its fine, I’m really happy you are with them all today.” Cheryl says and kisses Clara’s cheek.
“There are a few things we need to discuss, some decisions I have made. Gervais I know you don’t need money but I want you here so you feel included and not cut out.” Clara says.
“You’re right I have far more than I need.” Gervais says.
“You can always write me a check.” Chris laughs.
“He’ll do no such thing.” Clara says.
“I am marrying Spence and so I won’t need anything either.” Andy says.
“Actually I think you do. I think you need your own security.” Clara says.
“But with the interest the beach house is getting we’re going to be set, whether my businesses work or fail.” Andy says.
“I totally believe in you and Spence. That you have spent time apart and decided to reunite is wonderful and I can see how strong you are and you are doing wonderful work farming. However I would hate to feel that if anything changed you would stay with Spence through the fear that he owned your home, business and all your savings and you couldn’t leave. I am not saying that will happen but I have seen it. Blue and Gervais have seen it.” Clara says,
“That’s true but the restaurant we’re splitting 4 ways even though it is Gervais and Spence fronting the money. And the farm business Andy has a third share, though Gervais has asked that he doesn’t take profit from his share, if we ever make anything.” Blue says.
“Let me tell you my full plan, we’re getting side tracked,” Clara says and Blue nods.
“You’re giving us money?” Chris asks not sure bow he ‘feels. He would usually be elated but he’s just got used to Clara being tight with the purse strings and working hard on burying his money grabbing tendencies.
“I have been talking estate planning with my team and what is the best way forward’ Clara says.
“Are you sick?” Blue asks worried.
“No I am healthy as can be. You all turning 21 got me thinking. I have always been against trust funds. Despite his strong moral code I worried that giving Blue a large sum of money would send him off the rails. He has proven me wrong and I know he can be trusted to be sensible.” Clara says.
“So you really are giving us money?” Chris asks.
“I trust Blue, Andy and Gervais. I don’t trust you or Bea. And I have to consider Katelyn.” Clara says.
“I get you not trusting Chris but you should trust me.” Bea says.
“It isn’t just about trusting you with money it is about trusting you to follow through having a career. Also I worry that with a larger allowance, let alone lump sum you could slip into addiction.” Clara says honestly. Blue braces himself for Bea’s objection but none comes she nods in acceptance.
“So what is this if we’re not getting money?” Chris asks.
“The group of you have different needs but you all need some feeling of security. It is your 21st Birthdays and that does require marking in a big way.” Clara says.
“Gervais, Blue and Andy I will fund your shares in the restaurant and Abby’s land. Spence can pay his own, Gervais be quiet. That is your birthday gift. The soup and ice-cream businesses I will hold a stake that will eventually pass to Bea and Chris. I will fund Blue and Andy’s stake also. I know that is against what the plan has been so far but I really dislike Arnold having such influence, one thing for the ice-cream but quite another for the rest.” Clara says.
“Seems like Blue and Andy are getting a lot now and me and Bea have to wait 40 years.” Chris says grumpily.
“Yeah are we getting a restaurant? Somewhere to live now?” Bea asks.
“Blue already had 2 houses.” Chris says.
“Yes he did and those were entirely separate to this and an agreement between us. And you both need to be careful what you are saying, fair doesn’t mean equal and I will be fair.” Clara says.
“Spit it out you have something planned.” Andy says.
“Okay you know I have been looking at property here. I totally respect that Blue isn’t keen on having Chris and here but I think he’s coming round.” Clara begins.
“This is why you didn’t want Will in here.” Blue says.
“Quite. I have found a small farm that I feel is pretty perfect for me. it is a little bigger than home, it’s to the east of the city so not right on your doorstep but close enough. Cheryl and I plan to set up home there. It has several small cottages on the grounds. Bea and Chris would have 2 each, one to live in and one to make an income from to see them through school.” Clara says.
“Cheryl? What about Mike?” Blue asks.
