He looked at me and started crying, so I picked him up but couldn’t get two words out of him as he hid his face from the concerned crowd. I walked him up and down trying to calm him, but it's been a big day for him so I sat at the porch table and just cuddled him until he calmed down long enough to tell Evan and I what was up.
"He not sent to me."
"Who bubs?" Evan asked.
"My king, he say he send present for me."
"Oh he did, did he, and it's not there?" I smiled.
"No, don't dah." He slapped me for smiling at him.
"Well maybe he wanted you to open it in private, why don't you check under your little Christmas tree on your bedside table baby?" That stare again, but he got my meaning and struggled out of my arms then ran to his room.
When we got there he was jumping up and down.
"He not forget bubs dah; Pa look, he doesn’t forget." There was a gold package sitting by his bed.
It was that gold, gift wrapped present I saw last week, it had no tags on it but I knew it was a special one for Ayden. Maybe the king had moved it? He sat on the floor and started carefully peeling back the paper and we watched as his present from the king was revealed. A beautiful replica statue of his fairy appeared, she was awesome and glittered in the dull light, and she was also happy and smiling.
"Oh dah, pa, she's beautisill."
"That's beautiful son," Evan corrected him.
He took it onto his bed and reached over and replaced the gold coins with her, then placed the glass dome back. He lay on the bed and started talking to her, tears forgotten and with smiles galore. Merry Christmas son.
I gathered the gold pieces and gave them to Evan.
"Get his present bub."
He soon returned with Ayden's gift and his new necklace looked awesome around his neck. We collected some serious kisses from him but now had to get back to the party, it's almost time to eat so I told Bubs we would call him when lunch was ready. I heard giggles as we left the room.
"Did you hear that Den?"
"Yes bub, you too?"
"I think so."
I pulled him in and started giving him his Christmas kisses then I licked his neck, and he groaned as I took his hand to go outside.
Horse enquired how the little fella was and we told him what had transpired. There's no need to keep secrets if people don't believe us, it's not a problem.
I also told Rita and Aisha what had happened and they were so happy. The food had started to come down so everyone sat, we shook hands and hugged then it was on for young and old. The food was super delicious and I made up a small plate for Ayden as Evan went to get him. He had his fairy in his hands and she was placed in front of him. He's now talking to her and eating at the same time, so seems like they are having fun.
I was so full but I hadn't even had seconds or dessert. There were some of the stay backpackers having much the same as us but Rita won’t charge them, and the boys took it in turns to man the kitchen. Mike arrived later on and he collected another stack of presents. He said they’d had a wonderful dinner, it was really nice and his dad was going fishing for the rest of the day while Nan had a nap.
Everything was cleared from the table and the girls washed up then made the puddings. I couldn't eat mine but Evan did, he was still hungry. I needed a nap and Ayden had taken his gift back to his bedroom to have a talk again.
The carols were being sung along the foreshore as kids started playing with their bikes and skateboards and Birdy laughed as he finally got a grip on his rider. He whooshed up and down the street like a pro and even steered it one handed as he waved to us while Jay was out there watching him. Hulk was also out and had scored a new phone so was taking many photos.
People started going home around five, everyone was full and some were merry. Rita took her gifts down to her room then made a big pot of coffee while the boys were hanging out for a surf, so Evan got into his suit but funnily enough Ayden wasn't interested in going down today.
Before he left I asked him to put the gold coins in the safe.
"I'll do that now before I forget Den." He put the gold into a jar he found in the kitchen.
"Good idea bub." I smiled at him.
He pulled out another little gold box.
"I don't know, maybe the king left it, let’s open it."
I started opening the gift and looked inside the box and there were two smaller boxes so I opened one and it revealed a sizeable diamond, while the other contained the same but only a pink one. My father must have put them in there for us for Christmas, what the hell do I do with these? Not that I'm ungrateful, but he shouldn’t send us things like this, they will never be sold and they are too big to do anything with.
Bubs came in and screamed, he looked at the shiny objects and then he tipped them out and picked them up.
"Do you want them bub?" I asked.
"Yes dah, they are mise, he tells me to look here." He ran to his room and took the glass cover off his fairy, he placed them on the plinth next to her then replaced the statue. Within three seconds she was dancing around singing to him, seemed like the shiny diamonds were radiating some sort of magic so I looked at Evan who was looking at me.
"I'll put the coins in the safe Den, you can work on what's happening around here."
I looked at the painting and said thank you.
My son sang along with his fairy for ages but then he’d had enough and I think he wanted to sleep. He asked me to put them in the safe for him until he needs them again, so I did that very thing then put him to bed. After kissing him goodnight I showered, I was stuffed and needed sleep myself but the boys are taking their time down there, I could hear the surf crashing so I suppose surf's up.
