Ayden's Eyes: Book One

Chapter 31

Ayden’s Eyes 31

 I woke up in bed again. Ayden and Evan were with me and I smiled at both of them. Evan was massaging my back and he had a serious look on his face. Ayden was lightly kissing my cheek.

"How long have I been out?"

 "About an hour at the most, Den. You fainted. Do you think it's the aftermath of trancing? Maybe you're pushing it too far Den.”

 "I don't know, bubs, I just don't know." I did know his gentle rubbing was fixing my body.

 Rita knocked, then brought in water and a sandwich, which I devoured. Ayden had a little piece and he was still smiling at me. So, I sat up and kissed Evan some more: he was salty and tasted so good - I felt safe.

 He was smiling from ear to ear when we arrived. Ayden was struggling to get to him and I passed him over. Mike was a different boy - he looked younger - more like a boy should look like, not the adult I saw on the porch that day. He got us up to speed on what the doctors thought and he said they will release him after the final tests come back. He started crying as he thanked me from the bottom of his heart. I held him in my arms and kissed his head. Ayden giggled as he played with Mike’s fingers, then he spied Rita's cake.

 Mike cut him off a bit then fed him the delicious treat. Crumbs fell onto the crisp white sheets.

 Anne, Jack, Horse and Tony came back - they had gone to get something for lunch. There was no way anyone would wipe the smiles off their faces anytime soon. Horse said the doctor was very happy with his progress and didn't want to see him again. The boys arrived back with Rita and Spud in tow. Blue had a box of chocolates to give him. Ayden eyed the bright coloured box. I put them out of his reach.

 "Dad, can I finally have a dog now?" Poor Mike, he must have given up so much.

 "Would you settle for a little sister or brother instead?" He grinned.

 "What?" Mikes face beamed with that news item.

 "Okay we will get a dog too, but don't forget you will have a   little sibling that will need some of your love too," he laughed.

 "Congratulations to you both! What a great surprise!” No wonder Anne was glowing. Cake was passed around and, when it was finished, Rita pulled another one out of her bag.

 "Why make one when you can make two." She laughed.

 We left Mike with grins for miles: he was itching to come home and get stuck into some work again. It will be a whole different story this time - he won’t be so antsy – well, let's hope so anyway.

 When we finally got back, there was a party going on. Rita's was busy and our boys had opened a few beers while she rustled up some food. It was good to see everyone happy again. They all liked Mike and felt his pain whenever he screwed up. My guys are non-judgemental, so, for Mike, this shack was the ideal place for him to be.

 Rita produced pasties, this time loaded with veggies, and, of course, Spud slipped plenty of tomato sauce onto the plate. Evan was quite busy in the shop and he called me in to help.  He and Donk sold and I wrapped, then took the cash. He was doing really well with his new stuff. It looks like the shop won’t settle down anytime soon because most of the customers were backpackers and surfers. It got late pretty quickly. I was feeling a little tired and worn out, so I told Evan I was going to get Ayden ready for bed.

 Bubs was falling asleep. He was very excited at first at the party, but as the night was drawing to a close, his eyes were giving up on him. I took him inside while Evan closed up shop. I needed to give him a good long bath, then into bed, where he will feel safe and at peace.

 I washed him and did his hair which is getting quite long now. I had told Evan that I was going to cut it, but he banned me from doing that. He wanted him to choose wether he gets it cut or not when he's older. I figured he was playing him off between himself and me. Mine’s short Evan’s is long. We will see which father is the most popular when it comes to bubs making decisions for himself.

 I put cuddles to bed and he waited for Evan to hug and kiss him. After, he sucked on his milk, getting ready for a good night's sleep. We showered and, because we were a little excited, we decided to get dirty in the bathroom. I took Evan lovingly and gently. I wanted to explore his whole body and I lingered on his neck and ears. He was doing a lot of moaning, but when I came back to reality, he was actually telling me to fuck him harder. I obliged, of course - he was crying by the time I finished because I was getting better at lasting longer.

