- Text Size +




I can’t believe the effrontery of the brat to treat me like that! I wish I had paid attention to the name of the idiot she came to the dinner with. I am loathed to contact either Melissa or Jennifer, and then I realise that I can see the guest list on the website. On checking, his name is Michael Novotny, and after an hour of research on him and his best friend, Brian Kinney, I have an appointment with Kinnetic Estates with a view to renting his property. Smiling, I start to gather my things and make my way there.



Mel looks most amused as I come in. In fact, she seems to be positively glowing with malice of more-thought. “Do I have to ask five questions, after this one I mean?”

“Oh yes.” She leans back in the chair and regards me over her cup of coffee.

“Business or pleasure?”


“Lindsay related?”

“Yes, and her mother.”

I frown, I didn’t interact too much with that family the evening of the dinner. I know that she went early because her mother had a headache or something. “Can you just tell me? Can you just tell me? Oh, and can you just tell me?” I grin at her as she rolls her eyes. “You said five questions, you never said they couldn’t be the same ones.” I chuckle and she waves me to sit opposite her.

“Lindsay has been fired from the gallery and the tenant that she was preparing the cottage for is her mother. However, she threw her out when she said she’s leaving her Daddy and now Mother is on her way here to rent out Michael’s old house.”

“How the hell do you know this?” Treyvon looks over his shoulder at us.

“Sidney called to tell me about Lindsay, Ronald called to tell me about Nancy, and I spoke to Nancy and she didn’t recognise my voice.”

Treyvon snickers from his position at the window. “I have a question; what does Lindsay’s mother look like?”

“A dried up version of her, but with her, her mouth is like a badger’s ass as Benson would say, he does come out with some things. Why?”

“Well, unless I am mistaken, both Lindsay and her Mother are bearing down on this very store. Oh, she moves pretty fast for a woman of her dotage!”

“Lindsay or her Mother?” I chuckle, and join him by the window.

Lindsay gets stopped by traffic, and her Mother looks very pleased with herself as she strides towards the door, but she drops her purse, which gives Lindsay time to catch up with her and then almost comes to blows with her, trying to get in the door first; a tussle that Nancy wins.

“I am Nancy Peterson. I have come to rent out the property formerly owned by Michael Novotny!”

“No, I have come to rent that property out!” Lindsay declares.

Treyvon strides back to his desk with a wink and I head back to mine...oh, how I love the way this man’s mind works!


“Oh what a terrible, terrible shame, it has just been leased out.” I interrupt.

“What?!” They both declare




“How has that house been rented out so quickly?” Lindsay demands. “We were evicted only last week!”

Nancy smirks and Lindsay blushes. “Evicted, how very gauche and low class of you, Lindsay. Now, as I was saying, I have an appointment with a view to renting it, naturally, I would not cause such inconvenience. I made that specifically clear to the young woman I spoke to!” Nancy exhorts.

“At least I am young.” Mel snorts and Nancy looks at her as if she’s done a pussy fart in church. “Besides, you didn't make it clear, you just said you wanted an appointment and…”


“When, and why wasn’t it taken off your books? And will you take double to lease it to me?” Nancy demands before she looks scathingly at Lindsay. “At least I can cover the rent.”

“I know how much the rent was, Mother, and you can’t afford half, if that, not without Daddy’s help. You know, the Daddy you are leaving because he can’t propel you to the upper echelons of society? Been thinking about it for years you said.”

“Lindsay! Kindly do not discuss family business in a place of this repute! We have standards to keep, appearances to maintain…”

This repute?” Treyvon growls and stands up, he is fiercely protective of The Avenue and its businesses.

“Yes, Mother, do try to explain what you mean by that.” Lindsay’s tone is full of pomposity.

“Back to the matter at hand, ladies, if I can call you that after that mudslinging display.” The pussy fart in a church look is directed at me now. “Normally it is against company policy to give out that kind of information, but these are exceptional circumstances. The when will be the moment I put that payment through. Even if we hadn’t leased it, you would never have been approved to live there owing to your homophobic tendencies, Mrs Peterson, and neither would you, Ms Peterson, as I don’t like you.”