He came in around ten and smelt so clean I licked his neck then went back to sleep. I dreamt of my father who told me the stones were the keys to make the fairy work. He had told Ayden they have to be placed in the safe when he is finished with her entertainment because they have to sleep too. He figured if Ayden didn't have them, he wouldn't watch her dancing all night. I thanked him and wished him a merry Christmas and waved as he faded away.
It was a beautiful morning when I woke, Horse knocked on the window and Evan went to do his morning run. I heard him talking to Ayden then heard him and Horse go out the back door. I got up, I needed my coffee more than I needed a lie in. I looked at the lounge room and it was all cleaned up and the bin had been taken outside for the trash man to collect. The shop was in perfect shape and the table was as good as new. Also, Rita was on board making breakfasts and coffee for the early risers. I kissed her cheek then poured a big mug of coffee as she smiled and said she had the best time yesterday. I told her about the diamonds and when Alex and Blue arrived she came and sat with me, she wanted to see the stones and she wanted more information. I went and got them and she went ape shit.
"They are big Den, must be worth a fortune, bigger than Aisha's ring but don't show her, she might get jealous." She laughed.
"I will show them to Cyn, she will know whether they are genuine or not."
"Good idea," she said and toyed with them.
"I will get Ayden to show you the dancing fairy later honey, he's still down the beach."
"No problem love, I can wait."
"Did Riley have fun?"
"Yes Den, he's taking the kids to see their mum today. I hope it goes okay for them."
"Oh, is she better now?"
"A lot, and apparently the hospital wants to release her but she's got nowhere to go as yet. There’s no way Riley will take her back and her parents are overseas, so I guess she will have to wait."
"It's all good then?"
"Yes more than good, Nuts has given him free range to do what he wants with the import business and he's got some grand plans for it too."
"That's good, so Nuts isn't going to work there anymore?"
"No Den, he wants to surf and travel a bit I think but Riley won’t see him go under, there's still stacks of outlets he can import for."
I was thinking about Margaret seeing the kids and it must be all of six months since they went there. I hope she got the help she wanted.
I could hear the boys yelling from down the beach, I knew it was them because their voices were so familiar. I closed my eyes and started imagining Evan riding his board, he was nude. I shook my head and thought about something else instead so I could calm down a little then went to get the new paints. They were more vibrant than my older ones so I couldn’t wait to use them. I had to have a brilliant idea first and remembered what my father had said, Ayden was even more stunning in their world. I thought maybe I would just paint him but then lost that thought, I have hundreds of him stowed away.
It dawned on me later into the morning when my son came back with Blue, how the hell did the king send the fairy and the diamonds to us? It was a big question that played on my mind.
"How was your surf bub?"
"Did you drink any of the water?"
He gave me that, ‘God your dumb dad,’ look and covered his face.
"We don't drink whata."
"Good, because it's bad for you." I smiled because I’d taught him something useless today.
He sucked on his juice as his leg swayed back and forth on the chair, I think he was deep in thought but it's hard to know with my son, he could also be contemplating a game or two in the parlour. Nope, that’s not it, he went to his room and started playing with the many toys he got for Christmas.
Evan and all the boys this morning, even Patrick came back and kissed my neck, and all ordered big breakfasts as if they didn’t have enough to eat yesterday.
"So I heard you’re going to semi retire Nuts?"
"That's right Den, I don't have to be there, Riley's got everything running more smoothly than I did. It’s best I just leave him to it. Anyway, I want to go to Portugal to watch Blue surf and it frees me up to do more of that."
"Good," I replied.
Arras and Abs arrived and ordered the same as the guys and he argued with Horse to give the baby up again, but Horse was too busy whispering in Ayden's ear to notice. He looked at me and smiled and a burst of blue stared into my soul.
No I can’t do another painting of him and Horse at last count had sixteen paintings on his walls, he will have to extend if he wants any more.
I also got a mind picture from Ayden. It was of his fairy and him dancing in a forest, the greens were perfect and a colour I don't use a lot.
"Thanks bubs." I smiled at him.
"What?" Evan looked at me.
I thought about it and picked up my sketchbook before the image disappeared. I drew away as the breakfasts started coming up, there was one for me and I was hungry.
Bubs was hand fed by everyone so didn't miss out and I can see he was enjoying the attention. I started getting a bit edgy and knew I would have to at least sketch the outline onto a canvas soon. The party was in full swing when Blue joined us and Ayden made his way to his lap. They were talking about tandem surfing I think but all I could think of is Ayden falling and hitting his head on the board.
