Our night finished later than usual because everyone was wanting to know more about Tim, fresh faces do that to people. By the end of the night we knew his life story. He didn’t stay the night and had to get home but the smile on his face was gorgeous as he picked up his little statue and walked to his car.
"Thank you again Den, if you ever need anything please don't hesitate to call me."
"I will Tim, and thank you for doing the paintings."
"Did you like Tim baby?"
"Yes dah, he fairy but he doesn’t knows yet."
"I thought so, are you going to sleep tonight or do you need help?'
"Sleep dah, ise so tired." His blue eyes disappeared under his eye lids and within moments he was sound asleep. We kissed him a final time then went to shower. Evan was a little frisky tonight, maybe he fancied Tim more than he let on?
"Are you going to tell him Den?"
"No, I think we should let him slip into the magic of the bay and see where it takes him bub."
"His eyes are gorgeous; they sort of remind me of Kate’s."
"My thought exactly, I wonder if there’s a connection there?"
"Well I'm sure if there is you will find it." He smiled as I rolled him on his side, there were no extras tonight just holding him close, but during the night he maybe will get another good servicing.
He was tired in the morning as he slipped his wet suit on and I noticed Horse was pacing up and down the porch waiting for him.
"Take it easy today bub, maybe I'll come down and we can lie in the sun for a while." I smiled.
He kissed me then started for the door.
"Naked." Just one word was all it took. He looked at me then called out to Horse he would meet him there, that wet suit was down around his knees instantly. My knees took a beating on the floorboards but I got the job done and in record time.
Ayden was having trouble with his T shirt this morning, it was all twisted so I helped him put it on straight and after a few cuddles he ran towards Rita's kitchen, he likes to get his order in early otherwise she will serve him up some oats and he's really not an oats kind of guy.
I grabbed some coffee and toast then went to sit in my favourite chair with my son. He was deep in thought today and kept looking at my easel, he knows what's under the sheet, his best mate Blue.
"Do you want to see it baby?"
"Yes pease Dah."
I uncovered it then looked it over again, it's nearly finished.
"No Tim in this one baby."
"No there’s not, I didn’t know him when I did this one."
Okay, I suppose he's right, I had better have a closer look. I scanned the beach where most of the fairies were and sure enough there he was, I could tell by the green eyes. Strange, I don’t remember painting him in it, I didn’t know him when I sketched the outlines and even stranger, he was holding hands with Nuts, now that is strange. Nuts had the biggest smile on his face and looked like he was almost blushing, and Tim looked very happy too. They were holding hands while holding cocktails in their other hands, they were toasting each other. I don’t know whether Nuts saw it last night, but he did do a lot of staring at Tim when he was eating.
"Good morning Den, oh my god, I have to have this one, it’s awesome."
"Sorry Cyn, it’s for Horse, or Blue, whoever wins the battle to own it." She giggled then took some photos, I think she just claimed it for her auction site. I poured her coffee as she leant over and kissed Ayden good morning.
"You’re up early Cyn, got things to do?"
"No, Abs woke me when he went surfing so I thought now I'm awake I had better get up and do something constructive."
"Do you need more works?"
"Not at the moment, your three current auctions are doing very well and Mavis has some jewellery ending this morning, she’s going to be very pleased with the total me thinks."
"It’s all stolen goods Cyn, won’t you get into trouble?"
"No it's not Den, I'm a wake up to what she’s doing. She scours the antique and pawn shops in the area and buys one off pieces. I reckon she screws them on price then she spins a story about it belonging to her grandmother. It’s a good little earner for her but I don’t mind, she has a very good eye for jewellery actually."
That crafty old bugger.
"She gets good prices because it’s stuff my buyers can’t get overseas, so it’s win, win for me and for her, she's actually only doing what I did a few years back." She grinned.
"Well she deserves a break, being on the pension would drive me crazy."
"It gives her something to do Den, she makes a good living between Katie’s shop and her auctions, she's now calling it her magic sparkles business."
"That painting is magnificent Den, are you sure I can’t sell it?"
"No Cyn, if you look around that small white wave you might just see a kind of message."
She stood up and walked over to the big painting, she scanned it and looked at me.
"Do you reckon it’s true Den?"