“I guess that is my cue to come back. Sorry, was hovering outside. Mike and I didn’t work out. it was wonderful and we are the best of friends but it what I wanted long term. I feel awful that twice I have introduced Ocean to someone and it hasn’t worked out. He loves Mike, its mutual and I adore Tad and Larry but that wasn’t enough. I have always wanted a smallholding as you know. The property is too much for Clara alone.” Cheryl says.
“But we love having you here. Ocean loves it here and we would miss him terribly. We are right on tap to ferry him to and from gym, for lessons and to take care of him.” Blue says panicked
“We don’t mind any of it. We love the guy and we will help out whether you are here or not.” Gervais cuts in.
“The property needs someone year round. I won’t be here all the time, neither will Chris and Bea. The property has several cottages in the grounds, it is substantial. Chris and Bea will each have a one to live in and one to make an income from.” Clara says.
“Cheryl are you insane having Ocean grow up around those two? Having a series of strangers living in the grounds? You can’t trust those two to vet anyone properly.” Blue says.
“I know you love Ocean but he is my son and I make the decisions.” Cheryl says.
“Momma, thanks for the offer but no thank-you. I won’t be making my life here.” Blue says and walks out.
Gervais runs after him.
“Blue please don’t run away again.” Gervais says grabbing his hand.
“Get Will and meet me in my car.” Blue says.
“Okay.” Gervais says and runs to find Will.
Blue has a million feelings churning through him. The biggest one is he is not going to let his mom control him with her money. Him and his friends. Taking Ocean away, trying to buy more influence on the businesses. Forcing Bea and Chris into his path. He wants out. He needs out. The plan was to make his own path and he can’t do that now. Not here.
“Come on lets drive.” Will says getting in with Gervais and Robin.
“What happened exactly? Chris is blowing up at your mom.” Robin says.
“Clara was back trying to run all our lives, and Blue snapped. She’s sneaky, she was giving Blue lots o compliments, mostly as a way to keep Chris and Bea down. We are done with her. Done.” Gervais says.
“Is that what you want Blue?” Will asks.
“Yes. I do not want to be in business with my mom. I don’t want to be in business with anyone but you guys, Andy and Spence. I am done with the rest. Done.” Blue says.
“Okay. That sounds like a good start. Spence and I will stick to the plan, pay half each for Abbys place and have 4 equal shares. Unless you mean it about moving on.” Gervais says.
“Can I live here if I leave the businesses? Can I deal with seeing Cheryl around when she has been sucked in to this?” Blue asks.
“What is the Cheryl thing?” Will asks.
“Cheryl and Mike are done. She’s buying a place with momma where the batshit siblings will live too. I objected to Ocean growing up around them and was told to back off. It was the end for me. All the scales fell from my eyes and I was done. It was no accident momma told us what she was doing for us before she revealed about them. Wanted me and Gervais to feel bad for Andy so we wouldn’t say no. I hate her and what she does.” Blue says.
“Head to the city. We can all stay at my place tonight.” Will says.
“I have to stay here for you.” Blue says.
“You have to stay here for you. You never wanted those other businesses. We don’t need a lot. We can make your place work for us.” Will says.
“We won’t have so much goodwill.” Blue says.
“You can still do it. Go back to basics, yoga, cheesecake, vegetables. You can do this. Lets get the vines in before you pull out of the businesses.” Robin says.
“Sorry if I am fucking it up for you.” Blue says.
“You’re not. I am happy to work with you and Andy the rest of the summer. I have learnt loads. I have ideas and I will look to do my masters here after graduation.” Robin says.
“I’m just texting Andy and Spence. Letting them know we won’t be back tonight.” Gervais says.
“Don’t say where we are.” Blue says.
“I never would. Blue I am really pleased you are doing this. All three of us have been worried about you. Every time you say no and pull back and try and live your way you get sucked in to something else. Will is right, yoga, baking, growing. That is what you dream of. No shortcuts.” Gervais says.
“Yoga, baking, growing. You make it sound like I’m about to start a weed emporium.” Blue laughs and the others join in.