The few months leading up to Christmas were relentless; we flew to each capital city in every state with the jet's belly crammed with parcels and cards. Politicians were going home and businessmen were tying up last minute meetings before the holiday season. Adam was sitting with me on one of my trips to Hobart and was trying to co-ordinate some fun things for the kids to do, as there would be about a hundred adults and kids. He chose the Alexandra Gardens as the venue and he would arrange to have barbecues, rides, drinks and a stage for the band with Conner singing a few songs, it sounded like a bloody nightmare to me.
"Adam, what's the point of doing all this? People won't drink as they have to drive home and many won't get taxis there and back, also I reckon there will be plenty of Christmas parties on the Yarra river from now until Christmas and unless we fence off an area like they do for gay day, we will be filling stranger's stomachs with beer and food. Without an enclosed area just the security alone would be hard to organize," I said.
"Well I'm stumped, I know what your saying and I agree that maybe a proper venue would be better but I think we have left our run a bit too late. Usually Conner just throws a big party in the office building but he wants to include his worker's kids this year and his music school kids, help me Brent, what can I do?"
Adam's blonde hair flopped over his eyes and he pushed it back, a worried look crossed his adorable baby face.
"What's the budget?" I asked.
"Keep it under twenty five grand was all I got Brent."
"Shit," I said knowing I could probably do it for half that.
"Leave it to me Adam." I was exasperated; again I have been left with the baby.
I got my ipad out and found the number, read about the rates and what days were available then I went to the salon and made a call.
After half an hour I had the whole party organized.
Smiling I came back and sat at the table with Adam.
"What?" he said, he maybe was a bit pissed that I left him on his own for a while.
"It's done, I booked and paid the deposit for the twelfth of December from noon to six. All the food you can eat and no alcohol, so start sending the invitations out Adam, we are off to Luna Park for the day. I have booked it for one hundred and fifty guests, just in case grand parents would like to come too."
"What! Luna Park? I never even thought of that, what a brilliant idea Brent, I could kiss you. I knew you would come up with something, fucking brilliant."
"Well you've got two months, so get to it, you have to go and see the manager sometime soon to organize it with him and pay the balance but everything is included, rides, food, drinks, everything for six hours. No booze, no drink driving, just a good family day out and if Conner wants to sing then they have a stage ready to go. Security will be a breeze because it's self contained, we give each employee tokens for each member of the family that's accepted and if we have to increase the numbers, it's okay, they can cope with big crowds and it's under fifteen grand." I did smirk a bit.
"Yes please Adam."
I sat on the couch and stared out the window, it will be a great day out and I just hope the weather will be good to us.
He made coffee for me and the boys then sat with me and stared at the Luna Park website.
Landing at Hobart airport, we quickly unloaded our cargo and then set off back to Melbourne with the cargo hold full again. Adam left us there giggling to himself, he had got me again but I didn't mind, I loved him to bits.
Adelaide, Alice Springs and then Mildura was the last run for the day, we were all pooped as I hugged and said goodnight to my flying mates.
Up the freeway and then home, no Conner, I guess he is working back at the studio. The phone rang, it was him and yes he was held up so I started to cook something for tea. The phone rang again and this time it was mum.
"Your father and I insist you come for dinner next week, we need to catch up before Christmas and your father needs to speak to you about something too."
"What does he want to talk about mum?"
"I don't know Brent but he said it was important so you will come over, won't you?"
"I'll have to let you know mum, I'm pretty busy with work but I haven't got my schedule for next week yet so I'll ring you, okay?"
"Okay son but you should make the effort," she said.
I hung up and then called Jen.
"Can you throw any light on why mum and dad want to see me Jen?"
"No idea Brent, they were here the other day but didn't say much about you, although she was looking at our Sydney trip photos but there's nothing in there that's out of the ordinary. The ones of you and Conners concert are straight pics, the kissing ones I have put aside to give to you, they are in our safe and she can't get in there, maybe she's starting to take an interest again?"
"Didn't sound like it Jen, more like maybe I'll just fob them off, I am pretty busy at work at the moment."
We talked a little more then I hung up just as Conner walked in the door.
