SATURDAYAFTERNOON AROUND 13.00h SOMEWHERE ON THE WATER
The sun is shining brightly and the water glistens as if it is covered with diamonds. The wind provides them with enough cool air. Except for Scotty, they are all familiar with how to handle the work on the yacht. And once in more open waters, they all fall into some non-spoken division of chores. Tommy and Justin preparing the fishing material. It went without saying that Scotty would take care of the kitchen area and to be safe Kevin stayed close to him, helping Scotty to store the food and drinks, while Robert and Jason are plotting the course to take.
Eventually Kevin shows up.
“Kitchen is ready. We can soon have lunch…”
“Good. I’m starving.” Justin says.
“…But all the bags are still on the couches and all, it would be nice if you can tell us what the sleeping arrangements are, Robert.”
Following Robert, they all go below. Scotty is preparing sandwiches. Later they would have a barbecue on deck where Robert and Tommy would do most of the work, so Scotty would not be the only one responsible for the cooking, which is something Kevin has insisted on. He knows that Scotty doesn’t mind the cooking, but it bothers him how sometimes, at parties, Scotty seems more the hired help, than his husband.
Robert looks around below, they have not really bothered to check out the place. It turns out there is one room that looks like a master-bed-room, with cupboard space and a, be it somewhat narrow, 2 persons-bed. And there are 2 smaller rooms with bunk beds and one small room where they find hooks and hammocks, in case extra sleeping-space is needed.
“As Kevin and Scotty are the married couple here, it would be unfair to split them up. They should take the master-bedroom. Jason and I will take this room and Tommy and Justin can take that one.” Robert suggests. The decision is logical and no one really protests, except Justin comments on how he’s glad they sleep on the other side of the small corridor, so he will not have to hear the noise coming from Kevin and Scotty’s bedroom. Which prompts Tommy to react with a “they are married now, sex is over.”
Jason puts his bag on the lower bed.
“Don’t you want the top-bunk?”
“We’ve been through this so many times, Robert. I always lose and end up sleeping in the lower bunk. So why waste my energy on arguing with you?” Jason smiles.
“Yes, but I’m getting older and climbing all the way up…”
“Tough, brother, the lower bunk is mine.” Jason says with a grin as Robert sighs and puts his bag on the upper bed.
Tommy flips the coin. And catches it against the back of his hand.
“Heads.” Say both Tommy and Justin simultaneously. Then Justin, being the youngest, concedes:
“You win.” Tommy shrugs, he hasn’t really seen the result of the coin-flipping. He knows Justin wants the top bunk and he couldn’t care less. But he likes to play with Justin.
Justin doesn’t know why they always have to flip a coin for it. He always wins anyway. But it is tradition between them… Maybe next time he should do the coin-flipping? So Tommy can sleep top bunk for a change, because really, Justin wouldn’t mind.
Kevin closes the door and Scotty looks at the small bed.
“Good thing we don’t need much space.” Kevin jokes. Scotty’s smile doesn’t reach his eyes. Kevin looks at Scotty, worried. “Are you sea-sick, love?” he eventually asks, gently caressing Scotty’s shoulders. But Scotty shakes his head. He steps a bit closer and for a moment he seeks comfort with Kevin, by holding him close. When he finally lets go of Kevin, he says:
“I don’t know what I am supposed to do, I feel completely … useless.”
“But you are not. Listen, after lunch, you come out of the kitchen and I’ll show you around.”
“Kevin, let’s face it, I don’t belong with this group…” Kevin places a finger against Scotty’s lips.
“Sssh, you belong with me and I belong with you. I’ll teach you what you need to know. But stop thinking like that. Nobody is holding anything against you, no one is looking down on you, it is just your own insecurity speaking…” He kisses Scotty gently on the lips. “Trust me. Trust me. I am not going to allow anyone to hurt you. And when push comes to shove, I’m far better at making a fool of myself than you.”
Kevin’s words put a smile on Scotty’s face, a smile that quickly disappears when he asks Kevin:
“You are not going to sing again, are you?”
“Depends on how drunk I get tonight.” Answers Kevin with a smile. “Shall I unpack while you finish the sandwiches for the lunch? We will all be ready…. and hungry … in no time.” Scotty nods and just as he is about to leave, Kevin says softly in a warm voice, close to Scotty’s ear:
“Just remember I love you…. And that you are in a league of your own.” Scotty hugs Kevin a little, just to let him know he heard what Kevin said. Kevin lets him go and Scotty goes back to the kitchen area while Kevin unpacks.
But Scotty is barely out of ear-range as Kevin sneaks out the door to find Tommy and Justin.
“Guys, I have a favor to ask.” Seeing Tommy and Justin look at him, he continues: “Scotty is feeling a bit ‘out of place’ and…” at that moment Jason and Robert peek in:
“Problems?” Roberts asks. Kevin feels a bit caught. He doesn’t mind asking help from Justin and Tommy, but Scotty would be annoyed if he found out that Kevin was talking about his feelings to Robert and especially Jason. But Tommy already says, with a turning movement of his hand, that Kevin should go on:
“You said that Scotty is feeling out of place….”
