Castle Roland

Never Give Up

by Maxieplus


Chapter 39

Published: 25 Jun 15

Never Give Up

by Maxieplus

Life is just getting better and better, the kid's house was started and they had some pretty unusual ideas. Timmy and Donny had come in from the beach one day screaming, Timmy had cut himself on the leg on a rock, it looked worse than it was but needed a small stitch. I called Luke and he said to be safe we would take him to the hospital, he wrapped it and I drove to the nearest emergency with Luke in tow. Timmy was a very brave little boy and was excited, he wanted to show Donny his "war wound". Trent called Dan to meet us there.

When he arrived we were just finishing up the paperwork.

He barged in and said, "Where is he, is he okay Squirt?" He looked panic stricken.

A little boy stuck his head over one of the waiting room couches and cried, "Daddy Dans look at my scar, I'm ay pyrite now an my names long johns silver," he giggled. He was repeating what the doctor said and I smiled at his bravado.

"Scar?" how big is it Squirt, where's the doctor?"

"Dan, settle down, it's a small scratch and it will be completely gone in a few weeks," I smiled encouragingly.

"Well, I'm glad you think it's fucking funny, your covered in the fucking ugly things, I don't want them on MY son, and If you think..."

"Dan, fucking stop it now!" Luke shouted.

Dan stopped in mid sentence, he looked at Luke then me, he closed his eyes and swayed.

My shoulders dropped, the final nail was driven into my body and I whispered gently,

"Your son has already got deep scars Dan, haven't you noticed his poor little back, you take your son home," with the emphasis on 'your' then I left.

I could hear Timmy call, "Daddy Coodsy, waits for your little boy Timmy."

My heart was breaking.

I drove to the nearest park and sat under a tree. It wasn't my fault Timmy got scratched and it wasn't my fault I had scars, I know Dan was only worried, he didn't mean to say what he said but still it hurt. I'll never forget what Dan did for me when I was cut and bleeding on his doorstep and I'll never give up but it would be so easy at the moment to do just that.

My phone rang. "Codes, oh Codes where are you? I'm so, so sorry Codes, please come home I'm worried about you." It was Dan and he sounded miserable.

"I'm okay Dan, just stopped off for a minute, I'll be home soon," I hung up.

Another hour went by and I had got my brain into a relaxed, serene state, I didn't want my ugly thoughts to return, then Luke rang me.

"You want to talk Cody?"

"I'm okay, really I am Luke, I just had a fright with Timmy's accident and I just wanted to get it sorted in my head, that's all."

I heard Dan talking in the background saying, "Fuck, fuck, fuck Jamie."

Luke said Timmy had thrown a massive tantrum at the hospital and he kept calling for me, he won't settle down, would I be long?

"It's okay Luke, I'm just being silly, I'll be home soon."

I arrived home to a very miserable, crying little man and a red eyed big man, I kissed them both and said,

"Sorry daddy, Codes had something to do, my brave little pirate would you like to help me get dinner?"

"Coodsee, naughty boy you leaves me, how me gonna go home?" he sniffled.

"Sorry sweetie, Daddy Dan was with you," I said.

"But ise wanted you," he blurted out.

I hugged him and shook trying to hold back sobs that threatened to attack me.

"Come on honey help me with dinner."

"Okays Codsee let's get Dindin sorted, no brokkli for Timmy mums said."

"No honey, just help me unwrap the pies and we can heat them up."

I made pie and chips for us and little party pies for Tim, it was all I could manage.

Dan pulled me into the bedroom, he apologised and I said, "Nothing to apologise for Dan, I love you and I'm never going to give up on me, never ever."

He put on one of his strange looks, I just left it at that.

We ate as a family and we talked about the care of Timmy's leg, we laughed as he told mum on the phone he was a pirate now and he didn't have to eat broccoli. He said he had pies and chips and helped daddy Codsee to cook them.

Dan and I read him a story and then went to bed. Dan was beside himself with worry, he knows that when I'm like this my fits arrive, he apologised for his outburst several times and several times I said don't worry about it.

Then he tried again before we went to sleep.

I snapped at him, "It's okay Dan, I know I'm covered in those fucking ugly things, something I have to live with," my tears flowed.

"But Timmy's ours not yours, he's our son to love and cherish. If you really don't like looking at my fucking scars then I'll sleep in the spare room but our son will always be our son." I went to throw back the covers but Dan stopped me and pulled me to him, I didn't hear what he was saying to me, I was too busy sobbing.

The next day I absentmindedly showered in the other bathroom, I did this rarely, mainly when Dan needed to sleep in. I put on a long sleeve tee shirt and jeans, I just didn't feel right.

I made the appointment for later that day, Dan had training so I halfheartedly met him at the club. Timmy has a sleepover at Donny's place tonight and Trent has set up a small tent in the living room as they are going to play pirates.

When I walked in Dan jumped up and got me a wine. Tom had one beer and said, "Well I've got two pirates to get sorted," then left. Larry was there and he asked,

"Shit Codes, aren't you hot in that getup?"

"No not really Larry, it's quite cool outside," I replied.

Dan and I talked for awhile about nothing in particular, he asked me where I had been and I said I had a checkup. I immediately felt guilty and added, "I went to see a plastic surgeon."

