When Susan left with her pies and cakes I had a word with Rita.
"You don’t think she will affect your business do you baby?"
"No Den, not at all, and it will be good to have her here. I think the bar will be a good earner and you know how I like to dance, maybe she will have an old time dancing night." She smiled, she had no problems with Susan and Patrick moving here, I think they have become the best of friends over the course of time. Spud joined us with his milkshake as he overheard our conversation and wanted to know what was going on, so Rita brought him up to scratch.
"That’s a great idea, we can go there on a Saturday night and maybe do some hip hop or head banging." God help us, he and Ali would bring the house down with their dreadful music.
I think Rita told them if they wanted to listen to their music they can go to their house and do it. I sometimes hear rap coming from there and I don’t think the other guys were playing it.
Tim arrived around three, he looked tired and he was carrying Horse’s painting.
"Shit that was quick Tim, I hope you weren’t up all night doing it."
"No and yes Den, when I looked at it again all it needed was some tape and a good stretch to get it framed again, simple stuff for me, but you will have some touching up to do." He smiled and I melted into his eyes. No, no, no! Don’t do that Den.
"Where is everyone, down the beach?"
"Yes mate but Ayden is over at Blue’s place playing with Andy and the rest are coming now for late lunches, I can hear the shower going. How much do I owe you?"
"Nothing, do you want another coffee, I might eat too while I'm here."
"Before you go, how did your big night with Nuts end up?"
"Okay Den, we caught up on a lot of family gossip, he was interested and wants to mend fences soon. I will gently help him with that."
"Good, as long as he instigates it then I don’t see a problem."
"There won’t be Den, the family are dying to see him again but I told them not to talk about his wife and baby too much, he doesn’t want to hear it, he's moved on and has his own memories."
"Did he stay the night?" Me and my big mouth.
"Yes, he was too drunk to drive so he stayed the night."
He started walking off to the kitchen but turned to add,
"In the spare room." Then I heard him giggle. It’s a shack full of giggling Gerties today, when are people going to take me seriously?
The kiss on the neck brought me back to reality, I had been watching Tim's ass move under his shorts but now Evan is here I would rather watch him.
"We have to talk bubs; I am a bit concerned about all the secrets you are hiding from me." I looked him in the eyes and yes, he started giggling. I bloody give up so threw my hands in the air and took the painting off the easel replacing it with Horse’s one. I looked it over and saw where the problem was, Tim had done a sterling job on it but the line where it was cut needed my attention. It won’t take me long to fix it, but for now I'm hungry.
When Tim arrived back he took one look at the new painting and almost screamed.
"That's my fairy elf in that one and look he's turned into Evan there, nice buns by the way Evan." Why didn't I see it, all I saw was Tim not Evan, but he can see the difference, I looked sideways at my man and he was holding his laughter inside with all his human strength.
"We will talk later," was all I had to say then he let fly with a great belly laugh, Tim stared and shook his head.
"Did I miss something Den?"
"No and yes, you are spot on with your comment and you missed having an awesome foursome." I laughed now.
"What's the joke?" Nuts asked as he came out of the shop.
"Nothing much Nuts, if you are ordering lunch I'll have a big steak sandwich please." That got Evan going again. Horse honed straight in on his painting and when he followed Nuts out he thanked Tim more than once, I'm sure if Tim had asked he would have kissed his feet too.
"Wow, it's back to new Den, can I take it now?" he asked.
"Not yet my friend, I still have some work to do on it, it won’t take long."
"Can you do it now?" He was so eager to get it back into his house.
"After I eat, won’t be long, chill out."
My son came running past and up the stairs.
"Gone sleeps dah."
"Good, babies need lots of sleep, are you hungry?" He turned around and looked at the cafe, I could see him counting on his fingers.
"Not yet dah, nanny get mad."
"Oh okay, so you’re not hungry then?"
"No dah, not hungry at moment please, maybe later." He threw his arms over my legs and climbed up onto my knees. Backing up to me he started talking to Evan about today’s surf.
The boys began eating their lunch and I was stroking Ayden's head as he prattled on, eventually he quietened down and was having a nap. He's so light, a bit like a feather and I wondered if he would always feel that way.
Evan followed me to the bathroom, I had to go to the toilet so I had passed Ayden to Horse to cuddle for a minute.
"Do you want to talk about it now?"
"About what bub?"
"Thank you for reminding me, what's with Susan and Patrick moving down here?"
"They asked me if they had enough money to buy that old bank building and to start up a tapas bar or something. I went with Patrick the other day to look at the building and it’s in good solid condition, and a bargain. I told them they could more than afford it, and when they sell the tea rooms they will get a bomb for it in its present state. Their books make it look like a gold mine."