"I don’t see why not, stranger things have happened down here and look at Evan and me, I was straight at some stage you know."
"True, he's a hunk and I reckon Tim's right up his alley, must be the eyes. Trip was telling me once that Nuts’ wife had the most beautiful green eyes he had ever seen, brighter than Katie's."
"I didn’t know that Cyn, all I saw were black ones on his baby and his wife’s hand."
"Let's not go there Den, I don't want to know about that horrible painting or get an image stuck in my head that I can’t lose."
"Well the painting has gone now so I suppose Nuts is moving on big time."
"Let’s just watch them, wait and see like."
"Trues dah." My baby looked up from his colouring in book.
"It’s true bubs?"
"Yes mys Nuts belong to Tims." That’s all he had to say on the subject, and I was feeling the love and plenty of butterflies in my tummy.
"Well I had better get back and see what’s cooking on the site." She gathered up her oversized handbag and tootled off up the road. Ayden was watching her then he stared at me. He's been very patient.
"Go see if nanny has the boy’s breakfasts ready."
He shot off the chair and yelled as he disappeared into the cafe. I went to find his wet suit and a couple of towels.
By the time he had squeezed himself into his suit, the basket was ready so we headed for the beach.
I was surprised to see Tim there in his multi coloured board shorts. He said he usually surfs on the other side of the bay and was always too shy to come over here. The guys made him feel so welcome last night he thought he might join them every now and then. After our greetings he stood and watched Ayden paddle his board out.
"He's not going to surf is he Den?"
"Yes, he's been doing it for about six months now, it’s the magic of the bay and some skill."
He gasped as Ayden stood up and did a perfect run into shore.
"Well I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes." I winked then said,
"It's the magic."
When I saw Alex bring Andy down the path, I wanted to run and claim my spot under the tree but felt guilty when I saw Alex's smile. He indicated if he could have the spot, so I waved and nodded my okay.
Tim rushed off to watch Ayden, they both paddled out a bit and he sat on his board watching him for quite a long time, I noticed Nuts watching Tim too. He wasn’t far away and maybe he's just trying to gather enough guts to go talk to him.
"He's been good Den, but I know he wanted to see everybody this morning, he kept looking towards the beach and pointing." Alex laughed as I took Andy who cooed into my neck.
I held his head steady and sat down on my big towel to play with my nephew.
"Is he sleeping all right?"
"Yes Den, he’s settled in nicely, we have been in touch with his mum and she wants to see him sometime next week, just to see he’s okay and all that. Blue will do that job and they will meet at Susan’s in Longford."
"I suppose that’s a good thing, as long as it doesn’t turn into her moving in with you both, that could be a bit awkward."
"Not at all Den, from what Blue’s told me she’s a true, free spirit and is on the move a lot, a female wave chaser. The reason we have Andy is because she didn’t want to be tied down or to drag him all over Australia. She adores him but she loves her freedom too."
"That’s so sad, she had almost given Andy to total strangers before you got him."
"Not quite right Den, she went through family services to make it all legal so no one could take Andy off Blue, she had planned it all. Instead of dropping him off here herself she wanted them involved to solidify Blue’s parentage so no one could take him."
"Oh, that's a funny way to go about it."
"She was just being cautious Den, she will call in to the bay from time to time and Blue has promised photos will be sent."
"I suppose you’re doing that."
"Exactly right, that's my job." He laughed then I wondered if Evan was still sending photos of Ayden to Carol’s family. I must ask him, I only ever got that one phone call when it was Carol’s birthday, and I haven’t heard from them at all since then.
My son was getting tired, his arms must ache doing all that paddling. He plopped down on the towel and stared at me. I passed over his hamburger and biscuit bag so he smiled and said thank you.
I knew the guys would be here soon because they don’t want Ayden eating all their burgers. Tim came over with Evan and was still a bit shy, but he fit in with my surfers okay, the boys made him feel welcome. He was actually staring at Nuts at one stage, so I nudged him and said,
"Do you know him?"
"No Den, but I get the feeling I should get to know him, is he married?"
"No, he's single now, his wife and child were killed in the bushfires a few years ago but he's okay with it now, and I never see him hanging around with anyone."
"So he's straight then?"
"Yes, but maybe he's turning, stranger things have happened down here, and he does stare at you a lot." I giggled.
