I found Ayden in the cafe having some veggie patties.
"Den, take that tomato sauce off him will you?" Rita asked.
I looked again and his patties were smothered in it so I took the squeeze bottle and placed it back on her counter.
"Oh?" My boy was a bit perplexed.
"Too much baby, you will get sick."
"Not!" was all he said to me, I guess he won’t but it couldn’t be good for him.
"Was Cyn pleased with her paintings Den?" A slight smile appeared on Rita's face. Of course she knew, she knows everything.
"I'm going to sit and paint and if you think I'm going to answer that silly question, think again." I heard her talking and laughing with Ayden, I guess he knew too.
I took out yet another large canvas and began painting the image that was planted in my head when I was returning from Cyn's. I drew Cyn and Alice sitting in a clearing beside a pond, they both had fairy wings on and they were both making daisy chains and laughing. I will paint this in private and give it to Cyn as a bonus.
Evan was running around packing his board into its cover, while I was packing his travel case. I opened the drawer and took out the lube but had second thoughts, I thought don't encourage him Den, leave it there. I was excited for Evan to go on holidays and wanted him to have a great time. I slipped a photo of Ayden, Rita and I into his bag, just in case he wants to put it by his bed.
I made sure his phone had its international roaming turned on and he had plenty of clean underwear. I only put his boring ones in the case, not his sexy ones. Plenty of shorts and plenty of tank tops and towels. He checked it out and added some personal stuff which he got from our stash in the kitchen.
"No lotion bubs?"
"No Den, I will buy a tube at Kate's before we go."
"You can get Horse to rub it in bub, I believe he's very good at that."
"Den, what am I going to do with you?"
"Drop em and we can find out." That was the end of our packing, and I seemed to be packing a bit myself.
Ayden had been up at Rita's scavenging again, he called out so we scrambled for our shorts.
"What doing dah?"
"Just packing pa's suitcase bub, did you get a burger?"
'No." His sad looking face appeared, then he suddenly remembered something.
"Lotion?" My boy knows Evan loves his lotion.
"Yes bub, lotion packed."
He sent me an image of Evan dripping in the slippery stuff while body surfing, and giggled as he hopped on our bed and jumped up and down. I must get onto getting him a trampoline, he didn't get one for Christmas, I had forgotten about it.
Our last night was awesome, everyone was on the porch and Rita had made a beautiful farewell dinner. Blue was so excited he and Alex canoodled all night, and I think Ayden was taking bets on Blue’s anticipated win. I had plenty to do while Evan was away and Rita has plenty of backup in her cafe. The shop is still a bit busy but I can handle that with Mike’s help.
I made slow love to Evan, I didn't want it to end and he was trying to remember every touch, every move so he can take that memory with him. In the morning we said our farewells, Ayden had tears and so did I as we waved them goodbye.
They were all taking their boards and will surf on their days off.
"Yes okay son, just missing pa, that's all."
"Mys too dah, but king say ok."
"Good, it helps to know."
I looked at him and he was playing with his little fairy. I had brought out the stones so she could sing to him and it was fascinating, no song was the same and her dance moves often changed.
"Must go soon."
"Oh, and where are you going?"
"That's kingdom son, and why do you have to go there?"
"To help mys king course." He was adamant he had to go and help my father, but I'm fucked if I know what's going on.
"What sort of help does he need?"
He went silent and clammed up so I guess I will know in good time. He’d enough of his dancing girl so I replaced the stones into their boxes in the safe and opened the shop. I felt a slight chill in the air as I looked at the nearly empty foreshore.
There was no one around, Jay was working at Tony's with Anne's help and Cyn had Abs to help her if needed. There were the four boys, Arras and Aisha, as well as Ali and Spud as backups, we should be okay. My phone rang, Evan had reached the airport and we talked for ten minutes with not really saying anything much, then he was being called to board the plane. I felt down and after I served a couple of surfers with new suits I went up to Rita's to sit with her. She was doing a crossword and Ayden was helping her. I don't know where he pulls it from but she was asking him questions and he was actually answering correctly.