“I… I would appreciate it, if you tried to include him bit. Perhaps show him a few of the ropes, without being too condescending….”
“Off course we will.” Agrees Justin, Tommy nods, Robert replies with shrug. Being further in the dark passage Kevin can’t see Jason’s reaction.
“Now, please, don’t throw yourselves on him like a pack of wolves when you see him, just give him a natural dosage…. Thanks.”
As he’s about to return to his own bedroom, Robert stops him and says softly:
“You know, you could have confided in us too.” For a moment Kevin looks away, but then he looks Robert straight in the eyes and answers in a low voice:
“I can understand some hurt lingering because of what happened between Jason and me. And Scotty is insecure enough as it is. If you and Jason have any issues left about the break up, aim your arrows at me and don’t hurt Scotty. He doesn’t deserve that.”
“Do you really believe I would take it out on him?” Robert feels a bit insulted.
“Well, let’s say that the McCallisters were not so friendly to either of us at your wedding.”
“That was months ago,… when everything had just happened.” Robert snaps back. Jason steps in.
“Don’t worry, Kevin. I’m done with the break up and ….. So. Is. Robert.” He stipulates, giving his brother a warning look. Robert lifts both hands.
“Hey, peace on Earth.” He replies.
The lunch is terrific. Not that any of the men had doubted it, with Scotty in charge of the food. Robert in particular is impressed. The compliment he pays Scotty is genuine and the boys are slightly amused when Scotty becomes suddenly very shy and Kevin creates a diversion by reminding them that the fishing lines still are not in the water. Both Justin and Tommy know that Kevin doesn’t like fishing, and that he probably couldn’t care less about lines not being in the water, but to see him create such an obvious diversion in this way is endearing.
While Kevin and Jason help Scotty clear the lunch table, Justin takes the wheel. Robert wanders over to Tommy.
“Think we’ll catch anything?”
“I hope so. It would be nice, but in all honesty, it is even nicer to be here with my brothers.”
“How did Julia feel about your leaving?”
“She was happy with the two days off. She asked mom to look after Lizzie until Sunday-night. So she’ll have two entire days to herself.”
“Any idea what she will do?”
“Probably try to catch a few hours of sleep in a row.” Tommy grins “Lizzie cannot seem to shake her cold and has been so cranky lately.”
“Sorry to hear that.”
“Glad I left. She’s busy with her plans to adopt and, in all honesty, I could use a break away from all the documents, possibilities, etc. Although I still feel it is better than all the troubles we had with IVF. ” Robert smiles. Tommy nods.
“I am glad that Justin and Kevin came to our help when we wanted a child, but yes, it was a lot of work. It paid off in the end. I couldn’t imagine my life with Lizzie anymore.”
For a moment, Robert thinks about Sophia and Jack. He noticed it before, during a barbecue at Nora’s house, that he felt this sting of jealousy, when he saw Tommy playing with Lizzie in the pool. Though Julia kept a watchful eye, she had faith in Tommy and let him play with their daughter… It reminds him how closely Courtney had always guarded the children, but she had never really given him the same trust. There had always been something wrong with the way he took care of the children. She could always do better than him.
Of course now the children have to be alone with him and every time he picks them up, they come accompanied with a list of things to do, or rather not do. It is sometimes frustrating to see how little faith she still has in him.
“It must be great to be so close to Lizzie.” He says to Tommy. Tommy looks up, a questioning look on his face.
“It is, but it wasn’t easy. At first, right after our son died, I was almost not allowed to come near Lizzie. Julia would usually quickly take things over from me, but now we share more. Though I don’t mind letting her change the nappies…” Robert laughs at Tommy’s remark. He hopes things will be different with Kitty and him. A lot of things already are and hopefully this will be one of them too.
“Alright, I’ll take it from here. Get lost you both.” Scotty said to Kevin and Jason.
“I’m going to check on Justin.” Kevin says. Justin is about as far away as he can get from Jason and he quickly puts action to his words. Jason watches him leave.
“Gee, I wonder who’s been spreading the rumor that I had the plague.” He says sarcastically.
“’t Wasn’t me…” Scotty replies. “But if you do have the plague, perhaps you stay away from the food.”
Jason watches Scotty. The smile on his face and the sparkle in his eyes are a sign that he’s not serious about his words. Jason now smiles too and waves it away:
“’t Was just a rumor.”
“Are you sure you will be alright?”
“Yeah, all I have to do is make sure, that all this can marinate for tonight and I will be done.”
“Can I ask you a question?” Jason hesitates a bit.
“Only one?” Scotty tries to put some humor in his words. Jason smiles.
“I just want to know where we stand.”
“We? As in you and me?”
“Yes. Are we still enemies?”
“I don’t know. Are we?”
“I was very hurt when Kevin broke up with me, I was very angry with him… and with you.”
“I watched Kevin go through hell and I was happy when he broke up with you and I was not happy when you returned.” Scotty replied equally honest. “I was convinced you wanted him back and I was ready to fight for him.”
