The morning of the event Blue is up before dawn to get everything ready. He’s excited and focused.
The previous afternoon he sent Larry and Chris off to the wholesalers for supplies. Ezra’s guys came back and were delighted to have a meal of veggie curry with rice and of course dessert. Blue sat with them and went through menu options they would like to see.
Most of them are staying in a boarding house which isn’t all that comfortable and they loved having somewhere warm to sit and chat for a couple of hours. Blue had no problem staying open as they were all prepping in the kitchen anyway.
Blue makes great progress, a lot of the prep has been done, many pies are ready too, both full sized and small tartlets. Blue is hoping he won’t just meet potential customers today but also potential suppliers. He gets some ice-cream churning and tt hen sets about Ezra’s lunch order.
Ezra comes in with a couple of guys and the four serve them quickly and make sure to invite them all to come by for pie later.
“We have tomorrows order too.” Ezra says.
“Wow you really are regular customers, we love you guys.” Blue grins.
“Hearty soup, hearty sandwiches. Most the guys don’t have much space to store lunch things, all short-term accommodation is set up for summer and fall, not many places offer it in winter. I’m local but I live alone, work long hours and don’t have the time to shop much. I’ll pull a steak out the freezer for dinner most nights. This is so much better than gas station food.” Ezra says.
“We’re going to add better breakfast options. Would you guys be interested in oatmeal or hot egg sandwiches?” Blue asks.
“Would the sandwiches have that nice salsa on? I’d go for that.” One of the guys asks.
“From Monday we’ll offer both, I’ll email the new order list if you want to be able to order ahead.” Blue says.
“And we can bring the soup and sandwiches to you at lunchtime, if you would prefer.” Larry says.
“Thanks, but we stagger lunch and we have a microwave on site. We love how B serves the garnish separately so we can reheat it and then add it. Although next week we’ll need more jalapenos on baked potato soup day, they were traded like cigs in jail.” Ezra grins.
“Noted and I guess we can provide cold soup going forward?” Blue asks.
“For sure. See you later.” Ezra says.
“Right bro what can we do?” Chris asks once they’ve gone.
“Get the tables moved so there is space to mingle and all the Christmas linens out. Get the fire guard in place and get folding napkins.” Blue says and Chris and Larry get to it as Blue and Gervais get back in the kitchen.
“All the order forms are ready. What is the limit on cheesecakes?” Gervais asks.
“I don’t want to actually say no to anyone. But they do take a lot of work and we’ve only a week to get them done. I’d say 20 more total but we can be flexible. Its chocolate with sunken orange, ginger and lemon and a plain vanilla with plain or ginger base. I figure people will want the plain one and add their own fruit. Taste this ice-cream before I put it in the freezer.” Blue says holding out a spoon.
“Wow, that is not a Blue flavor.” Gervais grins.
“Just a rum raisin with a few holiday spices. I like it.” Blue grins.
“l love it, adults only though.” Gervais grins.
“For sure. It’s fun inventing again.” Blue laughs.
“Seeing you happy is giving us 3 the freedom to get on and do our thing. I don’t know how you became the focus, probably as we could all see how far you’d fallen. I thought Chris would be the next project but I think its Larry.” Gervais says feeling guilty that he didn’t try and see Larry more in the last couple of years.
“Agreed. I think he and Chris are working through their issues together. Seeing Larry make plans for the land is really something. Ella and Mike have no idea just how much they hurt him excluding him from the farm. It’s just like when I first met him and pushed him out the closet, only this time he was in the closet from farming.” Blue says.
“It is going to be hard for him not to discuss things with Mike or Tad. We have to be aware. You need to help me.” Gervais says.
“I’m not completely self-involved, I know I have been since you found me.” Blue admits.
“You’ve been sick and not had the headspace to do anything else. Now you’re getting better, your head is clearing.” Gervais says.
“Because of you.” Blue says and kisses Gervais on the nose.
