Living with Johnny

by Nigel Gordon

Chapter 10

It was getting on for ten by the time I got back downstairs. Anne was in the lounge talking to Susan, Debora and Flora were playing cards. Through the open double doors to the Billiard Room, I could see Stan, Bernard and Bob playing snooker with Joseph, Colin and Tyler. It never struck me that Johnny was missing.

As I entered, Susan called me over.

"Is everything alright?" she asked.

"I think so, Trevor's feeling a bit whacked and has gone to bed. Hopefully, he will have a good sleep and feel a lot better in the morning." At least I hoped he would feel better.

Just then Phil, Ben and Allen came in. They went straight to the sideboard and poured themselves a drink, I decided to join them. I felt I needed it.

Shortly after Flora announced, it was time for Stan to get to bed. Stan protested that the night was young.

"The night," she answered, "may be young 'ou old fool, but 'ou're not."

Knowing when he was beaten, Stan finished his game and then accompanied Flora upstairs. Soon everybody was going in the same direction, except for Joseph and Colin who made their way towards the annexe. When Anne and I arrived at our room, I excused myself telling Anne that I needed to check something but would be back in a couple of minutes. Then went up to the top floor where Trevor's room was situated.

I stood by the door for a moment and thought I heard the sound of sobbing, so knocked lightly. I did not want to wake him if he was asleep. For a moment there was nothing, then the door opened. Johnny was there.

"Dad, he's upset and shouldn't be on his own. I'll stay with him." I just nodded and turned away, returning to Anne in our room.

The following morning, I woke early. To be more correct, I gave up, trying to sleep. It had just gone six when I showered and made my way downstairs, leaving Anne in bed. Last night had been difficult. She knew something was wrong, but I could not say what was wrong, though she had a good idea that I knew all the details.

"Look, Anne," I finally said after a half -hour of her trying to wheedle the details out of me, "it's something from the past. At the moment Trevor his having to deal with it and it is not easy. Trevor trusted me enough to let me hear what had happened. I am not going to breach that trust by telling anyone, not even my wife."

"I'm not your wife yet, and if you are going to have secrets from me, I might not become one."

"I won't keep secrets from you, but I will keep confidences from you."

"Of course, dear," she said, kissing me on the end of my nose. "If you didn't, you would not be the man I love." With that, she turned over and went to sleep, which is more than I managed.

As I got to the bottom of the stairs, Allen was just entering the hall. He looked up and saw me. "You're up early, Couldn't sleep?"

"No," I replied. "Kept thinking about what Trevor told us. It could just as easily have happened to anyone; it could have happened to my Johnny."

"Yes," Allen replied. "It is a lot more common than most people think. The kids end up feeling guilty because they have acquiesced to the acts. In fact, sometimes they will even say they started it. Sometimes they do. it does not matter. They are being taken advantage of by those who should know better.

"A lot of the times when you come across cases of sexual abuse, you feel sorry for all involved but not in situations like this. Those men were exploiting the boys, using them for their own ends. Men like Mark Gleeson are simply evil.

"Unfortunately, in the end, there are victims who are left shattered, and one has to pick up the pieces."

"You sound as if you have come across this before," I commented.

"I have, was in the police for twenty-five years before I went into private security," Allen informed me. I must have looked surprised. "Smashed my hip, tackling an armed robber. He was holding a hostage at knife-point on a flat roof. I took him over the edge of the roof. Got a replacement joint in now. It's good but not good enough to let me meet the police physical requirements. Was invalided out with full pension twelve years ago."

"So, what happens now?"

"Not sure. I'm going to chat with some old friends once I get off duty. I'll phone them at home and pass on pieces of information. Did a bit of digging during the night, managed to identify Mr Mayer's West End address. Actually, I'm surprised the police did not pick up on it six years ago, but then they had no reason to go looking for it. Who would expect a twenty-one-year-old to have a flat in the West End."

"I wouldn't," I commented as we walked through to the conservatory. Even at this time in the morning, there was freshly brewed coffee waiting. Allen poured himself a cup, I buzzed the kitchen and asked for tea.

"Nor would most people. I wouldn't be surprised if there is not a lot more to Mr Mayer's than any of us suspected."

