My morning started off well and as the day progressed more and more people were pulling up to either eat of go down to the foreshore beach. Because our shack and the other buildings shielded our beach, not a lot of tourists used it, they couldn’t get to it other than walking around the point.
Some surfers did the walk and that’s why my boys move down a bit so it won’t be crowded when they are there.
I watched Jack pull up in his work truck and he started unloading another ten of my framed works. I went to help him and ordered coffee on the way.
"How's it going Jack?"
"Good Den, I didn't think I would be this busy, even the holiday makers are getting in on it. I have just done three quotes to fix cupboards in some vans. Thank god, I think I'm finally catching up thanks to Donk’s help."
"Good, has Tony given you the plans for the houses?"
"Yes Den, and for the two Rita bought as well."
"Oh she did buy a couple then." I smiled to myself because her secret was out.
"Yes they are just around the corner from yours, I think she's not telling anyone especially you because you will pay for them as a present." He laughed. I will let her have her little secret then, but maybe I can get a couple of pools installed at each property as a house warming present.
"How are you at building pools?"
"Not too good Den, don't dump that on me, I'll never get to go fishing."
"Well that's why your here Jack, rest and recreation with some cash on the way. That's what it’s all about, although sometimes don’t think Tony gets it." I also laughed.
"He's a good businessman Den, and his designs for the kitchens are brilliant, even I couldn’t come up with those plans."
My silent friend Rita came up and sat with her sandwich and coffee, she grinned at me then asked Jack how he was.
"He will get to your kitchens after he does ours honey," I answered and smiled at her but she didn't look too shocked.
"How about I install a couple of pools as a housewarming present?" I added.
"Den, that's why I didn't tell you. I wanted them all finished before I announced it because I don't need your help, you do enough for me as it is. Swimming pools add to the upkeep and anyway, there's a beautiful beach not more than a five-minute walk from the houses."
"A barbeque then?"
"Yes a barbeque, for god's sake Den, but that's all, you hear me?"
"Yes cafe mamma, loud and clear." I saluted.
They have some great alfresco type barbeques now, sinks, cook tops and dishwashers, she doesn’t know me that well does she?
"Jack, while we are on the subject can you get Donk to build a large patio out the back of each house, or should I talk to Horse?"
"Talk to Horse Rita, that's more his thing, you will need some concreting and a proper roof and drainage on them to keep the elements off the, 'small,' barbecue Den is buying you." He laughed so much he nearly spilled his coffee while I huffed and went to the safe and got out the money for twenty more framed works.
I passed the envelope and some more clothes on hangers to him and he left chuckling to himself. I hope he gets in at least an hours fishing. I waved Arras and Aisha goodbye as they drove past and thought of going with them to look at outdoor kitchens, but I will wait until the pergolas are finished, then I will get Horse onto them.
My son was awake, I could hear the shower at the back going and the boys will be here soon. He sat on my lap and dozed for awhile, that was until Horse took him off me. Yeah that's right Horse, I don't want to cuddle with my son today. Evan kissed my neck and sat down, he looked relaxed and so sexy with his new shorts on. They stretched over his body like a second skin, I wonder where he got then from? Oh I forgot, I gave them to him for Christmas, I thought I had seen them before when I had a second look.
I started sketching Blue in his bunny outfit and giggled as I put a big fluffy tail on him. It was so cute I coloured it in and handed it over to Horse.
"Blue winning in Portugal, Bubs version." I smiled.
Ayden looked at it and laughed. He had to show Blue so now we will get some ranting and raving about his pink fluffy suit.
"That's so cool Bubs, thanks Den." He loved it and got me to sign it, then he hopped up the porch to show Alex. Well I'm not winning today am I?
A stack of pies came down for lunch in all sorts of flavours and with sauce. Susan pulled up in front and met a business type man as she came up the stairs. They sat for awhile talking after she waved to us, then Rita was in on the chat.
She eventually came up to us and kissed everyone on the cheeks, most couldn't talk because they had pies in their mouths.
Rita came up and took Bubs, no arguments from Horse, when nanny wants him, she gets him.
"Come on Bub, I have some party pies warmed up for you." She took him back to the table where the guy was seated and I noticed he had brought out some paperwork and pencils. I guess it’s the school teacher whose here to assess him.
