Never Give Up: Book Four ~ Codes You Awake?

Chapter 7

You awake Codes 7

 

In the morning we woke Conner and he wanted to know what was going on last night, well he should have kept Ben here and they could have had a buddy cuddle. We didn’t announce anything because Mitch wanted to wait until the parents got together, he had to ring Bel today and let her know that all’s well with us and to talk strategies about the birth.

We sat on the porch most of the morning not saying a word to each other, I think it was all said during the night, every time I looked at Mitch he was looking at me then he would smile and look away. He was happy and so was I because it’s the one opportunity he has to become a father and what I was feeling inside was pure joy for him. His reward for suffering all those years and now this beautiful thing has happened to him, it was huge, I felt love and I felt loved.

He took my hand after lunch and said he wanted an afternoon nap but I think he just wanted a root, which he did and it was awesome. His eyes never left mine and he tried so hard to hold on but nature took over and he spewed his babes into me. I felt full and loved, all I needed now was a million dollars and I will be in heaven. He rolled off and I wiped us and his anvil arm snaked its way under my neck as it pulled me closer to his face, which I instantly started kissing. I had no idea what Conner was up to today, he had gone out for lunch and said he was meeting a mate and they were going to the flicks to see the new Starwars movie.

“I think I might tell my parents, first Codes, I am busting to tell someone.”

“Why don’t we go over and tell them together Mitch, maybe we can get them to meet us for a picnic tonight?”

“Good idea Cody, I'll ring them.”

I know how he felt and I so wanted to ring my dads and let them know the news, maybe I will after tonight’s announcement.

I put together a basket of goodies and Mitch and I drove to the bluff. We were a little late because he wanted to cuddle a bit but Mike and Roz were already there so I kissed them both and Mitch was just dancing on the spot trying not to blurt his news out to them. I started putting the food on the picnic mat when Mike asked,

“What’s got into you son, you're so excited, did you win Tattslotto?”

Mitch was so fucking pumped he grabbed his father and his mum and hugged them both, kissing their cheeks with big sloppy smackers then he screamed and ran like a little kid chasing seagulls across the fencing. When he got to the middle he jumped up and down screaming and laughing. His mum looked at me and asked,

“Cody what’s he on, has he taken drugs or something?”

“No Roz, nothing like that, just wait, he’s just thanking Jimmy and he will come back and tell you both. Chicken?”

“I don’t know, I think he’s gone crazy, chicken sounds nice, thank you Codes.”

I shoved a leg into her hand and she started chewing on it. Mitch screamed back and took them both in his arms again.
“I’m pregnant,” he yelled.

“What?” his dad said.

“I’m pregnant nan and pops.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“I’m going to have a baby, Belinda’s pregnant.”

They still didn’t get it; I don’t think they have even met Belinda.

“What the hell is going on Cody?” Ros asked.

“Mitch’s one night stand, his adventure into the straight world with his best friend Belinda four or more months ago, well she got pregnant so Mitch is going to be a father. You’re going to be grandparents, and I think I’m going to be an uncle, awesome don’t you think?”

“I don’t believe it, is that true Mitchell?” his dad asked.

“Yes poppa, it's true, she’s going to have my baby.” Tears flowed down Mitch’s cheeks.

Then Mike did something I never thought he would do again, he cried into Mitch’s arms, not a cry cry but a sobbing cry. Mitch held him close and stroked the back of his neck while his mum held them both. When he finally stopped he had a million questions for his son and was being careful not to insult me and included me as much as he could. My tears flowed and the chicken was forgotten for some time as we sat and watched the stars come out to play, each of us feeling loved and safe inside. We promised to get a copy of the ultrasound to them as soon as possible and we rang Belinda when we got home. She was so happy for Mitch’s parents, she knew his story and had joined the dots, what a wonderful woman she was, there was no room for jealously from me, I didn’t feel it at all.