He looked at me, his eyes narrowed and asked,

"What for Codes?"

"I want some things removed," I lowered my head and fiddled with some non-existent thread on my shirt.

"What things Codes?" he shot back.

"Just some old scars, the ones on my back and the one on my leg, he said they won't go permanently but will be much less obvious."

"Let's go home Squirt," he said.

We drove home in separate cars so I parked and sat for awhile, I had a thumping headache. Dan pulled my door open and helped me out. He put the coffee on and led me to the porch.

"Sit." he said.

"I'm not a dog Dan so don't treat me like one," I yelled.

"No Codes, your not a dog, your a wonderful human being that I just happen to love with all my heart. I love what you and what Cody Mitchell are, scars and all. If you want to get rid of them do it because you want to not because of what someone who was upset and not thinking at the time said."

"But you said you hated scars and what was it you said Dan, I'm fucking covered in the bloody ugly things?"

He was pissed off and a fist was forming, he suddenly dropped to his knees and hugged me and said,

"Cody, please this is no good, I over-reacted, I'm human Codes and it just slipped out. I don't even see your scars, I see you but I still want the best for our son and he is our son, yours and mine. I was a bit distraught Codes, words I didn't even know I was saying came out, you've got to understand that, don't you, just the best for our son?"

"I do, I'm sorry Dan I just get a little messy sometimes and I can't control it, I was just as worried as you were, the doctor already told me that his scar was nothing to be concerned about." My head thumped painfully.

"Well, all I got was that Timmy had cut his leg and it looked bad, what was I supposed to think Codes?"

I felt like shit again, I raced to the balcony rail and vomited then shook. Dan knew the signs and put his arm around my waist. Not fucking now was the last thing I remembered.

I woke tucked into bed looking into bright green eyes. Hi Mister Pirate Pete, did you sleep good in your tent?"

"Yeth Daddy Codeesh cans your Timmy come in bed, he miss you?"

I lifted the doona and he snuggled in, I held him and flipped over to place him in between Dan and me. Dan kissed him then me and started stroking my face he mouthed, "I love you."

I mouthed, "I love you more."

I decided to do something about it, my mood swings lately were enormous, from the very highs to the deep lows so I made another appointment with my doctor for a MRI. He warned me that it was a dangerous operation, I just wanted to see if my lesion was shrinking or not. I had told Dan what I was doing, he was happy with that but he said don't do anything until the results come back. He came with me and talked to me while I was in the tunnel. The result was alarming, it looked like it was growing, he said maybe in the future Cody but for the moment there's nothing I'm willing to try. It's active so I will prescribe some safe antibiotics and we will monitor it."

Talking to Luke that night I was exhausted, he stroked my neck and explained in simple terms what it was.

"Codes, not even the top brain surgeon in the world would remove that lesion, it's in a spot that effects your sight, it's too dangerous, god only knows what else could go wrong. It may get worse so just take the antibiotics the doctor gave you and it should settle down. It seems like it's been a bit active lately, it may be a sign that it's trying to heal."

Dan and I were sort of back on track but I favoured long sleeved T-shirts nowsdays. One beautiful day when kindy was out Dan and I were showing Timmy how to make a big mermaid in the sand, Dan said, "I'll be back in a minute."

He came out waving my tank top and boardies and said,

"Let me help you put these on Squirt, I am missing my surfie dude like crazy."

He took my top off and dropped my pants then proceeded to dress me, having a good grope when Timmy wasn't looking.

Timmy then yelled, "Dats betters Dads Coodsy, now you look like Timmy."

Dan said, "Betterer than ever Timmy," he kissed me and Timmy giggled.

My mum had arrived back and called in for dinner with us. She brought a stack of chinese food and toys for Timmy and Donny and we all sat around talking.

Mum leaned into Dan and they were deep in conversation, Dan winked at me and stood to go inside, I looked at mum and she nodded in Dans direction so I too went inside. He was loading the tray up with glasses, "Can you get a couple of bottles of champagne from the fridge daddy Coodsy please?" in his best manly voice, then winked.

I looked at him perplexed and said, "Sure Dadds Dan."

After my task was done we met outside.

Dan opened the champagne, "Charge your glasses boys and kids," he looked at Rory and Bobby.

"A toast to my beautiful boyfriend Coodsie whose about with yours truly to be the legal parents of one little pirate called Timmy."

I looked at Dan, he kissed me and said,

"In three days we can go get our kid legalised and he's ours forever."

I looked at mum and she shrugged,

"It's not what you know Codes, it's who you know nowadays."

My tears flowed and all I wanted to do was hug Dan and Timmy forever, I was still in shock when we put him to bed and Dan read him a story.

In bed that night we were too excited to go to sleep.


"Yes Coodsy?"

I laughed at his attempt.

"Do you think he should keep his surname or take ours?"

"I don't know Codes, what do you think?"

"Well I don't want him to lose his rightful name but I don't want him to feel different either, how does Timothy Doolen Lawrence sound, we could hyphenate his name."

He gave me a weird look,

"I like Timothy Doolen Mitchell also Codes, it doesn't have to be my surname."

