Ocean and Adam are wrapped together in bed Sunday morning. They have the whole day free and Ocean has been looking forward to spending some time just them.
“Shall we go eat?” Ocean says after a lazy couple of hours enjoying each other.
“Yeah can I use your shower first?” Adam asks and ocean nods.
He enjoys the view of Adam as he walks to the bathroom and stretches like a cat. Ocean picks up his phone and checks his messages, he is shocked that Andy and Spence have gatecrashed Gervais holiday and is instantly worried. He grabs his other phone and messages Blue, just some casual news about school, a distraction to cheer him up as he knows he’ll be feeling stressed and paranoid.
Blue calls a few minutes later.
“Not up yet?” Blue giggles.
“It’s Sunday. I don’t have practice and I have a very cute man in my shower.” Ocean replies.
“I’m glad. Things are a bit crazy here, I guess G told you.” Blue says.
“Are you okay?” Ocean asks.
“I am panicking a little and Andy and I are not getting along. He’s being a total bitch and I am not handling it well. Chris and G are mad at him and its not the most relaxing time.” Blue says.
“Why are you panicking?” Ocean asks.
“I am worried Andy will tell people. Momma and Bea and others. They came on a hunch Spence had. I’m not mad at G for what happened and I accept it was really sweet of them to drop everything to see if I was here but I wanted to do things my way and at my pace and I hate things not being in my control.” Blue says.
“Like me getting G to come or Chris showing up?” Ocean asks.
“I am not mad at you for that. Or for Will finding out. But I was happy for it to be contained there. I trust you guys completely. Will isn’t even telling his husband. I don’t trust Andy not to tell Katelyn or Roe who would tell momma, Bea, the world.” Blue says.
“So you’re preparing to flee again?” Ocean asks.
“We will always keep in touch with you Ocean. I just need to borrow Gervais from you for a couple of years.” Blue says.
“That is how it should be. I need to make my own way. I just need you to check in every now and then. Both of you.” Ocean says.
“We will. Could you talk to Will at some point? Chris and I would really appreciate it if you both denied everything, ever seeing or speaking to me.” Blue says.
“It will only bring pain if it came out we knew. We’ll protect you.” Ocean says.
“Love you banana boy.” Blue says and hangs up.
“Why do you have a second phone?” Adam asks coming out of the bathroom as Ocean is putting it back in his drawer.
“It’s just an old spare.” Ocean says.
“So why did you have it out?” Adam asks accusatorially.
“Just checking the charge.” Ocean says quite surprised at how easily the lies come to him.
“Are you on steroids or something? Are you dealing?” Adam asks.
“No! This muscle is all hard won and I would never take Shortcuts or encourage others to use poisons. Who do you think I am?” Ocean asks shocked.
“Then it’s someone else? Is it Garrett? Are you playing me for a fool?” Adam asks.
“No, I am, was really in to you. This jealousy is kind Of gross.” Ocean says.
“Come on, hiding a phone away is really suss and you are hiding something.” Adam says.
“I’m not hiding anything. It is just an Old Phone I keep for spare.” Ocean says.
“Then show me your messages.” Adam says.
“No. You either trust my word or you don’t. I have done nothing to cause you not to trust me. We spend all our free time together.” Ocean says.
“Well it was nice while it lasted.” Adam says pulling his clothes on and leaving.
Gervais sits on his bed and sighs. He’s had a lot of fun with Adam but it was probably too much too soon and his loyalty to Blue is far more important to him right now than a boyfriend.
Ocean showers himself and goes to get some lunch alone. He feels pretty deflated and fed up. He knows that he couldn’t show Adam his phone, he deletes most of Blue’s messages but he didn’t want Adam to see the phone only had one number in it.
Still Ocean feels like he had a lucky escape. Adam showed his true colors and Ocean cannot be dealing with a jealous boyfriend when season starts and he’s away sharing a room with teammates.
He gets in his car and drives out of the city and takes himself on a walk. Getting back to nature is exactly what he needs. He enjoys the walk and in a deserted area he slips off his sneakers and socks and does a little yoga, taking in the clean air and getting rid of the day’s negativity.
He gets back to his suite and finds the door to his room has been forced open and the room ransacked. Of course the phone is gone. Ocean calls campus security and then Gervais.