“This all looks incredible. I will make a start on the hot chocolate.” Gervais says.
“Good idea. The marshmallows are in jars over there.” Blue says.
“Time for the music.” Larry says with a smile and sets of the holiday playlist he’s created.
“I am not sure about holiday tunes.” Blue says.
“Has to be done baby.” Gervais says and gives Blue a squeeze before handing him a drink.
“Just what I need, thanks.” Blue smiles.
“I’m a little worried you are doing too much and are going to crash, worried we’re all putting pressure on you.” Gervais says.
“You know me, I love cooking for heaps of people. I love this, thrive on it. We’ll get through next week and have a few days off.” Blue says.
“We can. Loads of soaking in the tub and sexy times.” Gervais says.
“I love those ideas. G you are so sexy. I missed you so much. Ugh I just don’t know how to express myself with you anymore.” Blue sighs.
“You’re doing great. I know you find me sexy, I love that you do.” Gervais says, grins and feels Blue’s ass.
Blue smiles to himself, he loves how wanted Gervais is making him feel. He also loves being busy and being part of the community already. Not that they have been able to get out in it much yet. But the moms and Ezra’s crew have made him feel he has a place and they are on the right track.
Half a dozen seniors arrive bang on the event start time and instantly start quizzing Blue about deals.
“We have a senior deal. A hot drink plus 2 from salad, sandwich, soup or cake for 6 bucks, 2 bucks for an extra item.” Blue says.
“So I can have soup, sandwich and dessert for 8 bucks?” A man asks cynically.
“That would include, coffee, hot tea or hot chocolate.” Blue says.
“What time?” The man asks.
“No time restrictions. But you have to ask for it, it’s not on the menu.” Blue grins.
“A secret deal for seniors? We’ll be in, in the new year.” The man says.
“Good. I hope you enjoy the pie.” Blue says.
“Is there ice-cream?” The man asks.
“Yes, rum raisin or vanilla.” Blue replies.
The group are soon sitting and gossiping and enjoying the food and coffee, the moms arrive and much to the guys surprise there is a steady stream of people. They get pie orders, more than they expected given the late date and Blue will be busy.
Ezra’s and his guys arrive as things are quietening down and wolf down the remainder of the cooked pies and the ice cream.
“What are your opening plans over the holidays?” One of the guys asks.
“We were going to be minimally open Christmas eve, as people will be collecting orders then closed until new year. I’d be happy to cover your lunch orders though.” Blue says.
“What are you guys doing for Christmas?” Gervais asks sensing a little disappointment.
“If you need somewhere for dinner you are more than welcome.” Blue says.
“You too Ezra if you’re not visiting family.” Gervais says.
“What are you having?” Ezra asks curious.
“Seafood paella and cheesecake, my favorites.” Chris says listening in.
“What could we bring?” One guy asks interested.
“Beers, ice, anything really. We’re fine if you bring cooked meat. Just yourselves is fine too. Just let me know numbers.” Blue says.
“That is really kind.” Ezra says.
“We always invite randoms to holiday events, always happens. One year we had whole extra families due to power cuts.” Larry says with a smile.
“I’ll be here, if you’re genuine, we are only taking the one day off, with the kids out for the holidays we’re able to get more done.” One of the guys says.
“We’re genuine. Let me know numbers by Monday.” Blue smiles.
The four are exhausted as they do the last of the clearing up but they feel good about how things went, meeting people and having people around for Chrismas is icing to all of them, they know Larry will really miss home over the next week and a big fun group will distract him a little.
Thursday is more of a rest day, after the breakfast rush Blue heads out with Chris to shop for all the pie orders. Chris wants some time alone with Blue to see how’s he’s really doing.
“You’re an instant success again.” Chris says.
“We can’t really sustain on what we have so far but it is a really good start. Ezra and the guys are great and order loads but once the job is finished we won’t have much custom.” Blue says.