She looked at me and passed the milk over as I sat down with yet another coffee.
"He's only at the airport Den, so why the long face?"
"I miss him."
"You should have gone; the shop would have been alright without the two of you."
"I know; I just didn't want to take Ayden on such a long flight, he's too young."
"He would have coped Den, but I know why you stayed here and I think it's very admiral of you."
"You want Evan to have a good time with his mates, not to be a babysitter for bub and you."
"Well he needs to breathe a bit, the fresh surroundings will do him good."
"That they will Den, he will come back all refreshed and ready to do it all over again, maybe you might go next time."
"Maybe, I just feel like if Ayden and I leave the bay everything will fall apart."
"Nonsense, I'm part of your magic aren't I? I wouldn't let that happen, not here." As she smiled, I took her hand and squeezed it then said,
"A very special part of our dream Rita, I know I'm just being silly."
Bubble had been cooking something on the grill and I think he had been listening. All of a sudden the music was turned up and he pulled me off the chair.
"Dance with me Den." He bumped and ground his way through a Latin American tune as I tried to keep up with him, Ayden was clapping and Rita was perving. I tried to do his moves but he was so much more limbered up. I was swirled around and he put a big smile on my face when he humped my leg. Then he whispered in my ear,
"Tush and I will sleep with you tonight if you like, you won’t have any bad dreams with us there." I nearly screamed with excitement but then heard in the back of my mind,
"Den, stop it." I felt so guilty.
I let go of him reluctantly and grabbed my son and we danced all the way up the porch. I took him into the bedroom where we decided to have our afternoon naps. I was a little hot and bothered because I got a good feel of Bubble's hard butt and it felt like Evan’s. My dreams were a bit raunchy and when I woke I laid there thinking how the hell was I going to cope for the next two weeks?
Donk and Kate had come up for dinner and it was so good to see some familiar faces. Cyn and Abs arrived shortly after but I had no idea what Arras and Aisha were up to. Later I learned they apparently were dining on their roof again with Ali and Spudley.
Kate looked beautiful as she wore a green day dress, it's a great colour and suits her skin tones. They chatted away about the surfing comp, Kate told Donk he should have gone so he kissed her and said he would miss her too much, she blushed.
I asked her how the business was going and she said Mavis is a god send, she did the counter while Kate did the drugs side of it.
"It's been really good Den, as a matter of fact I'm making more than I ever did in the tea rooms. I'm loving meeting new people and seeing the dawn every day. In the past I was up at dawn but cooking in the kitchen, now I have time to smell the roses."
Abs smiled at her and I wondered if he was thinking what I was, she looked almost like a spitting image of Cyn’s fairy. Which reminded me, I had finished her other painting and I will give it to her in private. Rita served a table of six then she brought a pot of some eastern type food down with flat bread, it was delicious and Ayden loved the bread dipped in tomato sauce. Donk was joking around with Abs and they decided to have a morning surf, maybe call Arras and have some fun while the other guys weren’t around. I'm sure Ali will be included in that mix somewhere, there isn't anyone left to use the beach and it was dead quiet on the foreshore.
I put my son to bed, he didn't want a story and was just deep in thought as I covered him up.
"What's up Bub?"
"Thing dah, just thing."
"Okay, we had better make plans for tomorrow, I need to go and see Jack and then we can go play in the games room for awhile, how does that suit you?"
No answer, just a smile and a yawn. I stayed with him while he went to sleep, there were no dreams, just that Ayden smile. I kissed his forehead and headed for my shower.
It's good but not really the same, but I did have a pull thinking of Evan until Bubble's image arrived and I blew instantly. Woops, sorry bubs.
The tapping on my window woke me and my son was sitting up in my bed staring at me. Donk had called by to see if Ayden was coming out to play. I didn't have to ask him twice.
"I'll bring him down Donk, see you there." He smiled and left.
I struggled to get up because my dreams had kept me occupied during the night, I felt like I had no sleep at all. Ayden hopped up and down while I slipped his suit on then the lifejacket. I tightened it and he shot out the back door. Arras, Ali, Donk and Abs were already there waiting for him. They placed themselves in position and Ayden was towed out by Abs beyond the small surf.
