Blue, Bea and Chris are baking in the apartment kitchen. Things have relaxed a little since Ocean has been found and Aled arranged for food to be delivered for them to cook with. He read the riot act to the existing team, pointing out the trio were not awaiting trial and should not be under prison conditions.
Blue starts to see why Will married Aled and why he and Chris had a liaison years ago. Despite stealing Blue’s life he appears to be good at his job and has really helped them out. Although they are still not allowed TV or internet they’ve been given some old games consoles to play with, some exercise equipment and a heap of books.
They are all feeling the effects of not going outside and seeing daylight but that is still a hard no despite repeated begging.
“I’m thinking we could go to the lake with Bea until you start school. Hang out with Willow and Birch. Go camping and fishing and chill out. Bake heaps of brownies. Maybe Ocean could come up for a bit. You could work with the vet again. Lets ask if you can take your exam here. I don’t see why they couldn’t sort it, like they do for kids in hospital.” Blue says.
“l love that plan. But what about momma?” Bea asks.
“I think we’ve punished her enough. I know Blue needs a lot more rest before he starts working again and I would love a summer with you two, working, camping and eating Blue’s food. Willow will find us a cottage for sure.” Chris says.
“Or you can live with me. I usually travel over the summers but I think low key fun with you guys would be great and we can organize my wedding.” Bea says.
“You are not marrying him.” Blue and Chris say together.
“My twin bros are back. You know we never knew you were full twins until we found you Blue.” Bea says clapping her hands.
“You guys want some gossip from home?” Aled asks when he returns a few days later.
“Sure.” Chris grins.
“Andy cheated on Spence with Tad. Spence has gone to spend some time with Gervais, who is staying near Ocean at college and they have got Ocean a bodyguard. And Heidi and Willow are together and Heidi is going to spend some time at the lake to try it out before committing to a move. They are adorable together, I wish you could see them.” Aled says.
“That is a lot.” Chris says.
“l love the idea of Willow and Heidi. What a hot couple.” Bea says.
“Is Ollie okay?” Blue asks.
“Ollie is mad as hell. Tad is in the doghouse for sure and living at his dads for now.” Aled says.
“Could you pass a message to Willow? I mean I know it probably isn’t allowed but can you ask her if she can reserve a cottage for me and Chris for the summer. Once we’re out of here, if we’re free we want to go home for a few months.” Blue says.
“Also, is there any way my brother can take his exam here? Or be allowed out to take it? This isn’t some elaborate plot to get us out of here. We just know time is ticking for him to get his scores and get his applications in.” Bea says.
“No promises. But yeah it isn’t fair for Chris to lose another year. I will see about getting you some practice tests in and study guides at least.” Aled says.
“And tell G I love him.” Blue says quietly.
Aled smiles at Blue. He can see why he was the love of Will’s life. The three are not what he expected, not really. He knew Chris when he was in his angry stage but he is a world away from that guy now and Bea he has only ever met briefly. She is not at all like her reputation, or like Chris has mellowed.
Blue he finds endlessly fascinating. Not the dull doormat he expected. That his first thought was of Ollie was beautiful. He really is the caring and thoughtful guy that Will has described. Thank goodness he’s in love with Gervais, or he’d have no chance of putting his own relationship back together.
Bea and Blue spend the next few days grilling Chris hard and his confidence is sky high. He wishes he’d let Bea help him in high school and not let his pride get in the way. She really is a gifted teacher. He loves how his siblings can just ingest all the material and can explain things to him, even though it wasn’t their main area of study.
Watching Blue and Bea read and study mesmerizes Chris, he can see how Blue aced all those finals when he tried to get him kicked out of school. It is a real shame they didn’t have each other growing up. It would have been nice for them both to have true academic peers.
“You two missed out on not being able to push each other in high school. I know I’d have felt even further behind but it would have been so good for Bea to have someone to push her and discuss ideas with and so good for Blue to have someone else smart around to give him some confidence in his knowledge. You could both have gone to top schools.” Chris says.
“It is nice to be able to do this now, without the stress of grades and class ranking.” Bea says.
