The boys started filtering back from the beach while I lay on the floor with Ayden, I was thinking how lucky we were to have this place. I wondered what it was going to be like in winter, very cold I should imagine. Horse was the first to change and he ordered food from Rita when she came out with a rather large sandwich for me.
I sat and ate the sandwich which was too big, but I slowly plowed through it, then I heard,
"Dah dah." Ayden had woken up and was sitting by the shop door.
"Come on bubs, you need more sleeps." He slowly crawled over and I put him on my lap.
"Here, let me take him while you eat Den." Horse took bubs off me and cradled him into his hulky frame as Blue came to get my plate and drop off some water. I gladly took it and noticed he hadn’t moved one inch, he had a few tears running down his cheeks so I glanced over at Horse holding Ayden.
"You okay Blue?" I quietly asked.
"I remember; I remember my dad holding me like that. I remember being that small and I remember the dreadful loss I felt when he went away." I stood up and held him as he shook with sadness, Horse was looking at him in the eyes and passed Ayden to Tiny then got his big frame up.
"Your father loved you very very much and didn’t abandon you, he watched you from afar and has never left your side."
"What would you know, you were a coward, a drunk and a wife basher."
"Is that what she told you?" Horse slumped he looked so sad.
"Yes." Blue's head dropped.
"Well who am I to argue with the perfect mother. I guess she found the time to dry out long enough to remember the years I brought our son up on my own. She was too drunk to even care enough to change his diaper. I know she cleaned herself up a little when I left but she became a different sort of monster. When I saw her hit you relentlessly in the main street I threw her into an alley and nearly choked her to death, I came this close to murdering her." He indicated with his fingers.
"Shut your stinking mouth, don’t talk about her like that, you’re the drunk, you’re the abuser."
"Do you remember me drunk and abusive, or were you told?"
Blue was stumped, he couldn’t find the answer.
Horse moved around to stand behind him then he pulled him back into his chest, Blue was so confused.
"Blue I don’t want to speak ill of your mum, she’s your mum for god’s sake. After the incident in the alley she never laid another hand on you. I had to scare her Blue, it was the only way I had to protect you."
"You could have taken me with you." His head dropped again.
"I couldn’t, you were so small and the courts wouldn’t let me have you. I tried so hard to fight her legally but her lies won in the end, if you don't believe me I still have the paperwork they are covered in my tears. It broke my heart to leave you there but I did manage to see you every day. After the alley incident I thought you would be safer with her because she knew I watched you - and her."
Everything went quiet until Tiny spoke.
"Blue your father tried everything, your mum was living in the pubs after you were born. It wasn’t your father that was a drunk, it was your mother. I was there Blue, I witnessed it all."
Blue stared at Tiny but not in a nice way. I thought this might be a good time to unveil my portrait so I went and collected it and leant it on the porch rail.
"A small present for you both."
Horse gasped, Blue stared.
"How did you know Den?"
"I didn’t, it just popped into my head." Horse looked up at the sky and said quietly,
"Thank you dad," then he put his mouth near Blue’s ear.
"I gave you that rattle, it was my father’s and my grandfather’s before him; it was covered in all our tiny teeth marks and you had put your mark on it too, but your mother threw it out in the trash just before I left. I never found it. I searched for days at the rubbish dump but it was lost." He was reflecting on the rattle’s history as Blue stood there and let him hold him. With Horse’s big arms around his son's chest, the tears began and Blue caved in, I could feel him accept what Horse had said.
"You gave it to me and she said she threw it out?"
"Yes son, I guess she didn’t think it was that important, it was to me though. It was the sort of father, son bond thing, it had all our baby teeth marks on it."
"That's not quite right dad."
"What do you mean son?"
He took Horse’s hands from around his chest and walked off. Horse let out a long, slow breath, he didn’t cry but he was close.
"I guess telling him has spoilt the thin bond we had but I will always follow him, love him, and always look after him." Tiny rubbed his back.
Blue came back shortly after and was carrying a small pouch, he handed it to Horse.
"Open it dad." Horse let out a loud sob, he knew what it was.
He undid the blue ribbon that tied the pouch then pulled out the silver rattle, he stared at it for ages before Blue said,
"Mum didn’t throw it out, I remember playing with it when I was a small kid, it’s the only thing I took with me when I left."
Horse caved so Tiny Evan and I moved away to give them some privacy, Horse’s sobbing was heard but no one said anything, this was too private.