"When did his wife die did you say?"
"About four years ago Tim, in the fires that wiped out most of the foreshore." He went quiet for a time then started eating his hamburger.
After about ten minutes the guys started to move back to the surf, Alex had taken bubs down for a dip and I could hear his giggles as he was swished back and forth in the shallow water. Horse was watching Ayden and Andy, he's got a big job today, I laughed to myself.
"He's family Den, the name threw me, his real name is Nathan and he was married to my cousin Antonia, there was a family rift at the time and our side weren’t invited to the wedding, but I remember now seeing him at her funeral."
"Really? So he's family then."
"Yes Den, it was a terrible time for all of us, the family were so distraught when it happened and the last I heard he had disappeared, although apparently he still ran the family business from wherever he was. I never called to see where he had gone to because I didn’t think he would remember me, we only spoke the once at the funeral."
"So Antonia and you have the same coloured eyes then."
"Yes Den, this bright green runs in my family and she had the same colour, and I believe so did dear little Mary, their daughter."
"That’s the connection you have with him, it’s not an attraction, it’s a family thing."
"Well there’s plenty of attraction on my part Den, but I know he's dead straight so there’s no chance for me."
I looked him in his beautiful eyes and said,
"I was straight before I met Evan and Blue was straight before he met Alex, so don’t dismiss any sort of romance with Nuts, maybe you are just what he's looking for in his life. I think since the deaths in his family he's been a little lost."
"Well none of the family see him anymore although they miss him and worry about him. I think he's been avoiding them."
"It's the green eyes, perhaps they remind him of his little family, why don’t you move down here with us?"
"I can’t just pack up and move here, where am I going to work from, where am I going to live?"
"We will slot you in somewhere, if it’s meant to be, the magic will provide."
"You do a lot of talking about the magic Den, you remind me of my gran, what’s really happening down here?"
I thought about it and decided what the hell, but I suppose Evan wouldn’t agree, I'm about to open my big mouth once again.
"We are all fairy that live in this bay and we are waiting for our friends to join us, we have lived many lives but don’t remember any of them. And each time we come back we find more magic. When we are fully charged we should have the ability to re-enter the fairy world. For the moment we sit and wait until that time comes. I have decided the only way to tell fairy is through their eyes, the intensity of the colour. Ayden's are azure blue so they tell me he's getting nearer to being full fairy. Evan’s are the same, with a ring of gold but I can’t tell where he sits in all this. Mine are near to bright green, but by the shade it tells me I have a fair way to go, or a lot of things to remember."
"Stop Den, it’s too much to take in, and believe." He giggled then blushed.
"Did your gran have the same coloured eyes as you?"
"Yes but much more intense, the older she got the brighter they seemed."
"She is probably in the fairy world now with her people."
"How the fuck do you know that Den?"
"I just know, maybe you should look closer at my paintings, you may find her hidden in them somewhere."
"I’ll leave you with this magic thought Tim. It was Ayden that repaired your little statue, he sent him home to fairy land then replaced him with an exact copy. I'll show you his reward for doing that when you come up to the house again, a piece of fairy gold; your buried gold."
He was struggling but he knew I was telling him the truth.
"So you are all hiding down here then?"
"Yes and no, the magic shields us from being exposed to the real world, only fairy can know what’s going on here."
"So you’re saying I'm fairy?"
"Yes, more so than me. I think your mission is to find all the broken fairy statues you can so we can send them home with Ayden's help. It's your business to dig around for old stuff."
"This bay was the site of the last big battle and many fairy folks turned to salt as their magic depleted, then some sort of china, some are maybe still here all broken and brittle. You have to find them before they turn to dust. You are a seeker." I will leave him to ponder that thought and I will too, because I don’t know where that story came from.
I stood up and shook the sand out of our towels as I could see my boy was ready to go home, Horse was walking him up to us so I dried him and smiled at Tim.
"Talk to Horse and ask him who the forever prince is." I looked at Horse and nodded my head. He sat with Tim as my boy and I giggled our way back home. I showered him and kissed him all over then he was a baby again and wanted me to dress him nicely. As I was running the brush through his now long again hair he started singing a tune to me, in fairy. It seemed familiar, and funnily enough I could understand some of the story he was relating through the words.
