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Christopher P. Lydon
Return of the Sun
Copyright © 2006 by Christopher P. Lydon http:// christopherlydon.gayauthors.org/ Home is at the end of the road. For Scott Walker it’s been a long eight years living abroad. But now all he wants to do is go home. Yet coming home isn't easy as he realizes that while home hasn't changed, he has and trying to adjust to his old life isn't easy. He is caught up trying to prove that he isn't the stranger everyone mistakes him for. And love threatens to drag him into a bitter family rivalry.
Return of the Sun
Christopher P. Lydon
The sun never sets on the British Empire. Christopher North
Return of the Sun
Christopher P. Lydon
There are those that say the Devil chooses his servants; others say that they choose him. Scott Walker didn't know much about the Devil; after all he hardly felt as if he worked for him in any serious capacity. He was purely a victim of circumstances, the butt of some cosmic joke that had his existence as its punch line. Scott could hardly say he believed in a Lord of Darkness, Prince of Lies and Master of the Underworld. He had heard all the stories in the church group he had been abandoned at every Sunday for the better part of his childhood. But to actually say that he believed in Satan would be the same as saying he believed in God, and he just wasn't ready to do that. But as he stared out of the window of an airplane at 30,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean seeing the sunrise over the banks of clouds, it was hard to deny the possibility of God's existence. It was like the sky was bathed in radiance, turning everything golden, and there was a warmth, not from the tightly pressurized cabin with its climate control, but from within. It was like Scott realized that he wasn't on the ground; instead he was amidst the clouds, up in the heavens themselves. Scott looked down at the letter, staring at the futile way of explaining his life to his father. An outpouring of emotions from a mind that hadn't slept in nearly forty-eight hours. He knew he should have tried to sleep, but Scott was in an airplane hurtling over the Atlantic and he was terrified that he might miss something. He couldn't understand the little old lady snoring from across the aisle; it was as if flying were something she took for granted. Scott had flown once before, his first jump across the pond, dragged behind his father's lofty ideas that America was the place to start a bold new life. What a load of bull that had been; Scott was happily ending his time in Exile and he was going home. He had left as a child and was now returning as his own man. The stewardess bent over the sleeping salesman beside Scott, and he looked up from his letter as she refilled his coffee cup. After stopping her virtually every ten minutes of the flight for a refill she had gained a pretty good idea of when his cup was empty, and without hesitation she always appeared to refill it. Scott appreciated her attentiveness; it made him feel special. She gave him a warming smile as she nodded to the letter before him, "Do you need more paper, sir?" Scott looked down and smiled again, "Probably," he admitted. She nodded as she headed off again letting him focus on the letter once more. What was he trying to say to his father in that letter? He wasn't saying 'I'm going home and you can't stop
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. But he blew it. he was in trouble. "First time on a plane?" "Nope. and promptly gave up entirely. and was now on a plane back to the only real home he had ever had: England. after his own promise had failed to deliver. He had been made to give up his family. "have you been abroad long?" She was being really sweet." she said in her rich English accent. He had a chance for a better life. "I've been away from home for about eight years.Return of the Sun Christopher P. his entire culture on an empty promise. she gave him a sympathetic smile as she glanced at all the sleeping people around him. It was nothing more than a summary of his life since he had moved out of his father's house and gone to university. He lived out the rest of his student loan and. Scott drank the coffee in a couple of swallows and bent back to the paper. so accomplished. but he had discovered life was more interesting to him than learning about things he felt he already knew and didn't care about. Scott had felt so proud then. friends." he gave her his warmest smile.. Was she hitting on him? If she was. He was an unemployed: 'uneducated loser on a one-way ticket to nowhere seeks room and board as well as a statesanctioned food budget. "Yeah.. to get the hell away from the US of A and actually figure out what he wanted to do rather than what other people told him to do. After the ninth week of not bothering to show up to class. That something had never appeared. It wasn't that Scott lacked the intelligence to do well in university. Reject her and he would likely be cut off. The stewardess returned with more paper and Scott accepted it gratefully. always a good tactic in a situation like that. finally going home..' He had no plan. flashing her teeth at him in a way that made Scott mildly uncertain of her attention. uproot his life for the promise of something better. Lydon me!' though to be honest that was what Scott wanted to say to him." Page | 4 .. Now. Scott knew he was failing out. He decided the safest thing to do was play oblivious. he had done it he had succeeded where his dad had failed. He liked that. It was an eight-year bitterness welling up inside him. Well maybe he didn't phrase it quite so eloquently. no money.. The only thing he knew was that he had to get home. so he wrote it down. but it was better than nothing." "That's nice. she was after all his lifeline to the coffee pot." Scott replied as he scribbled more words on the paper. "going home actually. What had become of that promise after his father's new wife had divorced him? What had become of it after that great new job had turned out to be nothing more than a ticket to unemployment? Now his eldest son was abandoning the sinking ship. he had never wanted to leave in the first place. he had no idea what he was going to do once he got there.
Return of the Sun Christopher P. By the time the plane finally landed sometime the next morning. "What part of England?" "London. Connex South Central to be precise. whatever that meant. however. Sure she was pretty. really without thinking about it. Now. adamant on starting a conversation with him. The trick was how to convince her of that without seeming like he was rejecting her. He never liked to just shoot a person down. Scott was home. "So you're going home then?" she asked. Scott. lives." he lied effortlessly. He was shocked to discover that instead of Page | 5 . especially when he didn't want to upset someone. Scott had her telephone number in his pocket and an empty promise to call her." she said. He had cash in his pocket. that was cruel." he replied. enough to get him to Eastbourne. It is an intersection of cultures. Give them just enough of what they wanted so that they would leave happy. It was instinct. I was studying classics in Brooklyn. but the other stewardess at the front of the plane flashed her a dirty look for fraternizing with the passengers and she made her apologies and dashed away. Realistically he couldn't afford to take a cab home from the airport. Scott had been subjected to the travesty of public transportation in England before he left. wondering how she would react if he just came out and said he was gay. and bussing would just take too long. continuing her conversation. And he wandered his way down to the train station at that point and reintroduced himself to the wonder that is British Rail. She opened her mouth to continue. was simply looking for a way out of there as soon as possible. and hadn't experienced the blessed gift of privatization. but not what he was looking for. families and commerce. that would imply incorrectly that he was interested. I'm Stacey. Gatwick Airport is one of those places where the world connects to everywhere else. He didn't want to get drawn into a conversation with her. and he really wasn't." She gave him a grin that showed all thirty-two of her perfectly polished white teeth. He threw the number away in it along with the letter he had written his dad. "Scott. but from there it was anyone's guess. as she offered Scott her hand. "Yeah. "Hi. Lydon "Were you at school?" she asked. But that really didn't matter after he passed the first garbage can on his way towards the baggage claim area after an excruciating wait in line to have his passport stared at. setting his pen down so that he could shake her hand. He continued to smile patiently.
it had made an already bad system even worse. She gave him an apologetic smile as she fought to stow it above her. and there he was sitting on a train with someone he had been to elementary school with. she naturally replied that she had gone there. and he had to keep remembering not to grin every time he blushed. and when she had told him Halisham. Scott had apologized for his appearance. replying that was where he was from. spent eight years in a country he had never wanted to go to in the first place. She gave him the once-over as they sat across from each other. Serena took it in her stride and countered that she wasn't too much better. Had Scott been straight he might have taken it as a sign from the Almighty to ask her out at that point. His clothes were rumpled and he had on his high school varsity jacket that he had earned playing soccer. Her first real trip away from home on her own. well that was left squarely in the hands of God. Scott helped her. Scott didn't remember which of them had started the conversation. he felt like death reheated and he knew that he probably smelled like it too. She of course asked him what school.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Scott was going home. or a chance to change his clothes. It only made him self-conscious. but he did. It marked him like a giant neon sign saying "American" but he really didn't care. Scott didn't feel like anything remarkable. Scott realized quickly that his illusion of peace on the trip down to the coast was broken when a young woman about his own age wrestled her luggage into the same compartment. The reliability of the trains actually arriving on time was nonexistent. It only encouraged more cute comments. short dark-haired and dark-eyed with a goofy-looking grin that everyone thought was too cute. and when he countered with Grovelands Elementary. and the hope that you would actually get to where you wanted to go. He sat in a first-class compartment. She had been visiting her aunt. Scott told her of his travels abroad. and Serena apparently was on her way home from Canada. but they were soon conversing like old friends. He'd earned his jacket through blood. He needed the chance to relax. just a little worse for the wear after so many years. spent the extra money on train fare for the luxury of a door to his seating area. Lydon making things better. sweat and tears and he wasn't about to get rid of it because he was back in England. The world was a shockingly small place. They sat in quiet awe at the way life plays out sometimes. they were soon engaged in a discussion. Scott had asked her where she was going. Scott had been shocked. Scott had travelled across the ocean twice. though he hadn't had a shower yet. he shouldn't have done it. but Scott kept his Page | 6 . Ever the gentleman. her or him. The trains were still made up of the ancient carriages that had been around since his father's childhood. and as the train began to roll. And he knew she had to be wondering why he hadn't.
Well that was it.' He was still thinking like an American." She looked again. He wasn't expected. anxious breath as he rang the doorbell and set his bags down. despite the emotions in his words. it saved him the money of a bus fare and a hefty hike with his bags on his back.. the lines on her face were so deep now. and her hair that had once been a rich chestnut-brown was completely silver. there was the woman who had raised him from diapers. "Can I help you?" she asked in a voice that reminded Scott of when he was a little boy. her mother had driven out to meet her.. He was terrified. Scott didn't argue. Scott nodded. he hadn't called ahead to let anyone know he was coming. but those eyes were still very much the same. been a mother to him his entire life until his father had transplanted him.. he chided himself as he hefted his backpack to his shoulders and gathered up his suitcase. Lydon head about him and steered the conversation back to school and how the country had changed since the last time he had been there. So a few minutes later he was standing at the curb looking up at the brown brick semi-detached house he had spent his childhood living in.Return of the Sun Christopher P. but the decision to leave university and come home had been a sudden one. if he had been thinking. "Yes?" the old woman asked as she stared at him through thick bifocals. Gran. But Serena was having none of that. Her mother also gave him a once-over. Was there nothing in his face of the little boy she had hugged good-bye to before he had gotten on a plane eight years ago? Page | 7 . Scott took a deep. It was about halfway down Meadow Road. He worked his jaw a few times. It turned out Serena's mother attended the same church as his gran and they knew each other well. his heart beating in his chest as the door slowly cracked open. "Are you related to Rita Walker?" she asked in a matter-of-fact kind of tone. as she tried to place who the short dark-haired young man was on her doorstep. Scott hefted his bags to catch a bus for the last leg of his journey. "It's me. Why he hadn't done that he didn't know. harder. And she looked so old. the end of his journey. "I'm her grandson. Scott was being driven home. before he finally managed. When the train reluctantly wheezed its way into Polegate Station and they both debarked.. and Serena filled her in on Scott's situation and who he was." And that was that. across from a large square patch of grass everyone called 'the green. Scott felt jarred.
Lydon "Scott?" her voice was faint...Return of the Sun Christopher P. and filled with emotion of her own. Home. and Scott dropped his backpack to rush into her arms. Page | 8 .
"I thought I should probably wake you up. painted wallpaper and his bags laid out with care on a rickety-looking wooden chair in the corner. as he struggled for that last ounce of consciousness. look I'm sorry we didn't have much time to talk yesterday. Everything was real. Scott took a deep breath and steadied his heart as he sat down cross-legged on the pillow.." Gran said as she picked up the suitcase and opened it. choosing not to mention the fact that when he had awoken he had tried to literally climb a wall. He had been away from England for too long to acclimatize in a few minutes. You must have been really tired. He was still fully clothed. setting the mug of tea down beside him on the bedside table. and when you're done I should have some breakfast waiting for you." Page | 9 . How long had he been asleep? He could barely remember how he had gotten to the bedroom. recoiling from the light touch." Gran said with a smile as she pulled open the curtains on the bright sunlight sweeping in from outside. "Did you sleep well?" she asked. retreating up the bed as fast as he could." he said as he picked up the cup of tea.Return of the Sun Christopher P.. Lydon Chapter 2 Scott leapt awake. "Yeah." Scott worked at rubbing his eyes as he looked about him at the tiny room with all its fifties-style furniture. "Wha-?" Scott asked. he looked around him at the small room and the old woman who was looking as shocked as he was. I know you are probably more used to taking one than having a bath." she began. and feeling slightly the worse for wear. He must have made it halfway up the wall before he realized where he was and what was happening. I set some towels out for you on the side. But real coffee was a luxury in a nation that prided itself on its instant-coffee consumption and its broad selection of teas. And as he blinked away the sleep.. "Thanks." "You were exhausted. wishing that it was a cup of coffee. already sorting out the dirty clothes from the clean ones and hanging the latter in the old-styled wardrobe.. "I'm sorry. Scott nodded as he wrapped his hands around the mug of tea and sipped at it graciously. "You slept all day yesterday and last night as well. "I have a shower in the bathroom. but subtly wrong from his perspective.
had a pull-cord and was connected to the pipes by an intricate system of bendy hoses." she sniffed as she continued to putter." Scott knew better than to try to argue with her. towelling off his hair. He stared at it. don't eat breakfast. "I suspected you were hungry so I made a little extra. So he slipped into a pair of battered khaki Dockers and threw a cotton shirt over his Yankee's tee-shirt." Scott admitted after a pause. Lydon "I. Scott was home. let alone turned the shower into one. you just couldn't do that with Gran. she had a way that simplified things. Gran's house had been quiet since Granddad had passed away. She gave him a knowing look as he sat down at the breakfast bar. about retaking a piece of his life. and a voice that made you feel like an idiot if you tried to complicate them. it was about the journey. But that didn't change the fact that he was nearly broke.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "I'll have sausage and eggs waiting for you.. almost hesitantly. The shower was a totally new experience. and any decent North American plumber would make a mint with just a couple of strategically placed pipes and water pressure. Who put an electrical device in a shower anyway. and that wouldn't get him very far.. Scott hadn't been able to give real thought to what he was going to do once he got there. And he realized that all he had eaten in the last few days was airline chicken. The gadget on the wall was plugged into an electrical socket. He eventually figured it out after his Gran had shown him how to work it. with its big dial threatening to electrocute him. he had about a hundred pounds to his name. He usually skipped the most important meal of the day. When he emerged from the shower. Page | 10 . preferring a cup of coffee from the campus coffee shop to anything else. the house was filled with the smells of a good old-fashioned English breakfast. It was needlessly complicated. and there were various other odd jobs he could do here and there to say thank you to her. that bacon smell that just made the mouth water." she offered as she set about washing the pan in the sink while he began to attack the food with the ferocity of a ravenous nineteen-year-old. "Nonsense. The overwhelming instinct to go home had overpowered every other rational thought he had. and yet as the water ran down through his hair and he stared at the strange water heater/shower device he knew that he had to come up with a plan. and while showering he could actually take a moment to think about where he was. more or less. before he darted down into the kitchen in time to find his Gran piling a plate high with an assortment of greasy delights. It was an effective way of currying obedience. and she set the plate down in front of him. it had a large garden that was in need of some care. never the most wholesome of eating.
Scott felt a pressure leave him." There were no questions about how long he was going to stay. instead of learning. that was a man's job in her mind. She had to know he wasn't really listening to her. methodically cleaning everything and setting it to dry in the rack. but a different past. And he felt guilty for her footing the bill when she was a pensioner. which was his chief worry right now. men were too fond of their cars anyway. but for the moment Scott could just be the little seven-year-old who had sat at the same stool he now sat in." she said. with a cut knee needing her to kiss him better. pre-prepared macaroni and cheese made with real cheddar and fresh-cut meats. Where was the Kraft Dinner? The hot dog wieners? The bologna? Instead there were real sausages. It was all so familiar. She seemed to realize that he was suffering culture shock and just left him to sort it through on his own. Back stateside he could never afford this stuff. and past the public library where his gran had taken him to read his first book. instead he chose to just listen to his Gran ramble on about Halisham and all the modernization it had gone through. "I wasn't expecting you and I need to buy some extra food for you. To Scott. for the time being he was welcome home. Places he had taken for granted when he was little now held such significance to him. she had just decided to walk. It was a sign that once again. The concept of anything other than 'student food' was frightening to him. They passed the same swing set he had played on when he was three. He was going to have to face some tough decisions. Lydon "I have to make a short run into town. It was a beautiful July day. a student loan only stretched so far. Scott had been away too long. and she had just eased it with understanding. They walked past the soccer goal posts where he had scored his first goal. as if she just knew he needed to be there with her. She had been happy when he had volunteered to walk with her into town. Scott didn't say much as he walked. playing on the recreation ground when he was little. It was like being suddenly thrust into the past. The stores had all changed. Downtown was no different. It was like walking into something typically American and finding nothing he recognized. Gran refused to drive. even the grocery stores were different. or had new signs on them. but in between the familiar buildings were new ones. Page | 11 . she thought. He had spent so much of his life there. So when he had passed away. and having lived with Granddad for so many years she had never had to learn.Return of the Sun Christopher P. sunshine beaming down upon them when they left to walk to the town centre. It was healthier. before moving with his Dad. It gave Scott a chance to see the little town he had spent the first few years of his life growing up in. she didn't seem to mind it. and yet again. There would be plenty of time for him to get himself sorted out.
. in moderation.." He was surprised to be shoulder-checked aside by the short woman as she tried to get to Gran. as Gran tried to get a word in edgewise around Christine's complaints about the price of milk. when he heard an all-too-familiar shrill voice that even after all those years. It wouldn't have been so bad. It wasn't a good look. It was an unending torrent of consciousness that left a person cross-eyed and bleeding from the eardrums as she switched topics so fast that you could barely keep up with her. Scott had forgotten how peaceful the last eight years had been not to have to deal with specific relatives. When she finally paused." Gran said with an air of smug triumph. holding a bag of frozen peas and eyeing her warily. "No. Since she didn't recognize him. "Is that one of your neighbours' sons?" Christine asked slowly. Just when you had a grasp on one subject she was on to a whole new one. She had a voice that belonged on a school bus. It took a moment before Aunt Christine registered that the man she had pushed out of the way was still there." "Hello. "it's one of John's boys. Gran took her chance. Scott was sure his Gran must have done it to see Aunt Christine speechless. he was impressed that everything in the grocery store was so cheap. he was beneath her notice. 7p for a loaf of bread." "Scott?" Christine asked. and even he had to admit that it was a blessing. It had cost Scott a buck for the same loaf of bread back in the US. but Aunt Christine was unaware of moderation when it came to expressing herself. turning back to regard him with a critical eye that said she remembered all too well who he was. It was when he was in the freezer aisle of the food store that Scott first realized how much he had changed since leaving.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Guess who that is. Wasn't that backwards? Wasn't the cost-of-living supposed to be higher in England? Scott had to admit. the firmness of her apples and the fact that Prime Minister Tony Blair had seen fit to make her pay for something called "New Deal". that was like 14 cents American. there was a deep-seated anger Page | 12 . not even stopping to offer an apology to the stranger." It was cruel. Mum!" Aunt Christine. still made him cringe. Lydon That was until he actually looked at the prices. Scott stood there a moment in complete shock. He had been fishing for something Gran had specifically requested in the freezer. Scott stared at her a moment as Gran looked? past her at him. and still would drown out all the kids.