“The phone was stolen. I know it was Adam, we broke up this morning over it.” Ocean says panicking.
“It’s okay. He hasn’t called and Blue is going to switch it off. You can talk to him on my phone for now and your new account has been set up okay. We can always find you.” Gervais says.
“Shit no he’s taken my laptop and tablet too. I don’t think anything is on them but I can’t be completely sure. I’m new to being so careful.” Ocean says.
“Well close the account now from the phone you do have. We’re not at the stage where you and I can’t have contact yet so don’t stress. I’ll transfer some money so you can buy new things and you should go and stay in a hotel for a few days while your room is fixed. I’m far more paranoid about jealous people than anything else. We need you to be safe.” Gervais says.
“Oh gosh, sure he isn’t like Justin.” Ocean says feeling awful they he will have stirred up bad memories for Gervais.
“I am too but this morning you wouldn’t have thought he would have broken in to your room.” Gervais says.
“I’m worried for Skye. What if it wasn’t Adam?” Ocean ask.
“Chris is on it as we speak. I’ll call you when I can. Get out of that room as soon as security have finished. Go tell coach what is going on and your team mates, you can trust them and I need to know people are looking out for you.” Gervais says.
“Thanks G. Love you.” Ocean says and hangs up as security arrive.
Gervais shakes his head and looks at Blue, worried.
“I’m going to say good bye to Andy and Spence.” Blue says.
“Good idea. Let them know I’ll be in touch when I can.” Gervais says.
“I don’t want to leave mad at Andy. Leaving Will when we were in a fight was terrible.” Blue says.
“We have two hours so take your time. I’ll send Hugo over when he gets back.” Gervais says and Blue turns and hugs Gervais before he leaves.
“Thanks for not thinking we’re nuts.” Blue says.
“I won’t take a risk when I only just got you back.” Gervais says.
“We’re having to cut things short, not because of you. Please don’t think that. Please, please don’t tell anyone I was here. Please keep it to yourself.” Blue says.
“You know how much it would mean to Roe, Cheryl and your mom to know you are safe.” Andy says.
“I came here to make sure our last interaction wasn’t a fight. Stop making it so damn hard. I helped you when you were in need, you owe me.” Blue says his eyes flashing with anger.
“I owe them too.” Andy says.
“Were we ever friends? Because I don’t recall ever asking much from you. Why is this one thing, one thing that could save my life so difficult for you? Why do you have to be so mean? You have everything and instead of making you happy you’re a fucking cunt.” Blue says and leaves, determined not to cry in front of him.
“What the hell did you do that for? You want him to kill himself?” Spence asks.
“Oh come on. You know they’ve been worried about him for years. It was too much to ask.” Andy says.
“It was a tiny thing to ask. We do owe him, we owe him our marriage, our home and our businesses. Don’t tell me it was our hard work and money because that is only half of it and deep down you know it. You’re behaving like Robin and it disgusts me. If you tell anyone anything then our marriage is over.” Spence says and in the moment he means it.
“Spence, seriously.” Andy says.
“Seriously. You can’t give your friend a tiny bit of peace? You just add to the things he has to worry about? To him you’re being a vindictive cock. Look at it from his point of view.” Spence says and runs after Blue.
“I’m sorry for messing up your vacation.” Blue says.
“Not your fault, at all. I am sorry Andy said those things. I have no idea what he is thinking. If he tells anyone we are over and I’m not joking, I hope he takes me seriously.” Spence says.
“What did I do to make him so hostile?” Blue asks sadly.
“His ego is bruised that you didn’t call him. That G and Will and Ocean knew and we didn’t. I don’t know why he can’t see your side or why he can’t shake it off. I guess he had the fantasies about rescuing you and being the hero who brought you home and he feels like you are taking that away from him. He is being selfish, totally self-centered and he is on incredibly thin ice with me.” Spence says.
“It hurt so, so much leaving Will when we were in the middle of a fight. That our last words to each other were anger and not love. I might never see you guys again, maybe Andy thinks it will be easier to hate me.” Blue says.
“Well I don’t. I love you Blue and I will miss you every day and pray that you find your way back to us safely. I’ll take care of everything our end.” Spence says.