They sat and talked into the night and I saw quite a few hugs in the process, the magic is still alive I thought as I held Evan in my arms.
In the morning they were gone, Alex said they went surfing early. I covered the painting and thought I must finish it today, then ate my breakfast and felt a lot better within myself as Evan arrived and steered me back to the bedroom.
"Did you forget today is morning surprise day?"
"It must have slipped my mind, sorry." He spread my legs and he knelt between them munching on me until I couldn’t take anymore I had to release my load. After I came I flipped him over and did the same to him, making sure my finger was firmly planted into his behind and my thumb gently stroking his perineum. He sounded and looked very happy and that’s the way I love him. There is a real beauty to be found in holding Evan while I make love to him. To be deep inside him and hearing his groans is the perfect place for me to be.
"What do you want to do today?" he asked.
"I thought we might have a family day, maybe go for a drive and see the area, that sort of thing."
"You’re feeling guilty?"
"A little, I am having so much fun I sometimes forget you and Ayden."
"Did you sleep with me last night?"
"Did we have dinner together?"
"Did you tell me you love me?"
"Pee off Evan, go surfing, I'll see you when I bring lunch down."
"Okay, you don’t mind?"
"Let me see, you slept with me last night, we just had great sex and I can see you whenever I want without ringing you, umm yeah I'm pretty sure."
"You're the best Den, just the best."
"I know, now go, I'm just going to lay here a bit and maybe play with my balls."
He stopped in his tracks.
When he eventually left it was mid morning - yep the magic is still with us.
I had silently prayed for Blue and Horse, I hoped the damage that was done would be undone by that undying bond between father and son.
We didn’t see much of them for a few days, they had so much to discuss. Riley took over in the cafe and the boys looked after the kids who by now were looking more normal. Their favorite food is a chocolate milkshake and fries. Alex and Riley were back to being their old selves. I could hear laughing coming from the kitchen as they reconnected in a big way. In the next few weeks Alex would spend most of his spare time with Riley and the kids. I felt happiness every time I saw them together.
Ayden’s first birthday was coming up so we planned a small party for him, just a cake and a candle. I will have to talk to him about his birthday wishes. Ayden’s day fell on the Saturday and I was lying on the floor in the lounge room with him just talking but he thought his toes were more interesting as his legs went up and he held on. He discovered if he pulled hard enough he could put a toe into his mouth.
"What kind of cake do you like bubs?" He just sang along and ignored me.
"Chocolate it is then, I had better order one." He squealed because he nearly had that toe firmly placed in his mouth.
"Is there anything in particular you would like?"
He didn’t answer again. I thought we might buy him a spring seat and hang it from the porch rafters; he can bounce around all day if he wants. My hunky man finished in the shop and came to find us.
"Two surfboards, a wetsuit and some wax."
"Good bubs, business is looking up."
"And a painting."
"Oh that’s nice."
"The money’s in the drawer, some bloke called Lindsay bought it, he’s having fish and coffee." He grinned.
"Why didn’t you say so?"
"You know how I like to be dramatic."
I jumped up and found my small version of Ayden’s eyes then walked out to the cafe, leaving Evan on the floor playing with his son, maybe he will get some answers from him.
I found Lindsay sitting at the table eating the fish Rita had cooked for him, I said good afternoon and he was very gracious when I handed him the painting.
"This is just beautiful Den, thank you very much, rest assured it will take pride of place in the gallery."
"Well it’s the least I can do; you have bought so many."
"Yeah, I'm a bit hooked on your work, I heard the gallery in London sold out again."
"Yep, Spencer’s asking for more but I am in two minds about it, I don’t want to saturate the market. I'm getting more work done here than I ever did in the city."
"Well I can tell it was a good decision to come here, your work is improving."
"Thank you for all you have done for me Lindsay, enjoy your fish before it gets cold and I will catch up with you later on." I got up to go but he grabbed my arm.
"You really have talent Den, send him some more because the market over there can't get enough of you at the moment, grab fame while you can." He winked.
I thought about it when I went back to join Evan and Ayden who were now both asleep on the lounge room floor. I decided I’d talk to Tony about it when he arrives Saturday, I really didn’t want to do commercial works, that’s not what I'm about.
I heard friendly bantering coming from the porch so left my men on the floor and joined Horse and blue.
"Everything okay here?" I asked Horse.
"Yes Den, this dickhead thought he was good enough to take me on in the surf, big mistake." He laughed and Blue blushed, I think he’s a little prouder of his father now.