"Now watch and learn you lot, my kid’s going to blitz this test."
"Who is he Den?" Evan asked.
"I think he's from home schooling, he will test him to see what grade he is up to."
"Maybe it's too early Den, he's only three for god's sake."
"Well we have to be prepared, and it will give him something to do on those rainy days Bubs." He stared at me, I don't think Evan agrees with me.
I got an image from Ayden and it was his school man being dunked in the sea. I laughed and looked at him and he had a cheeky smile on his face.
Rita came up and sat at the table with us and Susan as the guy talked to Ayden. He was finally introduced to us as Mr. Primer. While he sorted through the paperwork Ayden crawled onto my lap, sorry Horse.
His leg was moving back and forth like he was bored with it all, his hand played with the collar on my polo top and he was munching on a party pie.
"He's a very bright boy and I don't know where to start with this, it's unheard of and a little annoying actually," he said.
"What do you mean annoying?" Horse was onto him.
"Well maybe not the right word, but it's all I’ve got for now. He's blitzed his test and I don't know where to place him, maybe we can leave it for another year? I think he's too young but he does know a lot. My tests don't go up to his current level so I did a couple of freehand ones and he blitzed them too."
"So you think we should leave it for awhile then?" Evan asked.
"Yes, he's far more advanced than even a ten-year-old, it's his mind, physically it's still at three years but his knowledge on how to solve problems is very, very high, even if he hasn’t previously learnt it, he has the capability to solve any of the sums I gave him."
"Like he's still thinking teddy bears but his brain can solve sums automatically, like he's gifted with a separate brain." I couldn’t put it any clearer, everyone looked at me.
"Yes Mr. Curtis, your son is gifted. If I wasn't so sure he needed another year I would add him to the Mensa list right now."
"Oh, just like his father, hey Bubs, wanna be on that list with your old dah?" He giggled and kept playing with my collar.
"What! You’re a member of Mensa Den?" Evan whipped his head around and looked at me.
"Well of course I am, I have been since I started school, although I never talked about it much. It's not that unusual Bub, plenty of my schoolmates were on it, they told me. "
"I think they were dreaming Mr. Curtis, there are very few people on that list, I will look yours up when I get time." He smiled at me.
"What the F...?" Evan drifted off.
"It does explain why your son is so bright, I should go ahead and put him on the list. I will do another assessment in six months just to confirm my suspicions, and if you’re on that list Mr. Curtis it explains where your son inherited some of his skills to think laterally." He cleaned up his paperwork and put it away then looked at Ayden.
"See you in six months’ young man. I have to make some phone calls; this is unheard of so I need some sort of guidance."
We shook hands and he left.
"When were you going to tell me about you being a genius?" Evan wouldn’t let it go. It was like being in school years ago, I had to tone it down a lot because I didn't want to alienate my mates.
"Well I'm no one special Evan, I got by at school, even won some awards but I reckon that was pretty normal."
"No it's not normal Den, very few kids receive awards at school and even less get put on the Mensa list," Susan explained to me.
"Yes oh." She giggled.
By this time Ayden was totally bored and had moved to Susan's lap, his leg was moving back and forth again, bumping into hers as it went.
I saw my other boy coming up the stairs, I hugged him and he sat on my knee this time.
"How did you go; did you top all the lists on the games?"
"No poppa Den, but I had fun."
"Okay you lot, listen up, I might know some things but I don't know everything, can you please tell my buddy here how they make sky rockets?"
Tiny took that one and started explaining about gun powder, while Birdy moved over onto his lap and listened intensely.
"Oh and tell him how dangerous they are too."
He's still growing but my heart sank when he sat on my knee, he's still as light as a feather. I thought he was putting on weight, but he seems lighter now, I so wish he would put on some weight. I think Tiny noticed it too because he looked at me the instant Birdy sat down.
"I will talk to Hulk about someone's diet today." Maybe them being too fussy about what they eat isn't doing Birdy any good?
I guess I could have become one of those lawyer types like Evan, but it really didn't interest me, I loved the arts, that's where my heart was. But we could have met at law school, and I could have got into his pants a lot sooner than I did.
"What's the smile for Den?"
"Nothing Bub, just thinking out loud." I smiled.
While I was rubbing myself against his perfect crotch later in the day, I was telling him we could have fucked in the court house if I had become a lawyer. He reminded me I wouldn’t have Ayden if we did, so I thanked the lord for not making me go to that horrible school.
