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Growing Up

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326Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 17th July 2013, 17:24

The silence that followed after Ricky came out to his father felt like an eternity. Ricky couldn’t read any emotion off his father’s face, it was completely frozen. Of course Ricky didn’t expect him to be all thrilled and happy about it, but he hoped that he would at least accept it.
His heart felt like it would jump out of his chest while he was waiting for his father’s reaction, but nothing happened. Ricky felt how any hint of courage was leaving him.
“Dad…are…are you okay?”

Tom Butcher still didn’t react, he didn’t even blink, and Ricky started to get worried.
“Dad, I-“

Suddenly, Tom got up, and both Ricky and Emily startled. His wife wanted to take his hand, but he ignored her and pulled away, only fixed on Ricky who looked like a pathetic, scared little boy.
“I want you to leave my house”, Tom said without any expression, almost like a robot. Ricky could tell that he tried really hard to hold back his anger. Ricky started to shake, but he nodded obediently.


“Don’t call me that”, he interrupted him coldly.

Ricky swallowed hard and got up, trying not to stand too close to him.

Tom kept looking at him without blinking. “I have never been so ashamed to have you as my son.”

This was the moment where Ricky felt his heart breaking, right there, in front of his father. He looked like his father had just slapped him hard across the face- only this was worse. Ricky could have handled some beating. He could have handled his father getting mad at him and yelling at him. What he could not handle, however, was his father being ashamed of him.
Tom looked at him one last second, then he turned around and left the room. Ricky was still too shocked to start crying, he felt like his heart just stopped beating. Emily carefully walked towards him and pulled him into a hug, but now her son was the one who was completely frozen.
“Oh, honey…” Emily took a step back and held Ricky’s pale face in her hands. “You know he didn’t mean what he said.”

Ricky couldn’t answer, but deep within he knew exactly that his dad meant every word he said.
“I…I should go”, he said with a trembling voice. He didn’t want to break down in front of his mother, especially not while his father was still somewhere in the house.

“Ricky…” Emily had a hard time fighting back her tears. “He was just…he was upset, that’s all. You know he loves you, right?”

“Not anymore”, Ricky whispered.

Emily bit her lip and stroked her son’s cheek. “My little boy…”

“I’ll go now”, he said. “Thanks for everything, Mom. I love you.” He kissed her briefly on the cheek and was out of the door, just before he could hear her say ‘I love you too.’

Ricky managed to hold back his tears until he left the poor area where he grew up, then he made a turn, almost into a corn field, and there he finally fell apart. It was almost fifty minutes later when he finally turned on the engine of his little car again and drove home, hoping Alfie wouldn’t be mad at him anymore. He really needed his boyfriend to hold him now, otherwise he would completely fall apart.

Growing Up - Page 14 MissAusten

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327Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 17th July 2013, 22:16

Alfie didn’t even really leave, he just let the driver drive once around that block and then he came home just waiting for Ricky to come home. He still didn’t like the idea of telling Thomas Butcher that his son was gay but he also knew that he could not deny his boy anything. So here he was as supportive as he could be, he prepared himself to see Ricky the way this Dan boy must have looked. Alfie would hate seeing his boy hurt but he would not go and kill Thomas Butcher, he knew that no matter what Ricky would love and treasure his father.
Too much time had passed, Ricky was gone for hours now and Alfie started to really freak out. He had a few drinks but then he stopped. This really sucked. It was nearly four hours later when Ricky finally unlocked the door, Alfie had seen in from the window drive into the garage. Alfie knew that the talk went badly, Ricky’s feet were dragging, his shoulders heavy, and all in all he looked like he cried a lot. Alfie stayed back for a little bit just to see what Ricky needed. Ricky hadn’t seen him yet, he went in the living room and poured himself a rather full glass of one of Alfie’s expensive whiskeys.
“Whoa! Hold on a second.” Alfie hurried and took the glass out of Ricky’s hand. “That bad?” He whispered as he pulled him into his arms. Ricky just nodded and started crying again. Alfie scooped Ricky up and snuggled with him onto the couch. He pulled Ricky close and wrapped his arms tightly around him.
“I don’t wanna say I told you so but that is what I said. He would not like to hear that. But that doesn’t matter now. You are here okay. Just forget what happened.” Alfie was gently brushing his fingers through Ricky’s hair, kissing him again and again very, very gently on the cheek and for once not to get into his knickers. “Shall we watch one of your shows? Maybe there is some dancing on.”
“No, just hold me. Please.” Were Ricky’s first words since he came home. Alfie reached over and took the whiskey glass.
“Okay here but just a sip, I don’t want you drunk I just want to calm your nerves a little.” Alfie helped Ricky drink, and then just pulled a blanket over the two of them. “I wish I could make this day disappear from your mind. I don’t like it when you are not happy, hurt.” Alfie wasn’t sure if he should get him food or offer him water or tea or god knows what. What did Ricky always do when he came home angry from his family?
Damn it why can I not think? All I have in my mind is that my Lover Boy is hurt and I can’t fix it.I need to fix this!

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328Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 18th July 2013, 14:57

Ricky didn’t say anything for a while, he just let Alfie hold him while he felt completely empty from all the crying. Alfie was super hot with that freakishly warm blanket and Ricky snuggled up to him, he would have preferred to just take his clothes off, but that would only give Ricky the wrong message, and right now Alfie didn’t want him to feel like any pressure from him, so he just endured all the heat. Well, of course it felt nice, having his penguin pressing his body against his, it was in fact so nice that Alfie really didn’t mind that they were completely dressed and just cuddled. He knew that Ricky needed cuddling right now, nothing else.
Ricky sighed quietly into his boyfriend’s chest. “I wish this would just stop…”



“What do you mean?”

“Why can’t I just like girls? Why do I always have to be different than everyone else? I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t ask to be bullied every day in school by the other boys. I didn’t ask to be an embarrassment for my parents and disappoint them because they will never get to be grandparents. I never wanted this. I would love to have a family, more than anyone else, but no…” Ricky’s voice trembled. “I didn’t ask for all of this. I don’t want my father to hate. I’m tired of always being different, I’m so tired of it. I just want to be normal for once…”

Alfie didn’t say anything. Truth was, he was actually kind of hurt by what Ricky said. He knew Ricky didn’t hurt him on purpose, he was obviously very upset, but still, his words hurt. Ricky basically just told him that he hated being gay and wished he could change that- which basically meant that he hated to be with Alfie, because Alfie was not a cute, little girlfriend he could present to his parents and whom he could marry and have children with, all of those things he wanted so badly.
In the past years Ricky seemed to have accepted who he was, he even seemed to be happy, because he found someone who liked him exactly the way he was. But now all of a sudden he seemed more unhappy than ever before, and Alfie felt like it was mainly his fault. He knew that Ricky was gay before they met, he didn’t convert him or anything, but he was obviously not what Ricky needed in order to be happy. He needed a little wifey, two or three pretty children, maybe a Golden Retriever, and a white house with a white fence and a perfect front lawn. Everything Alfie was not.
After a few minutes of silence, Ricky suddenly realised what he just said and that it was really insensitive towards Alfie.

“I’m so sorry”, he whispered and looked up. Alfie tried to look indifferent, like he didn’t care about the things Ricky just said, but Ricky could actually see that he looked almost…sad. Which made Ricky feel even worse, because he just hurt the person he loved the most.

“I don’t know why you’re apologising”, Alfie said dryly.

“I didn’t mean it like that. I love being with you, you know that.”

“That’s okay, I get it.”

God, Alfie looked and sounded really hurt, even though he tried so hard not to. That broke Ricky’s heart even more.
“I just…I want my father to be proud of me, but the opposite happened, and that made me really upset. Ever since I can remember I tried to make him proud, and the fact that he’s ashamed of me…it just threw me completely. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be with you.”

“You just made that pretty clear”, Alfie mumbled. “That you’re unhappy with me.”

“I love you, Alfie. I love you so much.”

“I never forced you to that.”

Ricky looked sad, he had his kicked little baby penguin face again. “You don’t make me unhappy, I swear. I admit that I’m upset that I can’t be the son my father always wanted, but you’re not making me unhappy. I’m sorry for what I said, I don’t hate being gay, I just hate that I’m a disappointment to my father and he stopped loving me.”

“He could never stop loving you”, Alfie said without hesitating.

“You weren’t there. You didn’t see how he looked at me.”

“Still. He could never stop loving you.”

“How do you know? You don’t have a lot of experience with caring fathers…”

Alfie looked directly at Ricky now. “Because nobody who ever loved you can just stop with that. It’s just…it’s not possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s your father or…or someone else. It’s just…once someone loves you, they can’t stop, no matter what you say or do. You don’t see that, do you? You don’t see how damn special you are.”

Ricky could hear his own heartbeat while Alfie looked away and cleared his throat.
“Anyway, your father might be disappointed right now, I don’t argue with that, but he didn’t stop caring about you. Just not possible.”

Ricky felt new tears coming again, but this time he managed to bring up a weak smile while he placed his head on Alfie’s chest, right where he could hear his boyfriend’s heartbeat.
“I should see it as a gift, that I’m…different. It brought me to you”, he whispered.

Alfie was quiet, but in his thoughts he added: And I’m so incredibly thankful for that.
He ran his fingers gently through Ricky’s hair, messing it up a bit.

“Maybe things would have been easier if I was born a girl. I could like boys and nobody would say a thing. I could hold your hand in public and nobody would give a damn.”

“But if you were a girl, I probably wouldn’t have noticed you.”

“Maybe you would. Maybe I would have been the first girl you actually…I don’t know…liked?”

Alfie was quiet for a moment, then he shook his head. “No, I totally prefer you like this.” He looked down at him and smiled almost loving at him. “Besides, I bet if you were a girl, you wouldn’t have any boobs and look like your Girl Scout friend Josephine.”

Ricky laughed quietly, for the first time since hours. “That wouldn’t be bad. Maybe you’re secretly into it.”

“What? No boobs and a bony butt? I don’t think so.”

Ricky smiled and closed his eyes, his head still resting on Alfie’s chest while his hand searched for Alfie’s, and when he found it he just held it, not wanting to ever let go.

Growing Up - Page 14 MissAusten

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329Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 18th July 2013, 22:12

Alfie sighed. This was actually so hard, he was really scared that this was their goodbye.
What if it is?
Alfie pulled his boyfriend closer if that was even possible, breathed in slowly the peachy scent and as much as surprised him this was amazing maybe even better -shit did he really just think this?- than sex. They fell asleep on the couch, no not they but Ricky Alfie just held him. Sometimes in his sleep Ricky stirred, and clenched tightly on to Alfie’s shirt but all in all was a quiet night.
Ricky woke up shortly after Alfie fell asleep it was the early morning hours when he got up. It physically hurt him when he separated from Alfie’s embrace but he really needed to pee. He went for a quick shower and then went back to Alfie on the couch. Alfie moaned when Ricky snuggled back with still wet hair.
“Where have you been?”
“I just had to pee and took a shower. Go get some more sleep.” Ricky whispered.
“Are you still meeting your girl scout today for tea?”
“I can cancel her if you want me to stay with you.”
“Whatever. Go meet your girl scout. Have some tea and be back to get some sex afterwards.” Alfie grinned and stared kissing Ricky. Ricky giggled as he kissed him back.
Meanwhile Lorelai was in the kitchen having her usual morning coffee she was fully dressed and ready for the day. It was about five in the morning, and she was working through her day plan. There was a lot to do. Kaiser Franz has a date today and Edward had the first school festival. And Dan had his classes, while Henry was going the first time a third day a week to nursery and John was on the consulting in London. Not to mention all her everyday management tasks she had to do for the farm. Yes she clearly had a busy day but those days were the best days in her life they made her feel needed and useful. She was eating a bowl of muesli with yogurt just to get something in her stomach while she was reading the newspaper she had gone into her study to have a look at some files.
“Morning, you are up early.” Lorelai said calmly when Dan passed the study to go in the kitchen.
“Mutti? You startled me.” Dan looked at his mom.
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to. What are you doing up?”
Dan looked a while at Lorelai and then he came in the office and put the books on her desk. “Don’t be mad okay?”
“Okay.” Lorelai looked now curious at her oldest son.
“I don’t mind that but I noticed you talk to the little ones most of the time German just when I am around you speak English at least mostly. So I um… I started to learn this.” He turned the books that she could read the titles.
“You are learning German.” Yes it was not a question but a statement. “You are forgetting something, I know everything that is going on in this house.”
“Oh.” Dan blushed. “I’m sorry I didn’t come to you right away. It’s just I’m not good with languages. I don’t know if I am any good at all.”
“Ich bin mir sicher das du deine eigenen Staerken mal wieder kleiner machst als das sie wirklich sind. Und solange du verstehst was wir sagen ist das okay, das it was John immer sagt. Er spricht kein Deutsch baer versteht uns.” Lorelai said calmly, slowly and clearly. Dan looked intensely at her and then. “I… don’t. I think.”
Lorelai laughed. “See I knew you would have worked hard and would understand me. So why are you telling me this?”
“Well I was thinking before I tell the boys and let them speak German with me I tell you and maybe you can help me a little to proper practice with me.”
“I would love to. Go and get some breakfast, you can read the newspaper to me and get yourself a cup of coffee I know you had it every day while you were alone with the boys.” Lorelai’s eyes sparkled knowingly.