He was awesome and his smile was beautiful as he surfed the waves, with loads of credit to the boys who stood watching him while he did six runs. Then it was their turn because he was tuckered out. We paddled in the shallows and I pushed him around on his board some more but then he was done with surfing and wanted a burger. I saw Spud with the breakfast basket and his skim board under his arm, he put the basket down and waved to Ali, then he dropped the board and started skimming along the shore. I headed for the tree and dried my son off as he searched for his burger and biscuits and I waited for the guys to come up.
"They will be almost there by now Den, has he called?"
"No Arras, he's maybe settling in or sleeping, it's a long flight."
"He will ring when he's got the time Den so don't fuss, he won’t forget us," Ali said, reminding me once again that I worry too much.
Aisha arrived for a dip and had a bacon and egg burger before she did, she only ate half of it and gave the rest to Ali who woofed it down. Spud was watching him and pinched his belly.
"Diet soon Ali?"
"No, I don't need to my love. You can work it off for me." Donk groaned this time.
"When are my brothers coming father?"
"Soon son, they are packing as we speak, they are excited to see you again, it's been a long time."
"You will love them Den, they are full of mischief, more than Bubble and Tush." He winked. He knows what happened in the kitchen yesterday and I blushed at the thought. Ali's brothers weren’t gay so I was safe. Aisha dropped her coverings and stepped onto the beach and Arras was all over her as he pulled her into the water. I cleaned everything up and grabbed my boy who was looking a little pale today, maybe he does need more sleep. We showered and he got on my bed.
"I misses pa."
"So do I Bub, he will ring you later."
"Good." He cuddled up to me and we both had a nap.
Evan had only been gone three days and I was feeling it, my sleep was disturbed and my dreams horrible. Ayden just carried on like there was nothing wrong, and as a matter of fact so did everybody else.
He called me when he arrived and said they were going out sightseeing. Blue was tied up with interviews and media so only Mel and Trip were going with him. Rita tried to keep me busy and of course I painted. Cyn was only putting one or two at a time on her site so I had a back log of works in the spare room. I took out yet another big canvas on the fourth day, I thought because I was so wound up, painting it might help relax me.
My butterflies had been going crazy from when I showered and dressed, something was up and I prayed to God it wasn’t Evan this time.
I started to draw something, just doodling on the large canvas, then I tranced.
"It's beautiful Den, is that Ayden as a teenager?" I looked at Rita and drank the water she was offering. Ayden had crawled onto my lap and fallen asleep and I looked at the painting. Ayden was a teenager and he was so beautiful; I was seeing him in the future. He had a pair of leafy green shorts on and a golden bow and arrow in his hands, his hair wrapped around his body giving him more shape. He was in a forest and there was so much foliage I could hardly see his fairy folk; they were hidden in there. I checked that it was finished then ate the sandwich while Rita was still looking it over.
"He's going to be a heartbreaker Den, he's so handsome in this painting."
"He certainly is honey, he looks like Evan."
"Yes, but he still has your chin and nose, Evan’s is more rounded."
I felt a pang of loneliness when she said that and I so wanted him to be in my arms this very minute.
I took the painting inside because I didn't want to share it with the world yet, then I placed it in the spare room to dry.
Rita had taken Ayden to the cafe so I went to have a lie down. I locked the bedroom door and made love to myself. I was so randy I even did a few things I hadn't done before, like I used Evan’s lube and a finger thing. I fell asleep but the banging on the door woke me up sometime later. Ayden wanted in, so I slipped my shorts on and opened the door.
"Have go soon."
"Not again, I thought you went the other day?"
"Not yet dah, later."
I was to find out what he was talking about later that night.
During the night I had dreams of Ayden as a teenager, he was just like the painting and so beautiful, like his pa, he was running in a forest with his bow and arrow. I don't think he was hunting, just doing target practice or playing.
"Son can we talk for awhile?"