“They might get another local job. And I think you’ll get the seasonal farm workers in.” Chris says.
“Sure if I price things right. We’re not going to be making much.” Blue says.
“Well it is a start. Gets people in and when we have the b&b running we’ll have more money coming in.” Chris says.
“I was thinking we could get the house ready to a lower standard for Ezra’s guys and seasonal workers. Less effort than the b&b. I kind of worry that we wouldn’t be able to run both while we have so much outside work to do and getting you in to school.” Blue says.
“Oh yeah that is good. Less risky too, those guys would never google us. Not the way guests might, especially after eating your food.” Chris says.long term
“Just for a year or two. I love that I can make these plans.” Blue says.
“Me too. Larry and I will work on the chicken home this afternoon. Unless you need help for tomorrow.” Chris says.
“That would be the biggest help. Then go through the house and see what is needed and research how much people pay for accommodation and come up with price including various meal options.” Blue says.
“Then in the new year I can get on with my study.” Chris says.
“How are you feeling about that? You and Larry are together all the time right now.” Blue says.
“I really like him. Lots and I love seeing him get better day by day. He is so happy making plans for all the land here. He is like Andy and Tad, has farming in his blood, you knew it, you know what people need and bring it out of them.” Chris says.
“I worry he’s going to find it hard over the holidays. I love the guy and you do too but he will miss his family far more than we miss ours.” Blue says.
“He’s actually okay. Mike hurt him so badly that he doesn’t want to see him again. He thinks it will be easier to spend the holidays with us who he loves than trying to be polite with people he hates.” Chris says.
“Well I am still planning on making him his favourite foods for the day.” Blue says.
“Uh no, we are having my fave foods.” Chris grins.
“We have so many people coming we can have a lot of dishes. I’m thinking that lobster mac and cheese that Larry loves would be nice.” Blue says.
“Bro you need to make three times what you were planning if you do that.” Chris grins.
“Do you think I need to bake a ham?” Blue asks.
“No, if anyone wants meat they can bring it.” Chris says and Blue nods.
“I’m excited. We’ve met a lot of the community but not the farmers yet. I know we’re in dairy country but there ought to be some other produce.” Blue says.
“We’ll find them in time. Stop worrying. It can’t all happen at once.” Chris says.
“I know, we’ll get there.” Blue smiles.
“Lets go have lunch, I need a brownie.” Chris smiles.
“There is a little ice-cream left.” Blue grins.
“Not in about 5 minutes.” Chris laughs as they unpack.
“Glutton.” Blue laughs.
“Larry go show B the chicken run so far.” Chris says once they finish lunch.
“Sure.” Larry smiles.
“How was he?” Gervais asks.
“Great, really good. I think we are out of the woods.” Chris says.
“He’s still a bit clingy, which I actually love but it isn’t him. His food is insanely good. The soup, I can’t explain just how amazing it is, again. It is going down so well.” Gervais says.
“He has an idea for the other house.” Chris says and explains the idea.
“Get it ready and lets go. I’ll talk to the guys who come in for supper later and find out if they need their own rooms or if they share and what else they need.” Gervais says.
“Cool. I best get to work. Thanks for taking care of him. He really loves you and I do for getting him well.” Chris says.
“Make sure you take time to get well too.” Gervais says and hugs Chris.
“I will. I feel great. I have dreams, my bro, my man and my bestie. More than I’ve had before, ever.” Chris says.
“I know how you feel.” Gervais grins.
Blue and Gervais are fully ready for the next day and are happy. Blue is working on a plan for all the pie, gingerbread and cheesecake orders and double checking he has everything. He has a big pot of veggies on the stove for pasta sauce and gets on with making the dough. He’s happy and Gervais smiles at he sight of it before moving in for a big hug.
Gervais deals with the few customers they have that afternoon and lets Blue do his thing. He talks to Ezra’s guys when they come in and they are all keen to see the house after supper. Larry joins them to show them round.
