“Any news on Blue?” Ocean asks Gervais.
“Not yet. How are you doing?” Gervais asks.
“Honestly I feel like dropping out. I missed 2 meets and I can’t train properly until my feet are okay and without gymnastics what is the point of being here?” Ocean asks.
“Your studies. You’re supposed to be a student first. I know, I know you are not impressed with the academics but you have to get through the entry level stuff and then you’ll find the more interesting classes. You never had a problem stretching yourself before and you were training a heap more.” Gervais says.
“I feel like a freak. I mean I know I’ve always been different but people know way too much about me now. I hate it.” Ocean says.
“Get your head down, hit the books, hit the gym and you’ll soon be old news. Believe me.” Gervais says.
“I just can’t deal with it, not if you go away again. I know it is selfish but I can’t deal without talking to you.” Ocean says.
“I’m not going back, not until you graduate so you better hit the books and graduate on time, else Blue might forget me.” Gervais says.
“He loves you but it’s a big ask to ask him to wait for you. I think he would.” Ocean says.
“I love him too much to ask it. I don’t want to abandon either of you. We’ll work something out. You need to stay in school kid. I don’t suppose you’ll let me hire security for you? Just until we know what is happening with Blue. I mean Garrett won’t let you out of his sight but he has to go to class.” Gervais says.
“I won’t say no. Its scary G. That they took me so easily. I’m so scared.” Ocean says quietly.
“I’ll work something out. I will talk to your coach. Go for lunch with your mom and Garrett and be careful.” Gervais says.
“Thanks G. You’ll go back with mom?” Ocean asks.
“No, I’ll stay here until Blue is ready. I think you need me around.” Gervais says.
“Thanks. I really do. Thanks so much G. I love you.” Ocean says hugging Gervais.
“Love you too kid.” Gervais says worried about Ocean’s peace of mind, given how easily he said yes to a bodyguard.
“How’s he doing?” Spence asks.
“Not great but I have persuaded him to go to class, I will meet him at the door later and walk with him to his next one. I suggested we get him a bodyguard and he agreed.” Gervais says.
“I’ll sort that out. I’ll call Aled he might be able to recommend a firm.” Spence says.
“l hoped you’d say that, I don’t want to talk to him but I have no idea how to go about this. How are things there?” Gervais asks, relieved that Spence is able to help, he’s been feeling overwhelmed.
“Andy cheated on me. So there’s that.” Spence says.
“During your experiment month? Was that cheating or agreed?” Gervais asks.
“No, he cheated on me before Hawaii. That’s why he was behaving so badly.” Spence says.
“Get rid, you deserve so much better. So much better. How did you find out?” Gervais asks.
“He told me, which I appreciate, I’ve not really processed it yet.” Spence says.
“Get some space. Take some time to think properly. He told you, because he couldn’t hold it in. He doesn’t love or respect you. He treated Blue like shit when he was at his most vulnerable because he can’t keep it in his pants.” Gervais says.
“l know, I know. I feel worse for how he treated Blue than what he’s done to me and Ollie.” Spence says.
“Wait what?” Gervais asks.
“It was Tad he did it with.” Spence says.
“Oh babe. Will you tell Ollie?” Gervais asks.
“l will talk to Tad. I don’t want to, I can’t even look at him.” Spence says getting upset, the reality of what has happened setting in.
“Talk to Will. He will tell Ollie if Tad won’t and it might be easier coming from a neutral party. He’s always been good at that. Why don’t you come up here for a few days? Ocean would love to see you and you could get some space to think, and from any further fall out.” Gervais says.
“And arranging security will take my mind off it. I need to talk to you about the future anyway. Andy and I have been talking with Larry About teaming up with you guys, maybe on a vineyard.” Spence says.
“No way. No, no, no. No one gets to make plans behind Blue and Chris’s back.” Gervais says shutting the idea straight down and feeling super pissed. Andy has shown no real interest in the vines Blue planted. Gervais never had the heart to remove them.
“l can’t see me and Andy working if we stay here.” Spence says quietly.