"I want to ask you if we can talk to the young prince tonight, it's urgent we speak to him."
"Will he be in any danger?"
"No son, he can't travel into our world but his presence and image can be seen. The other Kingdoms are not happy we can see and talk to him and want him as their prince too. I have told them repeatedly he was everyone’s prince but they want to hear it from his lips. He will be here in his teen shape but his spirit and earthly body will stay with you. It will take about ten minutes of your time. I did speak to him the other day but he's reluctant to do it without your permission."
"So you won’t put weapons in his hands and you will send his shape back?"
"Yes son, and the other kings want to know if he could help us transport that other beautiful painting you did of him to us, they want to gaze on his beauty forever, they are jealous we have one already."
"Take what you want father, just not anything Ayden or I hold dear, especially Ayden's Eyes."
"Thank you my son, can you lay with him and if he doesn’t wake within ten minutes, you can bring him back by waking him in your world."
"Yes father, give me five minutes."
"Oh, and that school teacher is right, he is a very intelligent boy, we have been teaching him also, so that has maybe helped, like I did with you son."
"I thought you may have been behind it, thank you so much."
I woke up with a start and got out of bed then put my shorts on. He was sleeping but not dreaming as I crawled into bed with him. I wasn’t scared for Ayden because he has done this before; I will make this the last time though because if Evan found out he would be completely pissed off. His eyes started flickering the second I placed my arm under his shoulders and pulled him in to me. I watched as he smiled and even giggled in his dreams, his little legs even moved like he was running. My watch said ten minutes but I gave him some more time and took it to fifteen. He woke with a start then he smiled at me, he was very happy and gave me many, many kisses. The sun was coming up and it threw a golden glow in his room.
"Are you okay bubby?"
"Yes dah, was good, I seed my king and mys fairy, I meets uncles and more king."
"Good, and they can see you now?"
"Yes dah, they seed me all the times now." He laughed.
I looked around his room and all his paintings were still there, but when I poked my head into the spare room, his forest painting had disappeared along with half my stock. I was very pleased they took what they wanted, they can share them around the kingdoms.
I took a juice from our fridge and opened it for him then went back. His bed was covered in gold coins and he was playing with them.
"Drink this bub, what's with all the coins?"
"They pay for paining dah, this yours."
"What? They didn't have to pay me for them, bloody hell what am I going to do with them?"
"Play wit dem dah." He laughed.
He looked like he had a good nights sleep and there were no scratches or bruising. I guess that's because he didn't physically go there.
I sat him on the chair in the shower and washed him down, he's going to start using the big toilet soon so I had bought a special seat for him and a step. He did well for his first go and he giggled through it, probably thinking he already knows how to do it properly.
"Good morning Den, sleep well?" Rita's smiling face greeted me as Ayden was engrossed with his egg sandwich.
"I sure did honey and you?"
"Yes, I had some weird dreams though, I was running in a forest with Ayden, it was a beautiful dream. I think your painting had an effect on me because bubby was a teenager." She laughed.
I didn't say anything to her as she would maybe be a bit pissed off about it. I had gathered up the coins but there was no way that bag would sit in Evan’s safe so I shoved it under Ayden's bed. They were all different shapes and had his teen image on them, I wanted to show everybody but kept my mouth shut. That will be a first.
My phone rang and Evan's face flickered onto the screen, Alex had shown him how to video link me. He looked so fucking good I wanted to lick my screen. I placed it up against the salt and pepper shakers on the table so we all could see him. Ayden screamed and reached for him so I grabbed his arms and told him to just talk to pa.
He babbled away and Evan was laughing because he couldn’t understand a word he was saying.
"He's telling you he has a date with Donk this morning to go surfing and he wishes you were here. How's Blue going bub, there’s nothing on the TV here?"
"He's good Den, I just left his room. It's his final today and there's no hope of anyone catching up to him even if he wipes out, he's won. It's awesome here Den, you would love it, just the architecture would drive you crazy. I am going to send you a photo, or Alex is, we found this painting in the museum that's really old Den but it has your fairies in it and something else that is confusing me."