I ordered a juice and Blue went to get it.
"Is everything really all right now Horse?"
"Yes Den thanks to you, I'm sick of dancing around the subject. I think he’s had a good talk to Tiny, he was around at the time.”
"Why did he drop out of med school?"
"The surf Den, it's calling was too strong, one day I was out surfing and the next he was right beside me grinning from ear to ear. I admire Evan’s drive to at least finish what he started."
"You never learnt a trade Horse?"
"Building Den, I pick up work along the way. I have been in the building trade for seventeen years now. I did my apprenticeship just before I had to get married, the rest you know."
"If it’s not too personal, how do you finance this lifestyle?"
" I still own dad’s company Den. I put a good manager in then left. I get a monthly pay check and money has always gone into a trust fund for Blue, but I haven’t told him yet, it’s our secret." I blew my breath out; these guys are amazing.
"So how do you handle the business without being there?"
"My manager is very competent Den, I go to two or three board meetings a year. I'm too busy to be there all the time. Plus, I pick up work every now and then as you already know, just some play money." He grinned.
"Well don’t forget we want to pay you for the stays, that’s if you still want to do them."
"The truck is dumping some lumber off next week, leave it all to me."
Blue came back with our juices and grinning from ear to ear.
"Rematch this afternoon dad?"
"You do like to torture yourself, don’t you son?" Horse chuckled.
On Saturday Rita presented us with a very large chocolate cake, she had done a great job on it. I was just going to get one from the Sale bakery but she insisted, after all he was her grandchild too. Tony arrived and Alex disappeared with Blue; maybe he’s reading him the riot act. After he settled at the table I handed him a check for his wares, that will make him happy because they are selling very well.
"He’s probably in his bedroom with Blue." I wiggled my eyebrows at him.
"No!" Poor Tony lost out again.
"Yes, true love is never too far away, sorry Tony - you weren’t quick enough." I laughed.
"Story of my life Den, I'm so busy I don’t get time for romance now."
"Well you’ve got five days to work on it." I smiled.
"Out surfing but they should be back soon, we decided to do Ayden’s cake and birthday celebration before his afternoon nap."
"Good because I have a surprise for him."
"Tell me." I can live in hope.
"Nope." Yep, he was being tight lipped.
I organized coffee for us then we chatted about Spence and he said he had to ship some more stuff to him. I told him that I didn’t want to saturate the market so I will hold off until next year but he also thought I should strike while the iron is hot, but again, I will think about it.
Alex came back followed by Blue, he shook Tony’s hand and welcomed him back and Blue watched like a hawk, then they both went off to help Rita. This is the last weekend for the holidaymakers; they have dropped some serious cash into our pockets and I think Rita was very impressed underneath, she did smile a lot.
Ayden woke from his morning nap and I dressed him in a really special outfit for his big day and we had moved his high chair out to the deck. Riley and his kids were both ready for some chocolate cake and Evan and the boys came up. They showered and changed into what they see as their best clothes and the presents were piled high.
Poor Ayden, all he wanted to do was rest on my lap and had no idea all this fuss was for him. Rita brought the cake out and everyone sang happy birthday to him and he sang along. We cut the cake and passed it around and everyone got a big slab of it, even the kids, who were looking at it like it was Christmas. Ayden had crawled over to Evans lap, maybe his cuddles were better today.
Rita brought cream and ice cream out to go with it and Donk ordered three cakes a fortnight for his tearoom. Poor Rita, she’s not going to get any rest during winter. She looked at me startled so I laughed and said,
"That was three a fortnight Rita, better make sure you’ve got plenty of gas bottles."
"Are you for real?" She was talking to Donk.
"We get the stock from the bakery in Sale Rita but it’s nothing like this, so of course I'm for real. Just put your price on them, it will all be cash." He smiled at her.
"Well why we are on the subject of good fortune, I have a check here for you Evan," Tony chirped up.
"Surfs Up are using your painting for their logo so here’s a check for you so they can use it, I have some paperwork for you to sign too. They are only buying the photos not the original, a photographer will be down soon to shoot it."
"Not my nude?" Evan glared at me.
"No, your father’s painting bub." I laughed.
"What nude?" Horse asked.
"It’s hanging behind the bedroom door and not for public display," Evan tried to say politely.
"Grab him." Two of the boys held Evan while the rest went to look at it. They came back smiling then held him to let the others go look.
"It’s awesome Den, freaking awesome," Tiny said.
