I looked over at my kid who was staring at me like he knew something but didn’t like to say.
"What bub, tell dah."
"Thinking dah, that’s all."
"Okay, we will think together then." He went back to his biscuit bag. When Blue finished he took Andy for a cuddle then he passed him to Horse, then to me. I tied the twine around his ankle because after last night I was so tired and needed a short nap. They all went back to the surf when Aisha and Arras arrived, she and Cyn sun-baked and Ayden wanted a few minutes’ sleep too, so I ended up with two of my favourite people on my lap.
I dreamt this time and father came to me in an image. He said he was late because the fairy folk were having a national holiday to celebrate the dark prince’s demise. I told him not to send anymore gold and asked him about the forever king.
However, he was a bit evasive with his answer, in other words he didn’t know who he was. He only knew when Ayden read the ancient texts something wonderful shifted in his land, unlocking something even he didn’t understand. Something old and magical and he thought Ayden and Evan had something to do with it. I asked him if Evan had any magic in him and he said he didn’t have much before, but he is loaded up with it now. The forever king had showered him in magic gold so he could help with the dark prince. He had changed into the golden knight three times now and each time his magic gets stronger and stronger.
The dark prince is no more and all of the fairy folk are forever grateful for my, Ayden's and Evan’s assistance in the matter.
I told him what I thought and he agreed that they both seemed attached in some way. Maybe Evan is turning into the forever king?
"I will know when Ayden reads some more texts son, and I will try and glean what he knows out of him and let you know, but the forever king, knight and prince have always been a myth in our world, even the dark prince was considered folklore." I felt him smile. I didn’t want to tell him what Ayden had said, and what I was really thinking, I thought, let sleeping dogs lie, maybe we can come back to it later when I feel better.
The boys were stirring and Ayden's eyes shot open to stare at me.
"My kings." He smiled at me then he went straight back to being a baby playing with his legs again. My brain shut down because as much as I wanted to know, I didn’t want to, if you know what I mean? I like Evan in his human form, yes I love him as a human, but shit he looks awesome in his gold too. Did he just refer to me as the king? Fuck me, I don’t want to know; I really don’t want to have to deal with that, and that’s the second time he has hinted at it.
Spud disturbed our moment so I didn’t get to ask Ayden any more questions, I didn’t like doing that because it tires him out too and he gets very evasive with his answers. Talking of Ayden, he got up and said,
"Me's skim now."
"Okay bub, be careful." He ran over to where Ali was standing and picked up Spud’s skim board.
"Den, can we talk for a moment?"
"Yes Spud, you look tired, didn’t you sleep last night?"
"Not a lot Den, I was thinking about what happened last night and tried to put it all in some sort of perspective. Den when it was all happening you glowed, your whole body glowed like something was trying to work its way out, but couldn’t find its way. Also, when Ayden was talking he said his father was the forever king, did he mean you?"
"I don’t know Spud; he's just said it again but I'm loathed to ask him any more because I'm not ready for the answers he might give me."
"Den, you said you still had a lot of grey areas from your breakdown, can I suggest something and hopefully you won’t laugh at me?"
"Sure baby, go ahead."
"Well, we know who the prince is and the knight but we don’t know who the king is, do you reckon you could be that king and you have forgotten who you are?"
"It’s possible Spud, but I would have remembered if that was true, I would have always known Spud."
"Well let’s just add this up, you had forgotten a lot of things but that painting was done hundreds of years ago, maybe it was you who did it, maybe you are the king and your reincarnated into human form every time you return from where ever you go when you die. Evan said he will always be with you, and your son will always follow you too. Maybe you’re not supposed to remember past lives, and Evan and Ayden are with you to look out for you. Maybe I should add Rita in there somewhere too?"
"Maybe you have something Spud but surely I would remember something, anything?"
"You do Den; it's always been in your paintings, they tell the story, not you. You glowed last night which means you have the magic in you, you bring people to the bay and through your paintings you either warn us something’s going to happen or you suggest what might happen. I don’t think you’re supposed to remember because if you did your magic would be so powerful it might drive you insane, very much like what happened when your wife was killed."
I thought about it and tried to remember whether I felt magic, I do feel it when my butterflies are around but I always thought the fairy folk sent them to help me paint. Fucking hell Spud, I wish you wouldn’t think so much.
"Den, if you are the forever king, you would have the power to fix Shannon, you could maybe move mountains if you tried hard enough, and I believe everyone that's here is meant to be here with you. I think we all have known each other for centuries and you are bringing us all back into your life." That one hit me like a brick, how the hell do I cure Shannon? Ayden had calmed him down quite a lot, and had even got him to speak once. If what Spud is saying is true I would be the first to help him, he's such a gorgeous young man.