There isn’t a word said for a few minutes before they turn to look at each other. It seems a ceasefire of sorts has been agreed upon as they turn to the door and, almost in arms, walk out.

Mel drains her cup, shaking her head at the antics of the pair of them, before checking the time. “So, boys, I have a mountain of papers to read.” She stands up and puts on her jacket. “So who did you rent the place to? It does need to be rented out, even if he doesn’t need the money.”

“Oh, a couple you know. Both looking to move out of where they are; one to be nearer work and the other to get away from work.” She stops getting ready to leave and regards me for a few minutes. “You can ask five questions and not the same ones!”

“Ben and Benson?” She tries.


“Gay or bi/gay or straight?”

“Gay all the way.”

“Couple or friends?”


“You say I know them. Do I know some of the contents of their wardrobes?”

“You may well do.”

Slowly she turns to a vibrating with happiness Treyvon. “You and Delia?!”

“Yes!” He chirrups and rushes to hug her. “Sleepover on Saturday, not optional, bring Diana!”

“I will!” She grins, and whips out her phone as she dashes out before coming back in to bestow a kiss on my cheek...and I am as startled to receive it as she was to bestow it!

“Go bust some balls!” I order, and she quickly departs; seconds later, Treyvon, sometimes the quiet gentle friend, hands me a tissue and asks one question...coffee?




The only time I have been this nervous was when Justin’s eyes were tested for the final time after he got his sight back. I remember the night it happened like it was yesterday...

Start of flashback


I stand in the doorway of my screaming son’s room and wait for him to calm down. “Another nightmare, sweetheart?” I call out, but remain where I am. Ever since he lost his sight in the accident, he hates me to come in his room unless he tells me I can. The room is glowing, although there is no light on, and he shakes his head. “Do you want a pill to help you sleep, or is it a migraine?”

“Ha...had a headache. Gone now.” His voice sounds slurred as if he’s, and I hate to use this word, drunk.

“May I come in?”

“Wait…” He turns to face me and then points to the window. “...can you tell me what you see?” Although surprised at the question, I cross the room to do as he asks.

“The sky looks angry, and so does the moon, it is red, I have never seen a red sky before. It looks…”

“Like it is on fire.” His voice is barely audible. “It is sitting so low to the ground it’s as if it is resting on the trees.”

“You were always great with the way you describe…”

“Are you are wearing dad’s robe? I can smell his aftershave even after all these years.”

“Yes. I sometimes spritz some on. I will never forget him, but sometimes I just need…” I blink and almost stumble in my rush to put the light on.

“NO!” He yells. “It might go away again and I want to see the moon one last time…I want to see you one last time, sit down quickly!” I drop trembling to the bed and he reaches for my face. “You’ve grown your hair out, it suits you. You are so pretty, Mom.” He runs his fingers all over my face as if trying to map it.

“Let me get a mirror!”

“No! I don’t want to see me, I don’t deserve to see anybody!”

I sit down again and place the mirror in my lap. “Darling, please don’t stress yourself out. Just a quick look. As you say, you might not see yourself again. Won’t you regret that?”

Slowly he takes it from me and lifts the mirror to his face.


“Well, I don’t know how, and I don’t care why, but your sight is back for good.”

“Mom, there’s no point me being able to see if you give me another injury when you break my fingers. Let go!”

“Sorry, sweetheart!” I rub his hand. “So, there is nothing in there at all?”

“Nope, nothing. Whatever was resting on your optic nerves and retina to cause the damage has gone. I suspect the headaches were part of the healing process.” He looks across at Justin, who ever since his sight started to return is starting to smile. “Now  you have your life back as it were, young man, what are you going to do with it?”

“What my Dad wanted me...”

“Darling, how wonderful, but you don’t have to do that. Besides, you are too young to make your mind up about college yet, especially a prestigious place like Dartmouth.”