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330Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 20th July 2013, 14:54

It’s been almost two months since the new term at Waterfall Downs had started, and thus Liam felt like he had less time with his little girls because he was so busy with all the classes he was teaching. He mostly saw them in the morning and in the evening, but he barely got to see them during the day, and he missed having them around all day like he used to in the summer holidays, so he decided to have a day out with his daughters while Jo was meeting Ricky for tea.
Liam actually didn’t tell Jo exactly where was taking the girls, only that they would like it and he promised her to be careful. He didn’t tell her where he was going because he knew that overprotective Jo would probably not like the idea. He knew that she trusted him, but on the other hand she tended to worry too much, so he would tell her where he went with the girls after the day was over and they would be back again.
For this little day trip, Liam actually made use of Charles the driver. Usually, he never called Charles because he felt stupid having a driver, but for this occasion he actually needed him. He had also packed the girls’ stroller in case they would get too tired of walking. Yes, Jo always wanted them to walk and strengthen their legs, but this was a bigger trip than usual, so Liam knew that his daughters would get tired of walking sooner or later.

He sat on the backseat with his daughters who both were excited, even Jane. They sat in their baby seats, chatting excitedly in their toddler language.
“Are you girls looking forward to a day out with your grumpy, old dad?”, Liam asked them while he tousled their hair.

Both of them nodded and grinned at him. Before Jo left to meet Ricky, she made sure the girls were properly dressed and their hair was made. Liam wasn’t particularly good in that department. Every time he dressed them, they looked like they fell into a huge pile of different clothes with clashing colours, and even though Jo was amused by how hopeless Liam was in finding nice outfits for the girls, she still didn’t want her daughters to run around like that, especially since she knew how unhappy Jane would get if her father made her wear socks with two different colours, Heaven forbid! So, before Jo kissed her girls goodbye, she made sure they looked decent-Jill was wearing jeans, a light pink jumper and matching shoes, and Jane wore a colourful tunic skirt and purple trousers underneath. Since it was October, the girls wore pretty purple coats in order to stay warm.

Jane was holding her Ducky, those two were just inseparable. “Mommy?”, she asked.

“Mommy is with Uncle Ricky today, so we’re going to be alone.”

Jane nodded and leaned her chin on top of her stuffed duck’s head and watched her daddy quietly. She loved watching him, it calmed her down and she knew that as long as he was there, everything was okay.
A bit later Charles parked in front of Liam’s favourite building in London, the Planetarium.
“We’re here”, he announced and got his daughters out of their baby seats. “Now before you run off, especially you, Jill, you have to take my hand, okay? We’re in London now, and I don’t want to lose you, do you understand?”
Both girls nodded, although he could very well see in Jill’s eyes that she already had some mischief coming up.
Liam decided to let the girls sit in their strollers while he would go into the Planetarium with them. It would be quite crowded, and besides, the girls still had a good view from their stroller while he would show them the stars.
Liam was glad to see how much the girls loved it and how excited they got. They talked in their adorable toddler language, and even quiet Jane talked a lot. The last time Liam was here was shorty after Jo told him that she was pregnant, and he just stormed off and left her alone because he had to digest those (back then) horrible news. But now he was here with the most darling little girls, the proudest dad on earth, giving his daughter’s a glimpse into his world. He really couldn’t have been happier. Now and then people looked at him and smiled as they watched the young father explaining two little ginger twins how the stars worked, it was a really adorable view.
By the time they sat in their car again, all three of them were tired, but Liam gave them their snacks, and then they both fell asleep, exhausted but happy, while their dad watched them proudly.

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331Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 20th July 2013, 23:37

Jo was a little nervous when Liam left with the twins, not because she didn’t trust him but because she wasn’t sure what Liam had in mind the girls were eighteen months old and Jo was just not sure if Liam knew how to entertain toddlers. Jo saw the car drive off with her three most loved persons on this world. She shook her head and got into the Jaguar. She would pretty much spend all day at the tea house, she missed Ricky so much since the semester had started they both were so busy that they didn’t have time to meet up. So she was so glad that they could meet today, it was just odd that Alfie had called her to tell her that Ricky would meet her for tea. It made Jo realise that something was up and Ricky not just missed her but needed her. Jo wasn’t surprised that she was there before Ricky that way she got to make sure they had their usual corner window table and just good food, lots of sweet stuff.
When Ricky came in well Jo had the proof that she was needed and not just missed.
“Shit Ricky what is it?” Jo pulled him into a tight hug. Ricky was a little bit surprised the way Jo spoke, but then he had seen a glimpse of himself and when Jo would have looked like this he probably would talk the same way.
“Let’s sit okay?” Ricky whispered. Jo nodded, sat down and pushed the cup of milk tea towards Ricky. For a couple of minutes they just ate and drank the tea. Not until they have reached the second layer of the tier Ricky mumbled. “I told him.”
Jo was quiet, she wasn’t sure what Ricky just told her. “Um sorry?”
“I told my dad… everything.”
“Oh.” It took a few seconds until she understood what he said. “Oh! You told him? Hwo did it go?”
Ricky didn’t answer, and that said everything that needed to be said.

“Jo. What happened to your language?” Ricky tried to distract.
“Sorry I’m reading Black American Literature. Ricky your dad?” Jo’s hand was resting on his knee.
“Yeah about that… he kicked me out.”
Jo didn’t ask anything else, she just hugged him very tight. They were more quiet for a little while and then.
“Liam is out with the girls, he wouldn’t tell where he went. I’m not sure but I think he went to London. He knows I’m scared of it.”
“Oh Jo.”
“Oh no I didn’t mean it like this I meant it is good that he is spending time with the girls. All three were so excited I think they will have a great day.” Jo smiled.
“I’m sure he will make sure that his little girls have a perfect day. He is a good… dad.” Ricky went silence. “Just make sure when one day one of them tell him that they are into girls that he does not kick them out.”
“Ricky your dad will come around.”
“The girls can be lucky they have Liam. So how is school, how is your class?”
“The girls are lucky they have the best dad. Liam is trying very hard to spend as much time as possible with them and me. I think I will work out that we can have lunch with the girls. I know he likes spending time with them. Oh my lessons are so amazing. Some of the new students are amazing, the way they think is incredible. At the moment they all are doing those book reports, well rule at WDA is no student gets forced to do an oral presentation, our topic is as I said Black American Books and it is amazing with the children come up of ways of presenting the books. You should come one day. I have next week more presentations I can give you my timetable.”
“I would love to come.” Ricky grinned, he always enjoyed being a guest teacher at Waterfall Downs Academy. “Oh God I totally forget to tell you. Alfie got a job.”
“What!?” Jo nearly spit her tea out.
“Yeah he started in June. He is an editor at Penguin Publishing.”

“Seriously? That is insane. Why?”
Ricky finally started grinning. “Because he starts slowly being monogamist and gets bored sitting at home while I’m at work.”
Jo laughed. “That is hilarious. I’m happy for you.”
“So am I.”
The day passed and Ricky and Jo had a really good time they had countless pots of teas and when Jo hugged Ricky in the late afternoon he was better, smiling and he knew that he was loved even when not by his father at the moment.
Jo was looking forward to see her girls again, after a day without them she was missing them so dearly and she died to hear from Jill what they did. Jill always told her when Jo brought her to bed what she did during the day and she sure had much to tell her mommy today. Jo saw the car that Charles drove already in the garage, so Liam and her girls were already home. She ran up the stairs and nearly knocked the door in when she unlocked the flat door.
“Liam! Liam? Where are you?” She called from the hall while she was taking off her coat and shoes. She was so curious what her girls did on this October day and she really had missed Liam. “Somebody home?”

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332Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 21st July 2013, 16:24

„We’re in the living room!“, Liam shouted from the other end of the flat.

Jo ran into the living room and almost slipped, but she could get her balance back on time.

“Whoa, slow down!” Liam sat on the couch with Jill who was snuggled into his chest. Jane was already sound asleep on a pillow, lying next to her dad and sister, and dreaming of the stars. This day had been great for her, but very exhausting as well. She did look very happy though, and Liam guessed that she had a nice dream.
“Mommy!”, Jill shouted when her mom almost stumbled into the living room.

“Did something happen?” Liam looked a bit worried because Jo had stormed into the living room like that. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” A wide smile appeared on her face. “I just wanted to see my husband and my little girls. A whole day without you all makes me miss you like crazy.” She walked over to the couch and bent down, firs to kiss her little munchkin, then she kissed her husband, a bit longer and more passionate than she kissed her daughter, of course. She planted a careful kiss on Jane’s head too, but she didn’t want to wake her up, so she was very quiet about it and sat down.

“So…” Jo raised her eyebrows. “I can see that the girls are tired, but happy. What did you do? Are you going to tell me?” Then her eyes wandered to Jill. “Or are you going to tell me what you did today, baby?”

Jill grinned widely. “Car today!”

“You drove in a car?”

She nodded.

“And where did you go?”



“Lots houses”, she answered in her toddler language.

Jo chuckled. “So, you did go to a place with lots of houses?”

Her younger daughter nodded again, getting more and more excited while she was babbling along. “Daddy, and…and…Daddy…and…” The more she talked, the more she got excited and couldn’t get a straight sentence together. Both her parents looked amused at her.
“Daddy…and…and…stars…and big!”

“So, you went to a big city with Daddy who showed you the stars?”, Jo asked slowly and Jill nodded.

“I took them to the Planetarium”, Liam confessed.

“I figured as much. Well, at least I figured London.”

“You’re not mad, are you?”

“No way! I was worried, I won’t lie, things like that always worry me, but I also trust you and I know you would never do anything foolish or do something that would harm the girls. And it’s good you didn’t tell me where you were taking them, I would have worried all day.”

Liam grinned. “I knew it.” His one hand lay on Jill’s little shoulder while his other hand wandered over to Jo to take hers. “How was your day?”

“It was nice seeing Ricky again, we were both so busy and I really missed him.”

“Do I have to get jealous?”, Liam asked teasingly.

Jo shook her head and smiled. “Never.”

“How is Ricky?”

She was quiet for a moment. “He told his father that he’s gay.”

“Wow, really? That’s brave.”

“Brave, yes, but his dad wasn’t happy about it at all and doesn’t want to have anything to do with him right now.”

“But Ricky is okay? It wasn’t like Dan’s situation, was it?”

“No, not as bad, but still, it’s not easy for Ricky, especially because he really loves his dad.” Jo paused for a moment and looked at the sleeping Jane, then at Jill who rested on her dad’s lap. “Liam, can I ask you something?”


“I know the girls are very young, but if it happens that one of them could be…like, when she’s older, one of them tells us that she likes girls, please promise me not to be mad at her and kick her out of the house or something like that. I think it doesn’t matter if they are gay or straight, as long as they find happiness. I don’t want them to feel different. Well, I’m just hypothetical speaking, obviously we don’t know yet what the future brings, but please…promise me this, okay?”

Liam was quiet for a moment, looking at his little J’s first, then at his big J, and then he broke out into laughter.

“What’s so funny?”, Jo asked.

“Hell, I would be glad if they are into girls when they are older! At least I wouldn’t have to worry that they can come home and tell us they got knocked up. That's the dream of every father who has teenage daughters.”

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333Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 21st July 2013, 18:51

Jo smiled at Liam. “Good just making sure.”
Liam grinned and kissed his wife and looked at his sleeping daughters wondering if he could ever hate them so much for something to never want to see them again. But there was nothing they could possibly do, nothing! “How about I bring Jane to bed and you take Jill and then we have some dinner. The girls have eaten so no worries about this.”
“Sounds good. Come here Munchkin time for bed.”
“But Mommy. I need to tell you.” Jill moaned but let her mom pick her up. It was barely the girls’ bedtime but they were both tired so Jo decided it was okay to put them to bed earlier. Jo smiled at Jill. “You can tell me everything about it when you are in bed, okay? Like this time you tell me a bedtime story.”
Jill nodded. “Okay. See we car. And so much stars. And people. Mommy people, not four more.”
Jo giggled while she put Jill’s pyjama on. At the moment Jill wanted to have a pyjama like her mommy so Jo had gotten her some boy undershorts and a t-shirt with Mickey Mouse on it.
“What did you have for lunch Munchkin?” Jo was really interested in her daughter’s day. She would tomorrow find some time to talk to Jane about her day with daddy.
“Um…” Jill was thinking very hard while she letting her mom brush her teeth. “Cake?”
“You had cake for lunch?”
“Uhu. And chips cheese.” It was harder then normally to understand her with the toothbrush in her mouth. Jo laughed. “That sounds like a lunch your daddy would have picked.”

“Oh and juice. Daddy got the big juice.” Jill said as she spit out the foam.
“That is good and what did you have for dinner?”
“Chicken.” Jill grinned she liked chicken.
“Did daddy show you the room with the sky stones?”