"I don't know Christine. "He arrived yesterday morning. It was tiny. "Could you get me some chips. With a voice like hers there wasn't a possibility of whispering. and we haven't had a chance to really talk about it. how long is he staying with you?" Gran seemed thoughtful. Scott thought about Aunt Christine's words. "I hope these are the kind you like. and he hurried back with the bag tucked under his arm. That meant the other grandchildren would always come second." Christine sniffed. All the action happened in Eastbourne." Scott said with an incline of his head as he dropped the peas into the shopping cart and looked over at his gran." "Does his father know he's here?" "They had a falling out. And Scott felt sheepish as he went off to return the bag of "Crisps" as they were called there. chips. It shouldn't be too hard. "What's he doing here?" she asked. no dear. "No. Scotty dear?" Scott stared at her a moment and nodded. what was he doing there? He couldn't exactly move forward with his life while he was staying in Halisham." he said as he held up the bag of chips. returning a few aisles to where they had the bags of chips and selected a nice plain bag." Gran said in reply. The resentment was evident on her face." She walked to the freezer cupboard and pulled out a bag of thick-cut French fries. Scott was more of a son than a grandson. after all what could go wrong? Page | 13 . When he had been younger his gran had raised him with his brother when his dad had been divorced the first time." "I thought he was in university or something. and at that point he decided that he should consider moving there as soon as he could.Return of the Sun Christopher P. an afterthought on the A-22 to London. It was a nice little town. "Aunty Christine. the baby boy. Though he slowed when he heard Christine talking to Gran. but 'little' was the opportune term for it. despite Gran's attempts to treat everyone fairly and the same. however long he needs to take to get back on his feet. "Well. To Gran." Gran replied as she rested on the shopping trolley." Scott decided that it was probably an opportune time to walk up to the cart. Lydon there. "Probably not that long. Gran shook her head in bemusement. it looked vaguely like the variety he used to buy in school. "I'll telephone him tonight and talk to him about it. "Need anything else?" Gran nodded her head.
tucking the kicking boy under his arm. who gave him an unruly grin before he tried to dash off again. "Well I should." "I'll do that. "I see young Master Jasper is being a handful. "I don't know why you put up with them. "Mrs Walker. Compared to everyone else. "Alright sprog." Gran gave him a smile. he just felt out of place. "Alright then.. The "sprog" was currently wriggling to escape the blond's arms. It was going to be hard to try to find a niche for himself. Christine sniffed her disdain. mate. Scott on instinct caught him before he could take two steps. Scott actually balked at that. "Cheers." He was enjoying just looking at the angular features of the blond young man." He flashed one of those smiles that sparkled. Page | 14 ." Dickie stated." Gran said with a smile.. no more running off. and he accepted the pre-offered monster graciously. and even his own family didn't recognize him. He looked down at the bespectacled face of an eight-year-old." "When isn't he. but certainly not old enough to have an eight-year-old... and Scott dodged back to allow the little monster who was now clinging to his pant leg to peer around him. He was essentially a stranger. and he adjusted his grip to hold on. just make sure your brother Joel comes by to mow my lawn Saturday morning." she said in her most arrogant voice." "Dickie. He was dressed differently. in his rush to get home he had really thought all of it through. you just saved me having to chase him all over the store. "Get back here!" a booming voice rang out. He glanced about the grocery store at all the local people. and he felt different." Scott grinned. as a small shape dodged past him. "Put me down mister. "I have a little sister. he was probably a year or two older. returned to his own checkout line. The tall blond man walked along the line of checkouts looking grateful." Dickie stated as he switched the fuming "sprog" from one arm to the other. loved doing the same thing to me. He turned and nodded to Scott's gran. Lydon He stuck his hands in his pockets and trailed along behind the trolley. his hair was cut differently.Return of the Sun Christopher P. wondering if.!" the lil'monster complained. and offering a final nod to Scott. even the way he slouched along behind the cart was different.
wondering what that exchange meant." Scott furrowed his brow. "that family has been through a lot recently. and Jan was a friend of mine. Dickie tipped a salute back at him as he continued to unload. Noticing the look. and he glanced across the store to the handsome guy unloading his cart." Gran intoned her warning. Page | 15 . Lydon "Christine.Return of the Sun Christopher P.
move forward about a foot every time some one ahead of him made it to the wicket. The line at the home office in Croydon was immense. At first he had politely refused their hospitality. he was tempted. It was a slow and painful process. All that mattered was that single ink marking that said he was a foreigner in his own country. separated by little lines of black nylon strung from little pillars that were just the right height to cause an injury to his grandchildren if he wasn't watching where he was going. As it was he had been waiting eight hours and had only just entered the actual room with the wickets. he hadn't had time to wait for his English one to be processed and a passport was a passport right? He had quickly come to realize how wrong he was. The woman. He looked at the massive line that snaked back upon itself. as she offered him a refill on the tea.Return of the Sun Christopher P. or even that he could produce his elementary school report cards if he had to. So those throngs of humanity from across the globe sweltered in the heat of a British summer. Lydon Chapter 3 He had never realized that it would become a quest. or any way to get a drink of water or use the restroom facilities without losing his place in line. There was easily a thousand people between him and the wicket. but after hour two of standing there he had caved and accepted. or that he had a British birth certificate. Page | 16 . It didn't matter that he had a national insurance number. he stood in line sandwiched between a Romanian family and a really nice elderly Chinese couple who kept offering him green tea from a thermos. It didn't sound like much. that thermos had to be getting pretty close to empty and he didn't want to drain it. all to get a stamp in his passport removed: Leave to enter for six months: Employment and recourse to public funds prohibited. but it was binding. It was insane. air-conditioning in public buildings wasn't considered a necessity and so no one had bothered to turn it on. The kind of line you would expect to see outside a rock concert if everyone tried to buy his or her tickets at the same time. The little Chinese woman touched his arm and he turned to her with a warm smile. and he did the only thing he could do. It was hot. He had blushed a little at the attention and thanked her in return. He hadn't thought that entering England on his American passport would make a difference. He had his jacket slung over his arm and a satchel filled full of his important papers sat on his shoulder. who didn't speak a word of English pressed the cup into his hands and bowed repeatedly. But without a water fountain.
so Scott bit his lip and slid his passport through the crack under the bulletproof plexi-glass. and thanks for the tea. Page | 17 . and strangely for the first time he noticed that he actually spoke with the accent. Rossini. This was apparently his third attempt to reach the wicket. the over-worked civil servants struggling to keep up with the flood of humanity that washed up against their wickets. but he had let the Huis go ahead of him. and he had grown accustomed to it. Lui nodded his head a few times before turning back to him. "American?" the gentleman asked. Will grinned in open gratitude and accepted again. the elderly gentleman reached into his bag and produced a second thermos. blushing like a mad man he lifted the thermos. a Yank. "Scott Walker." The wizened old woman bobbed her head. Lydon Seeing his hesitation. "Lu Kai Hui. "She say your most welcome.Return of the Sun Christopher P. touched by the display of kindness to a complete stranger." he murmured. He hadn't noticed how pervasive the American way of speaking had been to him. calling the man on his comment wouldn't get him to help. He would have been at a wicket. Scott decided that trying to explain that he was actually English would take too long so he just nodded. "She say you are pretty. pointing to the American passport sticking out of Scott's top pocket. make good husband one day. When he finally was beckoned forward." Lui turned to his wife and spoke at a rapid pace. the robust ItalianAmerican woman from next door who always insisted on yelling from the fire escape at her five kids. But after hour after endless hour. and started to rattle off something to her husband in Mandarin. it was the least he could do in return." he shook the hand with a grip like iron. day after endless day. "Tell her thank you. "My wife Li Shang Hui. He chose to blame Mrs. after all their kindness to him." Scott felt the heat rising into his cheeks as Li tittered at him. supposedly too low for Scott to hear him." he stuck out his hand." The line progressed slowly but steadily. the stress of their job had eroded them into apathy. "From Brooklyn. And Scott was next." he said. New York. "Great. She responded to him and Lui turned back again. His entire time in the States people had commented on him sounding British. he was faced by a very bored and exhausted clerk who rolled his eyes. and he had come prepared. but Scott had always had excellent hearing. However.
Scott collected his papers helplessly as he stumbled towards the door." "Well we just have to find a way around it. "Well. "You're a citizen." She said resolutely. Trying to keep the smile on his face. I was there when you were born. I was born and raised here. if I need money I have to get that stamp changed." Scott replied. disappointed that there was none. you're a citizen so you need to go to Liverpool. "Well. You have as much right to be here as anyone else. and they might have to go through the process all over again. I must serve the next person. sir. half-heartedly pushing a sausage around the plate. you're in the wrong office. Lydon "Hi there." The clerk dismissed him. Page | 18 . *** "Liverpool?" Gran sounded incredulous as she put the bangers and mash down in front of him. This office only deals with foreign nationals emigrating to England." The clerk flipped it open and squinted at the picture before squinting at Scott. "What about getting your English passport?" "Huh?" Scott looked up at his Gran in confusion. "Move along.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Even though the clock was coming dangerously close to the end of the workday. sir. Mister Walker." he said. "But I don't have much choice. putting on his most charming smile and trying to be polite. I can't work. "Liverpool?" he asked in utter defeat. the clerk's face held a momentary flash of delight. "Well. what proof do you have that you have the right to work in England?" Scott nodded and fished out his birth certificate and his NIN card." "True. there was nothing he could say to that. Jealous of the fact that he had actually been served and they still had to wait. "I was told I could get my passport re-stamped here. nothing. "They made you wait in that awful line like an immigrant?" She shook her head. scrutinizing them as if looking for a mistake. as Scott looked back at the impossibly long line he had made it through. he pushed these through the slot." Scott's jaw dropped open and the smile was gone. Gran. he pushed them back through. can't collect unemployment." The clerk examined the documents carefully. And he looked at all the bitter and resentful faces of the people still waiting in line. He just had to accept it and go to Liverpool.
Page | 19 . "Well you need to prove that you are a British citizen." Scott laughed. now eat up before your dinner gets cold." He leaned back to jot exactly that down in the medical record.Return of the Sun Christopher P. returning to stare through his scope into the deep recesses of Scott's ears. "I-" he was genuinely shocked. "You still look like an East Indian. "but no one's ever noticed before. stand in another long line and probably find out he was really supposed to be in Glasgow. Lydon She sat down at the table with her own dinner. "Let's see if all that American TV really does rot your brain. He was prepared to go to Liverpool. Hanratti leaned back." Scott fired back. you can do that at the post office in the high street. Hanratti snorted. why don't you just apply for your British passport. His gran gave a resolute nod. "Good then." He got out a scope and jammed it into Scott's ear a little too roughly. Hanratti looked surprised for a second at the observation." *** A much-aged Doctor Hanratti stared through his glasses. All you need is your birth certificate. "That's just plain mean!" he complained.. filled with thoughts of girls and fast cars no doubt." he murmured." he said flatly as he circled the examination table Scott was perched on the edge of.." Scott winced a little at the rough treatment." Hanratti said. and when you bring someone into the world. "You look like an American. Scott's jaw hung open. He hadn't even considered that loophole. but remembered that Doctor Hanratti just had a unique way of doing his trade. mildly annoyed at the reaction he kept getting from the people who had known him before he left.. you have a tendency to act familiar around them. There was little Hanratti didn't know about Scott." "Yes." he said with a note of amusement in his voice. we'll get that sorted out for you in the morning. He had been Scott's GP for years before Scott left." Scott shifted in his chair and looked at his gran in surprise at how simple she made it sound. "I think I can see light. "What? I haven't even asked you to turn your head and cough yet.. "My father was from Calcutta. Scott blushed. from the fact that he had no tonsils down to the mole on his. "Empty-headed just like your father was at your age. "It's just I came in here to get you to sign papers for me to get my passport.
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Scott laughed, "It's a wonder you haven't been sued for malpractice by now." "Hmm, chronic sarcasm," Hanratti noted that as well, "I could prescribe a laxative for that you know..." Scott slumped his shoulders, "Great." Hanratti chuckled as he brushed his white hair with his fingers and leaned back to his chart, "You may be complaining now, but when I find something wrong with you, you'll thank me for this." Scott crossed his arms, "You know, most doctors I've been to aren't this thorough." "Then they're idiots," Hanratti replied. "Now I have to ask you some questions, and if you're not honest with me on these I will have to send you for a full blood screening with the community nurse." He screwed up his nose, "Trust me, if you think I'm rough..." "Okay," Scott held up his hands defensively, "Whatever, just ask, then sign..." Hanratti beamed at his patients co-operation, "Ok, are you sexually active?" Scott glanced over at the Doctor, "I'm nineteen, what do you think..." "One round of blood tests coming up," he scrawled on his pad, "Would you like me to add a prostate exam to that?" Scott winced, "Yes, yes I am." "That's my boy." Hanratti replied satisfied with the co-operation, "You use protection? Remember to answer this one carefully, because the wrong answer will have you in the community sexual health course so fast...." Scott sighed, "Yes, Doctor." "Are you gay?" The question hung between them for a moment, and Scott balked. "Wha-?" Hanratti sighed and tapped his pen, "Legitimate question; I need to know so I can set you up with my daughter... or my nephew Billy if you are so inclined." He said it with such a deadpan expression that had Scott not known Hanratti; he could have assumed he was serious. "I'm gay," Scott replied with a sigh. He'd known ever since he was sixteen, but his first year of college and a guy called Brian had confirmed it. But did that mean he wanted flyers printed up and distributed around Halisham? Not particularly.
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"This is all covered by the doctor-patient privilege," Hanratti responded as if reading his thoughts, "I ask all the young men that same question when they come in for their yearly physical; I like to be prepared for any eventuality." He grew serious; "I am scheduling you for testing every six months, the standard block, and you might as well get used to them now rather than have to be skittish and nervous later." He picked up the passport forms and signed them, handing them over to Scott, "Alright then Scott, I have taken the liberty of re-adding you to my patient list; it's either me or the young pup up the hall, and I think you'd enjoy that too much." He offered a wry grin, "Now get out of here while I am still feeling generous, I think we have vaccinations this afternoon and I could always..." "No... No... that's fine." Scott said hopping down from the table and all but running to the door of the examination room. He flashed a relieved smile when he actually made it back out to the waiting room where his gran was sitting doing some knitting. "That took a long time," she said looking over her glasses. "Doctor Hanratti wanted to give me a checkup," Scott responded, pulling on his jacket. "Something about Yankee doctors, mint juleps, and leaches...." He shrugged. Gran smiled at him, "Well that's good, did he sign the papers?" Scott held them up for her inspection and the old woman nodded in relief; "We'll have that off this afternoon then." She started to leave when she stopped to let a middle-aged woman in a wheelchair go through the door ahead of her. "Rita?" the dark haired woman asked, peering up at Gran. "Jan, dear," Rita said, beaming at her, "let me give you a hand." She pushed the door Jan was struggling with open a little wider, and the woman rolled through it onto the ramp. "Thank you," Jan replied with a smile, nodding to Scott, "I was starting to wonder if I'd be trapped in there with Hanratti all day." Scott chuckled at the battery of tests anyone unlucky enough to be trapped inside the mad doctors office would be subjected to. He could just see old Hanratti, rubbing his hands and cackling maniacally about which lever to pull next. "That's all right dear," Gran was saying as they navigated to the street. "Have you met my Grandson Scott?"
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Jan turned in her chair, "One of the boys that went to America?" She smiled, "Nice to meet you." Scott smiled and bobbed his head, "Same here." "Yes Scott, Jan's son Luke was in your year at Grovelands," Gran said knowledgeably. Scott shuddered at the memory; he remembered Luke all right, the strange bitter kid who had pulled the girls' hair and had generally gotten into all the mischief he could. Scott instinctively rubbed his hand where Luke had stabbed him with a pencil when he was little. "Oh Rita, Joel will be over to do your garden on Saturday, Dickie passed on your message," Jan was saying as Gran took to pushing the chair, the two instinctively in agreement that they were heading into town. "Thank you." Gran smiled down at her, "That's okay, it saves me having to get down on creaky knees to pull weeds, plus if it gives him a couple of pounds to buy himself something, so much the better." "It's kind of you to give him a job like that." Jan continued, sounding genuinely pleased at the arrangement. "Well, when Luke and Dickie were his age, I let them tend the garden, I'll do the same for Jasper when he is old enough." Gran glanced over at Scott, who was watching her with a little understanding. This was her way of helping Jan out, and from the sounds of it, Jan had her hands full with four boys.
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mind. "Whatcha doin' back here then?" he asked. "I'll look after him Nanny. "Where are we going. his long greasy hair tied back out of his eyes and a grin on his face that was the first warm one Scott had received from one of his relatives." Page | 23 . opening the door to said monstrosity. I know what boys are like at your age. battered. "and bring him back in one piece. "Right to the point huh?" Scott asked. his cousin grinned at him. Scott had shared many a scraped knee from adventures with Darren when he was younger and it was good to see a face his own age for a change rather than the unending stream of adults. Once they were walking to the curb." Gran eyed her black-sheep grandson carefully. "you know how she is. and patted Scott on the shoulder." Scott replied." Darren's face took on a look that reminded Scott of the blond-haired angel he had been when they had been children. mate. "You take care of him. Darren had shown up at the door with his hands in the pockets of a well-worn motorcycling jacket. "Nice quiet pub up there and you're not likely to get yer head kicked in looking like a Yank." he said in a voice filled with innocence. as he struggled with a broken seatbelt that wouldn't pull free." she said with her hands on her hips as if she knew all too well what Darren was all about.Return of the Sun Christopher P." he said starting the car on his third turn of the key. she likes to know everythin'. "Mum's all in a tiz about it. For Scott this was cheerful news." "I'll tell you over a beer. red monstrosity that Scott hoped to God wasn't Darren's car. "All right then. And Scott knew from experience that meant he was going to get into a whole heap of trouble. we're goin' for a pint. when Friday night had rolled around Scott had learned that his cousin Darren was to be putting in an appearance. Gran gave him a knowing look. handing him a key. Aunt Christine's eldest boy was Scott's age." he greeted with a nod as Scott answered the door. "Get yer coat. "Go have fun dear. Scott shrugged on his jacket and piled into the passenger seat. giving up on the seat belt and holding onto the dashboard as the car rolled forward." she said." Darren said. he was a good person. and to a large. and although his mother generally regarded him as a black sheep. Lydon Chapter 4 The time waiting for the passport seemed to pass quickly. anyway?" "Hellingly.
talk about a walking stereotype. He was amazed when." Scott shrugged." Scott glanced down at himself and shrugged. and dressed like that.. thankful to at last be back in a country that had a respectable drinking age of sixteen. "Look mate. He was a good four inches taller than Scott who was a modest 5'8". Darren hopped out. It was surprising considering Scott was actually a few months older than Darren. Darren cheerfully waved Scott into a booth. I didn't mean to insult ya back there.. He craned his head to make sure. Darren grinned. mate. He felt he looked fine. you might get some trouble for it. At least there he hadn't been given dismissive glances by tired old men cradling pints and trying to forget life for a while. the car actually made it into the parking lot of the low ramshackle building that was supposedly a pub. his face well-known. after a few minutes. "A pint Lewis!" Scott lifted the glass. "You'd have to grow an inch or two to be short. and in a near flawless impersonation of Inspector Morse said. He lifted his glass." he replied honestly. feeling the smoothtasting lager slide down his throat and hit his system with a refreshing burst." Darren stared at him with a concerned look in his eyes as he rested his elbows on the roof of his car. and given your size. and felt a little offended about it being referred to so derogatorily as 'American'." He led the way into the pub where he was greeted with a round of hello's and friendly nods. "Well. Darren shrugged as he wrestled the car into second gear. "Just want you to remember that some people don't like Yanks around these parts. "something to look forward to. And he tilted the glass back. Darren sighed. not the ludicrous twenty-one.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Darren chuckled at him as the car stalled. I'm getting used to it." "You saying I'm short?" he said. "It's all I got. it protested loudly and Scott was sure the clutch was somewhere back on the road behind them. over top a clean white regular T. Lydon "Great. He liked what he was wearing. wheezed. and a pair of new Levi jeans. suddenly Scott really missed the pool hall 'The Broken Cue' that had been a second home to him. folding his arms resolutely. "Look. have you looked in the mirror? You look like one of those guys from an American sitcom. He had chosen a particularly smart-looking navy-blue long-sleeved Henley tee shirt. then started again." Scott murmured darkly. Darren was a regular. Moments later he was back with two of Whitbread's finest lagers. Page | 24 . and had at least thirty pounds on him.
"You have no idea. nodding politely to the bartender who heard his accent and scowled. it was only a hundred pounds." Scott set the glass down on the table and breathed a relieved sigh.." Darren said pushing his hand down below the edge of the table. "Don't go flashing that round here." Scott looked about in confusion." Darren said." Darren said in his usual forthright manner.. just picked up some bad habits that's all. "it just wasn't my thing. Darren shook his head.. "I'm still here. "Doesn't seem to matter to anyone who I am. except for a few locals and some kids their own age playing the fruit machines in the saloon bar.. it took me three months to get her to believe me that Emma was already pregnant when I started to date her. It was my dad's dream you know.Return of the Sun Christopher P." He grinned and got up to buy the next round. the bar was nearly empty.. as if reluctant to give up his lager. well it's a classic story." "Ain't it always?" Darren responded." "Mum thinks you got some girl pregnant. And that got me thinking about a lot of things." Darren waved it off. bud. I needed that..and then I just decided I wanted to come home. He shook his head as he came and sat down at the table again. "So you gonna tell me now?" Scott chuckled. or do I have to buy you another round?" Scott licked his lips as he glanced at the pump. "Bloody hell. you are a Yank aren't you?" He stared in wonder at his cousin. "Let me get this one. He really didn't see the harm in thumbing through his wallet. "Ok. not mine. lest you give someone some ideas. "Anything left in there of that nippy little left-winger we loaned the States eight years ago?" Scott grinned. "Don't worry about it mate. "Shit. finishing his first pint and immediately swapping it for the second." he murmured. Thanks. just matters what I am." Page | 25 .. Lydon "Steady on. sprawling back into his seat." he said pulling out his wallet and thumbing through the bills. too precious to be wasted you see.. I got to university and I worked hard." He laughed. "I'm getting sick of this. looking back at the bar. but. "but then Mum thinks that about any lad our age. And I did. "You should have seen her when I brought Emma home. looking shocked at how fast Scott downed the drink... my pleasure. "you'd think you hadn't had one in years. So are you going to tell me why you're here so I can get Mum off my back." he shrugged.
my own car. I'd love that. so I decided to move into residence and he didn't like that. Scott grinned. "I felt the same way when I left home. but I can't afford one right now." Scott could appreciate that.." Page | 26 . right? So come. less idealistic and more.." "Oh you do have a rebellious streak in you. "You will eventually. "I'd like to. I need to get a job and get set up. Lydon "Bet she loved you for that. and you need a car. Mum was like that when I didn't go to sixth form. and so he disowned me. "Yeah. We're working on a banger for the Darlington track. but I did it anyway." He squinted into his rapidly emptying glass to see if there was a hole at the bottom of it. He liked Darren. bud. His father had always forbidden Ron from taking him." There was an excitement in his eyes. "Oh.. "My own flat. Scott nodded. Come see me and I'll hook you up for a couple of hundred. "I can." Darren looked like he had just discovered gold. if you could be that way in England. "You and Uncle John have a falling out?" Darren asked. Besides. Mum will go ape-shit.." Scott said. Actually its more like he's disappointed.." Darren huffed. it was the one thing his Uncle Ron and his Cousin Darren shared.Return of the Sun Christopher P." He nodded to himself thoughtfully.. seeming relaxed now that he was getting to know his cousin again. Dad was getting too much." Scott shrugged. I got free of her the moment I was sixteen. He was more realistic than some of the other members of the family. I got out of school.. I saw Grade A Loser. find one you like and I'll spot you till you get a job.. and no more nagging." Scott winced. "He saw Doctor or Lawyer. there wasn't." "You drive yet?" Darren asked slyly." Scott said with a wink. Dad said no. "But I got apprenticed at my dad's old garage and its been great ever since.. the roguish young man had grown up into someone who had a healthy respect for life.. "Some buddies took me to get my licence my first week in the residence. into the garage and I've been happy ever since.streetwise. especially in the local demolition derby." He smiled. "That's good. "I don't have it. but he wasn't a little boy anymore. a love for speed." "Yeah. you should stop by and take a look...