“No, he wanted me to go to business school, and since I k…”

“He also wanted you to enjoy your life. We have plenty of time. Now, come along, we have good news to impart!” I have to almost yank him from the chair to get him to stand, but it’s Dr Callow, who has my attention, he is watching us with a guarded expression.

“Mrs Taylor, if I might have a word, please?”

“Yes, of course. Justin, go and wait with Daphne, this shouldn’t take long, and then we can celebrate.”

“Okay, Mom.” He sighs, and I wait for the door to close before turning to face Dr Callow.

“Mrs Taylor, how is Justin?”

“Fine, he’s fine, just stunned that after all this time he can see again.”

“Mrs Taylor, I don’t think Justin is fine. I think he struggling…”

“Of course he’s struggling, he’s back to his old reality and that is a shock to his system.”

“His old reality, as you put it, had his father and sister in it. His new, not old, reality doesn’t. From what I’ve seen over the last couple of months, I think Justin needs to…”

“Dr Callow, you are an ophthalmologist not a psychiatrist, he is fine. Now, excuse me! Like I said we have to celebrate.”

End of flashback

The sound of the key in the door brings in Justin. He looks so nervous as he comes towards me. “You weren’t fine, were you?” I whisper, and he shakes his head sadly. “And I am so sorry that I didn’t let you tell me that.” I pat the seat next to me. “Is that why you left as soon as you could?”

“Yeah. I felt like everyone was watching me, and you were being so…”

“A proper widow instead of a Mom. Did Brian tell you what he said to me?”

“He gave me the general gist. I am sorry I swore at you then and now. And, like you, we have to listen to each other.” I frown. “A lady never tells.” I smile.

“He would've been a bit put out, I’m not going to hide that, but so very proud you forged your own path.”

“Can you imagine me in Dartmouth?”

“Oh, fuck no, you’d have been expelled in days just so you could get out and have our money returned!” I laugh and he rests his head in my shoulder. “No more Domme Mom…”

“You aren’t dumb, Mom. Don’t talk about yourself like that!” He lectures.

“Not dumb but domme. For you, I am just Mom.”

“Oh. Oh good, and we are discussing my lovelife never, apart to say it is fine or If ask for your opinion on it!”





So we have reached a fragile accord, now that neither of us have the house...yet, we need each other. I haven’t sent Daddy the recording, as the internet crashed before I could, but it is good to have that in reserve. It’s not as if Emmett, Mel and Tree-something will ever run in the same circles as Daddy, and for now, if he asks, I can say I misheard her.

Mother’s things were delivered last night, and she’s in the back bedroom. She is still pouting about being rebuffed in her efforts to take the master bedroom. I took great pleasure in pointing out that she is not the mistress of this house!

“Someone is knocking on your door.” She sniffs, and settles herself back into the cushion.

“One day I am going to ring your bell.” I mutter as I make my way to open it. I jolt in surprise to see Daddy outside. “What are you doing here?” I step aside and he strides in without a word and is followed by Lynette. “And what are you doing here?” I follow them in and gape as Lynette cracks Mother across the cheek. “Have you gone mad?!” I shout at her and rush to check Mother’s face.

“I have been waiting to do that for years!” Lynette snaps. “Thank you, Daddy. I will be in the car waiting for you to resolve this...issue.”

“What issue?!” Mother yells and bats away my attempts to help her.

“It won’t get you far, you know.” Daddy answers with the countenance and stature of a relieved man. “Certainly won’t get you into the upper echelons, unless you plan to use Lindsay, but I think her courtesan days are long past.”


“What are you talking about?” Mother bridles.

“Your settlement. It won’t get your far.”

“My settlement?” She repeats.

“Yes. This is the one and only payment.” Daddy hands her what I presume is a check and I itch to snatch it out of her hands to see the amount. “Unless, of course, you want to take me to court, which I would advise against, because Lindsay is not the only one that watched and learned.” He smiles wider than I have seen him do in years. “I have taken the liberty of approaching an attorney, who I am sure won’t cause you any difficulties at all. Now, you are to expect the call in the next few days.”