His new stretchy shorts were down around his ankles as I slobbered all over him, I was working on getting another screw out of him. My hand went for the lube draw but he grabbed it and said,
"Spit on it Den, do me dry." I obliged after a bit of effort but he was uncomfortable so the lube saw daylight again.
"You won’t try that again, will ya Bubs?"
"No Den, it's just that sometimes I get carried away with how you never cease to amaze me. I thought you may have a solution to the gallons of lube that goes up my bum, it can't be good for me." He used his cheeky grin.
"Believe me, if there was a better way I would know about it, turn over for a bit Bub I'm not quite finished and the lube should still be working, look at it as a saving."
Aisha, Abs and Arras were having afternoon tea with Ayden when we emerged. They had done all they needed to do in town and had bought him a big box of Lego to play with. It was all over the table and Abs was helping him to build the tallest tower in the world. I should go and get the other box, the one that's got thousands of more Lego pieces in it. They said they had fun shopping and bought up big. They didn't really have to replace a lot of stuff, Donk and Kate didn't take that much.
Tony and Cyn walked down and ordered some food and coffee.
"Hi all, how did your shopping go?" Tony was interested.
"Good, my wife went crazy as usual and bought nothing but the best, it will be delivered and set up tomorrow."
"You’re not busy Cyn?" I inquired.
"No Den, Michelle and Shannon are there and she's doing a couple of hours for me today. I've been packing boxes."
Bubs slipped down from Abs’ knee and started for the stairs.
"Bub, stay on the side of the road and don't run," I called out. He ran up the street to see his mate.
"Tine is in talking to Jay and Hulk about Birdy's diet so I thought I might give them ten minutes alone. He's been feeding him vegetarian meals, it's okay for adults but not so good for a kid who needs fattening up." Tony took his meal and started on it.
"True, Hulk's a health nut but he forgets Birdy's just a kid and was a victim of starvation," Abs said.
"Well Tiny was being very firm with them, in fact they looked like they were taking a beating." Tony laughed.
"Did you hear Rita bought two houses behind Evans?"
"What?" Poor Tony, he missed that bit of news.
"Well don't tell anyone, it's a big secret," I said with a grin.
"She's doing very well Den. God knows what she's got stashed in that safe of hers."
"Well if it's anything like Evan's it will be crammed full."
"Yours is full of gold Den, all that money just sitting there, don't you get a little nervous?"
"No Tony, the king and Ayden's mates won’t let anything happen to it, I'm certain of that."
"Well if it was me I would be putting it in the bank."
"Tony, it's fairy gold and has a certain magic around it, anyone that wants to steal it I think would get a big shock if they tried to sell it." I knew deep down the coins would turn to dust if they were ever stolen, greedy people never prosper.
"Okay, just saying that's all."
"Well my love, maybe I should put my jewellery in a safe too."
"It's safe where it is my belly dancer, the boys won’t let anyone get near it. I am still annoyed you brought so much over." Cyn’s ears pricked up.
"I wanted the girls to play with it, I don't want to hide it away any more." Aisha smiled at Cyn and Tony.
"Let me finish my lunch and we can go play with your pretty baubles," Cyn suggested.
"Shall I ask Rita to come?"
"Me too," Tony said smiling, he had his hand up.
"It wouldn't be a girl’s play day without you Tony." Aisha laughed but Tony didn't care, I think he wanted to try on a piece or two.
They collected Rita who was skipping almost, it's good for her to have some girls around, she's had very little girly days with just us boys around all the time.
I walked up to Cyn's to see how Shannon was faring and as soon as she saw me she hugged the living daylights out of me. "Thank you is all I have for you Den, you’re amazing."
"That's okay Mich, as long as he's doing okay now."
"Okay? That's an understatement, he's now sleeping much better. I can sleep all night without worrying if he's up and about the house. Some new people moved in next door and they have three young boys so he's found himself a few friends he now plays with, it's so beautiful to watch him." She started to tear up.
I watched him and Ayden playing pirates again with some sticks, they were doing pretty good too. Shannon’s co-ordination has improved a lot.
"I see your paintings are up to six and a half mil Den, they are amazing, I will drop by later to see them in real life."
