by Jeremy Myers

Chapter 15

We went into the shower and washed each other, punctuated with much kissing and holding and hugging. I was still drying Logan when the phone rang. I dashed out to the bedroom and picked it up.


"Hey Jeremy, you guys up?"

"Yeah, we're showered and just getting dressed now."

"Oh, okay, good. I just have to shower and we can go then, come down in 10 minutes, yeah?"

"Sure Dad, no probs."

Logan had finished drying himself and was looking through our pile of cloths for something to wear. He put on the shorts and tee I had worn at dinner. Okay, that was different, I liked the idea though; I found his kit from last night and put that on. As was always the case when we were together, underpants were an unnecessary hindrance.

By the time we had cleaned our teeth, repacked my bag and made out again the ten minutes had come and gone so we checked the room hurriedly, laughing at the stains on the sheets, and walked out locking the door behind us. We headed down to room 112 and knocked on the door. Dad answered quickly and asked us to come in and take a seat. We both walked in and sat on the edge of his bed. The room smelt of Old Spice, my Dad's favourite aftershave. Like he had the night before in our room, Dad grabbed the desk chair and sat in front of us.

"OK, right. Umm, before we get on the road I need to tell you boys a few things. Firstly, after we got back last night I rang home and talked a few things over with your Mum, Jeremy. She was very proud you made that offer to Logan and agreed, we will do what we can to help. As it happened Logan, your Mum was also there, talking to my Pam, and that's what I need to talk to you about. I had a very long chat to her about this predicament we have found ourselves in and she was very candid with me.

"She is very, very happy that you are okay and that you are heading back to Perth with friends, safe and sound. She asked me a few times about your relationship with Jeremy and each time I told her that she needed to talk to you about that, that whatever the answers, she needed to talk to you about them, not me. You will need to tell her Logan, as soon as you can."

Logan had taken my hand, he was sitting to the right of me and now leaned slightly into me, as if needing my support. I watched him carefully.

"Now, Logan, I am going to tell you a couple of things which you need to know. They are perhaps not what you want to hear and you may think me awful to say them but you need to know. You have serious decisions to make, son, and I think the next seven or eight hours in the car will be well used in thinking about it all and making some decisions. These are your decisions, not Jeremy's or mine, we will help if we can but only you can decide."

"Okay Jack, go on." Logan sounded a touch vulnerable and I squeezed his hand, trying to reassure him.

"Your Mum was quite clear with this Logan, she loves you very much, nothing you do or say will ever change that. But she wants you to know, that she has two more children to take care of and she needs to think of them too. She will support you no matter what though, even if she is not there for you. I got the feeling, Logan, that she had already come to the conclusion that you will not be going back to Melbourne with her. And then there's your Dad. Logan, he will take you back and put this episode behind you all, as if it never happened. But there are provisos I'm afraid."

Logan squeezed my hand and leaned into me even more. I placed my left hand over our hands and continued to watch him.

"If you go back to Melbourne, Logan, then you must never do this sort of thing again, nor must you ever contact or see my Jeremy ever again, at least, not so long as you remain under your Dad's roof. If you remain in Perth then, and I'm really very sorry to say this Logan, then he will have only one son, you will cease to be a part of his life."

Logan's head went down and I thought that he would surely break down. Instead he took a deep breath and straightened up, looking my father in the eye.

"To be honest, Jack, this is about what I expected. I never left Melbourne thinking everything would just be all well and good. I hoped it wouldn't come down to it, but if that is how he wants it then so be it.

"He has not given me a choice, there is no decision to make, I'm staying in Perth, I'm staying with the love of my life."

He looked at me and smiled, I smiled back; if Dad had not been there I would have hugged him.

Looking back to my father he said "Dad has always pushed me, forced me to be a better student, and for that I am grateful. But he also tried to make me someone I'm not. He tried to control all facets of my life. Now it's time for me to control my life sir, to be Logan Phillips, on my terms, my way. And I want, I need, Jeremy by my side for that."