We kissed and held each other then I dished up dinner.
"What was your day like Brent?"
"Good babe, very busy though. Adam flew to Hobart with us, we pick him up tomorrow, apart from that it's business as usual," I replied.
"Well that's not what I heard, I heard you organized the Christmas party in one hour," he smiled.
"Oh that was easy Conner, Adam was going about it the wrong way, he got a bit mixed up and probably had a hundred different things to organize. One phone call fixed all that, if the guys want to drink they can go across to the pub but I don't think they will, they will be having too much fun," I answered.
"You don't agree do you?" I asked.
"I do actually, so much so that I want you to take over the company's social club events. Adam has got too much to do with Jill and Marty so he suggested you take it on," he said.
"He did, did he? Well let me think, NO!" I laughed.
"Why not baby, you would be really good at it?" he pleaded.
"Let me see again, I'm busy already and if Adam can't do it then ask one of the ladies in the office to."
"I want you to do it."
"What if I ordered you to?"
"I would tell you to stick your job where the sun doesn't shine."
"What if I accepted your resignation?"
"I would put myself through medical school and become a doctor and the first thing I would do is give you a frontal lobotomy."
"You really want to be a doctor?" he asked.
"I've thought about it yes, but at the moment it's not an option."
"What kind of a doctor?"
"The kind that does brain surgery baby."
"You won't do the social club job?"
"No!" I shouted.
"Then you're fired," he said.
"Now you can go back to school again," he smiled.
"Now wait a minute, you can't do that to me, I love my job."
"Social club?" Conner grinned.
I was pissed off but he had me.
He handed me a folder with names and numbers on it, bank statements and coming events.
I threw it on the coffee table; I guess I can do it in my spare flight time.
We finished our night with a wonderful sixty niner on the couch.
Conner was showering when John came through the side gate with freshly baked biscuits. He pulled me into the kitchen and told me that Saturday was the anniversary of Beth's death and that it might be a good idea to distract Conner for the day, they were flying to Sydney for the weekend. I assured him that I would take care of it.
Picking Adam up in Hobart was pure pleasure, he had to find his own coffee and I had put an out of order sticker on the toilet, switched off the mains for the TV and hidden all the cushions, I sat in the galley and played Candy Crush.
He smiled at me so I smiled back at him, finally saying, "This isn't finished Adam, I have looked at going back to med school so don't get too comfortable."
"Awesome," was all he replied, then he laughed loudly.
Ray and John flew with us on Friday and Conner came along for the ride but not much was said about tomorrow. I looked through the social club stuff and thought what a mess but by the end of the flight I had most of what needed to be done set up in my head. I had a word with John and he agreed to help do it while we were away.
"What's up babe?"
"Not much Con, just tying up some loose ends with John, he's happy to do the social club stuff while we are away and I'm thinking that maybe he can be my unofficial assistant."
"Okay, what have you got in mind for my lovely staff, there's not that much to do is there?"
"Yes Con heaps, I have you booked in for a sausage sizzle outside in the park opposite the offices then a free hug day, a dollar a hug from you. I would like to organize a raffle with the main prize, a ten-minute one on one question time with you, where they can ask you anything. Then another family day, you will sing won't you?" I smiled.
"You're worse than Marty, free hug day?"
"Yes, you can stand inside the foyer with a sign that says a dollar a hug."
"Let me think on it."
"No, I have you booked in already, no cancelling."
"No chance, you still want to do med school baby?"
I sat back and thought about it some more. I could do it but surgery was out, maybe a general practitioner, I do love my job and a medical degree would be hard work, the study alone will be enormous.
"Penny for your thoughts?"
I rummaged in my pockets and found a dollar coin; I placed it in his hand and said,
"Give me a hug."
"Sure," he said and took the money.
"I'll pay for the school Brent."
"I can't Con." I lifted my hand and gripped his wrist, there was a little pressure but I was trying hard to hold on.
He didn't quite get it but when I took his wrist and squeezed with my good hand, he lightened up.
"I'm sorry baby," he said.
"No problem Con, if it hadn't have happened I would have been in med college already but its no big deal, I do love my job," I said sincerely.