Phil walked in, carrying my pot of tea. "Couldn't sleep either?" I just nodded. Allen finished his coffee and excused himself, saying he still had two hours to do and a patrol to finish. I expressed surprise to Phil that the head of security did night shifts.

"He only does it when there are family guests, then only at the weekend. Says it gives the youngsters a chance to get a weekend with the family, or at least part of one and they can't complain he does not have to do nights normally, though I know he comes in sometimes just to check on things."

We sat and chatted for a bit, somehow managing to avoid any mention of the previous evening. Ben joined us about six-thirty reminding Phil that the TV people were due at ten-thirty to interview from eleven-thirty to one. No one said anything, but there was an unspoken question in their conversation as to whether Trevor would be up to it or not.

One by one, people started to drift in for breakfast. Most of the remaining guests would be leaving during the day. I knew Bernard planned to be on the road before eleven. Bains was taking Flora and Stan to Birmingham New Street so they could get the train to Stoke. Stan had been quite insistent that Phil was not going to drive them all the way home. Initially, they had said Bains could run them into Coventry, but Phil had insisted that he at least took them to Birmingham.

Tyler joined us just after eight. The first thing he did was ask how Trevor was? I told him that we had not seen him. Not long after Johnny and Trevor arrived at the door of the conservatory. As he got to the doors Trevor stopped for a moment, I noticed that Johnny stepped up next to him and gave his hand a squeeze, then Trevor smiled, and they stepped into the room.

I wondered how much Johnny knew and prayed he was not getting too involved. Trevor needed friends I knew, but he came with a lot of emotional baggage, and I was not sure I wanted Johnny handling that.

The pair helped themselves from the buffet and then came and sat at the table with Tyler, Phil and myself.

"Dad," Johnny asked as he sat down, "I know you said you wanted to get away about twelve, but could we make it a bit later? I would like to stay around until Trevor has done his interview."

Phil looked at Trevor. "So, you're doing it, then?"

"Yes, I need to be professional," Trevor replied. He then turned to Tyler. "How are we going to handle this?" The two of them and Phil then got into a conversation about how to handle the interview, what they should say, and how they should dress.

I realised I had not answered my son, who was sitting next to me. While the others were talking, I turned to him and asked. "Do you think that is wise?"

"It may not be wise Dad, but it is necessary. Can we talk after breakfast?" I nodded.

Anne and Susan joined us shortly after breakfast. Susan was asking Trevor if he was alright and whether he wanted to go home?

"Look, Mam, I'm fine. I was just a bit upset yesterday. Now I need to be professional and get on with things."

I felt he was a bit abrupt, but that was clearly the way he was coping.

When Joseph and Colin came in, Joseph's first action was to ask Johnny where he had been all night. That confirmed what I had already thought. Johnny was a bit sharp in his reply that it was nothing of Joseph's business, which left Joseph looking decidedly unhappy.

Once I had finished what breakfast I felt like eating, I asked Anne what plans she had for the morning? She informed me that she had to go over a few details with Debora and Mrs M but should be finished by eleven if I wanted to get away early. I told her no need as I thought we might stay till about one-thirty. Johnny heard that and smiled at me. I just nodded to him then went out into the formal garden, found a seat and pulled out my Kindle.

A few minutes later, Johnny came out of the conservatory and came and sat on the bench next to me. "Thanks, Dad."

"Whatever for?"

"Not making a fuss about me being with Trevor all night."

"What's there to make a fuss about. From the creases in your slacks and shirt, it is clear you slept in them, so I doubt if anything went on between you. Actually, given the state that Trevor was in, I doubt if he was up to doing anything anyway."

"Oh, I don't know, there could have been a couple of times during the night, and it might have done him some good if there had been," my son informed me.

"But there wasn't from what you're saying."

"Would you be upset if there was?"

"Look, Johnny, your sexual life is your own business. It's a bit too late to put that genie back into that bottle. I have no right to get upset over it. I may not approve, but that would be a different thing."

"Good, but nothing did happen," he informed me.

"I didn't think it did. For a start, it is very difficult to do anything like that when you are crying as much as Trevor clearly did last night."

