Never Give Up
The next day they all decided to do a tour of the country, I stayed behind with Dan as I wanted to work on my designs and ring Rory at the store.
Dan wanted to hit the gym so he left after morning coffee.
I put my boardies on and sat in the shade at the table by the pool, sketchbook in hand.
Raphael and Gus arrived to do the garden and pool. After talking to Rory I was happy all was good there, his line was walking out the door and he had to make another order for us both, he added a few more ideas he had to be made up as samples.
Raphael came up to me and said, "Good morning Cody, what are you drawing?"
"Some designs for Armani, I work freelance for them and now's a good time to put down some ideas. We are going to Milan Tuesday for a few days at their invitation and I am looking forward to it."
"Oh so you won't be here next week?"
"No mate we should be back Friday sometime."
He sat down next to me and started to look at my drawings, I felt a little uncomfortable and moved inside to make another coffee, I asked him if he wanted one. He said yes please.
When I returned I sat opposite handing his cup to him.
He said, "Cody these designs are really good, I hope Armani is impressed with them, you are a genuine artist."
In he next breath he said, "What happened to you Cody, with the scars I mean?"
"Sorry Raphael, it is an off limit topic, I'm afraid I won't talk about it again."
"Well okay, I just was wondering."
"Cody I want to apologize for my behavior the other night, I didn't mean to go that far with you both and so you know, I didn't actually buy the drinks. My friend Julio did and he's not very nice, I suspected he was drugging tourists to rob them, he no longer is a friend and I told the club manager about it, I humbly apologize."
"It's okay Raphael but it was dangerous, I'm allergic to some medications, thank god this one only made me sick."
He again apologized, thanked me for the coffee and went back to work.
Mike disappeared after dinner and when he came back he looked like a million dollars, he had borrowed Luke's hipsters and he had a great t-shirt on. I took loads of pics as it will probably be the last chance I get to see him like this.
"Where are you off to Mike?" Dan said.
"Oh just thought I might take myself out to a club and maybe lose my virginity so mum will have one less worry."
We all looked at mum and laughed.
He left soon after; we had a swim, then showered and went to bed. I thought I heard Mike come in around five, I hadn't slept much, just watched Dan most of the night and managed to take a few photos of him sleeping.
I went out to the kitchen and made coffee. Mike was sitting by the pool.
I went to ask him if he wanted one, he turned and I gasped,
"What the fuck has happened to you Mike?"
He had the beginnings of a black eye.
"Oh nothing much Codes, he got a lucky punch in but he won't be having sex or looking too good for weeks to come."
Mike laughed and said,
"Codes, a guy at the club was annoying this aussie girl outside the club so I decked him and kicked him in the balls."
"He was a local gigolo and was being really rude to her."
He was almost giggling.
I sat back and couldn't say anything, I was in shock.
Dan appeared and grabbed Mike and hugged him tight.
"What's that for Dan?" Mike said.
"Oh just for looking after her, that's all."
"How's that coffee looking Squirt?" He said smiling at me.
"Coming up Mike, Dan do you want one?"
"Yes Codes, please."
By the time I got back, Jamie and Luke were there hugging Mike, they had listened from their room.
Luke made coffee for them and we all just sat around looking at Mike in a different light, what a hero.
"Oh" he said.
"That happened around eleven o'clock last night."
"Where the hell have you been since then Mike?" Luke asked.
"Ummm, losing my virginity three times Lukey baby."
We all said.
"Well I was on a high and we went to another club, we hit it off and one thing led to another, three times later I walked home."
"My poor baby, did she hurt you dear?"
Mrs L came out and hugged Mike.
"No mum and I got her phone number in Australia, she lives near Dan's place so expect me to visit more often Codes."
He turned to Jamie and said,
"Sorry Jamie, I have to break it off with you, I'm going to be very busy pumping out babies."
Just then his phone rang, it was Miss Australia wanting to hook up with him today so he showered, dressed and left twenty minutes later smiling from ear to ear.
The following weekend our family left for home, through lots of tears we bid them farewell at the airport then drove back to the villa.
We hadn't seen Raphael at all, Gus said he was okay but felt he dishonored his Australian family, he had told Gus what happened.
He thanked us for talking to him and thought we might have had an impact on him, apparently he had enrolled at university to do environmental studies.
Well something right came out of it.
We packed our bags for our trip to Milan on Tuesday and I was so excited for Dan and I. We were all alone, the house felt empty so we went and had dinner down the road. When we got home we did a fair bit of nude swimming, interrupted by a wonderful passionate lovemaking session on the pool lounge. I washed Dan all over with my tongue then sat in his lap while he made love to me. Awesome.
We slept well and were both up very early, the driver would be there soon. I didn't know what to pack I was so excited, Dan took over and packed one suitcase saying if we needed anything else we would buy it. He then made coffee and we sat by the pool and waited.The flight was awesome, it was a Gulfstream jet and Dan was blown away by it. I said to him after he came back from the flight deck,
"Forget it Dan, it won't fit in the garage but I will help you out if you want to join the mile high club." I wiggled my eyebrows towards the bathroom and he didn't think twice as he grabbed my hand and pulled me into it.