“We could have a meal plan here and rooms here? When? I mean it is nice as it is. We could clean it ourselves.” One of the guys Kai says.
“It’ll take a bit to get the wifi in and furniture. You’d need beds.” Blue laughs.
“What Kai is saying is can we come in on Sunday and clean up? We would stay here with air beds if we could. If the heat works.” Johnny one of the other guys says.
“We’ve not even talked cost.” Gervais laughs.
“You guys ask a fair price for the food, you’re not going to rip us off.” Kai says.
“And we are totally volunteering to help clean and paint the place.” Johnny says.
“Well I’ll make sure I have all the supplies in on Sunday and we’ll get started.” Larry says bemused.
“Call Ezra about paint, he’ll get trade rates.” Kai says.
“Good idea, G will get the wifi and the rest sorted.” Blue says.
“Means the world to us, we’ve another month or 2 with Ezra and then hopefully there will be farm work. Where we are now is so damp and cold.” Johnny says.
“Meals will be basic, one pot type stuff for dinner, and it will mostly be veggie. Breakfast there will always be a pot of oatmeal and we’ll leave you eggs to cook yourselves, bread, milk, veggies and fruit. Maybe pancake mix sometimes.” Blue says.
“Sounds amazing, much better than the cold cereal we get now.” Kai says.
“Lunch we’ll keep as is? You each buy what you want daily, or we could wrap in a basic soup and sandwich price and you can buy or make extra.” Blue says.
“I want it all in, then I know I’m getting 3 meals a day for the whole month.” Johnny says.
“Yeah me too. Sundays we’ll sort ourselves.” Kai says.
“How many of you do you think will join you?” Blue asks.
“I think 6 in total. If we can use all the rooms that are not the kitchen as bedrooms. Is that okay with you guys, we can all hang out in the kitchen, it’s big enough.” Johnny says.
“Let us know on Sunday and we’ll see where we are. We need to get the water on and see what state the bathrooms are in.” Blue says.
“Sure, we won’t get our hopes up until then.” Kai says.
“Are we all okay with this?” Blue asks once the guys have left.
“Yeah, less work for us. Regular money coming in. I know we don’t need it exactly, but it looks better to the community, we don’t look like lazy rich people playing at being country.” Chris says.
“That’s true, but it is work for Blue.” Gervais says.
“We’re getting the chickens on Saturday. So that covers the eggs, less shopping. I will get some more crock pots and rice cookers. And their evening meals I’ll get done in the kitchen and take over to the house to plug in. Or take over a tray of lasagne or tuna bake and salad. It isn’t going to be much more work. Some days they’ll get leftovers. We won’t be making much money on it until we get the veggies going. I think we should offer the guys work instead of rent too, helping you get the glass houses up.” Blue says.
“I’m going to call Ezra now. Do you need me and Chris tomorrow?” Larry asks.
“Not for set up but you should pop down during the reception to meet people. I am hoping some of the farm people will be in and we’ll get a lead on local produce.” Blue says.
“Yeah okay. We’ll be showered and ready.” Chris says.
“You okay for real, boarding house isn’t the same as a fancy b&b.” Gervais says to Blue later in bed.
“This area is poorer than home or the lake. I think it will take more time to draw city people in. When we have the shelter we can get better rooms up together. For now I think this works and I like the idea of having extra eyes and ears around that we trust.” Blue says.
“You need a massage?” Gervais asks.
“Yes I do, full body, your full body rubbing mine.” Blue grins.
“Your fluff turns me on so much.” Gervais says as he lies on Blue’s back, kissing his neck and rubbing his dick against Blue’s back an letting his hands run everywhere.
“Feels good to turn you on too. I’ve been a ball of hormones since we got here.” Blue grins.
“Me too.” Gervais grins, climbing off rolling Blue over so they can be face to face.
The following day Blue is less nervous. It is their first paid for event but being last minute stand in he knows that no one has high expectations, the place looks great anyway. They have the drinks ready and trays of canapés and mini desserts ready to go.