We both went to training the next day, Conner hadn’t come home but he did call to say he was having a sleepover at a mate's place but he was evasive when I asked which mate. We told him about the baby and he was so happy for us all, he gave us loads of hugs and then ran off to catch the pack of players. There was something wrong with him; he usually comes to me when he’s got something on his mind but not now. As we did our cool downs on the beautifully manicured grass on the oval I spied a familiar face in the small crowd of fans that had come to watch training, it was Ben. I nudged Mitch and he spotted him too, I think he was trying to hide from us because he disappeared when we started walking towards the crowd.

“What’s going on Codes?”

“I don’t know Mitch maybe he’s here to see Conner or you maybe but he’s gone, he might be in the bar, you go shower and I’ll meet you there.” He nodded then trotted off to stir Harper about something; I guess he was going to tell him the good news. I got to the bar and there’s no Ben but there was the club manager waiting for me. He shook my hand and asked if we could sit and talk for a while, I nodded it was okay.

“You know Cody your father was the best events manager we have ever had here and we miss him but we get he’s now a star with his own path to follow, but again we miss him here.”

“Yeah his name is often thrown around this bar, he did some good things for this club and he still does in his sneaky way.” I grinned at him.

“We are fully aware of what he does for us and it doesn’t matter how many players he helps with advice and with money, it doesn’t go unnoticed with the management. Now here’s where we need to talk, have you made your mind up about what you want to do before you start uni or are you just going to sloth around?” He laughed.

“No idea at all Mr Aslan, I was helping out at the charity and wanted to do something at the gym soon as I need the cash because I want to buy a property.”

“Good, now how about giving us a year and come work here as the events manager? I can assure you that the wages are good and you would get plenty of experience, plus Squirt could give you some pointers.”

“You are a rat aren’t you, get to the dad through the kid eh?”

“Something like that Codes but we know he won't come back. We also want to thank him in some way by giving the job to you and we do think you would be perfect for the job so what do you say?”

“When do you want me to start? I can organise a party just as well as my dad you know, I haven’t spent all my time in front of the computer.”

“Next Monday, we can match you up with one of the guys to show you the drill and then we will expect wondrous things from you.” He again chuckled. I couldn’t help myself, I laughed along. It would be amazing to work at the club for awhile, I get to meet some awesome people and maybe plan some great events. We shook on it and by this time the boys had started to turn up, some smelling of soap, some aftershave, some like my Mitch, all man. My attention was drawn to Conner who looked far away, I don’t know where his car was but he was having a beer so I suppose he is coming home with us tonight.

“I just got offered a great job Mitch, I start Monday as the new events manager.”

“Great Codes, that’s just awesome, do you know how much they are going to pay you?”

“Not yet but it will be fair, we can go open a joint bank account tomorrow if you like and I can have some money deposited into it each week, you know, for the house.”

“Cool, yep we can do that, are you matching my money or do you want me to not put as much in?”

“No I can match it with a little left over for baby clothes.” I chuckled then asked,

“Did you tell Harps?”

“Yeah he’s pissed off I got in first but he bought me a beer at least.”

“Good and I can see he wasn’t the only one.” There were six beers sitting in front of him by now, he wanted me to help him but I figured I had better not, still on my P plates and I’m driving. Mitch picked up two of them and took them over to Conner and Harp's table and he talked to Conner for some time.

“What’s with Conner Mitch, he hasn't brought his car?”

“No, he said a mate was picking him up and he won't be home again tonight.”

“Did you tell him that Ben was welcome to stay at our place?”

“Yeah but he said it wasn’t Ben and that’s all he said.” He smiled. I didn’t know what was going on so I waited until Conner headed for the toilets and was onto him like a dog to his dinner.

“Okay what’s going on Conner Lawrence and no lies?” I cornered him.

“Nothing Cody, I am just enjoying myself while the dads are away that’s all.”

“Conner, tell me or I’ll break your teddy bear into a thousand bits, tell me about Ben, he was here tonight and my guess is he’s outside somewhere in your car waiting for you, now tell me.” I was getting mad at him as he normally tells me everything.

Poor Conner, he loves his teddy bear, he’s had him for years so he put on a sad face and said,

“Not teddy, please Cody, not teddy.” I hit him on the arm but I think it hurt me more than him but he did say,

“I’m not sleeping with Ben, he’s a great guy to hang with but his workmates are gorgeous, all round and soft and girly.”