“And I struggled to fit in at school as it was, one of those elite schools full of people like Spence’s brothers would have sucked. I don’t think Bea or I have the personalities to use our brains for high flying jobs or research. We, all three of us are far too practically minded.” Blue says.
“That’s true. Your baking gift is just as strong as your academic one and far more fun.” Chris says taking a cookie from a plate.
“You know the store stocks your ice-cream at home. Not the soup, the soup was never even close to as good as what you make but the ice-cream sells so well. Willow stocks your vegan sort too at the retreat and we have it once a week at the school.” Bea says.
“Really? That is so cool. I kind of regret G selling our share. Not that I want to be a part of the business really but it is kind of cool to think people have my recipe ice-cream after dinner at home.” Blue says.
“l always had it in at home. But what you made at the café was better. The kids were coming back for your milkshakes because they were way better than whatever the city had to offer. Bea he made a gingerbread town in the lead up to Christmas and had a gingerbread ice-cream which was amazing with his apple pie. Out of this world.” Chris says.
“Sounds amazing. I don’t like anything too sweet but I’d go for apple pie and ice-cream right now.” Bea laughs.
“Ugh everyone always wants to work me to the bone.” Blue laughs. He’s missing Gervais a lot and has cabin fever as much as his siblings but he is happy. He’s feeling mentally well and relaxed. Sure he doesn’t have to do much thinking right now and Bea and Chris can’t really get up to any of their schemes but he feels safe and secure and almost ready to get back to normal. Aled seems hopeful that this is the last stop and if they wait it out they can be themselves again. Free. Blue is hanging on tightly to that.
Aled decides to visit Gervais on his way back. He’s organized for Chris to be taken to the testing center and to be able to take the test in a separate room. He feels like he’s of use when he’s not allowed to work on the investigation side. Despite his duties being restricted he is under pressure to find out if Ocean has remembered anything, if the drugs affected his memory, maybe he is getting it back now they’ve fully worn off.
Aled isn’t keen on the idea. Like everyone else who ever met him he loves Ocean and wants him to be able to live his life normally. Still it is an excuse to see Gervais and his flight will be paid for.
“The triplets are talking about spending the summer together at the lake. I wanted you to have a heads up, so you rather than me can talk to Willow about getting them a cottage at the retreat or whatever it is that is up there.” Aled says over dinner.
“That sounds positive. You think they will be allowed? I don’t want to make too many plans if I’m going to be alone. We really rushed it all last time and it was a mess. I can see why Blue and Chris are so depressed starting over so much with so few options. Given we messed up when we thought we were choosing for ourselves.” Gervais says.
“l am not entirely in the loop but I would be hopeful. If this comes off then yes they will be free. If it doesn’t then you’ll never see them again. Off the record plan b will be resettling them overseas.” Aled says.
“And that wouldn’t extend to me and Larry.” Gervais says.
“Lets just hope for plan A. Blue loves you, he wouldn’t go easily. He asked me to tell you he loves you, I’m not just projecting.” Aled says.
“l know he does. Why are you really here?” Gervais asks.
“l am being pushed to find out if Ocean has remembered anything, if his memory is back. I used that as an excuse to see you and Spence. I won’t see Ocean without you there. I do feel that if I see him it will mean he won’t be hounded by the team.” Aled says.
“He’ll be over later. He, Garrett and Spence are at a game, good for all of them but not my thing.” Gervais grins.
“How is the security working out?” Aled asks.
“Great, they have all been great and unobtrusive. Ocean doesn’t mind them at all, he and Garrett have even adjusted to having dates with them coming along to the movie or dinner.” Gervais says.
“I’ve tried to get Will to think about it but he won’t.” Aled says.
“l figure I’m pretty safe with Spence around. I just worry about everyone but Blue the most.” Gervais says.
“Blue is actually doing okay. He misses you but he’s coping. All three of them are, theVre getting along and getting on with it. If plan A doesn’t come off I’d be terrified of what it will do to their mental state.” Aled says and Gervais nods.
