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Growing Up

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351Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 12th August 2013, 22:07

Jo was sitting in the headmaster’s office –her father’s old office- she had the travel list of all students. Some were leaving in the next days but most left at around right on Christmas Eve. So they had a chance to be part of the Waterfall Downs Christmas Eve Party and still were at home for Christmas Morning. Four students would be staying over the break not that Jo didn’t like the idea but she had on her to-do list to call a few parents to see if they would take in one of the four students, simply because it was nicer for them to spend the Christmas Holidays in a family and not a big empty house.
Jo looked at the clock at the wall and then at the list of students that were off the estate. Charles was playing taxi driver and he really liked it. Most groups had come back only Sarah and Dan were still out at least out alone. She knew that Dan was not one of her boarding students but normally he always went home right after school but today he is a very thorough boy and he signed a going into town slip and of course had told Lorelai that he was in town. Jo wondered if Dan would be driven home by Charles or would call his parents. Jo smiled she knew what Lorelai had for him as present. She and John had the signed papers by social judge that he was legally adopted by them, Dan was really their son.

“Missis Jo that is Sarah back from town and she ran into Dan he said he would call Lorelai to pick her up.” Charles popped in the office. “That is all right?”

“Yes that are all thank you Charles. I think you can go home now Charles. Thank you very much for staying longer.” Jo smiled.

“It was a pleasure.” Charles smiled and left the office. Jo looked down at the travelling schedule again she would later go and see if her students have started packing and if they got prepared. He eyes fell on the family picture they had taken in Brighton and it well it was a disaster. Jill was making Jane rabbit ears and Liam tried to pull them away and Jo was trying to calm then all down. All four were over each other but all four of them were laughing and Jo just loved the first try of this picture. In the hall of ancestors was a nice version of them. But still Jo loved the chaos version of the picture. Jo grinned and quickly got up and went to see her students and then her family. Liam had send Betty home and had the girls in his office while he was grading the last projects. Jo smiled when she saw that the older students have helped the younger ones to pack their suitcase for the Christmas break and all were ready to be send ahead home. “Missis Jo, I know it is early but. This is for you. Please open it.”

“Oh Sarah that wouldn’t be necessary.” Jo smiled and unwrapped a beautiful blank notebook. The cover was the colour of the pages of an old book sort of brownish and Sarah had written lots of quotes from not anyone but from students, teachers and all staff from Waterfall Downs Academy. “I’ve seen you write Missis Jo and I thought you would like to… sort of do it with all of us with you.”

“Sarah it is beautiful. Thank you so much.” Jo smiled at her lacrosse captain who had built for Jill a miniature lacrosse stick so that her little not even two year old daughter was able to play lacrosse.

“I’m glad you like it Missis Jo. Okay um I’ve got to go back and finish packing.”

Meanwhile still in Oxford downtown.
Dan was looking at the pipes in the display window and suddenly it hit him what he could give Lorelai and John as present. He ran to the shop down the street and bought a simple but nice picture frame and ran to the next phone box to tall Lorelai. He had to talk to Liam and make sure he gets the boys to play along.
Later that day Jo curled up with Liam on the couch. “Liam I was thinking.”

“Oh boy,”

“Hey,” Jo punched Liam the stomach.

“Okay, what were you thinking about?” Liam kissed her on the top of her head.

“Do you want to play a game with me?”

“What kind of game?” Liam looked curious at her.

“A game that will bring us closer. We ask questions and the other one has to answer them honestly. We can ask the questions verbally or written. And so can be the answers. We not have to answer right away but we do have to answer or at least explain why not. It is a game girls play on sleepovers, not that I ever was on one but I heard about them.”
Liam watched Jo for a while. “Jo are you okay?”

“I’m fine, really. Just sometimes I feel like you try to keep me separate from your past and I would really like to be a part of all your life.”

Liam watched her a little bit longer and then nodded. “Okay. Do you have a question in mind?”

“Yes I do. What if I would have wanted to wait until we are married to sleep with you?”

Liam ran his hands through his hair. “Um…I guess I would have spent a lot of alone time in front of the TV, watching certain ‘grown-up’ movies…”

Jo blushed immensely. Liam grinned. “Come on you asked.”

“True I did and I’m glad you answered that honestly.” Jo snuggled closer to Liam, she was glad that his answers was just the way it was she was scared that his answer might had been that he would not have wanted to wait.

“So my turn.”

Jo looked surprised at Liam, she hadn’t thought that he would actually be a little excited about the game.

Liam looked curious at Jo. “If you hadn’t met me, what do you think your life would have been like?”

Jo turned away to look at the TV wondering for a while how to answer. "I'm not sure. I know I would have been allowed to finish University and then mother would have tried everything that I marry Victor and just the thought that it could have happened scares me. I think I would have left Oxford, left all of this and made sure my mother would not know where I live. And I think I would have just live in a tiny cottage, write books, be an English lit tutor and dream of a different life. I just knew I could not just sit here and let it happen."

Liam kissed Jo. A while ago well a very long while ago he found out that Elizabeth had actually no maternal rights over Jo. Yes she was her mother but she was not allowed to make any decisions. “Jo did you know that your mother since the moment you were born had no rights to make any decisions about your life?”

Jo looked up surprised. “What?”

“That is why Colin was never really worried that you would end up with Victor unless you wanted to. He would have never signed the papers. I’m sorry should I have told you this earlier? I found out when I was looking for William.”

Jo didn’t say anything. They just continued watching the movie until it was time to go to bed. It was dark and both had said goodnight. Liam saw that Jo was not angry just thinking and he gave her the space to do that. The moment just before Jo was asleep she whispered. “I think I sort of always knew. Everything happened the way he wanted it no matter if my mother was screaming or not. I just never asked him about it. It is okay that you didn’t tell me, it is not important. See the ‘What if-game’ brings us closer.”

“You are not mad?”

“No I’m glad that we can decide together about the future of our family. Goodnight Handsome.”

“Goodnight Beautiful.”

Growing Up - Page 15 ArielButtercup
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352Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 15th August 2013, 14:36

It was the 24th of December when Liam got up earlier than usual. This was going to be a long, hectic day, but also a day everyone was looking forward to, because Waterfall Downs once again hosted its annual Christmas party, as always on Christmas Eve. And, as tradition requested, you had to wear at least one piece that was red, and underwear didn’t count, because the red article had to be seen. Last year, Jo had convinced her husband to wear a ridiculous red Christmas jumper with Rudolph the Rednosed-Reindeer on it, so this year he didn’t want to wear a silly jumper again, and he wore something that was very unusual for him; a bow tie. A red one, of course. And he actually kind of liked it- not that he would become a regular bow tie-wearer from now on, not like Professor Colin Williams- or Ricky, who owned more bow ties than normal ties.
After an hour of running around school and organising things, he went back upstairs to their flat to check on Jane, who usually woke up around this time, but to his surprise he found Jo - awake! She greeted him with a tired smile, still wearing her morning robe and bunny slippers.
“Hey, Handsome.”

“Hey, Beautiful.”

She tiptoed and kissed him, her hair all messy. Her hair was never straight, it tended to be more on the naturally curlier side (when it was long), but it was often all over the place after she woke up in the morning, and Liam thought it was adorable. Although he totally loved her short hair (he was probably the only guy who preferred short hair on his girlfriend, but he just loved it!), he also loved playing with Jo’s longer, messy hair while she was lying next to him in bed. And she sure enjoyed tousling his hair, which- as it already did back in the days when he adored Lorelai- had an arousing effect on him. Obviously only when the girl he loved did it. There was no way he’d feel aroused if Alfie would tousle his hair. Or Dick.
God, that would be weird! No, it had to be a certain lady…

“I have a little surprise for you”, Jo whispered into his ear.

“Already? But the official present time isn’t for another few hours.”

That same moment, Jill walked out of the living room into the hallway, followed by her sister.

“Girls, you were supposed to wait in the living room so you can show off to Daddy how pretty you are!”, Jo laughed. She wanted to surprise Liam by showing him his two proper, beautiful girls, all dressed up for a great Christmas. They looked so adorable in their matching outfits, with their ginger hair (they finally had longer hair! Last year around this time, it was just a tiny bit of ginger fluff), looking at both parents with their blue eyes, and once again Liam felt this incredibly strong love he had for his family. They didn’t mean the world to him, they were his whole world.

“Oh my God, look at you!” The proud dad knelt down to take a closer look at his pretty, little daughters, then he pulled them both into his arms and kissed each one on top of their soft hair, which made them giggle happily. “And you’re even awake, Jill. I can’t believe it.”

Jill still looked a bit sleepy, but her eyes managed to shimmer cheekily at the same time.
“Mommy said it’s a big day”, she babbled.

“Besdies, Jill was so excited about the Christmas party that she woke up before her sister”, Jo added.

“Wow, are you going to be an early-bird like Jane from now on?”, Liam asked.

“No!” Jill giggled and shook her head.

“Daddy, tie!” Jane pointed at her dad’s bow tie.

“I know, darling, I’m actually wearing a bow tie for once. Don’t get used to it, though.”

“No.” Jane shook her head, then she moved her little hands towards his bow tie and straightened it.

Jo sighed and shook her head. “Believe it or not, Liam, but your 17 months old daughter noticed that your tie wasn’t straight.”

“Well, then I have to thank her for not letting me run around like a complete idiot”, Liam replied jokingly, stroking gently over Jane’s soft cheek. She was still looking at the bow tie as if she was dissatisfied with her ‘work’, apparently it was still not straight enough in her eyes, but then Jo lifted her up carefully and looked into her daughter’s beautiful eyes, the eyes she inherited from Daddy.

“How about some breakfast, Munchkin? Since it’s a special occasion, I’m going to make waffles.”

“Yay!”, both Liam and Jill shouted excitedly.

“With chocolate chips, please.” Liam looked pleadingly at his wife, like a little boy who begged his mum for candy, and Jo let out a laugh.

“You’re such a child!” She kissed him once more. “But that’s why I love you.”

Growing Up - Page 15 MissAusten

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353Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 15th August 2013, 22:54

Lorelai was up since dawn and had a cup of coffee and had double checked the Christmas tree, she had a couple of proper German Christmas cookies and waited for her boys to wake up. And it was not surprising when she heard Henry. “Mutti der Weihnachstmann war da. Hier sind Geschenke. Quick! Everyone wacht ouf! Danny, Danny hier sind auch Geschenke fuer dich, I mean you got presents. Schneel!” Henrry ran into Dan’s bedroom and jumped on his big brothers bed. Dan groaned in pain but sat up, by the time he opened his eyes Henry was already waking Edward. Lorelai laughed about her son. “Henry you know the rules only three presents before breakfast. Good morning.” Lorelai smiled at Dan. “Merry Christmas.”

“Mutti I told you, you don’t have to speak English with me anymore I need to practice my German.” Dan mumbled while he kissed Lorelai on the cheek. “Frohe Weihnachten.”

“Go pick some presents and open them.”

“I’ve got presents?”

“Yes you do. So go on, oh there is also a present from someone outside the family. Do we need to talk Dan?” Lorelai looked with sparkling eyes at him.

“What?” Dan went pale and ran into the living room and found the small simple brown package with the neat writing For Dan from a special Friend. Now Dan was really pale. He knew no one who would call himself a special friend and why was there no name on it. What was going on.

“Mutti what if it is a bomb?” Dan looked worried at Lorelai.

“Does it tick?” Lorelai actually enjoyed seeing Dan mildly freaking out. She of course knew from whom this was, there was nothing on her stud estate she didn’t know about.
Dan put the little present to his ear. “No.”

“Then as much as I know it is not a bomb.”

“Open it, open it Danny! I want to see what it is.” Henry was looking at the pile of present under the tree. “But can you help me I can’t find my name anywhere.”

Dan grinned and quickly helped Henry to find all of his presents. “You are right the name was weirdly hidden on all your presents.” Dan would never crush his little brother because he couldn’t read his own name. Henry just started learning the alphabet. Dan went back to the present still just holding it, while John appeared behind Lorelai with a sleepy Edward. “Frohe Weihnachten Mutti.” Edward mumbled still sleepy, he didn’t mind waking up early but he didn’t like when his brother woke him harsh.

“I know there are some good presents Teddy go and have a look.” Lorelai smiled and kissed her son. They would all later go to Waterfall Downs and she loves the Christmas Party there but this here with all her boys meant the world to her. And then suddenly Dan got up the still wrapped present. “Mutti this is for you from me. I know you want to pick your own presents but please pick this one, well it is for you and dad.”

Lorelai smiled and slowly unwrapped the present. John looked form Dan to Lor and back again. And then Lorelai was holding the beautiful picture frame very simple dark wooden but the frame was not the important part the important part was the picture. Their three sons in riding gear and holding their horses at the reigns widely smiling and looking very brotherly. “Oh Dan.” Lorelai was actually speechless. John felt Lorelai trembling a little and he knew what she meant.

“This is a wonderful gift. This fits perfectly in our collection.” John took the picture at hung it up at the family wall. “We need take a new family picture darling.” John kissed his wife.

“So you like it?” Dan mumbled.

“We love it.” Lorelai pulled Dan into a tight hug. “Boys take your presents and lets get some breakfast. Opa made us Broetchen and they should be ready about now. At least that is what he said.” They went in the large kitchen where all her brothers and her father were waiting and laughing. The little boys were the only children of the Von Gruensees and they both they loved the attention and Dan was just welcomed in the middle. Lorelai handed Dan an envelope.

“What is this?” Dan looked at her.

“Open it.” Lorelai grinned her typical mysterious smile. Dan quickly opened it and then suddenly had a heart attack. He was holding important looking papers in his hands and then suddenly he understood them. “Holy shit!” Dan starred in horror at them.

“I told you I will make sure they can never hurt you again.” Lorelai whispered, she smiled lovingly at the papers. …Daniel Von Gruensee… adoptive mother: Lorelai Von Gruensee… adoptive father: John Von Gruensee…

“Is this for real?” Dan didn’t dare to look at Lorelai or John or anyone at the table.

“Yes this is real, your biological parents signed their rights away and a judge made you our son. You are now officially a Von Gruensee. And I will never regret the day when Ricky called me and said I need your help Lorelai, there is this boy and he can’t go home, ever again. And all I said was bring him here his home is now here. He tried to talk to me about the fact that you are gay but it never matter to me, I never and will never see you differently no matter if you like boys or girls or both. And you were my son since I first hugged you. So this paper just makes it legal. Merry Christmas Dan.”

Dan looked up and had tears in his eyes, to his surprise everyone at the table was looking at him, and he knew in that moment that he not just gotten a Mutti and a dad and two younger brothers but also two uncles and one Opa and they all would rather die than let anyone hurt him.

“Thank you so much.” Dan was for a little while the shy boy that had arrived here half a year ago. The present of his secret friend still on the table.

“You know you should really open this.” Lorelai whispered in his ear just before she turned to John and told him something.

Dan looked at the little package. It was rather light and it didn’t rattle at all. No one was paying attention to Dan when he carefully unwrapped the present. A simple brown leather bracelet fell in his hand and on the back it has a burning in it. Amigo It took Dan about five seconds until he knew from whom it was. “Shit!”

Lorelai turned around and looked at Dan. “Excuse me? Language young man!”

“I’m sorry Mutti. Um may I be excused from the table?” Dan looked pleading at Lorelai.

“Is it important?”


“Okay but don’t be late we leave at one o’clock sharp and you have to wear the family red sweater!”

Dan jumped up and was half out of the door when Lorelai shouted after him. “Hey, Mister where is my kiss?”

Dan came back kissed Lorelai on the cheek and then ran out to the stables. But when he then saw Filipe he stopped at the corner he suddenly wasn’t sure anymore why he went so quickly into the stables.

Inside Lorelai was giggling she knew from whom the present was and what it meant to Dan and that in a few days or weeks she has to have a talk with Dan. She didn’t mind when he and Filipe would be intimate but she didn’t want that the younger boys got caught in that.