"That's great, I'm so pleased for Cyn, she will get a big commission from them."
"She certainly will Den, she's offered to buy a house down here for us but I am happy where I am, now that those beautiful kids have moved to the neighbourhood." She smiled.
"Well that sister of yours is a pretty nice girl, she's only looking after you."
"Yes she is Den, she's always been on my side, even when ...." She drifted off somewhere, probably thinking of years gone by.
"Shan go sleep now dah, he big tired," Ayden said to me.
"Okay, you can come up and see the paintings later Mich, maybe stay for dinner and Shannon can have another play."
"Sounds good to me Den, he only wants to lay on the bed and look at his little painting." She winked.
"No, tired he sleeps."
"Okay bubby, he's tired then, good."
"My’s king wants to talk to him," he added.
She looked shocked.
"Don't be rattled by it Mich, if the truth be known he's always been talking to him." I smiled back.
"That magic again?"
I took my boy’s hand and kissed her cheek, then we left. I wanted to go see Aisha's baubles and beads.
I wasn't prepared for it, the big table in the kitchen was covered in jewellery boxes. The two boys had laid out some nibbles and coffee and the girls were whooping it up trying on things. Tony had a very large necklace on and his hands were full of diamond rings.
Cyn looked lovely in her tiara and Rita didn't have a spare space to put anymore on. Aisha was going through the bits and pieces telling them the history of each piece she held up. Ayden went ballistic with all the sparkling jewellery.
He had to try on a few so I did too, and of course when Arras, Abs, Horse and Evan came in we all got sprung, I was giggling the most.
"Den, you look good in that tiara." He smirked.
"It belonged to the empress of Russia bub, it suits me doesn’t it?"
"Yes." He laughed his ass off.
"Why so much whorehouse keeper?" Abs asked.
"My girls needed a distraction from their dull lives camel herder."
"No, you just wanted to show off my love," Arras said.
Aisha blushed and said,
"I don't get a chance to show anybody my love, this has been a wonderful day for me. I love them all and I wanted to share them with my friends."
"Go to town my love, it's good to watch you smile."
"I will be wearing them all tonight my Centaur, and nothing else," she said seductively.
Arras groaned. While this was going on Ayden was talking to a big ring he had found.
"Fairy diamond bubs?"
"Yep dah, from my king’s worldom."
"That's kingdom son," Evan corrected him.
Aisha looked stunned and told us she couldn't remember where she got that ring from, she said she would look at her list later. She was chuffed she had a piece of fairy jewellery though.
Horse had to help Tony unshackle himself and in the process he was sort of making love to him with his hands.
"I will be waiting for you to come home my pet, you won’t be wearing any jewellery just me, your naked stallion." He grinned at Arras.
I stared at Horse and started wondering if I ..."
"Den stop it!" Evan again, shit he's got a one track mind.
We left them too it and Horse didn't go home he wanted to eat, the boys were already there, well Tiny and Nuts were and they had opened the shop.
It’s curry night tonight and I was actually looking forward to it, I love watching Evan eating his favourite food.
"Did you get Birdy sorted out Tiny?"
"Yes, he now knows how to make a sky rocket and the boys know his diet has to improve." He grinned.
"I hope you weren’t too hard on them; you know they love him to bits."
"Yes so much so they are starving him of vital food. I think they are coming for curry tonight, I heard Rita's making some for him and Ayden without the spice."
"Good, I think Shannon and Michelle are coming too."
I think everyone is coming. When Mel arrived I told her to go have a look at Aisha's collection and she bolted down the stairs, Bubs wanted to go with her but I was too fast for him.
"No, stay here with dah Bubs, I want to talk to you."
"Oh." He looked at me, I think he didn't want to talk.
I whispered in his ear and asked him if his king had been talking to Shannon on and off.
"Hims always talks to Shan dah, he lubs Shan."
"Good, is he fixing him?"
"No dahs, he can’t fix but make him mind not so sleepy."
"Good, I will thank him later on."
Spud came by and sat for awhile, he was telling us he has been banned from the kitchen today. He's been in his room painting all afternoon while Ali's been surfing his frustrations away.
"Where's my hugs Bub?" He smiled at Ayden who in turn hugged him.
'Dis Ali's k?"
"Yes Bub, he will be here soon."
"No, he no okay, Spuds go see him, him not k."