"Dad! How did you know Trevor cried?"

"The stain on your shirt, that must have taken a good couple of hours to produce. After crying like that the only thing Trevor would have wanted to do was sleep." Johnny looked down at his shirt, he had clearly not noticed the stain on it. To be honest, I had not seen it when in the conservatory, it was only now, out in the sunlight, that it showed.

"Yes, he told me what had happened," Johnny informed me. "He was crying a lot, and I just sat on the bed and held him. When he had finished telling me, he just went to sleep, and I did not want to move for fear of waking him.

"He is going to need friends now, and I don't think he has any?"

"That's insightful of you. How come you're so wise?" I asked.

"There were a couple of lads at Blandown," he stated. I had to think, the name was familiar, but I could not think why. Johnny must have noted the look on my face. "The bloody expensive prep school, the bitch, sent me to after my first one expelled me," I remembered and nodded.

"Well, they got involved with one of the teachers. Don't know how it came out, but somehow it did. Their parents wouldn't let them make statements, so there was no prosecution, the teacher just left. Probably went off to teach somewhere abroad.

"Anyway afterwards, when the word leaked out about what had happened nobody wanted anything to do with them. They were ostracised. Even their friends stopped being friends with them as if it was their fault. They had a bloody tough couple of terms. One of them moved to a different school for his final year of prep, the other topped himself during the summer vac.

"At the moment Trevor needs friends, and he needs to know they will not walk out on him." That was something I could appreciate, It also made me proud of my son, knowing he was not being judgemental.

Things were a bit hectic later in the morning with the TV people setting up in the Library to do the interviews and various groups setting off. Joseph left with Bernard and Debora, I sensed some tension when he was saying goodbye to Johnny. Stan and Flora left shortly after. In the end, Phil had won out and got them to allow Bains to drive them home. He had only won by telling them that he was giving Bains a couple of days off and letting him have the Daimler to drive up to see his mother in Chester, so Stoke was on his way. When I mentioned this to Phil, he informed me that he usually let Bains take the Daimler when he went to his mother's as it gave it a long run. it did not get enough of those.

Trevor, Susan and Bob left the moment Trevor's interview was over. Just before he left, he came and thanked me for my help and told me he was not telling his parent anything yet. I informed him that if he wanted me there when he did to let me know. He then went over to Johnny and gave him a hug.

We left just after two and dropped Colin off about an hour later. As we had not done any shopping, we stopped at a pub just outside of Chelmsford for some dinner and finally got home just after seven. By that time, I was dead on my feet and quickly went to bed.

I was woken in the morning by the sound of somebody clunking around in the kitchen. As Anne was still in bed with me, I had to presume it was Johnny, burglars would have been a lot quieter. I looked at the bedside clock, and it said six-thirty. Pulling on my dressing gown, I made my way through to the kitchen. Johnny looked up as I entered.

"Sorry, Dad, did I wake you?"

"Yes, what are you doing up at this time?"

"Got a text from Steve when we were coming back, He asked if I could get in early. He's got a big customer coming in to look at the plans for a new boat, and Steve wants the yard tided up first."

"All right, but try not to make so much noise, I don't want you waking Anne."

"Too late, I'm already awake," she announced from the doorway. Then she went over to sort out some lunch for Johnny to take with him. I retreated back to our bedroom to shower then dress. I was just coming out of the room when Johnny left.

"It's tea and toast this morning," Anne stated as I returned to the kitchen. "There's not much else. I need to run to the supermarket. Anything special you want?"

I told her that toast and tea was fine, I did not want anything special from the supermarket but did ask if she could pop into Staples and get a box of printer paper for me. We discussed our plans for the day, but neither of us had anything special on. My main aim was to sort out my emails and catch up on whatever needed to be dealt with before I started to work on the meteorology book I had promised Bob. Anne informed me that she might as well go into Romford to do the shopping and could look out for some things to wear on Necker.

"Wouldn't you be better off going into Town?" I asked.

"Yes, but it's not feasible on a supermarket trip," she responded.

