Ocean wakes up in his room in Blue’s house and smiles. He likes this room the best and hanging out with his big brothers was the best day of the summer, even better than the fishing day.
“Time for yoga?” Blue asks sticking his head round the door.
“Yes please.” Ocean grins and bounces out of bed.
“How is your tummy today?” Blue asks.
“I am okay. I had lots of bananas and I only had 3 Cheetos.” Ocean says ignoring the mountain of gingerbread and ice-cream he consumed.
Blue swings Ocean up onto his back and jogs down the stairs causing Ocean to squeal and giggle.
Robin and Gervais join them outside and they soon calm and feel good.
“I’ll drop you home in an hour when I collect Bea.” Blue says.
“Nah, I can stay here.” Ocean says.
“Call your mom and ask if it is okay to hang out with me this morning.” Gervais says.
“Really?” Ocean asks surprised he’s got away with it.
“Call now and we can have breakfast before Andy puts us to work out here.” Gervais says.
“Wooohoooo.” Ocean cries out and runs indoors to find a phone.
“You don’t mind?” Blue asks.
“You’re not the only one who he wants to hang out with.” Gervais says and Blue smiles.
“I know, I just had to check.” Blue smiles and heads inside. Ocean is grinning on the phone and hands it to Blue.
“She wants to talk to you.” Ocean says.
“Is it okay for him to stay with Gervais and Robin?” Blue asks.
“Yes it’s a good idea, Lana is not the easiest person to have around.” Cheryl says.
“I’ll be coming over for Bea, I can bring Katelyn back here if she wants.” Blue says.
“I will ask her. Was Ocean okay yesterday? He’s been somewhat challenging with all the upheaval.” Cheryl asks.
“He was happy as can be. That may be down to the mountain of sugar. We had a good long chat on Friday and will you not consider Katelyn’s school? It sounds like it is the sort of place you would have chosen.” Blue asks on Ocean’s behalf.
“I was hoping the gymnastics fad was over and we could move to the lake to be honest.” Cheryl says.
“Wow, I did not expect that. Because of the arson?” Blue asks.
“Yes in part, but also Willow.” Cheryl says.
“You two were great together and you would be amazing running the retreat together.” Blue says.
“But Ocean comes first. Can you come over a few minutes early so we can talk without him in earshot?” Cheryl asks.
“Of course.” Blue says with a smile.
“Can I stay?” Ocean asks.
“Yes. Can I get you some breakfast or do you want a shower first?” Blue asks.
“Bubble bath!” Ocean replies.
“Down here? Go and get your clothes and I’ll set it running.” Blue says.
“Thank-you Blue.” Ocean says and gives Blue a quick hug before running upstairs.
Blue sets the tub running and updates Gervais.
“He wants a soak and then breakfast. I need to shower and make sure Chris is up.” Blue says.
“I can manage. Stop fussing.” Gervais says.
“Katelyn will be coming over too. There is loads of food.” Blue says.
“I know, I live here too. Blue the world doesn’t end because you’re taking a couple of hours off from hosting. Stop worrying. Will won’t give a fig if the house is a tip tomorrow, he will just want to be with you and you know it.” Gervais says and Blue half smiles.
“I do. I want to be here but I know this brunch is super important to Chris. We’ll not be too long.” Blue says.
“Don’t rush back. Who knows when you’ll be able to talk properly again.” Gervais says and Blue nods and hugs Gervais closely.
Gervais shakes his head and goes to check on Ocean’s bath. He adds more bubbles and swishes the water round.
“Thanks Gervais.” Ocean says and hugs his friend.
“Be good, no tsunamis.” Gervais says.
“I promise.” Ocean says.
“Shout if you need help.” Gervais says and closes the door behind him. He listens at the door for a moment to Ocean playing submarines with his action figures and smiles to himself. He loves how Ocean is young for his age and can amuse himself so easily.
Gervais washes his hands and face in the kitchen and checks out what he can make for breakfast. A dishevelled Andy plops himself on a chair demanding coffee.
“Another late one?” Gervais asks.
“Yup. Was such a good day but the three of us got into the tequila and I am seriously paying for it.” Andy says.
“Wouldn’t some water or juice be better? Want some eggs?” Gervais asks feeling a sudden need to nurture. He thinks about last summer looking after the kids and how different this year has been.
“Just toast for now.” Andy says looking a little green.
“Ocean is in the tub down here.” Gervais says handing over the drink.
“Noted, no mad dash in there.” Andy smiles.
“Excited for tomorrow?” Gervais asks.
“Kind of. It’s one more day to wait but it feels like forever, even longer you know?” Andy says.
“Yeah. He’s had a good time?” Gervais asks.
“He has. I don’t think he’ll be coming back to school. He says he is but I think he’ll stay with Will. He just needs me to tell him it is okay.” Andy says.
“You’ll work it out. Has the beach house sale gone through?” Gervais asks.