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"Scott!" Both heads turned to the familiar female voice; Serena walked across the bar floor from the door and she bent down to give him a hug, which he returned in surprise. She stepped away from him, "Good to see you, didn't know you came here." She looked over at her friend, a rather mousey-looking girl with thick round glasses, "Mind if we join you after we get some drinks?" "Sure." Scott said as he scooted over to the wall. Serena nodded as she went to the bar to order and Darren shot him a shocked look, "How the hell do you know Serena Chapman?" It sounded a lot like an accusation, especially when he hissed it in a feeble attempt at a whisper. "I used to go to school with her," Scott explained, trying to hurry before she got back. "We rode the same train down from Gatwick." Darren cocked his head to get a better look of her in her tight jeans, "I underestimated you, Scotty." Scott grinned into his glass, "Everyone does that." They waited quietly as Serena and her friend joined them at the table. Scott was prepared to introduce Darren but the way Darren looked at Serena, and she back at him, they obviously knew each other. So instead he stuck a hand out to the mousey girl, "Hi, I'm Scott." "Fleur," the mousey girl replied, blushing bright red as she shook his hand. Inwardly he rolled his eyes, knowing full well that he had another girl problem on his hands. The way she was looking at him, with instant adoration, made him want to shrivel up into a ball. Nothing makes a person more self-conscious about themselves than a girl so scared of you that you'd have to pry a conversation out of her with a crowbar. He decided to play nice, warm and friendly, and let her come out of her shell on her own once she realized he wasn't interested. Maybe he'd get lucky and she'd notice Darren sitting next to her. He was cute; lanky with blond hair and a grin that made him... Scott realized that Darren was attractive. He just didn't bother with his appearance; he was too relaxed about it. Introduce him to soap, cut his hair and get him into something other than torn jeans and he would be a lady-killer. "I like your shirt," Serena said, tracing her hand lightly down the line of buttons on his Henley, "Where'd you get it?" "Wal-Mart," Scott replied honestly, "It was on sale so I grabbed a couple..."
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Fleur's eyes suddenly looked past his shoulder, widening as her smile became more dreamy, and Scott wondered if it was something he had done, but he glanced over his shoulder to see the two young men who had walked in. He recognized Dickie from the grocery store immediately. "Your boyfriend's here," Serena said, tensing slightly beside Scott, and he saw her quickly hide a look of distaste with her glass. She saw that he had seen it and gave him a look that said she would explain 'later'. Fleur was already up from her bench and bounding over to throw her arms around Dickie, who swept her up into them and planted a soft kiss on her cheek before he set her down. The other young man, dark-haired and vaguely familiar to Scott just scowled as he stalked over to the bar, ordering a couple of pints of Guinness. The three of them joined the table. "Griff," the dark-haired man said to Darren as he slid into the booth beside him. Darren tilted his head back in greeting, moving to let him in. Dickie pulled up his own chair, capping the table, Fleur draped over his arm, and surveyed the troops like an old general. His intense grey eyes stopped when they recognized Scott and he leaned across the table to offer his hand again. "You were with Rita Walker in the Sainsbury's the other day." Scott clasped the hand firmly, "Scott Walker; you're Jan's son, right?" "We both are," Dickie said gesturing to the dark-haired young man who was staring at Scott with a dark look on his face, one that measured him, and from the sudden flash in them, found him wanting. "This is my brother, Luke." Scott began to extend his hand but Luke ignored it as he stood up, "I'm gonna go set up the pool table; Griff, you game?" His voice was tight, like he just wanted to get away from the group; Scott had been around long enough to know when someone didn't want to belong. Scott pulled his hand back; Luke wasn't even going to give him the time of day. So much for that then, he turned back to Dickie who had glanced at his brother in annoyance. Darren just shrugged and followed Luke to the pool table, hoping it was enough to show he didn't understand Luke's rudeness either. "I'm sorry," Dickie said, compensating by sliding into the bench across from Scott, and affixing him with a pair or intense eyes that searched his soul. It was like being peeled back and exposed; they didn't blink, but stayed locked on his own, and Scott got the impression he was having his mind read.
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Scott shrugged, "I'm getting used to it, trust me. Comes with the territory it seems..." Dickie wagged his finger, not breaking his gaze, "I remember who you are now; you were the little dark-haired kid that used to go with your dad to the football club to watch them play." Scott frowned, "Yeah, the club on the recreation ground; my dad used to take me there every Sunday afternoon..." Dickie relaxed back, satisfied that he hadn't forgotten a face, "Yeah, my dad used to take me as well; Rita used to talk about her grandsons in the United States." His voice pronounced the words flawlessly, an edge of education behind them that said he knew what he was saying, and there was no denying the self-confidence the man projected; a sheer force of will, that let you know he was there, "Glad to finally put a face with the name." Scott shrugged, "It's good to be here. I'm meeting a lot of," he glanced at Serena who was doing her best not to seem like she was inching ever closer to him, "old friends," he said, looking back. Dickie chuckled as he looped a hand around Fleur's shoulders; she curled against him and sighed peacefully, like an addict getting a fix. From his angle, Scott could see the faint resemblance to a junkie. She had dark lines under her eyes, pale-ish skin and was entirely too thin, it was a cruel thought and he stuffed it deep down and promptly forgot it, embarrassed with himself for having it. Dickie absently stroked her hair, as he looked over at Serena, "You're working in the stationary store down on the High Street this summer aren't you," he said flatly, as if he already knew the answer. Serena bobbed her head, her curls rustling, "Yes, I'm off of university after the summer and my mom set me up with the job." She grinned, "Stocking shelves isn't glamorous but it gives me some play money. How about you, are you working this summer?" His eyes met hers considering her before he spoke. Scott noticed he did this every time he spoke, as if he was deliberately careful about each word he chose. "I'm taking care of Jasper this summer; hopefully next year he will be old enough to join the Leisure Centre's play group." Scott zoned out of the conversation, as Serena and Dickie talked about people and events he had no knowledge of. He was watching his cousin get beaten at pool by an emotionless Luke. Darren was cursing up a storm, but Luke didn't so much as crack a smile, he just made his shot, hit or miss.
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Dickie shrugged...." Serena pouted a smile on her pretty face.. "Umm." Scott coughed. "Sorry.." he said." ". "You're right. "Ok. "I'm sorry. "help me pick out clothes. "I didn't want to give anyone the wrong idea that's all. "So that's why you didn't." Scott scratched his temple... Scott turned back to Dickie. "But I'm gay... "You look like a short football player to me.. women's clothing. waving off his apology. I'm not really the kind of guy who knows about." she began and swallowed it before she said too much...are you sure you're gay?" Serena said looking at him closely." he said in a manner that said he really didn't care one way or the other. Lydon Luke glanced up from the table and noticed Scott watching him. "I'm sorry?" Dickie shrugged." She gave him a petulant look before she broke into a broad grin... you in stockings and a bra is a nasty thought. "You could come shopping with us next weekend!" she looked delighted.." He lifted a hand to cheerfully wave at a couple of the regulars who were staring in shock in their general direction." He realized he was being set up on a date." Dickie replied.. looking shocked at the fact he had just blurted it out like that.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "I-" "No need to explain. Though I wouldn't recommend yelling it too loudly in a pub again. "I don't care. He gritted his teeth." Scott confirmed.. sinking the ball.. glad that it was finally out in the open. "You sure?" "Been out for a year now. "I'm sorry. Serena just offered to bring you along. and he was thrown for a second. I was wondering if you would like to join us." he started to apologize. Fleur had sat up in surprise." he looked at Serena. You probably haven't had a chance to meet anyone yet. and Serena was looking at him blankly. and he narrowed his eyes before he bent back to his shot.." Dickie gave him a disgusted look. who was asking him something.. "How come the cute ones are always gay. It was the closest he had come to any kind of emotion the entire game. I thought that. he hated it when he was caught off guard like that." Page | 30 . "We're going into Eastbourne tomorrow night.
Scott was starting to relax. an allotment of money that he would use to feed himself and ensure he could travel to and from interviews. he usually just stuck his hands in his pockets and hung back a little bit as she bounced through introducing him as her "Obligatory gay friend" feeling painfully self conscious and wishing he were anywhere else at the time. apparently he would have to go and wait in another line to get that. As was typical of bureaucracy the world over. Welfare was seen by many as subsisting off of the backs of others. who had developed rather quickly into a stereotypical fag-hag.Return of the Sun Christopher P. heading headlong into the most tangled example of government red tape he had ever been exposed to. that he had blessedly been saved by his appointment with English bureaucracy. that gay fashion accessory all the popular girls wanted to have with them. he enjoyed spending time with Serena. His grandmother had been overjoyed that he was making friends. Scott had ambled across the road. Though the blow to his ego would have to be tended after he had received his first welfare check. was something else entirely. It was essentially exactly that. he was ready to actually start getting up on his own two feet again. Lydon Chapter 5 The next two weeks seemed to drag by. Scott's first exposure to the job centre was of a long line-up as desperate people of varying ages waited in order to plead their case to Page | 31 . Serena had made him promise to meet her at the train station café when he was done. A status symbol signifying that she was cool. they had found a politically-correct term called 'Job Seekers Allowance' which supposedly was to make it a proactive social contract. before she had swept off to check out the latest fashions at Debbenham's department store. he had a shiny new British passport in his pocket as well as all his other papers. while 'Job Seekers' conjured an image of sharp young men in business suits moving from job interview to job interview ready to rejoin society in a productive role. There was even a budget for him to buy a new suit. Or more aptly he had become her fag-bangle. Only in England it wasn't called that. He was armed though. It was after one such morning of being dragged unwillingly around the Arndale mall in Eastbourne. she seemed especially pleased to meet Serena who had picked him up the next night to drive him into Eastbourne to join them at Bar Copa on the end of the pier. Scott grinned and bore it well. those first days back home where Scott was still trying to find his footing. Rent. however. apparently Fleur worked there during the day down on the home accessories floor.
apathetic caseworkers who were coldly uncaring to the plights of the people who came before them with outstretched hands. and what had happened to the scrawny little striker who had one day simply not shown up for class again. Lydon overworked. He looked at Travis for a moment. doing anything rather than just wasting away doing nothing at all. underpaid. The same guy who Scott had goofed off with in class when they were both supposed to be paying attention. He couldn't exactly go on staying at his gran's house in Hailsham. a faint glimmer of recognition in his eyes as he did so. his pride was taking the kind of world-class beating that came from going five rounds with Ali. "Seat taken?" the heavyset young man asked as he flopped down beside Scott. "Travis?" He looked at Scott in puzzlement. Scott looked up past the leather pants. Travis in turn told Scott about the slightly podgy kid who had grown up into a full-fledged Goth. Travis took the hand. and depending on the King's mood. "Yeah?" he responded setting a leather-bound book across his lap. There was no mistaking Travis Woodard. He didn't want to be there. Scott was surprised. wondering who the young guy with the accent was who knew his name and actually used it. and despite the fact that they were in a place shrouded in a stigma of gloomy depression. He was reduced to begging for a handout. or to beg for a scrap of food. the faint hint of his original hair colouring poking out from under the bad black dye job.and make up? Scott started in shock. "Scotty?" he inquired cautiously. A guy who Scott had shared his lunch with in the lunchroom. that is you!" And just like that Scott was reacquainted with his best friend from school. It reminded Scott of summary justice. it was stupid but he didn't really have a choice. "Hi!" Scott said enthusiastically as he stuck out his hand... where in medieval times a King would sit on a throne as people came before him to beg for leniency on crimes. It was amazing. Scott had been lucky enough to grab a chair as he waited for his number to be called.Return of the Sun Christopher P. the Goth get-up. Page | 32 . and he sat fiddling with the sleeve of his jacket and staring listlessly at the floor as he did so. he simply hadn't changed. "Wow. Scott needed to feel like he was moving forward with his life. again the world was proving it was really a small place. they talked about the good old days. the thick black trenchcoat and the pale white face. Scott filled Travis in on his life. only grown taller. before they were swept off and another would step forward. a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down would decide their fate.
"Look. No doubt making use of Fleur's store discount at Debenhams..Return of the Sun Christopher P. He gave her one of his patented stupid grins before he darted over to the counter to order one." Serena said.." He grinned. "Yeah." Serena gave him a scandalized look. 'overjoyed' may have been an optimistic overstatement on Scott's part. "That was a bloody good try Scott. returning to the table holding the liquid gold that he had been craving for over two solid weeks. Real coffee. "Habitual Residency Test." Scott replied candidly. but it was definitely real coffee. fresh. Lydon Once Scott had completed his begging." Scott looked at her blankly." he pointed out of the window. he walked with Travis back to the train station. She was sitting at her own table with what vaguely resembled a cup of coffee in her hands. a bird. "Did you get it?" Serena asked as Scott sat down again. "That never works for me. She seemed mildly intrigued to meet the longhaired gothic man. She was surrounded by shopping bags suspiciously filled with clothes. He had just returned to the table with a cup of tea... Though one girl wanted me to sit a HRT. not instant. In fact when Scott looked at it closely it was a real cup. "Name three English political parties." "HRT?" Travis asked. stirring his coffee and savouring the first mouthful. the teabag sitting in tepid water which for some strange reason he found appetizing.. "Impressed her so much she just filled all the answers in for me. real. a little sugar. "Nice one!" Travis grinned slapping him on the shoulder. true. Serena had been overjoyed to meet Travis again. "Piece'o'cake." "Worked on the girl in the Job Center.. "Did I forget to mention how lovely your eyes are today?" Travis chuckled. "I answer a bunch of questions about England in an effort to prove I live here." Page | 33 . but charming me isn't going to work. and he had completed the endless mountain of paperwork that would allow him to start claiming Job Seekers and actually move out of his Gran's house and into his own place. Scott nodded. Einstein. not meeting her gaze." Scott replied. with cream. rather painless once I showed them I was really English." "Alright. "You chatted up the woman at the Job Centre?" Scott turned his head. and Serena blushed before shaking her head to refocus.
just watch yourself around my family. and to Scott's middle-class English family. and had his back to the gaudy canary-yellow wall as he looked over at his old friend. More like shoeboxes than dwellings. thanks for that.. Scott had cleared a space for himself from the crumpled magazines and books. The housing estate was considered one of the unsavoury neighbourhoods of the small town. a squat three-story building with a decided nineteen-eighties feel to the architecture.. It was the realization that he wasn't the only one who had fallen down on his luck that made him feel better about his journey home.. he really didn't care.. "so maybe you're not as gay as you thought. The apartment building." she caught herself a moment too late as she flushed red at the fact she had just let slip. as Scott sipped a cup of cheap tea that tasted more like hot water than anything else." he said looking at Scott suspiciously." Serena finally grinned at him. The flats were small bachelors with a kitchen and a bathroom and little else.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Scott replied shrugging his shoulders. Scott had spent the last eight years in Brooklyn. not you. And Travis's was remarkably spartan having only a large double bed and a pile of clothes in his.. I'm helping you to take advantage of vulnerable women. "I'd rather my gran not find out from someone else." "I'm so sorry. as a way to provide housing to the younger generation.. Jewish. Apparently she considered it more like a dormitory rather than an apartment building." Scott murmured darkly. "Meh.. Page | 34 . was sitting in the middle of various different track housing.. Georges. But for the moment. Lydon "Great." Serena said covering her mouth. It was a place where the lowest classes lived in homes. so he resolutely ignored those warnings. ran St. He wasn't crazy. Town Farm was an idyllic suburb compared to that. The local diocese of the Anglican Church.." He gave her a meaningful look.. It was watched over by a retired nun. "it's not like I'm trying to hide anything." Serena dropped them off close to Travis's flat in the Town Farm area of Hailsham. Plus he never could wrap his mind around social discrimination. Travis choked on his tea. Travis was one of those people who perpetually spent his time at other people's houses. still in shock over how careless she had been. "No. or apartments. Scott could tell it wasn't really lived in.. or gay.. In fact he had been warned several times to stay out of Town Farm. to him it was just as bad as discrimination against someone who was black. a place that was beneath contempt. or block of flats as Travis kept referring to it. "but I see the town crier got to it first. "Well I was hoping to avoid taking the full page ad out in the Daily Telegraph. It reminded Scott of a university dorm. he was just searching for something he simply hadn't found yet.
And as afternoon wore on to become evening and darkness began to set in. a warm breeze in the air. literally half her age. the blue sky deepening towards twilight. Scott was one of those people who asked questions that invariably forced him to learn too much information. he wasn't fully prepared to learn that Kerry was in her early forties. it was all he had been looking for at the time. wondering what on earth possessed Travis to date a woman that old. Not to mention the fact that she was a married woman." Scott smiled at this. So. well. programs. and he knew that Gran would be waiting with his dinner in the oven. in asking Travis what his girlfriend was like.Return of the Sun Christopher P. what's she like?" Bad question. and Brian was nothing more than a few clumsy casual encounters that resulted in a prolonged one-night stand. "We've been seeing each other for a while now. as he shifted on the end of his unmade bed. It wouldn't take him that long. No real time for it. Scott realized he would have to head home soon. and made arrangements to get together and spend a good evening down the pub. He said a warm goodbye to Travis. and the various houses around him were lit up with the flickering televisions watching their prime time. Not that he minded. or what should have passed for prime time. tasting the unfamiliar name as he said it." Travis admitted. Lydon "So what do you do with yourself now?" Scott asked as he gingerly set the cup down on a wellread copy of Maxim magazine. who was he to judge Travis? Scott hadn't really been in a relationship before. But to actually be in an affair. Meadow Road was a good hike away from Town Farm. Page | 35 . Without much fanfare." "Mia?" Scott asked. "Nothing really. but then he was still slightly jet-lagged and adjusting to English time would take him awhile. and an affair with a woman that old. sitting there. married with two children. "She your girlfriend?" "Her real name is Kerry. she had to be a unique woman that was for sure. he was the same age as Scott. Scott set out into Town Farm heading for home. And that she and Travis had been having an affair ever since they had met at a pub two years before. "Great. Scott decided not to say anything. He gave himself about twenty minutes and he would be home. It was getting dark. nineteen. Scott was stunned into silence. "I spend most of my time with Mia. It wasn't particularly late. a short walk till he found George Street and from there out onto South Road." Travis replied. in fact it was still relatively early to Scott.
slow down. Shaven heads. a dead end. the tone of his voice. He turned. He kept long strides." he said apologetically. Short of booking it up the middle of the road screaming like a little girl. feeling for sure he was in trouble.. years of running on a pitch kept him in reasonably good shape.Return of the Sun Christopher P. He turned and took off like a jackrabbit. he'd just make it up past the market and he'd be fine. one was even wearing a Liverpool jersey. "Oi Mate. and as he turned the two hooligans jogged around the corner to block his only way out. Lydon It was quiet though. "Hey. one wrong turn and he would be in a dead end street. and he rounded a corner to pull up short. bounding off of the curb and sprinting up the street for all he was worth. and from Page | 36 ." the other one called out. it was the ones that dressed like soccer hooligans. and Scott knew immediately he was in trouble again. the two louts crashing and cursing through the bushes behind him. "got a fag?" He tensed. The footsteps behind him made him tense up a bit as he glanced behind him at the pair of young men walking behind him. and he shivered involuntarily as he thrust his hands deeper into his pockets and began to hurry.you know. unlike two guys who spent the majority of their time on a couch with a six-pack. "What?" "Got a fag.." the guy put two fingers to his lips and tapped them a couple of times.. "You a fucking Yank?" Scott braced his shoulders. that's what they wanted. turning to keep walking. The three apartment buildings closed the street off neatly. he was fresh out of ideas. He dodged and weaved around a car and propelled himself up onto a wall and used it to jump a hedgerow before he kept going. I don't smoke. Scott knew this wasn't going to be a friendly encounter. A cigarette. He was screwed. And the way they nudged each other and nodded to him. If there was a typical type he had been warned about. He almost collapsed in relief.. But he couldn't keep the pace up for long. "No. he was easily dwarfed by these two broad-shouldered guys and if he ran where would he run to? He didn't know the area.. they were almost up with him.. He wasn't a little girl. He was just letting all those worried comments about Town Farm get to him." one called out. he didn't know where he was running to. the orange streetlights that were the same the world over. lit everything around him in a surreal orange glow. the two larger louts in hot pursuit. obviously directed to him.
you're asking for trouble like that. Scott breathed his second sigh of relief for the evening.. "I'm not an American. it was either that or let them kick his head in. a uniformed man blew his whistle again. He backed up slowly into the middle of the street. "Dispatch this is PC Allston. He rubbed his brow as if to relieve some of the tension there and he picked up his mic.. "Just going home.. only the gleaming emblem on his bobby's helmet shone in the orange light. "Guys. how about you. there had to be someone about in the housing estate. the rest of him was dark. "It's no big deal." he said holding up his hands and continuing to back up." The officer stood aside to let them past. I have a bloody prat here who thought it was a good idea to take his evening Page | 37 .. I'm from Hailsham. Lydon the looks on their faces. what's going on here?" The two louts glared at him and turned to face the police officer. constable.." he knew he was trying to reason with two people who weren't about to listen to him. obviously angry. "This isn't your country." The one in the jersey stated balling his hands into fists. who appeared to shrink away from the police officer.. "Nothing. I live here." "Look." the one in the jersey reassured." "A walk home I take it." "Are you dense?" Luke accused. "You can't walk around Town Farm alone at night." "You sound like a Yank.. "Alright then. I don't have any money on me. As he turned back to Scott." Luke replied. Robert?" His head turned to the other lout. It was still early. I." "Could have been beaten within an inch of your life. Sam. He had his hands on his hips and looked dangerously threatening. he removed his helmet and tucked it under his arm. you look like a Yank.." Scott shrugged. I went to Grove. "What the bloody hell do you think you're playing at?" Luke asked. that's all. "Just out for a walk. I was just trying to go home.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "I was just heading home. but he had to try.. It was a futile gesture. looking about vainly for anyone to see him. constable. still looking menacingly towards them until the rounded the corner out of sight. he was not going to escape this one by talking. stepping forward so that the light lit up his face... The shrill whistle stopped them short in the dim light at the opening of the street..