"Yes it does Dan, there's no option, if we were married I would change my name to Lawrence in a heartbeat, I would be Cody Louis Mitchell Lawrence."

"Fuck!! Shit!!" I muttered.

"Louis?" Dan smiled and lifted his brow.

"Forget I said that Dan, it never happened."

"Okay Louis."

"Bubby please don't tell anyone, it was my great grandfather's name."

"Okay," he smirked.

"Okay?" I said, "How about Timothy Mitchell Doolen Lawrence?"

"Deal Squirt."

Dan then kissed me and started to play with my nipples, his hands were all over me and I was ready for a big pirate to pillage and plunder me, which he did unashamedly.

"Goodnight Codes I love you," he said half asleep and very exhausted.

"Goodnight Dan, I love you also, like forever."

"Got it right this time Louis."

I noticed that brute of a man of mine smile, I ignored him.

The bed shook as Dan chuckled under the covers.

I ignored him.

The morning was different somehow, Timmy came in and giggled, he was up to something then he jumped on the bed and cried, "Wakes ups Dads."

Luke knocked and brought us breakfast in bed, "It was Timmy's idea, he woke us up to get breakfast ready for you both, how sweet of him," he said sarcastically with a smile.

Then he added, "Note to self, better go to the locksmith today," he laughed as he went out. "Only kidding." he added.

"Dadds ith there som googie egg for Timmy your son?"

We fed him his hard boiled egg and soldiers then fed each other.

"What do you want to do today Codes," he nibbled on my ear.

"Fuck, I'm easy, stay here with you baby."

"Okay," he said.

"No Dads, Timmy needs to go mums an see if horse there for Timmy."

Dan groaned, he hadn't even started looking yet. I mentioned that Maxies new owner has a small pony for sale so we showered then headed for the farm. Timmy went berserk when he was introduced to Sally, he ran in circles playing giddyup with a stick. Dan organised to borrow farmer Joe's horse float and we hitched it up to his car and took Sally to the farm but not before Timmy was introduced to a very excited Maxie. Rob found a stall for her but not before Tim had to be taken for a ride around the paddock. She was just as gentle as Bella, a bit smaller also, Dan's feet nearly touched the ground when he hopped on. When the boys learn to handle them and are a lot older we would get them bigger horses.

Mum and Debs had a late lunch ready for us and we talked non-stop about the adoption and the new baby .

"Do you know the sex yet Debs?"

"No Codes, as I said we want it to be a surprise, the nurse said she could tell us but we declined."


The subject got around to the wedding gifts and then the painting.

"We are just in awe of Bobby's talent, we hung it on the wall in the bedroom and it's the last thing we see at night and the first in the morning, we just love it so much." I didn't see a hint of them finding the writing on the little girl's dress.

Later on I borrowed mum's magnifying glass and told Dan to follow me.

Dan whispered, "Okay what are we up to?"

"Look what Bobby's written on the little girl's dress."

He let out a long breath and said,

"We better start buying dolls and pink Squirt, the kids are never wrong."

We laughed and talked about it for ages but couldn't come up with an answer.

We arrived home after dropping the horse float off to find a strange car in the car park. A stranger looking lady got out to greet us, Timmy held onto Dan's neck and buried his face. She was short with wild red hair, she looked more like a hippy but a well dressed hippy. She held her hand out and introduced herself as Julie Thompson. We introduced ourselves and Timmy who was still clutching Dan hard, he wouldn't even look at the lady.

"He's afraid of women around my age, someone treated him very badly, my heart breaks for him, give me a minute."

She then pulled out a pair of glasses and tied her hair up into a bun.

"Please to meet you Timothy Lawrence, you can call me aunty Julie."

He looked at her and smiled, "Pleeze meet you Mrs aunty."

We laughed but what just happened here?

Dan said, "Can we help you with something?"

"Oh goodness, where are my manners, I'm Bobby's mum."

The penny drops, of course she is and she has Bobby's psychic ability too.

"They are not home at the moment but please come in, we have a little boy to put to bed and then we can wait for them but if there's going to be a problem Julie, we would rather you stay away from our "kids", we won't have them hurt anymore than they have already been," Dan said.

She looked at us both and replied,

"Thank you for saving the boys, both of you. Dan, I'm sorry for what Bobby's dad did to you all but I can assure you there's no way I would ever harm those two boys, I love them too much. I also have a story but can it wait until my beautiful sons are with us?"

She was indicating plainly that she knew Bobby was gay.

"Okay Julie, I'll get the coffee started," Dan said.

We put Timmy to bed, he was very tired after his big day out and after three lines of his story he was fast asleep.

When I came out she was looking at our painting, "He is brilliant isn't he?"

"More than you know Julie," I said.

"I'm glad he's all sorted now," she winked.

"Okay enough, Bobby and Rory do that all the time, what gives?" I asked.

"Oh Squirt, we just know these things," she laughed.

I blushed and set the table on the porch.

We settled in and Julie eventually said,

"They're planning to put in a panic room you know, we have to stop them and make them understand that they are safe now."

I looked at her. I was shocked at her revelation, poor Bobby. "How did you know, not even we know that?"