“Yes. Spence is beyond wealthy now. Crazy money. I guess we need to sort out the farm properly now. Abby isn’t in a hurry but I want it all official before Blue, Tad and I work through our plans for next year.” Andy says.
“Will Tad be a partner too or are we still doing this 4 ways?” Gervais asks.
“Four ways. Tad will continue to manage the farm until I graduate. But ultimately he and Larry will inherit from Mike. We’ve talked a little about how invested he will be when he’s not benefitting but he says this is his way of proving his methods and ideas to his dad without risking anything in Mike’s business.” Andy says.
“That makes sense. And he’ll be happy to deputize to you when you’re back?” Gervais asks.
“Not just me, Blue too. Everyone seems to give me all the credit for everything but Blue has done the vast majority of the work here and has his ideas too. Sure I’ve done a lot this summer but he did all the winter slog.” Andy says.
“I know. I also know he wants you to manage the farm so he doesn’t have to. He has a lot else on.” Gervais says.
“Yeah, I just wish he took more credit, not that I don’t love the praise.” Andy grins looking a bit better with some food inside him.
“You look ready for eggs.” Gervais says.
“I am.” Ocean says coming in pink from the bath.
“We’re off. See you soon.” Blue says kissing them all and heading out the door with Chris.
“You okay?” Chris asks in the car.
“Yeah just thinking. Sorry you could have had more time, I need to talk to Cheryl and drop Katelyn back to the house.” Blue says.
“Its fine Blue. You’re flapping like crazy.” Chris says.
“I know. Sorry.” Blue says.
Blue pops in to chat, they drop off Katelyn and head to the restaurant.
“What did Cheryl want?” Chris asks as they sit down.
“Just checking Ocean had been behaving. He’s not been coping with all the changes too well.” Blue says, not mentioning that Cheryl wants to move to the lake.
“l thought he was amazing. Announcing he was tired and taking himself off to bed.” Chris says.
“He loves his room, thanks for clearing out for him.” Blue says.
“No problem, Andy was very accommodating.” Chris grins.
“Stop trying to oversell it. I know you both just passed out.” Blue grins back.
“Thanks for abandoning me with mom.” Bea says cutting off their fun.
“You’re the one who wants to be adopted.” Chris says.
“Hey! No fighting today. This brunch is about us reconciling not creating new rifts.” Blue says.
“Big bro strikes.” Chris laughs.
“Keeping us in line.” Bea grins.
The waitress comes over and Blue orders two portions of crab benedict.
“Glutton.” Chris says as she leaves.
“Shut up I’m hungry.” Blue grins.
“I love how you don’t care what people think about your food intake.” Bea says.
“I know I eat a ton of sweet stuff and won’t be able to forever but I am so active I burn through it so fast.” Blue says.
“Yeah we’re all pretty lucky that way. They will analyze us physically as well as mentally for the study.” Bea says.
“Cool. I am super curious but super worried about privacy, especially as Will will be facing more attention over the next year.” Blue says.
“Yeah I totally understand. It is unlikely anything will be published for years. Our notoriety will be long over.” Bea says.
“Hopefully my ice-cream will still be around.” Blue grins.
“It will for sure. You’re in a national chain and I have read so many articles about the vegan stuff. So many.” Bea says.
“You’ve been checking up on me?” Blue asks.
“Momma emails us both all the links.” Chris says rolling his eyes.
“I’m sorry.” Blue says.
“Don’t be. It’s really nice. And it isn’t just you is it. I mean Robin is part of things and Cheryl and Ollie. It is nice to hear about how well you’re doing. You remember when you two hated each other and we came to Sunday lunch and you had made cheesecake?” Bea asks.
“I swear that cheesecake triggered my twin brain. It was the best thing I had ever tasted. I did get a kick out of seeing one of those early articles about the bakery and the cheesecake line, thinking I had had it before it became the thing to have. Chris grins.
“I just love making it. The soup too. I am looking forward to production rolling out soon. But back to us, Bea when will we have to meet this guy?” Blue asks.
“I sent him an email and explained when we’re here and when we’ll be back at school. Hopefully he’ll come back to me soon and still wants us.” Bea says.
“How are you? Are you going to carry on in the bakery next week? I’ll be working tomorrow.” Blue says.
“I think so. I’ll take mom in with me and take her to the bank on my break. She seems to like Cheryl and Roe which is good. She is convinced that dad was behind the arson, says she has more information she didn’t tell the police yet. I don’t know if she is for real or delusional.” Bea says.
“Nothing makes sense. Can we just not talk about it?” Blue asks.
“I am not working any more. I had fun but I am going to relax before school.” Chris says.
“Where are you going to live?” Blue asks.
“In your old house. Gervais says it’s okay, he will be in with Robin. George and Dylan have got their own place. Spence and Andy will be playing house. The only question is Birch who asked if he could have a room.” Chris says.