"Roger that. Luke." Luke half-smiled." "Roger." Page | 38 . Constable." the radio crackled back at him." And he clicked the mic off. Over. "You just going to stand there like a melon or are you coming?" Scott raised an eyebrow amused by Luke's cracks about his mental capacity. Lydon constitutional through Town Farm. over. setting his helmet back onto his head he looked at Scott. it was the closest Scott had seen him smile yet. "tell the idiot he owes you a drink when you get off duty.Return of the Sun Christopher P. I'm going to see that he gets home with his head still attached. lead the way. "Yeah I'm coming.
Return of the Sun
Christopher P. Lydon
Scott looked at him again, "What?" Luke snapped, sounding irritable, and Scott guessed he was wondering what kind of twit would walk through Town Farm on their own. Sure there were probably a few that could pull it off, but they had to be twice Scott's size, and anyone would think twice about taking on a guy built like heavyweight boxer. But Scott was small, smaller than your average lightweight. Great. Scott ambled alongside Luke, quite enjoying the stroll, and smirking over the fact that he had his own chaperone walking him home. After all, how many people got to do that? Upon reflection, he remembered that a pair of New York's finest had once escorted his sister home after she had been caught for shoplifting, not exactly something to be smirking about. Suddenly the encroaching night didn't seem so threatening, and he felt a lot more comfortable walking through the housing estate, past the weathered terrace houses, garages and junk skips. He could see the lack of care in the housing estate. It was dirty and it felt that way, as if the residents simply didn't care about their neighbourhood. Why bother, they were looked down on anyway. "When did you become a cop?" Scott asked, trying for the third time to start a conversation. Luke rolled his eyes, as they crossed an empty street; there were virtually no cars out in Hailsham on a week night after dark, "After college, I applied, I got in, I got trained." He mumbled something under his breath, "And I'm a Police Constable, you're in England." Scott continued to smile his dopey smile; he was actually highly entertained by Luke's dour attitude. Who would have thought the class delinquent would grow up to become a police officer? It was just one of those strange quirks of fate; ask him as a kid what he thought Luke would be doing when he grew up and Scott would have probably said 'time'. "It's just interesting that's all," Scott said keeping up with Luke's long strides, "you never seemed the type." "And you didn't seem the type to grow up to be a dumb American," Luke shot back angrily. "What the hell were you playing at back there?" Scott sighed, "Look, firstly I am not a dumb American, show me some fucking respect... Secondly I was just walking home, I didn't think..." "Yeah, you didn't think." Luke shot back. "Imagine what Rita would say if I had to bring you back with your teeth in a bag."
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It was Scott's turn to roll his eyes, "I was going to say thanks for that, but I'm starting to wonder if I wouldn't have been better off..." "Look mate, I'm sorry," Luke said quietly, sounding genuinely apologetic. "I shouldn't have called you a dumb American." Scott blew out a sigh, "It's okay, I am getting used to it. You'd think I was the scum of the earth though." "Yeah," Luke admitted as they turned down George Street passing the recently renovated cinema and the courthouse, "It's because you're different, people don't like different." Scott dodged around a couple of old troughs that had become planters for flowers, a little bit of colour on the side of the street. A few steps later Scott felt his stomach rumble threateningly and he glanced up on the corner where Hailsham's Fish and Chip Shop was located. "You hungry?" he asked. Luke looked up, "You mean the chippy? No, I ate earlier but we can stop if you want." He seemed reluctant about the idea, no doubt wanting to get back to walking his beat. "You don't have to wait," Scott offered. "I do," Luke said. "If I don't and something happens to you, I'd have to explain to the superintendent, and if he didn't kill me, your gran would." Scott smiled as they both walked through the door into the small fish and chip shop, Scott quickly placing an order and handing over the two pound in payment. The fish was handed back to him wrapped in the traditional newspaper, a cornucopia of grease and batter drenched in malt vinegar, salt and ketchup. He was even pleased to find the small wooden fork he remembered from when he was young. Luke shook his head, "I don't know how you can eat that stuff," he said as they were once again walking, he seemed to have relaxed from his earlier aggression. Scott held it up, "After years of pizza slices, hotdogs and crap, fish and chips are a welcome break. You know you can't get it over there? You can, but it never tastes the same..." he happily began chewing on his chips. "Yeah, I suppose." Luke said, as they crossed the old railway bridge and turned for the last long walk up South Road, finally reaching out a hand to steal a couple of chips when his dispassionate asshole routine finally gave way to the power of junk food.
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Scott smirked again, holding the bag between them as he walked, glad that Luke was finally beginning to relax, both young men reaching in to help themselves. It was a chance for Scott to actually look at Luke; the young man had a small nose and his ears stuck out a little more due to the strange helmet so many Bobbies wore, but the dark blue, modern uniform suited him. It seemed to add a purpose, and the severe gaze he always affixed on people seemed to make sense while he wore it. He had a pair of the deepest brown eyes that were a direct clue to his emotions, if you could actually get him to stop squinting at you suspiciously. And Scott realized that Luke was actually very cute, not hot, not handsome, just cute. He still had a little bit of baby fat to his cheeks, and so they dimpled when he smiled. Wait... he was smiling... Scott blinked and looked up again, but the smile was gone. "Why'd you join the force?" Emboldened by the smile Scott decided to try again. He was insatiably curious, it was so contrary to the Luke he had known so many years ago. "I wanted to do something with myself," Luke said. "I didn't have the marks to go to university, and I didn't want to get a trade so it was join the army or this." He looked down at his darkcoloured uniform, and up at Scott, "So it's your turn, why'd you come back and don't bother telling me the horseshit you told Griff." Scott winced, "I flunked out," he admitted truthfully. "I went there, realized I didn't have what it takes, stopped going and failed. Not exactly something I'm proud of..." Luke nodded, "Least your honest about it, some people just lie and make up excuses for dropping out." Scott wondered what Luke meant by that, but there was that dispassionate look creeping back into his young face, those eyes looking suddenly very far away, hard and cold. He had withdrawn into his shell again, and they were once again walking in silence. Scott considered doing something, anything, to engage him in conversation again, but Luke had given him a glimmer of the man beneath the hard exterior, his apology for being an asshole. But that didn't change who Luke was, and Scott got the impression that Luke didn't particularly want to change. He was after all his own person. When they stood on the doorstep, Luke politely rang the bell, his helmet once again tucked under his arm. Gran answered the door, immediately looking concerned when she saw Luke in uniform. "Evening Ma'am," Luke said formally, "I believe I found something that belongs to you," he said, sounding so much older than his nineteen years.
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" Luke took a step back to go. relying on innuendo and sarcasm.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "as for you. Lydon "Scott?" she asked looking at the smiling young man beside the police officer. *** He had finally explained everything to Gran. And he was perched on the edge of his grandmother's couch. each progressively more dull than the one before it. "I'm fine. here he was being escorted home by a police officer who had stabbed him with a pencil in elementary school because he didn't want to share poster paints. England had four terrestrial channels. loved every minute of it. I felt I should walk him home. it was a step in the right direction. a rickety Victorian antique that had seen better days in its previous occupation as a medieval torture device. He nodded." "Scott!" Gran's voice climbed a strangled octave." "Well. that had a passable sense of humour and tried not to take itself too seriously. "Thank you Luke." Gran replied returning his nod." Luke bowed his head. She was ecstatic that he had sorted out the Job Seekers as well. chuckling along and pointing out. So finally. Gran gave him a proud smile." Luke replied rolling his shoulders back a little as he puffed himself up. it was just dull. "Yes ma'am. And it was far too late to change his mind and stay in Brooklyn. however. "Well. offered her a chip. you look very smart.. but to his dismay he was solidly reminded of the abysmal state of English Television." Scott replied barely containing his amusement at the bizarre situation. Scott decided that was the way to end his night. still smiling." she said putting her hands on her hips and turning to Scott. Except channel four. make sure he got back and all. watching some nonsensical show that was supposedly a sitcom. "Are you sure you don't want to come in for a cup of tea?" "No Ma'am. Gran. who was still mightily amused by the fact he had been brought home by a police officer. It was entirely too witty for its own good. being a boy raised on American TV. who. trying to explain the plot to him. "I'm on duty tonight and need to get back to my beat." she gave Scott a teasing smile. Page | 42 .. putting the helmet back on. "Found him wandering around Town Farm by himself. a confused look on his face wondering for the umpteenth time if emigrating home had really been worth sacrificing his prime time television. I will deal with this rapscallion.
"Leave that. "You know how to play pool. Lydon The doorbell ringing caused both of them too look at each other. it was getting later in the evening and he really had no idea where he was being abducted to. time's a-wasting. Scott didn't recognize it." "Yeah. "I know how to play. right?" he asked still smiling. but you know how to play the American version." He nodded to her. We had a pool hall a few doors down from our apartment building. Scott looked confused for a moment before he reached for his jacket. his gran.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Walker. "What's going on?" he murmured tiredly in confusion.. The car squealed to a stop as it pulled into a pub parking lot. those ever-penetrating eyes gleaming excitedly. Serena gave him a big grin as she hit the gas to drive off. "Thank you!" he said thanking whatever deity had delivered him exactly what he needed. Come on. but he thought it said Brick Layers on the sign. "What the hell?" Dickie turned back to him. The little Austin Metro zipped up towards the Holt end of Meadow Road. his gran's brow furrowing as Scott reluctantly got to his feet to answer it. British pub signs were always difficult to read when you were being dragged as fast as possible through the doors by an excited Englishman. "Evening old chap." Dickie pressed. grumbled trying to find a seated position. finally buckling himself in.. "You'll see." Dickie said hopping into the car and banging a hand on the roof through the open window.. Scott shrugged. I practiced quite a bit. you won't need it. in slippers and a night gown. "There's another version?" Scott asked cautiously.. Dickie cast his head back and looked towards the sky. Dickie beamed at him from the doorstep. "I was wondering if I could borrow Scott here for about an hour or so. Dickie shook his head. who was being tossed around the back seat. Scott. if you don't mind sparing him. Page | 43 . Mrs. padding along behind him." "You boys." He rushed Scott through pulling on his shoes and all but pushed him out to Serena's waiting car. and an over-enthusiastic girl." Gran chuckled as she turned to head back to her programs.
and he would start to look like a prick so he deliberately missed the next shot. The one in the cap sneered. Dickie smiling like a proud father." Dickie replied. sinking three balls consecutively. Miami." He pushed Scott towards the table." Dickie stated. He made it look easy. "That's how we do it in Brooklyn. Serena looking excited and Darren just looking amazed. much to Miami's dismay. Brooklyn. Scott grinned. Miami was up again. "Your break. he had been so thrown by the sudden display of talent. and Orlando's shocked cries." He pointed." came the cries. striding up and laying money on the edge of the table. "For Queen and Country!" he declared. Page | 44 . making sure he looked like he really tried for it. as Scott leaned back to sweep the table clean." The guy grinned. "I'm not that good. there was no doubt they were Americans.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Hey Brooklyn. making a minor comeback as he cleared a few balls. "Kick 'is arse!" Scott walked around the table keeping his eye on Miami." Chalking up the cue as if he had spent much of his free time when he wasn't in school at the 'Broken Cue' pool hall." introducing the other two. He stepped back as the eight-ball teetered on the edge and finally fell home with a satisfying thud and roll. "Doesn't matter. "You're one of us and you're the only one who knows how to play by their rules. He shrugged at them and sank another ball. whatever. you're still going down. "Orlando and Cleveland." The guy pushed his hat higher on his head. "Show 'em. When it was his turn he called the shots cleanly. "Hell!" he cursed. but it wasn't enough. clucking in amazement and missing his next shot. Scott glanced over at his friends." Scott murmured looking up at the large guy. stepping back. "Hi. he knew it. "Crap." He sank the eight ball effortlessly. There were advantages to having nothing better to do with himself. Lydon There was a large crowd of people sitting around whooping and pointing towards the pool table where Darren was getting his ass handed to him by a swaggering man wearing a Florida Marlins baseball hat. Too much. though. The Brits in the pub went nuts. "Yeah. The way he and his buddies were laughing." Scott protested as he had a cue stuffed into his hands by an angry-looking Darren. "He's playing next.
"'Bout time some one beat them. "They've been at it all night. eh?" Darren chived.. he can do these trick shots. setting the cue back into its rack. Scott looked at him totally unimpressed." Scott replied." "I didn't think.. I'm so sorry. glad you made it." Darren replied looking back over his shoulder at the now much quieter Americans in the corner. "This round is on the house." Darren winced. "Bloody oiks can't leave well enough alone. Lydon Dickie was clapping him on the back in congratulations.... there's nothing to fuss over." Dickie looked over his glass. "He's ok. whatever it was it sounded derogatory.." "Not much call for an Anal Crusader. remind me to kick your ass later." Scott responded..." He toddled back to polishing glasses.. "Pool is about all there is to do when you're under twenty-one in the States and Friday night rolls around.." Page | 45 . "I had to be rescued in Town Farm." "PC Allston?" Dickie said. "When I dropped you off. playfully nudging him. "He's right... looking back at the table. "I'm really not that good at it. "It's going but. let's enjoy the round before last call.Return of the Sun Christopher P.." "How'd you do that?" Darren asked him. "Well your brother Luke had to come to the rescue. "That." the bartender explained. that was great." "Almost didn't.. obviously surprised....'" He held up two fingers and the bartender set down a couple of tall glasses. "Well anyway. "Well. How's the job hunt coming Scott?" Scott shrugged. "Good thing too." Serena suddenly became apologetic. waving off his attempts to pay." Scott said with a sigh." Scott wasn't sure what an oik was." He shook his head. "Yeah." Dickie cupped a hand on his shoulder and guided him over to the bar. my brother now. "You were in Town Farm alone? You're a real nutter Scott. "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship old chap. I just haven't had much luck." He nodded as he confirmed that Scott still had everything attached..." he nodded. he can play. bragging about their "skills". you keep showing townie pride like that and you'll be 'In Like Flynn. good for him.. "Lots and lots and lots of practice.
had found a nice grey suit for a wedding in this very store and he had made an impression with it. so grey would make him stand out. collect junk and resold it to unsuspecting passers by as the best deal out there. she was making sure he had what he needed to be professional. and he knew it. it was an awful lot of work for just one suit. The sudden realization that he was no longer a kid hit him." Scott looked at himself in the mirror. it was really a nice gesture. Lydon Chapter 7 Charity shops. but all of it smart. It didn't seem to matter what he thought. He swam in it. And it was sheltered. bit his lip and endured.. He glanced back at the overweight old clerk who tittered at him in apology and was taking entirely too long adjusting the lines of the suit. Gran brushed the lapels down and stood back. the real world. He rolled his eyes back. His uncle. "Ow!" he exclaimed as he was poked with a pushpin into a nether region.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Page | 46 . And he realized how totally unready he was for it. yes that will do nicely. but it was a little too much fuss. It seemed that Hailsham was made up with about half of those second hand stores that were miniature versions of the Salvation Army store. Nothing fashionable. He had skills. "Very nice. not that sheltered existence of university or high school in the States. he had no idea what he was going to do next. he could have bought a nice blazer.. He felt for certain it was her way of ensuring a young man of his class looked respectable. everyone wore black of pin stripes she reasoned. staring back at him was a man in a business suit. "we'll have that. Gran had insisted that the grey suit was perfect." She stated firmly. he would find she had left neatly folded shirts and trousers on the end of his bed whenever she went out shopping. They put a logo of an illness research society on the door. Here he was getting ready to go to work for the first time in his life. She was right. so he allowed himself to be dragged around. Gran had been making steady additions to his wardrobe over the last few weeks. a couple of pairs of slacks and have been just fine. Scott huffed. blowing a strand of hair out of his face as he stood wearing a suit that was a size too large and put together somewhere back in nineteen ninety four. but wasn't educated to do anything specific. you see. an over sized ken doll to be dressed and undressed on a whim. then he would need a decent suit. but his Gran was adamant that if he was to find a decent job.
of course." She eyed him carefully. Scott staring in fascination at the nylon stockings. "They advertise lots of positions in there.. "We could pop over to the Friday Ad store and ask Serena if they're hiring." Scott admitted." Scott replied. a fresh pair for each day." "The Friday Ad." "What do you like doing?" she pointed to the shopping baskets by the door. "But you're not really right for that kind of work. pulling his slacks back on and loosening the collar of his shirt. so the heavy transport trucks with livestock pathetically bleating or mooing in their containers in the back would occasionally rumble by with that distinctive smell of the farm. he had figured to put a shirt on to give the proper affect when he tried on suits. "I was just thinking. It was a market day. essentially leaving him alone to his thoughts.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Hailsham was one of the oldest and last remaining open markets in Sussex. He nodded.." Page | 47 . we'll pick one up on our way through. "Well you're father got a job working at the glass cutters in the industrial park. and your uncle Nigel worked in the printers down Diplocks way. "Yeah. it was almost extravagant. Your Uncle Ron is in the garage. and so town was bustling with the farmers from the various farms in the region. "About work?" Gran asked him waiting for him to catch up. I mean I just never gave it much thought. so like any other Brit. stopping to let a pregnant woman wielding a pram like a deadly weapon go ahead of him. it was a way to pay her back for everything she was doing for him. "You're quiet today." Gran was picking up items she needed and loading the basket as they walked. Gran was steering him through the town centre. holding onto it. Just a stranger staring back at him. "I don't know. No jeans. taking in his small stature." Gran exclaimed excitedly. Lydon He changed out of the suit. all stopping into town to buy and sell livestock. "Grab one of those would you dear?" Scott picked one up. and the regular trips to renew her prescriptions were a standard part of the week. Gran was a diabetic. I'm not exactly sure what to do. used to his role as general baggage mule on these shopping trips. no Henley's no jacket. Have you though about working in a shop?" "I could do that." Gran said eyeing him over her glasses as they angled towards the Boots pharmacy. He wasn't even dressed like himself. He looked so much older.
"You just need to have a little belief in yourself. When he was little he had always flipped through it dreaming about the really neat cars. and find something you like. standing amidst the total devastation he had just wrought with his carelessness. "I have one. "Oh I do Gran. "Well I've got a good resume and with a little luck. packed full of small ads selling everything from used sofa sets to cars. We just need to find you a nice job to get you started.. you wouldn't have been accepted to University if you weren't. "You should take your time. "You're a bright boy." The blonde picked up a bottle of Aspirin and eyed it suspiciously before glancing to make sure Scott was still looking." "Mmhmm.Return of the Sun Christopher P. he never thought he would now be looking through it for work.. Scott wasn't certain but he was sure that. you'll figure out what you want to do." She gave him a reassuring smile.. When he saw that he was. Page | 48 . It was one of those staples of south coast life." "Yes but it's a little old. dropping the bottle into his basket. the Blonde nodded to him as he stood in front of the Aspirin display." he responded to her comment over his shoulder. Lydon The Friday Ad is a classified magazine. "Do you need a new toothbrush?" she asked holding up one and distracting him from his thoughts. get settled and be back on your feet in no time." Gran said already adding the item to the basket. "I absolutely agree." Scott nodded absently as his eyes wandered to a particularly nice looking young man who was bending down for a hair bleaching kit." Scott continued. he blushed a smile and looked away. Unfortunately it hadn't been clipped in correctly and he leapt as the whole stand came crashing down in an explosion of bottles and bouncing white pills." she led the way up to the prescription counter.." she continued leaning in to hand her prescription across the counter. "Don't worry. He had to drag his eyes away before his Gran noticed. He blinked. "That's good dear. He stared at it in shock. breaking out into a grin as he endeavoured to play it cool. "It's only a matter of time." Gran was oblivious. and Scott was certain he had felt fingers brush his hand." The blonde brushed past him." "You're still young. "Scott!" Gran exclaimed holding a hand to her chest and trying to work off the shock he had just given her. resting a hand on the edge of a display stand.
laughing as he explained the story to her as she worked in the stationary store. "At least it would be some excitement round here. after all if he hadn't been so flirty he wouldn't have tried to act cool and the shelf wouldn't have fallen down." He gave her a miffed look as he corrected himself. laughing at him. "Something tells me I shouldn't work in a shop. She rested her elbows on the counter of the deserted store looking over at him. Serena grinned at him." Scott said. Scott?" He looked down at the pile of rubble and up at her." he was thoroughly humiliated and just stood there embarrassed.Return of the Sun Christopher P.. I'm so sorry Mrs. *** Serena thought it was hilarious.." Scott screwed up his nose. "I should be fine. "Did you at least ask the guy out?" "I couldn't. Serena had been glad of the company. and after I made a complete ass out of myself. "arse then. The Blonde was staring at him... if I am going to make a complete arse out of myself I am not about to try chatting up some complete stranger. "not with Gran standing right there. "If you're going to live here you're going to start pronouncing it properly. "It does that occasionally. Walker is your boy okay?" "Aside from a case of frayed nerves. Scott was half tempted to blame him." She smiled at him." He said with a grin. "It's okay." He had left Gran to recover in the local teashop using the time to dart across the road into the stationary shop to get a Friday Ad... "I didn't.I mean." "Arse. It just. "What were you doing?" Gran asked catching her wits and collecting back her composure.." Page | 49 . "Oh I just think it would have been nice to see you snog him in the middle of Boots. Lydon He held up his hands." the store manager stated rushing forward with a couple of assistants to begin picking up bottles.. grinning from ear to ear." Gran said. "Did I mention my Gran was there?" Serena straightened up and began to reorganize a display of pens. "I think you kissing a bloke would be interesting to see 'cause I still don't believe you're gay." she corrected.
but he still didn't like it. He didn't know how she got it to do that. "that is only because you have the hots for me. Deanna or something. but it always made her look so exotic." He looked back at her..Return of the Sun Christopher P." "That's the badger!" she stated firmly. he knew she was just teasing him.. I'm going to buy you a real out fit as well. "alright we'll go if it will satisfy your curiosity. "What does a badger have to do with. curls following the head a second or two later." she said tossing back her mass of curls and leaning on the counter again and fixing him with a large smile. and she was always looking for an excuse to drag him with her. I know I feel like that sometimes." She shook her head at him. I know there is one in Eastbourne but we're right close to Brighton." The door clattered as a man walked in to buy some printer paper.. Lydon Scott folded his arms. "Well I have Friday off. "Should I buy you one of those little pocket translators?" "I don't think they are programmed to cope with English slang. None of this nineteen fifties retro look you have on at the moment." "Don't call me that. she was also so vibrant like that girl off of Trek." She shook her head. there's like a million there. that's the dogs bollocks. "It's pay day. "You know. buy you something to wear." she had that 'shopping' fever again. "Friday night.?" Serena stared at him.. "I don't know I. Scott blinked. there isn't exactly a gay pub in Hailsham. I mean real clothes. he nodded to Scott before paying and walking out again.. "Yeah. "Want to go?" "When?" he asked looking about him to see if anyone would over hear." he replied honestly.. Page | 50 . so we could go. his dopey grin on his face. babe. "But seriously though.. "I mean you come out with us. but the woman off of it had always struck him as beautiful." he began cautiously." She said.. He loved that about her." Scott said. He really hadn't watched enough of it to know anymore. least we can do is go out with you one night to prove you're a poof." He replied rolling the Friday Ad and tucking it under his arm. It means its great. that's the badger.. I want to shag you rotten. stay so tightly curled with so much volume. "I mean I think it would have a conniption after the first five minutes.. "Brighton?" She grinned.