"I have psychic abilities Codes, my mum had them and Bobby's inherited them, it's like your gaydar. I can look at someone and get a small story, it takes awhile to put it into a meaning but I'm usually a hundred percent right. I work with a travelling show as a tarot reader and we do all the local shows throughout the country. I only received Bobby's letter yesterday so I got here as soon as possible. Little kids are easy to read Dan, I knew instinctively that Timmy's mum had done something awful to him because a picture of her flashed, she had long curly hair so that's why I changed my appearance, it was more Timmy friendly."

"Wow," Dan said.

"They're coming up the drive," she said.

Then added,

"Just a guess Squirt, I saw a car light flash onto their new house and they stopped to look at it in the moonlight."

I moaned.

"You have it too Codes, you use it all the time in your designing."

"Dan you use it on the field, you both use it but call it gaydar."

Bobby came running in and straight into his mum's arms. "I knew it was your car mum," he cried.

"Oh Bobby, Bobby my beautiful boy how I've longed to hold you again, I've missed you so much," she wept.

"Rory my beautiful, beautiful son, come here."

She hugged and kissed them both.

"I'm so sorry boys I wasn't there for you both, my heart ached everyday I was without you two."

Dan and I went to clean up and make fresh coffee.

She said, "Don't go anywhere, I have a story to tell."

When we got back both boys were sitting next to her holding her hands, they were sobbing and drying each others eyes with tissues, Bobby leant in and said something and they quietened down.

"You are wondering how they do that aren't you Cody?"

"Yes," I answered.

"Bobby's physic and Rory's gaydar is how, they hear words then process the thoughts. You will notice a small pause before Rory answers, that is because his brain is taking a few seconds to process the words, Bobby does the same."

"Mum don't give away all our secrets," Bobby wailed.

"Hush son, it's only Dan and Cody but no I won't give all your secrets away," she kissed his forehead.

"Okay my story, when the boys were younger they were inseparable, I knew at an early stage they were both gay, how? I don't know which brings mother's intuition into the mix. When they turned eight I made the fatal mistake of telling my husband, he was so furious he beat me senseless, blaming me for his son's heathen ways."

Bobby gasped and tears flowed. "I'm sorry boys but you have to know the full story," she looked directly at me. My stomach turned and Dan held me to him.

"He beat me very badly then drove me unconscious to the city and dumped me in an alley. I was known to the hospital as Jane Doe, homeless person, no dental records, no family and no address. I spent weeks in there as I was too afraid to go home, he had threatened to kill my beautiful little boy if I showed up again," she stroked Bobby's cheek.

"I did see you at school from time to time, I watched you when the show was in town or nearby everyday. If I had approached you, I feared you might let it slip to your father, I was terrified of what would happen. One day I saw you watching Rory get on the school bus, he was on crutches, my heart sank because I guessed what had happened.

"Fuck me!" I interrupted.

"What Cody?" Julie asked.

"Yearnings, Bobby I forgot to ask you about 'Yearnings'."

"What's the problem Codes?" Bobby asked.

"Your painting, 'Yearnings', you painted Julie into the background, I saw her, I was going to ask you who the lady was but I forgot, you painted your mum in that scene."

"Cody, I don't think so," he replied.

"Wait, I have the prints in the spare room."

"You bought the prints Codes?" Bobby asked surprisedly.

"Of course I did Bobby, I was just waiting for Dan to hang them in the den."

I jumped up and went to the room, I had bought the six prints as they were my history too in a way, I found 'Yearnings' and returned to the porch.

"Look for yourself," I said.

Sure enough the red headed lady was Bobby's mum.

"I don't even remember painting her in, I must have seen you on that day mum, that was the day we left town."

"Fuck me," Dan groaned.

"I'm sorry Julie, go on please," I said as Rory and Bobby scrutinised the painting.

Well, that day I instantly knew what had happened. You were so upset and crying I just wanted to take you away from that madman. I had made plans to work in a western Australian mine and when I returned to get you, you were gone so I kept watch on Rory, then I found you in Hobart. How? Again I don't know, I just got a feeling you were nearby. The letters I had been sending you at Christmas and on your birthday were being returned so I had no idea where you were taken to, then I found you one day on a bus, I followed you to your home and work every day, you looked so sad and lost."

"The show moved on and then I saw my Rory's photo in the paper with Dan, I tried to contact him but he had moved also from his flat in the burbs.

I waited until finally your letter arrived, how did you know my address son?" Julie asked.

"It was in dad's paperwork, my guess is he knew where you were all the time, whenever I asked, he said you took off with the milkman but I never believed that."

"Not in a million years beautiful boy," she said.

"Can you forgive me?" she added.

"Oh mum, nothing to forgive, everyone at this table here have been broken at one time but now Rory's with me again, I'm so happy and nothing is going to be bad again," he said.

"Which brings me to my next question, panic room?" she asked.

Bobby and Rory had shocked looks on their faces, this was truly a wondrous night for me and Dan and we were speechless.

"Mum," Bobby said, "Dad's dead, may he rot in hell but Rory's father is still out there somewhere and I want to keep him as safe as possible. He doesn't go anywhere without me by his side and if something happens to him it happens to me also."

She put her finger up to his mouth and whispered, "Hush."

"Rory have you heard from your father?"