 He pulled me in to kiss me good night. I made sure he got a few good ones in, then turned him on his side so I could hold him. I lay there for a few minutes, then whispered in his ear.

 "Pass the lube bub."

 "Groan.

 "Da, Da, Dah." Bubs was singing in the morning. I think he had the biggest sleep because even Evan’s leaving early didn't disturb him. I threw back the sheet and went into say good morning to him. He wanted up and changing. I kissed him as usual, many times over, as he giggled while his nappy was changed for a much cleaner one. I dressed in my tank and shorts, slipped my flip flops on, then started for Rita's.

 "Good morning, beautiful. Sleep well?"

 Bubs didn't answer her.

 She stared at me with that spoon in her hand again.

 "Oh, you mean me, don't you?" I laughed. "Oh, yes, thanks Rita. There's nothing like a good comfy bed."

 I placed bubs in his high chair and Rita played with him and kissed him good morning. He rewarded her with endless giggling and smiles.

"Nana?" He beamed as he scrunched her face with his tiny hands.

 I felt awful that this thing might be passed along to him. He doesn't understand, and my only hope is that nothing too drastic will happen for him to feel real pain. My urgent need to paint, the butterflies, the trancing, the awful shocks. What mind-blowing gift would Ayden end up with? My brain was going crazy.

 "Den, did you hear me?"

 "No, what?" She pulled me out of my dream.

 "I said, Horse and Tony are up at the house, if you want to take a walk after your breakfast." She passed me a plate of eggs on toast.

 "Okay I might do that. Thanks, nana."

 I walked back to the table and started eating: the food was most welcome. I heard the sounds of the waves roaring and the kids laughing and screaming coming from across the road and I saw a beautiful kid coming, all decked out in a new outfit ready for work.

 "Hi kiddo! How are you feeling?"

 "Fantastic, Den! I feel alive again and I am so grateful to you for helping me. I thank you, I thank you." Mike bowed to me.

 "No need. Kid. I always thought you would be all right in the end. You have a beautiful heart, Mike, and I know you are going to be the best big brother to your little sister. She is going to adore you."

 "Sister?"

 "Yes, sister, so start buying pink things." I laughed. I don't know where that came from, but, as usual, I was certain the baby was going to be a girl.

 "Should I tell mum?"

 "Nah - let them get a surprise, but hide the pink stuff." He threw his arms around my neck and hugged me.

 "Thank you."

 He went up to Rita's to get his morning milkshake and to play with bubs. I started walking down to Tony's place.

 I found them upstairs talking to the builder about fitting a balcony, so I snooped around to see if anything's been done yet. Just a few walls had been knocked out and I could imagine what it was going to look like a lot better now. Horse spotted me and walked over to say his morning greetings.

 We started talking about the renovations: he was excited to be doing them for Tony and he laughed, then said that he might even think about renting the upstairs. It's going to be amazing.

Tony talked about Bali and he and Horse were going there for five days to check his order out then have a little holiday. He said they wanted some time to themselves - not weeks, just a few days. He was grinning. I am thinking a massage for two maybe in their room.

 I left them to it because I missed the beach and Evan a bit. So when I got back, I grabbed the breakfast basket and our son, then walked down to see everybody.

 Ayden splashed in the water, squealing his head off, while Evan ate his brekkie, grinning at me. I grinned back and wiggled my eyebrows at him. I could see he was excited again and so was I, so I sat down in the cool surf with our son. Donk was talking to Nuts about the tea rooms and what he hoped would happen. His wife is so desperate to get out and go to Melbourne she had already packed most of her stuff. I did overhear him say they were getting along better than ever and they even had managed a friendly cuddle or two. I was wondering if he would go finish his schooling when she left, but I will leave that question for later.

 "I'm sure Sue said she and Pat would be travelling with the girls around Australia. Have you heard from her?"

 "No, Den, but she will be here in a few days’ time, so we can talk then. Maybe she will put it off until winter. I don't know about her girls though," he grinned.

 "Well, I have never met them, but I'm sure they are as beautiful as she is," I grinned back at him. I noticed Nuts was grinning too.