" Scott caught the pen lid and set it back down on the counter." Scott said in amazement." he replied hand on the door handle." Page | 51 . "it should be a lot of fun. they come to see me.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Just teasing you. "Yeah. "Of course there are. She threw a pen lid at him. Lydon "Wow so there are customers." "So we're going on Friday night?" She pressed. look I should be getting back before Gran start's to wonder where I went to.
continuing their course along the A-27 to Brighton." Serena said firmly. Serena always did that." Scott began. turning his head as they passed over a roundabout.. deciding to focus on the adventure at hand... Lydon Chapter 8 He picked at the shirt: Ben Sherman.." Serena said with a grin as the Metro swung around one of those giant roundabouts. I'm not just going to kiss the first guy I see. Though the argument to tuck or leave un-tucked still raged.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "What's our mission tonight?" "To find Scott a bloke. overtaking a Morris Minor. Scott watched the startled face of the other driver as this Metro cut him off. Scott held onto the dashboard as the small Metro bounced into the air and landed solidly. "why exactly am I being dragged along on this man safari?" "You owe him. "and it's a chance to get away from Hailsham for a night. If she had her way she would do the same with the gigantic ones lined with crash barriers.. To him it kinda looked like." "So. coming dangerously close to clipping the curb.. definitely." Page | 52 . so he can prove he's gay." Dickie said." Dickie began." he commented. "Watch out for that. But Serena had insisted on buying it for him. he actually felt stylish. apparently it was what all the well-dressed guys were wearing. agreed with Scott. leaning forward from the back on the seats in front. well a normal shirt with a label. He thought it looked better in. jostled around the back seat. seeing the red stoplight zoom past them.. "Well. in the interests of actually making it there alive.. looks sharper. Dickie. He was sure the glove compartment was filled with unpaid speeding tickets. pairing it with a beautiful pair of black slacks and his well-polished shoes. "Do you want to drive?" she asked. well. "I'm not a slut. about as bad as they got.. "Alright. "In. but changed his mind as she shot him a dirty look in the rearview mirror. "Steady on!" Dickie called.. instead of going around the white painted circles she generally drove right over them. she thought it looked better out. And she loved it. He had come to accept the fact that Serena was the stereotypical woman driver." Dickie said nodding his head. she was just worse.
maybe we want to catch a drink before hitting a club or something?" He waggled his eyebrows." "Sloshed. "Alright then. Brighton was synonymous with homosexuality." Serena gave him a look.Return of the Sun Christopher P. mate.. her eyes lighting up at the prospect. occasionally bellowing out insults to the other drivers as the car inched forward at an impossibly slow rate." he conceded. They were naturally stuck in traffic." Dickie leaned forward again." Dickie rolled his eyes. doing his damndest to keep all of them entertained. "we're nearly there and it's still early. Lydon Dickie heaved a sigh. "They have a big arcade on it." She switched off the engine." "What about the pier?" Serena asked. my old boy. they were passing the illustrious Brighton University on the long road that would lead them to the very heart of the gay capital of Europe. "This looks like as close as we're going to get.. Scott chuckled. "So. cold pint would really hit the spot. it's still early.. it didn't shy away from the stigma normal places associated with being gay. we'll hop out and walk." Scott said. as she suddenly cut the car into a parking spot that someone had just vacated. Serena just fumed." Dickie said affecting a proper upper-class English accent." "We can split it. where are we going first? Serena's right. what. "Let's go to the Pier and then find a pub to get sufficiently inebriated." "Well I doubt it will be that easy. Scott drummed his fingers on the dashboard and Dickie sat smugly in the back glancing out of the window every time a beautiful woman passed by. "Nice one. And from the way Serena had described it. Scott. "Unless you lads don't want to walk?" Page | 53 . More gay bars per capita than anywhere else in Europe." "Oh give over. especially on a Friday night. "Nice pub. "So much for a cold pint. "I say. and the amusement park at the end. the sooner you kiss a bloke the sooner we get to go home. sounds like a spiffing idea to me. famous for it. It was one big gay village. it was a Mecca to gay people everywhere." Scott said as the Metro began to enter Brighton city limits.. "Tell you what. the car will still be here when we're done." Serena said looking at him.
"You'll see. firmly resting a hand on Scott's shoulder and propelling him past the doors towards the intersection and the magnificent Palace Pier. an arcade. the bells ringing and Page | 54 . "I'm not crazy. So much so that Queen Victoria had kept the Brighton Pavilion there. a great construct of steel and lights. It was like taking a trip to Vegas." Dickie said. The lights. Lydon Scott got out of the car and flipped the seat forward to let Dickie out who uncoiled his long legs and stretched. "How come it says Brighton Pier?" Scott asked. sitting in the front row having dolphins sing happy birthday to him. "Some prats bought the pier a few years ago and renamed it. staring up at the glowing sign. The white palace always reminded Scott of the Taj Mahal. They walked along the street. It was a little older than other cities he had been in. domes and columns. it was now used for theatre performances and as a historical tourist attraction." She led the way through the circle of take-out places and onto the wooden slats of the pier. dining. It extended a good 1700 feet out to sea. He used to come with his father when he was small to watch the dolphins and stare at the aquarium that was right next to the Pier. contrary to popular belief there was not that much room in the back of an Austin Metro. three bars. He immediately fell in love with the city all over again. "What's that?" he asked. Brighton was a lively place. but that attraction was gone now. It boasted everything a person could need. but the narrow tall houses and shops virtually built right on top of each other went back centuries. Narrow shopping streets that instantly transported you back hundreds of years to a simpler time.Return of the Sun Christopher P. cars. looking up at an unremarkable door. the slot machines and one armed bandits. an amusement park. All on a massive man-made construct. But it was one of his fondest memories of spending time with his father. I guess they thought they were being bright. It felt good to just breathe in the fresh salt air of Brighton which was built on the seashore and had one of the best seasides in the country. under a laser sign that cast light down upon the pavement rotating the word 'revenge' in bright white light onto the paving stones. right?" Serena shrugged. it had been Brighton's crown jewel for over a century. There was even a section of the city called 'the lanes' that predated cars. considered too cruel on the dolphins. people and bristling with life. Scott pointed to it curiously.
affixing him with that x-ray vision of his. occasionally clicking for a reload before returning to shooting the creatures.. "I suppose you lads want something violent with guns blood and guts. "It's not perfect but." Scott confessed. "It's getting right expensive in here. hey. I guess. "it's changed a bit. Suddenly. it's still new. that's all. "I. bugger. Scott nodded snapping out of his trip down memory lane.. "I'll figure it out." Page | 55 . Scott's eyes had to be as wide as a little kid's. After a few minutes Dickie was shaking his head. It was one of the classic arcade shooters. seeing deep inside him." "Time'll do that. smiling at his friend. where'd you learn to shoot?" Scott didn't take his eyes of the screen. remembering the last time he had been there.. he always used to. the gun braced in two hands sweeping to and fro picking off vampire bats that rushed at him. Lydon the video games squawking musical notes at different levels. "feeling a bit out of place still?" "A bit. staring at everything at once. keeping his breaths short. right?" Dickie gave a friendly shrug." he said staring in wonder again. we're getting far. looking around her.. they had that game at the local arcade back in Brooklyn." he said. "Wow. "Didn't. complete with handheld guns." He grinned as Serena returned holding up a small bucket full of change and tokens. "You're on!" He enjoyed the game where two heroes have to rescue a girl from a house possessed by demon creatures. whatever works. before being torn away from everything he ever loved. "House of the Living Dead?" Scott suddenly brightened.Return of the Sun Christopher P. It was chaotic and the noise was thrilling. It was all a little overwhelming and he just stood there with a stunned expression on his face. squeezing the trigger only when he exhaled because breathing-in caused the gun to drift upwards. "Dad used to take me hunting in Michigan.." Dickie agreed." she exclaimed. growing up in Brooklyn had a decided advantage over Hailsham's finest. how happy he had been. it's odd to be back here.. "Are you ok?" Dickie rested a hand on his arm looking concerned as Serena was off getting change." he lost a life and chuckling he bent down to reload tokens into the machine.
Dickie nodded." Scott was shocked. and his score was starting to reflect it. "took a few philosophy courses.." Dickie replied. "After Dad. how come you didn't go?" "I did." Scott shrugged. "Nothing. frankly." Dickie was angry." Page | 56 ." "The reason's she's.." He swung the gun back and pulled the trigger again. Scott grinned. how about you?" Dickie stared intensely at the screen. "It wasn't supposed to happen. Don't take this the wrong way." Scott nodded again. two shots from Dickie soon ended its virtual existence." Scott replied honestly. but Dickie had suddenly become the one doing most of the work. "So how does your mom know my gran?" Dickie glanced at him. "Thanks.. then she started to help Mom. I wanted to be a priest.. nothing really interesting. "So I heard you went to university. mimicking his motions and his aim steadied considerably. but Rita's like a gran to my brothers and I.. "But after Fleur got pregnant. "Hey it works. swinging his gun to and fro. Lydon Dickie shifted his grip to match Scott's.." he added.. wondering why Scott didn't know." Dickie reloaded by pointing the gun away from the screen and clicking the trigger. Dad couldn't hack it and so he walked out and never looked back. she's paraplegic. changing the subject as they continued on through the house. but it did. at first just to talk to Mom." Scott was suddenly uncomfortable delving too deeply into some one else's life." Scott blinked as a larger creature charged him. "Yeah. "I figured as much." "Wow." "Fleur's pregnant?" another shock. Gran's a determined woman who likes to fuss over people. watch out for the. and it went from there. "Right after my mom was in her accident. "Two years into my theology degree. "One of the few useful things I learned from my Dad.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Yeah. the only useful thing he ever did was fuck off. giving Dickie the occasional covering fire. what did you study?" Dickie said.. "I'm glad he's gone.left... "My dad was a drunk." he sounded surprised as he shot an axe-wielding psychopath. your gran started showing up at the house... but the game was working his frustration as he bit out his words.
though Serena seemed to know exactly where they were going and pulled up short outside a pub that reminded Scott of something straight out of a pirate novel." On the screen they burst through a door. Serena didn't answer him. Not Page | 57 . He got back up and moved a bit faster but the creatures were swarming them too fast and they were both overwhelmed. ok?" They all agreed and started off back across the road towards the collection of ragged-looking buildings tucked down narrow alleys. anyway. "I was saying that Fleur and I were having some problems and next thing I know she's pregnant. "I could actually use a pint as well if you don't mind. into a hoard of spiders that swarmed towards them. "Wasn't paying attention.. "Boys have fun?" she asked as the machine swallowed another pound. for now I just have some time on my hands. and try explaining that to your mom.. 'The Queen's Head' was boldly painted on the sign under a picture of. she just held the door open and indicated that he should just stop complaining and enter the bar. staring up at the gay icon looking royally pissed on his sign. It was the first time Scott had ever been into a gay bar anywhere. Lydon Scott emptied his clip into the un-dead zombie." he said. "I'm thirsty. A couple of turns and Scott was lost." "I noticed.. "You only played one game and you already want to go to the pub?" Dickie didn't seem apologetic." Dickie responded. "So that was the end of my theology degree." She looked at both of them and held back on her own protests. Scott went down first. instead he was faced with a pretty bulk standard pub. obviously he had been hoping for a last bastion of heterosexuality before they immersed themselves in Brighton's gay scene..Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Ok.rainbows. let's find a pub.. Laughing and cursing the cheating game they left it to rejoin Serena who was happily playing a fruit machine. "Sorry. He was expecting pink. I'll go back after Fleur has the baby." he rationalized.. Scott nodded in agreement. close though. "Game cheated. "Is that Freddy Mercury?" Scott asked incredulously. "Can we find a pub now?" Serena eyed him suspiciously. guys kissing.." He shook his head. "You brought us to a gay pub?" Dickie stated.." Dickie said as he reloaded again.
." Dickie said with about all the enthusiasm he could muster for this game." "No you don't. The man in the gaudy outfit walked around pressing the microphone up into peoples' faces and asked them their names loudly. "That's ok. "Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to the Queen's Head tonight. Glittering in the lights. eventually arriving and pressing it into Scott's nose.. To kick things off tonight I want to go around and introduce everyone. because Serena had gently laid a reassuring hand on his arm. you never knew when the Sussex police would stop you and make you take a Breathalyzer test." Scott blinked." Page | 58 . "Oh. "And you are?" he asked in a haughty tone. And as a group they made their way to the bar. "you love the attention too much. "And you. "Oh and accent." Serena stated with a broad smile. in fact he was surprised at the normalcy of the regulars tilting glasses of lager or bitter and chatting amongst themselves." he said reluctantly. where are you from Scott?" "Brooklyn." Scott responded. a Yank! I love Americans. "a little Dickie is better than none at all. leaning back to examine Dickie's crotch. Lydon exactly how they had been painted on television.. Dickie blushed. Serena ordered lemonade.. Dickie shook his head into his glass. I'm afraid. trying to pull back from the microphone that threatened insertion into his nose. "That would be a little Dickie.. New York.Return of the Sun Christopher P. He swept down the bar. ok so that wouldn't happen in a straight pub.. "I think I should have stayed home." the man patted him on the shoulder. Conscientiously. There was a bustle at the other end of the bar and a man emerged from behind the bar wearing a sequined shirt." "Scott." He replied. sir?" "Dickie. he lifted a microphone. "Is that a big Dickie or a little Dickie?" the gaudy man asked lecherously. ordering a round of drinks. don't you? Everything's bigger in America." He gave a flirty wink and moved on." he brushed on completing his round of the bar's patrons. Something must have registered on his face.
and more importantly to Scott. Scott was giggling. Dickie helped him upright. I remember." Dickie replied. "Where'd Serena go?" Scott asked." Scott shook his head trying to clear the fog. keeping Scott from pitching over again. Dickie had not been so amused. drugs and alcohol. Page | 59 ... They were standing on the street outside the nightclub 'Revenge' under the rotating laser sign." Scott said as if remembering. a note of annoyance entering his voice. no." Dickie explained patiently... turning around to see if she was standing behind him. he fell down. but held it well. but he simply didn't care by that point... The world kept tilting to one side and every time he tried to tilt with it. "But she didn't see me kiss a guy." Dickie gave him a remarkably sober look.Return of the Sun Christopher P.. two levels of music." "There weren't any girls. looking up the road to see if she was coming yet. "Come on. 'Lady Vickie'." "Yeah. though he was in no better condition. stay with me old chap." Dickie said. noting that Serena's Metro was drawing up. boys.. she wasn't and he turned back to Dickie. which it didn't. he was also drunk. "You can't give me what I want anyway." Dickie said." Dickie replied. "No. "She's gone to get the car so we can take you home. so much so that the normally unflappable man had been all but chased into the bathroom to hide and await rescue. "Oh yes. Revenge had turned out to be a massive gay bar. "Why didn't you kiss anyone. he knew he was drunk because he couldn't stay upright.. Scott and Serena had found it hilarious." Scott nodded as if the comment made all the sense in the world to him. puzzled. Lydon *** He was drunk." "Because you were too scared to talk to any of them. "What about you?" "You want to kiss me?" Dickie looked suddenly shocked. giggling as he fell over again. "Oh.. "The drag queen. but in his drunken state Scott just ignored it.. a voluptuous Drag queen with an overly exaggerated bust had taken a particular liking to Dickie. "There was always Lady Vickie!" Scott exclaimed..
looking entirely too happy the night was over.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Lydon Dickie rolled his eyes as he piled the drunken Scott into the back of the car. Page | 60 .
Scott. "Sorry. throwing him a proud smile that made him feel ten. They were discussing the state of the Wealden district council.Return of the Sun Christopher P. hoping that by some miracle the rust would magically disappear. I've been submitting my resume. Lydon Chapter 9 A summer evening on Meadow Road was a strange step back in time. In the new millennium it was a rare occurrence. "Well. Scott scrubbed a hand through his hair.. children playing on the green. and from all the "Tut-ing" and "Tsk-ing" there would be a few votes going squarely to the opposition come election time. As with the last twenty times he had tried the same trick. resting an arm on the hedge talking to old Mister Roberts. while their parents watched from their gardens gossiping to each other while trimming the hedges that separated the houses. the rust stubbornly refused to budge.. he appreciated the quiet moment. "he's even been out to a couple of interviews. With those thick plastic glasses. shirtsleeves rolled up. The laughter of children at play and the hiss of hoses. now that he was on the verge of becoming an adult. He shook the can of WD-40 and generously sprayed the shears." "He's been applying all over the place. or watering the prize rose bushes would have been normal. "Have you found a job yet. the ancient specimen of humanity that had occupied Number Nineteen Meadow Road almost as long as Gran had lived in Number Seventeen. enjoying the onset of evening." Page | 61 . Jeans and t-shirts had given way to shirts and slacks. "Don't break them." Gran said. no. and he realized how much he had taken them for granted when he was young. young Mister Walker?" Mister Roberts called to him rousing him from his thoughts." Gran admonished.. was wrestling with a rusty pair of hedge-clippers and having no luck with them. strangely they were cooler in the heat and weathered the garden work a lot better." Scott replied sheepishly.. Gran was in the front corner. Fifty years ago. He looked over at the antiquated man who always reminded Scott of a tortoise without its shell. and an Adam's apple that bounced up and down as he talked. setting them aside and pushing his back against the firm oak door. It was all strangely relaxing. Scotty dear. now that he was an adult. Scott shook his head and banged the shears on the edge of the brick doorstep.
It was just the bitter fact that they saw an American sitting across from them. He wasn't one of them.' but in England he was the 'American'. with just a look. He wanted. he looked smart. shake his hand and send him on his way with an empty promise to call him should they have a position for him." Gran said. He would understand if they were educated positions. resettling his glasses on his nose. there were just so many stumbling blocks that he was starting to really doubt that he had made the right choice. "He's looking for someone to run the office and the like. set to drive him crazy with each passing day. still sitting on the step decided that although the discussion was about him he would really have no say in it. "but Scott could use a hand. So. he would be an outsider trapped between two cultures and left to wonder if his father had never emigrated what kind of person would he have grown up to be? "Well I know old Zulee is hiring over at the home. answered their questions correctly. "I could put in a word for you if you'd like. just one time. what he did. for the interviewer to actually look at his skills and see him for who he was." "Oh. what made you move back?" He had tried a number of different answers ranging from the truth through to creative excuses about a need to come home." He gave a meaningful look at Scott. But what other choice was there? In Brooklyn he had been the British kid. Lydon He had been busy. an 'Englishman in New York. as much as he liked Gran and Hailsham. Was he just doomed never to fit in anywhere? No matter where he went. "I see here that you went to school in America. but data clerk? Bank teller? Shop assistant? They were all positions he could do. I couldn't ask that. It was growing ever more frustrating for him to land work. It was always the same message. scrubbed-up and hair combed. Invariably they would stare at the resume after that question. over the past few weeks he had been to five interviews. But then what did he expect? It hadn't been an easy move so far. expressively gesturing with her hand that she was just being polite. feeling uncomfortable stuffed into the grey suit waiting nervously for someone to grill him with the same set of questions over and over. The extended vacation was starting to look more and more like a permanent arrangement. It was just the same card being played against him every time. no matter how he tried to present himself." Scott. we'll call you if there is no one else. they wrote him off as a foreigner. he was getting bored. scribble some notes." Mister Roberts said. Always ending with the same one. engrossed in their conversations the two pensioners would Page | 62 .Return of the Sun Christopher P. He didn't like it when.