"And is it a gold mine bub?"
"Yes Den, a good buy for someone, I think Harry and his mates are thinking of buying the freehold. Abs tells me Arras will see to that for them."
I wasn’t very happy because Evan had given me more information than I got out of Susan. Maybe I'm just being silly.
"Sorry bub, I was just wondering how many other secrets you are keeping?"
"Well I can't think of any at the moment, but it’s really not a secret. I am happy for them but it slipped my mind to tell you, that was the day you talked me into having sex when I got back so I forgot, that's all."
"I see now, your trying to put the blame on me?"
"No Den, remember you got on your knees and gave me an awesome seeing to?"
"Oh yes." He had pushed his shorts down and was pushing my shoulders so I had to get on my knees. I guess we can have a more adult conversation later on.
Later I grabbed a blank canvas because I wanted to paint the image I had in my head, it was bugging me. A baby in red shorts sitting on a deck chair with Spud and Ali serving colourful cocktails to him.
I didn’t know why but this painting will have a significant meaning to it when I finish. Maybe Spud is about to become a father, but I don’t know where they would get such an adorable baby from? Maybe Hildy the child services lady that delivered Andy to Blue took me seriously and is looking for one for them? It was bugging me so I at least had to draw it.
"Another triumph Den, are you going to paint this one or keep it a secret?" Cyn was sitting behind me having a sandwich, I think she guessed its meaning.
"No it's not a secret Cyn, I'm not like Evan, keeping secrets seems to be his thing."
"What do you mean Den?" I told her about Susan moving to town and she didn’t know about it either, so I figured I would believe his flimsy explanation.
"Well it's going to be awesome Den." Then she faltered as she looked closer at the drawing.
"He's going to have bright green eyes, how is that possible?"
"What’s that Cyn? Oh yeah, very bright green eyes and he’s something to do with Ali and Spud." Her hands went to her face and I noticed a few tears.
"What’s up Cyn?" She was shaking.
"It's not possible, Abs has dark green eyes, mine are blue."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"Den, please promise me you won’t tell anyone just yet, can we have a secret for once, just us. Please, please don’t tell anyone, especially Abs, he doesn’t know yet."
"Of course Cyn, what's the matter?"
"I'm pregnant and I think you just drew our beautiful little son."
That floored me, I knew they were trying but I wasn’t ready for this bit of fantastic news.
"Oh Cyn that's wonderful, I'm so happy for you and Abs." A tear dropped down my cheek, another little boy. My butterflies went wild inside my tummy.
"It's not confirmed yet Den, please don't say anything I have to tell Abs first, but I missed my period this month and I feel a bit odd."
"Good god Cyn that’s great, he will be prouder than Arras I think, is this his first one?" Oops.
She stared at me then said,
"Of course it is Den, what did you think, he's got dozens of kids all over the Emirate states?"
"No Cyn, I'm sorry I just got over excited for you both that’s all."
"Can you finish the painting on the quiet Den, for me. I will pay you for it."
"No need Cyn, it’s my present to you for trusting me with your secret."
She smiled and dried her eyes, I know all about emotions in pregnant women, Carol was weeping right from the get go with Ayden.
I walked over and gave her a big hug and a rub on the back, this always helps a new mother, I think.
"This is great, I am going to love having a new baby around again, it's so awesome baby."
"Well by the looks of the painting so are Spud and Ali, they will be his uncles you know." Something clicked open in my head.
"Of course that’s it, Ali is Abs’ nephew, now I get it, they will be so happy for you, look at their faces, they are grinning from ear to ear."
"That baby is beautiful Den, I guess with our eyes he could end up with any colour, but I must admit that green is awesome, they’re a bit like Tim's." They were too, much the same colour as Tim's. I sat next to her and we both stared at the painting, just drinking it in. I know I need to add fairy folk and background, but it will be awesome. Then it hit me full force again.
I knew those eyes from somewhere, they aren’t Tim's either, they are brighter on the rims and a paler colour in the middle, Tim's are bright green all over. I will have to think on that for a while, but I do know those eyes from somewhere.
"When do you get confirmation?"
"I have to go see Doctor Tiny in an hour, so I have got to have a shower soon then leave." She started packing up.
"Do you want me to come with you?"
"No Den, I think I want to do this on my own, you know, drink it all in, and then I have to tell Abs tonight if the test is positive."
"You can get Rita and the boys to cook something special for dinner."