"Very well Logan. If that's your decision, then so be it. You know you can count on my family to assist. One final thing, have you thought more about Jeremy's offer?"

I held my breath, I found myself nervous, I should have asked Logan earlier really. I looked at Logan, hoping.

"I have, it is a very generous offer from the man I love and I would have expected nothing less from him." He was looking at me as he said this, sincerity all over his beautiful face. "I accept the offer Jeremy, and I will put in as many hours working as I possibly can; but my pay will not be saved, it will go into our general funds and we share whatever costs we can, we will save, maybe for our own place, but it will be a joint effort, mate. Okay?"

"That sounds perfect Logan, absolutely perfect." We couldn't help it, we hugged tightly. Dad stayed, watching us intently.

"Alright boys, well done. And now, I think we should be heading back. Logan, your mum will be coming up to our place around 3.00. We should be back by 2.30 or thereabouts, okay?"

"Thanks Jack, thank you for everything."

"Not a problem."

We all walked out of the room, leaving the keys on the desk, and Dad locked and closed the door. I put the bags in the boot as Logan jumped into the back of the Ford, and I sat in the front with Dad driving. Logan sat on the right side so I could turn around and we could talk easily. (Australia drives on the left, so the driver is on the right).

The first leg of our journey home would be short, we would be stopping in the next town west, Coolgardie, for breakfast. It didn't take long, about 30 minutes, and we found a little café open. And what a breakfast it was. We all had the Miners Special, eggs your way, hash browns, mushrooms, tomatoes, toast, a big fat sausage and beans. All washed down with wonderful coffee.

40 minutes later we were on the road again, all barely able to move with totally full stomachs. I let go a massive burb and Logan followed. Dad tried, but failed, he couldn't keep up with the professionals.

Logan and I passed the time talking about university and what he wanted to study as an undergraduate. He hoped his Tertiary Entrance Exam results and his entrance rank would get him into his first choice of Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance or perhaps Marketing. If he didn't get into Commerce, then hopefully he could do one year in Arts and transfer in 1977.

These were exciting times for us. Dean Charles' kind offer to train and guide me into the ins and outs of Castledean's business, Logan heading off to uni. Together with our committed relationship we were on top of the world. Of course, Logan was yet to be accepted, we would know in the next week or so, and we still had the whole rent versus something else stuff to deal with but we both felt confident we could work them out.

By 2.00 we were in the eastern suburbs of Perth and we pulled into home right on 2.25. Barry came bounding out, followed by Mum and there were hugs and cuddles all round.

Logan hung in the background until Mum said "And Logan, welcome back to Perth and perhaps to our family, we are very happy to have you." She approached Logan and hugged him, I'm not sure if he knew what to do but he didn't forget his manners. "Thanks Mrs, um, Pam, I couldn't think of a better family to be a part of."

"Excellent. Have you boys had lunch? No? Then come on in, I've made some pasties and sausage rolls for you all." We grabbed our bags from the car and went inside, it was substantially cooler in Perth than where we had come from, the sea breeze freshening things up nicely.

We were just finishing up when Mrs Phillips knocked on the back door. Dad went out and let her in and she came through to the kitchen. Logan got up from the table and hugged his Mum, kissing her on the forehead. They went through to the lounge to talk privately and I closed the doors behind them.

We cleaned up the lunch things and I took Barry outside and played fetch with him for a while. Whatever was happening in the lounge was between Logan and his Mum, his family, and there was nothing more I could do or say. Mum and Dad too had been in deep conversation when I took Barry out and it didn't take a rocket scientist to know they would be discussing Logan and me. Barry was puffed out so I left him in the shade of the big tree, reminiscing on all the times Logan and I had fooled around under it.

