“Am I wrong to not put love first?” Blue asks gently.
“I think you are. I think that Gervais isn’t the right one for you. And you are giving yourself time to heal and find true love again. Gervais was amazing, he took us to Hawaii, he helped get the old dairy for us, though it was your money. But you two were a mess by Christmas and ever since then he seems to be pushing too hard, asking too much and you can’t keep up with the pace of recovery he’s expecting. He loves you but I think you are friendly soul mates, not lovers. I don’t know.” Chris says.
“I’m too needy for him right now. I need more than I can give and it isn’t fair on him. I wish we could be just friends, we have tried that, over and over. But there is always a sexual undercurrent, even when I was with Will. My boyfriends always get jealous of our friendship. That is the problem we can’t be just friends, one of us is always wanting more. And there is the issue, if I am not with him, then he isn’t going to be in my life.” Blue says.
“That is far too intense for what you can deal with right now.” Chris says.
“I know. I don’t know if I can ever deal. I love the fireworks but I can’t deal with a life time of our fights.” Blue admits.
“And Will?” Chris asks.
“I don’t want to lose Will forever. I realised that was part of the issue recently. I love him too. He brought Sunny up here for me. He’s been amazing, when I let him in he is Mr Perfect. I told Gervais a few weeks ago that I cannot deal with perfect right now. Not that Will wants any relationship right now. You know the shitty thing about both Will and Gervais?” Blue asks.
“What?” Chris asks.
“I watch Robin and Birch have that totally giddy stage. I’ve watched you and Larry go from a with benefits thing to a solid love affair, with a beautiful honeymoon stage. I don’t get to have that. I’m expected to be all in right away, no discovery, no falling in love.” Blue sighs.
“Oh bro that really sucks. I get it, everyone expects you to pick one of them and get married. You need to dat around. Get better and then date. The hiding changed us, it damaged us and we’ll never be who we were. In my case that is a good thing. In yours it is heartbreaking. Lets find you a new man, who nurtures you and can deal with the nightmares.” Chris says.
“You still have them?” Blue asks.
“Sometimes. Larry helps a lot. He has bad days too. He is my man and I would do anything for him. This place is our dream. Honestly these lakes its been like goldilocks, this one is just right. Is that how you feel?” Chris asks.
“The four of us, me, Will, Spence and Wyatt came up here to view and it was instant. This was going to be my home. Spence saw the potential in the land too. But all four of us agreed this was my home. I want you here. I really do.” Blue says.
“I have the best feeling.” Chris grins.
They get back and sit on the porch with a beer. Larry is petting Sunny and clearly building up to say something. Blue and Chris sit quietly waiting, enjoying the view. Will pulls up breaking the silence.
“I hope this is okay. My friend is having a massive fight with his wife, I just couldn’t stay.” Will says.
“Did you bring food?” Blue asks.
“And more beer.” Will grins.
“He is mr perfect.” Chris laughs.
“You okay Larry?” Will asks.
“I’ve been trying to work out how to say all this.” Larry sighs.
“No rush. Will has brought up a cooler of shrimp and corn. Lets get cooking, might be easier on a full stomach.” Blue says.
“We can prep, you make some cornbread or something yummy.” Chris says.
“We can grill the corn in the husk. Lets get cleaning the shellfish.” Larry says perking up with a practical task.
The four work well together. They all love this simple food and cooking outdoors. They eat with their fingers sat on the porch. Sunny sniffing round for scraps, despite having been fed himself.
“Takes after his uncle Chris.” Chris laughs.
Larry takes a long drink of beer.
“So, I called my dad. I’m a little suspicious why the family would give up such a great spot. No offence Blue but we don’t know the land. Abby wouldn’t have bought anything barren but maybe its been badly managed and over farmed. I just need a second opinion. He’s coming up.” Larry says.
“That’s a big deal you calling.” Will says.
“I could have got a survey done for you.” Blue says.
“Are you okay seeing him?” Chris asks, his arm firmly round Larry’s shoulder.
“I am, I trust him and he offered. Shit has hit the fan at home. Ella has left, dad had a DNA test done on the younger one. She’s left the kids with him. Her family won’t say where she is. It’s all a drama.” Larry says shaking his head.
“So Robin gets his son full time?” Blue asks.
“Robin and Birch have moved in with dad temporarily, so the kids can get used to them. The babies bio dad doesn’t want to know. It’s a mess.” Larry says.
“Should your dad be away from the kids right now?” Will asks.
“I don’t know. Shit what a mess.” Larry says.