"No Den, they will be alerted that something’s changing in our lives, best you leave it up to me. And Den, please don't tell anyone."
"I promise I won’t Cyn, and good luck. I kissed her cheeks and she slowly drifted down to her house.
I again looked at the drawing then took it up to the storeroom. I don’t want anyone to see it just yet, especially Ali and Spud. I grabbed Horse’s painting and started repairing the damage. It didn’t take that long and as I washed my brushes and waited for it to dry, my mind started drifting off into the past.
The past when Ali first came to the bay and he showed me a beautiful painting of his David and how sad he had been after David's death. I felt something, the avalanche of butterflies was coming alive again in my stomach. I didn’t go into a spin but rather I got up and walked towards Ali and Spud’s house. Apple let me in and I went straight up to their bedroom, and there was my answer staring straight back at me.
David's painting almost shouted out to me, I could feel the happiness dripping from it, and those eyes, those beautiful bright green ones were staring back. I sat on the bed staring into them, it was as if he was talking to me about coming back to the bay, then I heard from somewhere a voice that said,
"I'm coming home." It was an angel’s voice I heard.
I wept into my hands and everything I had experienced in the past that was good, was in those tears as they flowed through my fingers onto my t-shirt. I was feeling the excitement coming from the painting, my inner butterflies instantly exploded and filled the room with deep comfort as they flew everywhere. He's coming home where he belongs, and he's going to bring that healing that Ali needs so much.
When my tears left I was still surrounded by Ayden's butterflies, they were singing a beautiful song, their own song, and it was awesome. As they disappeared into David's painting one by one I was left feeling so empty, but so full of love it was unbelievable, almost unbearable.
I thanked Apple after he inquired about my mood, then went home and flopped on the bed and cried some more. Cyn and Abs were bringing David back and I can never tell them about it, or Ali. I suspect bubs will be doing some of Ali's healing with his smiles, just like my son did for me. The bed shook as someone climbed up on it then snuggled into me.
"He come soons dah."
"I know son; it's going to be awesome when he gets here."
"I waits for him dah, he's my best friend."
"What about Andy?"
"I don't know yet dah, we friend but different kind."
"I know what you mean son, he will be your bestest friend."
"Yes dah, that's it, bestest friend." He kissed my nose and I returned the favour then he ran off to see what his nanny had for him to eat.
"Is she pregnant Den?" Evan was not far away.
"Yes." There goes my promise. He laid on the bed next to me and his big arms pulled me into his chest and I smelt his love.
"How did you find out?"
"Abs baby, he said she was throwing up this morning and has been a bit antsy for a few days. He thinks she's pregnant."
"Well I promised her I wouldn’t say anything, she's at Tiny's getting confirmation now." He kissed me then looked at my face.
"So why the tears?" He stroked my face. I shrugged then I thought I had better tell him what I thought, you all know I can’t keep a secret for long. After I related my suspicions he kissed me again then slid down the bed.
"Will this make you feel better, and Den?"
"I believe you, I feel he's been trying to get back for ages. I somehow know that for certain." I lifted my hips while Evan slid my shorts down, then he went down.
Apart from the awesome feelings he was giving me inside, he was also telling me I'm not nuts in the head, he believes everything I tell him. It's as if he already knows what’s going on around here and he is in my head, we are at one.
I couldn’t let him go on any longer, I had to strip his shorts off and roll him on the bed, I whispered in his ear as I moved into him. He groaned then a dreamy smile filled his face. That's better, my hips moved faster, and they loved it immensely.
Abs was sitting having a pie when we emerged and I did see a slight smile on his face, but he was trying hard not to show his inner glee.
I wondered what they were going to call him, maybe not David but something similar I would have thought. My mouth opened to say something but I immediately snapped it shut, now is not the time to be smart.
I saw a little lad riding up the street on his scooter and he was grinning from ear to ear. He parked his ride then ran up to the porch, handing a piece of paper to Abs while jumping up and down. I think the excitement was getting to him, and I think he had already read the note. Abs shouted something in Arabic so I couldn’t understand it, then he picked Birdy up and kissed him then he hurdled the railings, flying over my rose bushes and shot off towards his house. We all looked at each other then Horse picked up the note and read it out aloud.
"I will see you soon daddy Abs."
That was all that was needed for the party to get started and the beers and champagne flowed. Rita of course was very happy because she had one brandy, and Ali and Spud, Tush and Bubble danced to some kind of Arabian tune. We left Cyn and Abs to come to terms with their news and Tony was annoyed she had told me first.
"I'm going over to give her a good piece of my mind," he snarled.