Growing Up - Page 15 ArielButtercup
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354Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 18th August 2013, 09:25

Dan felt stupid. He was hiding behind a wooden door of one of the horse boxes and watched the young stable boy who just fed the animals. Dan had planned to walk in there all calm and natural, thanking him for the present, but instead he was hiding like a criminal, and feeling like one, too.
Get a grip!, he thought. How hard is it to go up there and say thank you? Don’t act like a stupid fool!
Dan didn’t know why he was freaking out like this. Maybe because he thought the older boy was very cute- but he also thought Mr Liam and Mr James were cute, and he never freaked out like that in front of them. Maybe it was because for the very first time in his life a boy gave him a present. A very cute boy. Dan kept wondering why the hell he was acting so weird when he suddenly noticed that he stood with one foot in horse poop, and he jumped up- which, of course, drew Filipe’s attention immediately towards him.
A grin crossed his already cheeky face. “Little Daniel”, he said with his Portuguese accent.

Dan started to blush while getting rid of the horse shit on his shoe. “I…ehm…”

“You were looking at me work, were you not?”

“Me? No! Not at all!” Dan brushed his bushy hair nervously out of his forehead. Lorelai kept saying ‘We have to do something about your hair, young man!’, and she was looking forward to a ‘make-over’, although Dan wasn’t quite sure what to think of that. He never really cared how his hair looked like, but he knew Lorelai had a good taste, so he would trust her with his ‘hair situation’.
“I…I was just…ehm…admiring the horses.” He looked at one of the horses and pretended to be interested, but he was so much more interested in that boy in front of him. There was some hay on Filipe’s shoulders and a bit of dirt on his knees and trousers. Dan had never seen him completely clean, which made sense, because he worked in the stables all day, and for some reason Dan was very attracted to that, this little dirtiness was kind of hot. And that accent! Dan couldn’t help being attracted to men with accents, whether Irish, Scottish or Portuguese. It was just super hot.
And now he started blushing for thinking about that.

“Admiring the cavalos?” Filipe raised his eyebrows playfully.

Dan cleared his throat. “Well…ehm…actually I wanted to…eh…I wanted to thank you for your present.”

The older boy smiled, and Dan got all weak in his knees.
“You like it?”

“Yes, a lot.”

“Excelente!” He didn’t let Dan out of his sight for a second, his dark eyes resting on the younger boy, which made the younger boy very, very nervous. “And I’m, what do you say…happy…”

“Happy, yes.”

“Happy you are in the family now.” Filipe’s English was still not completely perfect, but Dan could listen to him for hours.

“Thanks.” Dan smiled shyly. “I…eh…I’m sorry I don’t have a present for you, I feel really bad about it. The past days I’ve been running around like crazy just to find something for Lorelai, John and the boys…and I…eh…”

“That is okay.” The cheeky smile didn’t leave Filipe’s lips. “It is present enough for me that you are now here.”

Dan didn’t see himself, but he knew that he just turned deep red. He was about to say something, when he hear Henry’s voice.

“Danny!” The little boy stormed into the stable and ran to his big brother. “We have to get ready now! And you have to wear the red jumper, Mutti said.”

“Oh, yes, sorry. I’m…eh…”

“Why are you so red, Danny?” Henry looked curiously at his older brother.

“What are you talking about?” Dan pretended that he had no idea what Henry meant.

“Your face is like a tomato!”

Filipe chuckled while Dan wanted to dig a hole and hide in it. “It’s not”, he mumbled and put his hands on Henry’s shoulders. “Anyway, we have to go now.” He looked one last time at Filipe and smiled a bit awkwardly, then he and Henry left the stables.

“Do you like him?”, Henry asked.

“Who?” Dan still pretended he had no idea.

“Filipe! Do you think he’s hot? He looks good, doesn’t he? He has a very nice face, right? Did you see his eyes? They are very nice too.” Henry grinned at him, his eyes full of curiosity. “Do you want to marry him?”

Dan rolled his eyes and tousled Henry’s dark hair. “Oh man, you’re incredible, Henry, do you know that?”

Growing Up - Page 15 MissAusten

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355Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 18th August 2013, 14:29

“What?” Henry looked curious at Dan. They quickly ran into the house to put on the family jumpers which were a little bit silly but tradition.

“You are late mister and I had to send you little brother to get you.” Lorelai put her hands on her hips.

“I know so sorry.” Dan was still blushed and just started blushing again when he heard Henry tell Mutti about Filipe and Dan.

Meanwhile at Waterfall Downs

Most parents had arrived and the party was fully going. Lunch was just finished and the guests had spread a little there were some in the music room filling the house with carols some were in the Fireplace Salon roasting Marshmallows and other nice treats and some just enjoyed the cosiness of Waterfall Downs Academy.
Colin had taken to his wife’s disappointment the girls from Jo and Liam and was sitting with them on the floor in the corner next to the Christmas tree and read to them. Elizabeth hated seeing her husband sit on the floor with those two children.
Jo and Liam went from little group to little group, they spoke with parents, teachers and some very few selected sponsors. It was by far not as big as the summer festival but still quite big since at least half the students brought their families then there were the teacher’s families and some close friends so it was still quite a big event. Jo took Liam’s hand and looked happy and the guests.



“Are you happy?”

“Yes very, are you?”

Jo smiled widely, she loved Christmas and she really loved being a teacher of their school. “Yes very.”

Liam pulled her in his arms. Jo grinned. “Hey I need you to show you something.”

“What is it?”

The young woman checked if their daughter’s were happy with their grandfather and then pulled Liam down the halls into the cloakroom. “Jo what are we doing here?”

“Mr O’Doherty, Sir. I know I failed my finals but I hoped I could make up for them.” Jo looked innocent at her husband before she tiptoed and whispered in his ear. “You can do it from behind.”
When she leaned back Liam saw that she had unbuttoned her dress and he had the full view on her rack. “Let me see what I can do with your grade.” Liam grinned when he kissed Jo and let his hands roam over those beautiful perfect boobs he loved so much. He pushed her towards the chest of drawers in which they kept spare hats, scarves, gloves and socks. He had to grin when he saw her in the mirror on it. “You sure you want it here?”

Jo giggled when she felt his excitement in his pants. “Uh-huh! Most certainly Sir. The mud room is a perfect place and the danger of getting caught makes it exciting. I never did it with a teacher, Sir. Or well I never did it at all.” Jo was really good in playing the shy school girl, she has been exactly this girl for too long. “My boyfriend does not have to know that I broke the promise to wait does he?”

“I like it that you are fresh.” Liam grinned and kissed Jo’s shoulder while his hands enjoyed her boobs and watching the action in the mirror. Jo giggled nervous. “You are so beautiful.” Liam said seriously. Jo looked up and their gazes met, Jo blushed. “Will we ever grow up and not do it while we have guests?” Liam grinned.

Jo laughed and shook her head. “But it is so much fun.” Jo grasped when Liam entered her.

“You have to be quiet people might hear us.”

Jo closed her eyes but nodded biting her lip, she managed to mumble. “I’ll try.”

The two didn’t hear the door get open when they were in the middle of the act. For a while the intruder just watched the two and he really enjoyed what he saw until a moan escaped him. Jo looked up and went pale.

“Alfie what the fuck are you doing here?” Liam said it was odd they were in a way beyond the point where they could just stop.

“Me? I'm not the one fucking but I am enjoying the show. Josephine who would have known that you are such a wild cat in bed?” Alfie snarled, when Jo saw that Alfie was actually aroused seeing his best friend and wife in a very intimate position. Jo leaned forward to hide her boobs and her bright red face. “Liam? Do something.” She mumbled, yes she was a wild cat in bed and it was one thing when Lorelai caught them under the dinner table and told them that they were looking good and walked out the room so that they could get dressed but being caught by Liam’s best friend who actually liked to watch them was anything but… nice. “Get out Alfred Jackson, please.” Jo was pleading. A while ago Victor had seen them but that was different she could hate Victor for seeing them intimate but Alfie, she was in a way just starting to like and even if it was just for Liam’s sake.
Alfie grinned. “There is no shame to get nailed on a party I would totally do it if Ricky would play along.”

“Alfie!” Liam shouted.

Growing Up - Page 15 ArielButtercup
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356Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 19th August 2013, 17:25

Alfie didn’t quite understand why Liam was freaking out like that. There was nothing to freak out, seriously. Liam tried to shield Jo so that he couldn’t look at her, but he honesty was more distracted by Liam’s butt, which was very visible since he had his trousers pulled down.

“Nice bottom”, Alfie said, almost with the accent of Mary Poppins. “Though I still haven’t seen your little lad, or is it a big lad?”

“Alfie, seriously, get the hell out!” Liam didn’t know what was worse, that his friend had watched them in the middle of the act, or that he was totally checking him out right now.

“Okay, okay. I don’t know why you’re making such a big deal out of this, but if it makes you feel better, I’ll leave you alone. You and your wifey can continue now.” Alfie turned around and left the mud room.

“I’m sorry, but I…eh…I have to talk to him.” Liam pulled up his trousers and stuffed his shirt in. “I just want to make sure he doesn’t…you know…tell anybody.”

Jo still looked freaked out, covering her breasts, but then he kissed her gently and chuckled. “You know what? Almost every time we do it, something comes up. Or rather, someone. It’s always been like that, have you noticed that? As if the universe wants to stop us from having sex.” Liam grinned to make Jo feel a bit better. “Well, and I say: screw the universe!”

A smile appeared on Jo’s face now, but she still looked flushed. “Hurry up. I will get dressed now, I’m not..ehm…not really in the mood anymore.”

“Yeah, me neither. But we can repeat it another time, when we’re alone.” He kissed her one last time, then he went out of the room. Alfie was just checking how much whiskey he had left in his flask.

“Done already?”, he asked without looking up. “A quickie, hm?”

“Dude, what’s wrong with you? I don’t care if you watch porn, I do that too sometimes, but it’s a whole different story to watch actual people, especially when those people are friends of yours.”



“I don’t think I’m considered one of Josephine’s friends, we hadn’t had a pyjama party with beauty masks and cheesy romantic movies yet.”

“Don’t be an idiot”, Liam replied dryly. “It’s not normal to watch other people having sex. In fact, it’s sick.”

Alfie finally looked up, looking completely disinterested. “First of all, I didn’t stalk you two, if you think that. I actually did get lost, and well, it happened to be in the same room that you decided to nail your wife in, but that wasn’t my idea. And secondly, would you really turn away if you’d see pretty Miss Lorelai doing it?”

Liam actually blushed, which kind of gave him away. “Of course I’d turn away.”

Alfie raised an eyebrow. “Would you?”


“You know what I think? I think you would turn away after a minute because you would feel weird, but for at least one minute you actually would watch her. Am I right?”

Liam didn’t answer. He really didn’t want to answer those kind of questions.

“You’d be curious, you’d be turned on, you actually couldn’t resist looking away, because you’re a guy and it’s in our blood. You might feel guilty afterwards, but for that brief moment you wouldn’t care and just watch.”

“I’m not like you”, Liam mumbled.

“I know. I wouldn’t feel guilty”, Alfie said very matter-of-factly. “Anyway, if it makes you feel any better, I actually didn’t see that much of your little wifey. Besides, it’s not about seeing her naked or anything, I don’t care that much what’s under her Girl Scout clothes, but seeing you two was quiet interesting, especially seeing you in action for once.”

Liam kept forgetting that Alfie was generally more interested in boys than in girls and he blushed. “Can we not talk about me and what you just saw? Please!”

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s not like I don’t know that you two are fucking.”

“Alfie, seriously, can you please drop the subject already?”

“Fine!” Alfie rolled his eyes. “I have to get back anyway, not that Ricky is making out with some dude in the kitchen or the laundry room while I’m gone…”

Of course Ricky didn’t make out with another guy. What he did, however, was to talk to another man. While Alfie had suddenly disappeared without saying where he was going, Ricky walked over to Colin and the girls and sat with them for a bit, but then he got thirsty and got up to get himself some eggnog (he was totally addicted to that stuff!) and almost bumped into an older man.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, sir!” Ricky looked at the man, and the first thing he noticed were his freckles. He had freckles all over his cheeks and nose, and for someone his age he was very handsome.

“That’s okay, I didn’t watch out either”, the man said with a smile. “I was about to get some eggnog, do you care for some?”

“How funny, I was about to do the same”, Ricky said.

“But you have to be careful with that stuff”, the older man said while he handed him a glass. “Once at Christmas time, when I was little, I drank way too much and was sick for two days.”

“Really? How can you still drink that stuff after that experience?”

He shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t always learn from mistakes, I guess.”

Ricky chuckled and took a sip.

“You’re one of the students here, I assume?”

“Me? No, actually I’m a friend of Jo and Liam. My school days are long over.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. You just look so -“


“Yes, indeed.” The man looked friendly at him. “I hope I didn’t offend you.”

Ricky shook his head. “Don’t worry, you’re not the first who mistakes me for a school boy. I actually teach at the university, and my students look older than me.”

“Really, you teach at Oxford University? That is really impressive, young man.”

Ricky’s cheeks flushed slightly, he felt always a bit weird when someone gave him a compliment. “Thank you”, he mumbled while he took another sip. “And you? Do you have any grandchildren going here?”

“No, I wish I had, but I don’t have any family. I’m one of the sponsors.”

Ricky remembered that Jo once talked about that very nice and generous sponsor, who was an older man without a family but seemed to have a big heart for children. “Are you Mr Chadwick?”

The older man nodded. “You can call me Scotty, that sounds a lot less formal. And never call me Scott, my mother used to call me that when she was mad at me.”

Ricky laughed. “Oh, I know that problem. My mother always calls my Rick when she’s mad about something, but I really prefer Ricky.”

Scotty looked at the younger man. “I guess we have something in common, then. That, and the obvious liking for eggnog.”

Ricky smiled at Scotty. He wondered why someone like him didn’t have a family, but he could obviously not ask, that would be a little too direct, especially since they didn’t know each other. He seemed like a very lovely man, it was a shame he didn’t have anyone. Ricky had a hard time guessing how old Scotty actually was, he was really good-looking and he tried to picture those brown eyes and freckles in a young man’s face and came to the conclusion that Scotty must have been quiet cute when he was younger- not that Ricky would ever say anything like that in Alfie’s presence. Alfie would freak out and get paranoid ideas in his head, like Ricky having the hots for old men and stuff like that. Ricky was simply an observer, and he observed that the old man in front of him was very cute. There was nothing wrong about thinking that.
Suddenly Ricky noticed the antique-looking, beautiful watch on Scotty’s wrist. “That’s a lovely watch.”

Scotty looked down, and for a moment he seemed a bit absent, almost sad, but then a smile crossed his face again. “Thank you. This one is quite special to me.”

“A family heirloom?”

“A present from someone.”

Ricky could tell that the ‘someone’ had been important to Scotty, it was the way he looked when he said it, almost with a hint of sadness. So Ricky guessed that ‘someone’ had either left him or was not alive anymore.
He touched his own watch now, the one he had gotten from Alfie a few days after they had their first time. Ricky fell in love with that watch immediately because it was actually not the newest Rolex on the market, but a valuable antique, and Ricky always preferred the antique to the new, he just loved when something had history. He was still not aware though that this watch was worth two nice cars or a pretty little house. Alfie never told him that, he just told him it was old, and Ricky wore it ever since.
Scotty noticed that Ricky was touching his watch as well, and smiled. “A present from someone?”

Ricky nodded shyly. That same moment Alfie appeared, but Ricky didn’t see it because his back was turned towards him. However, Scotty saw him, and his expression immediately changed. The smile faded and was replaced by a soft but pondering look. Ricky was wondering what had changed the older man’s expression, turned around and spotted Alfie as well. Strange…why was Scotty looking at him like that? Did he know him?
Alfie had noticed the two as well, and he seemed to hesitate a bit whether he should go to them, but since both were staring at him, he felt like there was no other choice.

“Where did you wander off again?”, Ricky asked, reminding himself to pretend that Alfie was just a friend, since they were in public. Ricky was always a bit worried when Alfie just wandered off in big houses like that, it usually meant he had found a pretty little maid to shag. Alfie didn’t pay much attention to him, he looked at the older man, his grandfather’s friend.

“It’s nice to see you again”, Scotty said and managed to get the warm smile back on his face. He couldn’t stop looking in Alfie’s eyes, because they were Arthur’s eyes as well. Alfie wasn’t a spitting image of his grandfather, Arthur had a softer, less masculine face and had generally been rather soft-spoken, but the eyes…they were the same, and for a moment Scotty forgot that he was staring.

“You two know each other?” Ricky looked surprised from Scotty to Alfie.