He gave me the dollar back.
I hugged him.
He watched me serve the dinners as I put my hand on the side of the tray but my strength was in my other hand, I did it for show and smiled so he wouldn't think anything was wrong. We ate at the table and Ray was telling me about their weekend away, he said they were staying in a hotel near Oxford Street so they could go clubbing tonight and they will fly home on Monday.
Conner asked me if I wanted to stay the weekend but I declined, saying I had things to do at home. We said our goodbyes and fully loaded with Christmas gifts and cards, we soared into the blue sky.
Conner took my hand and led me to the salon where he took my shoes off and laid down with me.
"Conner, stop that."
I thought for a minute and decided on one question.
"Why didn't you want me to know about your abuse?"
"Because you would feel sorry for me Brent, you know that."
I raised my eyebrows and smiled at him.
"Oh," he said then hugged me closer, he started smelling my neck as his hand moved down to my hand and he brought it up and kissed it.
"Okay, no more." he laughed.
"Good," I said.
We started to grind our crotches and I was getting pretty hot when there was a tap on the door, it was Davo.
"A bit of turbulence coming kids, buckle up."
We were thumped, tossed and shaken for the next half hour and Conner was shaking but trying to smile, pretending he was enjoying the ride.
All of a sudden a clap of thunder shook the cabin and Conner jumped so I held him tighter.
We landed and Conner was the first off the plane, he waited in the car for me while I helped settle the jet for the night.
"What's up with Conner?" Phil asked.
"Scary ride Phil plus it's Beth's anniversary tomorrow."
"You want us to come over Brent?" he was genuine.
"No thanks Phil, I hope I can keep him occupied," I smiled.
"I'm sure you will, now go and get him home, we can close up."
"See you Monday," I said and waved as I grabbed my jump bag and headed for the car.
Saturday morning arrived and I didn't let Conner lay in bed, I had been up for awhile so I made him breakfast and then went in and kissed his beautiful lips.
"Shower then breakfast," I said.
"Now!" I shouted.
He shot out of bed and showered while I filled his plate and sat to eat with him.
"What's the rush?"
"We have things to do today and I don't want you slacking off," I said as I raised my eyebrows.
"Oh," was all he said, I could tell he wasn't quite right.
After we'd eaten I dumped the dishes in the sink and grabbed the car keys.
"Come on, get your wallet and cap."
I drove to St Kilda Road and parked under the Arts Centre, we took the lift upstairs and I paid our entry fee. It was just a flash but I noticed that we were being followed by security and the face looked familiar.
Having procured a guide we proceeded to be shown through the gallery while lingering at the most important works of art. Conner's eyes were everywhere, he asked loads of questions and the guide was more than happy to answer them.
After that I took him to the museum and he spent a lot of time looking at the stuffed birds and animals, we had a hot dog then ice cream then we headed to the Princess theatre. He was smiling at me by now and I smiled back.
I took him to see the afternoon session of Jersey Boys and we rocked our way all through it, I even caught Conner singing along a few times. A very late lunch at Greasy Joes in Acland Street was a treat, hamburgers as big as a small pizza but we got through one between us and washed it down with a milkshake each.
Around five we motored home and he kissed me as soon as we got in the door, I had to kiss him back cause his eyes held me rooted to the spot.
I opened bags of chips and nuts and pressed play on the DVD, the Sound Of Music blared through the speakers. He wouldn't stop looking at me as I sang a few of the numbers of which he knew all the words and I improvised. He started laughing along and after the movie stopped and after some toilet breaks and pashing, I put in Annie Oakley and again, he knew all the songs so I just let my arm hold him close and he sang in my ear.
"You know you should do a show tunes album," I was serious.
He laughed his ass off and it was good to see, I just hope I had taken his mind off some of what happened on this day a few years back.
"No, that's enough for tonight, thank you for today Brent, I had the best time. "
"Well we can do it anytime you want baby, I love hanging with you."
"You knew didn't you?"
"Yes, but I didn't want you to be sad, I wanted you to be happy, celebrate her life baby, she saved your life and gave you love, don't be sad, you know she wouldn't want that."