"Look, I need to go into the British Library sometime soon," I told her. "Why don't we both go into Town on Thursday morning, early? You can go and do your shopping, and I can get into the British Library before the students wake up. Then we can meet up for lunch and … well, I don't know what, but I am sure we can do something. Maybe we could stay late and grab a show."

We discussed the options for a bit, basically deciding that a show was out of the question, but we could do the exhibition at the British Museum. Anne left saying that as she did not have to do any clothes shopping, she should be back about eleven. I went into my study and started to plough my way through my emails and then finished off a couple of articles that I had on the go.

Remembering what had been said about bringing a second edition of the maths book out I spent an hour have a quick read through it. There were several areas which needed to be brought up to date, I noted. For a moment, I thought about using the excuse of updating it as a way of putting off the meteorology book but then decided against it.

By the time Anne returned, a bit later than she expected, I had drafted a rough chapter list out for the book. Once I had some form of framework for it, I found myself starting to get interested in it. Maybe it was not going to be such a chore as I had thought.

Anne made us a light lunch, and over it, we started to discuss plans for the move. We had just finished when the post arrived. There were the usual technical journals, an offer from a cable company that I knew would not supply out here and a letter from a firm of solicitors. I wondered what that could be. When I opened it, I found a formal offer on behalf of their clients for the whole plot the bungalow stood on. It was some fifty thousand below what I had been asking, but it was also without conditions. They were prepared to take it without planning consent.

I faxed the letter through to Bernard and then phoned him to see what he thought. His advice was to take it, especially as they were offering a quick completion. He pointed out to me that it might be fifty below what I was asking, but it was only twenty-five below what I had expected to get. Given that they were offering a quick completion, it would be possible to get the funds on the same day as I completed on the Priory, so it reduced the amount I needed to borrow from Zach. The resultant interest saved would more than cover the twenty-five thousand. He also pointed out that as I had not officially listed the property yet with the agent, I would be saving their fees. I was not too sure about that as they had handled the viewing for me. After a bit, more discussion, I agreed to take the offer, and Bernard said he would fax an acceptance to them within the hour.

I had just finished chatting to Bernard when Anne put her head round the door and informed me that she had some removal people coming in an hour to give a quote on the move.

About ten minutes later, my broker phoned to tell me that LeBrun shares had started to move upwards. They were now worth ten pounds a share more than the price on the options I held. He suggested I should sell my options before the market reversed, saying that I could make a good profit on them. I told him no.

"Do you know something, Mike?" he asked.

"I know what the company is worth, and it is a lot more than it is currently trading at," I replied.

"How come you know that?"

"I grew up next door to Issac Lebrun's tailor shop. His wife was my babysitter."

"So," he commented, "you know the family."

"Yep," I told him.

"I think I better start doing some buying on my own behalf," my broker commented.

"Well, that's up to you. Just hang onto my options till I tell you otherwise," I instructed. We finished the call, and I went online to check the latest share price, they had started the day at thirty-five pounds sixty but were now trading at fifty-two pounds ten. I guessed Freddy had seen Rachel at dinner.

The removal men came, looked around and then quoted a price that left me weak at the knees. After they had gone, I suggested to Anne that maybe we could hire a van and get some friends to help.

"Not bloody likely," she responded. That put an end to that discussion.

Johnny got back just gone five. The moment he was inside the door he told us that we had to watch the One Show at seven. He did not give any reason. Fortunately, I had decided on a lasagne with salad for dinner, and it did not take long for me to get it made. So, it was just after six when we sat down to eat. Then we went through to the lounge to watch the One Show, something which was not on my regular TV viewing schedule.

The reason that Johnny wanted to watch it soon became apparent. They showed part of the interview with Tyler and Trevor – It was very much a trailer for the film program that was on later that evening, it was also trailed that there would be a dramatic revelation in the interview. As soon as it had finished, Johnny had his phone out and was texting. I guess he was telling Trevor what he thought of what he had seen.

Of course, Johnny insisted on seeing the whole interview in the film programme later that evening. The first part of the interview was a repeat of what we had seen earlier. Basically, they just confirmed that they would be playing the leads in Phil's next film and that they had not worked together since Trevor's first film, Tyler stating that he only had a bit part in that.

There was some discussion about the plot of That Woman's Son, and then the interview asked Tyler directly what he felt about playing a gay man in the leading role.