“Not really”, Alfie mumbled. He didn’t want Ricky to go all Sherlock Holmes on him and bombard him with questions.

“I knew his grandfather”, Scotty explained to the slightly confused Ricky. “But I don’t really know Alfie…ehm…Alfred…” He cleared his throat. He had always called him Alfie when the boy was little, but now, all grown up, he maybe didn’t want to be called that name again.

Ricky looked curious now, which Alfie didn’t want him to be. He didn’t want anyone to snoop around in his past. The older man, however, didn’t snoop around in his past. He had been part of it. The past years, Alfie had repressed all those memories from back then, but now that he had met Scotty again, after all those years, more and more memories came back up to the surface, and he remembered…there was this man at his grandfather’s side, this friend whom Alfie hadn’t completely forgotten, but had not thought about in a while…until this friend came back into the picture.

“I can see that you know each other as well.” Scotty finally stopped staring at Alfie and was now looking at Ricky.

Ricky was very bad at lying, but after all those years he was used to lie about his relationship with Alfie when they were in public. He wished he could just say ‘yes, this is my boyfriend’, after all, he was very proud of having Alfie as boyfriend, but he knew that he couldn’t tell the truth in front of other people.
“We both are friends of Jo and Liam”, Ricky said, which was one of the excuses that made sense, since people always wondered how on earth a boy from the lower class could be friends with the Prince of Oxford, so they just ‘blamed’ it on having the same friends.

“I see.” Scotty looked back at Alfie who didn’t show any emotion. He remembered so well how Alfie was when he was a young boy, and Scotty could tell that the little boy was long gone.

“Mr Scotty, Mr Scotty!” Sarah, the captain of the lacrosse team, ran towards the three men and grinned excitedly. “It’s great that you came! I want to show you something.”

“You’re not going to play a match in here, are you?”, he asked jokingly.

“No, of course not!”

“Just checking.” He looked one last time at the two young men. “It was nice meeting you, Ricky.”

“Same here.”

“And remember, be careful with the eggnog.”

Ricky grinned. “I will.”

Scotty looked at Alfie, a thousand things running through his head, a thousand things he wanted to say, but in the end he just said good bye and wondered if he would ever have the courage to tell the young man the truth. Or maybe Alfie didn’t want to know the truth, and it was better to never speak of it again…

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357Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 19th August 2013, 21:40

Liam came back into the mudroom and saw Jo sitting on the bench. “Hey you okay?” Liam sat down next to his wife. Jo nodded her hands reached to her dress she actually felt naked in her dress and it was by far not as deeply cut at Lorelai’s dresses.

“Why did it have to be Alfie, he not just likes to look at me but at you and I don’t know I feel dirty.” Jo mumbled.

“Well you always are kind of the how can I say the one who likes to experiment in bed.”

“Well not for a while from now on, for the next weeks only missionary position in the bedroom with the light off.”


“Liam he looked at you, he watched us and he liked it.” Jo looked upset at her knees. There was something that she didn’t dare to ask Liam. Liam kissed Jo on the cheek.

“Lorelai mentioned something about presents.” Jo didn’t move and for a while he worried that she was really hurt. “Jo let me be part of your thoughts.”

Jo sighed. “Don’t laugh okay?”

Liam took a deep breath he always had troubles not to laugh when she asked him not to. “Okay I do my best not to laugh.”

“Okay, um. When I noticed Alfie a part of me didn’t want you to stop and wanted to know what Alfie thinks about… how we look. If we are good. And I know how sick this sounds.” Jo looked at her knees and felt disgusted of herself for wanting to hear if she was good the way she tried to satisfy Liam. Liam swallowed hard and then turned her head to kiss Jo.

“You my dearest evening star are amazing, you know this goofy grin I have glued on my face after we did it?”


“That is because you just blew my mind the way you… satisfy me. You don’t need Alfie to tall you that you and me are amazing. And yes I know he looked at me more but that was his mistake, if he would have paid attention to you he would have seen your beautiful boobs and…” Liam kissed Jo neck which made her giggle as always. “… and the rest further down. Come on Lorelai spoke about presents and I know you, you will be upset if you miss the students leaving so how about we repeat this little game later tonight… on the kitchen table.” Liam grinned, he knew he had her with kitchen table.
In the main festival salon where the giant Christmas tree was standing and Colin was with the girls.

“Jill!” Henry shouted and pushed all people out of the way to greet his favourite girl, well the only girl other than his Mutti he really loved. Colin laughed when Jill got tangled in her dress and fell on Henry. Both little ones started chatting away and before Colin was even up they disappeared in the crowd.

“Don’t worry Professor, every student at Waterfall Downs know they have to keep an eye on the little ones.  Especially since she had disappeared and was lost for over an hour. Dan smiled at Colin.

“Oh Dan, Merry Christmas. Come be a good boy and help an old man up.” Dan helped Colin up and watched Edward take Jane’s hand when the little boy suddenly remembered something. He ran back to Dan and hugged him. “I take Jane to the Music Salon she will like it there and I can listen a little to Graham. Is that okay?”

“Sure. Jane have you eaten yet?” Dan looked at the little red head. She looked a little shy at Dan but then shook her head.

“Okay, Edward can you make sure that Jane gets something to eat? Not cake.” Dan looked strict at his older little brother.

“Okay. I get something for her.” Edward walked back to Jane and took her hand humming another new melody for her.

Colin smiled. “They clearly accepted you as brother.”

Dan blushed. “Um yes. I mean I just want to make sure that Jane eats, she tends to forget to eat when she is caught in music. And Edward is not better. Are you enjoying the party so far?”

“I do indeed. I get to spend time with my granddaughters and see Waterfall Downs glowing. I love Christmas.”

Dan grinned. “Missis Jo has the love for Christmas from you then.”

“She does indeed. So boy how are you getting alone with my niece?”

“You niece adopted me, I think we are doing quite well.”

“That is good. But if you now excuse me I got to have to find my wife I should not have let run alone.”  Colin looked innocent at Dan and then went to find his girlfriend. Dan saw his Mutti talk to Missis Jo and Mr Liam and he meant to give them their present.

“Oh Lorelai I can’t believe you got me a new Dirndl.” Jo hugged Lorelai. The last one she got was when she just had become a teenager and this red one was far more exquisite.

“Well we got to get it to the tailor so that it is the proper size for you I got it a size larger so that it can really hug your figure, don’t worry Liam it will be very classy.” Lorelai kissed Liam on the cheek. 

“I would not let her run around like a whore.”

Jo was looking at the beautiful silk, expensive cotton and Belgian -yes Jo recognised the fine work of Belgian workers- in the lace parts of the dress. “Thank you so much Lorelai, this is beautiful.”

“The design is from my mom, it… it was her first Dirndl she got from dad and when you were born she knew that it would suit you and I just waited for the moment that you were grown up to a wonderful woman to wear this dress.”

Jo smiled shy at Lorelai, she had loved her aunt very much and the idea that this Dirndl was her’s. 

“Do you like it Liam?” Jo hoped he could picture her in the dress, the kind of dress Lorelai was wearing right now, well sort of Lorelai’s was a winter Dirndl the skirt was longer and it was of wool fabric and she wore the red family jumper as cardigan. “I would also love to wear a traditional dress of Ireland if you like me to.”

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358Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 23rd August 2013, 19:42

Liam had to grin while he imagined his wife in traditional Irish clothes. “I think you would look adorable”, he said. “But I also like that German dress very much. How do you pronounce it again? Dindel?”
Jo chuckled. She loved not only how Liam pronounced German, but especially how he pronounced German with his Irish accent.
“Dirndl”, she repeated slowly.

“As long as I don’t have to wear those leather pants.”

“Oh, but you would look so freaking cute in them!” Jo grinned and turned to her cousin. “Lor, can you imagine Liam in Lederhosen?”

“Hell yeah! Watch out Liam, on your birthday you will get a nice pair, I know a very good tailor in Munich, who makes very traditional clothes, and I will tell him to make an especially cute pair of Lederhosen for you.”

“Oh, Jesus…”, Liam mumbled. He really couldn’t imagine himself in those clothes, but if it made Jo that happy, he would do it. Not that he would ever walk around in bright day light with those leather pants, he would only wear them in the flat, in front of Jo, behind closed doors.

The two headmasters of Waterfall Downs kept moving around the room to talk to as many people as possible, and in between stopped to check after their daughters, but the twins were watched by everyone, especially their best friends Edward and Henry, who took good care of them, and Graham and Ellen were looking after the girls as well, so Liam and Jo didn’t constantly have to run after them.
When Jo stopped to talk to Dan and Ricky (Dan liked being with Ricky, he trusted the older boy completely), Liam went over to Alfie one more time, who –although he tried not to be too obvious, but failed- observed his boyfriend suspiciously from a distance. After all, that strange Dan kid was standing next to him, and Alfie didn’t really like it. This boy seemed a little too close to Ricky, and Alfie had a really hard time not to jump in the middle, grab Ricky and tell Dan that the penguin belonged to him, and only him. Obviously he couldn’t do that, so he just watched them from the distance. That kid better not touch his Lover Boy!

“Ehm…” Liam cleared his throat, standing a bit awkward next to his friend.

“I haven’t told anybody, don’t worry”, Alfie said, his eyes still focused on Ricky. “Or did you think I went to your daddy and told him that you were shagging your wife although you have guests next door?”

“Eh…no…I actually-“

“Speaking of which…” Alfie slowly turned his head to Liam. “Is he getting any?”

“Sorry, what?”

“Your dad? Is he getting laid?”

Liam stared at Alfie. “Dude, I’m so not going to answer that question!”

“I just think it would be a shame. You know, he’s quite nice to look at, and I usually don’t say that about older guys, but he really is.”

Liam rolled his eyes. “We’ve been there already! My dad is not gay.”

“Yeah, but does he get laid?”

“I…I don’t know!” Liam’s cheeks started to flush. “And it’s neither mine nor your business. He has a girlfriend, and it’s not our business what-“

“Good for him”, Alfie interrupted him. “So he’s getting laid.”

“Can we change the subject, please? I didn’t come here to discuss my father’s private life with you.” Liam looked uncomfortable now and needed a moment to continue.

“What is it?”, Alfie asked a bit impatiently.

“I…ehm…eh…” Liam ran his fingers through his hair, looking for the right words. “So…eh…earlier…when you saw us…did we…ehm…since you know more about that stuff and obviously have more experience…um…did we…did we look good?”

Alfie looked a bit confused. “I didn’t see your wifey’s boobs, I told you that already. But your butt was very nice, yes. Really nice shape…”

“No, not that!” Liam’s cheeks were really red now and he took a deep breath. “What I mean…ehm…Jo is always a bit insecure when it comes to…to that. Like, she wants so bad to do everything perfect, but she always worries that she’s not good enough and doesn’t…eh…please me enough, and I…ehm…she actually wanted to know what you thought…wait, no, that sounds wrong! Well, she wanted to know if we…eh…if you think that we actually looked good…kind of.”

“She wants to know if I think that you two are good at sex?”

“Well…eh…” Liam scratched his chin uncomfortably. “From what you saw…not that I want to discuss my sex life with you, but from what you saw…did we look like amateurs or…eh…you know? Like we’re actually not that bad, especially her. She kind of needs an opinion because she’s never sure about it, but she would never, ever ask anybody for an opinion. Well, and obviously nobody sees her like that, so nobody can give an opinion, but you saw us and…eh…if anybody really knows about what’s good and what’s not, it’s you…” He was quiet for a moment, but then he quickly added: “But don’t tell her I told you that she wants your opinion!”

An almost amused smile crossed Alfie’s lips. “No problem.” Then he turned around to look for Jo, who was talking to Ricky and Dan. “Hey, Josephine!”, he yelled across the room, and many people were actually turning their heads now, so did Jo, who looked a bit confused, especially since Alfie usually didn’t bother talking to her.
Alfie had both thumbs up and a kind of dirty grin on his face, while Jo started to realise what Liam had told him and immediately turned bright red.

“Dude, what the hell?!” Liam pulled Alfie’s arm down.

“What?” The older boy shrugged his shoulders. “You didn’t want me to tell her, and I didn’t. I just have her two thumbs-up, she should be happy about that.”

Liam sighed. “She’s going to die because I talked with you about her. And after she died, she’s going to personally strangle me!”

“At least you will die knowing that your wife was able to give you satisfaction.”

Liam stared at him. “You don’t have to tell me that, I already know that.” His glance wandered to Jo, who was still deeply red, while Ricky and Dan looked a bit curiously at her.
Yepp. She would totally going to strangle Liam.

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359Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 23rd August 2013, 23:37

It was sad when all students left, yes they would come back in two weeks but still Jo loved teaching. Her students challenged her she never got challenged in her school, he private tutors challenged her but they were grown man. But even though Jo was very sad see her students all go home she was also very happy because she loved having Waterfall Downs all to themselves. Even most teacher at the Teacher’s House had left to visit family and friends, the only remaining were Ellen and Gracie since Ellen’s son recently has decided he wants to live with his father. A fact that upset Ellen but in the end she had to let her son go. He was just too much like his father. But Ellen and Gracie spend the last two Christmas days with Graham.
The next few days Jo didn’t felt comfortable sleeping with Liam, and Liam gave her space. Since the twins were born and they had this really rough patch he knew that she just needed a little time and then if he was patient and supportive she would talk to him and so it was this time. It was late at night and Jo was snuggled into Liam’s arms.

“Liam are you still awake?” Jo mumbled into the darkness.

“Yes I am, are you okay?” Liam lifted his head and tried to see if Jo was okay but it was too dark to see anything.

“Yes, um I was just thinking the past couple of days. Thinking about… us… in bed.” Jo mumbled.

“Okay. And what did you think about?” Liam whispered, he wished he could turn on the light but he knew that Jo would get nervous and possibly even scared. She was confident when they had sex but talking about it she was not confident at all.

“That Alfie watched us.”

“Jo please stop thinking about him.”

“I can’t. I mean he told you that we look good? And that he didn’t see my boobies-“

“God I love it when you say boobies.” Liam grinned and kissed her on top of her head. Jo punched him gently into the stomach.

“Liam I’m serious here.”

“I know sorry. Yes he said we look good together.”

Liam felt Jo nod on his chest just before she sat up. “Liam I need your help.”


Jo switched on the light and got a book from the drawer of her nightstand. “See Lor got me this book, it is… um… about… sex.”

God Liam loved Jo so much when she was so shy.

“Okay. So how can I help you with this?” Liam hoped well sort of hoped that she found her confidence again and had a new position for them to try.

“Well there is this position the explanation says it is very intimate and good to be used for bonding with the partner… but I don’t understand it.” Jo switched on her light on the nightstand and opened the book to show Liam the position description she meant. Liam quickly read through it and then looked at Jo.

“Um Jo, not sure what you don’t understand this is all very clear to me.”

“All those biological terms, I don’t get them.”

Liam started laughing but quickly stopped when his so beautiful wife looked again like the sixteen year old girl that had for the very first time a boy sitting next to her while she was just dressed in her pyjamas. Liam pulled her closer to kiss her. “Do you not think it is time I fulfil the promise I gave you and explain you all those medical terms?” Liam asked very gentle and not in any way pushing or judging.

“No!” Jo suddenly went pale. “No, please I’m not ready just um… can you not just show me what this positions means?”


“No don’t , it… it’s just I…” Jo took a deep breath. “I’m not ready, sorry I think when it comes to this I’m still this shy little teenager girl you met years ago in London.”

“That’s okay. Really it is cute. Okay let me see. This position is not so much a position but just petting.” Liam looked up and saw that Jo made her thinker-I-don’t-understand-face. “Petting means no sex just touching each other.”

“Oh, um okay I guess never mind then.” Jo tried to take the book away from him but he kissed her and held the book up high.

“Not so fast missy this does sound very interesting.” Liam grinned and looked at o to find out if she was ready after the whole Alfie seeing them debacle to be intimate again.

“The flat door is locked, right?”

“Yes it is all locked. I just checked the security system of Waterfall Downs and it is all working all doors and windows are securely locked and we are alone in the house.”
Jo nodded and looked for a moment down. She didn’t have to convince herself to be intimate with Liam but more ban Alfie out of her head. “Okay, you sure you want to do this and not want me to look if I find something that includes real sex?”

“Yes I’m very sure. I love touching you!” Liam pushed his hand under her pyjama shirt. “Just relax and I show you how this position goes.”