"We used to watch these movies all the time you know."
"I figured that, they were in her room so I guessed they were a big part of many, many nights of entertainment. New memories Conner, you now have a new memory of today and we will do the same celebration next year also."
"There's only one thing left to do," he said.
"Okay, I can do that." I started to rinse the plates.
Bugger the dishes, I've got a hot date and he's already undressed.
I jumped in and was all over him like a cheap hooker on crack.
"Thank you," he said as we drifted off.
"New memories Conner."
The next day he was full of beans. We took flowers to the cemetery and talked about everything and anything like she was listening. He introduced me and I told her I was looking after him. We cleaned up a bit around the grave then went to lunch at Southland's food hall; it was full of people so it took us awhile to find a table and noticed two guys at the next table were cruising us.
"You want to invite them home?"
"Yes please Conner," I replied coyly.
"Crap," he laughed.
"Aha," I agreed, he took my hand and kissed it.
The guys looked excited but we had to leave, I guess the two girls that took our table will have to do for now. Walking around we looked in some shops, bought a few useless things and generally felt comfortable until some brat of a girl recognized Conner, even with his cap on and she pulled it off.
"It is you, isn't it?" she squealed.
Conner looked sideways at me and said, "Run!"
We laughed our heads off as we ran through the center towards the food court then out to the car park, a security man was at the car laughing. No one had followed us but Conner had unfortunately lost his cap but all was well as another security guy brought it back and he politely dumped it on Conner's head.
"Great disguise Conner," he said, also laughing.
"Let's go home Con."
"Yeah lets go, thanks guys."
We laughed about it and laughed at the utter crap we had bought there but Con put it in his wardrobe, it's a memory for him, a good one.
We flew together on Monday, he had to go to Sydney for a few days, photo shoots that Jill had organized and I had to pick my neighbors up, I hope they are in a good state, whooping it up in Sydney can be draining.
My Conner was very sad on the way because he would miss me so we made love and cuddled all the way there. We landed at Mascot on time and I could see Ray and John waiting.
"Where's the temp Conner?"
"The temp, I expected him to be here."
"You okay babe, what temp?" he asked.
"The one you got to do my job so I can stay with you for the two days."
"Brent, I'm sorry I didn't think you wanted to."
I felt foolish so I put the coffee on for Ray and John and we talked for a while. Phil and Dave joined us and Ray was telling us about the clubs they went to.
"You know with social media all over the place, the clubs are disappearing, I feel sorry for the younger gays because they will miss out on a lot," John said.
Just then Gary popped his head in the door.
"Sorry I'm late, had a flat tire," he explained.
"Coming babe?" Conner asked.
"You don't know how close I came to deserting my ship Conner."
"Let's go, I need to buy you lunch," he giggled.
We set off to the hotel with Conner giggling all the way.
He sat and watched me eat this time, then winked.
"We should go out to a club and do some dirty dancing tonight."
"That would be nice Con, I'll look forward to it and maybe later we could go to a sauna and get all hot and sweaty."
"Maybe we could fuck a guy or two while we are there?" he joked.
The sexual tension was there, I so wanted to stay home and jump his bones.
Jill came by and told us that Conner had to be at the photographers by 8am as it would be a full days shoot. He wasn't happy and I laughed big time.
"Well you had better get an early night then Con."
I was shaking with laughter.
Jill was stunned into silence just looking at us both interact.
"Care to involve me Brent?" she asked.
"No," I replied.
I had slipped my shoe off and was rubbing my foot up and down Conner's package under the table and it was growing, his cock that is, not my foot.
We couldn't wait to get rid of Jill, not that we didn't love her but we had other things on our minds. When she left we raced to our room and had hard, raw sex, Conner was moaning and sucking on my fingers while I pumped a full wad into his guts.
"Where's the shoot Con?"
"Up north on the nudist beach."
I pulled him into me and he drifted off to sleep, the butterflies in my tummy were working overtime but after about half hour all my nerve endings settled.
I guess I get to go with him, he didn't ask me though.