“Removing him from tad won’t change anything. If you forgive him again he will cheat again and you will always be waiting for it to happen. Take one of those college jobs you’re always being offered. Use the time between now and the end of season to get your ducks in a row, send out feelers to programs where the coach is due to retire and get networking. Chase your dream and stop enabling Andy to steal Blue’s dream again.” Gervais says.
“That is exactly what I want. I am going to talk to Will and I’ll fly up to you tonight. Get me a room at your hotel I’ll call you from the airport. Thanks Gervais I needed someone to talk to. I have really missed having you around.” Spence says.
“I have missed you too. I’d actually love to have you around, I messed up with Blue because I didn’t have anyone to open my eyes to how stupid I was being. Sometimes I worry we’re not a good match because I can’t pull him out of his depressions the way he can for me.” Gervais says.
“You love him so much. You are just totally out of practice being in a relationship. He loves you and wants to be with you. Lets hope I won’t be too far away. I will at least spend some of the summers with you guys. Thanks for forcing me to get a prenup too. I never thought it would come to this, I’d not see him go without but it is good to know it is my choice.” Spence says.
“Don’t make any big decisions now. Just get some space and breathe. See you tonight. I’ll book dinner for the four of us in the hotel.” Gervais says.
“Thanks G.” Spence says feeling a lot better and much more focused.
“I am heading back this afternoon. How did he seem to you?” Cheryl asks coming in. from her connecting room.
“Frightened. I think it is hitting him now how much trouble he was in. I told him he has to stay in school. I hope that’s okay.” Gervais says.
“Of course, that is okay. He’s not dropping out, no way.” Cheryl says with a smile.
“Spence and I are getting him a bodyguard. We know its unlikely he’s be taken again but we just can’t take any risks. I know it isn’t very us.” Gervais says.
“I’m grateful, I wish we had done it before. Nothing is how we expected it to be and we have adapted.” Cheryl says.
“l can’t work out how to be with Blue and still support Ocean. I don’t think me hiding away with Blue is a good idea but if it isn’t safe for him. Well I can’t be responsible for him being in harm’s way. But you and Ocean need me to be around. Ocean might have left for college but he is still family and I should have remembered that before disappearing. I tried to talk to him often but it isn’t the same as being able to just call or text.” Gervais says.
“You had to take your shot. Ocean wouldn’t have wanted anything else. He believes you should be together.” Cheryl says.
“He made the last seven years bearable.” Gervais says.
“You needed each other. We need to set him free, but that doesn’t mean pushing him without a safety net.” Cheryl says.
“Spence is coming down tonight, he needs some space from Andy. I think Will more than owes him some hours in the gym. I’ll stay here until I hear from Blue. Call me if Bea reappears at the lake.” Gervais says.
“I am sure you will be the first to know anything. I will give Blue your number.” Cheryl says.
“You’ll need to get him a phone first.” Gervais says.
“I’m sure we’ve an old one he can have to get going, Be careful, taking Ocean didn’t give these criminals what they wanted, you’re the one with a target on your back now.” Cheryl says.
“Keep an eye on Will.” Gervais says.
“I will, don’t worry, you can’t take care of everyone at once.” Cheryl says.
“l just meant he will have a target on him too.” Gervais says.
“You think? Gosh I suppose so. Especially as he’s not married anymore. Clara has totally gone to ground. Not that she would draw out Blue but Bea and Bea might bring out Chris. They’ve left well alone for so long.” Cheryl says shaking her head.
“Yes and I have no clue what they want or why.” Gervais says.
“l best be going. I hate leaving Marsha alone.” Cheryl says.
“l am glad you two are happy. Did seeing Willow spark anything?” Gervais asks curiously.
“No, for a moment, we will always have chemistry but no. Marsha is the right one for me, we’re at the same stage of life and I would have always felt I was holding Willow back.” Cheryl says.
“Have a safe flight, call the minute you can.” Gervais says hugging his friend.
Andy is shocked when he gets home to a note from Spence saying he’s gone away for a few days.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck.” Andy shouts.
Andy has no idea what to do or how to fix it. He can’t imagine life without Spence.
A loud knock at the door brings him out of his thoughts.
“Oh shit.” Andy mutters as he sees it is Ollie.
“Touch my husband again and I will burn your farm down.” Ollie says with an icy tone.