A limo met us at the other end and took us to this magnificent villa atop a hill, it was huge. A butler showed us to our room that was the size of Dan's old apartment, almost. He told us Vincenzo had appointments but we were to shower and change and then we would be taken to the headquarters to meet him in an hour's time.
I was so nervous as we were driven up to the front of this large building with Armani displayed across the front door. Vincenzo met us in the foyer and it was like meeting an old friend, he took us to the showroom first where they were setting it up for the gala the next day. I was surprised at the lack of Hollywood hype; it was simple and very tasteful.
We met his assistant and she directed us to the backstage area which was loaded up with racks of clothes for the parade, I flipped through and saw some of my designs among them. She said they were using ten of my items; I nearly broke down and thanked them both. She added, "Cody, we are launching a new range for the European and Asian markets only so these won't be available in Australia or America. A new exciting designer has come to our attention so half of the event will be about his designs and our new venture, we feel there's a market for it out there."
I wished them luck and said I couldn't wait to see the launching then Vincenzo said, "Let's go home Cody, we have a party to attend tonight, nothing lavish just something casual by the pool and a barbecue with a few friends. Unfortunately Marcel can't be with us, he has pressing business in Paris and I miss him terribly." Dan said, "Well message him and tell him that."
"Already seven times Dan and he only left this morning." He giggled.
I smiled at Dan and secretly sent him a message, I love you. He replied, not as much as I love you. We continued that all afternoon and mostly into the night. It was fun, and I noticed Vincenzo doing the same.
His friends were wonderful, so casual and down to earth, among them were some stunning guys, I figured they were models. Vince said they were here to do the parade; they were some of the best in the world. I told him they didn't have an inch on my Dan, he was the best in the universe as far as I was concerned. We laughed and he said he had checked him out on the internet and he agreed he was a great model and he did think about hiring him for the parade but thought it was a bit rude to ask because we were on vacation. I said thank you for the thought but I didn't think Dan was interested in working while on holiday.
Dan was getting friendly with a tall dark headed model that had flawless skin and looked beautiful in his shorts and tank top, like the others he was posing all night. He leaned into Dan and said something to him; Dan blushed and walked away towards me. He looked at him as he closed his arms around my waste, and kissed my neck. Later that night Mr Model tried again so Dan took my hand walked me over and said to him, "Why would I settle for second best when I already have the best looking guy in the world, go play with your mates, they seem as plastic as you are." The model shrugged and turned away looking for another unsuspecting victim.
Vince apologised and said, "Sorry guys, I have to use them but I'm afraid they become very snobbish when they hit the big time. Don't believe all you read in the fashion pages, if I had my way I would prefer ten men like Dan and you Cody to do the show but unfortunately contracts are hard to break.
The night ended and we went to bed early as we were tired. The next morning we were taken to Armani, to be preened and styled for the press.
We took our front row seats and settled in to watch the show, it was awesome and I took in everything. Mr Model was good at his job, he winked at Dan like he was some old lost friend, Dan looked away blushing.
"I can't stand this Codes, I want to go home." I said, "It will be over soon Dan, I miss our family also." I knew what he meant by his comment.
Then the big announcement came over the speakers; Armani's new European range. "Ladies and gentlemen, Armani would like to introduce our new collection, Rory teen."
I looked at Dan gasping, he was as struck numb as I was, on stage were all Rory's designs and the speaker talked about a new Australian discovery, Rory along with the Cody Mitchell line, they expected it to be a European hit.(And it was). The cameras didn't stop for the next hour then Vincenzo came on stage and thanked the models, the designers and introduced me. I stood up my legs wobbling, then he said, "And now Rory." I looked and saw this beautiful boy walk with a very slight limp on stage, he waved at the audience who went wild.
I looked at Dan and said, "Is that our Rory, Dan?" He said, "Yes and lookout here he comes Squirt." Rory ran up the catwalk and jumped off the stage, he then swept us up in a big hug. He had grown some, I cried into his neck as it was so good to see him. He just smiled from ear to ear. "Surprise" He said.
"What's happening Rory?"
"Oh not much Codes, Jacques flipped over my clothes, he said it was exactly what Armani were looking for and we did an awesome deal. They flew me here because they knew you would be in town. I have an open ticket so if you don't mind can I come stay with you in Spain for a few days?"
"Can you? Of course you can then we can all fly home together."
We caught up on all the gossip and Vince suggested we should go home and eat; he would catch up later as he had a lot of interviews to do.
We caught a cab back to the Villa and talked non-stop for hours.
Rory began to yawn and it was late so we decided to hit the beds.
Dan and I made love and nestled in for the night,
"Codes what did you mean when you said we can fly back together?"
"Oh Dan I was going to talk to you about that, I really want to go home when Rory does, I miss our family but if you want to go on to London we can do that also."
"It's okay Codes, I'm a bit homesick too so let's go home."
"Good, I will ring mum tomorrow and let her know we can go to England maybe next year."
"It's good having Rory here, we will have to make sure he has a good four days, maybe we could take him to our restaurant?" Dan said.