I went inside and went up to my room to unpack my bag, the dirty stuff, including Logan's, I took out to the laundry and, since there were a few other things ready, I put a load on. Mum and Dad were sitting at the kitchen table talking quietly and I joined them. 4 o'clock had come and gone and still no sign of Logan or his Mum, there was much to talk about for sure. Finally, about 4.30 the doors opened and they both came through to the kitchen. Both looked as if they had been crying.

"Hi Mrs Phillips." I said, not having had a chance to greet her on arrival.

"Hello Jeremy, you well?"

"Yes, thank you." I didn't really know what else to say at that point.

"Would you like a tea or coffee Beth?" asked Mum.

"Yes thanks Pam, a coffee would be good, thank you."

Her and Logan sat down at the table, Logan next to me. He groped under the table for my hand which had been on my knee, found it and held it tight. I squeezed back.

"Who else wants a cup?"

We all said yes, so Mum busied herself making the coffee and slicing up some of her very moist fruit cake.

"Now then, Jeremy."

I looked at Mrs Phillips and Logan squeezed my hand. This was going to be interesting.

"Logan and I have had a long chat, a very honest and revealing talk about why he ran away, about how he feels and, most importantly, about his relationship with you. My son tells me that you boys have been together for some time now and that it is quite serious; that you have both made commitments to one another and that you love one another."

No question about that.

"He also tells me that you want to live together and that it is your intention to support my son while he goes to university. And on top of that, you have found him a part time job."

"Yes, that's all true Mrs Phillips, all of it."

"Well, all I can say to you, Jeremy, is thank you. It is a very fine thing you intend to do; you are quite obviously a very caring, considerate and generous person and my Logan would be hard pressed to find someone better. To be honest with you, I have always thought of you as good person, my son was a much happier boy when you two became friends. And I did suspect that perhaps you boys were a lot closer than you both were letting on; you did spend a lot of time together after all.

"I am very happy that it's out in the open now. I am very proud of you both, never doubt that.

"Logan's Dad, well, he just can't understand the complexities of the situation. Logan is the eldest son and, rightly or wrongly, he expected Logan to be nothing but perfect and to lead his siblings by example. He loves Logan and really just wants the best for him but, unfortunately, is not prepared to compromise, not prepared to veer from what he believes to be the right path. I sincerely hope that, once he sees how well you boys are doing, and I have no doubt you will both do well in whatever you choose to do, then he will accept both Logan and you for who you are and welcome you both into his life. If he doesn't then, I think, sadly, it will be his loss.

"In the meantime, I am not going to force Logan back home, Jeremy. Quite simply it is not the right thing to do for him. He deserves happiness and I think, with you, he has found it. So don't worry, you're not the one who is going to lose Logan. He is going to have a new family now; my beautiful son gets to have two families, Jeremy. And I don't think he could have wished for a better second family than yours, I know you will take good care of him."

"Thank you Mrs Phillips, we will most certainly look after Logan. He means the world to me." I hesitated and looked at Logan; he just nodded and squeezed my hand tighter.

"So with that in mind, and with you all together like this, we want you to know, that, yes, Logan and I did indeed make a commitment to each other, two years ago, to never be with anyone else, we have and will continue to stand by that commitment. We love each other and I give myself to him completely and utterly as I know he does for me.

"I know the sacrifice you are making Mrs Phillips, I really do, and I thank you for giving me the privilege of being with your son."

Things were quiet for a moment as everyone took a deep breath and absorbed the conversation that had taken place over the last few minutes. Dad finally broke the silence.

"Personally boys, and I think your Mums will agree, all I have ever seen between you both, right from when we first met you Logan, is a very happy, honest and genuinely trusting friendship. Now, well I seriously believe that we are looking at a very solid, committed and caring relationship. I wish you both nothing but the very best."

Dad took a deep breath before going on.

