The guys have a blissful week. Blue and Gervais are finally relaxed together and the gap between them has melted away. They both feel confident about moving forward together. They reduce the hours of the café and they all get on Chris’s case to get him to study for his exam. He’s actually pretty prepared, Blue is surprised and not. He knew Chris was smarter than he believed but he didn’t expect Chris to have retained so much information.
“You’re almost there. You’re getting good scores on practise tests you just need to be a bit faster.” Blue says.
“I am getting there. I feel good, I’m just out of practise. Learning isn’t hard it is just technique. I am going for the next one and get the application done.” Chris says.
“Good, I was worried your confidence would be gone with the whole Bea thing.” Blue says.
“I’m processing it. I am , Larry is going through similar. We both have days when we want to call Bea and Tad and days when we know leading our own lives is the right thing. I’m okay. Especially now you are staying. You look a lot better, I owe Birch a few beers.” Chris laughs.
“He got me dreaming again. Now 3 minutes and take this paper. No more distractions.” Blue laughs.
“You are such a slave driver.” Chris grins happy that Blue is helping him.
“You get it done and I will make my soon to be famous brownies with raspberries and marshmallows.” Blue grins.
“Bro you are on but please don’t start baking until I’m done or my stomach will distract me too much.” Chris grins.
“I wouldn’t do that to you. What do you want for dinner? I am bored or soup and rice dishes.”Blue asks.
“Uh that eggplant thing? Or pasta, I love everything you cook, you know that.” Chris says.
“Hmm spaghetti and chilli shrimp?” Blue asks.
“Uh yes.” Chris grins.
“Get to it.” Blue laughs and heads into the kitchen to make some pasta dough and prep the dessert.
Gervais wonders in and starts to help Blue out, with lots of breaks to kiss and cuddle. They are both feeling very affectionate. Since Blue has faced up to needing to work at the relationship and not expect Gervais to do it all he is making sure he is showing Gervais how wanted and loved he is. Gervais is basking in the change and loving it.
Chris gets through his paper, Gervais puts dinner together as Blue makes dessert and Larry comes in from a day visiting local farms to see what produce they might be able to buy and to see if they might be able to provide accommodation to anyone.
The four sit and enjoy a nice meal and dessert and wine. They chat and eat and laugh. It feels like things are finally working out. Blue an Chris know they are not out of the woods but being able to lay everything on the line has been good for them both.
“How’s the exam practice going?” Larry asks.
“Good. I am ready. I’m going to schedule as soon as I can.” Chris says.
“This brownie is incredible. Just when I think I know all your best desserts you surprise us with this. Thanks boo.” Gervais says.
“It is amazing. Imagine how good it will be when its our own raspberries in there.” Larry says.
“It needs a little work, I need to get the flavour of the marshmallow to be more intense.” Blue says.
“It is perfect bro, but all your food is and then you come out with your revised version and its more perfect and it doesn’t seem possible. I am going to enjoy every version of this dish.” Chris grins.
“And G made the shrimp super tasty, that sauce is amazing. I love just cooking for us.” Blue says.
“I feel so lucky. You two are amazing. You are wasted on this café.” Larry says.
“I think it is a good way for me and G to refine our dishes and try them out in a low key way. This isn’t quite the right location for anything else.” Blue says.
“I love that you’ve relaxed and are starting to have fun.” Chris says.
“Me too, now I don’t feel like I have to be so responsible for making money or keeping this place going all hours.” Blue says.
“We’ll get some help in.” Gervais says.
“Well I think we should leave Chris and Larry to clean up and go have some more fun.” Blue says with a grin.
“Don’t have to tell me twice.” Gervais grins jumping up and dragging Blue off to the bedroom.
One morning after prepping the café for the day, Blue and Larry are walking the property talking through their ideas and what they need to get started on.
“How are you doing now?” Blue asks.
“I am glad Chris isn’t holding everything in now. I’m not sure he’s got it all out yet but he now knows the world doesn’t end when he lets go. He misses Bea a lot more than he’s let on to either of us.” Larry says.
“And what about you?” Blue probes.
“I’m at peace with all that has happened. I claimed to not want the farm when I was younger and dad took me at my word I guess. I blame Ella for most things, I get she wanted traces of my mom gone but she didn’t have to destroy everything and I will stay angry at that, I think it is okay.” Larry says.
“It is very okay. You left without a sincere apology from them both. How about Tad and Ollie?” Blue asks.
“We’ve always had a difficult relationship. Me needing to stamp my individuality and him needing to pull me back in line. I was happy with keeping in touch by text and seeing each other now and then. I’m not the big mess that you expected me to be. I’m pretty happy, I have you and Gervais looking out for me and caring for me. I have Chris who loves me and I love him and I care for you two too. You guys are the family I want. If we stay here or go I feel valued. I can support Chris while he’s in school, not your five star food but he won’t go hungry and I can get work locally here if I need to.” Larry says.