“You need to get Gervais lawyer’s details. We haven’t decided what we’re doing yet but we’ll likely need to sell out of the businesses. I assume that isn’t a problem with the farm, though I want to keep my old property intact for Ocean.” Blue says.
“Not a problem, I’ll sort out leasing the tunnels from Ocean as we still use them. Name your price and I’ll cover it for the business. Heck I could even buy you out of the soup and ice-cream, be worth it for the look on Robin’s face.” Spence grins.
“You’re so mean.” Blue laughs.
“Honestly it would make my day to be the one to fire him.” Spence says.
“I am sorry for causing issues between you and Andy, I never imagined I’d do that again. Take care of you and him. Thanks for everything. I was scared by you showing up, but I am glad I got to see you.” Blue says.
“It isn’t the last time. Come on I’ll walk with you. Lets make a deal to meet up in six months. Here or Tokyo or something.” Spence says.
“That sounds amazing. I would love that. We have about an hour.” Blue says.
“Where is Andy?” Chris asks as they come in.
“Sulking and being a prick. You should go see him to say goodbye but first, Spence has a plan.” Blue says and Spence explains.
“Honestly I say Chicago again. I loved that hotel and there was lots to do and it is so busy,” Chris says.
“Okay. Chicago it is.” Spence grins.
“Maybe three months.” Blue says quietly.
“Agreed,” Chris says.
“G you need to give me your lawyer details. I will work with him on whatever you need.” Spence says.
“I’ll go kick Andy’s butt.” Chris says.
“Be kind, he has no idea how much of a dick he is being. He thinks lessening the worry of the others is moew important than our safety, he doesn’t believe we’re at risk.” Blue says.
“Don’t be so nice about it.” Chris says.
“I’m not to his face.” Blue says and Chris grins and kisses Blue’s cheek before leaving.
“I’m gonna miss you.” Gervais says hugging Spence.
“You are with your Blue. I think you’ll be a hell of a lot happier.” Spence says.
“I know I am already. I know you’re all worried but I am feeling a million times better.” Blue says.
“Good. It is wonderful to see you but it is one heck of a shock to see you so thin.” Spence says.
“We’re working on it.” Gervais says.
“Keep up with Ocean, I’m sure you will but he’s had a really bad day and could use someone to talk to.” Blue says.
“I will call him once you are safely in the sky. You two need to be together. Blue you once told me to go for it with Andy and well I maybe didn’t get it quite right but it got us married. You two need to go for it too. You love each other and that love has survived this time apart. Don’t waste any more time.” Spence says and the three have a big hug together.
“I thumped Andy and I am not sorry. You best go check he’s okay. Thanks for being so decent Spence. We’ll see you in Chicago.” Chris says coming back.
“Until Chicago and if Andy isn’t behaving it’ll be just me and Ocean. I love you guys, stay safe.” Spence says and hugs them all one last time.
“Chris hit me. I should report him to the cops.” Andy complains.
“You deserved it.” Spence says with no sympathy.
“What would have done to me if I had suggested telling your mom where Katelyn was the minute she arrived at the lake? If I suggested the worry your mom felt was more important than their safety?” Spence asks.
“Its not the same. Blue is not in danger from Clara, Roe or Cheryl.” Andy says.
“KateIyn wasn’t in danger from your mom, just her psycho husband.” Spence says.
“I just think we should be celebrating and partying. Letting everyone know they are safe and well would make everything so much better.” Andy says.
“And if we did that and they were killed? You want that on your head?” Spence asks.
“You are being over dramatic. We should stop talking about this. We’ll never agree.” Andy says.
“They are leaving, right now and we might never see them again. Gervais too. I’m not being over dramatic, I am devastated that I’m losing my friends. I don’t know why you are so angry and argumentative but it is killing us too. When did you get so selfish?” Spence asks bewildered.
“When did you become an angel?” Andy counters.
“When you took me back and agreed to marry me. Actually before that I changed myself for the better and I am always working on it. I wish I’d come here alone. I hate seeing you like this and I hate that our friends can’t trust you. I don’t like you much at all right now. Taunting the vulnerable and threatening them is vile behavior. I don’t see how we can go on from here.” Spence says and takes himself off for a walk.
Spence knows he won’t end his marriage over this but he wants to give Andy a good scare. He feels bad that he’s playing games but has no idea what else he can do with Andy being so stubborn.