"Now about living together. We may have an option that will save you some cash I think. Pam and I are heading to Europe in April, for three months, so obviously the house will be all yours at that time. You need to be here for your dog anyway Jeremy." Ah yes, the other boy in my life. "We were also thinking of buying a caravan and joining the grey nomads up north every year during winter. We thought maybe, if we buy the van sooner rather than later, that you two might at least consider sleeping in the van but living in the house, if you know what I mean. You would have to pay board and do chores but it would save you a small fortune.

"And, whatever you guys save for a deposit on your own place, say over 2 or 3 years then we will match it. What do you say?"

Sleeping in a caravan, away from everyone in the house, a double bed, our own private quarters, it seemed a pretty good compromise. And Dad was right, we could save for a deposit and, if they matched us, well that opened up a whole series of new possibilities.

I looked at Logan and he just smiled that wonderful smile, and nodded. "Sure Dad that would be excellent. Thank you."

"Yes thankyou Jack, that's a very generous offer sir."

"Boys, I want to help too, financially I mean. When I can I will get money to you, I will"

"Thank you Mrs Phillips, all donations gratefully accepted!"

We all had a chuckle at that and sat back, all a little more relaxed, a little more comfortable in each other's company.

Mrs Phillips, Beth, headed back to Melbourne the next day, New Year's Eve, promising to pack up all Logan's possessions and send them back as soon as possible. She had brought a couple of changes of clothes over for him, just in case he returned to Melbourne, but hardly enough to keep him well clothed. So, in the meantime, Logan would continue to mostly be wearing my gear which, to be honest, I kind of found to be something of a turn on.

Despite our protestations, Mum and Dad insisted Logan and I share my bed and, if we needed to, the bathroom. They would get used to it. This we did, needless to say our sex was muffled somewhat and to save on the mess, and the awkwardness it would create, we reverted back to condoms when we needed to. It wasn't going to be for long. Dad already knew what he wanted, so the search for a caravan would be short.

New Year's Eve was a great affair, all my family joined us at the family home and I finally got to introduce my Logan, not as a mate, but as my partner, my wonderful, loving partner. My family accepted the relationship for what it was and enjoyed our company just the same.

On New Year's night, Logan and I were sitting outside on the patio, just shooting the breeze pretty much and enjoying some quiet time together. Mum and Dad were inside getting ready to go down to Aunt Dots, I had managed to talk my way out of going, I really just wanted to be with Logan. Once they were out of the way we would certainly enjoy each other's company. There was, however, something I needed to talk over with my man, with my partner.


"Yes J?"

"I just want to say I'm sorry babe, I'm sorry I never said I loved you before Monday night. It took me a while to understand my feelings for you, you know? It wasn't that I didn't care about you, fuck, I adored you. I just needed to understand what exactly it was that I was feeling."

"Jeremy, you can't carry that one alone. I never said it either, despite adoring you too. Like you, I needed to understand exactly what it was I was feeling, J.

"I've always known that you and I had a very special bond, a very special relationship. I mean, once we got past my jealousy, my stupidity, and we became friends, we've always been there for one another, always respected, trusted and cared for each other.

'Fuck, we both knew that we adored one another J, that we shared something special, and for a long time that was enough, that was all that mattered."

"You've never been stupid Logan, never. Don't ever say that about yourself.

"You mean the world to me; you have for as long as we've been friends, well before we started being physical.

"It's just, well, what I'm trying to say, I tried for months and months to analyse my feelings, and if I'm totally honest, with myself, with you, then I knew, back in August, that I loved you. And once I knew, well once I knew, I realised that I always have loved you, you know? Right from the start, the seed was there.

"I'm so sorry babe; I should have been strong enough to tell you long before I did."

"It's okay, J, there's nothing to be sorry for. If I'm honest, I knew, I knew that I loved you, most likely for as long as we've been together. But, just the same as you, I definitely knew for those last few months we were together J, I loved you and I never said.

"The thing is, Jeremy, those three words, 'I love you'; they cannot be given or accepted lightly. Monday night was the right time, babe, because we both knew that no-one and nothing would keep us from each other ever again."