"Can I have a look?" Tony asked. Evan immediately said no but he went to look anyway. I noticed a big smile on his face when he came back, he touched my shoulder and winked.
They ribbed Evan about his golden bum and loved the fairy folk, these boys are educated, no dills hidden amongst them.
Ayden had cake all over himself and the floor and the other two kids couldn’t wipe the grins off their faces, the cake disappeared very quickly.
"Well it’s lucky I made two then." Rita walked off to get the other one and I noticed she handed out plates of cake to her diners as well.
He got some awesome presents and most will occupy him for hours on end, but for now he needs cleaning up then I think a big sleep is in order. Riley took his kids down to the beach and I changed bubs then put him on the floor to start playing with his trucks and cars, but when I put some milk into his mouth he nodded off, holding onto his big toe. He's a big boy now and can hold his own bottle. Evan walked by and said he was going for a nap so I was onto him like a mouse to cheese. He kept asking me to slow down but I know he likes it a bit rough and just wants to prolong it.
"That’s an awesome present Den, that check wasn’t small."
"Good, now your dad will be seen by the rest of the world in all his magnificent glory."
Evan’s hair was growing fast, it’s all that sunshine; I know he won’t get it cut until it’s as long as his dad’s was. I looked over to the painting and thought yep, he does look awesome with long hair.
Evan went for his late afternoon surf and I went to find coffee. Tony and Horse were deep in conversation and were talking about different types of wood and Horse was complimenting Tony on the job he did with our table. I thought I wouldn’t disturb them so went to the back porch to just sit and reflect.
"It’s not what you think Den, Horse is a fascinating man, he knows things I didn’t even know." Tony sat with me.
"True you both have a lot in common, he’s into wood too. I didn’t think anything was going on Tony, I just wanted to give you some time on your own that’s all."
"Sure Den but he’s fucking gorgeous for an old man."
"Not so old Tony, maybe six or seven years older than you, that’s not weird and he is a hunk, pure Aussie beef."
"Well he’s got an awesome body but he’s straight, so again nothing’s going to happen."
"Are you very sure about that?" I slowly said.
I was thinking about what Blue said about seeing Horse in the bushes, now all I have to do is find out who with, a male or female? It may explain why his marriage broke up.
A truck appeared the next week full to the brim with wood and dumped it down the backyard. Horse was talking to the driver and they seemed to know each other well.
He helped him back out then took a big piece of rolled up paper and walked up to the front. I put my brush down and thought maybe they were the finished plans.
"Want to have a look Den?"
He unrolled it and started to explain a few things to me. I listened but had no idea what he was talking about.
"We put two dorm style accommodation over here in the backyard, that’s where the sewage and water are on the property. A shower and toilet in each room with a small kitchenette.”
"We will have to run it by Evan, he has to have a say in it too but I'm easy, sounds good to me, have you costed it out yet?" He grinned at me.
"Well the wood is not entirely free but some of the labor is. Tiny's brother in law works for the council and will push the plans through for you. All you have to do is pay for the painting, air conditioners, small fridges, toilets, shower, beds and taps. I reckon it will cost you under twenty grand."
"No way, that’s wrong, they would be at least twenty grand each."
"Don’t argue with me Den, just give me your word I can build a place for myself over here." He pointed out the far end of the property, a perfect place for something more private.
"You have my word Horse for sure, you have free reign on what you build for yourself."
"Good, my builders will start appearing tomorrow, it’s time to get this show on the road." He rolled the paper up then added,
"And I will talk to Evan about it tonight." He smiled.
And true to his word the next day five builders appeared out of nowhere, Horse helped and Blue was taught how to dig foundations. Horse had his arm around Blue’s shoulder telling him what was going on, like what the guys were doing. Evan and I decided whatever Horse wanted to do was fine with us. We only need the two big rooms which will accommodate six guys or girls each, we did make a little money on the other two as well so they will come in handy.
By the time the builders had left they had the foundations done. The foreshore was emptying and the two big motorhomes disappeared overnight. Rita slowed down and actually had time to sit with us each night. Riley had secured a day to enter the family home to move his and the kid’s stuff and has partly moved into Merle’s place. There’s a school for Holly in town and little Peter will be dropped at pre school for the day while Riley’s at work. It’s all falling into place but there’s one last present I have to buy for Evan that will come in handy when Susan finally arrives.