He looked at me and shot out the back door, Ayden was laughing at him. I got an image of Ali and Spud running around in the bushes, and they were playing in their Ninja turtle outfits.
He kept laughing for awhile so I suppose it tickled his funny bone. He doesn’t know about the bushes being a meeting place for horny teens and some adults, but only sometimes it’s too dangerous, too many people around.
Michelle and Shannon arrived and I showed her the paintings while Shannon stood there and pointed and laughed. He then did something that was extraordinary, he took Michelle’s hand and actually said,
"Thank you mum," he said, very slowly like he had rehearsed it. She nearly fainted. That was the first time she had heard any audible words from him, he communicated but only barely. This was a major thing for him.
"Okay son, his mum pretty happy." I had left Michelle in the spare room cuddling her boy and crying as he kept saying over and over, “thank you”.
Tony and Horse arrived looking like they had just showered, followed by Jay, Hulk and Birdy. He was looking forward to having some curry, not too hot I heard him tell Alex.
Tiny was talking to them again and they were looking forward to having that spicy food too.
It arrived in a big pot with a littler one for the kids. Evan served Ayden and his smile never left his face until he licked the dish. I was handed some and it was delicious so Evan had seconds. Birdy was loving the various tastes he was getting in his mouth, he kept looking at me and was smiling too.
"Where's Arras and Aisha tonight?" Cyn asked.
"Having theirs on the rooftop, I believe they are both dining in the nude," Tony offered.
"Oh, maybe they want me to take dessert up to them?" I joked.
"Den, stop it now." Evan was being selfish again.
Mich and Shan came out and helped themselves, they were holding hands all night and I don't think she wanted it to end.
"You did good bubs." I kissed my son’s head.
"Okay now dah, king fix a little bit."
"He's a good man your king."
He nodded his agreement then put another piece of chicken in his gob.
There was a big apple crumble pie and cream for dessert and Evan couldn't wait to have some, so he didn't. Wait that is. He dived on it straight away and his jaw didn't even stop for a rest. Bubs had a little with ice cream and Birdy was so full he was just tasting it all, a tiny bit at a time.
The highlight of the night was when Spud and Ali made an appearance.
"You took your time," I said to Spud.
"Well we had to have a swim then a lie down, then another swim then we went searching for gold in the tee trees, that took forever."
"How's your bum Spud?" Nuts asked.
"Not as sore as Ali's" He grinned.
I looked at Ali who was blushing and yes, I heard my name being called again. I didn't figure Ali as a bottom but by the look of his fabulous bubble butt why not? It was awesome.
"No Ali, no Arras and no Horse Den, stop lusting after our friends." I got the rounds of the kitchen when we went to bed.
"Okay no more then, I will just concentrate on you."
"Good, now suck the other ball, they get jealous."
I had been sucking away for ages and I'm sure they get bigger when I do that.
I dreamed of my father and thanked him for his help with Shannon, his mum was now so happy he could at least say a few words to her. He explained that Ayden was doing it but didn't know he was, in fact the fairies use very little magic with Shan. He said Ayden was a powerful grandson who amazes him more and more every day.
My auction was finishing today and some of the foreshore folk had moved on or gone home. There seemed to be an older crowd at Rita's today, not so many kids around. Maybe the magic of the bay is making the grandparents feel better, maybe not, but as I said earlier, they are staying on longer.
We were watching the price rise as we had coffee, Evan was blown away and Ayden was excited because I had promised to take him to the games parlour after breakfast. I think he wants to perfect his moves some more.
"They finished at seven million Den, my Arab buyer, he's very happy because he thought they might hit ten million." She had run up to let me know the auction had finished.
"That's awesome Cyn, and so crazy." I didn't really know what to say as I already knew what they went for.
"Well they are well worth it Den, he wants to know if you are going to paint anymore like them."
"No Cyn, they are one offs. I don't even think I could go through her sadness again."
"Neither could I." What a strange thing to say.
"I will pack them up and give them to Tony to send, make sure you take your commission before you transfer the money to my account." I smiled and was pleased she had made some good money.
"No need Den, I will get Abs to pick them up and I can deliver them personally, he lives in this area."
"Ali or Arras Cyn? I told you I would fucking give them the pair if they wanted them, why all the secrets anyway?"