In the morning I answered the wake up call and we showered, Conner said they would dress him and do his hair at the shoot and it will be done in a theatre that was hired for the day. I sat with Jill as the hairdresser and make up artist worked on Conner then he was dressed in rock star black and he swaggered past me several times winking, he knew I had a boner.
They set him up with lighting and took hundreds of photos with him in front of a microphone, the rock star pose and they had hired a cherry picker to lift him over the crowd that will be cut and pasted in later.
It took him up twenty feet over the front row seats and he smiled at me but I didn't feel right about it and I turned to Jill to say so.
The crash was instant but I watched in slow motion as it gave way and fell onto the first three rows of seats, I was glued to the spot. Jill ran to the front with her phone out and was calling an ambulance and my training kicked in and I raced towards Conner praying he would be all right.
He was lying unconscious on his back in the aisle, his head was bleeding and his body twisted into an odd shape, I checked his eyes and breathing. I didn't want to move him in case his back was broken, my tears ran down my face and I couldn't stop them and didn't care. I had a job to do so I ran my hands down his arms, they felt right but I was still worried about his legs, they were twisted, maybe broken, I hoped that was all that was wrong. I cursed the photographer for putting him in danger and I cursed Jill for nothing at all, only because she was near. The cherry picker operator hit the floor with a thud as I, I think I tried to lay a punch on him but Conner's security guard pulled me off and I punched thin air. He carried me over to one of the seats and sat me near where Conner was, I felt as useless as shit.
The ambulance arrived and they moved me aside, I was shaking violently, I was cold and withdrawing back into myself trying to distance myself from the situation. He was put on the gurney and taken to the nearest hospital and I rode with him, praying to god he would be all right.
They wouldn't tell me anything, no surprises there but when they found out I was a nurse they told me they were doing all they could. His left leg was dislocated and there were no broken bones, they were more worried about his head wound as there was some swelling and they said they may have to drill to relieve the pressure on his brain but he was comfortable and they were keeping the morphine up to settle him.
I was numb and didn't function too well, one minute I was livid and the next inconsolable but I felt arms around my shoulders and two beautiful men kissed my cheeks. Ray then left to talk to the doctors, John whispered encouragement in my ears but I don't know what he was saying, my focus was on Conner.
Hours later Phil and Dave arrived but I didn't acknowledge them, I just knew they were around.
Ray came out of the office and nodded then he made a phone call and after a few long minutes, a nurse arrived with some paperwork and asked who Brenton Walsh was. I raised my hand so she asked me to sign the admittance papers; Ray sat with me and said, "Conner has named you as power of attorney, financial and medical, I had to ring the office to have them sent through so you can make decisions about his health.
"I can't do it Ray, you have to help me, it's all my fault, I should have stopped it, it looked dangerous, I don't have the right to make these decisions," I wept.
"Brent," a sharp voice called my name.
"Take charge, you didn't do this so stop blaming yourself, it was an accident, pure and simple." It was Phil, he was shouting at me but why was he shouting, I didn't shout at him? I could see he was really upset and had been crying.
A doctor came out and said I could go see my Conner but I resisted, I didn't want to say goodbye but I went anyway. He was wired up and tubes were everywhere, I took his beautiful hand and whispered in his ear that everything was going to be all right and I loved him.
I thought I felt him squeeze it.
The doctor told me that they had popped his leg back in place and the head wound hadn't cracked his skull so they expected a full recovery but he also said that they didn't know at the time if there was any internal damage, they were waiting for more results and more scans.
He said he would give me ten minutes then I would have to leave as Conner needed to rest for the night and to come back in the morning as they will start taking him off the drugs early. Ray came in and got me, he kissed Conner's cheeks and whispered something in his ear but I didn't hear anything. Phil and Dave hugged me and I was put into a limo, I noticed some reporters talking to Jill in the foyer but it didn't interest me. I was held all the way back to the hotel.
Ray and John slept in my bed with me, they held me all night but at one stage I got up to go to the toilet, I filled a glass of water and sat at the table looking at the night sky through the sliding doors. I prayed and prayed that there was no more damage and I cursed Jill and the operator, my head spinning with the scene going over and over in my head, it was a nightmare.