“You like it here more than us I think. If G and I moved a little way away, to the lake you and Chris would be happy here?” Blue asks.
“Yes we would but I think we would like to be somewhere a little more lively. Closer to the city. I think being here for a while, whilst you and Chris work through some issues, is a good thing. Right now you need the seclusion, or he does I think. But longer term it isn’t the right place no. That was why I was talking to the farmers this week. See what we can source locally during the summer months. I want to grow some of the salads and things but if we’re not staying getting the fruit trees going is a waste.” Larry says.
“I’m glad you’re okay and I’m sorry we kind of jumped the gun with this place. It felt right.” Blue says.
“It did but it isn’t as practical as we thought. I figure you and Chris getting to move again through choice is a good thing. Especially as we can take our time. Lets get Chris in to school and then decide where next.” Larry says.
“Thanks for understanding. I like it here and we could make something of it but it also feels like settling. If we take our time we will find somewhere we can have a vineyard and the animals.” Blue says.
“Exactly, and a view. Chris said you want a view.” Larry says.
“Yeah, I think we need to think bigger. I don’t want us to recreate the home I have with momma but we probably do want land on a bigger scale. So we can fit in all the features we need.” Blue says.
“It’ll be hard to find it and not be remote. I trust your luck though. Your old place was home from the minute you arrived and that is the most important thing. We’ve been lucky here with people and it almost feels like we needed to be here, for G to catch that teacher, for you and Birch to reconnect and the four of us to gel.” Larry says.
“It hasn’t been a waste, you’re right it has given us the time and space to understand what we all want.” Blue says.
“Ezra’s guys have just a couple more weeks to go. Though a couple want to stay here while they look for their next job. They’ve asked about work here getting the ground ready or in the café, in exchange for board.” Larry says.
“I’m good with that. Talk to G and sort out so it’s above board and they’re being paid something. They’re all nice guys.” Blue says.
“Exactly, we can find things to do that will make this place easier to sell too.” Larry says.
“Thanks for being there for Chris. You two are great together, it has been lovely seeing you fall for each other.” Blue says.
“It has been nice to have someone to fall for. I’m a relationship guy, and so is Chris, it felt uncool to admit it too soon. We’re happy. And we are happy you and G are properly together. Whatever magic Birch waved it worked.” Larry laughs.
“He told me I was an idiot to be with G at all. I knew that wasn’t true and it woke me up. Gervais has worked so hard to be a better man and I love him, everything else was just barriers I was putting up. Birch thought the worst of him and tried to prove it but Gervais proved to me he was trustworthy. And I realised I didn’t need him to have proved it, I already trusted him and understood, was happy he had done what he did.” Blue says.
“I’m sorry about the cars. It was silly not to include you on spending so much.” Larry says.
“As long as we all include each other going forward. I’d not have had anything to add to the conversation I just felt so marginalised.” Blue says.
“We won’t drop the ball again. I’d forgotten about your tendency to run away. I didn’t know the half of it until after you left for the program and everyone was arguing about what had happened. Will never believed you had run off, and the others were like oh it always happens.” Larry says shaking his head.
“I ran off from Birch, from everyone. I did it as a kid if Clara was spoiling for a fight I’d head off camping or to the woods.” Blue smiles.
“We’ll not make the mistake again.” Larry says.
“Me neither. Talking to Birch and him talking about how great Will is reminded me how to behave like a human being in a relationship. I am working on it. G and I deserve our shot.” Blue says.
“He loves you a lot. I know now he knew more about you leaving than anyone and he kept that confidence the whole time, until the trial at least. I don’t know if it would have made things harder or easier for Will, but Gervais put you and your safety first. He took on Ocean and he stayed for him and to wait for you. I think that means a lot. He was never short of offers for boyfriends or jobs.” Larry says.
“I’m mad at him for waiting, for wasting his life. But I was wasting mine and it is another thing that binds us. You and Chris too I guess. I’m not saying you were wasting your life, clearly you did well in your career but…” Blue peters out.
“But I was existing just like you guys, more so once dad and Ella got together. I think Gervais did a lot of your things, looking after Abby and Gladys, resolving disputes, managing out Saul and Jeremy, taking care of Ocean. He was busy and everything he did was appreciated and someone needed to do it. But sure, he had potential for so much more and he shouldn’t have been alone.” Larry says.
“He isn’t now.” Blue grins.
Later all four are in the café, it’s a busy evening, a few city people have started coming out for the baked goods and milkshakes and several of the teachers are in again, many stop by to thank Gervais for reporting their colleague. Some claim they had suspicions, others say they had no idea.
Liv is also in and walking round the room looking at the paintings.
“They are not prints are they, they’re real.” Liv says.
“Keep your voice down, don’t want our insurance going up.” Chris says passing by.
“You’re his college muse, the man who showed him these great houses, lakes and beaches. You’re the guy who took him to a bunch of lighthouses. Who made him soup. You’re in all the books. That is you, you’re Blue.” Liv says and the guys stare, trapped and scared.