“I’ll stay over with Bea tonight, even if you’re Staying here I’m happy to stay at yours to make sure Macon doesn’t do something stupid.” Spence says.
“Thanks Spence. I think I will stay here tonight.” Bea says.
“Clara, would it be okay if I stayed here longer term? only having an hour of wifi a day at the retreat is making working difficult.” Robin says.
“That is fine. You boys are always welcome, I’d like to pick your brains on a few projects too. How is your case against the old company going?” Clara asks.
“How did you know?” Robin asks.
“I heard from Ollie of all people. He called Roe when I was over there. I think it’s a good thing.” Clara says.
“What are you doing?” Blue asks.
“This isn’t personal. And you two might have facilitated it but you didn’t do it. But yes I am suing. I told my family lawyer the situation and he marched me down to his colleague’s office, an employment lawyer and they started a case on my behalf. Given my new set up I don’t think it will work against me even if I lose.” Robin says.
“They need you back. Ollie is thinking of leaving to take on my place in the charity. He needs a new challenge and has so many skills to pass on. He says it is a shambles without you.” Heidi says.
“l don’t want to go back. The situation with Ella means it is near impossible any way. It will always be her families firm. But I think they owe me.” Robin says.
“We owe you. But yes it was ultimately the owners who behaved badly. We shouldn’t have wound them up and set them off though. I feel so stupid now, especially after what Nick did.” Blue says.
“You thought you were doing the right thing.” Robin says.
“What did Nick do?” Clara asks.
“He was in bed with Andy when I got back from seeing Ocean.” Spence says.
“Spence went to think about whether he wanted to save his marriage and Andy didn’t think at all.” Chris says shaking his head,
“It has been a terrible time for breakups.” Will says quietly. He’s been feeling a little out of place. Uncomfortable to be at Clara’s home, being Blue’s ex but not wanting to miss out on a night with
“Has Ollie decided what he is doing?” Blue asks.
“Divorce. He called me last night, he’s been calling everyone I guess. He told me that the Nick thing made it so much worse. sorry Spence, he just said seeing how not picky Andy was made him lose all respect for Tad. He knows things have been tough in his marriage but it isn’t like Tad didn’t know how hard the kids were before they got married.” Larry says.
“He missed out on having a kick ass brother in law.” Chris says.
“l always liked Ollie. It was Tad 1 had an issue with. Like Roe I can’t take sides but my goodness I want to. Ollie, Ocean and Gervais were the people who actively tried to keep me in their lives, I mostly rejected them but I appreciated it, Ollie and his siblings will always be family.” Larry says.
“Get them up here when school is out.” Clara says.
“I’ll suggest it. A couple of weeks camping by the lake would be idea.” Larry says.
“And give me a chance to work with Ollie on both projects.” Heidi says.
“He might need some vacation time.” Blue says quietly.
“l know. I’d not make him work all the time. But it is easier to catch up and exchange ideas face to face.” Heidi says.
“And you are taking an extended vacation?” Clara asks.
“Yes. I need a break. I had a small one and it wasn’t enough. I need a big mental break. We want to get Chris in to school, and then we’ll make our next move.” Blue says.
“And you think…” Clara says but is cut off.
“Blue needs a break, don’t even think about suggesting he work or volunteer in any capacity. You didn’t see him a few months ago.” Will says firmly.
“l couldn’t even order food from a menu momma. Gervais and Chris were doing everything for me.” Blue says.
“Today was a good day. Blue is still working on stringing a few good days together. I know you don’t approve of us not working and I am sure we will volunteer a lot while here. But no pressure, no expectations, no making the choice for us.” Gervais says.
“Blue and Chris might be okay in a month, or 6 or a year or 5. We’re letting them lead the way. We get Chris in to school and give him all the support he needs and then we work out what is next. We’ve tried the other way and it was too much too soon.” Larry says.
“Take it or leave it momma.” Blue says with a grin and the tension is broken. Clara will always be Clara but everyone knows the signs and no one is afraid of cutting her off.
“Well, as you are you again you can use your college fund for school.” Clara says.
“Thanks. I can’t wait to get started on Monday. I think I’ll finally feel like myself again.” Chris says.
“No strings on those funds.” Blue says.
“Good grades.” Clara counters.
“I’m going to get good grades. I am way, way smarter than I knew.” Chris grins.
“He really is. He’s not as smart as me and Bea, but he got our share of charm which is a totally unequal trade.” Blue says.
“l know right, we never get to charm our way out of trouble, if there is no logic we’re doomed.” Bea grins.
“Your jealousy has gone.” Clara says.
“We’re a proper trio now. We balance each other out.” Blue says.
“Blue stole all the cooking talent.” Chris says.
“Bea got the best hair and the most resilience.” Blue says.
“We’ve worked out where we fit.” Bea says.
“Better together.” Blue and Chris say together.
“And that happens. Those two get a bit scary and annoying.” Bea laughs.