“Uhu. They big. Mommy does sky breaks?” Jill looked serious at her mother.
“Did you ask Daddy that?”
“Jill please don’t say uhu, you can say yes but not uhu that is not a nice way of agreeing to something.”
“Oh. Um yes. Daddy says sky okay, not breaking.”
“See Daddy knows better the things about the sky than I do.”
“Mkay.” Jill took her kangaroo and snuggled into her pillows. “Mommy me love you.”
“I love you too!” Jo kissed her little daughter. “You want me to sing you a song?”
“No. Just story.” Jill mumbled fighting very hard not to fall asleep but she was very close to fall asleep. Jo kissed her daughter again and started telling her one of the stories Anne had told her when she was little. Jo didn’t see that Liam was standing in the door frame watching his girls, his J’s well two of them. And those two were so cute. Jill was very talk active and kept interrupting her mom and Jo just smiled and let her talk. For Jo those moments with her daughters meant the world. She would never miss out a chance to spend with them because she would never get a second chance to spend the evening with her daughter after the first daddy day. Jo didn’t see it but Liam took countless pictures of her and Jill. He had taken just as many through the day making sure he had captured his first day out with the girls for eternity. He quickly hid the camera when Jo got up he knew that she got all shy when she saw him taking pictures of her. “Hey there.” Jo grinned at her husband. “I’m glad you had such an awesome day. It was for you too right? Not just the girls?”
“Are you kidding it was amazing. I mean I love teaching out students but teaching our girls about the stars was so special and they were both very good. Jane was calm and Jill listened to me. But it was funny when it was their nap time Jane asked for you. And I thought I have to come back home but she calmed down. Jill had snuggled into her side and was humming a song you sing to them and she was okay to sleep even though she was a little bit confused to nap in the stroller.”
Jo laughed and went with Liam in the kitchen to have dinner herself. It has been a while they had a dinner without the girls and it was nice and it was just the two of them and Jo really liked it. Obviously it made it easier to do things they could not do when their daughters were there. Jo loved to be just Liam’s wife not a mommy too but just a wife.

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334Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 23rd July 2013, 17:37

It was a Friday afternoon when James was in town to run a few errands. His last class had ended at four, and afterwards he headed right into town. His first stop was the book shop, obviously one of his favourite places in Oxford, where he spent almost an hour, first to look for a view books that could be helpful for his class, but then he also came across so many books that interested him, and he just had to buy some pleasure reading. He had to smile when he saw a beautiful version of The Hobbit, he used to read that book to his little sisters when they were younger. In fact, he had to read it so often that he knew some parts of the book completely by heart. Just holding this book in his hand right now made him realise how much he missed all four of them, but he called them on a regular basis, also his parents, who expected him to call at least once a week to tell them how things were going. Most people probably thought it was a bit ridiculous, but he was glad that everyone in his family was so close and they all got along so well.
After James left the book shop, he got a few other things, and then went to a little café that he often used to go to when he was a teenager. Luckily, it was still there, and he liked that it hadn’t changed in all those years. He ordered a coffee and sat at a table, getting one of the books out that he had bought in the shop and opened it, but the moment he started reading, he felt like someone was watching him. It was strange, he didn’t feel like he was being followed, but still, he felt watched...
Then he looked up and let his eyes wander through the small café, there were only two more tables occupied, at one were three old ladies who talked about a knitting, and at the other table far in the corner, next to the window, sat a young woman who wore a very expensive -looking blue coat and sunglasses, although she sat inside, and it wasn’t very bright in the café either. Her very long, dark hair fell over her left shoulder and she kept her lips pursed while she watched James quietly. He had the feeling he knew her, but he couldn’t make out her face because of the big sunglasses. James turned back to his book and continued reading, but a brief moment later he breathed in a cloud of perfume, a perfume that was very familiar to him.
“Hello, there…” The female voice next to him was just as familiar as the perfume that came with it. “If it isn’t Fifi’s little Scottish friend…”
There it was, the unmistakeably seductive voice with that slight, foreign accent. Of course he knew the young woman. He had known her since they were sixteen, he just hadn’t seen her in years.

James put the book aside and watched her with an almost amused smile while she just sat down next to him without even asking, then she took off her sunglasses and her ice-blue eyes pierced through his. She was as pretty as he had remembered, even prettier. She was undeniably attractive, but he also knew better than anyone else not to fall under her spell which she seemed to have on every male creature.
“Nice to see you again, Sofiya.” James sounded a bit sarcastic, but still not in any way rude. “It’s been a while.”

“It certainly has. Charles, wasn’t it?”


“Same thing.” She pursed her lips again.

“So, what brings you to Oxford?” Actually, James kind of knew the answer, there was only one reason Sofiya kept coming back to Oxford- and it was certainly not the ‘good weather’ or the impressive architecture of Oxford University.

The young woman didn’t answer, she just kept scrutinising James with both of her perfectly shaped eyebrows raised. “My, my, my, you look more handsome than I remember.”

Most men would have gotten nervous by now, but James was quite used to Sofiya’s seductiveness. When they first met he was definitely wowed by her, but now he could stay calm in her presence. At least he could pretend to be calm, a small side of him still got a bit nervous when she was around, but that was normal, because every normal guy would have gotten nervous in her presence. She really was a man-eater. But there was only one man she really wanted, and James knew that.

“Refresh my memory here, but I never had sex with you, did I?”, Sofiya asked while she put her hand on his knee.

“No, you didn’t”, James answered, trying to ignore her hand.

She leaned a bit closer, so close that he could feel her lips on his ear. “I can change that”, she whispered, her hand slowly moving up. James thought her hand would end up in his trousers any moment, but then she suddenly got up and threw her hair over her shoulder. “You will just have to wait a little, I have a few other things to do first.”


She didn’t let him finish, she bent down, her fingers running through his hair while she gave him a long, intense kiss. “Don’t tell a certain friend of yours that I’m here”, she whispered after her lips left his, then she took a step back and smiled at him. “Bye, Charles.”

“Um…it’s James.”

But she didn’t pay attention to him anymore, she already put her sunglasses back on and turned away from him, then she left the café.

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335Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 23rd July 2013, 21:29

“Come on Danny. Come on. You have to hurry.” Henry was so excited today was the day Dan would be learning to ride. He had already saddled his little pony and made sure that Dan became a calm horse to ride and of course Mutti was there as well.
“There you are boys, you ready?” Lorelai grinned she always loved and will love to teach someone to sit for the first time on a horse. “Okay are you ready Danny?”
“No.” Dan sounded insecure but stepped closer to the little grey horse. “You sure this will be fine, I mean I look ridiculous.” Dan looked down at the riding trousers he was wearing. “These are really tight do they have to be that tight? And the helmet will my hair go all flat.”
Lorelai laughed. “Oh Danny now you really are gay. Come on up you go.” Lorelai helped him up on the horse.

“This is weird.” Dan looked down at Lorelai. “What his name?”
“Hers, and it’s Sandy she is an old Lady but you will have sturdy companion. So when you push both of your shanks in a steady rhythm Sandy will fall into a steady walk. Try to keep the rains very loose because think about it they are connected to her mouth and how would you feel if rains pull at your mouth?” Lorelai looked strict at Dan.
“Okay, no pulling got it.”
Henry was already trotting safely on his pony that he called Milk around the hall. “Come on Danny let’s race.”
Dan tried and he did like it, and managed not to fall down. “This isn’t to bad. I could get used to this.”
Lorelai had stepped back and just watched, she often did that letting her sons figure out how to do things on their own. She was always -really always- there for her boys but she wanted them to know that they can figure out how to do things on their own.
“Hey Mutti are you not going ride?” Dan looked at Lorelai in the middle.
“Oh Mutti does not just ride, she is riding the wild and young horses and she can’t ride those with us.” Henry explained, getting Milk to ride ziggzack through the hall.
“Normally you are right Henry but today I make an exception and will ride a little on my own horse.”
“Mutti you have a horse?”

“Oh yes you Opa just got her for me, meet Snow my new breeding mare.” A beautiful white mare got brought by the stable boy into the hall.
“Oh Mutti she is beautiful, did you see the muscle lines in her legs?” Dan asked excited.
“I know aren’t they amazing?”
But Dan had no time to answer the stable boy accidently let the gate slam and the normally so calm Sandy jumped and poor Dan fell off.
“Oh God Dan. Are you okay?” Lorelai jumped off her own horse and ran to Dan so did Henry. Dan was lying on the floor… laughing.
“I thought you said she is safe?”
“Well tell that to Filipe, he was the one slamming the gate.”
“Me so sorry senhora.” Filipe hurried back in the hall jumping over the high gate this time. “Is the menino hurt?”
Lorelai stopped Dan from getting up and looked worried at him. “Are you hurt Dan?”
“I don’t think so.”

“Dan this is serious any spin injury back pain? Any tingling anywhere?” Lorelai was actually so worried that she didn’t noticed how Dan starred for a tenth of a second at Filipe and then he shook his head. “No really Mutti I’m fine.”
Lorelai let go of Dan and Filipe looked once more over the boy and then nodded. “Me really sorry senhora!”
“It’s okay it was an accident. Dan come on let’s get you inside.”

Whoa Mutti I’m fine I can get back in the saddle. And I really wanted to try to trot.” Dan got up slowly checking if he was fine and then went to Sandy. He petted gently her nose until her breathing got slower as well. “Ready for me to get back up?” Sandy nudged him gently and he read it as a yes. “Okay good here we go.” With a quick climb Dan was sitting back in the saddle. Filipe watched the boy through the small window in the saddle room while Lorelai was yelling orders, now that he had done his first fall so he was ready to work on his posture. “Sit straight! Dan you can’t stop breathing. Sing.”
“What?” Dan looked at Lorelai I the middle of the hall.
“Sing whatever song you like.”
“Um… okay… If… everybody had an ocean… Across the U.S.A. Then everybody'd be surfin' Like californ-I-A…” Dan felt stupid he was sitting on a dark grey horse singing a Beach Boys song so that he wouldn’t stop breathing. Lorelai grinned this was going great, she looked over to the saddle room where Filipe was still standing watching Dan.

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336Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 24th July 2013, 15:16

Like all the years before, Alfie had to show up at his parents’ house for his birthday first before he could do whatever he had planned on his birthday. Alfie has never been a birthday person, he liked to avoid the day all together, but nobody gave him the chance, especially not his family. Luckily for him this year, his dad wouldn’t make it to Oxford, something important in the House of Lords kept him occupied, so Alfie only had to face the ladies of the house for a couple of hours until he was allowed to go. Before he went to the Jackson mansion, Ricky kissed him good bye and said he would wait for him at home, where he had planned a little surprise. Alfie reminded him again that he didn’t like surprises and hoped that Ricky hadn’t planned a surprise party with lots of guests, but Ricky assured him it would be something nice, and something only for the two of them.
Alfie kept checking his Rolex while his grandmother and mother were –once again- discussing his future and what a pity it was to see Princess Anne getting close, if not engaged, to a certain lieutenant. Of course Alfie couldn’t wait until Horseface Anne would finally get married, so his mother and grandmother would stop bugging him about her.
They were just in the middle of dinner when a butler appeared next to the table, carrying a small silver tray with one letter addressed to Alfred Jackson.
“Who’s this from?”, he asked.

“It doesn’t say, sir”, the butler replied.

Alfie took the letter and tried to hide a smile when he recognised Ricky’s very nice, clean handwriting. He opened it and read:
Meet me in The Ritz, Suite 132, 10 pm. Don’t be late.

“Where does the letter come from?”, Lady Charlotte asked, watching her son suspiciously.

“It’s none of your business, Mother”, Alfie replied drily and waited impatiently until the dinner was over, then he quickly called his driver and was on the way to London.
Of course people at the Ritz knew who the young man was and they immediately jumped to be of service to him, but he just waved them off and went to Suite 132, where he knocked twice, then the door was opened and Alfie entered the room, but nobody was inside. He stood in the middle of the giant room when he suddenly heard the door getting locked behind him.

“I have to admit, you picked a really nice room”, Alfie said, not turning around. He was actually surprised that Ricky had planned a night in the Ritz, after all, he was still the most humble person he knew and it was very unlike him.

“You should know better that I always have an impeccable taste, Fifi.”

Alfie froze. Now he really didn’t want to turn around anymore, but he didn’t have to. He felt Sofiya’s hand on his back, then wandering up to his face and squeezing his cheek. “Did you really think I wouldn’t pay my favourite Englishman a birthday visit? After all, we had spent so many nice birthdays together, don’t you remember? Just you and me…”

“What the fuck?!” Alfie pulled away. “You planned this?”

Sofiya blinked at him with her long, dark eyelashes. “Of course it was me. Did you really think that little boy of yours pulled this off? Give me a break! That kid doesn’t even know how to shave yet.”

Alfie felt how he was getting mad. “The letter, it was his handwriting, so how-“

“Did you never forge any signatures? I do that all the time, which gives me a lot of practice in using other peoples’ handwriting. I simply went to the university and it was incredibly easy to get something handwritten from Professor Butcher, and it was just as easy to copy his handwriting. Of course I wasn’t surprised to see that his handwriting looks…how do I say it…feminine.” Sofiya couldn’t hold back the sarcasm in her voice. “As everything else about him. He probably wears pink underwear too, doesn’t he?”

Alfie ignored her and walked to the door, but it was locked. “Open the door”, he demanded.

Sofiya sat down on an arm chair and crossed her legs very slowly. “No.”

“Seriously, let me out!”

“No.” She scrutinised her perfectly manicured, long fingernails. Oh, how good she could scratch with them…

Alfie looked annoyed at her. “I’m not going to fuck you, so you’re wasting your time.”

“You know, it’s really a pity how much this boy holds you back. You used to be the best in bed, and now- all gone! You rather spend your time watching romantic comedies and cuddling. Next thing you know and this kid is dominating you, and you’re at the bottom. That probably happened already…” She looked up from her hand. “You’re not on top anymore, are you? And how much you used to hate having people on top, you always needed to be the superior, but I guess you like being the weak, little servant now…How pathetic!”

“Sofiya, open the door”, Alfie said, trying to sound calm. He didn’t want to get mad, because that would only turn her on.