I needed to breathe a bit, get some fresh air, I stood up and thanked Spud for his insight and asked him to look after Andy while I had a swim. He nodded his understanding but before I left I asked him to talk to Horse, because I knew somewhere deep down that Horse was a very important key to all this, as well as Spud.
I ran down to the waters edge and dropped my shorts. I felt those butterflies in my tummy again as I waded out into the surf in only my underwear. Evan was the first at my side, he was wanting a feel so I let him have his way. I wondered if I had always been gay and then I remembered what my father had told me about the fairy folk being in the middle, not fully gay, not fully straight. Love meant love in their world, it didn’t matter who with either.
As I played with Evan’s goodies I couldn’t help but notice when I looked into his eyes something I have never seen before, just a hint of gold hidden amongst his blues. I smiled at him and he kissed me deeply, it wasn’t a gentle one, it was full blown, hard and urgent. Everyone seemed to disappear from the beach and there was only us two alone. My orgasm was strong and lasted several seconds as he soaked my mouth with his, we came together without any touching and it was the most beautiful moment I have ever experienced. The shouts and laughter slowly came back as Evan held me close, his hand was stroking my chest and he was whispering his undying love for me in my ear. It took all my strength to dive under the water and then I watched Evan guide his board out through the rough, he looked back at me several times and those butterflies went spastic in my tummy.
He's learning how to skim today, Spud and Ali have him on a board and are showing him the technique, of course he's doing very well and I saw that stream of gold trailing behind him. Horse had taken over looking after Andy, he tried to have a conversation with me but I was too weary of it all.
"Talk to Spud Horse, he's got some very special ideas on what's going on. I think you may have to re-think your plans. I smiled then wanted to run my hands over his chest. I'm not only bisexual, I'm a thorough slut by the looks of it.
When I was readying myself to go back to the shack Ayden said he wanted to stay and perfect his moves, so I kissed him goodbye and marched back to the house with Andy. I put him in a sling and we rinsed off, and of course he giggled his way through it, then I wrapped him in a fluffy baby towel. Then up to the cafe we went and Alex took over, to dress him again for the rest of his day.
Rita already had his warm milk bottle at the ready and I watched them fuss over him, it warmed me to hear his cute squeals and giggles. I left them too it and was halfway down the porch when I heard a scream coming from the cafe, it was Andy. When I got back he quietened down but struggled in Rita's arms as his hands shot out for me. I felt special and took him from Rita, and with the milk and a smirk I marched back to my seat. I couldn’t help a little giggle myself, it must be my pheromones again. I looked into his beautiful eyes as he suckled on his bottle, it squealed as he let go and smiled at me. Memories of Ayden as a baby came flooding back tenfold, my butterflies were happy.
Saturday came around and I was raring to go. It was Birdy’s game day and I wouldn’t miss it for the world, in fact he wouldn’t let me miss it because I got eight texts and four visits from him just to make sure I was still going. He was up early and sitting on his steps waiting for everyone to start to go to the oval. I heard his electric ride as he sped up his driveway then he waved to me because he had to get to the ground early. That was at eight in the morning, by nine Jay and Hulk had gone to get him so at least he could have some breakfast. He had another three hours before the game starts, it’s so exciting for him. Eventually he came up to make sure just one more time we were going to watch, so I reassured him we would all be there to cheer him on.
When we got to the ground everyone was there, even Mike and Jack. Jay and Hulk had brought along a barbeque and were putting on a sausage sizzle, they charged two dollars a sausage and the money will go into the school accounts to buy uniforms and more balls. Evan had Ayden on his shoulders as we walked up to the field and when we got there he put him down, he then shot off to get in some footy practice with Birdy. I don’t know whether he gave him some magic or not but he certainly starred when the game started.
He giggled his way up and down the oval and if I wasn’t aware of Ayden's magic I would have thought Birdy would make a good Olympic runner, he was as fast as lightning. We did what we all promised to do and cheered him on, of course the other little guys didn’t miss out either, by the end of the very short game my throat was hoarse. When the siren went Birdy's tally was five goals and three points, he was the star of the day. There is no way that anyone could wipe that smile off his face as he jumped up into my arms and thanked me for cheering him on, but I had to refrain from kissing his cheeks because his mates were watching.
Hulk then put him on his shoulders and marched him around the oval like a champion, as his team followed close behind. Jay was being the very proud adoptive father and no one could wipe that smile off his face, even when Tony started haggling for a discount on a sausage in bread. Cyn and Tony then started having an argument over his cheapness, so everything was quite normal.