And there it disappeared the shy little girl smile and Jo’s sex goddess face appeared. “See I knew this was a good position.” Jo mumbled while she let Liam lead her.
Liam chuckled and just continued following the instructions in the book, for once he had not to talk with Alfie or you know at least consider talking to Alfie about the position the instructions were simply.
It was insane every time Liam touched Jo he realised how much he loved her and not that he admitted that in exactly those words to himself but he felt it. Oh yes he really loved this so beautiful girl.

A few weeks later
Jo felt weird being alone with Alfie in his flat. Ricky had left to go on a field trip with his English class they went up all the way north to Scotland to study Scottish poets. While Jo’s own students had asked questions not even the University library could answer. So Jo knew she had to meet with Alfie because she had seen the book she needed in his shelf, and she knew it must have cost a fortune to get. Liam was in London at Mission Force he had built a couple of gadget they needed so the twins were at Lorelai’s for a sleepover. Jane was still a handful for Lorelai but luckily she had Edward who always found a melody to calm her down, even though she had to admit Edward sometimes needed several minutes to calm her down while Henry managed to make her listen within seconds. But all that was not really so point. It was late afternoon end of January when Jo was sitting in Ricky study comparing books Alfie was actually more dressed then she had expected he was wearing his underpants and a simple white t-shirt she guessed that Ricky made him wear at least this. While Alfie was parading in front of her, not on purpose but because Ricky was gone now since five days he was insanely nervous and restless. He tried to shag a few girls at the club but they were so not satisfying. And then it happened Alfie was looking at the bookshelves in Ricky’s study when Jo looked up and actually checked out his package for several seconds.

“Do you like what you see, Josephine?”

Jo blushed and quickly looked back down at the open books. “I don’t know what you are talking about I was just thinking.”

“Right you were thinking about my penis. And you are right it is amazing.” Alfie snarled without looking at her. “I can’t understand how you can work when this rubbish is playing in the background.”

Alfie looked disgusted at the radio that was playing the past hour Beatles none stop. But suddenly…

“We are interrupting the current program for tragic news. The night train from Aberdeen to London jumped the rail, there are several injured and also casualties there are no certain information yet but we will keep you updated.

Jo looked at Alfie and wasn’t sure what to do -Jo knew that Ricky was meant to be on this train- but Alfie he looked so… weird. This was so… worrying! Jo got up but didn’t know what else to do. “Alfie, um… maybe…?”

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360Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 26th August 2013, 13:37

Alfie didn’t say anything for a while, trying to ignore Jo’s freaked out face.
“It’s not his train”, he said so quietly that Jo barely understood it.

“There are only two trains leaving Aberdeen today, one earlier today and one in the evening, and Ricky told me he would take the early-“

“It’s not his train!” He felt like shaking her, but not because she was wrong. Because she was right.

Jo looked helpless, feeling so tiny next to Alfie. She heard the news in the radio, and she felt like crying, but she forced herself to stay calm. Maybe it really wasn’t the train they both thought it was.
Alfie turned off the radio. “I don’t want to listen to this.”

Jo sighed. This was so typically Alfie. As soon as something wasn’t right, he tried to ignore it, but this problem couldn’t be ignored. After all, this was about Ricky’s life.
She didn’t say anything to him but went to the TV and turned it on. She didn’t care if he would yell at her, she needed to know what was going on. She found a channel with the news, and there it was, the train crash. It was horrible to look at, the train didn’t look like a train anymore, it was all a piece of junk, and fire was coming out, together with a huge cloud of smoke. While the train wreck was filmed, the voice of the reporter spoke:
It’s been reported that a car was stuck in the railway crossing, and the train, at full speed, hit the car, which led to an enormous crash. Apparently the railway vehicles jumped off the rail, some of them exploded completely. So far 56 people are dead, and still counting. There is no sign of survivors yet. The train left this morning at 10 am from Aberdeen for London. The accident happened just outside of Edinburgh and…

Alfie didn’t pay attention to the rest of it.
10 am. Ricky had told him he would take the train at 10 am, so that he would be back in London in the evening.
There is no sign of survivors yet…
No survivors.

Alfie actually felt sick. He looked at the train wreck and all the fire and smoke that came from what was left of the train. This couldn’t be happening. This was a mistake. Ricky couldn’t be in there. He wasn’t supposed to die yet. Goddammit, he wasn’t supposed to die at all! If anybody deserved to live, it was this perfect, pure, good-hearted, beautiful boy with the brightest soul.
Suddenly an image came into his head.
Ricky cuddled up in the pillows, messy hair, rosy cheeks, listening to that Beatles song in the radio with a dreamy smile. The moment when Alfie decided to keep him.
The moment when he fell in love with him.

Alfie couldn’t breathe anymore. It actually felt like someone rammed a knife right into his chest. He didn’t know this feeling, he didn’t know what was going on…until he felt this strange burning in his eyes, and then he knew it.
He was three years old when he last cried. He couldn’t really remember why, but he knew that he had never cried after that, after he was three years old. He hadn’t even cried when his grandfather died, and that was the saddest moment in his life. Since he was three years old, he was too empty to cry. He didn’t have the emotions for crying.
And now, after all those years, after he had completely forgotten how it felt like to cry, he was finally not empty anymore. Ricky had filled every bit of that emptiness.
And now he was gone.

Jo slowly turned her head to Alfie, she was paler than marble, but before she could notice what was going on with him, that he actually showed feelings, and not just a bit, but real emotions, he quickly turned away from her.
“You can go now”, he said, which sounded a lot like an order.

“I can’t just go now, you need-“

“I need nothing, now piss off.”

But Jo didn’t. Although she had the hardest time keeping herself together, she actually cared more about Alfie right now.
Alfie wasn’t even able to talk anymore because his throat felt like a giant stone was blocking it. Those damn useless emotions! He really had forgotten everything about crying. Before anything more could happen, he quickly walked into the bathroom and locked the door behind him. He stood there for a moment, not sure what to do, but the breathing got worse, he literally felt like he was suffocating while holding back tears. He felt like smashing everything around him, but instead he just sat down on the cold floor and stared into nothingness. Images of Ricky came into his mind, Ricky sleeping, looking so incredibly young and innocent, Ricky putting his arms around him and smiling at him, Ricky cuddling up to him on the couch…Surprisingly, all the pictures he saw of Ricky were completely innocent. He didn’t think of Ricky as the boy he slept with. He thought of him as the boy he loved.
And there it was again. That one moment after their first time, Ricky cuddled into the pillows, listening to that song. That one damn moment was seared into Alfie’s brain for eternity, and now it came over and over again, reminding him of that one moment where everything changed.
Something cold ran over Alfie’s cheeks, and he actually startled for a moment because he so wasn’t used to this anymore. He had no idea how tears felt like, and he couldn’t take them back anymore. There they were, after so many years of holding them in.

“Alfie?”, Jo’s insecure voice came from the other side of the door. She was scared to approach him, but she knew that she had to check on him. “Are you…are you okay?”

“Bother someone else with your stupid-ass questions”, he replied coldly, hoping she wouldn’t hear the tears in his voice.

“Listen, I-“

“Just fuck off, Josephine, seriously!”

Usually Jo would be hurt, but this time she knew she couldn’t take it personally. “I know this doesn’t mean anything to you, but I’m here, okay? I’ll stay here for a bit.”
No answer came. Alfie didn’t want to answer. If he said one more thing, he would completely lose it.

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361Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 26th August 2013, 21:05

Jo was sitting outside the bathroom for a while reciting poems Alfie might like while she tried to think of something useful to do. She wasn’t sure how long they had been sitting on each side of the bathroom door when she got up, she had some phone calls to do. The first one was Lorelai to tell her that she had to stay in town Lorelai didn’t mind to have the girls stay overnight and to rate the noise the boys made in the background so were they. The next call was to Mission Force the agency had to inform Liam that they had a family problem. And then she went in the kitchen and made some sandwiches she didn’t really expect Alfie to eat them but she wanted to have something in case he got hungry. She just carried the tray past the living room when she saw the open whiskey bottle on the table.

“Hey Alfie, Um I know you don’t feel like talking and I understand that, so far there are no new news. I’ve made some sandwiches and some tea.”

Alfie didn’t respond as expected.

“And I think it is the right time for a little drink, I don’t know anything about whiskey as you know but I guess the open bottle in the living room is a good one since you would not drink anything less.”
For some time nothing happened and then to Jo’s shock Alfie unlocked the door and took the glass from her hand. She was now sitting against the wall next to the bathroom door so that she could give him as much space as possible. Alfie downed several glasses and then…

“Here have one too.” Alfie poured a small amount of whiskey in Jo’s tea cup.

“Thanks.” Jo sipped her tea and coughed. Alfie nearly laughed about it. “Did he ever tell you how I met Ricky?”

Alfie didn’t answer.

“It was in summer school. A preparation course for… the English Lit course you mainly taught. I had to take the class because my first year was so jammed with classes because I had not just four but eight classes per semester. Anyway Ricky was sitting in the first row and he had all books out on the table and he was so blown away when I asked if I could sit next to him. He recognised me but he was still very polite about it. I was so young in University and I needed a friend that would… that accepted me for me. Alfie? Can I ask you something?”

For a while Alfie was silent but then to Jo’s surprise. “What?”

“When did you really see Ricky the first time?”

“Don’t ask stupid questions!” Alfie poured himself another glass of whiskey and poured her another one in her tea.

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to ask something too personal. But I think it was when you were reading The Great Gatsby. I’m sorry back then I was really scared of you and as soon as I saw you I had to keep an eye on you just to make sure I could flee when you got too close. Anyway I saw you read and then you stopped. I know you saw Ricky a few times before but back that day in the sun, he looked stunning…” Jo was sipping her whiskey tea and she clearly felt the alcohol affect her, but she managed to keep it together. Silent tears were running down her cheeks but Jo quickly wiped them away. “It hurts to love someone and then something happens and you are scared to never see his smile, his eyes, his lips, his touch every again. So many things you wanted to do but there was no time. I know how that feels like.” Jo didn’t dare to move to hug him but she stretched her hand and touched with her little finger his finger tip. Alfie starred at her hand and he considered cutting it off but in the end he let his finger touch hers, he let her comfort him.

“Josephine I think you had enough whiskey or you try to jump me again.” Alfie joked not that he was laughing. A while later it was starting to be evening or late afternoon when Jo turned on the TV and radio again. The reception was really bad, outside the once so snowy beautiful Oxford has turned into a disgusting late winter storm. The snow was getting heavy and thick, Jo was worried how anyone could be out there. The phone was at the moment still working but who knew how long. Jo heard Alfie close the bathroom door again but he didn’t look it so that was properly a good sign, but the best sign that they took a step towards each other was the one missing sandwich.

Ricky would want me to eat something, no idea why but he would want it. Alfie thought finishing the whiskey, he had now drunk about three quarters of a bottle and it didn’t stop. His heart… he still felt as if he got stabbed and the stone in his throat was still there. The tears have stopped though possibly because he simply ran out of tears.
Jo was carrying the antenna of the radio around to see if she found a spot with a better reception but so far nothing. They still have not yet found any survivors.

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362Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 27th August 2013, 18:01

It took them about five minutes when the radio suddenly got a bit of reception, even though quite a bad one, but still, they could hear the voice of the reporter.
…more people found dead. It has been confirmed that there is no survivor. Many elderly and young people among them, also children…
The voice started to sound far away, then the reception stopped working all together. Jo quickly went back to the TV, but all they saw was a blurry screen and no tone.
Alfie didn’t need so see any more. He didn’t need to hear any more.
It has been confirmed there is no survivor.
This was it. Just like that. The only boy he ever truly loved was gone, just like that, and he would never see him again. Would never touch his soft skin. Never smell his clean peach scent. Never play with his soft hair. Never see him smile. Never hold him again.
That actually did it. The thought of never holding Ricky again literally took the rest.
Alfie turned away from Jo and the TV without a word and went back into the bathroom. He didn’t want to go into Ricky’s office, because every inch of that room reminded him of the boy he lost. He also couldn’t stay in Ricky’s ‘ bedroom’, even though he never really used it as his bedroom, they still had slept in that room together now and then, when Alfie was too impatient to go upstairs, so he just gently pushed him into the room downstairs. He couldn’t go to his bar because there wasn’t a door he could lock, and he also couldn’t stay in the living room, because that was where Josephine and that goddamn TV was, so he went right back into the guest bathroom, which didn’t remind him of Ricky since Ricky always got ready in their huge bathroom upstairs. This guest bathroom didn’t smell like him, it smelled brand new and unused, not a hint of peach.

“Alfie!”, he could hear Jo’s voice after he slammed the door behind him again and quickly locked it. “Please don’t go in there again.” She could barely keep it together herself, especially now, after they confirmed that nobody had survived the train crash. On one hand she just not only her best friend, but the only friend she ever had (she didn’t count Lorelai, since Lor was more like her big sister who had always protected her), and on the other hand she was worried sick that Alfie would go crazy right now and lose it completely, and she couldn’t do anything.
“Please don’t do anything stupid.” Her voice was a weak whisper, nothing more. She wanted to say something like ‘he would have wanted you to stay strong’, but she couldn’t bring herself to say those words. She couldn’t bring herself to accept that her best friend was dead. She was shaking, because she was both sad and scared, and then she went over to the phone and tried to call Liam again, but was reminded that there was no reception. She took a deep breath, trying to get a straight thought together and stay calm, but then her eyes fell on her bracelet.
The bracelet! Thank God she still had it, she wore it every day. If she pressed the tiny button, Liam knew she needed him. He had designed the bracelet just for her after she was kidnapped, in case she would ever be in danger again, she could reach him and didn’t need stupid reception for that. She wasn’t in danger now, but Alfie was.
“Please, Liam, hurry up!”, she mumbled to herself while she was walking up and down. Fortunately she had called the Mission Force a while ago, before all phone lines went dead, so with lots of luck Liam would get here soon.

About half an hour later, the bell rang and Jo jumped up to let Liam in.
“What is it? Are you hurt?” He stormed through the door. She had called the Mission Force to let them know there was a family problem and that she was at Alfie’s flat right now. Liam had no idea what was going on, but since she called him very upset from Alfie’s flat, he almost started to believe that Alfie did something to her. “What is going on, Jo?”
Jo needed to hug him first, feel his arms and the reassurance that he was there to help her, than she started to tell him very hectically and close to a melt-down what had happened.
“And Alfie is in there and he won’t come out and he doesn’t say a thing…and…and…God, Liam, I think he’s losing it. I tried to talk to him, and I even got him to come out for a bit, but then we heard that they confirmed about…oh God…they are all dead…” Jo tried to catch her breath. “And he went straight back and locked himself up and whatever I said, he didn’t answer.”

“Shhh…” Liam was gently kissing her head. “It’s okay.”

“Nothing is okay!”

He couldn’t argue with her about that, but he had to calm her down somehow. “Take a deep breath.”
Jo nodded, but she was shaking like a leave.
“Sit down a bit, I will talk to him, okay?”
She nodded barely visible, then sat down at the couch, looking as pale as a sheet. She really tried not to start crying again, because if she would start now, she didn’t know when she would be able to stop. Liam walked over to the bathroom, quickly looking back at Jo. He needed to make sure she wouldn’t lose it too.
“Hey, Alfie, it’s Liam”, he said, speaking pretty much to the door, but he hoped his friend would listen. “Listen, I know that…I know this is a terrible situation, but please don’t do anything stupid, okay?” He started to get really worried now. It was completely quiet on the other side of the door, and it worried him like hell. “Alfie, are you listening to me?”
No answer.
Liam sat down on the floor and took a deep breath. He kept talking for at least an hour, but after he still got no reply, he got nervous. What if Jo’s concern that Alfie could have done something to himself was true after all? Liam cleared his throat, looking back at Jo, who just listened to him quietly while she tried to keep in her tears.
“You know you’re my best friend, right? Which is crazy, because rich people scare the hell out of me, and they annoy me just as much, but you’re different. I mean, you’re rich, there’s obviously no question about that, and boy, you can be annoying, and rude and insensitive, but I…I love you, man. Seriously, I do. You’re such a douche sometimes, but you’re kind of the big brother I never had, that kind of big brother who would beat up every guy who’d pick on me. And Ricky loves you for that…” He purposely didn’t say loved, because it didn’t feel right. “Because no matter if you’re spoilt, or a narcissist or super insensitive sometimes, you always take care of the people you care about. You protect them. You protect him…” Liam paused for a moment. “And I know you would have traded your place for him, I know you well enough, and if someone gave you the chance, his life for yours, you would have done it without thinking twice. People can say whatever they want about you, but I know that you would give your life for Ricky in a heartbeat, and that’s…that’s the kind of guy you are, and that doesn’t sound to me like the same guy everyone calls selfish and self-absorbed, not at all…” Liam didn’t know why those words came so easy to him, after all, he could barely bring out a ‘I love you’ in front of his wife, but it was probably the whole situation that made him talk like that, and the worry that something could happen to his best friend. Jo just lost her best friend, he couldn’t lose his too.
Silence followed while Liam was waiting for any sign of life behind that door. He looked tense, quickly glancing over to Jo again who was a mess.
“I don’t expect you to hold a speech or anything, but please, Alfie, please say something. I just want to know you’re okay in there. Well, I know you’re not okay, but I want to know if you’re…you’re still there.”
Another quiet moment.