Oh I see, it's Ben’s friends that have caught my brother’s eye. Well that's okay, I think?

“Conner just be careful and look after yourself, the dads will be home soon so no dramas.”

He smiled at me then kissed me on my lips.

“Okay mum.”  He then walked off towards the bar.

I was pleased for Conner, now I hear you all say that he’s a footy star and comes with the awesome hard body but Conner is also a very soft person inside and I think a one woman man, he’s so like our Uncle Mike.

 

I washed up and went to join my Mitchell who by now was getting very merry, it seems his drinks have grown so I started handing them out. We called into the bluff and made out some but poor Mitch was a little molly the monk by now yet he wanted to fuck me. I thought it might not be a good idea in his condition; he should have an early night. We did do that but I didn’t get to ask him about his cousin. I didn’t even know much of Ben's story.

Poor Mitch had a hangover the next morning and spent much of it in bed drinking water, trying to get me to hop back in with him and generally moaning because he was sick. I relented around eleven and stripped off to hop in with my man and he was very happy with the things I had on offer. He thanked me with lots of kisses then we showered and went and sat on the porch, fresh air is what he needs.

We cuddled up and I drank my coffee while watching the dark clouds roll over, the noise of the waves on the rocks down the beach was thunderous and a light spray was wafting through the air because a wind had come up, looks like a storm coming so we'd better batten down the hatches. We had done this plenty of times before and I didn’t have to worry about Bobby and Rory’s place, it was at the ready for anything but we did have to stow away our veranda chairs and a few bits and pieces. Mitch and I will watch the storm from our family room, sometimes it's awesome, sometimes awfully frightening.

Conner rang and said a cyclone had formed two hundred miles up the coast and to be careful because they don’t know which way it will head so he won’t attempt to come back and help. I should go to Trent and Tom's house just to make sure it’s locked down, I grabbed their keys off the hook in the kitchen and Mitch and I ran down the beach. Everything was okay so I sent them a message that we had checked and all’s good. Mitch and I snuggled on the couch and he had closed all the shutters except one that overlooks the beach, he put tape on it so we could watch the storm. I heard a lot of rattling and the surf sounded like bombs going off but there was no damage in the morning, we were still entwined on the sofa when I woke. I checked there was power then put the kettle on and looking outside it was a beautiful day with just a light wind. The sand had blown up to the house and there was a drift across the doorway, which I promptly swept towards the beach. I will get the rake out and try and shift some of the build up later on. Mitch came out with two cups and plonked himself on the other seat I had rescued from the storage bins. I knew the large table wouldn’t go anywhere because it was bolted to the porch floor, but it needed a good wipe.

I checked down the beach and Rory and Tom's houses looked okay but I will go over later and have a better look, my gut feeling says all’s good.

Conner came in and started to ask questions, he helped us to check the other houses and look around my dad’s place, which was all fine again. I asked him where he went last night and he said they all went out for dinner and he and Ben had gone back to his place to play scrabble cause he was a games freak, so was Conner…. tick.

Conner is hooked, I can tell by the glint in his eyes. I kissed his cheek and said,

“Teddy is safe for now,” then laughed my head off.

 

The following days flew by, my dads came home and of course I couldn’t wait to see them. As they walked out into the arrivals hall, they were both beaming when they saw Conner and myself, they hugged and told us how much they had missed everyone. Mitch was included in that too as Dan pulled him in for a man hug. We helped them get their luggage onto a trolley and I think its grown, they didn’t have this much when they left.

“So what’s the latest news boys?” Dan asked us all on the way home.

“Not much dad, maybe Conner has some news and maybe Mitch has some but all my news is that I started a week ago at the club as events manager.” Squirt turned around to the back and looked at me then shook his head in approval.

“I can see you in that role Cody, how has it been so far?’

“Great dad, so much to learn but it’s pretty easy to pick up a phone and give orders, it’s the sell I have trouble with.”

“Well after I’ve had a big sleep to get rid of the jet lag we will have a heart to heart, but good for you it’s a great job, I hope they are paying you the right wage.”

“They are dad, don’t worry about that.”