“I offer you a deal”, she said as she opened the expensive bottle of wine on the table in front of her. “You sit down for one drink with me, then I’ll let you go.”

Alfie eyed her suspiciously. “Why should I believe you?”

“Now, Fifi, don’t be a mean boy and trust your good, old friend.” She poured wine into two glasses. “See, it’s your favourite. And yes, I know which one’s your favourite, because I know you well enough.”

Alfie sure as hell wasn’t in the mood to sit down for a drink with her, but he didn’t have much choice, so he sighed and sat down- not next to her, of course. They still had the table between them.
“You’re not trying to poison me, are you?”, he asked coldly as he took the glass she handed him.

“Don’t be silly, I’m drinking from the same bottle as you, and I’m obviously too pretty to die yet.” She smiled at Alfie who only looked annoyed at her. That same moment Alfie felt her foot rubbing against his knee, then it slowly wandered up, so he quickly sat back. He sure as hell didn’t want to get excited, because that’s what Sofiya wanted. And she knew exactly how to get him excited…
“One drink”, he said grimly. “Then you’ll let me go.”

“Yes”, she whispered. He drank the entire glass within a few seconds, not noticing that she didn’t even take a sip of hers, then he got up. “Okay, now let me go.”

“That was quick.” She didn’t show any emotion.

“Stop talking and open the fucking…the…the…” Alfie suddenly started to feel dizzy and everything around him was spinning. “What the hell…what did you…what…” Before he fell, she quickly grabbed him and pushed him onto the bed, where she pulled his shirt over his head, then she got out handcuffs and cuffed his hands to the bed frame, then she moved down to his trousers to take them off.

“Did you really think I would let you go this easily?”, she asked. “We haven’t seen each other in a while, it’s time to catch up, don’ t you think?” She grinned.

“You’re a goddamn…a…a…”

“Na, na, na, don’t get rude, Fifi.” She took off her knickers and stuffed them into his mouth, then she kissed him almost gently on the forehead. “Now stop talking and sleep well, baby boy. Sweet dreams…”

Alfie had no idea what time it was when he woke up, but he immediately felt that his whole body was sore, and when he looked down he could see all the new bruises, bites and scratches he had gotten. The first thing that came to his mind was Ricky, and the fact that his penguin had been waiting for him all night and he hadn’t come home, then he turned his head and saw Sofiya sitting next to him, already fully dressed, watching him. A mischievous smile crossed her face.

“Aww, you know what I realised? So far you only woke up next to your little boy, but I guess that has changed now. I’m the only other person you woke up next to. Now I feel special.” She bent down to touch his cheek, but he tried to pull away.

“You fucking raped me, you lunatic bitch!”

“I did no such thing”, she replied with an artificial outrage. “It’s not like you don’t enjoy what I do to you, and hell, I did so many nice things to you last night. Too bad you missed it…” She kissed him forcefully, then she got up. “That’s why I filmed it all.”

“You’re fucking insane.”

She shrugged her shoulders and grabbed her bag, then walked towards the door. “And if I ever feel like it, I’ll send the tape to that little boyfriend of yours.”

“You wouldn’t dare-“

“Oh, I would”, she said, winking at him. “And you know I do. You can’ just get rid of me, only because you have this joke of a toyboy. You probably thought of hiring an assassin to kill me, but deep down you know that you would need me too much, you desire me.” She opened the door and stepped half out.

“So that’s it? You’re just going to leave me here?”

“Don’t be silly, I care about you, so I called the room service for the next hour, and they will find you and get you out, don’t worry.” She blew him a kiss. “Bye, bye, Fifi. Always a pleasure making business with you.” Then she was out of the door.

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337Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 24th July 2013, 20:47

Ricky had been sitting at the kitchen table -the so perfect decorated kitchen table- there were candles and a perfect dinner, it was getting later and later but Alfie didn’t not show up, call or send somehow a message. He was sitting there all alone the entire night hoping this was just a nightmare. The food looked actually disgusting it was all dried and Ricky heart was broken. Ricky had no idea what time it was when he heard Alfie unlock the door. Alfie tried to sneak in but he failed, the kitchen door was open and he saw this miserable picture of his boyfriend and now he really felt bad.
“Ricky I…” Alfie didn’t even know what to tell Ricky.
“You’ve been with her haven’t you?” It scared Alfie to hear how cold and hurt Ricky was.
“I don’t know who you are talking about.” Alfie tried to sound normal but he also failed in this. Ricky jumped off the chair was in a few steps at his side and actually ripped open his shirt under normal circumstances he would have thought that it is insanely hot but he knew that Ricky was so not in the mood.
“Really so explain those bruises you got.”

“It was not my fault she tricked me to The Ritz and then she drugged me and raped me.”
“But you liked it and you promised you would sleep with her anymore. And you did it again. I’ve got a really nice dinner and a cake and candles and I bought you a whiskey you will like but you know what…” Ricky looked hurt at Alfie and then went to the kitchen table and took the large bottle of whiskey. “You want this?”
Alfie was about to say yes when Ricky opened the bottle and poured it down the drain. “Lick it out of the sewage. And now I hope the memory of last night was worth it because I will sleep for a while in my room.”
Ricky stormed off and disappeared in his bedroom, or the guest bedroom. They way the bruises and scratches looked like he had the suspicion that Alfie was right it was not Sofiya, not just Sofiya. Ricky didn’t understand how Alfie could love him so little that he would hurt him so badly. And this time it was not even something he asked Alfie for himself but for Alfie. All he wanted was for Alfie to have a nice birthday and what did he get out of it, that Ricky’s so loved boyfriend fucked another girl fuck probably eight other girls.
Alfie went upstairs and scrubbed his body, he felt never so dirty after sex. And he never had hurt his Lover Boy so much. Alfie knew that Ricky had been sitting all night at the dinner table, all bloody night. He had to fix this but he didn’t know how. It was a few hours until Alfie dared to go into the guest bedroom. Ricky was still lying on the bed, damn he was even still wearing his shoes. This was bad, like really bad.
Alfie climbed to him in the bed and hugged him, surprisingly did Ricky not push him away at least not physically.
“Do I bore you so much?”
“No!” Alfie ran his fingers through Ricky’s hair. “Never!”
“So why did you have to have an orgy? I had plans for your birthday. I got a tape of the polo game we watched together, you know the first one. I thought we have a really nice dinner and then snuggle up on the couch and watch the game, maybe even make out. And you… you slept with… how many?”
“Ricky.” Alfie whispered he sucked in apologizing and he just had no idea how to start. “I swear she drugged me, I did not want to fuck her. I actually thought The Ritz was your surprise, she forged your handwriting.”
“I don’t want to hear any about this, just… Alfie I can’t lose you too. I lost my father and with him my mom I don’t have friends apart from Jo and Liam and… I can’t lose you. Stay with me, please. I know I should not beg but… don’t leave me Alfie.”

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338Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 27th July 2013, 14:26

This was just so pathetic and heartbreaking. Although Ricky was convinced that Alfie had slept with a dozen other people instead of coming home to him, Ricky still begged him to stay. This wasn’t right. Ricky should be furious and kick him out, but instead he begged him not to go.

“You know that the flat officially belongs to you, and everything in it”, Alfie said quietly. “Honestly, you should just kick me out. Every normal person would do that.” He felt how Ricky was holding on tighter to his arm.

“No”, he whispered. “Don’t go.”

“But I completely understand if you-“

“I don’t want you to go! Please.”

Alfie sighed. “Don’t worry, I won’t go, I just…I hurt you again, and it’s your right to kick me out. I don’t deserve to stay with you, you deserve something better, seriously.” He didn’t see Ricky’s face, but he could tell that he was quietly crying.

“Please don’t go…” He sounded so weak and pathetic, it was killing Alfie.

“Lizzie…” Alfie ran his fingers gently through Ricky’s hair. “That Mr Darcy of yours sure is a bloody arsehole, isn’t he?”

“No, that’s not it”, Ricky mumbled. “Lizzie just doesn’t know what to do anymore, because whatever she does, it’s never enough, and she doesn’t understand why Darcy loves her so little…”

Alfie was quiet for a moment, he felt so bad for last night and for hurting Ricky so much. Yes, this time it actually wasn’t his fault, but still, the times before that he was definitely at fault, and Ricky had to endure so much. Alfie wondered when Ricky’s little penguin heart wouldn’t be able to take it anymore.
He took a deep breath, not letting go off his boy who had his back turned towards him. Alfie was actually glad he didn’t see Ricky’s face right now, that would have made everything even worse because there was no person is this world who could look as heartbreakingly sad as Ricky.
Alfie took a deep breath. He hated talking about feelings, that would probably never change, but right now he had to open up to Ricky because he wanted to fix this. Well, he knew he wouldn’t fix all of it entirely, and Ricky’s heart would still be broken, but Alfie wanted to say something nice to him, something that made Ricky believe that he was more to him than just a boy he slept with.
“I never planned on keeping you”, Alfie said, and that first sounded like he was about to break up with him and he could feel how stiff Ricky suddenly grew under his arm, but then he continued. “But there was this moment, this one particular moment…” Alfie paused for a moment and Ricky stopped crying because he focused on listening now.
“I mean, I never wanted to get attached to anyone, I always liked just being, you know…casual with people, and then you came along. And when I first saw you, I mean, really saw you, because I have seen you before, but that one day I really saw you for the first time, I was just…I don’t know…fascinated. I know you don’t think of yourself as special, but hell, you got my attention. You were just like…like this one white rose among a thousand of ordinary red ones. And don’t ever remind me again that I just made a flower reference.” Alfie listened to Ricky’s very quiet but steady breathing. “And sure, I wanted you, obviously not to hold your hand but well, yeah, I wanted you and that whole virgin thing about you just made me want you more, but that was not the moment I decided to keep you.” He was quiet again, until Ricky very carefully cleared his throat.

“When was it?”

“You really don’t know?”

Ricky shook his head. He didn’t see the gentle smile that crossed Alfie’s face because he still had his back turned towards him.

“That morning after our first time”, he said, and although he didn’t see Ricky’s face, he was sure that he was blushing right now –at least a bit. “I woke up before you and went to the bathroom to shower and get dressed, and while I was in the bathroom I kept thinking how I would tell you that this would be a one-time-thing and that, as soon as we would go home, we would go our separate ways again, because I never sleep with someone more than once, and I’m certainly not open for relationships. I knew you wouldn’t want to hear it, but I had to tell you, and the entire time while you were still asleep I kept planning how I could best tell you. Usually I just tell people to piss off, but I knew that I wanted to be careful with you, but then you changed my mind and you just completely threw over all my plans and the conversation that I had planned in my head.”

“What did I do?”, Ricky asked quietly. Of course he remembered that day, but he wasn’t quite sure what he did that day that changed Alfie’s mind.

“You didn’t do anything, you were just…you.” Alfie stroked Ricky’s hair again, how much he loved doing this! “So I was in the bathroom, just got dressed, and then I heard some music. You were obviously awake and had turned on the radio, and when I stepped out of the bathroom, all ready to tell you that this was just a one-time thing, I just…I stopped. You were lying there, all cuddled up in your pillow, your hair messy, looking so incredibly young and innocent, despite the fact that you lost your virginity a few hours before, you still looked so damn innocent with those rosy cheeks, and you were smiling while you listened to that song they played in the radio…”

“Our song”, Ricky whispered.

“Yes.” Alfie paused for a moment. “That one.” His chin rested on Ricky’s head now. “And I thought to myself ‘This one…this one I want to keep.’ Of course I didn’t know for how long, maybe just a few more weeks until I would get bored of you, but that never happened. I just couldn’t get bored of you, I just couldn’t, and I still can’t, and I sure as hell will not in the future.”

Ricky didn’t say anything for a bit, then he shyly asked : “Why are you telling me this?”

“Because I owe you the truth”, Alfie said. “And I want to make sure that you know that nothing and no one in this world can take that one moment away from me, and I will defend it, and fight everyone who tries to take it from me. That’s how much it meant to me.”

A silent tear ran over Ricky’s cheek. “Why last night then? If it meant so much to you, if I mean so much to you…why did you not come home yesterday but rather slept with other people. And Sofiya.”

Alfie sighed. “Ricky, I swear to you, what I told you is true. Yes, I was with Sofiya, but only with her, and not because I wanted to. She really tricked me, and she really drugged me and did one thing or two with me while I was unconscious, I’m not lying here. The entire day I was thinking of you and couldn’t wait to get home and to see you, I endured the whole family dinner only because I knew by the end of the day I would be with you.”

Ricky didn’t respond.

“If I had known it was Sofiya who waited in the hotel for me, I would have never gone there.”

“I’m not so sure about that.”

“I swear.” Alfie planted a kiss on Ricky’s head. “And you had a tape of that first polo game we watched together?”

Ricky nodded.

“You mean from that day.”

Ricky nodded again.

Alfie smiled. “You truly are the best of the best ones.”

Ricky chuckled quietly. “The white rose among the red ones.”

“Shut up, Lover Boy! That was a weak moment, don’t ever use that stupid reference again”, Alfie said sarcastically, then he planted another kiss on Ricky’s head.

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339Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 27th July 2013, 22:21

“So… um you want to watch the game? I could make some breakfast?” Ricky whispered into Alfie’s chest.
“What about the dinner?”

“That is ruined.”

“Oh. That wasn’t my intending.”

“I know. So how about some breakfast?”
“Sounds good, I can set up the living room.” Alfie didn’t really want to let go of his Lover Boy.
“That would be nice.” Ricky tiptoed and kissed him. “Any wishes for breakfast?”