I took his hand.

"Logan, I love you."

"And I love you, Jeremy."

We decided we should go for the camping trip we had planned for December so the day after New Year, I rang Chris and asked him if he would be at the beach the next day, I needed to talk to him about a couple of things and would he mind if I borrowed a couple of his surf boards. He said he would bring them down tomorrow, and then asked if it was true about Logan.

"Is what true, mate?"

"C'mon dude, my Mum and Logan's Mum, they've been talking Jezza. You and your old man made a dash to Kal and picked Logan up?"

"Oh, right, yeah that's true Chris, yeah."

"So, you gonna fill me in on the details or what Jeremy?"

Shit. I didn't really want to do this over the phone. Logan and I both wanted to be there and explain ourselves in person. It was the least we could do for keeping secrets, for hiding our relationship from Chris, and so many others, over the last two years.

"Ah mate, not right now. We'll see you tomorrow and I promise, we'll tell you everything. I mean, you'll have all your answers and more tomorrow Chris, okay?"

"You mean there's more?"

"Tomorrow dude, please?"

"Yeah alright, around ten then?"

"Yep, see you then, mate. And thanks Chris."

"Sure, Jezza."

I hung the phone up. So okay then, the word was out. Well, Chris would know the full story, the complete and unabridged story, tomorrow. I hoped he would accept it all, that he would accept Logan's and my relationship, and, if anyone else from the sanctum was there, then they too would hear the truth.

I remembered back to Dan's party and how I thought people may kind of know about Logan and me. I wondered if what we were intending to reveal tomorrow was already known, that our friends hadn't somehow guessed. Well, if they had, and they were still talking to us, then that was a good thing, right?

That afternoon Logan, with me in tow, went off to see his grandmother in her nursing home. He had promised his Mum he would do it as soon as possible and since we would be heading down south in a couple of days he decided now would be a good time. Mrs Phillips had made a quick visit before she headed back to Melbourne but now, with Logan permanently in Perth, it was up to him to visit her and keep her company. Some of Mr Phillips' family had been visiting since the poor thing was put in the home only a week or two before the family departed east but now Logan was numero uno.

Of course, she was only old, not ignorant or stupid, so she would want to know why Logan was in town; he decided to tell her the whole story. I had met both her and her husband a few times in the early days of our physical relationship so at least she would know who Logan was talking about. Despite my dislike for nursing homes and hospitals, I readily agreed to go with my partner and provide support.

We arrived at the nursing home about 2.00 and gave ourselves an hour. We hoped.

Mrs Merritt had a private room with en-suite and it all looked comfortable enough; there was, however, no getting away from that unique hospital type smell and atmosphere. I hated it.

Logan reintroduced me, she remembered me, and made small talk for a while before she started asking the difficult questions. Logan, though, he handled it well until she piped up with a right pearler that blew both our socks off.

"Oh, Logan dear, I knew you were homosexual before you did sweetheart. I've always been able to pick your sort of men. I knew you were too, Jeremy, right when I first met you, so when you boys started heading out at nights, well, I knew you would be okay, but I also knew why!"

She raised her eyebrows and smiled luridly.

Logan and I both blushed, then, as she started to laugh, so did we. God knows what we were laughing at but it did put us at ease. When things settled, she went on.

"So where are you going to live Logan? Are you staying with Jeremy?"

"Yeah, we're in Jeremy's room at the moment but his Dad is going to buy a caravan soon and we'll sleep in there, you know, for some privacy."

"In a caravan? Oh, well I'm sure your folks are doing well by you boys, Jeremy, but can I make suggestion?"

"Of course Mrs Merritt."

"My house is empty, save for all my belongings. Sadly, I'll never be going back there, at least to live, so, well, I want you boys to enjoy it, you know move in. No rent, no insurances, no Council rates, just the utilities, and all you have to do is keep it looking nice. Well?"