At home we settled on the porch and Luke and Jamie arrived, they had been away for the past three weeks staying at the farm so now my dads are back they are back on board too. A lot of hugging and some tears on Luke’s part stopped Mitch from his announcement but I don’t think he’s that bothered about it just yet.

“Now the house is whole again, what’s your news Conner?” Squirt asked while taking Luke’s hand in his.

“I may or may not have a girlfriend, maybe it's early days yet, that’s all,” Conner answered.

“Well done son, see I knew you could achieve it, you've just got to have faith in yourself, well done,” Dan said. Squirt tried not to laugh but it did eventually get the better of him and he burst out laughing.

Poor Conner, does he ever get a break?

“Mitch,” Dan said.

“What?”

“Your news please.”

“I’m going to have a baby.”

“Cody what have you done?”

“Not me Belinda, Mitch’s friend, he’s going to be a father.”

You could have cut the air with a knife but Mitch quickly explained everything and the dads were happy with that, they were actually over the moon at the news and asked heaps of questions.

“I will get some pictures for you on Tuesday when Belinda goes for an ultrasound, I’m flying to Sydney to be with her.”

This was something new that I didn’t know about, I suppose he was going to let me know sooner or later but I wish he had of discussed it with me at least. Squirt noticed my long face and he reached over and said,

‘That’s great news son, I think another baby in the family will perk nanna up.”

“I think so too dad.” I tried to smile, Mitch was oblivious to all this, he just waffled on and on to Luke and Jamie about how happy he was while Conner waffled on to Dan about nothing really as I was to find out later.

While getting ready for bed Mitch asked me what was up, I was being very quiet.

“Not much Mitch, what time will you be home next Tuesday?”

“I’m not coming home until Thursday, Belinda wants me to move some furniture and help her buy a fridge and washing machine but I’ll ring you.”

“Don’t bother Mitch, I mean if you’re going to be busy don’t worry about ringing me.” I went into the bathroom and washed up then got into bed, the house was at last quiet and Mitch wanted to play but I turned my back on him and willed myself to go to sleep. I didn’t feel it was right; he should have discussed this with me.

“Codes you awake?”

“Yes.”

“What’s the matter babe?’

“When did you think you would tell me you're going away, Tuesday, on the day?”

“No, I was going to tell you tonight, I only booked the flight this morning.”

“And you didn’t think to discuss your plans with me at all before you booked?”

“Well no, I only decided this morning, now your dads are home I thought I could go.”

“You thought you could just up and go, Mitch what am I to you?”

“What do you mean what are you? Your my boyfriend.”

“Well don’t you think you should have discussed it with me first?”

“No, I knew you wouldn’t mind.”

“I wouldn’t mind if you up and go to Sydney for a few days, yeah I get that but you should have discussed it with me first, good night Mitch.” I closed my eyes but sleep evaded me for an hour or so and I believe Mitch too but I finally dropped off.

After showering and getting some coffee I strolled out to the porch, only Squirt was up, he was wrapped in a rug and sitting on the swing, the morning was glorious and I leant on the bannister looking out to the surf.

“God I missed this beach Codes.”

“I know you did dad, you always do,” I answered quietly.

“He didn’t ask you did he?”

“No dad he didn’t.’

“Well it probably slipped his mind in the excitement baby, don’t make too much out if it.”

“I won't dad, I just wish he had warned me at least. I am so happy for him that I could burst but I can't help feeling this baby is going to be a sore point and I don’t want that to happen with all my heart dad.” A tear slipped down my cheek. My dad stood up and held me again; he made me feel safe and warm. We broke apart when Mitch arrived followed by Dan, the good mornings were out of the way and Dan looked at Cody and asked,

“Why did you feel the need to leave me this morning?”

“Because I couldn’t sleep Dan, you know what I’m like when I’m jetlagged.”

“Well you should have woken me, good morning baby.” He leant over and kissed dad deeply then pushed his cup over and asked.

“Another coffee Codes?”