"Don’ts be such a hurry, your memories have to come backs, its not times yet."
"Well I can’t wait for it to fully return, I'm confused and I don’t want to say the wrong things, especially to Tim."
"You corrects dah, it all in the eyes, bes patients." He squeezed my cheeks with his tiny hands.
"Okay I will son, what do you want to do now?"
"Watches you paint dah, finish my Blue’s picture for baby’s walls."
"Okay, we can do that, no problems." It looks like my son has claimed Poseidon, I guess Horse will have to argue it out with him then. My biggest worry is he hasn’t got much room left on his walls, where am I going to hang it?
"Ice cream dah?"
"That would be nice baby."
"Nannnny, ice creams for dah and baby peeeese." He ran off to the café and my heart was bursting with love as Rita’s dining crowd laughed at him.
I had noticed Rita's cafe was still pretty busy, most of the holiday makers had gone home but there were a lot of caravans still parked over at the foreshore. I thought about something and will test my theory out later, but for now I need an ice cream apparently, and I need to finish my beloved son’s painting.
He came back with the iced treats and I helped open his for him, then he sat and dribbled some of it down his clean t shirt. I looked closely at the painting and I could see the flaws, so I opened my paints and began putting the finishing touches to it. When I was done I had some onlookers staring at it, Horse was one of them. I nearly closed his mouth which was wide open in awe, then I washed my paintbrush and looked it over one more time.
"Not!" I heard Ayden shout.
"Is," Horse shouted back.
"Nooooot!!" Ayden screamed.
"Issss!!" Horse screamed back.
"Horse let the boy alone, if he says it's his then it's his," Rita sang out as she walked up with yet another pot of coffee. I looked at my boy who had a smug look on his face because his nanny is always right. Poor Horse groaned then I heard him whisper,
"Not," My boy instantly fired back, then he started giggling.
"It's mine isn’t it Den?" Horse looked at me.
"Is not," I heard Ayden say under his breath.
"Sorry Horse, you have lucked out this time, my son and Evan get first pick of my works, standard rules."
"Well my Blue should be hanging in his family’s house, not some kid’s room."
"Mys Blue." Ayden just won’t let it go.
"No, mys Blue," neither will Horse.
And so it went on for the rest of the day, I placed the painting in the spare room and locked the door. There was no argument, Ayden gets it, end of story. I went into his room and looked at the many paintings he had claimed, but there really wasn’t any spare room on his walls. I think I will get Ayden to organize it. He's got all his friends surrounding him at the moment so I guess it’s going to be hard to slot in yet another painting of, "His Blue," he has quite a few of him.
"Will you two stop it, it's getting on my nerves," Nuts yelled out.
"Yes, stop it bubby, it’s getting old. And Horse, you should know better than to tease a little kid," Evan said. They both shut up but Ayden did something strange, he lumbered himself over Nuts and sat on Horse’s lap, giving Nuts’ nuts a good foot stomping. Poor bloke, he screamed in pain and looked at Ayden.
"Go to your room little boy, we will talk later."
"No!" It was the end of the conversation as Nuts got up and started walking around the porch, I think my boy got him fair and square; shit that must have hurt.
Tiny arrived and was looking refreshed and hungry. He was followed by Donk and Kate and when she saw Tim she stopped in her tracks. There was a connection there too, they both almost had the same eye colour. I introduced them and Tiny started telling us how his surgery was going. He wouldn’t talk about his patients but he told some funny stories. Rita pulled Kate aside and was talking to her while Donk stared at Tim's eyes too.
"He's fairy, you can tell by the eyes," I had to go and say, so everyone was looking at each other’s eyes, probably to see if they were all folk, which they were.
Tim was a lot more animated tonight; I think he had a good talk to Horse. I really don’t know where he’s going to live when he moves down here, that’s if he does that is. Cyn was in his ear tonight, she and Tony had suggested he make up an ad and she will display it on her website, she said she often gets emails requesting recommendations for restoration works. Tony was a bit smitten with him too, he was suggesting he build a big shed behind Tiny’s surgery, there’s plenty of land going cheap over there. But he wasn’t that confident he could make a living down here. He also shared with me that he was starting to feel the pull of the bay. It was Cyn that said,
"It’s your magic doing that."