 "They haven't even got here yet and you two are fucking them," I laughed.

 "Den!! Hush your mouth - baby on the beach!” They laughed as they got up and grabbed their boards. A couple of spunks with great looking asses ran into the surf laughing like crazy. I wondered if they had stiffies. Bubs and I had forty winks because he was tuckered out again.

 When I woke I felt bubs laying on my stomach - he had made himself comfortable there. I could hear the guys laughing and the surf was picking up. A few guys I hadn't recognized were with them and Evan was talking to one guy that had hold of his board. I lay there until bubs started to stir.

"Dah," he smiled - that sleepy one I always loved.

 "Did you have a good sleep bub?"

 No answer just a head butt as it fell on my lower body - it's hard work holding your head up after a big nap. I undid his restraint and fished around for some water for him. His legs again were in the air as he sucked on that bottle - he must be thirsty.

 It was time to open the shop, so I packed up the basket and headed up the track for home. I unlocked the shop and went to dump the bag at Rita's, then made myself a coffee. I only had two more paintings to do and while Bubs watched his daily cartoons, I hung Mike’s painting on our wall. I will never sell that one, even though it was the fifth best I had ever done, in my opinion. The others were scattered around the house. Evan’s dad was in the shop, Ayden's eyes was still over the mantle, his nude and his mum's flowers were in the bedroom, and now Mike’s was proudly hanging in the lounge also.

 Anyway, as I said, I only had two more to do, so I set up my workstation. But before I started, I got a little busy welcoming new arrivals. I was introduced to Patrick’s dad and Susan's girls as she hugged me to her side. Rita came over and welcomed them all back, and then Susan ducked into the house to get Ayden.

 Her girls screamed and fought over who was going to hold him. Ayden, of course, was loving the attention, and so was Mike when he was introduced and got a few smackers from three beautiful women - his face was so red. Pat’s dad had ducked into the shop. He wanted to see my paintings. Coffee arrived, and Alex was also kissed and hugged.

 "He's taken girls, hands off, and you must meet his boyfriend he's another sex bomb." Sue giggled. She then hugged Alex and said he was the better looking one of the two.

 Pat disappeared, then came out in his wet suit: he was going to see the boys.

 "I will bring the girls down in a minute, Pat. Make sure the boys are nicely dressed," she laughed.

 Hayley and Emma were itching to get to the beach. I think they wanted to perve on the boys, and there certainly weren't any mention of boyfriends - maybe they are looking.

 They started talking to some other backpackers that were renting a stay. They were from the UK also, so a party was forming. I talked to Robert for a while. He seemed like a nice man and was so pleased Pat had found himself a wonderful girl like Susan. He loved the paintings and asked who Spud was. I told him he was down at the beach but will be back later. Then I told him about his curry night, which was tonight.

 They formed a large group and started changing into shorts and bikinis - the boys are in for a treat. I took Ayden and said he needed feeding, after which we will come down for a walk. I think Susan was torn between swimming or feeding him, so I shooed her away and told her she will have plenty of time with him. The others followed them and they chatted about where they had been and where they were going.

 It all of a sudden fell quiet and bubs and I looked at each other.

"Food! You need food, bubs." He squawked something while I   walked him up to the kitchen. Rita had a bowl of something for him, and I fed his eager mouth while he prattled his way through some tune. He finished his food in record time and I was given the picnic basket full of sandwiches. When I got to the beach, Robert had collared Spud, and the boys had collared the girls. No one was surfing - even Evan was sitting under the tree. I couldn't get near him because some guy had taken my place and was talking to him non-stop. Evan seemed to be interested in what he was saying, but I couldn't hear the conversation over the din.

 Nuts and Tiny were competing with Mike now, as he had followed us down. The girls let him know several times he was a spunk. I think he's a little young for an older girlfriend, but he was enjoying the attention. His phone took a lot of selfies. I passed the sandwiches around. Spud had to leave because he was cooking tonight and he had to prepare everything.

 "Has Donk spoken to you yet, Pat?"