“Of course handsome man, anything for you.” His eyes never left Dan’s as he lifted the percolator and poured my dad another drink. I can see and feel the love. I only wish I could have some of that some day. Mitch was very quiet as we talked about Europe and Tim dragging poor Donny around on a leash. Bobby’s teacher pulling his hair out because he hasn’t the tools to show Bob more of the art world, I think Bobby will start showing him soon. Rory’s happy smile was lighting up the shops and business was good.

“Oh Mitch, he sent you something.”

“Who Squirt?”

“Bobby.”

Codes went off to rummage through his suitcases and he produced a small flat parcel that revealed a tiny painting. It turned out to be a little baby boy but he was almost standing between Mitch and I, holding our hands. There was tiny writing on his t-shirt, 'Hi dads, I’m your Ayden.' I looked at Mitch and he was amazed at the clarity of such a small painting and blown away with the message.

“Dad we thought Bobby might have hidden it in our painting but there was nothing when we looked again, this is awesome and as always there’s a message in it somewhere.” It confused me because it should have had Belinda in it too somewhere, strange.

“Ayden eh?” Mitch said.

“Yep his name will be Ayden and of course you're having a boy, apart from Daniela there’s been no girls born in the family for years,” I said.

“How does he do it, I mean he didn’t know about the baby, my parents are the only ones we told?” Mitch was confused a bit.

“Well he has ghost dreams baby, he sees messages we don’t see and unconsciously paints them, he really doesn’t know what he’s painting until it's finished. I’ve watched him go into a sort of trance and he happily just paints away as the world goes by, it's awesome and this one is so nice. Dad can we put it on our wall in the bedroom.”

“Yes Codes of course you can, Dad will find a hanger for you.”

We were never allowed to stick anything on our walls, Squirt was scared we would damage the pristine plaster and wood panelling but we were allowed to hang posters from the picture railings. As I have gotten older I appreciated more the absolute fine detail that went into building our house; good one great grandparents.

I still hadn’t worked out how to handle the latest crisis but as I sat there watching Mitch eat and drink I decided one thing, we have to have another talk about the direction we were taking. We had to have a solid plan on the table so I wouldn’t be set up for any more shocks. We had finished our leisurely breakfast and Dan had entertained us with stories about Rory’s revamp of his store and Tim’s adventures into the crypts of Notre Dame cathedral. He had talked Donny into going into the bowels of the church to explore but they had got lost and were there for hours before a guard caught up with them. Tim’s only explanation was that Donny manned up and looked after him. That one got a belly laugh from Squirt, until his head started to droop and dad walked him back to bed, they won't arrive back until dinnertime. I got Mitch to come for a walk with me and we held hands, later we sat on some rocks watching the surf roll in.

“Mitch I am still confused why you didn’t ask me about going to Sydney. I’m not mad your going and I don’t want to sound like a nagging boyfriend but you should have asked me before you did it.”

“I’m sorry Codes I guess I just got caught up in the moment, I apologise, it won't happen again and I can cancel the trip if you want.” He kissed me.

“No that’s not why I’m confused, we have to talk about what we are going to do, with the emphasis on we. I want to lay some ground work for the future so it doesn’t become confusing as hell, with no way to fix it.” I kissed him back.

‘Okay Codes, what’s on your mind?”

“Well the baby, I don’t want it to come between us, like I want you and me to be first. If I want to do something I will discuss it with you first and vice versa. Bel and the baby have to come second in our lives and whatever you do for them I want you to include me. I don’t want to be shut out, I don’t think that’s right.”

“Oh Codes you will always come first, I was just caught up in it and I promise the baby will come second to your happiness. I just want to be a little more involved with him that’s all. Belinda doesn’t necessarily want me to come to Sydney but she’s grateful for my help, she’s already told me she won't hold the baby over my head and if I want to pay maintenance I can but she doesn’t need it, so we agreed that I would pay for his education and uniforms, things like that, she’s not money hungry baby.”

“So when did you discuss all this with her?”

“Last week, I ran into her at the gym, her dad is moving her into the apartment today.”

“Oh so you have known for a week that you were maybe going to Sydney?” I quietly asked, then got up and headed for the house with a confused Mitch in tow. Fucking great, now I've got to compete with an unborn kid.