“You.” Alfie said without a second of hesitation. Ricky blushed and looked shy away. And just little moved made Alfie’s heart jump again, well and his trousers just as much. The two kissed again and then started to prepare the breakfast cuddled together on the couch watching the very first game they watched together. And while Ricky was lying on Alfie’s chest Alfie never flinched when Ricky pushed one of his bruises too hard, he would never show Ricky that he was in pain. Both just wanted the moments together never end.
A while later at WDA
“Mr Liam where are the girls?” Gracie was standing in Liam’s office door.
“Oh they are out with Jo at Three Lakes.”
“Oh okay. Mr Liam my mommy is busy can I sit here a little bit?” Gracie seemed a little different then her normal happy self.
“Sure, come sit here.” Liam looked at Gracie for a while. “Gracie are you okay?”
“Yes Mr Liam but I’m just tired.” Gracie sat down on the seat across Liam. “What are you doing?”
“I’m grading some essays. I’ve got some apple juice would you like some?”
“No thank you.” Gracie was quiet for a while. It had taken Liam a while to be calm when he was alone with Gracie in the beginning he was worried that he could do something wrong but now he knew that Gracie was able to take care of herself. She might be a little slower in learning things but she was fine and actually kind of nice to be around she always asked interesting questions.
“I can’t sleep.”
Liam looked up. “Do you mean right now?”

“No I mean when it is dark outside.” Gracie was rubbing her eyes.
“Oh wait that, you know that the darkness cannot hurt you right? It will go away.”

“No it is not that. Mommy is working out at night because she is so busy during the day. So at night when it is dark she is doing exercise in her bedroom.”

Liam looked a little confused at her. “What do you mean she is working out?”
“When it is dark she is in her bedroom and does exercise. I can hear her. She goes ‘Uh. Ah. Oh yes! More. Oh God this is good.’ She is really loud.” Gracie looked tired at Liam. A very embarrassed Liam he knew very well what kind of exercise Ellen was doing but he didn’t know how to explain this to Gracie. Ellen had made clear that she does not yet want Gracie to know about sex. “Oh I see. Maybe you tell your mommy to be a little quieter because you can’t sleep.”
“I don’t want to knock I’m not allowed out of bed after seven thirty. That’s my bedtime.” Gracie looked strict at Liam.
“I understand.” Liam was racking his brain to find something to say to Gracie but his mind was blank.
“Can you talk to her?” Gracie asked a little shy.
“Oh… um sure.”
“Thanks Mr Liam. Okay I have to go do my homework.”Gracie got up, walked around the desk, gave Liam a kiss on the cheek and then hop scotched out of his office widely smiling. She was really glad that Liam would talk to her mommy.

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340Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 30th July 2013, 14:57

Liam had been in his lab for about an hour when he heard a knock on the door.

“Liam, it’s me, are you busy right now?”

Liam recognised the voice of his father. Graham had been gone the last month because he had a few international concerts, many of them in the US, so it was nice to see him again. Liam walked to the door and opened it, then he smiled at his dad.
“For you I’m never busy”, he said. “Oh wait, that’s the phrase I have to use in front of my wife. Never mind.”

“Idiot”, Graham said teasingly while he pulled his son into a hug.

“You look good”, Liam remarked while he took off his lab coat. “Those Americans weren’t too hard on you, were they?”

Graham grinned. “Definitely not. They are the nice ones. You should meet the French, those are the difficult ones…”

“Why am I not surprised?” Liam washed his hands. “Did you see the girls?”

“Oh yes, I just came from upstairs, I would never go to Waterfall Downs without saying hi to my granddaughters first and they get bigger every day.”

“Tell me about it, they grow so fast!”

“And Jill makes really great improvements with her talking, when she saw me she just started talking and wouldn’t stop, it’s absolutely adorable.”

Liam looked like a proud dad. “Oh yes, it is. She loves to tell us stories.”

Graham smiled and watched his son quietly for a moment, then he started to look a bit serious, and Liam noticed it.
“Is everything okay?”

“Yes…sure.” Graham was certainly not the best liar, that was obvious. “I…ehm…I need to talk to you about something.”

Liam looked a bit worried. “Something serious?”

“Not really, no. I just…um…” Graham started to look rather uncomfortable.

“What? Did you mess up a concert and now you’re dishonoured?”, Liam asked sarcastically.

“No, nothing like that…” His father scratched his cheek, something he always did when he got a bit nervous. “It’s um…you know…you know Ellen…”

“Eh…yes. Of course. If you mean the Ellen who works here, I definitely know her. Why?”

Graham was quiet for a moment, watching his son. This was so bloody hard, but he knew he owed Liam the truth. After all, Jo already knew what was going on, and it would be unfair to Liam if he was the last one who knew about him and Ellen.

“Well, we’re…eh…Ellen and I are good friends, we have been for a while, and…well…it just happened that we kind of…”

Liam raised his eyebrows, not sure what his dad wanted to say. “You kind of what?”

Graham took a deep breath. “We kind of fell in love.”

Liam didn’t react. He didn’t show any sign of emotion, not good and not bad.

“Actually, no. Not kind of. We really did…fall in love”, Graham continued. “We didn’t plan this to happen, I promise. It just happened.”

Liam still didn’t show emotion. “So you two are together now?”


“Since when?”

“A few months.”

“A few months?” Liam didn’t want to look upset, but it didn’t work. “You’ve been dating Ellen for a few months and you didn’t think I should know that?”

“I’m sorry, Liam, I would have told you earlier but I really wasn’t sure how you would react, and besides, I wasn’t sure that this relationship would work so well, so I decided to wait a bit and see how it all worked out, and it’s going really well.”

“Did you tell everyone else except me?”

Graham shook his head. “I swear, we didn’t tell anybody, we didn’t want to go public with it, at least not until we were sure that we would work.” He knew that actually a father shouldn’t have to offend himself in front of his son for having a girlfriend, but he knew that this was a sensitive subject for Liam.

“Well…” Liam shrugged his shoulders. “Who am I to tell you who to date? I guess you like her, so congrats.”

Graham sighed. He knew his son wasn’t particularly thrilled about all of this. “I’m not looking for a replacement.”

Liam pretended he didn’t know what his dad meant. “Replacement?”

“I’m not looking for someone who can replace your mother. That’s impossible, because nobody is like her, and nobody can ever replace her. She will always have that very special place that nobody can take from me. I’m not with Ellen because she reminds me of Cathy. There are some similarities, yes, Ellen is also a single mother and very loving and caring, but she is not Cathy and will never be, and it’s good that way. Ellen is very special herself, but in a different way than your mother was. I wasn’t looking for a replacement. It just…it just happened, I never planned this. We were friends for two years before we realised that we cared more about each other than just friends.”

Liam pretended to be busy with a calculator. “That’s okay.”


“You and Ellen. I don’t care whom you’re dating. I know she’s not like mum. She’s nice, though. But not mum.”

“Liam, I-“

That moment someone knocked on the door, one of Liam’s students who needed his help.
“I have to go”, Liam said, not even looking at his dad anymore. “Close the door behind you when you leave.”

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341Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 30th July 2013, 21:19

Graham looked after his son and shook his head, he left the lab and was surprised that when he closed the door behind him it was locked but he thought it made sense since it was a laboratory containing dangerous materials. It didn’t take long until he found Ellen on the boys’ dormitory floor. “Hello Darling.” Graham smiled and kissed her on the cheek. Ellen smiled back at him.
“Did you talk to him?” Ellen went into the next room to collect the boys’ dirty laundry. I was always laundry day.
“Yes but I don’t know it was weird.”
“Weird how?” Ellen looked at her boyfriend, she liked thinking of him as boyfriend.
“He said he is fine but he didn’t act fine. I don’t know I think I don’t know my own son well enough.”
“Yeah that sounds like him when he tries very hard not to show that he is jealous, he acts like he doesn’t care when Matt flirts with Jo, or James talks to her. He is a very jealous type. Graham? I wondered did you ever talk to him about his mom? Like really talk?”
Graham picked up some lying around underwear and threw them into the washing basket. “No not really.”
“I think you should. Jo told me he doesn’t  talk a lot about her mom and maybe with you alone he can open up and talk about her to  make her more present for the both of you.”
“It sounds so easy when you say that.”
Ellen laughed and kissed him. “It is Mr Hart, it is.”
“Ellen!” Jo shouted sounding a little panicked. “Ellen where are you? Oh. Oh god I am so sorry.” Jo stopped in the door frame.
“No need to be sorry, what is it?”
“Um just Tommy one of the young new one-“
“I know who Tommy is, it is my job to know them.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you. Anyway um he is homesick again. He had been on the phone with his family and now he is crying again in the common room.”
“Oh boy, I’m coming let me get the homesick syrup. Please excuse me Graham, I’ve got to look after my children.”
“Don’t worry darling. I see you later?”
“Yes you will.” Ellen hurried away and left Graham with Jo.
“You want to finish help me to collect the laundry?” Jo asked shy smiling at Graham.
“Sure I can do that.” Graham took the huge basket and together they went into the next room.
“Did you talk to Liam?”
“Yes but…”
“He was not happy about it? Yeah I figure he wouldn’t. I think he is just scared that now that you have Ellen you don’t have time for him anymore because even though he doesn’t say it he really loves you and he is really glad to have you in his life.”
“But that will not change.” Graham looked concerned at his daughter-in-law.
“I know you are helping me to collect dirty laundry of my students. And I hope you know that Jane hope you play something for her before you go today.”
“I would love to do that.” Graham smiled as they went downstairs into the laundry room. “How about a four handed play with my favourite student?”
“Have I not lost this status by now, now that you have your protégé Edward?”
“Oh Jo you will never lose this status. You were my first student I took on for the love of teaching and not for money and first are always special.” Together the two went into the music room and left the large French doors open to draw in the students when they played fourhanded.
A few days later.
Jo was sitting at the big table in the dining hall. All students and staff were sitting around it and chatting loudly having dinner. Jo loved days like this, not because she didn’t have to cook but because she saw all the people she cared for sit around one large table and have dinner together while they tell each other what they did during the day and nothing was to unimportant not to be told. Next to her was Liam in a deep discussion with Colin -who had given a guest lecture today- and a few students. Jo wasn’t sure about what they were talking but she knew it was something regarding the stars as usual. Between Liam and her father was Jane in her high chair listening and admiring her daddy. While Jill was sitting on Jo’s other side between her and Ellen. Everyone was talking and Jo didn’t mind that no one was talking to her. She just sat between this hustle and bustle, feeling so full of joy. Many of those children had no social skills, no friends and thought they don’t need anyone else, but here in this sanctuary for those children they made friends and because of people like Grace they learned that you do not need other geniuses to make friends because teaching others that are not as gifted as themselves about a wonder of this world is a more wonderful gift then bragging about how smart you are. And here they were her little garden of wonderful blooming flowers of geeks.
“Hey are you okay?” Liam leaned closer to his wife and kissed her on the cheek. “You look a little distant.”
“I’m fine just admiring our work. I think we are doing a wonderful thing by taking in those little lost souls and teach them in ways no other school would. Thank you.”
No Liam looked surprised at his wife. “For what?”
“For bursting into my perfectly planned boring life throwing it upside down and making my unspoken wish to turn Waterfall downs into a bright place true.” Jo’s eyes were shining with joy.
“Um your mother sees this differently.”
“Because she doesn’t see the beauty of this, look around you all those children were socially retarded and here they are talking and joking together with others. And then there is you.”
“Oho do I need to be worried?” Liam couldn’t stop looking at his wife’s brightly shining brown eyes.
“No. You are my perfect husband who makes me realize how much I love being alive. Because when you came in my life, you kissed me awake from a hundred year long sleep. I love you so much.”
Liam looked at Jo and then suddenly he remembered something. “Jo are you okay? You went to the doctor today didn’t you? I know it was a check up but…”
“I’m fine! I just talked to a woman, she was dying and only then she realized how perfectly imperfect her life had been but it was too late to enjoy this imperfection. But I don’t want to look back and see one day that I did not live my life fully. That I didn’t tell you and the girls how much I love you. No matter what you say, you were not the worst thing ever happened to me, because if you wouldn’t have shown up the ghost Maggy is now would be me.”
Liam kissed Jo passionately. “I will not let anything bad happen to you ever!”
“I know.” Jo whispered and took Liam hands they both turned to the other side to continue conversations not knowing what the future was holding for them. And Jo was not scared of what ever happened as long as Liam would hold her hand everything would work out okay.
Jo would not let anyone in her family die alone not even her mother.
“Liam?” Jo suddenly whispered.
“Yes Beautiful.” Liam still had troubles telling Jo that he loved her but with replies like this Jo knew he did.
“I want to go and visit your grandparents with the girls. Maybe not right now but when they are a little older maybe spring. I would like to go and I want to send them pictures of the girls and letters letting them know how they go on. After all your grandmother sends them presents.” Jo looked very eager at her husband.
Liam smiled. “They are so old, but I guess at least my grandmother would be delighted to see them they do look very Irish after all.”

Jo giggled and with that it was a set decision in a year or two they would travel with the girls to Ireland to meet their great-grandparents. She would later sit down and her grandmother-in-law a letter write in her cute Irish asking if they could visit around Liam’s birthday. And of course send lots of pictures of the girls and Liam.