“We can’t help it.” Chris and Blue say together.
“See?” Bea says and everyone is falling about laughing.
“You okay?” Blue asks Gervais in bed in the cottage later, they have the place to themselves with Spence and Robin gone. Will is staying next door with Chris and Larry.
“I just felt a bit annoyed that it was Will not me who first jumped in to save you from Clara.” Gervais says.
“You did your part. I am lucky that you all know what she’s like and take my side.” Blue says.
“I feel like one false move and he’ll swoop in. I know he felt like that about me when you two were dating.” Gervais says.
“You want me to ask him to go home?” Blue asks.
“No. I know he’s a mess and needs to be here with his friends. And he loves you and will be an extra pair of eyes to stop you disappearing in to a funk.” Gervais says.
“I need to shape up and make you feel happy and secure. I know I’m not being the best boyfriend I can right now.” Blue says.
“Babe, you are not the problem. You are treating me so well. I know you need to work on yourself and your family. I’ll get over it.” Gervais says.
“I love you and only want you. I think sleeping with him was the most stupid thing. I should have just watched you and Robin.” Blue says.
“It was a fun night and you looked so happy. It wasn’t a mistake.” Gervais says.
“I am putting so much pressure on myself. Like this is my final chance and everything has to be perfect. I need to relax and let things flow.” Blue says.
“This is because your mother is back. You are fighting your instinct to be perfect for her. Fuck her expectations and be yourself. You’re a mess and that is okay because you know it and you are getting better all the time.” Gervais says.
“You are helping me, every day. I love being back with you. Kiss me.” Blue says puckering up.
Gervais giggles. Blue never behaves how he looks.
“You’re so beautiful.” Gervais says and kisses Blue on the lips briefly before diving for his neck and ear lobes. Kissing and biting at him for hours. The pair are happy together and make out for hours, enjoying each other.
“I love waking up to you.” Blue says with a big smile on his face.
“I love you.” Gervais says kissing Blue’s nose.
“I am so lucky.” Blue says.
“It’s early, lets go do some yoga by the lake and go fishing. Lets take a day away from everyone else’s drama.” Gervais says.
“I would really, really like that. Last night was good fun but I need a recovery day for sure, just like you used to.” Blue says.
“I still do.” Gervais smiles.
The pair pack up some things and head to the lake via the general store for bait and some new fishing gear. They do their yoga and head to the jetty. A couple of boats are listed for sale and Blue is soon the owner of a small sailing dinghy.
They just sail for a while. Gervais watches as Blue relaxes as he manoeuvres the boat, getting used to the differences from his old boat and not having sailed in years. He’s happy and it shows.
They fish and laze and kiss, enjoying a perfect lazy day together.
They head to Clara’s in the evening with their haul and cook up a simple feast for their friends.
“How you feeling today?” Blue asks Bea.
“Good, really good. It’s actually nice to be home and have a weekend without dealing with wedding stuff.” Bea grins.
“And he has stayed away as far as we know.” Spence says.
“How is the gym coming?” Clara asks.
“Really good. I’m excited. It will be good for the community to have something. Another 2 weeks of building work and we’ll get the equipment up. You remember I worked at that camp one summer? I am thinking about doing something like that going forward. Not up here, I wouldn’t invade this space but I’m not relishing the idea of college coaching, a decade ago I wanted to but I am too used to working for myself. The idea of Will and I doing coaching clinics freelance and having a summer camp, gym or general is starting to really appeal.” Spence says.
“Leaving me able to live near the kids during school time and Spence free to travel. It feels like something we could do. It also gives me the option to go back to school or train in a new career, something I would really enjoy.” Will says.
“Are you two looking at being together?” Blue asks.
“I’ve never seen Spence that way.” Will says.
“And I am long over that crush.” Spence says.
“Seems to me Will would be stupid to go in with you if he doesn’t want to coach.” Blue says.
“I need to work Blue. I don’t have pots of money like the rest of you.” Will says.
“Hey Robin and I don’t either.” Larry says.
“You know what I mean.” Will says.
“Yeah you wasted your degree, worked as a ,low paid assistant coach for years and did fuck all to improve your life.” Blue says.
“Blue, that’s enough.” Clara says.
“No it isn’t. Will had so many advantages and options and he did nothing. He had the freedom to do anything, go anywhere, be anything and he chose to play second fiddle to Spence and marry a guy he didn’t love. Chris and I would have killed for options.” Blue says angrily.
“I achieved my dreams and I should have been on top of the world but it meant nothing to me. It has been really hard to have new dreams and set more goals. Just because my life situation was better than yours doesn’t mean it was easy. I’ve lost my husband and kids and I am totally lost. I’m here to work out my next move, just like you are.” Will says eyes blazing.
“You’re so different.” Blue says.
“So are you. And not in a good way. Thanks for dinner but please don’t invite me again. This is just too hard.” Will says and leaves.