“Codes wait up please, come on let’s talk.”

I turned around and started walking backwards and said,

“Not interested Mitch, obviously you have it all planned so good luck with that one.” Then I restarted my frontal walk up the staircase to the porch. I went to the bedroom and Mitch tried to block my way. I pushed past him and walked out to my car and without saying another word I drove off to go do some retail therapy and to get some peace and quiet.

While sitting at my dads' coffee shop I contemplated my next move, I ticked boxes and dotted I’s while I sipped on a chocolate milkshake. It was Conner who found me, he and Ben were out doing some man crush stuff. I noticed Ben had a few of Cody Mitchell's bags and Rory and I suspected some of Wilz stuff too, all wrapped up in those bags. Conner ordered coffee for them both and I think Ben's crush is getting stronger because his eyes never left my gorgeous brother’s sweet ass.

“Got the hots bad for him haven’t you?”

“Like you wouldn’t believe Cody but don’t tell him, he likes to hang with me and I really like to hang with him,” he replied softly.

“Nothing more said Ben but I will say one thing, there have been more surprises in our house than an episode of Wheel of Fortune, you never know.” I winked, knowing full well it won't happen, I have been there and I know how Ben feels. He’s a handsome young thing with a body to die for but I don’t think Conner sees him that way, or does he? When Ben went to the toilet Conner’s eyes were up and down that kid's body like a laser light, ummm girls my ass.

I guess Conner could be gay or bi but he never gave me any indication he was yet there’s always that complex question, why hasn’t he got a girlfriend? Most of the guys on the team have lost their virginity to one girl or another, some sharing, some just biting the bullet and going for it but Con never did that. I think we all assumed he was like Mike, waiting for the Mrs Right. He could be gay, maybe he’s finding it hard to get into that genre, maybe he just wants to stay hidden? I felt sorry for him because Ben is awesome looking and they make a great set of bookends and if he’s hiding his sexuality, that’s sad.

“What’s with you and Mitch Cody, he didn’t look too bloody happy when I left the house, he was sitting on his own on the porch deep in thought?”

“Nothing much Conner, he has a lot to think about and I hope he comes up with the right answer.  It's going to be hard for him, he wants to do the right thing for Belinda and the baby but she has already told him she doesn’t need his help while I really want him to put us first and we will tackle the other stuff together. He has other ideas and I feel that he’s still thinking like a single person, I haven’t been able to change that yet.”

“Well if I know my cousin he will get around to it, he’s a deep thinker and usually comes to his own decisions when he’s left alone to think the problem out. It was that bigger problem that you helped him with that has got him over the line Codes, the whole family is indebted to you over that; they were so worried about Mike and Mitch.” Ben was genuine as he took my hand and rubbed my fingers. I could see Conner watching out the corner of my eye.

“What are you two up to, apart from shopping?” I changed the subject and Ben’s hand slipped back to the handle of his coffee cup.

“We thought we might do a workout, we still on for that Ben?”

“Of course Conner, I am going to out lift, out row and out crunch you today so all I can say is bring it on.” Ben pumped the air with is fist.

“You and whose army Ben?”

“Want to join us Cody?” Ben smiled and his brilliant white teeth were on show.

“Nah, I think it's time to go home and let Mitch off the hook, I think I owe him an apology in there somewhere.” Conner and I cleaned up the cups and wiped the table down for the girls, we don’t expect anyone to clean up after us when we are there. Conner and I worked at the café after school for a while and know how hard it is for the waiters. The boys waddled off towards the gym and the last I saw of them they had made a beeline into the sports store, maybe to get some sexy jocks, I mused? I didn’t care if Con was gay but I did care that he wasn’t being true to himself.

Arriving home I sat in the car park for a while collecting my thoughts and forming an apology for Mitch when the back door suddenly opened and Mitch grabbed the handle on my car, he swung the door open and got down on his knees.

“I’m sorry Codes, I am a thoughtless bastard and I am so sorry. I should have included you and I should have discussed it with you before I did anything, for that I’m sorry and I’m not sorry for doing this.” He leant in and kissed me deeply, a wonderful kiss that lingered on my lips for some time after.