"No tandem," I leant over and said and that, ‘stupid dad,’ look appeared again.
They all talked about going to Portugal and I asked Evan if he wanted to go but he said he will watch it here. I don't know how I would have coped with him being away but I have bought him a ticket anyway.
He will go with his boys and Ayden and I will be okay for a couple of weeks, but I hope he comes back in one piece.
The day was a slow one, people were sleeping in and some were cooking leftovers on the barbeque, while the kids were down the beach trying out their new boards, I could hear their screaming.
Tiny was sometimes called over there to fix a scraped knee or soothe a bruised ankle, but nothing too bad. He had put his name on a list on the notice board alongside Trip’s and Jack’s as the local fix it men.
Evan pulled out his laptop and started reading his emails, he had several to answer and I noticed he deleted a few uninteresting ones. Soon after the butterflies started going haywire in my stomach and I thought it meant I had to paint, but that's not it. Instead I got the feeling he was hiding something from me and it has to do with those deleted emails, just a feeling that's all. The guys started zipping up their suits and were going to spend the day on the beach, so I told them I would bring lunch down later if they wanted and they agreed. Of course they agreed, nothing like a delivery service.
Birdy came by on his rider and had been practicing his moves. He parked it carefully beside the stairs and ran up to me. I hugged him to bits and he thanked me for the present, he thought it was the best one he had received. He was telling me he can ride it to his friend's place to visit if he wanted, it will go that far and also to the football oval and back to meet them.
"That's good baby, but don't forget you have to walk sometimes to get strength into our legs."
"I won’t poppa Den, but it is the best present ever."
"Well it was our pleasure son, just be super careful on the roads. Sometimes cars don't see kids and can hurt them, so you be careful."
"I will poppa." He scored a milkshake from Alex.
"Did you buy him a ticket?"
"Yes Alex, last week Tiny helped me. He's on their flight and is staying at the same hotel. I think it will be good for him."
"Good I will look after him Den, you won’t have any worries about where he is and you know he wouldn’t fool around on you." He giggled. I knew that it’s only the missing him part that I won’t cope with.
I grabbed my baby and the food basket, he wanted a piggy back ride today so I heaved him up and started for the shore.
When we got down there I rummaged around and found his parcel, he got a large hamburger without the salad. Evan was the first to arrive and after greeting me with a kiss and hand slap with Ayden, he grabbed a large one too.
"Did you get some bad news bub?"
"No, why do you ask?"
"I thought it was bad news so you deleted it."
"Deleted what Den?"
"You quickly deleted some emails this morning and I thought they might be bad news."
"No Den, they were nothing I hadn't read before, not interesting."
"Oh, so you’re not hiding anything from me?"
"No Den, why would you think that?"
"No reason, I just thought maybe your secret lover was bugging you."
"You’re so weird Den, and no that’s not why I deleted them. I deleted them because I thought they had something in them I shouldn’t know about." He grinned.
"Oh what was that bub, can I help you with your lawyer thing or something?"
He gave me a stare that would cut ice then said,
"Okay if you must know they were confirmations on my flight and hotel bookings, apparently I'm off to Portugal soon."
"You knew, now you’ve spoilt my surprise."
"No Den, you spoilt your surprise by asking."
"Oh." Well shut my mouth. I looked at Ayden and he was giving me a funny stare too but I knew what that was all about, he wants to share his hamburger with me again. I had to find his biscuits after that, and of course a couple for his mate Blue.
"Happy Christmas bubs, it was your New Year’s present."
"Thank you Den, but I can’t go."
"Because I have a shop to run and you will go all spastic if I leave you for even one night."
"No I won’t," I lied.
"Okay, so it's the thumbs up from you then?"
"Of course bub, go have some fun with your mates overseas, but don't forget to come back."
He leaned in and kissed me, my butterflies went crazy.
"While you’re there get an entry form and join in the fun, I think you could win." The boys laughed their heads off.
Ayden wanted a paddle so I took him in the water, I reminded him not to swallow it and he slapped my arm for being so stupid. I was bobbing him up and down when I saw a boy come up the shore, he was a wave chaser and I know this because he had his board under his arms. He talked to Nuts for a minute then joined in. I was to find out later he was getting sick of the swimmers and day trippers and wanted some real surf.
I watched him for awhile before we went back, he was very good and was trying to outdo Blue at times. Blue I think was giving him some tips as the kid nodded a few times.
Back to the shack we went and I stood guard while Ayden showered, he was even singing, but only god knows what. I dried him off and he was a baby again and he wanted his nanny, he's going to try and con an icy pole off her.