Ayden and Birdy were doing some kick to kick and Evan kept smiling at me because he had a treat for Birdy when we get back home.
The after party was awesome and Birdy didn’t know who to talk to first, he was so excited and was even more excited when Evan passed the phone to him. He was talking to Daniel Lawrence, Cody's partner about football. Dan is a champion footballer and Birdy was talking at fifty miles an hour, telling him how the game play went. He's becoming more and more Australian and the Brisbane Bombers (Dan's team) is his favourite ever team now.
Rita had a cake and ice cream while Andy slept in Blue’s arms, then Horse made a dish up for Ayden who had suddenly woken up; I think he can smell cake in his sleep.
"What was the argument with Tony about Cyn?" I sat next to her.
"Nothing much, just Tony being Tony, he was being a dick to Jay and he wants me to invest in some more holiday flats." I stared at her.
"But he knows now he has to talk to you or Evan before that happens, I suggested buying some old houses in Longford and renovating them. It’s just as busy as here Den, and there are hundreds of empty holiday houses there." She smiled. Keep thinking like that Cyn, Longford is a great holiday town. No need to spoil our bay, which reminds me that Evan’s houses should almost be finished by now, and I had better get onto buying a barbeque for Rita's properties. That was my cue to talk to Horse, he said it was all taken care of and I would get a bill soon. He's got Jack and Donk to build an outdoor kitchen onto each unit and he's ordered the sink and barbeques and they will be installed next week.
I was thinking about them when something popped into my head, just a thought, I must ask Rita about when I can get her on her own. The night was full of fun and laughter and I suspect Evan had more than one beer, as I put Ayden to bed he crept up on me and started humping away, and of course I was up for anything he had on his mind.
I had my opportunity the next morning, the place was deserted with only a few breakfast diners when Rita came down with coffee for us both. I think Ayden must have gone with the boys because he wasn’t in his bed and his board was gone.
"What were you feeling the other night my love, you were glowing like your sequinned frock?"
"Oh Den, I felt wonderful, I felt magic all over, I have no idea where it came from but thank god no one was harmed."
"Well you helped a lot, do you remember what you did?"
"Yes Den, I do and I don’t. I want to remember the power I had but I also want to forget and just be me, if that’s ever possible now."
"I think Ayden was helping all of us, he and I can't kill anyone, but you and Evan could."
"I shudder to think about that Den, let’s just leave it until we have firm answers, another coffee?" She smiled.
"Yes please my friend." I grinned at her.
I was sitting thinking about Riley and his children, it’s been ages since they were here, maybe they aren’t part of the big plan, whatever that is? Rita walked back with the coffee and biscuits.
"Are your houses nearly finished?"
"Yes Den, just the outdoor kitchens to be done now and I can start advertising them." She grinned.
"Well you know I'm picking up that tab for you." I grinned back.
"Yes, thank you." Well she's accepted it after all, not even a fight over it.
"They will look awesome I know, Evan’s are going to be great too, more money for him as well."
"You know we don’t need any more money Den; I think it’s just something different to do. I have cut back on Alex's hours too, because I want him to spend more time with Andy while Blue’s still the world champion, he has to practise more so they both are only going to do four hours a day. I have too many staff as it is, and also with the boys living with me they basically are on call anytime anyway."
"When Aisha and Arras go home are they taking the two house keepers with them?"
"No Den, they will stay here but I don’t know yet whether Ali and Spud are going to go back to their place or not."
"I doubt it honey, Spud’s not going anywhere I think."
"Well the holidays will be over soon so they will have a lot of time to work it out."
Ayden shot through the shop and banged open the door, he rushed up to me running into my leg and said to Rita,
"Cheesy burgas nanny." She gave him a gruff look, but then remembered.
"Oh I forgot the basket, it’s almost ready, will you take it down Den?"
I laughed, the guys must have sent him up to get their breakfasts. I helped Rita pack the basket and took my son’s hand to walk him down to the beach. He screamed at the guys and they started coming in. Alex was already there with Andy and it looks like they were settled into the shade for the morning. I also noticed the twine was tied around Andy's ankle, I was so jealous. As the boys ate their breakfast I started getting an idea for a painting as I leant into Evans body, I wondered what it would look like with just us in it, but I lost that thought when Ayden started to whine about something. He ran off up to the cafe again and everyone looked at each other, he must have forgotten something. When he returned he had two bags of cookies, one for him and one for Blue.
"Better now?" I asked.
"Yep." He grinned at Blue who was starting to stuff his face with the delicious treats.