I've never seen anyone do that to him before." "Oh. came home drunk as a skunk he was though I suspect your brother had a hand in it. "No more nights in Town Farm. Mrs. "Thanks. Page | 63 . Lydon occasionally look at him for a nod of ascension. "They moved your beat?" she asked sounding happy. nodded to him. "Your mother must be so pleased. at least not for the next little while. and she. "There was the other night. otherwise he was left pretty much out of it. 'allo. I'll catch you tomorrow night and have a sandwich waiting for you. what's all this.. "that she would give him a warning if he pulled her over again. "Mum was threatening to haul the superintendent out of his office by his ear if he didn't change the rotation.Return of the Sun Christopher P. There was this once. "Well then. anyways." Gran chuckled. Luke looked back at Gran. "Has this one being keeping out of trouble Mrs Walker? Or should I cart him off down to the station?" Gran laughed looking down at Scott. and I'll never forget. He replied that he was only giving her a warning and she said. Dirty rotten stop outs the pair of them. bold as brass. I just stopped because I was passing." he stated resolutely. "well you run along then. we were going to an antiques fair." Luke nodded in reply." Luke just nodded. Scott glanced up at Luke walking along the footpath in uniform. and still without cracking a smile. Walker. she got pulled over by this policeman outside of Lewis. his eyes flicking over to where Scott lounged. Scott got to his feet and brushed the dust off of his trousers." Luke's eyes softened again. the policeman pulls her over and tells her she was going too fast. 'allo. it was like her own particular oddity. "'Allo. then?" came a suspicious-sounding voice from the other side of the hedge. "Your mother has quite the tongue on her." Gran's face fell slightly. Gran immediately dropped her conversation with Mister Roberts to turn to him. he nodded to Scott with a tensing around his eyes as he stopped at the gate. "It was nothing like that." Gran always repeated 'she said' in conversation. He sat back knowing better than to even try." he admitted. she said." She had her hands on her hips again. your superintendent was lucky.. asks him how fast." he replied with genuine gratitude.
it was almost cold. for someone so nasty as a kid when he used to torment and terrorise Scott.Return of the Sun Christopher P.." He put so much sincerity behind the statement that Scott felt hurt." Scott continued. They walked a little ways in silence before Scott started in on the conversation. his eyes staring at the playing children as if expecting them to misbehave. "Don't bother. Lydon Scott walked to the gate. Page | 64 . "Look I'm not saying we're going to be friends like your brother and I are. They had turned down a short alley between the buildings coming out into a car park tucked in behind the houses." Scott rubbed his arms feeling the beginnings of a sunburn. Scott smirked." Luke said finally breaking the awkward silence. The sun was beginning its steady slide behind the horizon and the shadows were lengthening. Gran had already resumed her conversation with Mister Roberts about Scott's future. he was always the meanest son of a bitch till you actually took the time to get to know him.. or become reacquainted with. Luke's fists were balled at his side. "I was just thinking that you remind me of a guy I knew in high school. Scott checked his wallet and slipped out onto the road. "Well. Luke was determined to make the process as difficult as possible. he'd been in the garden too long. Luke seemed to be the most together. then he was pretty cool." Luke just grunted. falling silent again. as an adult he was just. "So you want to get to know me?" Luke asked sarcastically. As they both began to walk. "What is it now?" Luke asked catching Scott's goofy grin. "This may sound strange to you Scott. and he refused to look at him.. actually I wanted to go to the corner store. a troubled look dancing in his eyes before he finally nodded. yet at the same time the most distant.. if you don't mind the company?" Luke hesitated. "But the least I can do is try. And out of everyone he'd met so far." That came out entirely too harshly for Scott's liking." "Yeah. Scott fell silent again. but maybe I just don't like you. Luke was one of those people who would take time to get to know. It was strange. Scott sighed. "You must be glad of the new beat.
but he knew her for who she was. but you aren't. you were one when you were a kid and you're still one now. suddenly feeling lost. even friendly towards him. even the adults who had thought it funny to call him it. Banging a mug down and tossing a teabag inside he pulled the fridge open with enough force to rock it on its legs. It was an old guilt that had been given a new dress and painted up to look younger. nobody ever made him angry. his head nodding as if confirming what he had known all along.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Look. and this time he only had himself to blame. I don't need this on top of everything else. small. just that square peg that no matter how often you wailed on it would never fit into the round hole." He threw actual vehemence behind his words. "You're a prat. Sure there were those who were polite. Fuck. banging the backdoor closed behind him as he walked to the kettle and turned it on. tell you what. you're going to have to pronounce it properly. I'm going to the fucking store. He had felt it much of his life. "You've been itching to do that since I offered to walk with you. but Serena's words rang in his ears. I'll tell you what. "maybe you'll realize that I was just trying to be nice. and now he was facing the same situation all over again. He pulled out the milk bottle and added it to his mug. "Look. Hell he was going through it all over again.." "No. Scott. Luke breathed hard releasing his fists and opening his eyes. 'if you're going to live here. he had come home of his own accord." He trust his hands into his pockets and stalked away. "What the hell did I do to deserve that?" Scott protested. Lydon Scott shook his head. Here he was. you never fucking change.. I'm sorry. and they were alone. they had come to a stop in the middle of the car park. unaware of how they sounded. His father hadn't dragged him home. you're not.. Scott." he was actually angry. leaving PC Allston standing in the middle of an empty parking lot alone. when you finally get rid of that big chip on your shoulder. You always thought you were better than everyone else.. Luke turned to him." He was swearing now. an edge of hatred there that caused Scott to step backwards. just so different that he couldn't relate to anything. Things were just going from bad to worse. The limey jokes that had been thrown at him at school.' Page | 65 . and alone. "Look.. Luke closed his eyes. still. whatever man. *** He was still seething when he came home.." Scott bit back. and all was quiet.
"Nonsense. "Okay. He missed baseball on nights like this. releasing a long breath. Allowed the little pieces of his culture to escape him until he had become an American. and he walked to the breakfast bar. the street-hardened kid from Brooklyn had to start over and he would have to try to fit in as best he could." He looked down into his mug. standing up and setting his empty cup into the sink. tuning into the game on the radio. climbing into one of the stools as he stared out of the window at the gathering darkness. It was her way of telling him that he had come home. she was there to stop him from floating away. The bubbling kettle had him pouring himself a mug of tea." he said." Scott looked up at her and he couldn't help but smile. you used to love doing that when you were little. "So why don't you come help your gran with a crossword puzzle." Scott replied with a sigh.Return of the Sun Christopher P. I'll be right in." he said. He had adapted well to life there. seeing him sitting quietly in the dark she turned on the kitchen light. "I'm fine. He would have to adapt again. "Are you okay dear?" she asked sympathetically. His Gran walked in from the garden. even though he felt displaced. Gran gave him one of her knowing looks as she set about making a cup of tea herself. but that was so far away from where he was now. "I'm not little anymore. "You'll always be my little boy. grown up in ways he couldn't begin to describe. no matter how big you get. taking a drink of his tea and trying to ease the feeling of loneliness he felt. He had always felt it. Page | 66 . it had been the main reason for him coming home in the first place. she looked at him with such love that he had to give in to her. or the television. letting it play while he sat on the fire escape of his apartment listening to the sounds of the city. Lydon Was that just it? He had to give up everything he was in order to just be accepted over here? Like he had done in the States. and yet it had become such a part of him that he had brought it with him." Gran stated flatly.
deliberately ignoring all the pressed shirts and trousers. only in England would people automatically assume lunch meant a trip down the pub. smiling at her politely." She screwed up her nose." "Okay. Mrs. Yeah. he would make a mint. "there we go love. I'm comfortable. "Cool. "I thought we were breaking you of your bad habits. And of course his prized visor cap. Hailsham high street was its usual busy self. a little bit of hair wax and the spikes stood out at odd angles. it was going to be another scorching hot day. He had ignored her. back when dinosaurs had walked the earth. a tiny brick building that had once upon a time been a schoolhouse. a tee-shirt he had used to wear when he had whiled away last summer skating. The stationery shop was tucked down along one end towards the old school. He didn't particularly care what he was going to be doing that day. Lydon Chapter 10 Of all the things that could go wrong. and your receipt. and since he had to pop into town for a Friday Ad anyway." He shook his head." Serena grinned as she bagged a customer's purchases." she said cheerfully as he wandered back out onto the high street. "I can go in a couple of hours if you want to come back. "Well see you at noon. "You look like a pineapple. As it was he just wanted to Page | 67 . Scott had been feeling particularly stubborn that day. It let his black hair poke out of the top. grinning as he downed a glass of orange juice and grabbed couple of slices of toast before he was out the door. picking out a stylish pair of white cargos. He picked up a copy of the magazine he had travelled down town for and rolled it up. Scott was certain that if he imported Air Conditioners for days like this. "no way. The sun was climbing that morning and warming the whole town.Return of the Sun Christopher P. but he knew it was too warm to stay in the house he just had too much energy. lunch then somewhere good." He rolled his eyes. the kind of day for beer gardens and pools." She turned finally to give him her full attention. So what time is your lunch?" She glanced at the clock. "Not down the pub. Kerrigan gets right snarky if I take a liquid lunch. Gran had taken one look at him that morning and had sniffed something about his looking like he'd stuck his fingers into a electrical plug hole." He grinned at her. he figured there was no harm no foul.
he was wearing an odd shirt that would have looked right on a peasant in a medieval castle. we're celebrating. he would do that in his own way.." he tried to sound awed. He reminded Scott of a slightly podgy Errol Flynn." Page | 68 ." Travis said proudly. Kill the morning until his lunch with Serena. not exactly as broad a collection as the virgin mega stores had. "That's great!" Scott exclaimed enthusiastically. Up near the front it had a wall of the latest music. "What's up?" Travis pointed vaguely into the store. "Hey Dude!" Scott said cheerfully. there was a whole rack of British music he had never heard of. well. Slipping on a set of headphones he began to sample some of it. but it was still a decent selection." "Celebrating?" Scott asked curiously trying to spot Travis's girlfriend in the aisles. But he was struggling to find the right words of. He was actually looking forward to the time he spent with her. immerse himself in his culture. Even if most of the North American stuff was a few months behind. maybe walk into Woolworths and look at their CD's. the kind of girl that had grown up on Spice Girl power. And with those looks.. all he needed was a rapier and a chandelier to swing from and the image would be complete. she got away with it. in a sick kind of way. so far there were simply too many forty-year-old women about. Lydon bum around town. "I got a job. He grinned in pleasure at seeing a friendly face and slipped the headphones off.. if a bit crass British lass. "Where are you working?" "The funeral home. "Oh I was just out with Mia. Travis didn't notice. She was there. laces instead of buttons and puffy sleeves. a store with a little bit of everything.. Ever since Brighton he had grown closer to the friendly. Scott had known he was going to say that.. he just grinned. and she didn't give a toss what anyone else thought about her. it was work. hanging them back on the hook." Somehow. praise. people wanted him to blend in.. Woolworth's was much like Wall-mart. He had made it about five CD's into the rack when he felt a hand tap him on the shoulder and he glanced behind him at Travis. starting with some decent club music. "I am going to become an undertaker. but it came out sounding strangled.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Wow. even though she would never have admitted it. to express his. Well sure. For a girl she had tonnes of selfconfidence.
"That's her. "Nice to finally meet you. It took a sheer force of will to close his mouth. It would have been tasteful. less absurd. he clasped it firmly and shook it up and down in the age old used car salesman routine. "Mia. Tall. shining with intricate Celtic designs that looked painstakingly hand made. ma'am.. She pulled a black shawl closer about her shoulders as she moved with regal purpose past the dumbstruck patron's of the store who just turned to follow her with gaping mouths. "That's great. move on to something safe. Scott's jaw just fell open. He slouched a bit.." he said. and tried desperately to hide the fact that he found her appearance hilarious. Her eyes narrowed a little at being called Ma'am by someone the same age as her boyfriend. The old. this is my friend Scott. Skateboard chic meets Gothic vogue. turning to Travis and hoping against hope that he wasn't serious. Scott had that sinking feeling again. She extended a hand.oh damn. "So Mia's here is she?" hopefully a change of topic was in order. older. Scott this is Mia. "Well. and she treated him like one. and the laces on his puffy sleeved shirt. She handed him her shopping basket to hold and affixed Scott with a regal look.. a long and slow gesture the back of her hand upwards as if she expected him to bow and kiss it. Page | 69 ." Travis began the introductions. He did exactly what he father had shown him to do in such circumstances. But one look at the happiness in Travis's eyes. "She's gorgeous isn't she." Travis grinned and bobbed his head. love me look that seemed to always work on old women." He stared at her like a lovesick puppy craving attention. and the image just didn't match Travis at all. She glided through the aisles.. It was just ironic that she happened to be walking down an aisle filled with vacuum cleaners. Lydon Scott's mind flashed to a particular character from a wrestling show he had watched in the states. "she looks.. dark and terrifying was kind of the exact opposite to the foppish looking man standing in front of him. I'm a kid..Return of the Sun Christopher P.. Silver jewellery clattering against her. All she needed was a pointed hat and a broomstick. How wrong he was. nice.. her black velvet skirts falling about her in waves that rippled as she moved. sweeping from his sneakers up to the spiky hair and back down again. if it had been used in moderation.." Scott said finding his voice. but Scott gave her his best charming grin." Travis said pointing to a bespectacled woman sweeping through the store." He said politely..
I haven't seen Travis since that day we were all in Eastbourne. tucked into the old stables across from the market?" "Yeah. she just has to crook her finger and he comes running. who's the strangest of us all." He bowed his head. I just don't get it. "Well she insisted that Travis take her to the antiques store.. She hesitated a minute. she kept eyeing his Shepard's pie with ravenous eyes.. "so any way's we're in the antiques store and she starts going on about all the mystic energy she feels in the room. before she attacked the Shepard's pie with reckless abandon. "Travis is all over her. you know the one. "She sounds a right nutter." "Yeah well. "I think I've seen her." He liberated another leaf from her plate. "Mystic energy. she looks like an owl. so I decided to tag along. And you say she's forty?" "Forty two.." Scott replied. Lydon *** "So what did she do next?" Serena asked poking her salad dubiously with her fork." Serena nodded around a mouthful of potatoes." she said disparagingly. he had ordered the pie. she shook her head. Scott could tell she didn't want to eat it. she was talking about all the antiques and the stories they were trying to tell her. so much for the Aitkin's diet." "Mirror mirror on the wall.Return of the Sun Christopher P." "The what?" Serena asked sceptically." Serena giggled." Scott replied. "You really are a mo aren't you.. you're right dirty some times." Scott replied with a grin. but she was on another 'diet' and couldn't possibly eat anything with so many Carbohydrates. Scott pushed his plate till it sat between them and reached over to spear one of her lettuce leaves with his fork. "I learned from the best. curls as usual bouncing to and fro." Serena rolled her eyes." Serena said sarcastically. It was odd. "Honestly. Have you never been whipped by a guy?" "I'm sure I'd remember." Page | 70 . "They have some nice jewellery in there.. and she the salad. but they were more interested in the other person's lunch than their own. Apparently she had a great conversation with a mirror. "Oh I bet she liked that. "Not that kind of whipped." "Yeah..
" Serena observed with a grin. what's up with him and Fleur?" Scott tapped his visor cap. sausage rolls right up to what looked like school cafeteria stew. Dickie just likes to be the centre of attention. "yeah I think she took delight in it. or was Dickie not enjoying himself?" he asked abruptly. "Gran had fun that morning. "I don't remember much. "My mom sold our old bathroom suite to that shop.. "Your ear's really stick out when you do that. "don't worry about it babe.. "Yeah." Scott said turning up his nose at the thought. "I could show you if you want." She smiled at him. I wanted to say thank you for the other Friday night. making it clear that it wasn't a bad thing." "Oh. "Well so long as it wasn't anything serious. he likes to think he's the dog's bollocks. Cornish pasties." she shrugged." Scott replied." "You had fun then?" Serena asked with a grin." she replied. The small restaurant was more of a diner without the large counter and the over worked waitresses." "Ah." Serena flashed him a gleeful look." He stopped and looked thoughtfully at her. it served an odd assortment of low prices food." He chuckled one hand holding the coffee cup in his fingers gesturing with it. I hope she wasn't communing with that. "Anyway. "she wasn't even supposed to be seeing him any more they broke up.." "Yeah.Return of the Sun Christopher P. re-tucking his hair under it. but I woke up the next morning with a hangover.. he was getting used to her constant flirting. probably because it was just a few doors down from her shop." He winced at the memory. he likes you a lot. "Dickies a good mate. we got to talk at the arcade." "I'll pass." Scott said. "Well she did mention something about this mole on your. Why they had come there Scott couldn't fathom." Serena mused idly. "Was it just me.. right. she decided to make pancakes and banged everything together she could get her hands on.. but Serena had made the choice. when he isn't he sulks. "He got her pregnant at University. Page | 71 . Lydon She gave him a big smile. he kept wanting to bag. getting entirely too much of a mental image that time. he started dating this other girl then next thing you know he's back here with Fleur and turns out they've been shagging the entire time.
Scott dear. *** He came dashing back into the house entirely too enthusiastically.. The small man sitting at the other end of the table polishing his spectacles looked up at him. So much for that. looking at his Gran quizzically. "Oh give over. "Well that would be my grandson." he replied. "Yeah no worries.." "One of those." Serena got up as well. "Yeah." Scott replied knowingly. shaking his hand. slapping the Friday Ad down onto the counter and turning to look for his Gran. But the funny thing is. "Fleur knows what's going on..Return of the Sun Christopher P." Scott was suddenly painfully aware of how underdressed he was for that meeting." she said seeming concerned that she had polished it off. Lydon She rolled her eyes at his expression. you wanted to know. "Sorry. "Yeah. we'll go for a pint later. "Zulee Karmali. "No worries. "Do I want to know?" "Skank hunting. "Your Gran was telling me that you needed a job. "I guess this would be the lad in question Rita." Mister Karmali clarified. uh you sorta caught me unprepared." Page | 72 ." Scott replied making to get up." she replied simply. "I should be getting home anyway. but she doesn't do anything about it. no one's said anything about it." "Skunting?" Scott asked. I'd like you to meet Mister Karmali. though lord alone knows where he's been all day.." Gran was looking slightly mortified at Scott's exuberant entrance. Zulee would write him off as a punk kid and be done with it. Dickie still goes out skunting every chance he gets." "Sure. East Indian with a bright smile and a cunning expression in his eyes." Serena glanced down at the Shepard's pie that was no suitably demolished." Scott cocked his head as he caught his breath and crossed to the man. Gran's got to be wondering where I got to.
Return of the Sun Christopher P.. just like that. I don't think my resident's will." Page | 73 . who was trying hard not to look very pleased with herself.." Scott glanced at Gran." and he gave Scott a quick look over.. okay. fair Scott?" Scott blinked.. "Uh. "It's an informal meeting Scott. "You have a deal Mister Karmali. you need work I need someone to do some general office work. "Suit and tie as well. Lydon Zulee shrugged. And the fact that I owe Mister Robert's a few favours we can consider a trial run. if you survive two weeks you can keep the job." "Good. He nodded his head. appreciate your current look.
Zulee was sitting behind his desk drinking a cup of coffee and talking into a very expensive cordless phone. but an entire office? He suddenly felt very out of his league. "This is Ben. He nodded and tapped on it gingerly. he had expected a nursing home. Scott stared at him uncertainly but the small man was serious. deaths. played with his own from time to time. A few moments later he clicked off and smiled at his new employee. if rather barren room with its double row of filing cabinets. he was surprised to see all the activity. One of those GHz varieties that were powerful enough to be used any where in a building the size of Ashley Gardens. making arrangements for doctor visits and of course the darker side of geriatric care. "Shouldn't we get him a desk Zulee?" he asked looking about the large. He looked up at Scott and nodded at him before bending back to the phone. maybe a workspace sandwiched between a bathroom and a lounge of something. standing nervously in the hallway looking about for someone to tell him where he should be. When Scott arrived in his trusty suit. scheduling events. But Scott had the usual teenagers fascination with the machines. "He's my accountant you are going to be sharing his office. because nobody here knows anything about the damn machines." he said introducing Scott to a very attractive man in his mid twenties. "Good. You've just become the computer technician. "I see my new gopher has arrived." He got up and walked around his desk. but Ben simply shrugged and gave him a friendly smile standing up. he knew how to keep one working. What do you know about computers?" "A bit. Instead there was an entire corner of the building devoted to office space." Scott replied a little uncertain of himself." Scott looked apologetically at Ben. He had shifted from one foot to the other glancing about him as a pretty young woman pointed towards a large oak and glass door. "Come along. Page | 74 .Return of the Sun Christopher P. Lydon Chapter 11 Working at the Ashley Garden's retirement home was a new experience for Scott." Zulee took him by the arm and led him across the hall. A staff of about five people running administration and ensuring that the home ran properly.
"Great.Return of the Sun Christopher P. And Scott was instantly in love." "Eight years in Brooklyn. I just had to learn it as I went.." He said still not exactly sure what was happening. smiled tightly and nodded. and four computer boxes piled on the table. from the sounds of it you've spent a little time across the pond yourself. tools. "yeah. and looked up at the other young man." Zulee said pushing Scott aside to allow the man wearing maintenance coveralls through with a broad table. Scott adjusted the stool. "Canadian. I was plopped down into this desk and told to balance his books. and he plugged in the first computer. so that it was more comfortable. He gingerly sat down on his stool at the bench facing Ben's desk. Especially perched on top of a stool in a monkey suit. That was five years ago. perfect face. rewarded by a whine of it booting up. "but I get that all the time. "Coffee?" Ben said. this was going to be a lot harder than just entering numbers. "Welcome to Ashley Garden's. He stared at Zulee for a moment." Ben's finger's flew across his keyboard inputting numbers. It ran Page | 75 . "Uh hi." "That's it?" Scott asked incredulously. "I take it you have no idea what on earth your supposed to be doing. Vancouver bud. but the old man was talking into his phone again wandering back to his office. "You're American?" he asked incredulously." Ben replied standing up. Ben was an amazingly handsome man. Lydon "Already arranged." "Neither did I when I started. it sounded easy but as his eyes looked down at the broken computers he felt his chest clench. right?" Scott sucked in a breath.." Ben said beaming at him. smart suit and a smile that could curl toes. I'll be right back." Scott replied. Ben smiled. "I just make sure everything balances and if it doesn't I figure out why it doesn't. more like in lust. Within minutes Scott had his own workbench. it was a friendly one filled with teeth. one of the swivel kind used by drafters. and something about the way he said it caused Scott to start. well not love. stool. He would have to try to figure out what was wrong and how to fix it." He gave Scott that smile again and immediately Scott knew that working across from him would be one of the hardest things he would ever have to do in his life.