“You talk too much”, he heard a quiet voice from the other side of the door.

A weak, relieved smile crossed Liam’s lips. “I know, you’re not the first one who told me that.” He looked over to Jo and nodded, then he kept talking for a bit longer, but Alfie grew quiet again, so after a while Liam got up and sat down next to his wife, pulling her closer, so she could lean her head on his shoulder.
“I’m going to stay here until he comes out”, he said. “Don’t know how long that will take. Do you want to go home and rest for a bit?”

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363Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 27th August 2013, 19:56

Jo grabbed his shirt tightly as if she thought he would push her away and shook her head. “No! Lorelai has the girls and I would be alone and… I don’t want to be alone.” Her voice was just a low whisper and had an odd sound that Liam hadn’t heard in a while, a very long while. Liam pushed her a little away to look at her.

“I know this is a stupid question and that you are not okay but are you okay?”

Jo looked Liam in the eyes for a while so he saw that her answer was truthful, they well her had too many really bad moments that she couldn’t and wouldn’t lie to Liam but she knew that he worried about her. “I’m okay. There are sandwiches Alfie ate one maybe you can make him eat some more he had quite a lot of whiskey, which is my fault. Sorry for that.”

Liam shook his head. “That is okay, I’ll see what I can do. I just want to give him some time. Did you eat something?”

Now Jo looked away which gave away that she had last eaten this morning with Liam and their daughters.

“Where are those sandwiches? You need to eat something too.” Liam looked around and saw the tray still on the floor next to the bathroom door. He peeled Jo out of his embrace and got her two sandwiches. “Just asking but am I smelling whiskey on your breath too?”
Jo blushed. “Alfie put some in my tea, it wasn’t much and he cut me off when I went funny. He said he was scared I jump him again.”

Liam grinned but then remembered what just had happened and kissed Jo on the top of her head. 



“Does it scare you that you and me both have been in Alfie’s situation. I when Lor called me and told me that you are hurt and are now in a coma and me when…”

“When those monsters have taken you from me.” Liam whispered back, he couldn’t tell her but it did scare the hell out of him.
They stayed like this quietly for a while Liam watched Jo eat the sandwiches and hummed some song to her a part of him worried that so far she hadn’t cried but on the other hand he understood her, the moment Jo would start crying and mourning her best friend it would be real. Jo could just not let it be real until the moment Emily Butcher called her and told her that Ricky was dead.



“Can I have a glass of whiskey?”

“What?! Why?” Liam looked shocked at her.

“I’m sorry does this sound stupid? I just… want to um sleep.” Jo sounded exhausted.

“Oh I see, yeah I guess. Let me get you a glass and maybe um we move to the other couch Alfie is very protective about this one. No idea why. But he would kill you if you fall asleep on it.”
Jo smiled weakly and climbed up to snuggle up on the other couch while Liam got her a glass of whiskey. Liam knew that Jo didn’t like any kind of medication, she got something to clam her nerves after the kidnapping and she never liked it. So he knew that a glass of whiskey would be a lot calmer about the whole situation. Liam handed her the glass and helped her to sit up a little.

“Do you need anything else?” Liam asked gentle.

“No I just need to sleep I am so tired. You wake me up when anything happens okay?”

“I promise.” Liam kissed her on the top of her head. “I’ll see how Alfie is doing and if he eats some more sandwiches.”

Jo nodded her eyes already getting heavy when she put her head down on the soft pillow. Just for a moment forgetting that she had lost her best friend.

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364Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 30th August 2013, 18:41

Liam was standing next to the bathroom door again, but Alfie didn’t answer, no matter what Liam said. And he obviously didn’t open the door either and take any sandwiches, but Liam didn’t blame him. After a while talking to the door, he went back to Jo to check on her. She was asleep, but she looked restless. He could tell that she wasn’t dreaming about anything nice, if she was dreaming about anything at all.
Liam tried to turn on the TV to check if they had reception back, but it was hopeless. The damn snow storm was messing with everyone and everything, and they were left in the dark, no idea what was going on out there. Liam knew that it didn’t look good from what Jo told him earlier, but he would like to get his own picture of the situation. Train crashes could end very badly, and this one definitely seemed like one of the very bad ones.
He walked around restlessly, he couldn’t bring himself to sleep, so he wandered from room to room and ended up in Ricky’s office. The whole room was completely organised, there was no book standing out of place, and even the pencils and pens on the big mahogany table had an order. It was very weird being in here, knowing that Ricky wouldn’t come back. Liam’s heart felt very heavy, he had lost a friend too, and even though he never said it, he always thought that Ricky was the best one of the best ones. He had never met a person as kind as Ricky. Never. Death always seemed to take the good ones first, the good-hearted, loving and caring people…
Liam’s eyes wandered through the room, he picked up one of the records which Ricky seemed to have more than once, then his eyes wandered over the bookshelf, reading the titles, but there was one book slightly sticking out, which he slowly pulled out.
The Diary of Anne Frank.
A weak smiled crossed his lips. He opened it and saw that Ricky had underlined a few quotes here and there, quotes he obviously seemed to like. He opened one page and almost froze when he read the quote.
In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.
Liam bit his lip. This was so true…Ricky always believed in the good in people. He never saw the negative sides. Even for people like Victor he would always find an excuse why Victor was acting the way he did. Ricky was not able to see the bad. He only saw the good. That’s why nobody at first understood what he saw in Alfie, in the very beginning, when Jo and Liam didn’t know him that well, they only knew the person he pretended to be on the outside, rich, arrogant and rude. They kept wondering how on earth someone as lovely as Ricky wanted to be with someone as insensitive as Alfie.
Because Ricky always saw the good in people. Always. And he saw the good in Alfie before anyone else did. Nowadays Liam knew that Alfie was really not a bad guy, but in the beginning, when he didn’t know him, he really wondered what the hell Ricky was doing with something like him. Now, Liam knew better. Ricky had always seen the good in Alfie, even when nobody else ever saw anything good in him, but Ricky did. From the first day on…
Liam closed the book and put it back in the shelf. He couldn’t read any more of it, this was really getting to him now. He went back to the couch and brushed some of Jo’s hair gently out of her face.
The best one of the best ones..., he kept thinking, and after a while his eyelids got so heavy that he finally closed them too, falling asleep next to his wife.
It was very early when Jo woke up. The sun wasn’t even completely up yet, it just started to rise. She almost jumped up, as if she just awoke from a terrible dream. She turned around and saw that Liam was sleeping next to her.
“Liam!”, she hissed. “Liam, wake up.”

“Hm?” Liam opened his eyes and realised that he had fallen asleep last night. “Oh shit!” He quickly got up and walked to the bathroom. “Alfie?”
No answer.
“Damn! I wanted to stay awake.”

“Don’t get mad at yourself, it was a very long day.” Jo looked like she had been hit by a bus, her hair was messy, her eyes still a little puffy, and dark shadows were visible under her tired eyes.
Liam was about to reply something when the bell rang, and both of them startled so much that they almost jumped up again. They looked at each other quietly, both not able to say what they were thinking. The police. It would be the police who finally came through and would confirm that Ricky was found. Jo bit her lip, she looked like she was about to burst out crying again. The bell rang again, and Liam took a deep breath, then he slowly walked towards the door and opened it.
He froze, and he was sure his heart just stopped as well.
It wasn’t the police.

“Hey…” A tired smile appeared on Ricky’s pale face. His hair was unusually messy for his standards, the clothes dirty, and scratches along his cheeks, forehead and arms, but he was alive. He was standing there, breathing. Not dead. Alive.

“Oh God!” Jo pressed her hands on her mouth, and then she stormed to her best friend, right into his arms. She hugged him so tightly that he couldn’t move anymore. “You’re alive!” She was more sobbing than speaking. An enormous weight had just been lifted off her heart. “Thank God…” She touched his face as if she had to convince herself that she wasn’t imagining it. “You’re alive.” She smiled and cried at the same time. Liam, who had also thought he was just hallucinating, smiled relieved and hugged both Jo and Ricky, and he really didn’t want to let go off them. This felt so good, he couldn’t put in words how happy and relieved he was.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the bathroom door, Alfie was lying on the hard floor, his eyes directed to the ceiling. He had been lying there all night, not closing his eyes for one second. He just lay there, staring at the ceiling and hoping that his heart could just stop beating. He didn’t want it to keep beating while Ricky’s had stopped. He hated his heart for beating like that. He just wanted it to stop…
Then the bell rang. Alfie had no idea what time it was, he had lost track of time completely. And for that moment, when the ball rang, his heart actually stopped, but then again, it was just a short moment, and he wished it could have stopped completely and not start beating again. He knew what the bell brought. The goddamn police! He wanted to tell Jo and Liam not to open the fucking door, but he didn’t bring out one single word.
And then his mind went crazy. He started to go crazy. He imagined Ricky’s voice. He lost it completely and started to hallucinate now. He really thought he heard Ricky’s voice… Alfie wanted his heart to stop now more than ever before. He didn’t want to do this anymore. He literally felt like going under.

“How did you do it?”, Jo asked, barely breathing. “How did you…why are you…how…and the train…I thought you were dead…and…how-“

“Jo, darling, give him some space”, Liam said gently while he kissed her on top of her head.

“Where is Alfie?”, Ricky asked before he answered all of Jo’s questions.


“Is he okay?” Ricky looked concerned at Liam. “Where is he?”

“He’s in the guest bathroom. He has been all night, and he hasn’t come out. He didn’t even say anything since last night, and he just…he won’t come out, no matter what I said to him. He just locked himself up.”

Ricky untangled himself from Jo’s arms and walked over to the bathroom.
“Alfie? Please open the door.”
No answer.
“Alfie, please!” Ricky started to look really freaked out. Still no answer. He took a deep breath and glanced over to Liam and Jo. Liam had his arm around Jo, who looked so weak and small right now. “Alfie, it’s me, you’re not making this up. And you better be okay or I…I…” He paused for a moment, thinking what he could say so that Alfie would open the door. If he was conscious…
“I’m not a man”, Ricky said so quietly that Jo and Liam had a hard time understanding it. “I’m a boy.” He stared at the door and nothing happened at first, but then he finally heard the lock and the door was opened.

“Holy shit”, Liam blurt out before he could stop it.

Alfie looked like a drug addict, alcoholic, and cancer patient all in one, his eyes were so bloodshot as if he hadn’t slept for over a year, and the colour of his skin was a strange mix of sick-looking yellow and chalk white. He actually looked so scary that even his most adoring fan Jill would have started crying and hiding from him.

“Hey, you.” Ricky managed to smile, so warmly and so bright, despite the scary sight of his boyfriend.

Alfie just stared at him as if he was a ghost, a surreal apparition, a phantom.
This wasn’t real. He wasn’t real. He couldn’t be.
But that smile. His beautiful young boy smile, so innocent and youthful. This couldn’t be a hallucination.
Alfie was obviously so under shock that he couldn’t move, so Ricky took the matter into his own hands and put his arms tightly around his boyfriend while he leaned his face against his chest.
This couldn’t be a hallucination. This was real. Ricky was alive. He was holding him again.
Alfie finally seemed to realise that he wasn’t hallucinating.
“My boy…” It was just a whisper, the first two words he had spoken since hours, but they filled Ricky’s heart with warmth. “My boy.” Alfie couldn’t get out anything else, he just buried his face into Ricky’s soft hair and planted one single, incredibly gentle kiss on his head.

“I love you, Alfie”, Ricky mumbled into his chest.

Alfie closed his eyes, he wanted to feel nothing but Ricky’s arms. He never wanted to let go off him, never again. He wanted to hold him. Just hold him.
“You’re never going to take public transport again”, he finally said after a quiet moment, his face still buried in Ricky’s hair. “You came back”, he whispered. “You came back to me.”

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365Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 30th August 2013, 21:45

Ricky was so tired but at the same time so glad to be back home. “Of course I did come home.” He whispered that just his boyfriend heard him. Ricky looked around Alfie at Liam and Liam understood.

“Hey Jo how about you give Ricky one more hug and then we go home?” Liam whispered into Jo’s hair.

Jo took a deep breath and then nodded. She turned around and saw Ricky peel of Alfie from him to hug Jo. Ricky chuckled a little when Alfie did let go of him but not of his hand. Jo hugged Ricky tightly. “I thought you had left us.”

“Never. I will die as an old man in my bed.” Ricky whispered into Jo’s ear. “I’ll call you later okay?”

Jo nodded and let go of Ricky and then to everyone’s surprise she turned around and hugged Alfie tightly and without hesitation. “I’m glad you didn’t lose him.”

Jo felt Alfie nod and then pushed her away, he was still holding Ricky’s hand making sure he would not be able to go anywhere.
Liam took Jo’s hand and picked up all her things and led them to the door. “We go out of your way maybe call later.”

When they reached the Jaguar Jo had taken to drive to Ricky’s flat while he had taken a taxi from the train station. Jo handed him the keys. “I’m sorry I can’t drive.”

“That’s okay no worries I can drive.”

Jo nodded Liam kept looking at her again and again he was really worried about her she was so… like she had been nearly two years ago after the twins’ birth. Liam didn’t want to be for long on the road so for once he drove actually too fast and not too slow but he wanted to get Jo home.

“Jo? Maybe when we are home you should take something to calm down your nerves.” Liam whispered he knew how much she hated those pills she barely took them during her postpartum depression but she had moments when she took them.

“No, please I’m fine.” Jo smiled at Liam but they both knew that her words were not true.
Liam half carried Jo up the stairs and then when he closed the flat door her tears finally poured out. 
“Oh Liam, Ricky died and then he came back and I… what if he would not have been fine? I still don’t understand how he could have survived the TV said there were no survivors, I didn’t dream Ricky did I?”

“Sssshh. No he was really there and you said it yourself the reception was lost in the late evening. So you don’t know if they not reported survivors.”

Liam had picked up Jo and carried her into their bedroom where she curled up on the bed. Liam got her tablets and some water he would not force her to take them but he wanted them close by so she could take them. For a while Jo was sobbing and yes talking but Liam didn’t understand a word of what she said. Nearly an hour later her sobbing had quiet down a little.

“Jo? I know that this was really bad but Ricky is not dead, he is fine. He was walking and talking and didn’t seem to need a hospital. Please calm down.”

Jo took a few deep breaths and then sat up. When she took the glass of water Liam was surprised he didn’t think that she would take the medication so easily, but of course Jo didn’t take anything she had some water and cuddled back into Liam’s chest. “Liam?”


“Can you make sure for a while you don’t have to go to London or can take us along? Just I don’t want you to sit in a train for a while.”

“I will certainly do that. Hey beautiful how about you try to sleep a little and I call Lorelai to see when our daughters are coming home?”

“Okay. You are not leaving right?”

“No I’m staying right here in the flat. I’m just going in the kitchen to make the phone call. I really want you to get some proper sleep.” Liam kissed Jo on the top of her head and was glad that she was half asleep by then.

“Hey Lorelai how have the girls been?”

“No, no, no, no, dirty.” Liam heard Jane say in the background.

“Is everything okay?”

“Yes everything is fine, John took them all out in the snow no worries they were completely safe and now Jane’s boots are covered in snow and some dirt I will clean them and she will calm down again. So any news from Ricky? I didn’t even dare to tell Dan about the accident.”