"I know; I'm a fairy." He looked at me then dipped his head as he giggled. I laughed then decided it was getting late and I should be putting my son to bed.
I got him settled after wiping him down with a warm cloth, and after loads of neck farts and giggles his blanket was pulled into place. I sat there and stared into his eyes and wondered for the umpteenth time how long I have left until I can’t do that dad thing with him anymore.
"Dahs cans I use your phone for mini?"
"Whatever for son?" He never uses the phone; I don’t even think he knows how to.
"Just uses dah."
I handed the phone over to him and he fooled with it for a minute then put it to his ear. He screamed,
"IS!!" into it then quickly hung up. He fell back on his pillow giggling his head off then tried to hide under the blankets, I couldn’t help a giggle too.
"What's he been doing Den?"
"Just letting Horse know whose boss baby."
Horse didn’t react, but it sure did tickle Ayden’s funny bone, he's such a little kidder.
Ayden laughed as he said his good nights and received his kisses.
I had a word to him about his paintings, he has to put some into storage so he can hang Poseidon, but he wasn’t too perturbed about it and nodded his understanding. One last, long kiss and he was out for the night. I took Evan’s hand and we went to shower, and I could still hear our friends talking and laughing on the porch when I got into bed.
I was just about asleep when I heard and a huge, loud,
"NOT!!" coming from Horse’s place. He had to have the last say, and I did hear a laugh after his brand new front door closed for the night.
In the morning Horse was at the window looking for Evan, everything is the same, no hard feelings I think. But if Horse had have reacted badly I would have painted a copy of it for him. Which I might do anyway.
My work has been suffering lately so I must get onto doing some more stuff to sell. Cyn's down to three paintings and many of the ones in my spare room are not for sale. Then I had a brilliant idea, something apart from restoration for Tim to do. Bobby Thompson does it and he told me they walk out the door, I must give him a ring and I know which painting will be the first and the most expensive. Now all I have to do is work out how much Evan's cut will be on top of Tim's?
I set up for the day then went through the photographs on Evan’s laptop. I picked out six of my best works to start with, including Ayden's Eyes, that one is a must. I included Cyn's fairy and Poseidon, a painting that none of the public would see. I then went to Ayden's room to pick out two more that never hit the website. The possibilities are endless and I hoped Tim could do this type of work. I remembered Bobby Thompson had sold some prints of his most famous works, maybe five hundred of each, and he told me he gets a bomb for them, I'm guessing as much as my shadow boxes each make. I must investigate the actual process of doing prints.
Ayden was in with his nan this morning as Blue and Alex walked up with Andy in his stroller. Heads were seen from the cafe then an avalanche of tight bums and a lovely lady, and a small boy came out to greet them. They didn’t have a chance when the crowd got there so Alex went to get a pot of coffee while Blue sat with me. Andy was whisked off into the kitchen, I suppose she's feeding him.
"That was a beautiful painting Den, it would have looked good in my new lounge room." He smiled. I really didn’t think that Blue cared too much, he has a few of my paintings and I'm sure I will do one or two as house warming ones for him and Alex, he won’t miss out.
"Well I intended it for Horse then you, but Ayden claimed it, you’re his buddy and he wanted it, so he gets it."
"I understand Den, you gave me the one of Andy and it’s beautiful, it will sit over our fireplace, but maybe Alex will want it in the bedroom." He smiled.
"I can paint your bum for Alex to look at."
"Den behave, or I'll tell Evan on you." He smiled at me, he knows I have dirty thoughts about his father.
I shrugged it off then changed the subject.
"You will get more over time Blue, how’s the house going anyway?"
"Good Den, dad has been throwing everything at it, he's even put an outdoor entertainment area on the second floor, it’s going to be awesome."
"So the kitchen is upstairs?"
"Yes Den, three bedrooms’ downstairs with a huge master bedroom, kitchen, lounge and entertaining area upstairs." I had better go have a look sometime because it sounds great, I could paint Blue's bum while I'm there.
Alex arrived with coffee and some sandwiches and I asked Blue when his next competition was, he said it would be at Bells in a couple of months. He told me there was also one in the US in between, but he won’t leave Andy now, and can’t take him with him. I argued that he has Alex to look after him but I think Blue is changing now he's a dad, he's growing up.