During the next week containers were being shifted and dropped at Tony's and in our back yard. Evan’s stock arrived and his shop was looking a little empty as the holidays were almost over, so the boys did their thing and helped him stock it again. The lounge room was full of open cartons as we stacked goods onto the shelves. Also, he had ordered bigger sizes so we needed to make more room for them. I had finished the paintings Tony wanted for his order and he will ship them off as soon as he empties his container.
Andy was learning how to walk in Ayden's old battered walker and the guys were having some fun with him by pushing him out of the way and giving him a speedy ride. He dribbled and giggled his way through the shop and onto the porch then he banged it into the safety gates at the top of the stairs.
When he realised he wasn’t going anywhere he decided to talk to Rita’s customers. I think I have been here before, Tush looked out of the kitchen and yelled,
"Only baby food for that little one today thank you." I heard giggles coming from the tables.
I expected to be called but nothing happened except a very distraught baby was then placed in his high chair and Rita tried to feed him some custard.
"He won’t feed in that state Rita." I heard a familiar voice coming from the stairs. It was Lindsay, he was down for his bi monthly fishing.
"Well if you think you can do better then be my guest Mr. Lindsay." Rita would have already known Andy wouldn’t be interested in food, she was only trying to distract him.
Lindsay sat down opposite the high chair and took Andy out to sit on his knees. Andy was in awe of the big man and kept slapping his chest with his tiny hand, his tantrum all forgotten.
Within minutes he had him eating the custard and laughing at the silly faces he was pulling. I went to sit with him while Rita cooked his catch of the day.
"I hear you are going great guns with your clothing range Den, it’s the talk of Europe at the moment. We just got back from a conference in Paris and it seems everyone is wearing your stuff." He grinned.
"Well it’s really Evan’s, but yes it’s taken off dramatically over there, and here too thanks to Cody Mitchell and Rory."
"Yes a couple of very meticulous designers they are too, have you got any of the shadow boxes left I've heard so much about?"
"Yes Lindsay, you can have a look after lunch." I smiled, somehow I loved this self made millionaire, he was on my level.
Cyn came up the stairs and greeted him then sat with us.
"Oh, are you sitting in on our business lunch Den?"
I stammered a,
"No Cyn, why?"
"Good, Lindsay and I have business to discuss, uninterrupted. I thought if you were sitting with us I had better re-schedule our meeting." She smiled.
"Okay, okay, I get the hint, come bubby, let’s go smash some walls." I wasn’t included in their meeting and took Andy off Lindsay. I placed him in his walker and pushed him up to my end of the porch. I sat there and watched them destroy the fish then Lindsay handed over a large folder for Cyn to look at. She wowed her way through the pages as Lindsay ate his chocolate pudding.
I took Andy from his walker and placed him standing on the porch then held his arms onto my legs so he could practice standing up. He of course thought it was another game and spat and giggled until he had to flop down onto his padded bum.
With the meeting over Lindsay then walked into the shop and Cyn waved me goodbye and left for her gallery with the folder under her arm.
He bought five at mate’s rates and even helped me pack them up, then I helped him to the car.
"Is everything okay with Cynthia?" I had to ask.
"Yes Den, just some new business we are involved in."
"Okay." I felt left out once again as he laughed and drove away in his old Rolls Royce.
Tiny arrived for a surf, he sat and had coffee for awhile and played with Andy who was getting ready for his nap.
"Have you found anyone yet Tiny?"
"Yes Den, Anne and Mike are going to job share, he will do it when he's not at university and she will do it all the other times. It makes sense Den; they are only next door and quite frankly I won’t need Mike out of holiday season, I won’t be busy."
"What about Kate's shop?"
"Mavis and Mel will job share that one, she thinks there’s enough of the boys here to help Evan if he gets busy and the chemist shop is just around the corner for her.
"It's all cool Den, and Jack doesn’t want Mike working all the time either, but he knows working in the surgery is going to give him some medical insight, he can even help me with some things."
"That's great Tiny, so I'll stop looking then." I grinned.
"Thanks Den for everything you do for us, I really mean it mate, you are one of the good guys."
"Aww, I don't do much Tiny."
"Yes you do, don’t underestimate what people think of you around here, you’re the king."
I blushed then he rubbed my shoulder and left for the beach.
I must get onto finding a wife for him, and did he just call me a king? Whatever happened to the story teller theory?