"Really do you know who the artist is?"
"No Den, the write up said artist unknown, but it was done in the fifteenth century or there abouts."
"God, I can’t wait to see it, and I can't wait to see you bub."
"Den, are you in the cafe?"
"Yes bubs, say hello to Rita." She poked her head into the shot and waved at him. They talked a bit and I knew what he wanted, so when they finished I said for him to ring us back in five minutes. I got a smirk from Rita as I closed it down and said I wouldn’t be a minute.
I took my phone to the bedroom and he called back. He was on his hotel bed in the nude, that was enough to get me going. He wanted me to scan it over my whole body as I played with myself. He did the same for me and I didn't see any love bites on his perfect skin, it was so awesome that he was nearly here with me.
I showed him my pre lube and when I erupted he got a close up. He did the same and as I watched him open his legs wide, I got some awesome close ups too. I wish I knew how to record on this phone? I will ask Cyn later or better still Spud.
I was thoroughly spent but managed another small deposit, just watching him made that happen.
I was exhausted when he reluctantly hung up, and I must have fallen asleep for awhile. My father appeared in my dream.
"Is everything all right there father?"
"Yes son, he did more than unite our kingdoms, he read the ancient one's books to us, we haven’t been able to read them for eons. He's more intelligent than we thought and somewhere he has learnt the old languages. He spoke to every king in their own special dialect, they are in awe of him."
"That's good father, I am pleased for your kingdom."
"His uncles spoilt him, and gave him more memories by playing in the forest with him, just like his painting."
"Please thank everybody father and take back the gold, there was no need to pay for any paintings, you are family and they were a gift."
"It was the Dwarves son, they insisted we do that because they have an over abundance of gold and had to offload some of it, they even insisted we put Ayden's image on them so they can see him all day." He laughed; I laughed along in my sleep.
"Get some sleep son, I have to get back to the party, the girls will be dancing soon, ask Ayden." He giggled.
I woke with a start, I had slept longer than I intended, I splashed my face and threw the gammy towel into the wash. I wondered what Evan was doing at the moment, he looked so good.
Ayden was sitting with Cyn when I arrived, she had come for breakfast.
"Have a good time Den?"
"Yes Cyn it was awesome; hey do you know how to record a face call on the phone?"
"Yes Den, I will show you later, I don't think he will ring back anytime soon though." She laughed. I remembered her painting and went to get it, I hope my father didn't take that one. It was still there sitting against the wall and she was so happy she cried.
"Now you have the full set Cyn."
"Thank you Den, it's wonderful, Alice was beautiful wasn’t she?"
"Yes she was Cyn. Hang it in your hallway then you will see her every time you pass by."
"I will Den and thank you."
"Blue's winning and it's his last run today, Evan said he can't lose."
"Good, because I've put cash on him to win."
"Just about everyone has down here Cyn except me, I hope you get a shitload."
"Well the odds weren’t great but I will get some extra, Blue's now an international star so his odds have dropped somewhat."
"Good; he is a star, not so good for the punters though." I laughed again.
"Den can I leave the painting here and get Abs to pick it up later? I'm going to see Kate and take her a coffee."
"Good, say hi to her from me."
"I will honey, just a girly catch up, and I want to get some more stuff off Mavis, she's sold heaps more."
"That's wonderful Cyn, she may not have anything left,"
"I doubt that Den, her cupboards are full." She smiled.
She left with three coffees in hand and I placed the painting in the lounge room then opened the shop. Rita had some diners and Ayden was wanting to go surfing. I put his suit on after Donk pulled up, he grabbed Spud and Alex and took Bubs’ hand to go down for a surf.
I was so pleased he wasn’t going to miss out and when Ali spoke to him about letting him know when he's had enough he did something out of the blue. He answered him in Arabic.
Ali was staring at him like he was seeing him for the first time and Ayden started giggling.
"He spoke Arabic Den, how does he know my language?"
"I don't know Ali, maybe he's been studying it." I laughed, it was a nervous laugh because I know how exactly he learnt to speak it, when he was at my father's place.