"Ahh, Nan, that's really generous; Jeremy and I, we'll need to talk about this and, well, how will Mum feel about that?"

"You leave your mother to me. She needs to come back and clean the place out anyway, you boys can help her and make it your home, do as you wish. When I go, Logan, you get a third share of it anyway dear, along with your brother and sister. And God knows, they don't need it right now, but you boys do."

Logan looked at me and I was just grinning from ear to ear, he flashed me his wonderful smile and looked back at Nan before he cuddled her and kissed her on the forehead.

"That's bloody brilliant Nan, we both thank you so much."

"Yes, thank you Mrs Merritt, it is a wonderful offer, thank you."

We finished up staying until 5.00, talking and discussing our new plans. It was all but settled then, Logan's Nan would discuss it with Mrs Phillips as soon as possible and then, once she could get back from Melbourne to start cleaning the place out, with our help, we could move in.

It was a beaut house, four bedrooms, large modern kitchen, two bathrooms including en suite, lounge, dining room, games room and a swimming pool. Since Logan had spent so much time there painting, the place was in good condition and had newly installed carpets and boards. Far out, it was all falling into place for us, at last.

Or at least until on the way home, when reality began to set in.

"Loges, when I did my budget, when I did all the figures, I only counted on a small one-bedroom unit, you know, not running an entire house."

"Okay J, don't worry yet, we'll go over the figures, check what it costs your parents to run your place and work it all out. Then, we'll see where we stand. Heck, there's four bedrooms mate, maybe we can get a boarder or something."

"Ahhh, yeah, no, rather not."

"No, me either, poor suggestion."

We told Mum and Dad when we got home and they were quite happy for us, no disappointment at all, and since we were so close we would not be strangers either, even Barry could come stay with us on weekends or when the folks were away, maybe even full time. However, there was the small issue of balancing the books.

After dinner Dad, Logan and I went over all the figures. Logan, being the math whiz, and me being slightly thick in that department, found a few errors in my original calculations, despite all my double and triple checking. I had really overestimated a few items in the expenditure column but, in the end, my figures came out nearly perfect…. for a four-bedroom house on a quarter acre, just not for a tiny unit.

Admittedly, it was tight, we would need to be careful with our finances, but it was still better than if we had gone off renting some pokey unit somewhere. Far out! Bloody excellent! And we could still save all of Logan's pay from Saturdays to put towards a deposit on our own house. If he did some hours through the week, then even better. Bloody excellent times two!

Having our own house would be brilliant. We could have a party or two, have friends over for a swim or dinner or both, dance until we dropped, enjoy each other whenever the mood took us and just be together. Fuck, life was grand. I could not believe that a little over a week ago I was falling into the darkness of despair at a fair rate of knots and had no idea how to stop myself.

Logan and I got to the beach about tenish; we had, of course, every intention of breaking our news to Chris while we were there but as we walked down from the carpark we realised everyone was there, the whole crew, the inner sanctum, plus a few of our other classmates. So, word had got out for sure.

We said hi to everyone, paying particular attention to Chris, Dan and Max, hugging them, wishing them a happy new year and everything, and then the questions started.

All and sundry wanted to hear about Logan's road trip and all so I left him to fill everyone in on his little adventure. While he told his story to assorted groups and individuals I made my way around the group, wishing them a happy new year, chatting and, where necessary, apologising to those I had fobbed off and hurt over December. Everyone understood, no lasting damage.

When I had finished I wandered over to where Chris, Daniel and Max were standing, Logan was just wrapping up with a final group and joined us, standing a couple of metres away to my right with Max between us. Everyone else was just standing around chatting, swimming or messing about.

"Well boys, it's certainly been an exciting few days for you." said Chris.

"Sure has dude. Umm, but why is everyone here Chris, I mean, it's not that great a deal is it?"

"Ah shit Jezza, you still don't get it do you man?"