Soon Ocean, Garrett and Spence arrive.
“He’s not even having bad dreams.” Garrett says after Aled asks a few questions.
“What?” Aled asks.
“He’s not even having bad dreams where he has flashbacks or whatever. He sleeps soundly. I don’t think he saw anything, they kept him heavily drugged, he slept it off and then walked home.” Garrett says, he is so proud of how well Ocean is doing and off the charts proud of the way he saved himself by walking through the woods to safety.
“‘l really don’t think I have any memories to recall. I don’t feel like I have gaps or anything. I don’t remember voices or smells or sounds. I just remember waking up. I have track marks, they stuck me with something good.” Ocean says.
“l believe you. I’ll report back but I can’t guarantee it will go away.” Aled says.
“That’s okay. I want them found so Blue can be free. I will do anything I can to help and will call you the second I think of anything. I just don’t think I will.” Ocean says.
“Thanks kid. I know you have no reason to hide anything.” Aled says.
Once Aled, Ocean and Garrett have left Gervais tells Spence of Blue’s idea.
“You can say no, and I don’t want to hijack anything but how about we visit Magnus and DeShawn’s beach house? That way Will and I could come and train the boys nearby. We’d all get some r n r.” Spence says.
“I think Chris wants to work with the vet again and Bea is planning her wedding. But I love the idea of coming down for a couple of weeks. I might have to split my time between Blue and Ocean anyway. No way we could kit out a building up at the lake with enough equipment for the boys? Have us all together for the summer. I mean its not an issue of cost. As long as we stick to the rules and don’t jeopardize the boy’s eligibility.” Gervais says.
“That is fantasy stuff. I don’t see why not. I’ll get on to Roe or Deke’s mom. As Clara is MIA. You and I are far too frugal at times. Ocean would love it, truly love it. But are you sure about having me and Will around?” Spence asks.
“Larry was right we need more support for Chris and Blue. I just didn’t want it to have a business focus, especially with Andy. Blue needs a low, no pressure environment, you know how he takes everything on and can’t ask for help. He needs a lot more time than I gave him before and he needs to relearn how to be part of a team.” Gervais says.
“l know that seeing Ocean happy will make him happy. And being able to come up with veggie friendly low sugar, high protein options for Ocean will be the sort of challenge he loves, without it being too much.” Spence says.
“That is exactly the sort of project he can handle and would really enjoy. It is a crazy plan but I think we can do it. What about the gym at home? If Will is with us and so are you?” Gervais asks.
“I’m hiring new head coaches. Will’s heart has not been in it for a long time and mine isn’t either. I need to take a break, get divorced, grieve and start over.” Spence says.
“You’ve come to that conclusion? It is over? No counselling?” Gervais asks.
“Yeah. I have loved being married to my best friend. But the marriage is over. It isn’t the cheating, it is using sex with other people as his way of fixing our problems. The trust is long gone. He is bored of our life and he will do it again and again.” Spence says.
“You seem remarkably okay.” Gervais says.
“I’m not. I am utterly heartbroken and still wavering over the choice but I am also shopping for a divorce lawyer. If I don’t file soon I might change my mind and I value myself too much to be sucked in again.” Spence says.
“Have you heard from Ollie?” Gervais asks.
“No. It is more complex for him with the kids, he doesn’t want them to have to go through another big change. But I said I would help him buy Tad out of the house if it came to that.” Spence says.
“You’ve moved from emotional to practical. Has this been coming a long time?” Gervais asks worried he’s missed a chance to help his friends.
“For me since Hawaii. His attitude was shocking and I threatened him with divorce, not thinking I meant it. Turns out he had already cheated of course. He is still so thoughtless at times and what I used to see as cute I now see as entitled. He just hasn’t grown up at the same rate I have. I know I have been a brat and a total jerk and a gossip and a bad friend to Robin. I am trying really hard to be better. Andy doesn’t want to be better. Blue was always his conscience. Blue and Katelyn and without them around he just doesn’t care about how his actions hurt others. I don’t want to be with that guy. Not anymore.” Spence says.