“You’re divorcing me?!” She screeches, as she finally catches up with the rest of us! Then she turns to me. “What did you do?!”

“I misheard, Daddy! I thought she said she was leaving you, but the you she meant was me! I realised later, but I was too mortified and didn’t want to make an already volatile situation a whole lot worse!”

“So, what about the recording you mentioned?”

“I didn’t say anything about a recording…”

“You did, I heard you perfectly…”

“I was crying and mumbling, I said let me see you in the morning. With everything that had just happened and I had thrown her out thinking she was leaving you.”

He nods his head slowly and sighs. “Sorry, Nancy, Lindsay, I don’t believe you. The divorce goes ahead. Take the settlement or I’ll see you in court.” He starts to stride out but then pauses and turns back to us. “Marcus.”

“Marcus what?” Mother demands. “You will regret this, Ronald, and this paltry insulting amount! Which, by the way, I won’t cash. I will see this Marcus person in court! Hit me with your best and most pathetic shot!”

“Melanie Marcus. She’s my attorney.”




I still can’t believe that in less than 6 weeks I get married here! Daph is toting Gus around, and though it kills me to have to wait to hold him, wait I must. “So, we have the suit, the invites, now we need to master the food!” Cyn calls out from the kitchen.

“Shit, the wedding cake!” I exclaim. “I hadn’t even thought that far and…”

“Calm down!” Brian orders, and then smiles at Ted. “Well, go on then.”

“Do you know what Blake does to relax?” Ted grins and then grins wider as I open my mouth to answer. “Apart from that!”

“Well, I was going to say that. So no, I don’t know what he does to relax.”

“Bakes. One of the reasons that I have had to go to the gym again is because he bakes the most exquisite cakes, soufflés, pies and, oh, the cookies, oh my, the cookies. Here, let me show you one he did for an outpatient…” He scrolls through his phone. “...ah, this one?”

“That looks gorgeous!” I declare and start to flick through the pictures and pause. “Oh yeah, it has to be that one!”

“For the bachelorette party, not the wedding!” Jennifer states firmly and I nod reluctantly. “Let me see that. Do you mind, Ted?” He waves her on. “You want a sexy theme?” I nod. “But maybe not as in your face...or hand...as that one?” I concede with a small shrug. “And you wanted purple…” She starts to smile. “...but we vetoed the suit.” I glare at my three mean fashionistas who are crowded round Ted’s phone and smiling. “So how about we say yes to one of these...”

“...with the latter picking out the gold and the blue of your invites…” Brian nods approvingly.

“So, is that the cake sorted?” Jennifer hedges and I can’t help the happy sniffle.

“But what about the rest of the food?!” I repeat. “And where is he going to bake this piece of loveliness?”

“In Woody’s kitchen, unless our tearoom is ready before then.” Ted replies his smile almost splitting his face.

“What’s happened? What tearoom?” I look at a host of happy faces.

“Blake has given his notice. He’s coming home for good, and we’re turning Michael’s old store into a tearoom.”

“Oh, honey, I am so happy for you!” I embrace him tightly. “And finally another good idea for The Avenue. That store was a waste of space!”

“Speaking of Woody’s, come on, let’s go back and plan the wedding of the Avenue!” Ted decrees, and we follow him back to our cars laughing and joking.


I watch them all drive away. I had spotted Ted calling for Ma to hurry outside Kinnetic Estates so they could get going, and followed them. Luckily, none of them know what my van looks like, as Brian even took my car back, and the guard just waved me through.

Now I am absolutely beside myself with fury! It took everything not to storm up to them and give them the shitkicking they deserve as I listened from outside the door!

So my store was a waste of space, was it?! They’re going to turn it into a tearoom are they?! The Wedding of the Avenue is it?! We will see about that...correction, I will see about that, because I am going to show them that the answers to all of those questions is a big fat fucking no!


Chapter End Notes:

Please review kindly and constructively. Thanks

You must login (register) to review.