“Is Tad still living there?” Chris asks.
“He is. It’s not like he hasn’t babysat before. The kids should be fine, confused but okay.” Larry says reassuring himself.
“Will and I will take a sofa each, or go camping. Give you some space.” Blue says.
“I don’t have to stay.” Will says.
“Of course you do. This place suits you. You’ll be running boot camps round the lake and making us eat healthily in no time. Forget any love issues between you two, this is home for you, just like it is us.” Larry says.
“I agree.” Blue says quietly.
“No more bullshit sacrificing. Lets be honest. You want to be here, Blue wants you here. Anyone who brings my bro as thoughtful a gift as Sunny gets to be here. Hell you even brought dinner.” Chris says.
“I really did plan to stay in the city, see some fitness gyms, spend time with friends. But I do love it up here.” Will says.
“And you love Blue.” Larry says.
“And Sunny.” Will says scratching the dog’s ears.
“I love all you guys. I missed having proper friends.” Larry says.
“I missed you. I know we weren’t close but I missed having you around as a single gay friend.” Will says.
“He’ll never be single again.” Chris says with a big grin.
“You can get Mike’s permission when he visits.” Blue laughs.
“Only if Larry is going to ask momma for my hand.” Chris grins.
“Fuck off. I have your twin’s approval.” Larry says.
“Yes you do. I love how happy you make my bro, and how much you challenge him. I blame your amazing relationship for my breakup. I want what you two have.” Blue says.
“You’ll get there. Get better, find your voice and stop running.” Will says.
“I will. I am. I get to chatter to Sunny too, get everything out without bringing everyone down. He kisses me better every time. I feel so much more myself. I hate that I’ve hurt Gervais again. I feel like I used him when I was at my worst and discarded him when I began finding my feet. I was such a shit to him.” Blue says.
“It wasn’t all one way. Fuck Blue it was a chore, you set him free, no one wants a partner who finds the relationship a chore.” Larry says.
“Ugh lets get back to you. I hate how I pull everything to me, it is not how I was.” Blue says.
“When is the wedding?” Will asks.
“Not until Chris qualifies. It’s been a whirlwind and although we’re both sure we’re right for each other and that we’re forever, I want a long engagement. I mean you, Spence and Tad all having your marriages fail has been a major wake up.” Larry says.
“Anyone for ice-cream?” Blue asks.
“Duh.” Chris says nodding.
Will jumps up and follows Blue inside to help dish up.
“Oh god, I hope those two make it.” Larry says quietly.
“Blue told me he wants romance and the honeymoon period. Feels like he always misses out on the getting to know you part.” Chris says.
“Will can do romance. Can I tell him?” Larry asks.
“Not yet, I want Blue more settled. Let him get over G, or back under him without the complication of Will.” Chris says.
“You think they’ll get back together?” Larry asks.
“He took us to Hawaii. I think they wont be together for ever but I don’t know if its over, over.” Chris says.
They stay up late and talk and drink. The four quickly move talk away from their relationships to fishing, farming and food. Sunny loves having 4 lots of attention.
“He’s like Ocean when he was little, loving having his big brothers around.” Blue laughs as Sunny rolls onto his back again for belly rubs.
“He’s adorable and so well trained.” Larry says.
“Will is a magician, getting me a loving dog who is so good.” Blue smiles.
“I wouldn’t have got you a younger one who needed too much training, you don’t need that hassle, you need a buddy who keeps your bed warm.” Will says.
“He’s perfect.” Blue grins.
“Well we are going to fuck in the woods, don’t wait up.” Chris says getting up and running off, Larry chasing after him.
“I’m going to bed. You can share, Sunny will chaperone.” Blue says.
“Thanks but no. I’ll feel too vulnerable around our inevitable morning wood. I’m not in the right place for a relationship, even a friends with benefits one. Especially that. Aled really, really fucked with my head. You lost all those years, I lost the last two to a total fantasist. I have no idea what was real. I’m really fucking sorry for our fight, for passing judgement on your relationship. I had no right. I really am sorry. Right up to this morning I was justifying myself, thinking you needed to hear it but I was wrong. So fucking arrogant. I hope I didn’t push your breakup.” Will says.
“I’ve not been good to Gervais and I’m not sure he was doing right by me. You and momma told me to listen to my instincts. You need to do the same. You’re not a fool. You have good instincts. Forget Aled and listen to yourself again. That is what I’m trying. It isn’t entirely working but I am trying.” Blue says and kisses Will on the forehead.
“I’m still sleeping on the sofa.” Will says and hugs Blue tight.