"It's just another part," Tyler commented. "I discussed it with my girlfriend, and she said there would be no problem so long as I did not get any ideas. But then she did not know that Trevor was going to be playing the other lead or that we would be kissing. She immensely jealous now, she's had a crush on Trevor since she was thirteen. Says it's not fair that I get to kiss him."

"So," the interviewer asked, "what do you feel about playing a gay part, Trevor?"

"Well, it's no problem for me, so long as my boyfriend does not get jealous when he sees me kissing Tyler?" I just imagined the stunned silence there must have been in the library at Manston when Trevor had dropped that bombshell.

"Your boyfriend?" the interviewer asked. "So you're …"

"Yes," Trevor interrupted, "I'm gay. Didn't you know?"

Almost immediately, Johnny's phone starting peeping. I looked across at him. He just smiled and held it up. Piles of messages were scrolling up his screen.

The following morning over breakfast I told Johnny that Anne and I planned to go up to Town on Thursday. He asked if it would be OK for him to go up as well. I enquired if he had any particular reason?

"Steve has recommended a couple of books on yacht and boat design, but they are both out of print," he informed me. "I've looked for them online and found them but can only afford one, so would like to look at them before buying. There is a second-hand bookshop on Charing Cross Road that has both, so I thought I would go in and look at them."

"No problem, but you will be on your own for the day," I told him, "Anne's going shopping in the morning, and I'll be at the British Library, then we going on to the exhibition at the British Museum."

"I'll probably arrange to meet up with some mates. What time are we coming back?"

"Thought we could have dinner in town and get a late train back. Do you want to join us for dinner?" I enquired.

"No thanks, I'll grab something at Burger King," he responded. "All right if I meet up with you at Liverpool Street at about ten."

I told him that was fine. was a bit puzzled as to whom the mates he was hoping to meet were but decided not to raise the issue? If he wanted to tell me he would.

Johnny left for the yard. Shortly after Anne also went out, telling me she would be back about three. She had appointments with two different colleges about courses to start in September. I went into my study and got down to some work.

Just after twelve, my phone rang, I glanced at the callerID, it was Bernard.

"Hi, Bernard," I answered.

"It's not Bernard, it's Rachel," a familiar female voice replied.

"Sorry, I saw Bernard's callerID so presumed it was him."

"I'm in his office. He's just given me a list of people I better call."

"So, Rachel, what's this about."

"LV has made a formal offer, it is seventy-nine pounds a share," she informed me. I opened my browser and clicked on the link to the share prices. LeBrun was trading at eighty-two. I mentioned this to Rachel.

"Yes, we will reject the offer. That's par for the course on the first offer. David says we should sell at eighty-five unless a bidding war develops, then we will take the highest."

"Do you think there will be a bidding war?" I asked.

"I'm not sure, but one of the Gucci people is taking me to dinner this evening," she responded.

"He might just fancy you," I commented.

"It's a she and I don't go for her type," Rachel laughed.

"My mistake. Just tell that brother of yours to keep me in the loop."

"I will," she responded, "and when am I going to meet this son of yours? Joseph can't stop talking about him. I think he's got a crush on him."

"He's sixteen a week on Monday so I thought we would give him a party at the weekend before, or you could wait till the wedding. You are coming, aren't you."

"Of course, I'm bloody coming. Would not miss seeing you brought under control for anything.

"Anyway, must go, I need to speak to another ten shareholders, then we have a board meeting at one."

I had just put my phone down when it rang again. my broker to inform me that there had been a formal offer made and saying the shares were trading at above the offer. He said it might be a good time to sell my options. I declined.

Anne got back just after three, excited by the outcome of her interviews. It seemed that she probably had more options than she thought. We spent a couple of hours going through the pile of course brochures she had brought back, without coming to any conclusion.

Neither of us feeling like cooking and with Johnny not being home for dinner, he was going straight to the youth club, we decided to walk down to the Anchor for something to eat.

We got back just after nine and not long after we heard the crunch of wheels on the gravel drive. Shortly after Johnny announced he was home and that they were going to the caravan. I presumed the 'we' meant him and Arthur.