“Ricky showed up this morning at the flat.”

“Oh thank God! Is Josey okay?”

“Yes she is she had her little meltdown and the accident actually made Alfie and her become friends but yes she is okay, she is sleeping right now. That’s why I was calling I don’t want to leave her alone is maybe someone able to drop of the girls here?”

“Oh sure, I will get someone to drive them back to Waterfall Downs chall we say around lunch time?”

“Sounds perfect. I will arrange that we get some lunch from the kitchen and Jo will be happy to see them. Thanks Lorelai.”

“No problem let me know if there is anything you need.”

Liam hung up the phone quickly fed Teddy and called the kitchen downstairs to let them know that out of personal reason they need their lunch brought up to the flat today. They didn’t do that often when Jo didn’t have time to cook they went downstairs to eat with the students but on very rare occasions thay ordered the lunch to be brought up. After he had organised the next two days that both his and Jo’s classes were covered he went back to Jo, she was snuggled into the pillows her hand lying on his side of the bed she must have looked for him in her sleep. Liam suddenly noticed that she was still wearing her boots, he hadn’t seen it before he took them off carefully and placed them in the hallway on the shoe rack and then he returned to his wife and pulled her into his arm. He didn’t dare to think how Alfie felt right now, well no that was not true. Liam knew how Alfie felt. When Jo was kidnapped people had told him that she was dead and he should accept that and then he found her… alive not just her body. It took some time until she found her way back but she did and then the second time after he had read that she had nearly died giving birth to the twins and then again it took her some time to come back to him. So yes Liam knew exactly how Alfie felt and it wasn’t a good feeling not until you know the one you love is really back.

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366Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 31st August 2013, 15:14

Ricky thought it was cute how Alfie didn’t let go off him all day long - literally. Every time Ricky got up, his boyfriend got up as well, holding his hand. After Jo and Liam had left the flat, Ricky had to sit down, he had been on his feet for twenty-four hours, no sleep in between, so he just wanted to sit down for a moment, and then he wanted to shower, not only get off all the dirt but also the memory of that horrible event. Alfie didn’t even say anything when Ricky sat down on the couch with his dirty clothes (well, it was obviously not THE couch, but still, all of the furniture was incredibly expensive and Alfie cared a lot about his furniture).
“Are you okay? Are you feeling dizzy? Do you want something to drink? Or do you want me to-“

Ricky smiled weakly and leaned his head against his boyfriend’s shoulder. Alfie had his arms tightly around him as if he worried that someone would take his penguin away any second.
“I’m okay”, Ricky said. “I’m just so exhausted, that’s why I really needed to sit down.” He slowly began to relax in his boyfriend’s arms. Those strong, protecting arms…
Alfie’s hand wandered over the scratches on Ricky’s cheeks. He hated seeing his boy hurt in any way, but when he saw any physical wounds on his soft milk maid skin, Alfie went crazy. Even though he knew that this time no person had hurt him physically, it was that goddamn accident, and he obviously couldn’t run off and punch the remains of the train, but he still felt like punching someone for getting his boy hurt. He wanted to punch the fucking moron who had left his car between the railway crossing, and he wanted to punch the train driver for not stopping on time, and he wanted to punch a whole lot of more people.
“Does it hurt?”, he asked while his fingers were still wandering over Ricky’s scratches.

Ricky shook his head. “This is nothing compared to what I saw.”

Alfie could hear in his voice that Ricky wasn’t yet able to talk about what he saw, but there was one thing he really needed to know.
“How did you get away?”

Ricky didn’t answer immediately, then he let out a quiet sigh. “My students and I were the only lucky ones. We sat in the very last railway carriage, and this one only got shaken up, but it neither went off in flames nor was it squished like all the other ones. So before anything worse could happen and the fire might spread to our carriage, we tried to get out as soon as possible. None of us was hurt badly, only a few scratches and bruises, but it was obviously the shock that hit us the most. None of the reporters had found us for a while until a camera team discovered us about a hundred meters away from the crash. The whole area was full of smoke, you could barely see your own hand in front of your eyes.”

Alfie’s hand wandered to Ricky’s hair now and was gently brushing through it. Ricky knew how much Alfie loved playing with his hair, and this time he let him.
“Couldn’t you have called?”

Ricky sighed. “I made sure the students could call home first, and by the time it was my turn, there were no coins left, and besides, I couldn’t have reached you anyway because I heard that Oxford’s phone lines were completely dead at a certain point last night during the snow storm.”

“You should have called first”, Alfie mumbled. “Before all of your students.”

“I’m their teacher, and I was the one responsible for them, so of course I let them call their parents first.”

Alfie didn’t say anything, but sometimes it drove him crazy how caring Ricky was about other people who he barely knew. Yes, they were his students, but in any other situation Ricky would have behaved the exact same way. He always, always, always put others first. If he had been in a railway carriage with only strangers whom he had never met before, he still would have let them all call first before he would take his turn. That was so typically Ricky, never thinking of himself, always the others.
And yet he loved him for that. He loved him so much, it was crazy, and Alfie was tired of denying it to himself. He couldn’t hide or deny it anymore, especially not after he almost lost him.

“I need to shower”, Ricky mumbled after a moment of silence.

“I’ll come with you.”

What a surprise. Ricky had to grin, even if it was still a rather weak grin. Alfie was so very attached to him today, it was kind of cute.
Ricky carefully got up, he was still very weak and his whole body felt so tired and exhausted. Alfie got up as well, still holding his hand tightly.

“I’ll have to go to the bathroom first.”


“Ehm…would you let go off my hand so I can go to the bathroom?”

“I’ll come with you.”

Ricky stared at his boyfriend. “This is very cute of you, not wanting to let go and all, but I would really appreciate it if you would let me pee alone.”

“It’s not like I haven’t seen it before.”

Ricky blushed. He still got a little weird every time he took off his clothes in front of Alfie, but he would never want to get used to Alfie watching him while he had to pee, that was too much.
“Alfie, it will literally take a minute and then I’m right back, okay? I will not run off during that time, and nobody will kidnap me, and I will also not have any more accidents, I promise.”

Alfie didn’t look very happy about it, but he finally let go off his penguin’s hand, and it almost hurt him letting go, even if it was just for a very short moment.
Ricky looked at him for a moment, his hand felt strange without having Alfie’s hand around his. “I never say this, but you look horrible.”

Alfie just shrugged his shoulders. It was very unusual for someone like him who was so concerned with how he looked, but right now he couldn’t care less.

“Which is also sweet.” Ricky smiled. “Not that this is going to be the new look for you, but I can tell that you…you missed me.”

“That’s the understatement of the year”, Alfie replied dryly.

Ricky looked a bit more serious now. “You wouldn’t have…ehm…done something to yourself if I hadn’t come back, right?”

“I don’t know.” That was actually the truth. He really didn’t know what he would have done.

“Just because I might get hurt or…well, die, I don’t want you to do anything stupid, do you understand? Please never think about this again, okay?”

Alfie didn’t mention that while he lay awake all night in the bathroom, he wanted nothing more than his stupid heart to stop. If he mentioned that fact to Ricky, Ricky would get too worried, so instead of mentioning it, he just nodded.

“Good.” Ricky tiptoed and kissed him on the cheek. He wanted to get clean first before he would kiss Alfie properly. “See you in the shower.”

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367Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 1st September 2013, 09:28

Jo was barely awake but she was aware of sounds around her, she knew that Liam has been there for a while he wasn’t there anymore but she felt the piece of paper in her hand she knew that everything was okay then, he was properly getting some food for them or just had to go to the bathroom.
At the time while Jo was slowly regaining consciousness at the front door Liam greeted Lorelai. “Hey, I would have come and picked them up.”

“I know but I know you have a lot on your plate so here we go your little angels safely back at home.” Lorelai hugged him tightly and a few years ago that would have gotten his pants going but now he just felt safe, loved and understood the way you should feel when your big sister hugs you. “How is Josey?”

“Sleeping but okay. I’m still not sure if she shouldn’t take her medicine, but she refuses and I will go with that as long she is not freaking out again.”

“That’s okay Liam, I know she doesn’t like taking any medicine but in the end she knows how her mental state is the best let’s give her some space.”

“I know. So Princess how was your sleepover at Tante Lorelai’s?” Liam smiled at his little girl and picked her up, but before she could answer.

“Mommy!” Jill shouted and ran into her parents’ bedroom.

“Shit! Sorry Lorelai I got to go.”

“That’s okay they were both find, slept, ate, pooped and had a good time. Oh and Jane refused to take a bath.” Lorelai laughed and closed the door while Liam hurried to their bedroom to stop Jill from waking Jo.

“’lo Mucnhkin.” Jo mumbled while she pulled Jill closer to her to stop her from jumping on Liam’s side of the bed. Liam meant to say something but he saw the small sleepy smile playing around Jo’s lips he knew she was fine.
When Jo heard her daughter scream her name she was for a moment really scared again but then her little daughter jumped still in her coat in the bed. “Mommy we are home it is afternoon why are you sleeping? We made ice cream, and Opa Will make bread and we watched movies and Henry showed us the horses and Tante was not happy Henry was not supposed to show us the stallions.”

Jane had climbed into the bed to her mum, Jo wrapped her arm around her calmer daughter. “Edward played music for me. Really nice music.”

“That sounds nice.” Jo mumbled her eyes still full of sleep. Jo suddenly saw the box of pills on her nightstand and before her daughters saw them.

“Jane didn’t like the horse poop, but she was okay as long Henry held her hand. Mommy can we have a horse?” Jill wasn’t bouncing anymore because Jo was holding her down but she was so excited. She loved being home but at the same time she loved the adventures she had with Henry and this time Dan had taken them out into the woods and showed them all the winter animals while Jane was inside with John and Edward who was practicing one of his compositions.
Jo didn’t notice it that Liam had taken out his camera and took hundreds of pictures of his three gorgeous girls, Jo looked so adorable cute all sleep but cuddling with their daughters.

“Mommy can we eat something? I’m so hungry.” Jill asked finally sitting still and leaning her head against her mum’s shoulder.

“Didn’t Lorelai feed you?”

“She did but I was running a lot.” Jill looked innocent at her mother.

“Okay let’s go in the kitchen and see what we have to eat.” Jo sat up and saw Liam for the first time since she woke up. “Oh, hey.” Jo blushed like a shy little girl seeing the crush of her life speak the first time to her.

“Hey.” Liam had the let the camera disappear and went to the bed to kiss his wife. He ran his fingers through her hair. “How do you feel?”

“Mommy are you sick?” Jane asked sounding so scared.

“No, no Munchkin I’m fine I just got a big scare but I’m okay because I know it was nothing but a scare.” Jo looked at Liam and he understood that she was a lot better, she got a massive scare but as soon Ricky would call her and tell her what happened and that he is fine. But for now the giggly happiness of their girls was all the medicine she needed. Liam kissed her one more time so gentle as if he was scared to touch her lips properly because she might disappear. “We got some chicken and vegetables from the kitchen. We can heat it up and then see what we do afterwards; I know Jane needs a bath so we might all take a nice long soak in our big tub.”

“That sounds nice.” Jo kissed Liam and let him help her get out of bed. She was smiling again and that made Liam calm down and know that it was okay that she didn’t take any of her sedative.

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368Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 3rd September 2013, 18:00

When they went to bed, Alfie planned to stay awake through the night, although he hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before, and two days without any sleep wasn’t particularly fun, but Alfie’s sleeping habits had always been weird to begin with, and this night he just wanted to stay awake to make sure Ricky was okay. It was around eleven in the evening when they got ready for bed, and Alfie actually wore clothes for once, well, underpants and a shirt. It was very, very unusual for him, but he didn’t want to sleep with Ricky tonight, all he wanted to do was to hold him and let him heal for a bit longer, and he wanted to make sure Ricky didn’t feel pressured either, that’s why he wore clothes to bed this time.
Ricky fell asleep very quickly, he was so exhausted that he could barely keep his eyes open. He was snuggled up on Alfie’s chest, who had his arms around him. Alfie watched him for a while, the moonlight brightened up a lot of their room and hit Ricky’s soft face. Alfie could watch him for hours, he felt strangely warm around his heart when he watched his penguin asleep. Even though Ricky looked very young during the day, it was nothing compared to how young and innocent he looked when he was asleep. Like a little boy…
Alfie’s fingers were gently running through Ricky’s hair, but he made sure he wouldn’t wake up from that. He had no idea how long he was awake, watching his boy sleep in his arms, but at some point his eyes started to hurt because he grew so incredibly tired. Alfie tried not to fall asleep, he wanted to watch Ricky for a little bit longer, but then he closed his eyes, saying to himself that it would just be for a brief moment, but that brief moment turned into falling asleep completely.
He opened his eyes again because he had actually felt cold. Something was missing. Shit, why the hell did he fall asleep? He wanted to stay awake!
And then he noticed it… Ricky was gone.
Alfie sat up immediately. He was a bit dizzy because he sat up way too quickly, but he was wide awake now. Ricky wasn’t here. He was not here! Alfie started to get nervous and paranoid, getting weird ideas into his head. For a moment he thought that he had only dreamed that Ricky came back and spent all day with him yesterday. This was a dream, nothing else, and now he woke up and had to realise that Ricky was still gone and would never come back to him.
He shook his head and got up. Bullshit! This wasn’t a dream. Ricky really was here. He could smell the light peach scent, and he was not imagining it. Ricky had come back to him, and he had fallen asleep in his arms. That was not a dream.
Alfie looked first in the bathroom, but there was no sign of Ricky, so he went downstairs. The whole flat was deadly silent and it looked almost spooky how the moonlight fell through the windows. Alfie walked to the kitchen and to Ricky’s office, but still no sign, which made him more and more nervous, and then he walked through the empty living room into the gentleman’s room where the bar was- and where he also found Ricky.
His boy sat in front of a water glass which was almost empty, and from the smell of it, it wasn’t water that Ricky had been drinking.

“Hey…” Alfie was approaching him carefully and froze when Ricky turned around to look at him. He was even paler than he usually was, it was not his light porcelain pale but a sick looking pale, and dark shadows were under his puffy eyes. Alfie didn’t need to ask him if he was okay, it was obvious that Ricky was anything but okay. Alfie looked concerned at Ricky and then at the glass. “Did you drink whiskey?” For him, it was normal to drink that much, he was so used to it that it didn’t do anything to him, but his little boy wasn’t used to it at all, especially not to that much.

Ricky nodded without saying anything.

“You do know that you took a water glass, right? A whiskey glass is only half that size. Did you fill the entire glass?”

Ricky nodded again.

“So you drank two whiskey glasses then…” Alfie wanted to take the empty glass away from him, but Ricky was clinging on to it.

“You had enough for today, Lover Boy”, Alfie said and after a second try finally got the glass away from him and put it out of reaching distance for Ricky. “How are you feeling?”

“Peachy”, Ricky replied dryly.

Alfie filled another glass with just water and handed it to Ricky, but his boyfriend shook his head.
“I don’t want to drink that.”

“You have to.”

“No”, Ricky mumbled with his weak little voice.

“Ricky, drink the water. I just want to help you.” Alfie sounded a little strict, but he was too worried about him and didn’t want him to feel sick. Ricky looked annoyed, but then he took a few sips.
“I guess you couldn’t sleep?”

Ricky nodded. “I saw them again”, he mumbled.


“The dead people. There were so many dead people…so many…just bleeding to death and burning and…and children! There were children…” Ricky’s eyes filled with tears again. “Why them? They didn’t do anything wrong. They just…their life had just begun, you know? And I keep seeing them, every time I close my eyes, I see all the dead…”

Alfie knew Ricky had lied when he said that he was okay earlier. Before they went to bed, Alfie had asked him a few times, but Ricky kept saying he was okay. Since Ricky was a bad liar, Alfie figured that he wasn’t telling the truth, but seeing him now gave him the final proof.

“I don’t see why I’m allowed to live and the others aren’t. I mean, what did I do to deserve to live while the others had to die?”

“You’re having survivor’s guilt, and you shouldn’t think that way, Ricky, you deser-“

“I feel sick…” Ricky stared at a spot on the floor because everything else around him was spinning.

“Of course you do, you’re not used to alcohol”, Alfie said while he quickly got up and came back with a bucket. He wanted to hand it to Ricky, but his penguin pushed it away.