Now they think I'm the stupid one. Ali seemed to be pre-occupied with something then he spoke to Ayden in his native tongue. Ayden listened then nodded he wasn’t going to answer him except saying,
"Let go, time waste." He took Donks’ hand and pulled him towards the beach.
I think more than reading old texts happened in his dreams, I think the Kingdoms spoke many languages and he was enabled to converse with each and every one of them. I will have to have a talk to him about it when he gets back.
I did have a big talk to him, he was happy he went there and an image came up of girls dancing but they were all dressed in zoo animal costumes. I guess as a teen there he saw lots of skin on those lovely ladies. He promised me he would only speak English when others were around, how much he understands is unknown, but he understands promises.
I received a text from Evan and he finally worked out how to send me a photo. There was one of him standing in the bathroom in the nude and one of the painting he found. I couldn't see it properly on the screen so I will ask Spud to transfer it to the laptop.
I also stood in the bathroom and took a photo of myself nude, I thought I looked pretty spunky in it and sent it off to Evan immediately so he wouldn’t forget me. The message I got back said he was exhausted looking at it so could he have a face pic.
The next message was for me to go look at the laptop as he had sent us an email of Blue’s win, so I went out to the porch to get Spud onto doing some little chores for me. There was sort of party going on out there, the troops had gathered to celebrate but Spud immediately got onto the computer. The photos were unreal, Blue was smiling and there were various photos of the guys. I missed them terribly when I saw them all in a group shot. They were passed around and I talked to Spud about moving the other photo onto it. He sent it in an email and the red alert immediately dinged to show the computer had received it. After everyone had looked through the photos they started opening champagne and beers, I had only one just to fit in, but I normally only have wine and only one at that.
I opened the email and discarded the photo of Evan, then double clicked on the other one.
It looked like a sixteenth century painting, the lines were more rigid and the prince was dressed in a green, tight fitting outfit. I could almost see his wings and the fairy folk in the green foliage but that could have been my imagination. It looked like it was Ayden with his golden bow and arrow, so I looked more closely at the paint strokes and they weren’t mine, someone has painted this hundreds of years ago. I turned the computer around and asked,
"Have a look at this Rita, see what you think?"
She gasped because she knew it was her grandson, she was there when I painted our version.
"Den, this is impossible."
"In our world maybe, but not Ayden's." Everyone wanted to see it but before they did I got Spud to bring my photo of my painting up and place them side to side. They were almost identical, his stance was the same, his smile and his forest were all the same, just no fairy folk.
I got Spud to take a photo of them and then I sent it to Evan.
Arras was confused when I said it was painted many years ago, but he agreed it was Bubs.
Tush came down and spoke to the queen in Arabic, she smiled and was about to say something when Ayden piped up and said in Arabic,
"The prince is here." She stared at him and her mouth shut.
"Just go with it, he's doing foreign languages at the moment." I laughed then sternly looked at my son.
"Sorries dah." Yes, he does know promises, but sometimes he slips.
Sure enough we heard the helicopter overhead and Aisha Arras and Ali ran towards the car. We thought we would give them time to say their hellos first, in the meantime I have to have another word with Ayden.
Rita was very confused and asked many questions, I finally told her I had given the painting to the fairy folk along with twenty other works and she wasn’t to worry about it. They had taken a beautiful one I had done of her with Ayden on her lap, she seemed a little pleased with that.
Rita never missed out, if the painting had her in it she was offered it first, but she already had eight on her walls and didn’t want to overdo it, she can always alternate them with any of my stock. An email came back from Evan and he said they were all going out to celebrate and he wasn’t all that shocked with the painting. He was tossing up whether it was Ayden or not, but wanted confirmation from me. He said Blue was the toast of the town but Alex had him well grounded. No parties and no taking up the many offers of a private interview from some unsavoury looking people. He said he wouldn’t have a late night and he has the photo I had packed for him by his bed. I shot him off a short one telling him that Ali's brothers had just arrived and the party had started.