Bernard phoned me Wednesday morning to tell me all the paperwork on the Priory was in order. He informed me that I needed to get in to see him to sign the contracts. Completion was set for Wednesday of the following week, so there was some urgency on things. I told him we would be in town tomorrow and agreed that Anne and myself would join him for lunch then we could go to his office to sign all the papers. I asked him if I needed to do anything regarding the finances, but he informed me that he would sort all that out with Zach.

Thursday morning was an early start with us going into Town. I wanted to be at the British Library for when they opened. It was a bit of a chore, but something I had to do from time to time. Mostly I do my research online, but there are times when it is necessary to consult the original publications. This I mainly had to do to check references; it is surprising how sloppy some of the online citations are.

On the train up I asked Johnny about the books he was after. He told me they had both been published back in the nineteen seventies and had been out of print for some time. One was listed at forty pounds and the other at sixty. He only had sixty-five saved up so was not sure which one to get, which is why he wanted to go in and look at them. I gave him another sixty and told him to get both if they were any good. I also gave him and additional tenner so he could get some food during the day.

Once we got to Liverpool Street, we split up to go our separate ways. Anne and I meeting up again just before one to join Bernard at 'The Amalfi' on Southampton Row. We both had a light salad and pasta, Bernard ordered a chicken dish which looked quite substantial. I looked at him.

"Debora has got me on a diet so I can get into my morning suit for the wedding," he informed me.

"Do you think that is going to help?" I responded, looking at the chicken dish.

"No, but I'm picking up a new morning suit tomorrow, then only have to swap them over without her noticing." Anne and I laughed at the idea that Debora would not notice, though I thought she might not say anything.

After lunch, we went round to Bernard's office where he took us through the mass of documents one by one, explaining what each was and what it meant. I must admit I got totally lost in his explanations, but from what I understood, we would complete on the sale of the bungalow and the purchase of the Priory on the same day. So, we had to move out the following Wednesday. The moment she heard this, Anne got onto her phone and called the removal men to book the move.

By the time we left Bernard's office, I realised that I had just spent more money in ten minutes than I had in the last ten years. a somewhat sobering thought.

The exhibition at the British Museum was a bit of a disappointment, with a lot of the items that I had a particular interest in seeing being reproductions, not the originals. I know that the idea of a themed exhibition is to give you an insight into the lifestyle of a people or a person, but I think if you are going to put one on you should use original items. Anne, though, enjoyed it far more.

It was not quite four when we got out of the exhibition, and I wanted to get a mobile dongle for both Johnny's and my computers as it would be a couple of weeks at least before the internet was connected at the Priory. Arthur could not even order the connection until we had moved in. So, we went to Tottenham Court Road and browsed around the electronic stores looking at the different options. In the end, I decided it would be best to get Arthur to sort something out for us as I was confused by the different options available.

We were walking down Charing Cross Road towards China Town when my phone went. It was Johnny asking if he could join us for dinner and could he bring a friend. I told him, of course. He then asked me if it was OK for the friend to come and stay with him for a couple of days. I asked for how long, he said he was not quite sure, but it would only be for a bit. Then he pointed out that the friend would be staying in the caravan and would not need to use the house.

Having checked with Anne, I told him that in principle, I had no objections, but we would need to discuss it at dinner once I had met the friend. I also informed him that we had to move the following Wednesday so there would not be much time for socialising. There was a lot to pack up. I also pointed out that he was due in the yard on Friday and Saturday and what was his friend going to do while he was at work. Johnny informed me that was not a problem as his friend had plenty of work he needed to get done in the next week.

Having got all that sorted, I asked where they were. Turned out they were a couple of hundred yards away from where we were, so we met up and went down to China Town as a group. I was not particularly surprised to find that the friend was Trevor.

Over dinner, Trevor let it drop that he had been planning on checking into a hotel for a few days.

"So, how come you're coming out to the back of beyond," I asked.

"Dad," Johnny said in a very exasperated fashion. "if he booked into any hotel in London he would be recognised. There is no way he could vanish for a few days in London. Who is there to recognise him in Lynnhaven?"

"Good point," I conceded to Johnny, then addressed Trevor, "but why do you want to vanish for a few days?"