I woke suddenly, a bit disorientated, I had fallen asleep at the table and I was in urgent need to be with Conner so I quietly dressed and left for the hospital. It was dawn when I arrived in the taxi; people in their warm beds were waking up, children running through the houses and nightshift workers leaving to go home to bed. I went to his ward and spoke to the duty nurse, she told me that he had a peaceful night and they had started to decrease the morph. I asked if I could go in but she said I was to wait in the family room. I talked to her some more, I understood her medical jargon so she asked me if I was a nurse, I replied that I was and her whole attitude changed. I understood her reluctance to say much and she even walked me into the room and asked if I would like a coffee and I accepted. I had noticed his security guy was sitting in the waiting room.
Conner was stirring as I held his hand after kissing his lips, I wanted him to wake up and tell me he was feeling well, I so badly I wanted that. His eyes opened and he seemed frightened so I leant over him and held him, looking into his beautiful eyes I said,
"You're okay baby, I'm here to look after you, you had a fall but everything is okay, you may be a bit sore but there are no broken bones."
His hand went to his head.
"A big bump, do you have any pain?"
He shook his head indicating no.
I kissed him again and he smiled, the duty nurse came back with a coffee and asked him a few questions but all he could do was nod at this stage then he went back to sleep.
I stayed, rubbing his hand and praying at one stage as tears flowed then I felt a hand on mine, he was awake again. His blue eyes were shining brightly as a tear escaped and he said, "Thank you."
I took his hand and put it to my cheek, kissing it many times over.
I didn't do much, I fell to pieces and I felt ashamed of myself.
He was sleeping when I went to the cafeteria to get a sandwich and coffee.
I found Phil there looking like he hadn't slept all night; my heart sank and felt guilty, as he probably had stayed all night. I took my food over to his table and he smiled at me, I took his hand and apologized for my behavior and he said he was upset for me and for Conner but he was okay now that there was no danger. He loved us both and stayed for a few more hours until he got the okay from the nurse that Con was settled then he headed home but came back shortly after.
"I've seen it all Brent but this has shaken me more than I thought it would, Conner is a beautiful person, he didn't deserve this, you don't deserve it," he whispered.
"Well we are both very lucky to have you and Dave in our lives, I know we would feel the same if anything happened to either of you, I'm just sorry I didn't take charge like you said, Ray had to do most of it," I replied.
"You did take charge Brent, you sat with him and you're here now, he will feel a lot safer with you here, I'm positive about that."
"Why do I feel so responsible?"
"Because you were there and there wasn't anything you could do about it, it was an accident Brent," he tried to comfort me.
We went back to Conner's room; he was awake and aware of his surroundings.
I kissed him and he grinned at me.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"Your boyfriend baby."
"No, I don't think so, I think you are my husband."
Well his sense of humor hasn't left him.
"Sure I'm your husband and you're my lover."
"That's a relief, I thought my lover was the guy with you." He laughed then winced.
Phil kissed Conner and said,
"It could be arranged."
"Thank you," he said.
"I didn't do much, there wasn't much I could do Conner, I couldn't move you, I only prayed that you would be okay."
"No, you were there with me, I heard you, I heard you say I was going to be all right then you kissed me," he said.
"Well, that's true."
Of course the news was full of Conner's accident, his face was on every newspaper and magazine cover and his room was full of flowers. Marty and Di flew up to see us but I spent all my time at the hospital and Connor was kept in for a week, I guess because of who he was but by the third day he was going stir crazy. I took his guitar in and some notebooks, maybe he will write another number one hit.
"I think I'll cancel the Euro concert Brent, I might just stay home and write for a couple of years."
"No, you don't Mr. Conner, I want to see London and Paris and you have to show me the sights, you owe me a double decker bus ride."
"Okay then, I'll cancel the US tour."
"Okay, as long as I can take you to New York on our second anniversary, why not our first you ask? Well I want to spend our first in the gardens where I found you," I smiled.
"We can eat pizza."
"I can look into your eyes."
"I can fuck you."
"And I can fuck you."
"Okay," he answered smiling.
I put my hand under the covers, yep he was ready to explode. It didn't take me long to fix that problem.