“l thought you were out of the program.” Blue says.
“So did l. 2 days ago the usual henchmen turn up, give me an hour and bring me here. It took forever. I have been totally cut off from the news, from everything.” Bea says.
“So you don’t know what has happened? But we’re all alive, that’s something.” Chris says and steps forward to hug his sister.
“How did you know I was out of the program? Have you two been together this whole time?” Bea asks.
Blue and Chris give Bea a rundown of their time over the last few months.
“You didn’t call?” Bea asks.
“We were jealous as hell. Plus momma.” Blue says.
“She does miss you. Blames herself for all of this. I was in a bad way being faced with another move and she negotiated for me to go home, the job and everything.” Bea says.
“We’ve been in a bad way. Can you believe Blue has gained 20poundsin the last few months?” Chris asks pulling up Blue’s shirt to show how skinny he is even with the weight gain.
“But she didn’t care to find out.” Blue says.
“They say you’re getting married.” Chris says.
“I’m engaged, but I wasn’t planning to get married without you. I can’t marry someone you haven’t met. Come on Chris, I didn’t forget you.” Bea says.
“But just like Aled you stole a version of my life and have been living it normally while we had to hide. You didn’t come and find us.” Blue says.
“Come on bro you know she couldn’t look.” Chris says.
“You did.” Blue says.
“And here we are, not knowing if we’ll ever get to see Larry and Gervais again. Not knowing who of our friends and family is caught up in our stink.” Chris says.
“It wasn’t your fault. Something is going on and they are either worried about us or rounding us up to pull the plug.” Blue sighs.
“Bro.” Chris says gently.
“So I’m not the only one who thinks this whole thing could be a conspiracy?” Bea says.
“It is good to see you Bea. I’m sorry we didn’t call when we found each other, we didn’t want to put you in danger. Along with the jealousy. We’ve only heard about you through Ocean and G and they might not be the best people to give a real pictures. God knows they were wrong about Robin: Blue says.
“l have had a walk in the park compared to you two. I haven’t moved so much. I have been home and yes had your life and friends and mother. Your lake, your Willow and your ff community café. I know I have what you should have, what you could have. I even got to fall in love. I worried about you two every day and knowing you were so totally alone kills me. I started all this being curious about who my real family were, who Clara was. I dragged you in.” Bea says.
”No, your mother did all this. Dragging Clara and Paul into her mob life. Pretending she needed saving from it all while sucking them in. We are all innocent in this,” Blue says.
“Well I for one want to celebrate seeing my sister. I am sick of takeout already. I am going to talk to the thugs to get them to buy us some food so we can cook.” Chris says
“You mean so I can make brownies.” Blue says laughing.
“Or Cheesecake, I’m not fussy. Dear sister you have missed out on all the delights I have had recently.” Chris laughs.
Ocean sets off at first light. He has packed his bag with food and water and a few things he thinks will be useful from his gym bag, making sure it isn’t too heavy. He wishes, not for the first time that it was a backpack. He leaves the bag in the room and finds a tree to climb to try and get a better look of his surroundings but he can’t get high enough to see anything helpful.
Ocean figures as long as he keeps heading down he’ll get somewhere. He wishes he had better footwear and clothing but he’ll manage. Before he sets off he takes a picture of the shack with his phone. Just so he is believed if the kidnappers burn it down or remove it later.
A short way into his walk as the trees become less dense he spots markings left by a trail bike or similar and his heart sinks. If they only carried him the last few yards and brought him up on a bike he could be days away from a real road. Still he has a trail to follow now which he knows could lead him into the path of danger but he figures the abductors are long gone now and it is the best lead he has.
He stops every few hours to drink, checks for other food supplies and keeps an eye out for natural shelters. As the trees spread out he climbs one to try and see if he can See any sign of life. He is most worried he’s walking away from civilization.
As the light begins to fade he finds a stream. He sits down and takes off his socks and shoes to wash his feet. He knows that he needs to keep his body, especially his feet in good condition and while he has food and water he will be okay.
He makes a makeshift shelter with the blankets and some wood. He’s a little worried about the cold and being exposed. He had hoped he’d magically find some caves or a hollow tree but knew it was a long shot. He gathers dried leaves to make a more comfortable sleeping experience and beds down, knowing it is early but not wanting to take any risks in the dark.
At Ocean’s they are all sat around the TV. A video of Ocean, unconscious with a gun at his temple has been released and they are all worried that the worst news is to come.
They moved up to the farmhouse as there is more space and they all want to feel closer to Ocean. Will and Robin get back, feeling terrible that they were away when the news broke. Robin and Gervais make their peace easily. Robin was never going to hold a grudge, especially not now with ocean gone and the images of him haunting their minds.
Mike brings Robin’s son up a couple of times and hands him over without words. He’s fully Of Robin having access, much as it hurts him. Ella has not been seen, using the excuse of sheltering the baby from the drama.
Nick is away on a shoot, he discussed staying but they all told him to go. He has the biggest social media presence of all the guys and has been getting the message out to look out for Ocean in the hope he has escaped and is trying to get home.
Arnold is at home, balls deep in his wife. Since the divorce and all the drama they have been on heat and have totally reconnected. Arnold and Nick have buried the hatchet and Nick is happy to have his dad back.
Larry and Mike are trying but it’s too hard to take the time to talk when they are both so stressed about Ocean. Gladys is sat in a chair in front of the fire and everyone is glad she wants to be here. Gervais has arranged for her to stay and nurses to come in several times a day. Although most of the time Gervais, Marsha and Heidi have taken care of her needs.
Heidi has closed the bakery and taken off from her foundations work to sit with everyone. She considers Ocean a little brother just as the others do and needs to be with them.
Gervais is acutely missing Blue. Although he accepts Blue and Chris need to be kept safe he feels like Blue should be here, in his home with his family and friends. He’d be stressed as all of them and feeling guilty but they would be a mutual support for each other.
Andy is feeling off with Larry. Even though it was short lived he was always jealous of Spence and Larry’s relationship and hearing he is dating Chris really irks Andy. He can’t quite work out why. He fell out of love with Chris years ago. Maybe it is the newness. He and Spence are perfect together but they know each other inside out. He misses discovering someone and Larry has clearly got to know the good side of Chris. Andy is remembering that time and is jealous.
“You okay? Other than worried?” Spence asks when Andy heads out for a breather.
“I’m jealous of Larry and Chris, starting out and getting to know each other.” Andy says honestly.
“Well remember that lovely start you had with Chris turned into a nightmare.” Spence says.
“Yeah and I love I get my happy ever after with you. I’m just feeling weird. Dissatisfied.” Andy says.
“Gee thanks.” Spence says.
“It isn’t you. I love you with all my heart and that hasn’t changed. I guess I’m feeling, is this it? We’re not 30 yet and we seem to be settled and nothing is ever going to change.” Andy says.
“Is this about wanting kids?” Spence asks.
“No. I still don’t want kids.” Andy says.
“We’ve not been good since Hawaii.” Spence says.
“You’ve had job offers. Tad could manage here and we could try something new.” Andy says.
“I don’t see you as a house husband or giving up your business, even temporarily. Maybe we should travel some more.” Spence says.
“Or fuck around.” Andy says.
“Fuck you.” Spence says and goes indoors, this is severe déjà vu to freshman year and he doesn’t want to think about that. Spence pushes the worries about his marriage to the back of his mind and focuses all his good thoughts on Ocean and him coming home safe.