"I can't cope with Mam," Trevor replied. "Dad's gone to the States. He got a call from one of his American clients as we were driving back. There is some problem with a film rights contract. He flew out to New York Sunday night to sort it out. Won't be back till next week.

"Ever since we got back Mam's been on at me to tell her what happened at Manston. She's worried I know, but I can't tell her, not yet. I know I need to tell them, but I can't do it more than once, so I want to do it when they are both there. Can't face having to repeat it."

Anne looked at me, questioningly. I shook my head. This was not the time for her to start probing. She took the hint and gave her attention to the food.

"Look, Trevor, if you need a few days away from it all the Lynnhaven is the place. However, I need to warn you that you will be sharing a caravan with Johnny, and there is not much to do around the place."

"That's fine," Trevor replied. "I need some peace and quiet to learn the script. We are supposed to shoot a trial scene when we are in Necker next month." I must have looked a bit surprised. It had never occurred to me that Trevor would be in Necker. When I thought of it though it made sense. The final scene in the book took place on a Caribbean island, so why not use Necker. But I had not thought the production was up to where they were going to start filming. I mentioned this to Trevor.

"It's not," he informed me. "Some of the American backers though are not too happy with the two leads both being British, especially when one of them is a relative unknown. Phil's come up with the idea of shooting a version of the final scene using digital cameras and showing them what it will be like.

"Just hopes it works."

"If it's Phil's idea it probably will," I assured him.

We finished the meal. Trevor and Johnny made their way out of the restaurant to hail a cab while I paid up. I was suddenly aware of flashing lights outside and through the open door heard somebody call 'Is this your boyfriend'. Anne muttered 'Paperattzi'.

As we stepped out, I heard Johnny reply. "You must be fucking joking; you don't think he would go for something like me, do you?" Just then, a taxi pulled up, and we quickly got in the back. Trevor just told the driver to drive and waited till we were a couple of hundred yards down the street before telling him to head for Liverpool Street. He had clearly experienced this before.

"Sorry about that. Someone in the restaurant must have tipped them off," Trevor explained.

"Does it happen a lot?" Anne asked.

"It's getting worse," Trevor replied.

"That's why I suggested Lynnhaven," added Johnny. "I was supposed to meet Trevor at a coffee place in Covent Garden, but when I got there, it was besieged by the press. Trevor had to get out through the back door."

"You were lucky you could, Trevor," I commented.

"Yes, fortunately, it was one of the places where a lot of the entertainment crowd go, so they are used to dealing with things like that. The problem is I'm not that used to it. In the past it was very rare I was recognised."

"How come?" I enquired.

"People knew me from the films as the renegade elf prince, pointed ears, piercing violet-blue eyes and of course the green hair. I was heavily made up in all four films, and not many people connected the me they saw with the character on the screen. However, since the series finished, I have been doing other work, including TV, where I am far more identifiable as me, so people are starting to recognise me. Then there was coming out on Monday, it's made me a hot property. Everybody seems to know me or wants to."

We were approaching Liverpool Street and still had a good fifteen minutes before our train. I checked to see if Trevor had a ticket, he had not, so I gave Johnny twenty and told him to jump out when the cab stopped and go and get a ticket for Trevor, and we would drive around a couple of more times. Then I asked the cabby to drop off Johnny and then drive round for five minutes.

As we were driven around, I sorted out the cab fare plus a hefty tip for the driver. Johnny was waiting for us when we pulled in at the drop-off. I paid the cab, and we made our way quickly into the station and were able to get directly onto our train. It just started boarding as we got to the barrier.

The train started to pull out of the station. Trevor pulled out his phone and started writing a text. He looked up at me. "Just letting mother know that I am spending a few days with friends. Not saying who though. Telling her, I will be home Tuesday or Wednesday next week. Dad gets back Tuesday night."

"Don't you think it might be an idea to tell her where you're staying," I said. "She will only worry otherwise."

"The way she is at the moment, if I tell her I'm in Lynnhaven she will be on her way there the moment she can get a taxi. Fortunately, they took her licence off her a couple of months ago."

I refrained from making a comment on that.

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