He sits on the beach and calls Ocean.
“Hey kid, are you okay?” Spence asks.
“Yeah, I just got to a hotel and I’m trying to chill out.” Ocean says,
“Were the phone and things with you ex?” Spence asks.
“No, well he hasn’t be found yet. I am so annoyed. I really hope it is just Adam over reacting. How are things there? Beautiful?” Ocean asks.
“The guys have moved on and I’ve put Andy in time out for being a dick.” Spence says.
“Will and I have agreed that we never ever admit it happened. Never saw or spoke to anyone.” Ocean says.
“Fully on board. Call if you need anything and keep me updated on Adam.” Spence says.
“I will. I feel so stupid, let my guard down and whoosh it all goes mad.” Ocean says.
“Get some sleep and just be normal. When will college fix your room?’ Spence asks.
“I don’t know.” Ocean says.
“If it is more than a couple of days I’ll step in. What has your mom said?” Spence asks.
“I just told her we broke up and my room was busted in to. I didn’t tell her about the phone or anything.” Ocean says.
“I’ll come up for a weekend soon after I get back. Might as well start looking for an apartment for next year. I don’t want you to be isolated but as you’ve not particularly bonded with anyone in your suite maybe you’d be happier moving off campus.” Spence says.
“I might see if any of my team mates have a spare room.” Ocean muses.
“Good idea. Other than the drama you’re doing okay?” Spence asks.
“I really am. Thanks for checking in on me.” Ocean says.
“Well I’m going to have to step in now G is off.” Spence says.
“I can manage but I really do appreciate it.” Ocean says.
“Thank-you.” Spence says and Ocean grins.
Ocean is still feeling uneasy and can’t put his finger on it. He’s less worried about Adam now, if his things were gone he’d know he was a bad guy who got what he wanted and cleared off. He figures it would have been easier for him to steal Ocean’s things while he was in the shower or something.
Ocean looks at his phone and contemplates calling Adam to see if they can sort things amicably.
He’d really like his laptop back as it has so many of his pictures stored on it and all his assignments.
He plucks up the courage and calls.
“Where are you?” Ocean asks.
“Not telling you.” Adam says.
“‘l need my stuff back. Can you drop it by the gym tomorrow? You don’t have to see me.” Ocean pleads.
“You called the cops on me. I’m not doing you any favors.” Adam says.
“But it was you that took it all? Why?” Ocean asks and Adam hangs up.
Ocean sighs and goes to bed.
Blue, Chris and Gervais decide that vacationing isn’t for them, too risky and they want to know what their options are. They fly to Seattle and Chris sets up a meeting with his case worker for a couple of days’ time.
Gervais has booked them into an apartment for a couple of weeks and he and Chris take Blue out food shopping to markets and specialty stores to try and get Blue excited about food again. He knows what they are doing and tries to indulge them but really he finds it all too over whelming.
After a day where they end up tired and bickering Blue lays it on the line.
“I just can’t do it. Buy some things for me to cook, whatever looks good and you think I can make a meal from. The choices are just overwhelming.” Blue says.
“I don’t know how to shop vegan.” Chris says.
“We’ll sort it. Is there anything else bothering you?” Gervais asks.
“I think we should get married, so they can’t split us up.” Blue says.
“Well that’s romantic.” Chris laughs.
“I’d love to but it would be a romantic, life commitment based on love for me, but it wouldn’t for you and I deserve the real deal.” Gervais says.
“I’m sorry. I am just so worried that we’ll be whisked away.” Blue says.
“Here’s the thing. Spence is making the hotel reservations for 3 months’ time. We can all get there whether we fly, drive or get the bus. The worst case is we are apart for 3 months. We can all contact my lawyer, you both know his name and town and he knows to help you whatever your names are as long as you mention my parents.” Gervais says.
“We don’t have to wait 3 months, if they give us identities and split us up we meet at Ocean’s college as soon as we can get there. The lawyer, Spence and Will can send us money for a flight if we’re unable to access funds and we leave the program.” Chris says.
“We can’t put Ocean at risk. We go to Gervais lawyer, he will put us up and help us sort out our banking and everything.” Blue says.
“It might not come to that.” Gervais says.