"Nothing mum, I did get letters from the jail he was in and the parole board but they made me feel sick so I didn't open them, I just destroyed them, I didn't want to know. My aunty who took me in did the same. She disowned him long ago when they were teenagers, she couldn't get a boyfriend at school because dad bullied them away, she never forgave him," Rory said.

"Well, there's no threat coming your way, I happened upon him in a nursing home in Cairns where we were doing a bit of a show for the residents. He was in a wheelchair and very disorientated, I knew it was him, he hasn't changed much, just another angry bigot. I told him you and Bobby were together again, I lied because I really didn't know and he got agitated but there was nothing he could do. I talked the nurse into letting me read his medical history, it wasn't hard, they all hated him and thought I might just have a way of taking him with me.

He was beaten to a pulp by other inmates when they found out about your crippling, they broke both his legs so badly that he won't walk again and he's got the onset of dementia so his memory is fading. However he was lucid enough that day for me to drive the final nail in and I took great joy in it too, all the time I was saying to myself this is for my beautiful boys."

"What was the final nail?" Dan asked.

She laughed, "I told him Rory was now an international designer making millions all over the world and Bobby sodomises him every night and he loves it, they had to sedate him."

We started giggling.

Rory burst out crying and he held Bobby tight, he leaned in and said something.

"No panic room," they both said.

They hugged and caught up on past events, she wasn't focussed on Bobby alone but both of them.

Then she looked up suddenly and stared at me.

I was looking straight into her eyes when she relaxed and said,

"Never give up Cody Mitchell, it's started shrinking just give it six months tops."

Then she went back to her conversation. I started to tear up and said, "Dan lets go have a look at how far the building has progressed."

"What the fuck was that about Codes? I'm getting really spooked by all this," Dan said.

"I think she was talking about my lesion Dan, god I hope that's true."

We kissed as we walked on the sand, we looked at the house and it was a beautiful sight, majestically sitting high up in the dunes, it had small windows in the front and I couldn't understand why they would do that to their view. Then it dawned on me, security.

When we got back I looked at Rory and he said,

"We will get Jamie onto it in the morning," he giggled.

"Okay enough, the spare room is that way, we are going to bed. Oh god, why am I telling you this, you probably already know, goodnight," Dan said exasperated.

Julie said,

"Go put your kilt on Dan, the school kid is hungry for a good spanking."

I roared with laughter and looked at Dan's face, he was about to burst a bubble, he grabbed my arm and said, "Lets go Codes, you've been a naughty boy lately."

"Yes professor Lawrence," I howled with laughter so much, my ribs were aching.

We checked on Timmy and he was dead to the world, no doubt dreaming of horses and pirates.

We made love that night but without the professor, Dan kissed every scar on my body and with each one he said, "I love you."

He got to my face then kissed me very tenderly and said the same words.

He entered me saying them and came saying them with every stroke, he then asked me to fuck him, so I said, "But Dan you don't enjoy it."

He said, "I don't? Oh well, next time maybe in another life."

I laughed into him.

"You crack me up so bad Dan," I wailed with laughter.

He hugged me to him shaking with the giggles.

Next day my little green eyed pirate crept into bed and started pulling Dan's face here and there, I watched in amusement while Dan tried desperately not to laugh. When he put his little fingers on Dan's eyelids to try and open them they suddenly whipped open and Dan growled, "Whose this little pirate is in our bed Codes?"

I replied, "Don't know Dan, must belong to the neighbours."

"Tis me your son Timmy, don't you knows me Daddy Dans."

"Avast me harties, so it is my son Timmy, he's been away at sea with da pirates pillaging treasure from the french."

Timmy squealed then kissed Dan on the mouth, "I loves you Daddy Dan, Timmy no go away again?"

"No son, Timmy stay here with me and Daddy Codes forever."

"Timmy happy now," then he kissed me and fell asleep. We had to quietly wedge our way out of bed to shower, the kids had started breakfast and everyone was there, we would go and sign the adoption papers today and start the name change rolling.

Bobby's mum stayed with us a few nights then she had to get back and work out her contract, she would be back in about four weeks. Rory asked her to move in with them but she didn't want to impose so they decided to haul the caravan over and she would live in that. She had no money problems and Bobby had promised to give her half of his dad's estate, she deserved it after living with that prick.

She pulled me aside and said, "All's going to be plain sailing from now on Codes, I don't see any nasties for you and Dan in the future, one day I want to do your cards because there's something nagging at the back of my mind and it's telling me I have to know about it."

I teared up and said, "Jules, it's hard to talk about but if it helps, it was a plate glass window and two men that raped me."

She gasped, "Shit, fuck I knew it had something to do with glass, I won't ask again, it's as clear as day Codes," then her face fell, "Oh my god Cody, no one but you and I know what agony you went through, not even Dan," her tears formed.

We hugged for some time, I shook myself and put the memory in my locked forever vault in my mind.

She said, "Good idea Codes, I can help you with that," she smiled as she touched my forehead. Then said, "Panic room was my favourite movie years ago, I caught Bobby watching it and he was obsessed with it, a lucky guess on my part. When you and Dan went for a walk they were telling me about the school kid and I read your little heart when you hugged me. It pays to be observant in my game but I can assure you the rest are my feelings and it's true, give it six months tops, it's already alive so do another MRI in a few weeks," she winked. I smiled and said, "Thank you."