 "Yes, Den. I have to talk to Susan first, then we will probably have to change our plans. I'm dying to get started in the cafe."

"The girls will be pissed off a bit, won’t they?"

 "No, I don't think so - they understand that maybe they will have to go it alone. But I did hear Nuts say he would go with them - maybe surf the coast up to Darwin," he grinned. It would be good for him to have a lady in his life again - hopefully it might fill a void in his heart if something progresses from their friendships.

 Bubs was grabbed and taken down to the shore and three pretty ladies made a big fuss of him. Poor Mike was left on his own, but I don't think he minded - he just picked his board up and skimmed the foreshore. It was so funny to watch - he was showing off and the girls went along with it.

 "Den, this is Gary. Gary, meet Den." I put my hand out and shook the guy’s hand he was good looking, but not my type, that's if I had a type.

 "Gary and I met at Bell’s Den. He's here to check out the surf."

 "Okay, cool. You will have to come to the shack and you can tell us all those bad wipe-outs Evan had there," I grinned.

 "I will, and I have plenty of them, Den. Nice to meet you. Coming, Evan?" He picked his board up and Evan said he would be there in a minute.

 "He just turned up, Den. I didn't even know he was coming, but he's already starting to piss me off. I want to surf he wants to talk about shit."

 "Well, you had better not keep him, Bubs. He’s looking for you.” I was looking at him trying to figure out wether that was the guy that tried to fuck him.

 Poor Evan ran off and met with him and they paddled out together, but to Evan’s credit, he caught the first big wave back to shore. Bounding up the beach he then picked Ayden up and grabbed me by the arm and said, "Let’s go."

 "What's the hurry, Bubs? Won’t Gary miss you?"

 "You’re both my family and I don't care wether he knows it or not. I have to open the shop. And, Den, you can stop the smart ass attitude," he laughed as he slung Ayden over his shoulder, who giggled all the way up the track.

 He was a little pissed off, but I think he was trying to tell me something. When we got back I went to get bubs out of his wet swimmers. I was about to run a tub for him when I heard shouting coming from the back yard.  Evan and Gary were in a shouting match. I noticed Rita had moved out to the back porch too.

 "What's going on, Den?"

 "I don't quite know yet, but I suspect Gary is more than a surfing mate.”

 "Oh Evan knows him, does he?"

 "Yes Rita they met at Bell’s."

 Evan stormed up the back stairs and tramped up to me. He spun me around and pulled me over to the balcony rail. He then called out to Gary who turned to look. "Hey Gary this one's mine."

 He then kissed me deeply. Rita giggled. I enjoyed it. Last I saw of Gary, he was stomping back to the beach.

 "Oh my, you can pick them, Bubs."

"Shut up, Den! And Rita, haven't you any work to do?"

 "Yes, boss!" She saluted him and went back inside laughing into her apron.

 He let his head fall on my shoulder and whispered in my ear.

"I'm sorry, Den."

 "It's okay, Bubs. We all have a past we would rather forget, but you have to tell me the truth some time soon, okay?"

 "He's coming on to me, Den. I'm not encouraging him and there is no bloody past!"

 "Okay. I love you so much baby," I smiled.

 "Want to kiss me again?"

 "Groan."

 Ayden was still sitting in his cot, so I drew a bath for him. I picked him up and started bathing him. He played with his bright yellow ducks as I soaped him up. He is so beautiful and I wanted him to never grow up and experience adult feelings.

I took my time drying him softly and then I took him out to his other dad. And guess who was there again? I placed Ayden in Evan’s lap then walked up to Rita's. The conversation was quiet and I could see Evan’s face getting redder and redder, so I thought I had better go help him.

 "Everything okay here. Bub?" I leaned in and kissed his mouth.

 "Yes, Den. Gary was just telling me he can't stay."

 "Oh that's too bad. We have curry night tonight. You'll miss it."

 He gave me a filthy look and replied, "I'm just going to change, then I will be back for dinner."

 "Oh, that's nice," I smiled at him.