"I suppose you had better decide which piece Tony, a good piece, or the never ending, nasty piece," Horse said to him. That shut him up.
I did think that it was a bit harsh, maybe there’s trouble in their neck of the woods?
Birdy was very happy, he was going to be an uncle and happily sat on my lap occasionally snuggling up, just to see if I was still awake. Bubby of course danced until he couldn’t do his moves anymore, he had exhausted himself and now I think it’s bed time. Arras rang Horse and they spoke for a while, he didn’t have any new information only that Aisha was doing fine and they were missing the bay enormously. I suppose in the morning Cyn and Abs will be receiving all the congratulations they deserve, but for now it’s time for our bed.
"I'm off to bed bub, don’t stay up too late." I kissed his cheek. I took Ayden off and made sure he cleaned his teeth and washed up for bed. He was happy to jump under the covers and happier when he received his cuddle and kisses. I turned his night light on then stroked his forehead.
"Sleep well my awesome son." His eyes flickered then closed shut for the night.
Evan came in an hour later, he had disturbed my sleep but I turned over and snuggled into him and his light breathing lolled me into a deep sleep. I dreamt of excitement, green eyes and sunny days on the beach.
The knocking on the window got me started for the day as Evan crept about the bedroom.
"He does that deliberately Den; he can see I'm awake." He sort of giggled.
"I know he just wants to check out my big cock first thing." With that I threw back the bedcovers and walked naked into the bathroom. There, that will start your day nicely Horse, I hope you didn’t miss the nudie show.
A deep kiss from Evan and he was out the back door to go throw his hips around in the surf.
Ayden was still asleep and he was smiling, all scrunched up in a ball. I brushed his hair with my hands then kissed him and went to find some of that coffee I could smell coming from the cafe. Rita asked me how I felt and I told her I was feeling wonderful. She said she felt the same and couldn’t wait to have another baby in her kitchen. She almost dribbled when she spoke of her joy. I took the coffee down the porch and waited for the early morning risers. Abs was the first to arrive, he said they were so excited they didn’t sleep all night.
We sat and listened to him rave on about the new family member and he sounded just like Arras when he found out about his new daughter. I thought I would let him go for another five minutes then put a stop to it. Ali and Spud were next and they were talking in Arabic again which gave me the chance to go see if my boy was up. There he was sitting on his potty, today he waited for me to clean his bum, he likes me to do that sometimes. I took him into the shower and placed him on his wooden seat then began to wash him. I did his hair today and wondered if he would want Susan to cut it again, or does he want to leave it long?
His answer was,
"Long like Pa's."
"Okay, we don’t get it cut then."
"Good, me no's like it short."
"But you look like uncle Blue with it shorter."
He thought about it for a minute like he was having an argument with himself, then he replied,
"No, long like mys Pa's peese."
I'm glad we got that out of the way before I attempt to brush the knots out. His squealing brought Spud in to see if I was killing him or not.
"Oh let me do it Den; you have no idea how to brush long hair." He took the brush off me and Ayden stopped his protests.
"Start at the bottom and work your way up Den, it's the way it’s always been done."
"Sure." I walked out and put a clean pair of shorts on, then went to make up Ayden's bed. He looked good when he arrived, his hair was in a red tie at the neck. Spud did good I think; I will get him to do it in the future.
"All better baby?"
"Yes dah, all good."
"Thanks Spud, has Cynthia arrived yet?"
"Yes Den, she's sitting at the table crying, I had to come and find you just to get away from it all." He laughed.
"And Tony is feeding it by patting her hand and giving her sorrowful looks." He laughed again.
"God help us, I had better go out and put a stop to it."
"Let them go, they will soon get sick of it when everyone disappears. I'm going around the back to have a shower and hopefully it will all be over by the time I finish." He grinned.
"Want me to brush your hair Spud?"
I got a sour look as he scuttled off.
I carried my boy all fresh and clean out to the porch, and sure enough it was a real operatic tragedy type scene at the table.
"You will be all right Cyn, I'll look after you, just ring me when you need something," Tony assured her.
"Where’s Spudley Den?"
"Gone to shower Ali." He jumped up off his seat and ran down the porch, I think to give Spud some loving and to maybe brush his hair.
That left the four of us and I suggested she go down to the beach and get some sun onto her bones. She thought that might be a good idea and she could talk to the boys while she's at it. I did think to warn Evan not to come into shore but oh hell, why not. If I have to put up with it so can he.
And then there were two, just Ayden and I sitting alone waiting for the breakfast basket.
"He's happy dah."
"He told you did he?"