“I noticed… but I didn’t want him back. I merely…. I felt that we ended things on the wrong note. And we are still related to each other through Robert and Kitty. I’m still Robert’s brother and if Kitty’s plans to have a baby will come through, than I will be that child’s uncle as much as Kevin and … you.”
“I am aware of that… and no, I no longer have some grudge against you. I’m married to Kevin and when he tells me that he loves me, then I will believe him. I have to.”
“So there is no more ‘war’ between us?”
“No, I’m ready to sign an armistice.”
“Me too…..” smiles Jason and he holds out his hand to Scotty. Scotty takes the hand and they shake hands across the table.
“The lunch was very good.” Jason compliments Scotty. Scotty nods, looking a bit ill-at-ease and Jason can’t help but tease in a low voice: “… not exactly soft shelled crabs but….” It echoes almost the words that Scotty had said to Kevin a few months earlier, when they had their awkward dinner and he notices with amusement the small blush appearing on Scotty’s face.
“Yes, if I remember correctly, you were quite pleased with those. At least you didn’t throw them at Kevin’s head.” Scotty quickly teases back.
“Would have been a waste of a good meal.” Agreed Jason. “Besides, I leave the food-fights to Nora. She seems to be a natural…”
Scotty laughs at the memory of what Kevin told him about the fight between Holly and Nora.
“Did you see it?” he asked Jason, not sure if Kevin had already been with Jason at the time.
“No, Kevin and I got together not long after that.” Jason says, shaking his head. “I heard about it from Kevin and Justin. I wish I had been there to see it.”
“Me too. When Kevin told me I was so reminded of the night she outed Holly as her husband’s mistress. It was… interesting.”
“You were there?”
“Front row tickets.”
“That must have been fun.”
“Well, fun is not exactly the word I’d use. I mean, Holly looked downright humiliated.”
“It seems to me that Nora is not the kind of woman you’d want to pick a fight with….”
“I certainly don’t. I am so grateful for everything she did for me…, when Kevin and I got married..” Scotty suddenly stops, aware that this might be painful for Jason to hear.
“Robert told me about the flowers and how you could use her kitchen. She must really like you to allow that.” Jason says, the look he gives Scotty encourages Scotty to go on.
“I was really scared to ask her. I thought she would say no.” Scotty confesses. “It… It must have been strange for you to hear that Kevin was getting married?”
“Yes and no. I know he loves you. He told me way back then on the telephone when we… broke up, that he knew that you were the one he wanted to be with. So I was not surprised that he wanted to marry you. I am surprised that he did it, though. Not because I had any negative thoughts toward you, but just because he wanted it so badly I assumed something would screw it up. I sincerely thought he would get cold feet.”
“Me too. I somehow expected some weird phonecall, explaining how he accidentally ended up in Mexico and couldn’t make it back on time….” Laughs Scotty and Jason joins him.
Scotty covers the last meat with foil and washes his hands.
“I’m done.” He says.
“Time to soak up some sun.” suggests Jason.
“Yes, I sure could use some.” Scotty agrees and he follows Jason up to the deck.
“Well, that looks weird.” Says Justin pointing at Jason and Scotty walking on the deck below them. Kevin feels a bit uneasy too. Jason seems to be enthusiastically speaking, but Scotty’s attitude is more reserved.
“Come on, Scotty, make an effort.” Kevin mumbles in encouragement.
“I’m not sure, that getting Jason to be with Scotty, was what you had in mind when you asked for our help.” Grins Justin.
“No, it wasn’t.” replies Kevin, rolling his eyes.
He watches his brother checking speed and keeping track of where they are going. Navigation was never his forte, so he stays away from it. But he remembers how Justin even knew where to go when he was stoned or ….. drunk? Suddenly he looks at Justin, shocked:
“Justin! We brought all sorts of alcohol. Beer, wine, the stronger stuff. But what about you? Will you also drink tonight?”
“No! No, I’m not even going to try. I stay away from that. I’ve been successful so far. I want to keep it that way.”
“We didn’t even think to bring something non-alcoholic….” Kevin says with regret.
“Well, lucky for me than that Scotty had to do the groceries and DID bring some non-alcoholic beverages. Shows he’s more concerned about me than my own brothers.” He teases Kevin a bit.
“And you dare say that, to the brother who bailed you of prison, I don’t know how many times.” Kevin reacts with mock-indignity.
“Yes. I do. Because I know that I can, because you love me..” Justin laughs, putting his arm around Kevin’s neck, ruffling his hair and giving him a quick kiss on the head.
Kevin backs off, Justin doesn’t do this often, but Kevin likes it when he does. It reminds him of when they were kids and he would do exactly the same to Justin.
“You are so gay sometimes.” He scolds at Justin with a smile.
“Yes, maybe daddy was right. And it is contagious.” Justin laughs. Behind him he can hear Kevin laugh, but because he’s looking outside, he cannot see that the Kevin’s laughter doesn’t reach his eyes and that once the smile around his lips is gone, there is a quick painful look on his face that just as easily disappears again.
END OF PART 2/6