She let her breath out and stared into space, then she said,
"What are you doing right now?"
"Nothing, I was just going to sort out some stock why?"
"Let’s get the paintings and you can help me carry them up to my house."
"I have a story for you." She looked distracted and a tad glum.
We each took a painting, they didn't weigh that much and when we arrived Abs greeted us with a big grin on his face. We went into her fabulous family room and placed them against one wall. That wall had two big recesses to house wall art and Abs took the art that was already there off the wall and replaced them with my two paintings.
"She's home at last my princess," he said as he smiled at Cyn, then cuddled her to his massive chest. She wept, what the fuck’s going on here?
"I'll make the coffee while you two talk," he eventually said.
The paintings looked awesome on her wall, like they were always meant to be there.
"Abs bought them didn't he?"
"Yes Den, they are a wedding gift for me." She played with the snow white napkin on the table.
"But why?" I was confused.
She took my hand.
"When I was younger I was very overweight and not the most popular or prettiest girl in school, the bullies had a field day with me. I hid behind the shelter sheds and most of my school life I had no friends to speak of, my parents weren’t much better either, they bullied me in the worst possible way Den."
"Oh Cyn, that couldn’t be true, you're so beautiful inside and out." She had knocked me sideways a bit.
"Not always Den, I won’t bore you with the sordid details. When I left for college I had more freedom and started coming out of my shell a bit, and thanks to a girl I had met there I started what I call my adult life. She and I became best friends and eventually she got me to diet and go to the gym with her. I found many friends there and I will be forever grateful to her for helping me."
Abs brought coffee and some biscuits over, he sat holding her and before he poured the drinks he gave her a lingering kiss.
"I have something to show you." She got up and went to a drawer in her TV cabinet and took out a photo.
"Her name was Alice, she lived in Melbourne and I would usually stay with her family most weekends just to get away from mine, she was my best friend. She was my inspiration and it was she who got me hooked on selling online. She was already selling stuff on EBay and doing a great job of it."
"So she saved your sanity Cyn, what a beautiful person she must be."
"Was Den, she was killed in a car accident some years ago but I will never forget her and never get over her death. It has effected me somewhat all my adult life."
"Cyn, you know she loved you she was someone very special in your life. What a sad ending for her, don't be sad Cyn, be happy for her." I squeezed her hands.
She looked up at the paintings and sobbed then handed the photo to me.
"This is Alice." I looked at the photo but it didn’t register until I really looked, then I looked at my paintings, the fairy was Alice.
I gasped, the same smile, the same red hair and the same fine features.
"This is why I had to have her, I feel peace when I see them, her happy face with my sad one. These were painted for me Den. I couldn’t afford them so Abs decided to buy them for me as a wedding present, I relented and let him do that." She kissed Abs on the lips.
"Cyn you know I would have given them to you."
"I know Den, but I couldn’t let you do that. Alice was my best friend and you put that smile on her face, and mine, so you had to be rewarded the only way I knew how. You do so much for me as it is, I can’t ask anymore of you."
"Abs please don't pay for them," I pleaded.
"I have money Den, I do not spend much and I really wanted Cyn to own these beautiful paintings of her friend. I would have paid twenty million for them just to see the joy on my love’s face. There will be no free rides with me Den, the money is yours."
I couldn’t believe my ears, am I hearing this or what?
"I knew there was a connection Cyn, just the way you looked at them should have twigged my mind a bit further. I am so glad you got them, and no, I won’t paint her again, she's yours for keeps." I took her hand and kissed it.
"They look superb hanging there, like they have been there for years Cyn."
"Well I'm going to enjoy her smile every morning when I have my coffee in here, and I can say goodnight to her before I go to bed."
This is why you have that connection with Kate isn't it?"
"Yes Den, she reminds me so much of Alice."
It must be the red hair, or it could be that Kate doesn’t feel quite good enough.
We talked some more about her friend and her family and I found out that when Michelle had Shannon, her parents disowned her and so did her husband, he couldn’t cope with having a retarded son. Cyn said when her parents ranted and raved about Shan, she packed up and left home and hasn’t heard from them since. What a pack of bastards they are, I know what I would like to do to them.
I kissed them both farewell because I had to go back and hug my son, on the way I swept into Tony's workroom and hugged Birdie then I almost ran back to the cafe.