One night while Dan was putting Timmy to bed I was in the office doing my thing. I had finished my work for Jacques and Rory also had his ready to go, I really was just doodling but something nagged at me and I wanted to put it down on paper.

When I had finished I had the makings of eight new outfits, I sat there looking at them, the colours I would add later. They were dark outfits, ripped, scarred and zombie like I put them down to recent events but they were all me, all my ripped skin scars down my legs, I tossed them in the bin.

Once inside I checked on my little man, Dan was finishing up a story but he was making this one up, he had no book.

I asked Dan but he said it was just some stuff he made up. I took a headache pill.

The next day Timmy was cuddling into me and sleepily said, "Tell Timmy bout Pince Danil and Pincess True Love Coodesy."

"I don't know that story poppet, can you get the book for me?"

"No book Coodsey, story daddy Dans tells me."

"Sorry kiddo, you will have to wait till daddy Dans gets home."

When Dan came home I already had Timmy fed and bathed and into his jamas He crawled onto Dan's lap and said, "Dads Dan tells Timmy about Pincess and Pince Danil?"

Dan looked at me and said, "Later baby, I'll tell you at bed time."

"Okays daddy Dans."

At bedtime he insisted Dan tell him the story and Dan said, "I got this covered Codes, why don't you get dinner ready?"

"Okay," I said and kissed Timmy goodnight.

Of course my curosity got the better of me so I turned on the baby monitor in the bedroom.

"Once upon a time there was a handsome Prince called Daniel and he was in love with Princess True Love. He loved her smells, hair, dimples and smiles for a long, long time. Princess True Love was sad because she too loved Prince Daniel.

Princess True Love lived with a very, very bad man and he kept her locked up in a tower.

One day while Prince Daniel was out running he came across a small magic frog. The frog said if you take me to your palace pond so I can see my mummy and daddy I will give you three wishes. Prince Daniel said okay, hop in my pocket. So he took the little frog to his castle where he placed him in the pond where his mummy and daddy were so happy to see him. The little frog said to Prince Daniel, what three wishes do you want my Prince?

Prince Daniel didn't have to think about it much. His first wish was for the badman to disappear forever, his second was for His Princess True Love to appear and his third wish was that they live happily ever after. He got his three wishes and he and Princess True Love lived happily ever after.

I turned off the monitor as tears streamed down my cheeks, I quickly went to the kitchen and started the oven, vegetable lasagna tonight. I got myself a wine and opened a beer for Dan.

We sat on the porch waiting for the food to warm up.

He pulled me across and I straddled him, he was stroking my back and kissing my neck. Fuck Dan later, I said to myself.

He whispered in my ear, "I love you my Princess True Love."

I froze, "How did you know?"

"The monitor lit up when you pushed the button Codes, don't be mad. I want Timmy to know how much I love you so I thought I would tell him our story, a bit every night."

I kissed him and stroked his face and said, "I'm sorry."

"Why Codes?"

"Things have been a bit weird with me lately, sometimes I lose sight of us and what us means to me."

"It's okay Codes, just talk to me that's all I want, it's not because I don't trust your love for me it's I just love the sound of your voice, I could listen to you forever."

"Then Dan, maybe I should tell you a story about Prince Cody and Princess Daniella the footy player," I chuckled.

We ate dinner then made love.

Bobby had finished his paintings and Gordy couldn't help himself, he landed on their doorstep one morning and insisted on seeing them, they would be mounted next week.

"Come with us Codes," Bobby said.

He had them all hanging in the studio and I looked cautiously at them while Gordy ummed his way over them.

He had done a great job, the colours jumped out at me, some beach scenes, some inside ones and a six part series of two men running around a football oval. The Professor and Naughty Schoolboy, Kilt man and Pooh Bear boy, Surfie Dude and the Biker, Kilt man and Nurse, then one of just us together, in the last one we had a little boy laying between us.

Smiles on everyones faces, no dark clouds and nothing to suggest pain and suffering. "Put a sold sticker on these six Gordy," I whispered to him.

"My french buyer will be pissed off Codes, he's willing to pay top dollar," Gordy warned.

I said, "Well he's missed out this time, I want them."

Bobby piped up and said,

"Sell them to your buyer Gordy, they compliment the first six paintings your buyer bought, they shouldn't be separated, that was my only fear, well that and what if they didn't sell," he smiled and winked at me.

I was disappointed but knew he was right, so I added,

"Okay, I'll settle for the prints."

The rest were just bloody gorgeous, their house rising in the dunes, two men on the balcony, our house was featured and the beautiful chaise lounge with a red headed gypsy draped across it, nothing that suggested anything but happiness and love.

"Well done Bobby, oh and your prices just doubled," Gordy said.

Bobby went white. "Need a glass of water Bobby?" I asked.

His eyes were bulging.

"I think I'm okay Codes," he giggled.

"Okay, the ones you are looking for are the nurse one and the last one, there are a few more but I will let you look at them first," he said.