People start arriving and Gervais mans the hot chocolate bar while Blue takes trays around. Chris and Larry arrive shortly after and join Blue. The place slowly fills as each grade’s play finishes, some people linger and others move on.
“Excuse me, are all the pictures Birch?” A lady asks Blue.
“Yes they are, just prints.” Blue lies.
“But that is the beach house he talks about in his book. I never knew there were prints of those pictures, of his early work.” The lady says.
“I used to do yoga with his sister, when he was in art school. That print is from when he had a student exhibit.” Blue says. The guys have all kept some elements of the truth in their back stories this time.
“Must be worth almost as much as an original then. I’m Olivia, Liv, third and fourth grade teacher at the elementary. Art is my passion. There is a Birch exhibit coming up in the city, I’d love you to come with me. You’d have some unique insight.” Liv says.
“I would love to. We’ve barely had time to do anything yet.” Blue says.
“I’ll drop by closer to the time and let you know the details.” Live says.
“Liv I am so glad you’ve met B.” Verity says coming over.
“Are you happy with the catering?” Blue asks.
“Beyond my expectations and no parking issues. You are firmly going to be part of the party circuit. Liv, B and G are hosting a Christmas dinner for waifs and strays, you should join them.” Verity says.
“I’m sure Liv has plans already.” Blue says shocked.
“I actually don’t. But I usually enjoy the quiet and eat junk and watch movies. Verity doesn’t approve.” Liv grins.
“Well you are welcome to join us, we will have loads of food and we won’t make you stay if you want to get back to watching trashy tv.” Blue grins.
“What can I bring?” Verity asks.
“Some of that junk food. Blue will cook up a storm but it will all be real food. Some cheetoes and candy would be awesome.” Chris says listening.
“Liv, this is my brother Conner, C. We all use initials.” Blue says rolling his eyes.
“I can certainly bring some candy and chips. Though I’m not sure any candy will compete with the marshmallows you served with the hot chocolate.” Liv says.
“Have you had a cheesecake bite? We have a pastry chef of impeccable standards in our midst. We are so happy you guys chose our little community.” Verity says.
“Would you consider doing a couple of afternoons cooking with my class some time?” Liv asks.
“My partner Gary, G, is great with kids and he would be perfect for that. He’s a great cook too and is better at the kid friendly dishes like pasta and flatbread pizzas.” Blue says.
“If you two can teach my eldest to bake your brownies I’d love you forever.” Verity grins.
“Ahh now my bro can’t give away his secrets. But he has so many dishes I’m sure he could share a few.” Chris smiles.
“So you’re the fella’s my wife has been raving about?” A tall drop dead handsome man asks coming over and putting his arm around Verity.
“We adore your wife, she has been so supportive of us in our first week.” Blue grins.
“Well I can’t say I wasn’t worried, until I saw you were all gay. Just want you to know we have no problem with you being in our community. We sure need some diversity around here.” The man says.
“Thanks. We just want to fit in and give you guys some great food. We’re all country guys, used to working on farms and living in farming communities. Larry is from a long line of farmers, our momma had a small holding and G has lived in farming country since college.” Blue says.
“The food is wonderful. I love my wife’s cooking and she is marvellous at savory dishes, lets just say, I’m glad you’re doing the desserts.” The man says.
“Oh Greg you are being polite. He does most of the work, he’s a pig farmer and we have a spit roast pig, making the sides is no big deal. We just have so many people coming I have no time to make decent pies.” Verity says.
“I take it you turn down invites so you don’t end up babysitter.” Blue grins at Liv as Verity and Greg move on.
“Or I spend the who time being pumped for information. It is never relaxing. I really would love to come to your dinner. It will be nice to spend the day with some new people.” Liv grins.
The event ends and the guys get dinner ready for Ezra’s crew and afterwards sleep soundly.