“I’m a big boy”, he grumbled. “I can handle this tiny bit of-“ Before he could finish the sentence he grabbed the bucket and threw up.
Alfie never took care of anyone in his life, especially not anyone drunk, but with Ricky it was something completely different. He didn’t even hesitate for a second, he was up on his feet and got a wet towel from the bathroom. When he came back, Ricky was hanging pathetically over the bucket, his eyes all tearing up.
“It’s not fair”, Ricky mumbled. “It’s not fair that I get to live.”

Alfie wiped the wet towel gently over Ricky’s pale face. “That’s not true”, he said quietly. “It wouldn’t have been fair if you would have died in that crash. In fact, it would have been so unfair that I would have given up everything I believed in.”

Ricky slowly looked up. He looked so fragile, it was killing Alfie.
“What…what do you believe in?” His voice sounded just as fragile as he looked.

Alfie looked a bit uncomfortable because this conversation was heading into a direction that he usually avoided, but after what happened to Ricky and almost losing him, Alfie would be honest to him this time.
“You know I’m not the most religious person”, Alfie mumbled while he cleaned the towel and wiped Ricky’s face once more. “But that you came back…that you didn’t die…I don’t know…It feels like there was, well, a higher power sounds stupid, but it feels like…like something protected you. You weren’t supposed to die yet, it wasn’t your time. And I normally don’t believe in fate and stuff like that, but with you…I don’t know…since I met you I started to…” He paused for a moment. “I guess I started to believe in more things.”

Although Ricky still looked ill, that very well-known lovesick baby penguin look came back into his eyes. “That is…so…sweet….” He managed to smile weakly, but then he had to throw up again.

“And I guess I need a few more towels”, Alfie said, already getting up again.

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369Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 3rd September 2013, 22:44

It took Ricky nearly fifteen minutes until he could lift his head again. “I don’t want to sit here in the bar.” Ricky mumbled.

“Okay. You think you got a few minutes you don’t have to throw up again?” Alfie kissed Ricky on the cheek.

“I think so.” Ricky was shaking and pale.

“Okay come here.” Alfie lifted him up as if Ricky weight nothing and carried him up the stairs to their bedroom. “You want to go to bed?”

“No the bathroom… Alfie I can walk you know?”

“Don’t be silly, you look like you broke your wings.” Alfie mumbled and carried Ricky into their bathroom. “Let me get you a pillow, some water and I also need to get your bucket cleaned up.”

“Don’t get your butler. I retired him.”

“Yes I did… oh God.” Ricky started throwing up again he felt awful. It didn’t take Alfie a second to sit beside him and rub circles on his back.

“Sssh. Try to stay calm. Just let it all come out. Here I can get water from here.” Alfie jumped up and got one of the daily changed toothbrush glasses and filled it with water. “Here drink this in small sips.”

Ricky followed his orders, drank a few sips and then leaned his head tired against Alfie’s shoulder. “Do you want to talk about the train crash?” Alfie whispered playing with Ricky’s hair again. Ricky just shook his head. Alfie would not pressure him, even when he knew that Ricky should talk about it.

A while later Ricky whispered. “Alfie I know you don’t believe in it but can we… you get some money to the families of the victims? Maybe some kind of foundation or something.”

“That sounds like a good idea The Ricky Jackson Foundation, I will get my layers on the paperwork. The foundation will help families of the train crash and then it will help people that have nowhere else to go because of the way they feel.” Alfie whispered. “How does that sounds?”

“Good.” Ricky whispered he was breathing slower and seemed to have got everything out of his system.

“Come on Lover Boy let’s go to bed, I’ll quickly go and empty your barf bucket.”

“But don’t stay long.”

Alfie ran downstairs through the bucket into the bin hole in the hallway and went back into the bedroom Ricky was restlessly asleep.

“Hey it’s okay I’m here. Just I don’t know meet the dead people and let them pass.” This time it wasn’t so hard for Alfie to stay up he would watch Ricky for the rest of their life if his Lover Boy lets him. As long as Ricky lets him.

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370Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 7th September 2013, 08:36

When Dan came home from his classes in the late afternoon, he found himself in the middle of a surprise. His room was empty. Well, not his entire room, but his closet. There was literally only one simple white t shirt and undershirt left, everything else was gone. Dan felt how his heart started to race. What if Lorelai didn’t want him anymore? What if she wanted him to move out? That’s why she already threw out all of his clothes, she didn’t want him here anymore. A voice in Dan’s head told him to calm down, why would she want him to leave so shortly after she officially adopted him? But then another voice came creeping into his head…Why would she want to adopt him in the first place? Who wanted to have a teenager in their house? It was different with her own sons, who would be teenagers one day too, because they were her real sons, but who the hell wanted a teenage boy from a troubled background? On top of that, a teenage boy who had certain likings that many people considered a sickness. So, that one voice who told him that she just adopted him as her son became very quiet and the other mean, evil voice in his head won over and made him feel so insecure.

“Dan!”, Lorelai shouted from downstairs. She had just come back from the stables and saw that Dan’s jacket was hanging there, so he had to be home from school. “Danny-Boy, can you come downstairs?”

Dan was so nervous that he started to feel sick to his stomach. He very slowly came downstairs, and to his surprise Lorelai was smiling widely at him, but he still kept expecting the worst.
“Yes?”, he asked shyly. He didn’t even dare to ask about the clothes. “Am I…did I do something wrong?”

Lorelai looked confused at him, but then she let out a laugh. “No, silly, why did you think that?”


“Brother!” Henry came running into the living room and hugged his big brother tightly. “How was your day? Mine was good, I had to pee a lot today, and I saw a frog, and I took the frog and sat the frog on Stacy Miller’s head, and Stacy Miller screamed and I got in trouble.” Henry grinned proudly at him while Lorelai just shook her head.

“That’s nothing to be proud of, young man”, she warned him.

Dan watched Henry and his heart got so heavy while he imagined that he had to say good bye to his little brother and maybe never see him again when he had to move out.
“How was your day, Danny? Did you learn a lot? Was it boring? Did you see Jill today? I want to-“

“Henry, beruhig dich”, Lorelai said while she threw her youngest son a warning glance. “Gib deinem Bruder mal eine Pause nach so einem langen Schultag.”

„But Mutti!“

She just raised her eyebrow, and the little boy knew that he had to back off a bit and gives his brother some space.
“Anyway.” Lorelai turned back to Dan now and smiled friendly at him. “It’s time.”

Dan didn’t say anything at first, but then he nervously asked: “Time for what?”
Please don’t say I have to move out, please don’t say I have to move out, please, please, please!

“It’s make-over time, baby.”

“Make-over?” He looked confused. “What…what does that mean?”

“Didn’t you see that I took all of your clothes?”

“Yeah, but I wasn’t sure what that meant…”

“You’re getting a whole new wardrobe. No son of mine wears those ancient, bad quality clothes, okay? We will get you nice, new clothes, and you can pick whatever you like.”

“But…but…isn’t that going to be...ehm…quite expensive?”

Lorelai chuckled. “God, you’re so adorable, Dan! Don’t worry about this, we will go to London and get your closet filled again. But that’s not all…”

“It’s not?”

“You, good sir, are in desperate need of make-over, and I’m not talking about your clothes this time…” Her eyes wandered to his head and he immediately knew what she meant. Without really noticing it, he touched his bushy hair, almost protectively.

“Oh yes!” Lorela’s grin grew bigger. “We’re getting rid of this.”

“All of it?” Dan looked shocked at her.

“No, of course not! Do you really think I would let you run around bold? You have really nice, full hair, it would be a shame if you wouldn’t keep it, but we have to do something about that bushiness of your hair. It looks like a complete mess. In fact, it looks like the hair people have around their private parts.”

Dan’s cheeks started to flush immediately and his little brother let out a laugh.
“It looks like penis hair!”, Henry giggled. “When Dad takes Edward and me to the big swimming pool and we have to get changed, we see men with hair like yours, but it’s around their penis.”

Dan started to turn deep red now. “Ehm…eh…”

Since Lorelai was quite easy going about those subjects, she didn’t tell Henry to watch his language. She crossed her arms and nodded in agreement with her little son.
“Do you want to have penis hair on your head, Dan?”, she asked while Henry couldn’t stop laughing.

“I…eh…I guess not.”

“Perfect. It’s a date then.” She tousled his hair playfully, just the way she used to do it with Liam, only that his hair was never that bushy. “I already made an appointment at a very good hairdresser in London, I always go there too.”

Dan just nodded, still red in his face.

“After we’re done with you, you’re going to be the most handsome young man in Oxford”, she said proudly. “And I can guarantee you that you will get a lot of attention from girls. And boys.” She winked at him.

“Dan is getting married!”, Henry shouted excitedly.

Lorelai laughed, and even Dan finally managed to smile, now that he was over the whole awkwardness.
“Not so fast, Henry. He needs a boyfriend first”, Lorelai said.

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371Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 7th September 2013, 17:21

“Okay Danny boy it is time to go into town. We are going to pick up Edward from school on the way. Henry did you go to the toilet as I told you?” Now Henry blushed and shook his head before he quickly ran to the bathroom. Lorelai grinned and got the small basket that contained some sandwiches and other snacks to pass the time on the car ride and to make sure her boys were well fed before an afternoon of shopping.

“Mutti, you know you don’t have to do this. I don’t mind wearing my old clothes.”

“Nonsense. It is time that you dress properly and that you look adequate. You are a young man and not the unwanted sick thing anymore. You deserve to look like a young sophisticated man. Henry are you coming?”

For a while there was no answer until Henry showed up with no pants on and his little penis visible.

“Excuse me? Since when does London accept little naked boys run through its street?” Lorelai joked, she was rather curious why her son was half naked.

“Sorry I was checking if my penis hair is growing and then I peed on my trousers. Mutti when do I get penis hair?”

Lorelai started laughing. “Your pubic hair will not grow before you are reaching puberty which will be when you are around thirteen. So you still have time and won’t find a single hair on your little Schniedelwutz.”

Dan had run upstairs to get fresh clothes for his little brother, Lorelai took them from him and put helped Henry to put them on.

“So that means Dan has pu… penis hair?” Henry looked curious at Dan. Dan was blushing. “Could be please stop talking about my… about this?”

“Oh Dan you are such a prude. I’m pretty sure you do have pubic hair but okay let’s talk about something else? How was school?”

“It was good. In Mr Liam’s class we started to build a large solar system for the garden it will be electrical and all planets will be orbiting like in reality so that we see where the planets position are in the sky right now it is rather complicated but Mr Liam is sure that we will manage to get it to work…”

Lorelai smiled behind the wheel while Dan explained how the solar system would work, he wasn’t gifted in the natural science but he was studying very hard to get very good grades in Liam’s classes. John would join them in London to help get some new clothes and it was not just Dan that got a haircut all of Lorelai’s men would get one. As soon Edward joined them in the car he told them about his day at school when suddenly Henry said loudly to his brother.

“Edward did you know that Dan has penis hair?”

“What do you mean?” Edward was not as keen as Henry to talk about Dan’s pubis hair but the older boy sensed that Henry did mean something different.

“Look at his hair.” Henry reached up and tousled a little like his mother did Dan’s hair. “It looks like the hair at the penis of a man. Mutti? Do girls have hair at their Muschis?”
Dan looked embarrassed out of the window. He wasn’t sure he wanted to talk about the female anatomy no matter that he was into boys.

“Yes when a girl reaches puberty her pubic hair will grow too.” Lorelai didn’t even mind that her youngest son asked questions about the human anatomy.

“Okay.” Henry was quiet for a while. “Mutti do men like that girls have Muschi hair?”

“I think in some ways most do, but some women shave.”

“Do you shave?” Henry looked curious at his mother, he has seen her when they took baths together but he couldn’t remember.

“Henry that is a very personal question and I don’t think you should ask this.” Lorelai looked at her son in the review mirror.

“I’m sorry. I think I will like it when I have penis hair and when my wife has Muschi hair.” Henry looked serious at his mother.

“That is good to know. And now let’s deal with the hair on your heads okay boys?” Lorelai parked and got out. John was waiting outside the barber shop. He smiled at her and pulled his wife into a tight hug and kissed her. “Did you have a good day darling?”
Lorelai laughed. “Oh yes. Your boys discovered the topic of pubic hair at least the youngest one.”
John looked over at Dan and the little ones getting out of the car. “Did he? Well Henry is very curious.”

“Daddy! Do you have penis hair?” Henry said loudly.

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372Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 9th September 2013, 16:17

John raised an eyebrow and answered dryly: “I think it would be worrying if I didn’t have any.“

Dan pretended he wasn’t listening to them at all and instead just looked at the sky, and then at the street and counted the cars. His younger brother Edward didn’t seem to be interested in that subject and was more concerned with the hair dresser appointment.

“Mutti, I don’t want them to cut off too much hair.”

“Don’t worry, it will just be a bit, like the last time. Your hair is getting a bit too long. I mean, if you like it that way I don’t want to force a haircut on you, but I think it could become very impractical for you.”

“No, I don’t want long hair, I’m not a girl!”, Edward said quickly. “But I don’t want it too short either. I don’t want to look weird.”

Lorelai touched his cheek gently. “No son of mine looks weird, and after we’re done here, you will look very handsome, just like your big brother.”

One could see that Dan was nervous. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Lorelai and her decisions, he just never really thought of having a make-over, well, and nobody ever cared about that anyway. He was never particularly concerned about how he looked like and what other people thought, but since he started living with the von Gruensees and a wealthier part of Oxford, he became more aware of how much looks mattered, and maybe she was right, he really looked like a boy from the streets. He never really noticed it until he got a new family.

“Okay, boys, ready?” Lorelai looked at all four of them, Henry and John a lot more confident than Dan and Edward, but all of them nodded and followed her inside. Dan had never been inside a hairdresser’s shop before. If his hair got too long, his mother cut it with the kitchen scissors, and that was it. When he got older he had to cut it himself because she was often either gone or drunk, so when he was about 12 he started to cut it himself, which sometimes looked very stupid, but better than letting it grow like a girl.

“Lorelai!” A petite woman with long, dark hair and a big smile approached the whole family. “So nice to see you!”

“So nice to see you too, Linda.” Lorelai hugged her tightly. “I guess you have a lot of work today.”

Linda looked at the four boys in the background. “You weren’t kidding, you brought them all.”

“Oh yes, I did.”

“And that must be your newest addition of the family.” She looked at the teenage boy. “Dan, isn’t it?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Oh, don’t call me that, it makes me feel old. Just call me Linda.” She shook his hand and turned to Lorelai. “Lorelai, you haven’t mentioned how cute he is. Does he have any brothers? I would gladly adopt them.”

Lorelai laughed. “He’s an only child.”

“What a pity.” She turned back to Dan and her hand was wandering to his hair. “That’s a lot of hair.”

“It’s penis hair!”, Henry shouted in the background.

“What?” The hairdresser looked surprised at the little boy.

“Don’t listen to him, Linda”, Lorelai chuckled.

At the same time four other women appeared behind her, who would take care of the others while Linda would personally work on Dan’s hair. She led Dan to a big, comfortable chair while one of her workers brought him something to drink.
“You don’t have to be nervous, I’ll make sure I won’t ram the scissors into your head or cut your ear off”, Linda said jokingly.

“I’m not nervous, I…ehm…well…maybe a bit, I just…eh…”

“You’ve never been to a hairdresser before, have you?”

He shook his head.

“Well, honey, I can only tell you that nothing bad will come out of this today. Lorelai is my best customer and also a good friend, and I would never dare to deface or ruin one of her precious men. I think she would personally throw me into the Themes if I would make any of her men look silly.” She pulled back her sleeves while she touched Dan’s hair again. “Do you use any special anti-frizz shampoo?”

“Anti what?”

She laughed. “Never mind.”
Her new customer was adorably clueless when it came to hair and its products.

“Please don’t dye it”, Dan said shyly. “I don’t mind if you cut it, I know it looks a bit messy, but please don’t dye it blonde or something like that.”

Linda had to laugh again. “Oh, sweetheart, I won’t let you run around like one of the Beach Boys, your colour is gorgeous, I don’t have to change a thing about that.”

Dan seemed relieved. “Okay…just making sure.”

She put her hands on his shoulders. “Now relax a bit and let the magic happen.”