“No but we need to be prepared. We have the chance to be this time, it isn’t the same as in the past. When Chris and I have been moved on we had nothing to stay for anyway. It only mattered the first time and we had no option then, no chance to make it better.” Blue says.
“Okay. Eggs are not dairy. If I get some lovely free range ones will you make some delicious pasta for us? I know it isn’t vegan. Or maybe your baked potato soup, with no cheese for you but loads for me and Chris.” Gervais suggests.
“Okay. I think I would like that.” Blue says and Gervais totally melts inside. He has nothing against Blue being vegan but he knows he isn’t doing it right and feels if Blue would eat more his brain would be less foggy.
“Sounds awesome. I guess desserts are a no as a no dairy, no fun Blue?” Chris asks.
“Well I can make vegan ice-cream but I hate it. I really hate it. I lied when I said I liked seeing it in stores. I feel like everything went wrong when I answered the cry for help from Arnold. From the parlor fire to Ella being a money grabbing whore.” Blue says shocking the pair.
“I always thought that the vegan stuff took off was a nice fuck you to Arnold and his milk.” Gervais says.
“It was but it all reminds me of what I don’t have. It was mine.” Blue says.
“Yes it was and you will use your creativity and palate and create something new that is all yours that you totally love and we will be right here supporting you. You know me and G don’t need a slice of fame or fortune we need to keep busy and see you happy.” Chris says.
“You need to be fulfilled too.” Blue says.
“Oh I know I do. I’ve been thinking about what would truly make me happy and I know what it is.” Chris says.
“Go on.” Gervais says.
“I want to run some sort of shelter. Animals, not humans. Somewhere for retired working animals and unwanted pets. Somewhere for pets to go after the owner dies. I’ll need some of your cash, but I came across a place that funded itself by housing volunteers, where they vacation at the shelter and walk the dogs, clean out the kitties and everything, they pay through the nose to stay.” Chris says.
“So a big ranch would really suit you too. We just need enough space.” Gervais says.
“I think we should help you get started as that is an awesome idea and I would love to cater to your guests. Eggs from my chickens for breakfasts, hearty soups for lunches and whatever I can come up with for dinners. Being a shelter there would be no issue with us having a veggie food policy. I love the idea, really love it Chris. G can get his tech head back on and organize everything and deal with bookings. We’ll never make much money but we’ll be happy. And you’ll be meeting people all the time.” Blue says.
“If we needed to make money then we’d get the cheesecakes back in production. If we could become a charity a buck or two from each could go to the shelter.” Chris says.
“Same with wine.” Gervais says.
“I’ll start looking while you guys go shopping.” Blue says feeling amazing. Chris has had a brilliant idea, they need somewhere like the retreat, a failed rural hotel or former private school or even an abandoned housing project or ghost town.
As Blue runs through the ideas in his head he gets more and more excited. He looks up similar shelters and looks at what they offer. For the first time in seven years he feels motivated and excited. The thought that they could put all their skills to use and he could have his restaurant using ingredients he grows and local suppliers, for guests, workers and locals is thrilling to him.
And in the back of his mind is the cheesecakes. He knows it would be hard to get things going and he doesn’t want to burn through Gervais cash but the thought of starting small with a coffee and cake, aimed at local volunteers who might like to walk a dog or pet another animal. Just like at Heidi’s build up the other offerings slowly.
They just need to find somewhere they can afford. Sell out of the businesses at home and gosh its going to be a lot of work with permits and staff and renovations.
Blue grins to himself as he paces the apartment. He hasn’t has this much to think about in so long.
The bakery he took over was a working business and had in built clients, sure he added some lines but he didn’t go out and do the hard graft of building it up.
Blue finds 6 places with potential and is drawing up a comparison chart when the others get back.
“Come and look at these that I have bookmarked.” Blue says.
“We got a ton of food, sorry if you find it too much. We thought we could have mushroom risotto one night and a veggie paella another, well veggie for you, we got some crab to have for us. Plus the things for pasta and loads of veggies.” Gervais says.
“You look a million times better bro. What happened?” Chris asks.
“You. I don’t know if we can pull this off but starting small I think we can combine our dreams, and get something going. We just need to sort our identity out and sell up at home.” Blue says eyes sparkling like they used to.