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342Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 2nd August 2013, 20:54

It was a few days after Graham had told hiss on about him and Ellen when Liam decided to stop by at Graham’s cottage in Oxford. Liam knew that he had reacted very immature towards Graham and he wanted to apologise and let him know that he was really okay with the new situation. Well, Liam still had to digest the news and was still not particularly comfortable about the idea that his father had a girlfriend now, but Liam also knew that it was his jealousy talking, and his fear of losing him. Not that he would actually ‘lose’ Graham like he lost his mother, but the fear of not being enough for his dad was definitely there, just like it had been with his mum. Sometimes, of course not all the time, but sometimes someone wanted to take her out, and she went out on a date, and Liam remembered how upset he was about that and how he stayed up the entire evening until his mum came home, just because his paranoia that she wouldn’t come back to him kept him anxious and awake. Although Catherine gave her son any reason, he always had this fear that one day he would be abandoned and that she would choose someone else over him. He kept reminding himself that his mother loved him more than anything else, but still, his fear of nor being her ‘one and only’ was always in the back of his mind, and this particular feeling suddenly came back when Graham told him that he was seeing Ellen.
Graham looked surprised when he saw his son standing in front of him at the door, asking if he could come in.
“Of course”, his father said and made room. “To what do you owe me the honour of your visit?”

“To apologise for being a first-class-jerk with severe psychological issues”, Liam replied.

A smile crossed Graham’s face. “First of all, there’s no reason to apologise, and secondly, you’re neither a jerk nor do you suffer from psychological issues.”

“Well, I do have my issues…” Liam shoved his hands into his pockets, feeling like a little boy again who had done something stupid, but Graham looked gently at him, not the least angry or unforgiving. “I really acted immature the last time, I’m sorry about that.”

“That’s okay.”

“No, it’s not. I should be happy for you instead of acting like a jealous kid.”

“Liam, really, it’s okay. I get why you acted that way.” His dad led him to the couch and they sat down. Liam stared a bit embarrassed at his hands.

“I always had a thing with jealousy…”

“Jo mentioned something about that”, Graham said calmly.

“I’ll try to get better with it, but it’s quiet hard.” Liam almost looked shy- obviously not the way Ricky looked when he got shy, but still, there was a bit of shyness and a hint of embarrassment visible on Liam’s face and the way he acted. He really felt stupid about the whole jealousy-thing.
Graham scrutinised his son for a moment, then he cleared his throat. “Please don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t want to rat Jo out and don’t get mad at her for telling me those things, but she mentioned to me that you still have issues talking about your mother, even after all those years. Is that true?”

Liam didn’t answer immediately, but then he nodded barely visible.

“I don’t want to be noisy and I know it’s not my business, but I get the impression that you don’t want to share her memories with anyone else because you generally don’t want to share her at all.”

Liam nodded once more. “There we go again, the jealousy thing…”

“But Liam, she stays alive the more you talk about her, do you see? When you share your memories of her with Jo and later with your daughters, you don’t lose her to them. Not at all; you let her live on, and for them it feels like they have the chance to get to know her, even though they never actually met her.”

Liam was quiet for a while, listening to the ticking of the clock, then he finally looked at his father. “How was she when you first met her?”

Graham smiled, his eyes immediately reflecting softness. “Full of life”, he said. “So open and completely carefree. I was always so shy, but she was…she was such a ray of sunlight.” He realised that he never told Liam how they met, so that’s what he did, telling the story how it all began. Liam listened closely and after Graham was done, he even smiled.

“She was always a bit clumsy, for as long as I remember.”

Graham chuckled. “She was indeed.”

They were quiet for a moment, then Graham cleared his throat. “You probably have a very wrong impression of me. I’m so not a ladies’ man and I have never been, not in my youth either. I didn’t move from one girl to the next. In my entire life I have been in three relationships, Ellen is the third now, your mother was the first. In fact, your mother was the first girl I ever came close to, and by then I was already 21, and I had absolutely no experience whatsoever.”

“How come?”

“First of all, my annoying shyness, which has always held me back a lot. I was always too shy to talk to girls, and then there was the issue with my parents who, since the day they realised I had a gift, kept dragging me from one event to the next. I practiced up to eight hours every day, I had piano lessons, I gave concerts, I met important people- all at the age of 10, and I simply had no private life at all, I didn’t even go to a school, I had private teachers who taught me at home so that I wouldn’t get any distractions from the outside. I naturally never had time for friends, not to mention a girlfriend. So the only time I had a little spare time for myself was during my Ireland tour in ’48, where my last concert of the tour would take place in Cork, where –“

“You met Mum.”

Graham nodded. “Where I met the beautiful Catherine O’Doherty, the first girl I ever loved. I never even had a crush up until then, she was really the first one.”

“And you were 21?”

He nodded again. “So you see, I really have been quite the opposite of a Casanova, really. It was actually Cathy who made the first move, young, carefree Cathy, and I was so shy, she was quite intimidating for someone as insecure as me, but it was a positive intimidating, of course.”
They talked a bit more, and by the end it was all good. Liam was finally okay with Graham dating Ellen, he no longer worried that his father wouldn’t have time for him anymore. Almost 3 hours later Liam came home, kissed his two little ginger girls gently on the head, then he pulled his wife into a hug and whispered: “You’re lovely.”

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343Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 2nd August 2013, 23:14

Jo looked up just to make sure he was okay and not in any kind of distress. “Are you okay?”
“Yes.” For a while he looked at Jo’s and her so beautiful brown eyes. He had always wondered if he loved her eyes because they were just as brown and warm like his mom’s or for any other reason and now that he knew that his dad fell in love with his mom’s eyes just like he did with Jo’s.
“You and Graham are okay too?” Jo whispered. She didn’t mean to make him talk about something he didn’t want to.
“Yes.” Liam was still holding his wife in his arms while Jane and Jill were sitting on the floor playing with some toys.
“Do we need to find a replacement for Ellen?”

“What?! Why? Is she leaving us?”
Jo giggled. “No silly I was just asking because I was worried you drove her away.”
“No, I didn’t. We still have Ellen as our housemother and my dad’s girlfriend. Just make sure you have lots and lots of time for me.” Liam kissed Jo very gentle on the cheek.
“I have always time for my love.” Jo looked at Liam. “Liam are you okay, you make me be worried.”
“I am fine. Don’t worry.” Liam pulled Jo closer into his arms. “You are so perfect do you know that?”
“Liam do you want to play a game with me? A game to get to know each other in a deeper sort of way? We ask questions, What if…-questions and we have to answer them truthfully, not hurtfully but truthfully. And we do not have to ask them in person we can leave the other one a note. What do you think?”
“That sounds interesting. I like it.” Liam kissed his wife on the top of her head. Jo turned her head and kissed Liam more passionately while her hand found its way into his pants.
“I know something else that sounds interesting.” Jo whispered seductively at Liam making sure the girls did not notice what their parents were doing.
“Jo the girls.” Liam whispered actually hating himself that he did this.
The black woman poked her head in the living room. “Yes Misses?”
“Do you mind taking the girls for a walk before dinner? It still takes over an hour and I don’t want them to be locked up in the house.” Jo grinned.
“Yes Missis. Jane Jill shall we go for a walk? Maybe we can have a look at the little baby chicks.” The girls smiled and went with Betty. As soon Jo heard the front door fall into the lock Jo turned around and grinned hungrily at her husband. “We have about forty-five minutes and then I need to take care of dinner. So take off those pants.” Jo was so much in love with Liam that she sometimes wondered how this was actually possible and it was not just the love she had for this man it was also the way of how much he aroused her. She just had to think, damn hear his name and she gets all horny until she would fill her husband entering her.
When the naked Jo forty-five minutes later collapsed on Liam’s chest, sweaty and out of breath she was really happy.
“Jo you are so bloody amazing when you are on top.” Liam had this goofy grin on his face when he kissed her again. He was just as out of breath as Jo was but he sure had enjoyed being ridden hard by his wife. And seeing how much she blushed now after he complemented her. “Liam, don’t say this.”
“But it is true.” Liam’s hand was tenderly stroking over Jo’s left boob. “Do we have time for a round four?”
Jo giggled. “I think Betty is feeding the girls dinner downstairs with the students. We have all the time we need even for a round five.”
“Good.” With ease Liam grabbed Jo to pick her up and carry her on the kitchen table. He knew how much she liked it. “Oh god Liam!” Jo moaned loudly.
When Betty carried the two sleeping girls upstairs a little while later the two young adults were proper dressed again.
“I’m sorry Missis the girls were hungry so I just let them have dinner with the students.”
“That is fine.” Jo smiled and took Jill from Betty’s arm just when Liam took Jane.
“I think you can take the rest of the night off, sorry for keeping you so long.” Liam looked friendly at Betty.
“Oh Sir you never need to worry about keeping me to long, you are doing just fine. Have a good night.” Betty smiled back and left the family alone. Liam looked at the flat door for a while and then turned around to Jo.
“Seriously I don’t think I understand a word Betty is saying her accent is so strong.”

Jo looked at Liam and then burst out into laughter. “Oh Liam people say the same about you. But you are hiding it very well. Go bring the little Munchkin to bed while I bring this one to bed and then we can go back to our conversation we had earlier.”

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344Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 3rd August 2013, 14:12

It was already two weeks before Christmas, and one week before Ricky would get off from work and the holidays started, so the last week before the Christmas holidays was always busy for both students and professors and Ricky sat in his office to mark the last pile of essays. His last class had ended and hour ago, but he needed this time to be in his office on campus, because if he would go home now, there was no way he would get work done. Today Alfie wasn’t at work, so he would be home and he would definitely want his undivided attention, and his boyfriend sure as hell acted like a child when he didn’t get Ricky’s attention.
It was already dark outside, one of the main reasons Ricky didn’t like winter. That, and the fact that he was always cold. Always. He just had to look outside and he already started to shiver. He had always been like that, and it was especially hard all those winters before he moved in with Alfie, when he still lived at home and his parents couldn’t afford to heat the house. He remembered just too well how cold it would get inside. Fortunately, this was taken care of now, for the past years he had already paid the heating bill for his parents, he was glad that he could help and they wouldn’t have to live in a freezing house anymore.
Ricky yawned. He felt how he was slowly getting tired, and all he wanted to do was go home, make himself a hot chocolate and snuggle up with Alfie on the couch while watching It’s a Wonderful Life, although he knew that Alfie would probably neither be in the mood to snuggle, nor to watch that particular movie. Maybe if Ricky asked nicely he would say yes.
Ricky was about to go over the next essay when suddenly someone on the door knocked. He startled, since the sound was very loud and he didn’t expect anyone to stop by his office right now.
“Come in!” He looked up from his papers, expecting either a student or a professor, but instead it was his father standing in the doorframe, looking a bit nervous and out of place. Ricky froze. He really hadn’t seen that one coming. It’s been over two months since he last saw and talked to his father, who had made it pretty clear that he didn’t want to have anything to do with him.

“Dad…?” That word just slipped out, although Ricky was aware that his father no longer liked to be called by that name.

Thomas Butcher cleared his throat, still looking a bit uncomfortable, like he wanted to say something but didn’t know how to begin.
“I’ve never been to your office before”, he finally said, letting his glance wander around the clean room. “Actually, I’ve never been inside this university before. Lived here my whole life, but never went inside any of the school buildings. I just…I guess I didn’t belong, so I never went.”

Ricky still couldn’t believe that his father was standing in his office. Did he come to tell him that he would never want to see him again?
“I…eh…it’s really nice architecture”, was all Ricky could reply.

A moment of awkward silence followed, then his father cleared his throat again.
“Are you busy?”


He nodded.

“Ehm…no, not really.” Technically he was busy, but this was more important than those last three essays he had to mark, he could do that tomorrow.

Tom scratched his chin awkwardly. “It’s…um…it’s…” He paused, trying to find the right words. He kept looking around the room, thinking how great it was that his son had achieved all of this on his own. Ricky had always been the smart one in the family, but Tom never imagined that this insecure, shy son of his would get so far and achieve all of this.

“What is it?” Ricky tried to sound calm, but inside he was incredibly nervous of what his father had to say.

Finally, Tom looked at his son, but not hurt and disappointed as he had looked the last time he saw him, no, all of this was gone.
“I’m sorry”, he said, clear honesty in his voice.

Ricky couldn’t hide his surprise, he couldn’t remember that his dad ever apologised, he was a bit like Alfie when it came to that. For some people apologising was harder than for others, and his dad definitely belonged to those people.

“It was wrong how I talked to you, I know that. And it was wrong of me not to talk to you at all the past months.”

“You were upset”, Ricky mumbled. “I understand.”

Tom shook his head. “I was, yes, and I still…let’s just say I’m still not comfortable with the idea of you…with…you know…But still. I shouldn’t have acted like that. I’m sorry Ricky, I really am.”

Ricky could feel his heart racing, his dad actually apologised to him. Ricky didn’t cry, but only because he held back his tears, otherwise he would have cried, simply out of relief that his dad didn’t hate him.

“Now don’t get me wrong, I still don’t like that you…that…um…that you’re…”

“Gay”, his son said carefully, and he noticed his dad almost flinching by that word.

Tom looked uncomfortable, but then he nodded. “Yeah. That. I’m not a fan of the idea, I would be lying, and I’m pretty sure I will never be a fan of that idea, but I…I guess I will have to get used to it. I just know how cruel people can be to someone like you, and I would hate that anybody treats you bad just because you’re…you’re…different.”