He nodded, still a bit insecure, but then Linda started with her work and he knew there was no way back. She washed his hair first, which felt nice, especially since she used that extra shampoo she was talking about and his hair started to look less bushy, but then she took out the scissors and he started to get nervous all over again.
“Say goodbye to that bush on your head.”

Dan stared at the scissors as if she wanted to kill him with that, then he closed his eyes because he didn’t dare to watch the whole process. He heard the noise that the scissors made, but he was too freaked out to look.

“You have really nice eyelashes by the way”, Linda said while she continued moving the scissors swiftly over his head. “Every girl must be jealous of you.”

Dan wasn’t used to those kind of compliments, he didn’t even know if that was a compliment, but since he was polite he just said ‘thank you’, not sure if it was good to have nice eyelashes or not. He had never thought about that. Why would he?

It was about an hour later, after washing, cutting and blow-drying the hair, Linda turned Dan’s chair towards the mirror so that he could see the result. He still had his eyes closed, but then curiosity won over and he carefully opened them.
“WHAT?” Dan just stared at his reflection and seemed to believe that there was actually someone else sitting across from him and this was all a joke, but then he touched his hair and it was really cut. That frizzy bush on his head was gone and with it every sign of boyhood. He looked about three years older than before, and he felt older too.

“So?” Linda smiled at him. “It wasn’t all bad, was it?”

“Thank you so, so, so much!”

“You’re very welcome, and you have to thank your lovely mother for insisting to take you here. Speaking of which, I think we should go to her.”

Dan nodded and got up, still touching his hair as if it wasn’t his. The others were all done as well, and when they saw him their eyes widened. Dan was almost hiding behind Linda, but she stepped away so that he couldn’t hide anymore.

“Oh.My.God.” Lorelai got up and walked to her son. She looked so proudly at him that Dan couldn’t help but smile shyly. “I don’t have one man and three boys at home anymore. I have two men!” She touched his hair carefully. “Look at you! You look so grown up now.” She turned to Linda. “You did a fantastic job with him, Linda.”

“Danny doesn’t have penis hair anymore!”, Henry shouted through the entire salon. “Well, only around his penis, but not on his head anymore.”

The others were laughing while Dan would have loved to hide behind one of those chairs.

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373Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 10th September 2013, 22:32

Lorelai’s hair was a pretty dark brown and a lot shorter than before, her hair weave got taken out and left her natural long hair behind.

“Okay so let’s go shopping.” Lorelai grinned when they went to get all the clothes. Some were pre-ordered, some they found but in the end of the day the boot of the car was full of bags and boxes with clothes for Dan and some for the younger boys as well and while they were at it they bought things they would need for their first family holiday. They would start in Germany and then make their way to Italy.

“Thank you Mutti for all of this.” A now very handsome Dan said to Lorelai. The two were unpacking all of Dan’s new clothes.

“You thought I got tired of you didn’t you? You thought we don’t want you anymore.” Lorelai didn’t sound accusing she sounded nearly hurt.

Dan couldn’t look at his Mutti. “It’s just… all my clothes were gone and…”

“Dan you are my son, I can’t just return you like an unwanted pair of shoes. When John and I signed the papers to adopt you, we made a decision for live. I can’t just give you back and I never want to. Loving someone means to love them when they do something that makes you unhappy. Love is a very peculiar thing.” Lorelai hung up Dan’s new shirts. “You will look really dashing, everyone will love you.”

“Mutti!” Dan felt uncomfortable, he was twisting the bracelet her had gotten from Filipe to Christmas.

“Dan, be honest is there a boy in your live right now?” Lorelai looked at her oldest son.

“Sort of.” Dan was scared talking to Lorelai about this, what if she was just understanding until it got serious and Dan had a boy and really was gay.

“Sort of, I see. Come here Dan I would like to talk to you. Ricky mentioned that he had talked with you a little about… sex.”

Dan just nodded.

“Okay. Here take these.” Lorelai put a few condoms in Dan’s lap. Dan starred at the several packs of condoms.

“Oh. My. God!” Dan was suddenly very pale.

“I know Ricky talked with you about this but listen to me. I here for you for the hows, but that is not what I want to talk you about. This are condoms and by looking at your face I’m sure you know what they are for and you will tell me that you don’t need them because you will sleep with boys. Condoms are not just to prevent pregnancies but to prevent sexual transmitted illnesses. I want you to always wear a condom.”

“Mutti!” Dan wanted to get up, but Lorelai grabbed his wrist.

“This is important.”

Dan nodded. “I understand… um Mutti?”

“Yes?” Lorelai looked friendly at Dan.

“I don’t know how to use these.”

“I see, wait a moment.” Lorelai got up, left his room and came a few moments back in it.

“So here we go.” Lorelai had one of her dildos in her hand, she ripped the condom open and showed damn how to put it on. Dan than tried it himself but he felt very uncomfortable.

“Mutti those… they… you… use… Mutti do you use them?” Dan didn’t mean to be rude but the thought of his mum needed to use those special kind of adult toys made him partly curious and partly scared.

“Not that this is any of your business but yes, but not just when I’m alone.” Lorelai laughed when Dan blushed tomato red.

“But I’m serious Dan I know you will have sex and I think as long as you feel ready for it do it, but I want you to make sure that you both wear a condom it might feel a little less sensational but I want you to die as an old man not a young boy.” Lorelai was folding Dan’s new not only tighty whiteys underpants.

“And I hope you know that we all are dying to meet this boy of yours.” Lorelai grinned, she wouldn’t tell him that she already knew that it was Filipe. He still was just learning that she knew everything going happening on her stud farm. She was like the Goddess of this estate.

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374Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 12th September 2013, 14:41

This was soooooo awkward! Dan didn’t know where to look, what to do, what to say… He tried to look calm, but he was so freaked out and embarrassed. It wasn’t because of Lorelai, it was generally that subject. This was all so new to him, until a few months ago he didn’t even dare to think of boys in ‘that’ way, but here he was, with his new mother who talked so openly about it and even showed him what to do. Most of the time Dan thought of boys, it was just the ‘innocent’ part, like how he would hold hands, and how to kiss, but he barely dared to think of anything else. He didn’t want to admit it, but he was actually scared. It wasn’t just the fact that he had no freaking idea how it worked to be with a guy, but it also scared him too, because it was something he didn’t know at all and he couldn’t read about it either. Sure, in biology class they talked about that subject, but never about two boys being intimate, it was always girl and boy, and the books about that subject were also only for girl/boy intimacies, so he couldn’t read any of those books since they didn’t really answer his questions. He also couldn’t ask Lorelai, well, he could ask her but it was very awkward since she was his mother, and secondly, she only had a limited knowledge about boys being intimate, so she most likely couldn’t help him out either. Well, and there was always Ricky, but Dan felt bad asking him since it was a very private subject and Ricky himself wasn’t the most confident person. Besides, Ricky looked so young that Dan sometimes felt like he was the older one, and Ricky was the inexperienced school boy, which wasn’t true, of course, but Dan couldn’t help but think that Ricky looked like he slept in a pink room with stuffed animals and fairy tale books. The word ‘innocence’ was written all over Ricky’s forehead, and it felt weird talking with him about sex, even though Ricky was the older and more experienced one, which was hard to believe, but it was a fact.

Dan let out a quiet sigh, ignoring the fact that Lorelai was folding his underpants- another awkward situation.

“Did I scare you with that conversation?”, she asked while she opened the closet door.

“No, it’s just…eh…all a bit weird.”

“Of course it is, honey, you’re still very young and all those things are new to you, but they will come eventually. It could happen sooner than you think.”

Dan stared uncomfortably on the floor. “I just feel like I…I’ll never be ready. I can’t even imagine…I…eh…it’s just…I don’t feel ready for…this.”

Lorelai turned around and smiled gently. “That’s okay, there is absolutely no need to rush. If you don’t feel ready, don’t stress yourself. One day you will feel ready, that might be in a few weeks, or maybe in a few years, but until then don’t pressure yourself.”

“I actually feel like I’ll never be ready”, he mumbled.

Lorelai put the underpants in his drawer and sat down next to him. “You’ll be surprised”, she said. “Right now you can’t imagine being so close to someone, but as soon as you found someone you really, really care about, and someone who cares about you just as well, you’ll see how your feelings will change and how you’ll start feeling ready at some point. It’s hard for you to imagine right now because you’ve never been in a relationship, but when you will be with someone who cares about you, you will see that all this fear that you have right now will go away.” She looked encouraging at her son. “Which, of course, doesn’t mean that you rush into anything. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean that you have to rip off your clothes the moment you have a boyfriend.”

“I…I wouldn’t do that…”, Dan mumbled, staring at his knees.

“And if anyone pushes you, you tell me, okay? I don’t want anyone to pressure you into something you’re not ready for.”

He nodded quietly.

“Do you want to try to put a condom on?” Lorelai held up the dildo, and Dan’s cheeks turned bright red again. He shook his head.
“Would it be less awkward if you try it with a cucumber? Although I think we don’t have any cucumbers at home right now. Maybe bananas…”

“No…” Dan shook his head. “I’m sorry, Mutti, I really appreciate that you take your time to talk with me about this, but I…I just…”

“It’s okay, I understand.” Lorelai put a hand on his shoulder. “It’s too weird for you. But can I ask you to try it sometime when I’m not looking? You probably feel weird trying it in front of me, so I won’t watch when you try it, but it would be important to me if you practice a little, just so I can be sure you’re prepared when you have your first time. I’ll have more cucumbers and bananas in the house from now on, promise.” She smiled at him.

“Okay”, he mumbled.

“Good.” She tousled his hair and got up. “Oh man, I can’t get over the fact how grown you look!”

Dan smiled shyly. “Thanks for everything, Mutti. For going shopping, and the hairdresser and…and for talking with me and taking an interest in me.”

“Of course, honey. Anytime.” She kissed him on the top of his head. “I’m going to check on the dinner now, will you come downstairs soon?”

He nodded, and she was almost out of the door, when he called her back.
“Eh….Mutt. You forgot something.”

She turned around and saw that the dildo was still lying next to her blushing son. She let out a laugh and took the dildo from him. “I can leave it with you, I’ve got enough of these…”, she said playfully.

“No, thanks!”, he almost shouted and she left his room, giggling.

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375Growing Up - Page 15 Empty Re: Growing Up on 14th September 2013, 21:53

Jo was sitting in the living room with her two daughters. Jane was playing on the small yellow toy piano -she had used to play on when she was little- and now Jane was making up new melodies by mixing melodies she remembered. Jill was lying on the floor with her colouring pens and was drawing pictures. Liam was gone since Friday morning he had to London for a few days to supervise the production of several of his gadgets at Mission Force. Jo didn’t like being alone, even after all those years she still felt as if she wasn’t safe in their house. She checked the board that showed all the lights that the doors were securely locked a couple of times. She was reading for her class while her daughters enjoyed this alone time with mummy. It was Sunday afternoon when a suddenly the doorbell rang. Jo jumped off the couch.

“Mummy why is daddy not unlocking the door?” Jill got up and looked curious at her mother.

“I don’t know. You two stay here.” Jo got up and went to the door phone to see who was disturbing the Sunday afternoon. Jo was very sure that it was not Liam. If he would have forgotten his key he would have rang the house keepers flat or at Ellen’s.

“Hello?” Jo sounded a little shy.

“Josephine what do you think you are doing? I do not talk with you through this thing. This is rude!” Elizabeth sounded like her usual strict self.

“Oh… um, mother I can buzz you in…?”

“You must be joking?! Who do you think you are Josephine? I expect you to open the door in person for me!” Jo heard her mother walk away from the door and with that the intercom, there was no point for Jo to continue to talk to her mother through it so she hung up the receiver.

“Oh man, girls?”

Both girls came in the hall to see what her mum wanted. “Come on Grandmother is here we got to go down and open the door for her in person.”

“Why?” Jill looked annoyed at her mum.

“Because you grandmother is…”

“Weird!” Jill said very matter-of-factly before her mum could finish her sentence and grinned cheeky.

“Jill do not talk like that. Sugar! We should not have chatted but get change. Well come on lets go get grandmother.”

Jo held her daughters hands while she walked down the many stairs to the main entrance to Waterfall Downs.

“Hello mother.” Jo smiled and gestured Lady Elizabeth Williams in the house.

“This school business nonsense is ruining your manners!” Lady Elizabeth snapped as she walked into the house. She looked very hateful at Jane and Jill a fact Jo noted painfully. Jill just looked as evil a nearly two year old can look while Jane hid behind her sister rather scared. She didn’t understand why her grandmother hated the two so much. Jo sighed.

“Good afternoon mother, what a pleasant surprise to see you. If you would have called ahead I would have prepared a high tea.”

Jill was watching her mum amazed, not in a positive amazement though. In her young eyes her mum was the strongest and most perfect woman on the world but this woman was shrinking and looked so weak and small suddenly. A fact Jill didn’t like at all.
Together the four -well two women and two girls- went up to the flat of the O’Dohertys.

“This accommodation is hideous! You are a Williams, you should not just taken so little space!” Elizabeth looked as if the flat was drowning in filth. Her disgust increased when she sat down on the couch -she preferred the drawing room which was now the art class room- and Teddy trotted back in the living room to sit next to the twins on the floor.

“What in all Saints names are you doing? What is this?” Elizabeth felt like throwing the little yellow piano out of the window not to mention this beast of a dog.

“It is the little toy piano Tante Laura got me when I was little. Now Jane is paying on it. And Jill likes drawing so I got her this large box of aquarelle pens and the drawing board. We are having a rather relaxed Sunday because Liam is in London for work. It is nice to have some quiet afternoons while it is still cold and rainy, as soon as the rain stops I will take them to Lorelai’s she has already two Shetland ponies for them to learn riding.”

“I taught you better ways to spend your days not with spending them with the bastards of yours. That is why you have a nanny! But for once it is practical that you are here. I’ve got a book for you.” Elizabeth handed Jo a small red book. How do you find out if your partner is the Antichrist?
Jo starred at the book for several seconds, she felt the panic rise in her. She had no idea how to deal with this topic not without Liam.

“Josephine, he tricked you. This boy is not a boy he is the devil. I read this book three times and every time I came to the same conclusion this boy Liam Seamus O’Doherty is the devil. Which makes those brats of yours they are… they are spawns of the devil. Josephine your soul is in danger to be doomed forever, I already see it your so wonderful soul is slipping into darkness.” Elizabeth was holding Jo’s hand tightly looking so desperate at her. Jo didn’t know how to respond. She saw that her mother has reached the point of one of her very bad episodes and suddenly Jo was certain that her father did not know that Elizabeth Williams was here.

“Mother please, let us talk about this rationally.” Jo tried to calm her mother down but she was losing this battle.

“Mummy?” Jill was looking up wondering what the two women were whispering about. But it was a mistake for Jill to speak. Elizabeth turned her head very slowly and looked at the little girls with such hate that Jo got really scared.


“Those devil’s spawns they are ruining your way into heaven!” Elizabeth got up and walked towards the two little girls. Jill jumped up and looked feisty at her grandmother.

“Grandmother what are you doing?”

“I am saving the girl I gave birth to! You should not live, I should have drowned you spawns when you were just born, when my girl was out of her mind herself!”

Elizabeth picked up Jill and started shaking her violently. Jo shrieked and jumped forward. “Mother!”
Jo wrestled with her mother until she got her daughter safely on her arms. “What are you doing?!”

“Taking the spawns’ lives!”

Jo half dropped Jill and pushed her mother out of the living room. She meant well planned to push her out of the flat but she ended up pushing her in the guest bathroom. “Let me out!” Elizabeth was banged her fits against the bathroom door. “You cannot lock me away like this! Josephine!”
Jo had locked the door and hurried back into the living room, Jane was crying and even Jill was the one that got shaken she was trying to calm down her sister. Jo ran into the kitchen opened the drawer and got out the device she hadn’t touched in a while. She hoped it still worked she pressed the red button several times and went back into the living room. “Come here girls.” Jo picked up both of her girls and snuggled into their play corner.

“Don’t worry daddy will come. He is coming. He will know what to do. He will know.” Jo was humming every song that came into her mind while both her girls were tightly snuggled into her chest. Jane had stopped crying but she would not let go of her mother any time soon. Jo knew that if the panic device still worked Liam would get her signal and was on the way back.

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