" Ben chipped jovially watching him. Finding the loose cable he plugged it back in." Scott replied trying the next one. buying one of the first computers back in the day and upgrading to the newest model each year. He flipped the machine on for a quick test.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Scott shook his head. "it seemed like a good idea to just get stuck in. rolling up his sleeves. That one hissed at him and refused to start at all. Five minutes and one of his five was working again. no sound of a fan. He grabbed a sheet of paper and made a note of that before unplugging it and moving onto the next one. but froze while trying to load windows. taking off his suit jacket and draping it over the shoulders of the chair. he set it down and walked around to his desk. one was still sitting there for him to reload windows on to it and the last was being scavenged for parts. however the settings had been fiddled with. but he was smiling. he pulled out a screwdriver and had the case open. there were no lights. He crossed his arms and stepped back. "Get too good at that and you might make me look bad. "Got lucky. The next machine was stubborn. leaving him to uninterrupted work. Ben watched him in between inputting his figures. A few clicks and it was back to normal. He poked around inside it and could see nothing physically wrong with the computer itself. returning to his numbers. "I spent most of my first day sitting and staring at three filing cabinets and four years worth of receipts before I worked up the courage to get started. He knew that because his brother had pulled similar tricks on him back before he left home. Two down. he couldn't figure out why it wouldn't turn on. and was rewarded by life. but the thing remained dormant. he had two computers completely dismantled and he was attempting to build one out of the two. Lydon through its normal checks. This time it booted first time. stepping back to try it again. happy that he had actually accomplished something. nothing." Scott grinned his usual dopey grin. "Great job!" Ben commented." Ben stated returning carrying two mugs of coffee." he replied taking another drink. His Dad had been a technophile. which actually loaded Windows this time. He had managed to fix three of the five. and each time Scott drained his mug Ben would refill it. he just needed to remember that he had played with similar machines the entire time he was growing up. "Hey. he could do this. He chewed his lip. An hour and a half later. Page | 76 . those blue eyes captured Scott's as he spoke. pretty cool.
" Ben responded." Ben crossed his legs in his chair and slid it back. catch them off balance and they always blushed.Return of the Sun Christopher P. I figured if I got it out in the open you wouldn't feel so uncomfortable working up there. satisfied the hall was empty he leaned forward. arrogant Canadians were all the same." Scott yawned and sat down on his stool." he motioned to the bench full of working computers. and he felt like an idiot sitting on it looking down at the confidently smiling Ben who was staring back up at him." "That'd be the one. "He's an odd one that's for sure. "Eyes for intelligence. Scott's jaw hung open." Scott broke out into a broad grin. Sink or swim kind of guy. "So how long have you been out?" Ben asked out of the blue. belt buckle and shoes. he wasn't about to let Ben know how ruffled his feathers were. "Nice try though. Page | 77 ." He responded as Scott's eyes travelled down to it. "Yeah well all the good seats were taken. Cocky. "You're eyes did this three point check thing that my brothers always used to do. and Scott was pleased that he had finally turned the embarrassment tables about on him. too laid back for their own good. how'd you know I was gay?" Ben craned his head to make sure no one was listening. "I think he is going to like you. all the time keeping his composure. Lydon "Zulee likes that. was he calling it right? If not he was going to be left hanging over an awfully high drop. if he likes you you're set." He balanced his cup on his knee." "Thanks." he grinned at Scott seated high above him. All gay men do it subconsciously. had he been staring at Ben too long? Had he just blown it? He struggled to figure it out." Scott shot back quoting Serena. if he doesn't you're out. But all things considered. not entirely sure how to answer that. he was a good foot higher than his workbench. "Okay then mister big shot. belt buckle to see if he's in shape and shoes to see if he takes pride in his appearance." He stopped and frowned. "Eyes. you?" His heart was racing now. "My Brother is gay. Ben turned red as a tomato. Ben grinned at him and rapped his ring finger on the desk. Scott licked his lips. immediately realizing how uncomfortable the thing was. The gold wedding ring making a dull thudding as it tapped the highly polished surface." he said with a smile. "Gotcha. "a year. Playing it cool was second nature. "What made you think I was?" "Cute ones are always gay.
"I'm a terrible flirt. And I thought my office was popular before. unless that's your thing though. "But seriously though we have a number of nurses here... "Five long and happy years before you get any ideas. and not just because of that odd smile of his. He was really starting to like Ben. Ben leaned forward shaking his head still smiling as he set to work. "You realize we could both be done for sexual harassment." Ben shrugged." "No you're not. "a pretty boy like you in a nursing home. my wife thinks I just like the attention.. besides you're too busy staring at me. with both of us in here they are never going to let us get any peace. Ben tapped the ring on the edge of the desk again. "Funny guy.." Ben stated pointing at him." Scott stood up laughing as he set about repacking his tools into the toolbox. and knew a joke when presented with one. if it is I'm sure you will be popular." Scott shook his head." "Any cute ones?" Scott grin became predatory. nor the way he tapped his wedding ring every time Scott accused him of hitting on him." Scott countered. "Sorry. "I think I'll pass thanks. "And here I was thinking you were coming onto me." Ben gave a smile as he pulled his hand's back from the keyboard. just think of all the dirty old men. There was a bond forming with someone that gave as good as he got." Page | 78 . "No. what else was there to look at? "Five years this Fall. Ben laughed again." He glanced over at Scott. well they aren't shy about it shall we say.Return of the Sun Christopher P. mostly women but most of the male ones are." "Married long?" Scott asked hoping to steer the conversation back to something more manageable." Ben was laughing. in the Spartan office. "Thought you might." "Not the only one staring." Ben smirked at him. it was a great way to pass the time." "That why you work here?" Scott was enjoying the verbal sparring. they're really not. Besides. Lydon "Watch it big ears. "You think I'm coming onto you?" Scott asked now thoroughly amused by the whole conversation.
"Uh huh. "You always steer the topic of conversation back around to that? I think you have some repressed issues over there my friend." Ben grinned as he tapped his ring again. "Sorry don't know what you mean. "I can see this is going to be a lot of fun. Lydon "Why is it." Scott looked down at the ring then slowly back up at Ben." Page | 79 ." Ben chuckled shaking his head." Scott stated setting the toolbox aside. well my Daddy always said not to rub another man's rhubarb.Return of the Sun Christopher P. especially not when's someone's rubbing it first so it's you who can be forgetting the ideas.
" Page | 80 . But that wasn't important to Serena who had insisted that she wanted them together after work for a drink. it had been a long day at work.. When Zulee had complained. and Zulee had given him the onerous task of trying to get a computerized fax modem to actually receive faxes. he reasoned. "Well." "I am. tie loosened. "So. He was getting a decent wage from Zulee. "He's thinking 'bout it. the pub in Hellingly that Darren had first taken him to. However. Scott had recommended a magnifying glass and things had spiralled downhill from there. it seemed to like receiving faxes and turning them into pictures about the size of a postage stamp. Not exactly the most useful format in the world especially since they were usually important contracts. He could. was dismally quiet on a Thursday night. Lydon Chapter 12 The Golden Martlet. and given the way the old man would roll his eyes whenever he had to fork over the keys to his prized BMW when he sent Scott on an errand. He had ended up being made to drive all over town to pick up the original documents by hand. are you going to buy a car now?" Darren asked suddenly switching topics on Scott. looking across at Darren who was telling them both about the Darlington races that were coming up. "Go on. Scott was only half-listening while looking about the bar.. one hand on the back of Serena's chair. it would be a welcome asset to work. and not be stuck in town dependent on his friends every time he wanted to go anywhere." Darren egged him on. as would Eastbourne. when you were cruising around town in a Beamer with the windows down and the music turned up you couldn't help but enjoy it." Scott was suddenly aware that he could finally afford one. for the first time in his life he could actually afford to own a car. actually. Scott was still in his suit. At least it had been an excuse to drive his boss's car. holding onto a pint and leaning up against the edge of the bar. "look on your lunch tomorrow." Scott responded taking a pull on his pint and staring thoughtfully up at a bare patch of the wall. Darren could see him mulling it over and he grinned at Serena. much to Scott's dismay. He's got some good second-hand cars sitting there he might let you have cheap. That in itself was a revelation. Stop by the garage and talk to me dad.Return of the Sun Christopher P. And no matter how much Zulee made it out to be a punishment. Brighton would suddenly be a whole lot more accessible.
Scott felt they looked vaguely familiar. I hope. she deliberately changed the subject. much to Scott's relief.. Mate?" Scott nodded. the way his eyes lit up just talking about them." A couple of larger young men walked into the pub. all dressed up. Scott shot him a look. "Yeah. Fuelled on prayer." Darren had decided that Scott's blended accent-." "Hark at Lloyd Grossman over here. heading for their own end of the bar. what's he supposed to be?" Apparently Scott was a bit overdressed for the Martlet. Darren as usual grinned and kept going. Dad could probably work out a deal. or things he planned to do to his own once he got the money. Page | 81 . politely ordering another pint and leaning in to hear her better." She stopped herself. now is complaining when I try to help him out. he could happily while away an entire evening talking about different ones he worked on. "He probably has a job.partAmerican. find you something you'll like and can use. I'm fine. Lydon "Not like that Banger you have. Serena looked about ready to stuff her pint glass into his mouth to make him stop." "Like what?" Scott asked." Serena said. Great. "Something special this summer. "Yeah. looking sweetly up at Scott. So you were saying about cars?" "Well.. "I actually want to get to and from work without breaking down. It was a right lark. as Gran used to say. referring to Darren's red rocket that was parked alongside the building." she smiled. The other one shook his head. part-English--sounded like the pretentious host of an English cooking show. glaring at Darren daring him to change it back. Not exactly the most flattering of comparisons. Scott glanced up and felt his chest tighten." He said it in such a way as to signal to his buddy that he wasn't interested in starting anything.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "You okay. "We should do something." Darren was all for cars. One of them nudged the other. all he needed. And pints in hand. Darren was looking at his cousin in concern. apparently the reverse gear would no longer work so he was limited where he could park. "Well. the pair of them went off to lay claim to the pool table." she said getting a glint in her eye.. "He gets off a plane with the shirt on his back. I met this one bloke and." Scott said hopefully. "last year a bunch of us girls rented a flat on the Isle of Wight for a weekend. "'ere look at 'im.. finally when she had enough of his incessant babbling about carburettors.
"Scott's dad. Wales would be cold." both boys stated at the same time. Scott had been spared Luke's nightly stops past Gran's. Page | 82 . Lydon Scott chewed on the idea a moment. Luke didn't look at him with the same kind of suspicion in his eyes as that he directed towards Scott. "No. used to rent a flat there each summer and take all of us when we were little." Darren nodded back. he looked over at him and shrugged." Serena said. "Perhaps we should go somewhere new?" Scott asked. Which was fine. Scott remembered however. Every time Scott had been he had spent more time inside watching the rain than he had outside enjoying himself. a good way to spend a weekend and enjoy themselves away from Hailsham. Uncle John. Fortunately. But the prospect of spending a weekend on the Isle of Wight. "What is?" Dickie asked." "Luke. "What about Cornwall?" Darren asked. "Our Granddad owns a caravan in Kent. but tradition was tradition. Luke gave him a sidelong look while sipping his Guinness and turned a little away from him. Darren had always been in the thick of the trouble." Dickie grinned. so naturally he would think returning there would be a good idea. He handed one over to Dickie and nodded to Darren. joining the conversation. "Just a suggestion. "Griff. For the moment.Return of the Sun Christopher P. at least for Scott. hoping to dissuade Darren before he got too set on the idea. Strangely." Scott remembered those weekend trips. "We were just thinking about doing something this summer. It sounded like fun. wet and miserable. Scott hadn't even noticed him enter the pub. going somewhere for the weekend or something. his dad trying to keep control of a pack of Walker children as they terrorized their way through the small Cornish holiday town. busy with work. looking up at Darren who seemed to be thinking on it as well. At least he was able to avoid the uncomfortable conversation that way. joining them a second later with a couple of pints of Guinness. Scott was getting used to Luke giving him the cold shoulder. Typically. causing mayhem and pandemonium wherever they went. "Wales?" Serena offered. sounded about as exciting as watching a flock of seagulls. how much his father had dreaded those trips." "What's this?" Luke asked. uncertain at the hostility against her idea.
"Yes. it was the first time he had ever taken out a loan on anything. We can all split up among two cars and not have to cram into the back of your Metro." Dickie explained. it will make Friday nights easier." Luke replied noncommittally." Darren offered. not too loudly. "Pool?" he offered Darren. "You're getting a car? Great. but enough for Serena to look at him funny. you apparently develop some pull with the manager. something about the two of them together that just didn't gel properly. too late for either Scott or Serena to stop him." Serena said and looked up at Scott. "We haven't been up this year and if I go and ask him I think it should be alright to use it. Luke looked over towards the pool table. seeing managers come and go. Scott suspected it was probably Luke's doing." Serena said. "sounds like fun. now free after the two louts had moved to a booth to work on a fresh round of drinks. would it be okay for Fleur and I to ride with you?" Dickie was asking Serena. I'd love to. gripping the back of Serena's chair." "Ah.Return of the Sun Christopher P. When you do all your business at the same branch. "It would be fun. Luke glanced over at Scott. Getting credit was a huge step forward for him." "You should come. no problem at all. She had a relationship with the bank on the high street going back nearly thirty years. Scott felt Serena lightly squeeze his hand and brought him back into the conversation. Darren racking the balls. who was holding his breath. "I was just saying Granddad's caravan. She always bristled around Luke. Luke nodded thoughtfully as he looked at Dickie who shrugged back at him. he just seemed to like pissing people off. Page | 83 ." *** Scott ran a hand down his face as he reached for the pen and signed the paper. hoping the answer would be no. "If you get a car this week we can use that as well and do a convoy." Dickie offered. And he shrugged." Dickie looked pleased. "Sure. only a week or so ago he had been collecting Job Seekers. He suspected his gran had something to do with him being accepted for it. "So if we go. now he was signing a used-car loan. Darren nodded and the two of them crossed to the table. Lydon "We're thinking about taking a holiday." Scott exhaled in disappointment.
Return of the Sun Christopher P. She blinked at him. His eyes bulged." she warned Scott as she handed him the wads of cash. he was going to make a quick run over to Uncle Ron's garage. "Mister Walker. How was he going to carry that much money across town? He swallowed and accepted them. She gave him a smile as he set out. one look at Scott and he made to intercept him. "and where am I walking you today?" He shook his head. "Shouldn't you be playing in traffic or something?" "That's directing traffic. but he was suddenly aware of everything around him and he wanted nothing better than to just get to the garage and be off the street. If there was nothing. still reading the contract he had just signed. Mister Walker?" the bank assistant asked him politely. "Uh.. He hurried through the town. The assistant returned a few minutes later with five stacks of bills. "Typical. I would advise you to be careful carrying this much money. what person would be dense enough to pull a stunt like that?" Scott looked Luke dead in the eyes. cash?" he asked. he was beginning to sweat and looking at everyone nervously as he passed them. It was a very brave man. see what was available. murmuring something about the taxpayers working hard just so he could babysit an arrogant." he stated in a tone that said he wasn't happy. no doubt thinking the same thing that he was.. And I had this feeling. Lydon "How would you like that. "The super gets a call from the bank saying that one of its customers is walking around Hailsham with more money than sense in his pockets and so he warns us to keep our eyes open. She was a pleasant girl who had been courteously walking him through every step of the process. still a little stunned at how completely painless the experience had been for him. Luke was standing outside the police station. keeping a quick pace all the way down George Street. he had been absently responding to her questions. did you say cash?" He nodded. not registering the joke Scott had made at his expense. pushing them into his suit pockets and wondering if he would get jumped on his way. trying to make sure she had heard him correctly. he could always visit one of the car dealerships up the far end of the high street." Luke corrected. Page | 84 . It was stupid. "I'm sorry sir. he hadn't actually expected her to give him five thousand pounds in cash. or a very foolish one to do what he was doing.
wiry. "Well. Ron was covered in grease. Luke simply nodding goodbye once they arrived and setting off back the way he had come. "I am. softening his tone. "Well. balding man." "Well. "You're a nice guy and besides your gran is. Lydon Scott shrugged. he was perpetually covered in grease." "Why bother?" Luke responded. and although it never once touched his face." "Buying a car.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Okay. a short. "I'm going to Diplocks Way. I'll be civil." Luke replied dryly. I didn't mean it. he had finally hit his breaking point with Luke. for a start. "I didn't get a chance to apologize to you for the other day. I know. Scott could see it. as usual his eyes looking everywhere but at Scott. if I am stuck walking with you. as kids it had been the quickest way to get to school." Scott said as they cut across the recreation ground." Scott replied. "Well. a few extra lines and a few Page | 85 . and Scott stuffed his hands into his pockets. A couple of kids smoking behind the cricket pavilion saw the approaching policeman and frantically stubbed out cigarettes and tried to appear innocently minding their own business. we wouldn't want that. hating again that Luke was making him feel like an imbecile. and his patience had limits. Luke gave them one of his cold hard stares and they immediately scampered away. He hadn't changed much since Scott and Darren had been kids. because if you don't I'll kick your ass." "Yeah." Luke took a sigh. "I misheard the bank teller and so I ended up getting cash. the least you can do is be civil to me this time. The smile from the first time he had insisted on escorting Scott home was back in his eyes." "That was because I wouldn't let you." Luke replied. "on the condition you tell me why you want to carry that much money on you. They didn't speak for the rest of the walk to the garage." he replied.." Scott replied. It was nice to finally see Luke relax and actually not be such a complete ass." Scott replied firmly. But Scott knew progress when he saw it. I'm sorry.. There was only so far he had to go to be polite. and endeavoured to find his uncle." Luke continued. breaking out into a smile as they struggled through the dirty track that connected the back of the recreation ground to Diplocks way. "I thought you were going to be civil?" Scott bit back. The two began to walk. So rather than look like a complete moron I decided it would be good enough.
a Range Rover? Weren't they ridiculously expensive? When Ron had said Rover he had instinctively thought to the classic banker's sedan. bending down to look in the window of a rather sporty Peugeot that looked all right. He preferred to quietly work on his cars rather than actually have to deal with others. no. though he tried his best." Scott dismissed it quickly. beyond that he wasn't above making a little extra cash at the expense of someone else's naiveté. Range Rover. He just had to trust his uncle knew what he was doing..." Scott's jaw hung open.. still holding a spanner. "Well. "Just a friend of mine. "Darren said I should talk to you about a car." Ron was never the greatest conversationalist. pointing to the lot alongside the garage. "What did you have in mind?" Scott said. "That's right. Lydon extra pounds. but she's served him faithfully both on." Ron grinned. even if it was his nephew's. in all different kinds of conditions. nodding at Luke. that was about it. and reluctantly Scott pulled himself away from the car and followed him deeper into the knackers yard." "Off-road?" Scott asked." Ron clarified. My boss was actually going to scrap his old Rover. "I have something you might like. "I thought you said a Rover. Darren was telling me that you learned to drive. "and there's about 170 thousand miles on her.." Ron said." he got a glint in his eye as he spoke.. His uncle Ron was honest to a point. Page | 86 . Scott cheerily waved as he was led around back to what amounted to a graveyard of cars. "Well. wiping his nose with the back of his hand and smudging more grease across his cheek. knowing that he wasn't going to get much say. looking concerned." "No. "not a Rover Rover.Return of the Sun Christopher P. though he wasn't about to say how much money he had sitting in his pockets. it often came across that he was struggling. "Don't want that French piece of junk. "I was thinking something more durable." Ron said as he kept going. He rubbed his hands on a cloth watching Luke walking back up the street carefully." he said. coming to a halt. Darren was working on a car up on the hoist and waved at his cousin. Uncle Ron." he warned. "she's about fifteen years old though. "What did he want?" Ron asked. There were all different types." Scott stated.and off-road..
but he wasn't nuts. "How much to fix her up?" "Engine running. reasoning he could afford new seats. nobody back in the States is ever gonna believe this." Scott looked at the old beast and at his uncle." he looked apologetic." Scott nodded. which promptly came off in his hand.." Ron said looking hopeful. "That out of the way. Though I can't help you with the seats. The engine. The engine growled as it came to a halt. He wasn't about to pay a ton of money for something that wouldn't. it was a Range Rover. the diffs are fine." Scott said. and the chassis is very solid. here's the good news. But the price is good. "She's going to take a bit to pass inspection. and grinned a lopsided grin. "You're going to take it?" "It's a fucking Range Rover. his Range Rover.." Ron said with a smile. There were bits missing here and there. thup-thuping as it reluctantly died. "the engine isn't running at the moment. some parts are here somewhere. leading him around the corner face to face with the elegant. Scott hopped down from the cab and slammed the door." Scott replied resting a hand on the mirror. and some of them were really big. The gearbox is equally good. "Four hundred. and Scott honestly thought Ron was trying to mark the price up. Scott turned to his uncle in surprise. stopping to slam it again to make sure it latched. Ron nodded as he patted the hood. when running. walking up to her. We junked another Rangie a year ago. and everything so she can pass safety. "How soon can you have her ready to go?" Ron looked at him sceptically. He sheepishly handed it back to his uncle.. I'd say another thousand or so. all in all she looked very scruffy. "We were going to scrap her down for parts to keep other Rangies on the road...." "Replace them and add it on.. "I have another one kicking around here somewhere. and part of the dash was ripped up. "Can we do something about the dash?" "I can replace that. if battered-looking vehicle. The interior was a bit shredded as well. Page | 87 . though. He walked around the Range Rover. Four days later his gran was leaning on her hedge when the Rover rumbled to a halt across the road." Ron said.Return of the Sun Christopher P." He sighed.. Lydon "She's fallen on harder times. there wasn't a body panel without a dent. Man. but when it does run it sounds good and it's very peppy." Scott nodded. but I'd like to see her continue in service a bit longer. Good brakes and electrics.
nodding to the olive-green monstrosity that was still looking slightly the worse for wear despite Uncle Ron and Darren's best efforts. Page | 88 . "It's mine. Scott gave her his dopey grin. Despite its appearance it was running perfectly. Lydon "What on earth is that?" Gran inquired.Return of the Sun Christopher P." he stated firmly.