 He caught my vision and I didn't know whether I saw hate or disgust in his, but there was certainly something in there my inner person didn’t like. He got up to leave and he had the nerve to say to Evan, "Come with me. We can talk while I shower."

 "No thanks, Gary. I have a shop to run, and a family to look after."

 I stood and took Ayden, he was trying to tell me something but I wasn’t listening

 "Den, please, I need to talk to you." Evan looked so upset.

 "Yep, you do, Bubs. What's happening?"

 "He's hitting on me and I don't want to tell him to piss off, but I feel like smashing his face in. I don't cope with being cruised too well, Den. The last guy got a fat lip for his trouble. Gary's a nice bloke, but he's not you, Den, and I really don't fancy him at all. What am I going to do?"

 "Oh, Bubs. Leave it to me, will ya’?"

 "Don't get involved, Den. The guys like him and, as I said, he's a nice guy. But I can't help feeling he doesn't take no for an answer."

 "He will," I smiled.

 "Den, please?"

 "Okay, I'll get Spud to babysit, and we can go in the back then," I smiled.

 "Den," he growled.

 We didn't make the bedroom because Cynthia turned up. She wanted more of my works.

 "I thought I had better stock up before that insufferable cousin of mine in London buys you out." She laughed.

 "I have nearly finished the commission and don't have much on my walls. The only recent one is the one I did of Mike and that's not for sale"

 "Show me."

 We passed through the shop and she was blown away with the new painting. "I'm glad you didn't destroy it. How about I put it up for auction we will get top money for it I know."

 "No way! That stays here with Ayden's Eyes and the rest of them."

 "Just trying, Den. Don't get so defensive. Now show me what you do have left for sale."

 We went back to the shop and she looked at my leftovers and put three aside. She also took four of Spud’s. While laughing, she said, "His are cheaper than yours."

 I didn't care, but my walls looked really bare. I have to get some work done.

 "Baby, here's the addresses of three galleries in Melbourne. They still have some of my older works there at the old price."

 "Really?"

"Yes, really," I smiled.

 "By the way, I don’t want to panic you, but Bobby Thompson is trying to locate you."

 "What?" I was almost speechless.

 "He got a mutual friend to call me because he knows I sell your works. Don't be surprised if he doesn't turn up one day, Den. He’s a big fan.”

 “My god, I hope not. Spud will go into a spin. He might even posture himself on the deck," I laughed.

 Evan came over to see what we were laughing about, His customers had left. I bought him up to speed on the gossip. He knew who Bobby was through listening to the many conversations Spud and I had about him. Spud thought that Bobby maybe could throw a little light on my trancing. I was interested in what he would have to say. Bobby is a ghost painter, he paints a picture then adds hidden subjects and people. He trances too, I believe.

 Cynthia said her hellos to everyone and told Spud she would take four at the normal discount. He did thank her and then he   did sort of curtsy. Poor Spud he still doesn't believe he's one of the best around.

 We helped her load up the car and she wanted directions to Tony's place, so I showed her where to go. It was good to see her and knowing Spencer is her cousin tickled my funny bone - they both suited each other. Now what to do about my other problem. The guys came up not long after. I guess they smelled the curry from the beach. Blue looked exhausted - they must have had him on just about every wave there was. I can see it's going to be an early night for him. Horse grabbed Ayden off me and started to feed him. He was laughing his head off every now and then - something has tickled his fancy.

 When Evan went back in to serve some kids, he leant over to me and told me I needn't worry about Gary anymore. They had just met him on the beach and they had a good talk about Evan and about his secret.

 "But he's was told not to mention it to anyone yet because Evan’s only just started."

 "What the hell are you talking about Horse? What secret?"

 "Well, we guessed he was giving Evan some grief and hitting on him. Not nice Den, not nice at all."

 "I was going to talk to him tonight but I don't see him around." I looked up and down the porch.

 "He took off, Den. You won’t see him again anytime soon." The guys started giggling and Horse roared.

 "Okay let me in."