I was left with little Andy sleeping in the bean bag, Ayden had disappeared early with the boys so I thought I would do another painting. No such luck though because a truck loaded with prefabricated concrete walls went past. The builders will have them installed in no time at Blue and Alex's house. There has been very little noise coming from that build and I think Cyn's getting most of the dust, but it’s early days yet, it’s the fitting out that will take the longest time and Horse like always throws everything at a new build and uses heaps of workers. I heard screaming coming through the shop.
"Nanny, burger for Ayden." He ran past me and up to the cafe kitchen where the negotiations were made on what type of burger he was wanting; thankfully he had already showered.
There are a few things you should know about him; he never surfs unless he has an adult nearby. If he does surf alone it’s from the shallows, not way out with the men. His shower is set to a temperature more fitting for a toddler’s skin and he can’t turn it up to hot at all. The big guy’s taps are out of his reach so he can’t burn himself, I have Trip to thank for that from when he installed the new water heater. He's safe in the water and in the shower. I worry about him, but I needn’t worry, if you can understand that.
When the order was completed he ran down to say hi to his dah, he automatically kissed Andy's cheek then clambered onto my lap to await his favourite food.
"Did you have a good surf son?"
"Yes dah, I in the small surf todays, my mates wanted to play wif themselves." I had a dirty thought.
"Good, did pa wipe out again?"
"Three times dah, but he's getting gooder more and more."
"Must be his magic."
"He doesn’t know how to use it dah." He rolled his eyes.
"Oh stupid me, sorry." I wondered how much he had and if it would make a difference in bed, of course it has.
Spud brought his burger down and Ayden started destroying it, he doesn’t like lettuce or cucumber, but the cook still persists, hoping one day he will eat them.
"What are you going to paint Den?"
"I was thinking about painting Evan in his gold suit."
"That will be awesome, he did look great, didn’t he?"
"He certainly did." Then I got an image from Ayden.
Of course Evan was in his gold suit surfing, what else? And to add injury to insult he was wiping out yet again. I could hear my son giggling into his burger.
My porch was full this afternoon, the wind had calmed down and the surf had become non-existent. Horse had Andy and was showing him how to play with the blocks, but he found them better suited to place in his mouth. Blue had our son on his lap and they were talking about surfing again. Tiny, Donk, Trip and Nuts were catching up finally. It's been awhile since all five of them have been in the one room. Donk had taken a day off to surf, he was telling the boys his workload was mounting up but he just wanted a day to himself before he tackled some more of it. He was telling Nuts that Jack hasn’t stopped laughing since he came down here, but was worried he might be overdoing it a bit.
Horse asked about Kate and he replied she couldn’t stop smiling either, she was so happy and he was warmed inside every time he heard her.
Arras and Aisha came up and they had bad news, they had to go home early and help the eldest son with something important, they will be leaving next week. It wasn’t good news but we all understood.
"But what about the baby?" Horse asked.
"She will probably be born at home my friend, it all depends on where we are at the time, but I would prefer her to be a dual citizen and live in Australia, it's less complicated here." He smiled.
"So we won’t get to see her if she's born over there."
"Yes and no my friend, if we don’t get back in time for Mr. Tiny to deliver her we will lease a plane for whoever wants to come to the palace for the birth." Arras has it all covered but I'm hoping they make it back here so we all can celebrate and welcome the little bubby, I then had a thought and wondered how she would look as a teenager.
Birdy came by to have something to eat and a milkshake, he didn’t sit on my knee but sat next to me, he doesn’t like the guys thinking he's a baby, so our cuddles are just when we are alone. I leant over and whispered,
"Is everything all right son?"
"Yes papa Den, just hungry today, Jay’s working, Hulk’s coming soon."
"Have you done much work this morning?"
"Yes papa, just a little work then some more play."
"Good boy." I didn’t want to encourage him to be working all the time, he has to be a kid too.
A powerful looking young man came up the porch and picked Birdy up like he was a feather and plopped him on his knees, I hadn’t noticed before but Hulk was maturing beautifully, there was very little scarring showing on his face now and he was as handsome as hell when he smiled. He tickled Birdy who was trying to get away from him, then he slipped him over onto my knees. After leaning back, he tried to tickle Hulk but he was too quick for him and moved away. I was thinking Birdy was feeling rather good now, he's resting on my knees and was laughing his head off.
Ayden had a brilliant thought and slipped down from Blue’s lap, then ran up to the cafe and I heard Rita yell,
"No!" Then he ran giggling back to us.
"No more burger?"
"No Hoth, nanny not in good mood todays." Horse placed him on his knees and Ayden’s head found those lovely firm pillows.
"Yes Evan?" He leaned over and whispered,
"Stop it." I blushed, how the hell does he know what I'm thinking?