"Yeps, he talks to me all the times, he can't waits."
"Is there going to be any trouble bub?"
"No dah, don’ts be silly, everyone happies now, even my kings."
"Dah, summing going to happens soon." I thought, not more drama!
"What baby, tell dah's?"
"Look." He poked his chin out and opened his mouth wide. His tongue was playing with an extremely loose tooth; this will be the first of many.
"Your losing your baby teeth, then you will get some big ones like Blue's in your mouth. It will be easier for you to eat your burger."
"Oh?" He giggled, here we go again.
"When it falls out try and keep it, we can put it under your pillow and the tooth fairy will leave a dollar for you and take your tooth away."
"Oh?" That stumped him.
When Rita came down I told her and she made him open his mouth to show her, she was so swift with her fingers I'm sure not even Ayden noticed.
"Magic baby." She held the tooth in her hand and showed him.
It didn’t hurt, it was about to fall out anyway, I suppose she knows all about that sort of thing. I started laughing at Ayden's surprised face and could see his cheeks moving as his tongue felt around for the cavity.
"Now nanny will wash this tooth and you can put it under your pillow tonight, the tooth fairy will come by and collect it. Maybe she will leave you some money too." She winked at me as Ayden said,
"True baby, I promise." He didn’t trust what I had just told him.
Rita placed the tooth in her purse then jingled her keys and said she was going to the old pub to meet Susan; she was going to show her the inside. The breakfast basket was ready and I got Tush to take it down, Ayden had to go with him to get his burger and tell his pa about his tooth, while I went with Rita.
"Should I disinfect his mouth honey?"
"No Den, and the least fuss we make over it the better, he won’t be in any pain. That tooth was only just hanging on by a tiny thread."
We pulled into a large car park and my first impression of the big rectangle building was this place is awesome. There has to be a lot of work done to the outside, the bluestone bricks needed re-cementing in places and a vine had grown up one side and all over half the roof, that looked like it was sagging in the centre. Inside we were greeted by dark wood panelling and high ceilings, it still smelt like a bank. The big heavy safe was still intact, the cellar was damp and mouldy but would make a wonderful wine cellar. There were four guest bedrooms on the next level which you accessed by a winding mahogany staircase that needed a good drink of oil and a polish. In a nutshell the interior was wonderfully gorgeous.
"These guestrooms have been added later, it would be easy to rip these temporary walls down and restore this floor to what it used to be. It looks like the bank manager’s residence, three bedrooms, a lounge, bathroom and kitchen. There’s so much room up here I bet you could put extra bathrooms with each bedroom."
Poor Susan groaned.
I listened to her ideas and told her to get Tony involved before she signed off on anything, he has a good eye for these things. She agreed and showed us the one bathroom on that floor, I think a family of possums had taken up residence a while ago because it stunk to high heaven.
At the back there was a lady’s and gent's toilet and a very large kitchen, a leftover of the pub’s glory days. I saw a big bread oven and noted that they could sell all sorts of breads too.
It was solid and dry and the floorboards didn’t squeak when we moved around, they built these things to last in the old days and I didn’t think it would take much to bring this place into the twenty first century.
"What do you think Den?"
"It’s magnificent Sue, there’s so much you can do with this place, stick a big veranda across the back so people can dine out in the fresh air, that would give you a huge dining room."
"Good idea, maybe we could have some sort of local goods in that part over there, behind the teller’s counter, like bread, pies, maybe some cakes, jams, local fare."
"Well the only local fare I can come up with is Rita's home made stuff." I smiled at her.
"No. No more work for nanny Rita, I beg you. This is your gig and anyway Pat is an excellent cook, he will be able to do those simple things."
"He can’t make your wonderful pies Rita."
"He can if I give him my recipes." She grinned.
"But you will miss out on business."
"I don't care, I have enough to do, I'm going to be busy with the food court at the new shopping centre anyway. Have you given more thought about taking one of the shops Sue?"
"We will come and talk to you about it, but at the moment it’s a no from us. We want to travel, not be tied down with businesses, Pat’s father is a good cook too and he was asking about the shops. I think he might just put his hand up for one my love."
"What does he specialise in Susan?" I asked.
"He's a baker." She laughed.
"So he can do the shopping centre and supply the small shop here," I suggested.
"Yes maybe, there’s so much to work out at the moment. Let’s just leave it for awhile, they haven’t even started on the shops yet and that will take a year or two to do."
"Okay honey, I'll pencil Robert’s name in and maybe one day he can come and have a talk to me," Rita offered.
"Yes do that, we will have too much to do getting this old place in shape."