"Sorry, what?"

Daniel spoke up. "Jeremy, everyone, I mean everyone, wanted to be sure you guys were okay, it was kind of a big thing for us, you making a dash to get Logan, him running away to be back here with you.

"People love you man; they care about you. When are you going to believe that? They wanted to hear the story but they wanted to be here for you. For you both."

"Ah sorry, still not getting it." I wasn't, it all seemed a bit of an overreaction. Sure it was dramatic for Logan and me and our families, but our friends?

Dan turned to Logan. "Logan, back me up with this; Jezza, if not for you, man, there would be no crew, no inner sanctum, nothing. You brought us all together, you're the glue, Jeremy."


"He's right J."

"Far out. You too, Loges?"

"Man, really? I watched it happen, J; you made friends with Dan, then Max, then Chris, Karen, Jenny, and on it went. And everyone made friends with each other. I watched it happen, J. We were all a part of it. It was, it was all you and that fucking magic personality of yours."

"Really? I just made friends is all."

"And brought us all together Jezza," said Chris, smiling. "and well, everyone wanted to be here for you both. I guess we all like a little bit of drama in our lives and, well, you boys provided!"

During this exchange I had tried to get closer to Logan, I was not really comfortable with what was happening, being told these things, my modesty, I guess, refused to accept it.

At last I was close enough and I took his hand.

It was intended, it was time. Here, amongst our friends.

"Well fuck me blind, finally." This from quiet Maxy.

"Thank fuck, we've waited for this for, I don't know, like forever." Chris.

"Well done dudes." Daniel.

"Hey guys!" Chris called out to everyone. "look who have finally come out of the shower stall!"

Say what?!!! Logan and I looked at each other, 'what the fuck' I mouthed to him.

No time for a reply, no time for anything. Chaos reigned. The whole crew crowded in on us, there was some spontaneous applause I think. Everyone was saying things like congratulations, not before time, it's great, you broke my heart Logan but I'm glad its Jeremy, you lucky bugger Jezza! I could go on, it was overwhelming, incredible, indescribable.

All our friends were there, endorsing us, endorsing our relationship.

And, my suspicions were confirmed. But how the hell did they know?

It took ages, but finally things settled down and it was just Dan, Max, Chris, Logan and myself again. A few of the crew hovered around, it didn't worry us, they were mates, all of them.

"Well that was unexpected, and puzzling, and a little too not surprising for everyone?"

"Ahh, Logan my man," said Chris," you guys thought you were being pretty clever but we knew, we knew almost from the beginning I think."

Logan and I looked at each other and honestly, what could we say? We held hands again and Chris went on.

"You can blame Max, can't they Maxy?" He looked at Max and he just smiled and nodded. "Max here saw you guys down here at some point, I think after Christmas sometime, at the end of Year 10 it was, and you were further up the beach than normal. He was on his way to say hi but then you both got up and headed to the change rooms. He didn't think anything of it and an hour or so later, you were back with all the crew. Then he saw you the next day sitting on the wall up there."

Oh shit, really? Just our second day together, shit.

"Anyway he was heading up to say hi, again, and bugger me if you both didn't disappear into the rooms, again. After you didn't come out for 30 minutes, Max went in."

Once more, Logan and I looked at each other. We thought we were so clever. Shit, oh dear.

"Max told Dan and they decided to keep it hush until I came back from down south. What was it you said Maxy, when you told me, something like 'Whatever those guys are doing in there they are having a damn sight more fun than the rest of us put together!'; that's what he said boys."

Oh God.

"Oh come on, don't look like that. We decided not to say anything, the crew were the only ones who knew for sure and as the founder of our little group, Jezza, no-one was going to let it out for general consumption. We all love you man, really we do.

"You broke a few hearts though, the pair of you, both girls and a few guys I think. I know of a few guys, aye Dan, who would wait for you to head into the change rooms then sneak in and have a quiet crank listening to you enjoying yourselves."