Ricky could tell how much his dad struggled to say those things to him, and it really touched him. He could also see that Tom didn’t stop caring about him, and that was what mattered most to him. His dad didn’t want him to get hurt, and that meant the world to Ricky.
A smile crossed his face. He couldn’t even begin to tell how happy and relieved he was that his father was ‘okay’ with the situation, or at least he would be okay.
“Don’t worry about me, Dad, I will be fine.”

“I’m not so sure, you’re too trusting and naive, and people are often mean and take advantage of you. You’re an easy target.”

“I know, but I’ve always been and by now I can deal with it a lot better, I assure you.”

Tom still didn’t look convinced, but then he nodded barely visible. “Okay. I have to go now, your mother is waiting at home.”

“Tell her I said hi.”

“I will.” Tom was almost out of the door, when he felt his son’s arms around him, and although he didn’t admit it, he still liked it when his son gave him a hug. He was still his little boy, after all.

“Thanks, Dad”, Ricky whispered.

Tom nodded briefly, then he turned to the door, but before he left the office, he turned around one last time. “It’s that Jackson boy, isn’t it?”

Ricky knew what he meant and nodded.

Tom Butcher rolled his eyes. “You couldn’t have picked someone from your background, could you? Or at least someone with a less scary family.”

Ricky grinned. “That would have been too easy.”

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345Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 3rd August 2013, 17:37

Jo was preparing the huge Christmas Eve party as usual, the girls loved the excitement and they loved how beautiful the house looked. Jill tried to get kissed by every boy in the school under the mistletoes while her sister loved the mulled wine (okay the children version without wine but red grape juice) and the music. But Jo not just had to organise all home journeys of the boarding students, the party, the last assignments needed to be marked and the school had to be set for the holidays and still she loved to do this all. She knew that Liam wasn’t so much into the religious side of Christmas but he was okay that Jo taught their daughters the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth and at the same time all the other Christmas stories out there.
So there was Jo running around the school and she thought the girls were with Betty but then when she went to get them for lunch…

“Betty where are the girls?” Jo had a lithe hard time to ban the panic from her voice.

“I ain’t know nothing. I thought they are with you.” Betty looked up she had been helping or more overseeing the youngest students with their homework.  Jo starred at her nanny.


“I’m sorry Missis Jo, I will help you find them.” Betty was getting up but Jo shook her head.

“No you will stay here with the students I find my daughters.” Jo ran out just to burst into every room of the ground floor while she was shouting. “Jane? Jill? Munchkins where are you? Liam? Where are you?”

Jo burst into Liam’s class and looked at her husband. “The twins are lost!”

“What do you mean they are lost?”

“I thought they are they are with Betty but she thought they are with me. And now I realised they are with neither of us. I don’t want to freak out and I’m nearly very certain they have not left the house but still.”

“Okay, everyone class is dismissed and you all help to find the twins.” Liam looked at Jo and was surprised that she looked worried but surprisingly calm. He took her hand and went with her. “Okay so did you have a look down here?”

“Yes. Liam I’m sorry I lost the twins.” Jo bit her lower lip. “I thought they were safely with Betty.”

Meanwhile some place Jo hasn’t looked yet.
Jane and Jill had sneaked away a few older students had been looking after her. They went all the way upstairs into their daddy’s astronomy classroom the one that had the huge ceiling windows. The two little girls were lying on the floor watching the snow fall and every couple of minutes the snow got to heavy and slid down the window. They had borrowed the large box of German Christmas cookies and a bottle of chocolate milk. They didn’t even realise that people might worry where they were while they had a really good girl talk time at daddy’s special classroom. They had a very deep conversation or as deep as the conversation of two eighteen months old girls could have eating enough cookies to get sick soon and having chocolate milk giggling away about the snow on the windows above them.

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346Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 7th August 2013, 15:45

Alfie was reading one of those difficult books that nobody except him liked to read ‘just for fun’, when the phone rang. Ricky answered it while Alfie stayed on THE couch, not even looking up. When Alfie read, he really read, no distraction could get his attention. Except that one time when he was sitting on a bench on campus, reading The Great Gatsby, and seeing that young-looking boy with rosy cheeks sitting next to Josephine Williams. That day he really was distracted, that boy distracted him. And now, four years later, that particular boy had just answered the phone, because that particular boy lived with him together, and that particular boy knew him so well that he knew Alfie wouldn’t get up to answer the phone. Not while he was reading.
A few minutes later Ricky came into the living room, standing right in front of Alfie who still didn’t look up from his book.
“My father wants to talk to you.”

“Hmm…” Alfie left his eyes on the book, not paying attention.

“Hello? Did you just hear me? My father wants to talk to you.”

Alfie still didn’t react, so Ricky snatched the book away from him.

“Hey, I was-“

“My. Father. Wants. To. Talk. To. You”, Ricky said very slowly as if his boyfriend had a hearing problem.

Alfie looked confused. “Why?”

“I don’t know why.”

“Now? Over the phone?”

“No, not over the phone. He wants to meet you in person.”


“I don’t know, Alfie, he wouldn’t tell me.”

“I don’t like meeting parents.” Alfie sounded like a little child. “And especially not your father, after you absolutely had to tell him about us.”

Ricky crossed his arms. “Don’t go there, Alfie. We already talked about this, just drop it, okay?”

He rolled his eyes and leaned back in his seat. “When does he want to meet me?”

“Tomorrow afternoon.”

“He’s not coming here, is he? I’m too lazy to hide the sex toys and the porn.”

“Don’t worry, you guys will meet on equal grounds.”

“Equal grounds?” Alfie raised an eyebrow.

“The pub downtown.”

“The pub?” Alfie repeated that word very slowly. “The pub?”


“Ehm…I’m not sure if you’re aware of that, but I’ve never been to –“

“I know”, Ricky interrupted him very matter-of-factly. “That’s why I thought it would be good for you to finally go and mix with the crowd.” He shot his boyfriend a cheeky little boy grin, kissed him on the head and disappeared in the kitchen.

Alfie was so overdressed, and everyone stared at him when he entered the pub. He did not own ‘pub clothes’, why the hell would he?! And of course he had never been to a pub, goddammit, he was a Jackson, and a Jackson did not go into a pub where the ‘common people’ hung out, got drunk and watched football. He was so out of this place here, and the few people who were in the pub immediately turned their heads, some of them realising that the Prince of Oxford had just walked in- and couldn’t believe their eyes. Tom Butcher was already there, looking like a regular guest of the pub, he definitely wasn’t overdressed. He sat in a corner, away from the counter where the others sat. This situation was weird, and when Alfie walked to the corner table and greeted Ricky’s father, he was very tempted to get out a napkin and put it on top of the chair first before he sat down, but he decided not to. That would probably look too snobbish for Tom Butcher.

“Thanks for coming”, Tom said, though he didn’t sound particularly thrilled.

“Can I ask you what this is about?”

“My son, of course. What else?”

Alfie cleared his throat. Man, it was so much easier to talk to Ricky’s mom. At least she didn’t stare at him as if she wanted to cut off his penis.
“What do you want to know?”, Alfie asked.

“What’s your angle?”

“My angle?”

“With Ricky! Why him? You can have anybody, and you picked him.”

Alfie actually didn’t know what to say, he couldn’t tell his boyfriend’s dad why he cared so much about his son. No way! That was definitely too awkward.
“Never mind!”, Tom interrupted the silence. “I actually don’t care that much why you picked him, but I sure as hell care what you do with him.”

Please don’t ask me if I have sex with him, and how many times, and what positions, although I could tell you that he screams like a girl when I give him his climax, which is so turning me on, and anyway, everything is turning me on about this boy, but I so not want to tell you, Alfie thought.

“I want to make sure you treat him right. He’s not some toy you can use and then throw away, and he’s not one of your easy girls either.”

“By all due respect, sir, but I would never treat –“

“Let me talk, I’m not finished”, Tom Butcher said impatiently. “Now let me make one thing clear. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care who your family is, I don’t care what your father does and I don’t care that you’re his son. If you dare to hurt my boy, I swear to you I’m going to shoot you myself, nuts first. I mean it. I have my hunting rifles in the basement, and I’m going to use them on you, no matter if you’re a Jackson or someone unknown, I don’t care! If you hurt my son, I’ll hurt you. Got it?” Tom was aware that he really risked something by threating Lord Broderick Jackson’s son, nobody ever threatened a Jackson, especially not from Tom Butcher’s class, but his son’s happiness and safety was more important to him than the possibility of getting in trouble with one of the most important families in the country.
Alfie sat on his chair, nodding almost obediently. Instead of getting mad that someone from the lower class threatened him, he was actually more surprised about it than angry or anything, and since it was his Lover Boy’s father, he wanted to ‘behave’, so all he did was nod. Tom didn’t let him out of his sight for one second.
“I don’t know why you picked Ricky out of all people. I mean, I know that he’s special, but all that you rich people see is a poor boy from a bad background, so I have no idea why you picked him. I sure as hell don’t want to know what you do with him in that flat of yours, but don’t you dare hurt him or I will personally hurt you, are we clear?”
Alfie felt like he was the evil guy who deflowered someone’s innocent teenage daughter, and now her dad was threatening him, only that his ‘daughter’ was in fact a boy, and that boy wasn’t a teenager anymore. Still, Tom Butcher acted like Ricky was a 14-year old girl who had to be protected.

“I understand”, Alfie said. Although he didn’t say it, but he knew how Ricky’s father felt. How could you not be protective about this cute, innocent boy? Especially when someone with a certain reputation came along…

“Good.” Tom nodded, still eyeing him suspiciously. “You Jacksons might own everything, but you, young man, don’t own my son. Remember that.”

“I know.”






They sat quietly for a moment, staring at the table, then Tom cleared his throat.
“You’re not doing anything inappropriate with him, do you? Not that I want to know, I just want to make sure you’re not forcing him into doing something.”

Fantastic, Alfie thought. This is getting better and better…

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347Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 7th August 2013, 20:48

Jo started to get a little nervous when they hadn’t found the twins after over half an hour. “Liam what if someone got into the school and took them?”

Liam looked at Jo and the memory of her own kidnapping let her look a little pale. He took her hand and kissed her gently. “No one is able to come into the school. We have the gate at the border of the estate, and the doors well they are not locked but also not to open without a key from the outside. The twins cannot be taken. Come on we go and check all unused classrooms. I’m pretty sure this house has lots of places they will like to hide. There is the suitcase attic, and the other attics I can picture Jill dragging Jane along and telling her stories about monsters and fairies up there.”

Jo giggled and held on tightly to Liam’s hand. “Okay just asking.”

Together they started to check only occasionally used classrooms and the attics and storage rooms. But they did not found their daughters. It was now an hour that the twins were gone and Liam started to worry now too, or well he started to show his worry. “Okay this is getting ridiculous. Where the fuck are they? Jane! Jill! It is time to come out now, I’m not joking anymore!” Liam shouted through the halls.

“Liam what if they actually did walk outside? Did someone check the pool?” Jo wondered.

“I think the lacrosse girls are checking outside.”

“Good. Hey Liam, didn’t you take them the other day when the lightning storm was going on up to your Astronomy classroom with all the windows?” Jo wondered.

“Yes oh god that is a wonderful idea, come on.” Liam grinned and dragged his wife up all the stairs and there in the classroom fast asleep cuddled up together on a star map were Jane and Jill, their hands and mouth were covered in chocolate and the best part was that Jill had taken one of daddy’s jumper the one with Huey, Dewey, and Louie -Liam had worn it on the first Christmas Morning with Jo together- and Jo had worn it many times by now.

“I guess we found them, I wonder what they did under the window.” Liam grinned at Jo just relieved that their daughters were safe.
Jo giggled. “They have tried to find shapes in the snow falling but it got too thick too quick. I would have totally done the same. Come on let’s bring them in their beds and tell everyone that they are safe.”

The two parents picked up each one girl. Liam went downstairs to tell everyone that the twins have been found.

“Oh that is good. I’m glad to hear that you found them. Are they okay?” Ellen asked politely. She still felt a little weird about them, she was worried that when she now had an opinion on something and told it Liam that he saw it as her trying to replace his mother.

“Yes they are fine, they fell asleep in the Astronomy Classroom on a star map.” Liam grinned sort of proud that his girls thought his classroom was a room filled with fun and he was looking forward to later hear about their adventure.

“Liam you and me we are good right?” Ellen looked at Liam a little concerned.

“Yes we are fine.” Liam didn’t really want to talk about his feelings and if his view of Ellen had changed.

“Good just making sure I still just see you as the headmaster of the boarding school I am housemother and domestic science teacher and also my friend.”

“Yes something like that.”

Ellen laughed. “And Graham and I had talked and we both do not see either other getting married any time soon so I will not be the next Mrs. Hart this place was always reserved for your mom and only because of a huge mistake it got not filled.”
Liam didn’t look at Ellen but nodded.

“Good and now go upstairs to your wife and daughters before one of your students finds you.”

Liam grinned and quickly dodged away threw some of the hidden passage ways to get up to his girls.

“Liam is that you? Jill is up and she refuses to get cleaned up she wants to take a bath with Daddy to tell her about her adventure.” Jo called from the living room.

“Daddy, daddy me saw snow from bottom.” Jill appeared still covered in chocolate in the living room door frame. “Daddy come!” Jill looked expecting at her dad starting to pull at her little Mickey Mouse jumper. “Daddy bath time, now.”
Liam started laughing and picked up his little daughter. “Okay let’s go and take a bath, shall we ask mommy if she wants to come along?”