“And we both love Birch so it will be fine.” Bea says.
“He’s not easy to live with when he’s on a creative run.” Blue says.
“We’ll cope. We can afford a cleaner these days.” Bea says.
“Yes you can. I’ll be up to visit a couple of times. When Will is away training.” Blue says.
“That sounds good. We need to somehow keep each other in our lives.” Bea says.
“Well while you’re both being human I’m okay with it.” Blue grins.
“So can we come to you on winter break?” Chris asks.
“I will be pretty busy, so as long as you help out.” Blue says.
“I am useless at that, in the home. But I will happily work in the factory or diner or wherever. I kind of enjoy it.” Bea says.
“Maybe I’ll get you out delivering pies and cheesecakes.” Blue says.
“That I could do. Domestic stuff just brings out the rage in me. I’m sorry you’ve been on the end of that.” Bea says.
“I’m okay with chores. It is a weird difference between us. Maybe the head shrinker will unravel it.” Chris says.
“If he tugs too hard your tiny brain will come out your ears.” Blue grins and Chris kicks him under the table.
“This is what we missed out on. Being able to tease each other and fight and it be just how we are and it not turn into something massive.” Bea grins.
“I dilute things. You’re not always picking on each other. Bea I will never get why you were the scapegoat always and this idiot was the golden one. I hope we can make things more equal between ourselves.” Blue says.
“It works. When I’ve no devious plan and Chris isn’t after something and you aren’t pushing us away it works. We just have to hold each other to account and not play games. Honesty is the only thing that will work.” Bea says.
“Honesty advice from Pinocchio.” Chris grins.
“Oh shut up Midas.” Blue says and the three laugh.
The food is good and Bea and Chris enjoy a few drinks. They chat about next semester and Blue’s plans.
“Would you like anything else? A dessert?” The waitress asks.
“Yes please.” They all say and take the offered menus.
“Weird this has Blue cherry cheesecake, do you supply here?” Chris asks.
“No. Mine are exclusive to the bakery. But I haven’t trademarked Blue cheesecake, that is just what it is known as locally.” Blue says.
“I’m gonna get it. See what it’s like.” Chris says.
“I am getting the coconut cake.” Blue says.
“Coffee gelato I think, I’m not that hungry.” Bea says.
“We’re your brothers not your date.” Blue says.
“I really just want the ice-cream. And another cocktail.” Bea grins and Blue smiles.
“You two will be passed out in the car.” Blue says.
“Easy way to avoid mom.” Chris says.
“Did you decide?” The waitress asks.
“Is it real Blue cheesecake?” Chris asks.
“It isn’t Blue in color.” The waitress says.
“So where does the name come from?” Bea asks.
“It is just the style.” The waitress replies.
The three exchange a look and then order.
“This is gross.” Chris says putting his spoon down after one bite. Blue grabs it and has a taste.
“Ew.” Blue says.
“Excuse me?” Bea says to a passing waitress.
“Do you want the check?” The waitress asks.
“Yes but we need to speak to the manager or owner.” Bea says.
“If there is a problem I am sure I can help.” The waitress says.
“It needs someone higher up, no offence it’s about the menu, not a service issue, you’ve been great.” Bea says keeping it polite.
“You don’t have to say anything.” Blue says.
“Yes I do. If you won’t. I mean if you want Randolf to write a letter than I’ll leave it.” Bea says.
“I won’t. It’s a pile of crap and not a Blue cheesecake, hell it is barely cheesecake.” Chris says.
“Same, we thought it was going to be like that dream bakery cheesecake.” A man at the next table says.
“You like my cheesecake?” Blue asks, however secure he is in his cooking it is nice to hear when stranger like it.
“Oh my goodness, you’re the triplets.” The woman say next to him says and Blue’s heart sinks.
“Yeah we are. All friends as you can see, don’t believe wat you read.” Chris says quickly.
“We won’t and we are so sorry about the fires you’ve had, we loved your ice-cream place.” The man says.
“Thanks, we’ll be back soon as a diner. With amazing deserts.” Blue grins.
“We will be there.” The woman says and a woman approaches.
“Its you. Great.” Blue sighs.
“What?” Bea asks confused.
“Are you the manager?” Blue asks.
“I’m the owner.” The woman says.
“You’ll be hearing from my lawyer.” Blue says, chucks some money on the table and leaves. Chris and Bea are confused and follow quickly behind.
“Bro slow down.” Chris says running to catch up with Blue.
“Seriously, who was she?” Bea asks.
“Bitch ass cooking teacher who accused me of having shop bought cheesecake, humiliated me and threw me out the class. Also through that class I met Jett.” Blue says.
“She’s a total bitch.” Bea says.
“Man I am sorry you went through that. Fuck what is it with people trying to bring you down.” Chris says.
“Uh you’re one to talk.” Blue says with a smile calming down. It is nice his siblings have his back.
“That is the place that should have been burnt down.” Bea says.