Oh shit, oh dear, we were god-damn porn stars. And Dan, dear Daniel? Fuck, I needed to get my gaydar repaired. Dan just smiled, as if remembering back to those halcyon days. Gawd.

"Anyway, we were all waiting for you to make it official. We could see what was happening, once we knew, we could see, you guys were developing something special, the body language, the looks, the smiles. It was a wonderful thing.

"My favourite was when you would stand next to each other, both of you would extend your fingers toward one another, as if trying to hold hands."

That was pretty perceptive of Chris to be honest, we did do that too, subconsciously I guess, I caught myself a few times extending out my fingers, stretching toward Logan's.

"And now here you are, finally. We've all been waiting an awful long time for you boys to tell us." It wasn't a chastisement, Chris was just stating a fact.

"What can we say, guys? Jeremy and I, well we're totally blown away by it all. Just can't believe it. Thank you, thank you for accepting us, for accepting our relationship, you're bloody great friends, all of you, great mates, fucking legends I reckon. We're sorry that we never told you all, we just weren't sure, you know? We didn't want to lose any of you."

Max spoke up, "It's cool guys, we've spoken about this, between ourselves, and we do understand. We put ourselves in your place and realised, it wouldn't be easy. It took Dan's insight to realise that, very early in the piece. And we know in some places, it may not be cool to come out. Just, please, never doubt what you boys mean to us, to all of us. Keep the trust, keep the faith dudes."

"Thanks Max, thanks heaps man. You guys mean a hell of a lot to us too. There is, however, just one last little thing we want you to know. Ah, Jeremy and I are moving in together, we're gonna live together and we're, well, fully committed to one another and J is my partner, that is, we're partners now, officially, together."

Logan stumbled a little bit over that last bit, but it didn't matter, everyone around us just smiled, obviously happy for us both.

"Congratulations dudes, that's great, it really is. We knew you guys would make it and here you both are. We're fucking proud of you, really, we are.

"Now, Max, Dan and I, maybe a few others, are heading down the pub soon for some lunch, you boys going to join us? You know, celebrate?"

"Of course, wouldn't miss it guys." One of the local pubs had a huge beer garden which some of the crew frequented. We would all be legal over the next 12 months but most of us were currently still underage. The local didn't care.

We said our goodbyes, which took a fair while, and then we started making our way back to the car. We would get the surf boards from Chris at the pub. As we walked up the beach I saw two familiar figures sitting on the sand not far from the change rooms. I asked Logan to follow me.

I walked up to the two boys.

"Hey there Marcus, you good?"

"Oh, hi Jeremy, yeah all sweet mate, and you?"

"Yes mate, good, you remember my friend Logan here?"

"Yeah, hey Logan." They shook hands. "And this is my mate, David"

"Hi David." Logan and I both shook hands with him then I looked at Marcus.

"Guys, Logan and I, well, we made very, very good use of that shower stall." David blushed and Marcus went to protest but I held up my hand. "It's fine dudes, okay, like I say, Logan and I made really good use of it. I just want you both to know, there are others out there like you, you are not alone. If I can do anything to help, anything to support, guide and assist, I'll be around, look me up, okay?"

The boys looked at each other and both nodded.

"Yeah, cool. See you both around then."

With that I took Logan's hand and we strolled up towards the carpark.

"What was that all about J?"

"I've been thinking Logan. You and I, we've been really very lucky with the people we have had around us. You know, Rodney, Miles, Dean and his partner, Mum and Dad, your Mum, Nan, and all our friends, all our bloody wonderful friends.

"I feel blessed mate, I really do. If I can help just one couple get through the maze, then it helps repay all those great people who have helped us."

Logan stopped and turned to face me, taking my hands into each of his. He looked at me, our eyes meeting.

"No wonder I love you so much, Jeremy."

"I'm nothing without you Logan, never forget that. And I love you too, babe."

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