I squinted at the nurse and kilt man, there we all were, two sarong boys, an elegant lady, mum and dad christmas and the elves as plain as day. The last one with us in it had a very strange ghost picture in it, it was a beautiful wedding cake, it featured Dan in his superman outfit, me in my surfer gear and three little boys. "Fuck Bobby, what's that all about?"

"Well Cody, wouldn't you like to have twin boys, do you want to know their names?"

"No, I mean yes, oh shit don't show Dan, he's confused enough," I laughed.

He produced a magnifying glass. "You only have to look Codes."

I couldn't help myself, "Hi Dads Codes, Hi Dads Dan, I'm Georgie and he's Harry, we loves you."

"Fuck, fuck, fuck Bobby."

They looked like two curly headed boys I fell in love with a while back when Dan's brothers came to stay. I smiled at the thought and my heart warmed.

Gordy was sitting in my chair to use his mobile, Bobby stopped him and said,

"There's more."

He unveiled a beautiful painting of a fashion show, complete with audience, the catwalk was empty but it suggested by the looks on the audiences faces that there was a show going on.

"You might like to tell your french buyer, this one's on the house," Bobby said.

Gordy looked at it then Bobby, he flushed. "Squint."

He did and took a deep breath, "How did you know?"

"Lucky guess I should think Gordy, I'm apparently brilliant like that," he giggled.

Fuck this, I looked and squinted and on the catwalk were two men carrying two toddlers, a boy and a girl, their smiles were beaming.

It was as plain as day to see their faces, it was Vincenzo and Marcel from Armani.

We now know who the mystery buyers were.

"I will wait till I calm down to ring Marcel, I don't want you to get a big head Bobby,"

he laughed.

We said our goodbyes and Gordy said the packers would arrive tomorrow to help transport the paintings.

"Coffee Codes?" Bobby asked.

"Sure, thanks Bobby."

I walked out to the porch to clean some space on the table, there were toys everywhere. Something nagged at me and I looked around, nothing, then I went to get the coffee cups and Rory was there.

I stopped dead in my tracks and looked at the family painting, there were six identical paintings to the ones that just sold, hung on each side.

"Why do one when you can do two Codes," Rory said.

"Did you really think I would make you pay for them?"

"What about Marcel?"

"He won't mind, yours are different colours and I've adjusted them somewhat."

I hugged him and Rory, what could I say but thank them.

"Umm Codes, there's more," Rory said.

"Let's do coffee first, I got to sit down," I replied.

I poured them a coffee and Rory shoved a folder into my path. "I don't think you will want to throw these away Codes."

I opened it and looked through it. It was the designs I had thrown in the trash, Rory had tweaked them. They had come alive and were breathing.

"You use them Rory."

"Sorry Codes, already on the way with your labels on them," he giggled.

"I love you both more than I can say boys, just thank you," I was exhausted, my head was spinning and aching.

Two little kids ran in with Trent in tow, they hugged us all and Timmy climbed on my lap, Rory took Donny.

"There was an incident at kindy today Codes, but it's all fixed now."

"What kind of incident Trent?"

"One of the other mothers complained to the head, she didn't think it was right

that her little boy should be exposed to kids with two fathers," he giggled.

"Oh? And?"

"She told her there were three little boys and two girls that had same sex parents and if her son was offended she had better place him elsewhere."

The woman said, "My sons not offended, I am," Trent tried to imitate a woman's voice.

So the Head said, "Then why are you teaching him your bigotry, those days are long gone in our school system, be careful because your son may be bullied because of it when he hits the school yard. It's a shame he's got you as a mentor, he's a beautiful little boy, don't ruin him, but if you feel the same way tomorrow it will be with a sad heart but I will have to ask you to remove him from his friends."

We laughed so much at Trent's antics, it was so funny.

Little did she know that the Head teacher at kindy and her girlfriend were mothers to one of the little girls. I cracked up but felt sorry for the little fella, she still might drop him off in the morning but I doubt it.

Timmy had fallen asleep and Donny wasn't far from it also so we put them both in Tim's room to nap. Trent and I looked at the new paintings again then I saw six extra hangers and Rory said, "Go get the others Squirt they should hang here also, I would have painted a set for you Codes but I kinda ran out of steam doing the originals." They helped me to get them sorted, I wasn't going to put them on display but when Bobby said we are all survivors, that's nothing to be ashamed of, let's just put it out there then move on. I thought about it and he was right so now my wall was full of his beautiful art.

I had to meet Dan at the club so I showered and dressed, you know the drill, hipsters, tank top, belt, all my favourite clothes and smells and I added a colourful array of my bangles, maybe a little girly so I swapped them for a chunky wrist band.

The kids were babysitting,Timmy had woken up and they would feed him junk food I suspect, but it was only one night.

I arrived and found there was no Dan so I asked John where he was, he said,

"Where he always is Squirt."

I looked out the window and there was Dan doing laps, when he got to the players box he sat down, it was hard to see with the lights out. I walked out the back, down the stairs and across the field. "What now?" I was thinking.

When I got there Dan was playing his guitar and was singing our song, I sat and listened and there was a bottle of champagne in a bucket and two glasses.

He finished the song then leaned in and kissed me.

"Happy mothers day Codes."

I smiled at him, it wasn't mothers day for months.

He handed me a piece of paper.

It was Timmys name change, okayed and done deal.