Ayden slowly walked down the veranda then sat on Blue’s knees, he was like his father in shape but with a smoother chest with great muscled rounded pecks, I wondered if he shaved.
"So will you be taking the van to Bells Blue, it hasn’t been driven for months?"
"Yes Den, we are already booked into a caravan park and I want power and clean water, it will make it easier to bath Andy and make it more comfortable for him," Alex replied.
The camper van hasn’t been on the road for months but we sometimes use it as an extra stay when it’s busy here, next holidays I might think about hiring it out, but only to day trippers. You never know when Evan will want to use it again.
When the boys came up, Apple came down towards us with some food and was kind of dancing as he walked, I got a good show but soon lost that thought. If Evan is in my head, he would be spying on me. I looked sideways and sure enough he wasn’t staring, he was glaring. I gave him a slight smile then said,
"That’s better Den." He patted my knee.
"Where’s Tim today?"
"He had to go into town to pick up something, he mentioned some statues he had seen in the vaults," Nuts answered.
"Okay, maybe he will come by later on then."
"I'm going to visit him tonight, we are getting some beers and pizza." He smiled.
"Good, he's family and needs friends around him too." I kind of smiled inwardly.
Some customers came by so Evan went into the shop while Andy was brought down for some of uncle Den cuddles, he was wide eyed and kicking like crazy when he saw me.
I talked to him in baby talk for awhile then Blue had to have a turn, I listened as he almost did the same as I did. I suppose they are still learning how to entertain him.
"Nuts, do you know anything about printing, like prints of pictures and such?"
"A little Den, if my memory serves me correctly we did learn it at Technical school. I think I know the process."
"Can you find out if Tim can do it, I have an idea I want to put to him, that's all."
"Sounds like a great little money spinner Den, are you involving Evan?"
"What money spinner Nuts? And yes Evan is always included."
"Doing a run of prints of your paintings, I wondered why you hadn’t done it before? We do get asked in the shop every now and then too you know." He smiled.
"Well it’s an idea at the moment, could you ask Tim for me please?"
"Of course Den, I reckon he would know how to do it, he's a pretty clever boy. I believe he was top of his class for a long time and blitzed his university studies."
"Oh you know him from before then?" I played my stupid card but Nuts shook his head and asked,
"Come on Blue, let's go surfing." Did he just ignore me?
"Den can you see to Andy for awhile, I want to have a surf. If not mum can watch him in the kitchen."
"No problem Alex, I don’t have much to do today, my son and I are going to have a long chat about clearing some paintings off his walls." I giggled as Ayden’s head spun around at the mention of his beloved paintings. I think he was gearing up to go surfing with the boys. Evan’s customers left and he put his, “gone surfing,” sign on the door then kissed me and ran down the stairs around the back to catch up with the boys.
I cuddled Andy for awhile then said,
"Let's go son." He groaned because he was halfway through his colouring book and wanted to finish it.
"Okays dah, let’s go." He closed his book.
I don’t think he wanted to do this job, but it has to be done because he's got no room. I placed Andy on the bed with his rattles then looked around Ayden’s room.
"Now which ones can you do without?" I put my hands on my hips and looked at him very officially. He scanned the room then he must have had a brilliant idea, he ran into the store room and took Poseidon’s painting and brought it back into the bedroom, it was as big as him but to his credit he didn’t bash it about.
He placed it against the outer wall so he could see it from his bed.
"There." He giggled.
"Baby, we have to hang it on the wall, it can’t just lean there."
"Not!" What am I saying?
"No. I’m not going to get into that with you today bubby. We have to get rid of some paintings from the walls."
His tears started as soon as his face dropped so I turned to look at him, what the fuck have I done, he never cries?
"Mye's paintings, mye's friends, me's cants put away, me needs dem," he painfully got this out in between his sobs. I pulled him down on the bed next to Andy and cuddled him.
"I understand baby, I'm sorry, I know they are all your friends, Blue can stay there, dads just thought you might like him hanging on the walls, that's all."
"No dah, I like him there caus I looks at him at night moon."
"Okay then, we will leave him there, maybe if we ask nicely, uncle Horse will build you a bigger room so you can hang more friends." I dried his eyes and cuddled up to him, we were asleep in record time.