I trawled EBay for days trying to find the right one and it was parked in the next big town, only a half hour away. Trip insisted he come with us, he’s a mechanic and it looked awesome completely restored, but came with a hefty price.
Kombi vans are collectable and this one was decked out as a camper, I don’t want Evan going off on trips and sleeping in a tent, I want him to have some creature comforts. He loved the bright orange van and Trip looked it over thoroughly, he said it was in tiptop condition but he advised us not to buy it. When we had a pow wow in the car he explained it would rust out in no time on the beach. He said what we needed was a really good cheapie and he would do any work that needed doing. Also we thought it would be a shame to ruin the Kombi after all this guy’s hard work.
Evan didn't want an upmarket van, he wanted to fit in and I sort of agreed with him in a way. The Kombi is a classic car after all and needs to go to a collector. We thanked the seller and declined buying it, telling him where we lived and what it was going to be used for, he understood completely.
All my boys are businessmen in some way or other and they all are living the dream like Evan, who, if he really wanted to, could open an office here, but I don’t think he wants to do that anymore and so far hasn’t given me any indication he wants to go back to law.
"Den let's leave it up to Trip, he will find something with a bed in it. I was thinking now winter’s approaching we might take a run down to Bells for a week; the waves are enormous there."
I started to get worried about Ayden, it’s too dangerous and I want him to be in a warm place. We would be sitting inside all day and night and that’s not what I want, so I think I will just tell Evan to go it alone. We had a conversation about it and he understood but I was adamant that he should go with the boys when they leave, I won’t let him miss out on his dream.
Rita’s sign flashed open for the next two weeks then she changed it to closed. There was nobody around. She cleaned out her freezers and started her holidays, she still fed the boys and us but there was no trade.
There is a big fireplace in the living room and it was deemed safe to use by Horse so I collected all the off cuts from the build then ordered in two tons of wood. Rita was using her air con which heated as well and said she had made a killing from her cafe, giving her plenty to spoil the kids and live on through winter.
"I don’t mind saying Den, I've never had so much fun in my life."
"Well the cafe suits you Rita, you made it your own and we are very proud of you taking that leap of faith."
"Well it was you three that got me here. I thought I would never see my other family again."
"It’s all good Rita, they will be here permanently and you get Ayden when they’re not, life’s good."
"More than good Den, I’m so happy I did this."
Evan came out and sat, he had a big bottle of water in his hands and sucked on it off and on. He looked so relaxed I couldn’t take my eyes off him so when he looked up at me with those blue eyes, my stomach butterflies came alive and I missed a breath. He was breathtaking, even more now than when he was working. If I hadn’t been in company, I would have shed a tear of joy.
We talked to Rita about Riley and the kids and Evan said it was just a formality, Margaret had been assessed and was deemed unfit to handle children. The family court had given Riley temporary custody of the kids and it looked like they will make that permanent. Rita was happy that she finally could hold her grand kids.
When lights out came, I moved inside. Horse had taken over the spare stay, he said his goodnights and walked up the side of the building as I wondered if there was something between him and Tony, they both were real catches but they never said anything. I kissed Ayden and covered him with a light blanket and he looked so adorable when he was asleep that my stomach did back flips. Evan was naked when I got to our room and was just lying there but he had pulled a sheet over himself. I stripped then crawled in beside him and his hands instantly covered my chest, with his lips on my neck.
"I love you," he whispered.
"I love you too bub, to the moon and back then back again."
"Are you happy here?"
He slowly moved his head down my torso while licking every spot available to him. He saturated my thick pubes and he engulfed my manhood, doing the deep throating thing. As usual my hips did some push ups, it didn’t take me long then I did exactly the same to him. It wasn’t urgent but it was very satisfying.
"Do you think Horse likes Tony?"
"Hard question bub. I think they like each other but Blue’s in the way, I think Horse is scared to tell him but we could be completely wrong."
"I don’t think so Den, Horse talks about Tony a lot when we are alone."
"Yeah I got the same vibe from Tony, he’s worried about the age difference but it seems to be more about what people will say, yet there’s only a few years between them. Horse isn’t that old, he’s only in his mid thirties, Blue was born when Horse was a teenager, he just sounds old, but he’s more wiser than old."
"I know what you mean."
"Bubs can we go to sleep now, I'm really tired."
"Okay Den, I love you."
I waited until he made himself comfortable, he had snuggled up to my front and his bum was planted into my groin his right leg went across mine - I changed my mind.
"Pass the lube bubs." He groaned but had it close by.