"It came today, so happy mothers day."

"Happy fathers day Dan, I love you."

We kissed and hugged, the excitement was electric. We went the grope but unfortunately it would have to wait till later, there were too many eyes here.

So we just kissed and hugged.

"How do you feel Codes?"

"Fantastic Dan, best ever present apart from you."

I leaned in and kissed him.

"One down and two to go."

He went quiet.


"The twins Georgie and Harry, curly blonde hair but I don't know when they are coming into our lives."


"All will be revealed when we get home."

"God Codes, that would be so cool."

"A little Luke and Mike? Shit! Can we cope?"

"Oh for fucking sure Dan, we will get it sorted, somehow."

We giggled.

We finished our drinks and walked back to the club.

"Lets go home Dan."

"Okay mum."

I hit him but it wasn't hard.

We arrived home and all was quiet. We looked in on Timmy and then I showed Dan the paintings with the magnifying glass.

"Do you think it's true Codes?"

"Maybe Dan, stranger things have happened around here."

Dan shivered like someone had walked over his grave.

Bobby's exhibition was a roaring success and he was swamped with requests to do private works, people would pay him very well but he declined all of them.

"I want to paint my own stuff Gordy, my heart is where my family is, if I branched out I don't think my paintings would be any good because I would be painting strangers.

"You can paint me," a lady said behind us.

I turned to see who it was that spoke.

It was with much delight and surprise on my part, Mrs Addams was standing there in all her elegance, I greeted her and introduced her to Bobby and Gordy.

"Gordy, nice to see you again, it's been awhile since we caught up, hows Richard?"

"He's great Margaret, he will be here shortly just had to pop out for a minute."

She gave Bobby the once over and said,

"Well young man, you certainly have arrived in the industry with a very loud bang, do you think you can do a portrait of Margaret Addams?"

Poor Bobby looked frightened as she was an imposing woman. Far from the sad widow she was when I designed her dress for her anniversary night.

"Good to see you also Cody, I hear you don't do private designing anymore."

"I had to slow down Mrs Addams, it was getting too personal," I said.

"Well, that's a shame but I understand completely, she replied.

I then explained who Mrs Addams was to Bobby, he was amazed she even wanted to talk to him. Her late husband Duncan was a very well respected artist having won two Archibald prizes.

"Now what are we going to do with you Mr Thompson? You don't need training, you won't go to Paris, you can't leave home, that really sounds like someone I have known for a lifetime," she giggled.

"Duncan rejected it all also, I think it's a mark of a very devoted artist," she said.

"Over the next few months I want you to paint a portrait, I know it won't be me but you have such a talent I want the portrait to be entered in the Archibald prize. I am on the board of directors and I think you have an excellent chance of coming close to winning it."

Bobby went white, he said,

"I'm not good enough for that, please don't invite me Mrs Addams."

"I just did. Get over your fears, from what I have seen here tonight every time you put paint to canvas you're painting from a very large heart, please Bobby share that with the world. You can make a difference to a lot of peoples lives, don't shut it down blossom."

Gordy then said, "Margaret but there's more," as he smiled at Rory.

He took her over and made her stand on a bit of tape he had on the floor, she was squinting and then he handed her a magnifying glass, she looked at Bobby and shook her head.

When she came back all she said was,

"You have three months."

Then she said goodnight and left.

Gordy said, "I will be over in a few days to organise the new prints and any questions about the competition, I will be pleased to answer them for you."

He added, "Anyone can enter the prize Bobby but to be invited is a rare thing indeed."

When we left Bobby and Rory were huddled together in the back seat, they were talking in whispers and Rory started to cry that something had upset him. Bobby held him close all the way, whisper kissing him and nuzzling his neck.

"What was that all about Bobby is Rory upset?" I asked as Rory and Dan got out the champagne.

"He's not upset Codes, he's happy because I told him I had already done a portrait of him but I hadn't shown him as yet."

"He was crying because you hadn't shown him?"

"No, he was crying because I asked him to be my beautiful muse forever," he giggled.

Luke and Jamie had stayed home to look after Donny and Timmy, there were no problems .

We had our drinks then decided to call it a night, we all went to check on Timmy. He and Donny were fast asleep.

"I think we have lost him to your son Dan," Tom said.

"Well that's not such a bad thing Tom, it's good that they are bonding, I can see they are going to be great friends, you can have him back tomorrow," he giggled.

"Now for that naughty little boy I sleep with."

I looked at my muse and said," Lets go professor Lawrence, I've been a naughty boy."

I wore Dan out again and he spanked me softly but I got the best of him this time. I turned on him and gave his hard ass a very pink look, his cock was wedged between my legs and I felt the first load dribble down to my ankle.

The next was in me. I showered while Dan dozed, I did my teeth and underarm then slipped into bed and Dan pulled me into him and sighed,

"You smell nice Codes."

"Thank you Dan."

"Do you want me to shower?"

I sniffed his arm pit and said,

"No Dan, you smell soo good."

"What do you think Timmy will do when he grows?"

"A farmer Dan or a pirate."

"Not a footballer?"

"Don't think so Dan."

"Why not Codes?"

"He's tiny Dan, he couldn't pick the ball up."

I snickered.

He giggled.

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