Jill looked at daddy and he knew this look, he knew that she didn’t want to share her daddy. “Okay, so just the two of us. Jo are you okay with that?”

Jo came out in the hall and kissed her husband. “Yes even though I am more relaxed and don’t freak out when the girls are in the bathtub I still don’t like to bath them. Jill is way to wild, I don’t mind bathing Jane but she prefers sponge baths something I can relate to. So you to water rats have fun. I’ve got some preparations for the Christmas party to do double check all catering is confirmed and are booked for the right times. And keep an eye on the sleeping Jane.”

Jo kissed Liam and Jill and let the two go into the girls’ bathroom.

“Daddy, listen.” Jill turned her dad’s had to look at her which made Liam laugh.

“I am listening.”

“Me and Jane went to see snow, like you showed us the lighting. And we saw it slip off and fall down and slip off and fall down again. It was funny. Daddy how did you find us? Are we in trouble?” Jill babbled in her so wonderful quite advanced speech for a eighteen months girl, but it was clear that she really liked talking, Jo saw her daughter as a wonderful speaker one day, a speaker that would make crowds to listen to her.

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348Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 9th August 2013, 19:12

Alfie needed a moment to answer. Usually he never cared what other people thought, he was always very straight-forward and for most people way too honest and open with his answers, to that point where it often got too detailed for most people, but he never cared. However, Ricky’s father asking him if he was doing anything inappropriate with his son was one of those very few, rare moments where Alfie actually hesitated with the answer. Well, what was inappropriate anyway? For him, sleeping with another man wasn’t inappropriate, but for others it was, so Tom’s definition of ‘inappropriate’ was probably something that Alfie would very likely consider as normal.
Tom was obviously very uncomfortable asking things like that, and on top of that he was still talking to British aristocracy, even though Alfie didn’t always behave like it, but still, Tom knew how important this young man actually was.

“I’m not forcing him to anything”, Alfie replied very calm.

Tom looked sceptical. “I’m not accusing you that you do, but my son is very persuasive and wants to please everyone, so he often does things he actually doesn’t want to do, only to make others happy. You better not take advantage of that.”

“I would never”, Alfie said, and Tom could actually see that the young man was speaking the truth. “Look, you have every right to distrust me, hell, I would distrust myself if I were you, but I can honestly say that I would never force Ricky into doing something he doesn’t want to do, and you might not believe me, but by now I know him so well that I can tell when he doesn’t feel comfortable about something and when he’s lying to me about being okay with it. I know how he works, Mr Butcher, I really know him, and I’m not taking advantage of him, he’s the last person who would deserve something like that.”

Tom was still not sure what to think of Alfie, he only knew all those things that papers and magazine articles were saying about him, and Tom didn’t know what was true and what wasn’t, so overall he- and everybody else- had no idea who Alfred Jackson really was, and what kind of intentions he had with someone like Ricky, but Tom was actually very surprised how calm and serious this young man was while talking about Ricky. Of course Tom had expected the young Jackson heir not only to be spoilt and arrogant, but he also expected him to talk down to him, but Alfie hadn’t done anything like that. During the entire conversation he did not once say something that made Tom feel inferior to him, something that reminded him that he was lower class. Tom felt that Alfie actually took him serious, which really surprised him. He was so sure that Lord Jackson’s son would treat him like all the other upper class people did, but nothing like that happened, and the way he talked about Ricky made Tom realise that, even though he had no idea what Alfie’s intentions were, there was still something honest about him.

Alfie could see that Tom was struggling, obviously unsure what to make of Ricky’s ‘friend’.
“It’s probably hard for you to believe that I chose Ricky without certain evil thoughts, but maybe I just like him, you know? I don’t think it’s that impossible to just like someone without having to have reasons or bad intentions. Maybe I just happen to like him, period.”

Tom scrutinised Alfie quietly. The thought that a man could like another man that way was still strange to him, and would probably always be strange, but it was even stranger for him to believe that the son of one of the ‘best’ families in the country was one of them. And he wasn’t the only aristocrat who had those likings, history could prove that it wasn’t just a ‘sickness’ under which lower class boys had to suffer, it were just as many, if not especially the wealthy young men of the high society, who might marry and have children to carry on with the family line, but secretly met with boys. And ironically, all those rich families bragged about being pure blooded and better than ordinary families. Tom would have never guessed Alfred Jackson could possibly be interested in men, and that he would actually like his son ‘that way’.
Tom had countless more questions on his mind, but he decided there was only one more he would ask Alfie today. He had already asked him, but Alfie hadn’t really given him an answer, so Tom asked again.
“Why Ricky?”

Alfie didn’t look away, he looked him straight in the eyes, and even a tiny half-smile crossed his face.
“Why not?”

Now Tom couldn’t hide his surprise any longer. He caught himself starting to believe that Alfie was actually not all bad, and that he treated Ricky well. Did he really start to trust this rich boy?
“My wife’s waiting at home”, he mumbled and got up, looking one last time at Alfie. “And remember, you hurt my son, I’ll get out the rifle.”

“I won’t forget.”

Tom nodded, then he left the pub, not seeing that the moment he was out of the door, Alfie quickly got out a bottle of hand sanitizer. Man, he had wanted to do this since the moment he entered this dump! One could never know what kind of germ-carrying disease-person sat at this place before…

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349Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 10th August 2013, 19:31

Ricky was a wreck. He meant to do some work but he couldn’t concentrate. He tried to bake, cook make any kind of food preparation and well he couldn’t do that either. He watched TV but that wasn’t really the right thing either. He tried to read a book but… he couldn’t do that either. So in the end he was deep cleaning the house. From top to bottom in every corner and then after an eternity Alfie unlocked the front door and by then the flat was seriously clinical sterile clean. It was so clean that you could drink the water out of the toilet after you did you business into it. Ricky didn’t want to be too pushy so he waited at the end of the hallway. Alfie smelled already downstairs when he opened (okay the doorman did that) the house door that Ricky had been cleaning, so when he got upstairs in the flat he took off his shoes and hung up his coat. And then he looked up right at Ricky.

“Are you okay?” Ricky asked carefully.

“I need to shower!” Alfie said but then saw the sad and hurt look in Ricky’s face so he added. “It was just the pub not the… conversation.” Alfie went with quick steps towards Ricky and pulled his boyfriend in a very tight none sexual hug. “I found out that you are not poor at all. You are the richest boy I know. You have parents that love you! That love you even when you do things in a way they don’t understand. Anyway, he is going to shoot off my penis and my balls if I ever dare to hurt you and I do deserve it if I hurt you. And I really need to shower.” Alfie whispered gently into Ricky’s hair.

God this boy is just perfect, why would Tom… Mr Butcher ask me ‘Why Ricky?’ the bigger questions is… ‘Why… me?’.

“I could join you. If you like?” Ricky looked up with his beautiful eyes.

“Only if you want to.” Alfie still whispered, kissed Ricky and then went towards the stairs to get to their bathroom. “Hey Lover Boy I’m never making you do anything you don’t want to, do I?”

Ricky looked a little confused at Alfie. “What no, you don’t. I mean sometimes I… um you know when I try to… impress you I not always feel comfortable but… you always see it and make me feel more comfortable. Remember like when you laughed about me when I told you that you can hit me.”

Alfie laughed and took Ricky’s hand as they went up the spiral staircase. “Yes that was amazing.”

“Charming as ever. But seriously no you do not make me do anything that I don’t want to do.” Ricky liked it when Alfie took his hand. It was a cute gesture and Ricky was all for cute gestures. Alfie was gentler then normally when he undressed Ricky.

“Did anyone ever tell you that you are beautiful?” Alfie said in a weak moment. The naked Ricky looked up and blushed deeply red.

“Um, I don’t know, no.” Ricky whispered and actually tried to cover himself. It made Alfie laugh and gently pushed him into the giant shower. It was odd since the moment Alfie saw how protective Tom Butcher is about his son, he kept just looking at him. Nothing more just admiring his boyfriend that was so perfect.

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350Growing Up - Page 14 Empty Re: Growing Up on 12th August 2013, 20:18

It was three days before Christmas, and Dan was stressed out. Not because of Christmas, of course, but because he wanted to get great presents for everyone in his new family- and he had no idea what. This actually would be his first real Christmas, his parents never really celebrated Christmas because they were neither religious nor wanted to ‘waste’ all that money on presents and food for a Christmas dinner. Dan knew his parents couldn’t afford it, but on the other hand, even poor people could celebrate Christmas, even without that many presents or a big turkey, there were still ways to create a nice Christmas without luxury items- but his parents never did.
Dan was very excited about this upcoming Christmas, he felt like a little boy and could barely sleep because he was too excited. He actually got his own pocket money- a completely new feeling- and could buy presents for his family, but now, three days before Christmas Eve, he still had no idea what to get them. It wasn’t because of his lack of imagination. It was because he so badly wanted to give everyone something special, and all the things he looked at were just not special enough for his wonderful family. He owed his life to them, he already loved them so much, even John, who had started to warm up to the young man and often took him aside to spend some ‘man to man’-time with him, which Dan really enjoyed, because he never had a real father figure in his life, someone he could look up to. This Christmas would mean so much to Dan, the von Gruensees had no idea how much. He wanted to thank each one of them for saving his life and giving him a family he never had. He was so determined to find perfect presents that he really started to stress out, and now, on this cold December afternoon, he was running around town, in desperate search for presents. He also wanted to find something for Missis Jo and Mr Liam who had helped him as well, and, of course, something for Ricky, to whom he was especially grateful (and still sorry that he just kissed him out of the blue).
Dan stood in front of a shop and looked at the pipes that were displayed in the window. He knew Mr Liam didn’t smoke, so he couldn’t do anything with a pipe except staring at it. Ricky looked like he was 12, it was impossible to imagine him with a pipe, and John…well, John had a cigarette now and then, but only secretly, and only when he was tense or stressed about something, then he always ‘hid’ outside so his wife wouldn’t see it, but as soon as he came back in, she always glared at him, crossed her arms and told him what a bad influence he had on their sons- and after some silent-treatment from her, they kissed and everything was fine. So yeah, giving John a pipe for Christmas was probably not the best idea either…

“Hey, Dan.”

Dan turned around and saw his teacher James McAlister. Mr James… God, he was so cute, and he had that accent. Dan had a hard time focusing in his class while Mr James was walking around in front of him, also Mr Liam, who was super cute as well and had that adorable accent. Both teachers distracted him majorly, but Dan knew that Mr Liam was taken, so he didn’t stare at him like that anymore, but Mr James… well, a bit of staring never hurt anybody. And Dan really had a thing for men with accents.
James was wearing a blue scarf that matched perfectly with his eyes, Dan noticed it immediately, but didn’t realise that he was staring with a slightly opened mouth now.

“I didn’t take you for a smoker”, James said with a grin.

“What…eh…no! I was just…um…looking…”

“And I was just teasing you, no worries.” James looked friendly at his student.

“I’m looking for Christmas presents”, Dan explained.

“Any luck?”

He shook his head.

“You live with the von Gruensees, right?”

“Yes. And I want to get really nice presents, but it turns out to be almost impossible. I’ve got something for Edward.” Dan pulled out a beautiful, leather-bound notebook. “He writes down his musical compositions all the time, so I thought I would get him a proper book to write them down, but the rest… I’ve been running around the entire afternoon, well, actually, the entire month and haven’t found anything.”

“Are you looking for something specific?”

“No, just something to show my gratitude, something special…” Dan’s eyes wandered back to the pipes. This was hopeless.

“Then it should be something personal”, James said. “Maybe you didn’t find anything in shops yet because it’s not for sale. It has to come from you. I’m sure they would love something from you, not from a shop.”

Dan looked back at his teacher. James was smiling at him, and Dan stared at him for too long, and when he realised that he was staring, he blushed and cleared his throat. “I wish I could write poems, or be artistically gifted and could give them a painting from me or something like that, but I have no talents at all.”

“Oh boy, you couldn’t be more wrong about yourself! Even if you’re not the best painter or musician or God knows what, you are a student at Waterfall Downs, and that means that you’re crazy talented, you know? Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, especially not yourself.”

Dan sighed. “Yeah, I’m good at studying, that’s about it…”

“That’s not the talent I was talking about”, James said calmly. “Aside from the fact that you’re one of the best in my PA class, and you really are, no matter that you’re shorter than the other boys your age, there’s another talent that not everyone has, especially very intelligent smarty-pants often lack in that area…”

“And what’s that?”


Dan stared at James, now totally blushing.

“And you just happen to be a very intelligent smarty-pants with heart, that’s a rare combination. The von Gruensees are blessed to have you, you are their present, you know?”

Dan tried to reply, but he didn’t get one single word out.

James grinned at him with that cheeky grin that made him look like a boy rather than a man. “You’re looking like someone told you that you’re possessed by a demon and have to be exorcised. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable, I just wanted to point something out that you don’t see yet, but hopefully will.”


“You’ll be okay.” James put a hand on Dan’s shoulder. “Anyway, I have to get going, I hope you’ll find what you’re looking for.” He winked at him, and Dan felt a bit weak in his knees. “”See you in school!”

“Bye…”, Dan mumbled, watching him as he turned away.

Why were all the good guys either taken or straight? And they always happened to be a lot older than him, too…

Growing Up - Page 14 MissAusten

SPN: Georgina (Georgie) Gilmore
SG: The Kid
LaL: Willow
PA: Skadi
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