 "All right we had a good talk about Evan and families and things. I told him you were basically straight and liked pussy and Evan was starting his hormone treatment to transition into Evelyn for you." I couldn't believe they had told him that - that's not very nice - then I started laughing. The guys laughed along with me. Fuck me! Is Evan going to be pissed off when he hears that!

 He came out of the shop and said, "What's up Den?"

 "Nothing, Bubs. Are you making a killing in there?"

 "Yes, Den, I am actually."

 The curries arrived and the boys tucked in. Susan was eyeing Ayden as usual. Her girls were talking to the backpackers and were all handed food bowls.

 Poor Horse had to go to the toilet, so Sue grabbed bubs and didn't let him go for the rest of the night. I was watching Mike serve tables. He and Blue were in top form and not a hint of any agitation or anxiety. Blue was being chatted up by the girls this time and Alex kept calling him from the cafe. Everyone was in good spirits and so the party kicked off and the music was turned up. Some of the guys danced and some drank. I left them to it - I was beat. My boy had to get some sleep. He was overtired and pink from the kisses he had received, but he had a smile on his face as he said goodnight.

 Evan locked up and came back to us. I had just put Ayden down with his delicious milk when arms went around my chest from behind. He was kissed touched and stroked, then we did Ayden who by now was very heavy eyed. I stripped off and lay on the bed while Evan showered. The body lotion was ready and as soon as he got into bed I started on him.

 "I didn't see Gary tonight. Maybe he changed his mind."

 "He's still running, I think."

 "What did you say to him, Den?"

 "Nothing. The boys did."

 "And?"

 "Well, they told him you were going to transition to Evelyn for me, that he might not like you as a woman." I started laughing.

 He got up and ran to the back porch.

 "Horse, you prick!"

 I could hear giggles and laughing coming from all sorts of places.

 "Go to sleep, Evelyn, me girl," Horse shouted back - more giggles.

 In the morning Pat grabbed Evan to go down to the surf. I bathed and changed bubs who was raring to go. Susan called out from the back and came up to help. She absconded with my son, gigging as she headed for the porch. Three of them and Pat’s father were sitting at the table, each one as beautiful as the other. I got my coffee and sat, and for joy for joy, I heard,

"Dada! Bab up?"

 He turned around and put his arms out. I smirked at Sue as my boy snuggled into my arms and had his morning milk.

 "Sometimes he likes to do this with his dad," I smirked again.

 "Well, I expect full visiting rights when we live here. How about we shout Horse and extended holiday or something," she laughed.

 "Ayden saved his life Sue. He's not going to give up that easily."

 "I know, but it's fun trying," she smiled.

 "When are you going to take over?"

 "Next week or sooner, according to Pat. He's given me permission to go with the girls, but I think I will stay, Den. They don't mind. I need to ask you if they can borrow your van. It's just that I want them to have a few comforts."

 "It's a given, Sue. Of course they can. Are you taking dad over to Longford to see the Tea rooms?"

 "Yes, Den. Sometime today. I am so excited to be here at last."

 "Good." I was pleased to have her so close to home. I guess that's a leftover from darker days.

 Rita and Spud came up to the table. She had breakfast for all of us. We said our good mornings and she  took Ayden, who wanted something more solid to eat, back to the kitchen. I looked at Sue's face and said, "He sometimes likes her, too." Then I stifled a giggle.

 While we ate, Mike appeared and Hayley and Emma jumped up to give him some good morning kisses. If his face wasn't red before, it certainly was now.

 "I told the girls to give Mike some extra special attention, but, by the looks of it, they really don't have to."

 "You know?"

 "Yes, Den. Donk told us what happened. He's a cute kid and a future doctor - what more does a girl want?" she smiled.

 Pat returned with Donk about an hour later and the three of them prepared to go into Longford. Hayley and Emma drove Evan’s van, just to get used to our roads and the gears. I will load it up with as much food as I can before they go and maybe give them a petrol voucher. I think Nuts and Trip are going along. Trip has found a bigger van for them to go in. I will miss them all, but I will look forward to having Evan to myself more often.