"Oh it's not the Scousers I'm worried about." "What. he was holding a screwdriver and had a determined look on his face. Dickie is over at mine with Fleur and Darren's gone to pick up Luke. Scott looked across the desks at his colleague. Ben winked back at him. I like it in here where it's warm and cosy." He gave a broad grin as he let the blinds fall back to rattle against the window." He crossed back to his desk and flopped into his chair. Scott looked up from a particularly stubborn computer that was sitting in pieces spread out across his workbench." Ben winced. "A good old-fashioned manhunt. "Though knowing you it's probably dangerous animals in Brighton. it's you.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Boredom did funny things to Ben." Scott's phone rang and he reached out to scoop up the receiver as Ben returned to playing solitaire on the computer. Scott cradled the receiver against his shoulder as he went back to fixing the computer. "No thanks. If a holiday to Kent could have that effect. "I think I'll pass on that one if you don't mind." he offered with a deadpan expression." Ben shifted in his chair. Scott had come to learn that Ben thrived on it. babe. looking down on Scott's battered Rover from the window of their office. Scott speaking. "Ashley Gardens. "I was going to kidnap you and turn you loose on the wilds of Milton Keynes. if you don't kill me then a pack of wild Scousers will. "Huh?" "Safari. not up to it?" Scott grinned. why?" "Well. "Yeah. it was nearing the end of the day on Friday and he had done the weekly books an hour ago and now he was just waiting for five o'clock. I just got off. Scott wondered what would have happened if they had decided to go to Ibiza. invariably he would go back to his favourite game of seeking attention. you know. Lydon Chapter 13 "You sure you're not going on Safari?" Ben asked. "I could get a winch attached to the Rover and drag you out of the closet. Page | 89 ." He gave Ben a grin. "I don't know. we're all waiting on you. hunting dangerous animals on the savannah." Scott shook his head." She sounded excited. setting the screwdriver down and removing the computer's defective hard drive." "Can you skive off work early?" Serena asked breathlessly.
"I was wondering when you were going to break and ask me. he kept things simple and he expected others to do the same. It always felt like a hospital. like he was too young.." she hung up the phone. would she end up like that? No. It was a stark shock that everyone was mortal. setting his tools down again. a kind of look that acknowledged he was there. when his grandfather had passed away he had been abroad and they had heard the news over the phone. treating them all with respect." "I know. no matter how much care had gone into making it feel warm and inviting. Lydon "I'll try." Page | 90 . Scott sighed as he set the receiver back on the hook. The way he said it left little doubt in Scott's mind that it was going to be a difficult feat indeed. babe. "You've been dropping hints all week. Scott shrugged as he set off into the maze of corridors that connected the administration officers to the actual nursing home. the man was an eccentric character. she was too vibrant. There were no signs anywhere of areas actually being lived in. "Great." Zulee said after he excused himself. Zulee would be down touring the residence floors making sure everyone was comfortable and happy." Scott said glancing up at the clock. It was sterile. Zulee liked to keep everything neat and organized and the housekeeping staff worked extra hours to keep it that way. It was a frightening thought. Harris what she thought about the news.. he never tried to over-think a situation. It was strange. none of the fire that made a person a person. He passed an old woman labouring to get up the hall on her walking frame. "You're going to try to get off early.Return of the Sun Christopher P. When he saw Scott coming he was smiling. see you soon. Scott decided he should just spit it out. asking their thoughts on current topics and making sure they knew he cared about them. but nothing more. He disliked this part of the building. he always felt so out of place there. too clean. She looked at him with no recognition in her eyes. He felt disheartened. He never patronized his residents. Gran was getting on. and Scott didn't want to think too much on it. one of those powerhouses who would keep going till the day they died. Ben was grinning at him. it was three in the afternoon. Zulee was standing in the doorway of one of the lounges asking old Mrs. "I'm going away for the weekend. the whole family curling up in each others' arms on his dad's bed sharing their grief. aren't you?" he asked." Zulee stated with a paternal smile.
Return of the Sun Christopher P. and hopefully he could use Serena's bathroom. maybe you can finally get the fax modem working. they're just waiting on me. She looked him up and down and shook her head. tossing her the keys." *** The Rover rumbled up outside Serena's bungalow just off Western Road. He slid down and took off his suit jacket tossing it back into the cab onto the backseat. Serena came out of the house grinning at him. "You're not going like that. had he really been that eager? "My friends are ready to go." "How about if I make up the extra hours next week?" Scott said. A blue short-sleeved shirt with a dragon print on it." she said. a loud pollution machine. Scott ducked through Serena's house. but there was no denying the power behind that engine. it was a feeling of safety that came from driving something that big. Lydon "Yeah. He loved the feeling of being above everyone else on the road. those computers aren't going to fix themselves. looking him over. "Well. she was wearing a tank top and a pair of flood pants. a trilby hat on her head to shield her from the sun. He found the bathroom right where Serena had told him it would be.. and he changed into something a bit more typically American. Zulee smiled and took his hand. "Excellent. reasoning that Zulee was a businessman.. a pair of cargos and his trusty Page | 91 . her eyes lighting up. already opening the rear of the Rover and eyeing the space appreciatively. "Do you mind if we start loading some stuff into the boot of that?" "Sure. and Darren should be back soon. "Dickie and Fleur are up at the corner shop picking some stuff up. she looked ready for summer. and strangely. There was no denying the fact they were going away. the loo's upstairs on the right. The Metro was decked out with roof racks piled high with baggage and a cooler. He hadn't had a chance to change yet. "Do you mind if I get changed?" "Yeah. and definitely more comfortable. passing her mother wrestling with what looked like a couple of sleeping bags. To Scott it sounded like a truck." she said. Serena was going all out for this trip and it looked like she wanted to take as much as she could. he would respect an honest effort at a compromise. hefting his bag up and nodding at her house." he said. It didn't bother him that much." Zulee thought about it." She looked behind him at the Rover." Scott felt foolish.
Darren rested on the garden wall dressed as he always was. he cursed Serena's bad timing. He blew out a sigh as he walked around the back and looked in at the piled bags and a second cooler that suspiciously sounded like it contained beer bottles. struggling with the last of the bags. get your thumb out and give us a hand. appreciating the British summer weather. Luke was dressed like a Boy Scout. Scott grinned despite himself. tucking his white tee-shirt into a pair of jeans before slipping on his Adidas windbreaker over top. "Yeah. All he needed to complete the look was the neck scarf and the hat. it wouldn't be joining them on the trip. "So how's this going to work?" Luke asked.. "Don't just stand there being useless. glad actually that Uncle Ron had thought of him with the mammoth vehicle. there. it looked like they were going for a full week rather than just a few days. I don't think my car will survive the trip. Feeling better he put on his blue-tinted sunglasses he had picked up for the trip. "You didn't have to babysit a bunch of Cub Scouts this afternoon. trying to contain his own chuckles. He made it outside to find Dickie and Fleur loading shopping bags into the rear of the Rover that was rapidly filling with stuff. He took the time to comb his hair so that it hung over the sides." Dickie said. The ragged rattling of Darren's car pulling up made them all turn. Lydon visor.. He adjusted his shirt and turned back to a now completely changed Luke. "What are you giggling at?" Dickie asked." He flushed. "You didn't know he's a Boy Scout leader?" "That's right. glad the sunglasses hid his eyes as he rested on the back of the Rover watching Luke begin to take his shirt off. with shorts and a safari shirt. and the way the cotton slid off of. nodding in approval as he hefted a deflated air mattress into the back." Page | 92 . "Looking sharp." Scott blinked. Luke climbed out of the passenger's side shaking his head. and he looked back at the red rocket.Return of the Sun Christopher P. The way Serena had stuffed it. unbuttoning his shirt. From the way the red rocket sounded. They had flipped down the back seat to make more room and packed everything in tightly leaving only the front seats empty. Serena slapped a bag into his hands. slamming the trunk of the Rover closed at last. it clattered a bit more before it finally came to a stop across the street. laugh you wankers." Luke grumbled.
Scott looked over at him.. They should be coming out somewhere down by Pevensey. Luke leaned forward and flicked on the radio. "Sounds like a freight lorry. you can ride with me." Luke commented. I should ride with you. about as pleasant as pulling teeth out of a grizzly bear. strangely energetic despite his normally reserved nature. an Austin Metro and more room just didn't belong in the same sentence." Scott offered. because his grandfather had worked in the Royal Observatory there most of his life. another castle. Lydon "Well. switching the dial to Virgin Radio. And Scott tried to maintain the silence as the Rover bounded along the back roads following the Metro down to the coast via Herstmonceaux.." Stuck in weekend summer traffic. and slowly removed her hand from his arm.Return of the Sun Christopher P. one that said she didn't like that idea at all and to show her displeasure she tightened her grip on his arm. But Serena and her passengers were already piling into the metro." Scott winced at the oxymoron. just stick behind Serena. in a hot car with Luke. "Engine's a bit loud. the engine roaring to life. Luke hopped up beside him. Scott ignored him as he reached down and started the Rover. "Okay. "Figures you'd drive one of these. so who's that leave?" Luke rested a hand on the front brush bar that protected the front end of the Rover. He kept his eyes peeled for the castle." he said apologetically. Dickie shook his head. "Me. shifting to get comfortable on the new seats. and if we get separated on the way you'll never find it. and Scott reluctantly climbed into the Rover. Suddenly Scott seriously wanted to be back at work. a funny sight to Serena's mother who was waving them off. "Ok. "No. neither of you know the way.. buckling himself in. startling his passenger. A beast chasing a small animal. satisfied when some decent music started to play he settled in for the trip. a famous landmark." Luke said looking about the inside of the cab. The beautiful summer sun shone through the green leaves of the old oak trees hanging over the roads. this one dating back to Roman times. He winced at the pressure she was exerting. there's more room at the moment in the Metro.. he had no desire to be cooped up that long with Luke while he went through one of his erratic mood swings. "On second thoughts I should ride with Serena. patting the hood of the Rover. As pleasant as their short walk the other day had been." he explained as the Rover lurched forward and began to rumble after the small Metro. The Page | 93 ." Fleur gave him a pouty look. especially to him.
"I'm going to buy a pair of sunglasses. Scott breathed a sharp breath. looking over the rims of his sunglasses. "Only ever passed it when we were little. "Thanks. "We should all go one day. "For what?" "For not making fun of me just now. the Metro continuing its course.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Scott replied. "We're going to have to stop for gas soon. "Wow. and as the Rover swept around those ancient stone walls. "Yeah. and a couple of drinks. You've never been to Pevensey Castle?" he asked in surprise." Scott fired back. he looked good out of uniform. Luke opened one eye. He looked past the pump into the gas station to where Luke was paying the cashier. Luke sat upright. settling back in to nap. still awed by its sheer majesty. "Leave it out. His short-cropped hair spiked out on top and with his soft Page | 94 . So much for them sticking together. re-educate you. "Petrol. The Rover was a great vehicle. there was nothing that old in America. "Oh. turning to look at the castle that was literally a few feet away. everything was so new in comparison to a fortress that had stood for nearly two millennia. trying to see what Scott was looking at." He looked down at the gas gauge. Scott thought as he hopped down and started to fill the tank. Luke got down from the Rover and wandered around to him." Scott replied as he turned the indicator on and turned into the nearest garage. watching the meter on the pump climb steadily higher towards his destitution. but it definitely wasn't the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the road." "Gas?" Luke inquired. do you want something?" "Coke'll do. He'd have to thank Uncle Ron for that one. Lydon area was just so rich with history. becoming a bit embarrassed. reaching down to wind down the window and resting an arm on the door as he let the fresh sea breeze whip past him." Scott said." he said. "What?" Luke asked shaking himself awake from where he was snoozing." Luke replied. oblivious that they had lost the other half of their convoy. well I felt like saying it." he murmured." Scott said sincerely. Scott smiled. I'd forgotten that. more relaxed when he wasn't staring at everyone with a look that said he knew they were up to no good.
Scott smiled in return. "since you seem to want to have a conversation. "And you're a prat." Luke looked at him." Luke countered. you'd just assume he was another college student or something. "Think they make me look cool?" he asked. "just good to know there's a human being under there somewhere." he warned still smiling. too nice of a day. removing the price tag from his new sunglasses and slipping them on. He withdrew the pump." Scott said with a grin as the Rover bounced and rattled along a rough section of road." Page | 95 ." He rested his head on the headrest and enjoyed the drive. it was a contagious smile and before he knew it he was grinning as he started the Rover up again and set out onto the street. but it's just not worth it." Luke replied. Scott flashed him another look and turned up the music. Let his overdraft worry about that. "I write you up and you won't speak to me the rest of the trip. "And given the fact that you're short." "Okay then. "Bugger that. "Nothing. slotting in his bankcard to the pump and paying it directly. looking with dismay at the price it registered. mate. his paycheque from Ashley Gardens would be clearing soon. "Tell me about the States. "What?" Luke asked. "I could make a comment. you're a little prat. "I am a policeman. Hearing the vehicle accelerate Luke sat upright." Scott replied with a daring grin. Luke tossed Scott a bottle of coke as he climbed back into the cab. it was Friday. what do you want to talk about?" Luke thought a moment and grinned." Scott replied.Return of the Sun Christopher P. and for the first time he actually smiled. Lydon features. hardly one of Hailsham's finest." Scott said. "So give me a ticket." "That's 'cause you're an asshole. returning to lounging his arm on the window. lowering his foot a little on the gas pedal. turning.
She started when she saw her cosmetics spread all over the grass.. setting her jaw." "You're more an ochre kind of bloke. Lydon Chapter 14 He had been expecting a small round camper caravan. "Passion Red is my colour." Scott shook his head and grinned as he tossed the kits into the bag. a hair drier and more combs than one person could ever use in a single lifetime. "Finally. It ground to a halt alongside the camper surprising Darren who was busily unloading the Metro and ferrying stuff inside.. handling the rough terrain easily. Scott?" he asked. Scott's trying on my makeup. Darren cursed up a storm as Luke hurried to give him a hand. and shot Scott an accusing look." Scott picked up a tube of lipstick and looked at the label. "I don't think. It was tucked at the back end of a rustic field under a huge oak tree." He laughed as he handed her the bag. no doubt informing her mother that they had made it. talking into a cell phone. and she looked at him. "You know I was just trying to make myself look pretty. the spilled compacts and blush that had spilled out over the rest of it. slacker?" Scott called out of the window smirking at him. spitting distance from a small river that had once been a part of the canal network.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Alright then. "Dickie and Fleur buggered off. Scott bent down to start repacking the bag. it was designed for this kind of off-roading." Darren replied. Serena stepped down out of the Winnebago. Instead he was looking at a stylish and quite modern Winnebago. and Rovers like this one had competed in the Amazon Cup for years. "I have to go Mum. and Serena is inside storing shit. pushing the sunglasses down his nose to get a better look. "Trying to impress someone. the kind normally seen in holiday parks all over England at this time of the year." He struggled with a particularly heavy bag that slipped from his hand spilling its contents on the ground. He looked up at Luke who was wrestling with a couple of sleeping bags. picking up makeup boxes." Darren grinned as he walked out of the camper and opened the Rover's trunk to get at the bags loaded there. "How am I supposed to attract a really fit guy now?" Page | 96 . The Rover bounded down the dirt track. he furrowed his brow at the collection of beauty products. She looked at the mess.
One glance at Serena's long legs told him he wouldn't get five steps. "Move your arse." "Opera?" Scott asked.. and I knew I should have brought a hose." Scott said standing up and brushing off the dust from his pants. "That's gross. we could get something to eat before heading back to the caravan.. The sun was warm and Serena. and he looked at Scott in genuine surprise. and Fleur and Dickie hadn't returned from their 'Nature' walk. "Don't just stand there gawking!" Darren complained." Serena shook her head. Perhaps if he made a run for the Rover. you're queer. if he reached it he could probably make Dover. adamant that they were going to rough it for the weekend. "He said something about taking Fleur for a walk. from there the continent. was looking to and fro with a decided purpose. "Not actual opera. There were a lot of tourists about snapping pictures of the Georgian shopping precinct. "It's a beautiful town." Scott glanced towards the trees and brush bordering the far end of the field and shuddered at the thought of what was going on in there. walking with her. "Not even here five minutes and they're at it. or browsing through the multitude of antiques shops that seemed to be everywhere. *** Serena had insisted they take a trip into Royal Tunbridge Wells because she wanted to see the Pantiles shopping district. "it's a restaurant. "Yes. Darren and Luke broke out their fishing rods. hands in his pockets looking about him. suddenly wondering what he had been gotten himself into. but they're probably just shagging in the woods." Serena sniffed." he commented." Serena replied in exasperation.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "I'll still love you." "Fat lot of good that does me. Lydon "Don't worry." Scott commented." Page | 97 . Darren coming up behind him collided and stumbled backwards. looking about her again. "Where'd Dickie go?" he asked. Luke stopped dead in the doorway of the camper. still in her hat. holding up a rather expensive looking makeup kit that had broken open." They both clambered aboard and Scott shook his head at Serena as he fished in the back of the rover for his own bags. "there's supposed to be an opera house around here somewhere." she commented. Unfortunately Scott had been the poor sod who had ended up going with her.
Page | 98 . Scott thought it was a smile." Scott replied. and they had promised they would stop and pick up some drinks for the night. The great outdoors was just a stone's throw away. They were really just browsing now anyway. "You what?" she asked again. he was adamant that if he was camping at least one of his traditions would stay alive. working up to telling him something but dancing away from it whenever he gave her a chance to tell him. turning them over in her hand. glancing at his watch to see it was getting closer to seven in the evening. They were making the return trip and Serena was holding on to the bag of marshmallows. Roasting marshmallows and wieners over a campfire was a part of the experience. embarrassed. And although he couldn't find wieners. but faltered and looked away. But once you got out into the country there was an entire subculture to enjoy. looking at her. Well. with Fleur you could never be sure. obviously disappointed at not being able to have supper in an opera house. she had been doing that all evening. we're nearly there. finally she agreed and they wandered back to the Rover to find a Sainsbury's supermarket. "What?" he asked. Fleur was sitting on the steps of the Winnebago. He sighed and grabbed the bags of Chinese before hopping down. Serena looked forlornly about her." Serena was giving him one of her looks. Wednesday from the Addam's Family. "Shouldn't we be getting back?" he asked. Lydon "Oh. as if working up the courage. Scott had to get inside before he burst into giggles at that thought. "It's ok. She opened her mouth. He frowned at her as they drew up at the camper. "I told you we should have stopped at the Opera house. and if you wanted to travel you had to be prepared for long drives. He felt his stomach rumble loudly and Serena grinned as she looked down at it. He tipped his sunglasses further down his nose and looked at the food realizing he was starving.Return of the Sun Christopher P. some things he had just grown accustomed to taking for granted growing up in the States. all in black with pale skin and dark rings around her eyes. Scott sighed." she quipped. and she smiled at Serena. or even graham crackers for s'mores. After that they had stopped for Chinese take-out which filled the cab of the Rover with mouthwatering smells. a look Scott had learned from experience meant she was about to tell him something. as they passed a couple of restaurants in the Pantiles that looked just as appetizing to him. Scott turned the Rover off the road and they bounced along the dirt track into the field.
taking quick small bites while cradling the plate against her and looking about in case a larger animal tried to take it from her. His friend Yin had shown him one lunch hour at school and since then he had become adept at it. Serena accepted her plate and sat down on one of the bench seats." Fleur replied in her timid voice. obviously the makeshift ringleader. abandoning his fellow men and grabbing a plate that he began to load with food. He sighed in relief as he leaned back on the counter. men. "You're evil." he said. skewering a piece of duck with a chopstick and tasting it. Darren was in the lead.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Dickie said." Serena said. The camper door rattled open as the triumphant hunter-gatherers returned from their expedition. Luke turned and held up his plate." Luke said." Scott replied. "Remember to be strong. They seemed entirely too pleased with themselves till they noticed the three others holding plates of cooked food. even though his eyes were locked on the chicken ball Serena was lifting to her mouth. hopping up to sit on the countertop. Fleur looked hesitant as Scott handed her a plate. "But what about the pact?" Darren protested. looked at his men. "Bugger that. holding his plate in front of him. She acted like a squirrel munching on an acorn. his arm gently brushed Scott's leg. Serena grinned. looking hopelessly at his fish. as Dickie abandoned Darren's fish and joined the others in the Chinese. holding up the fruits of their labours: a tiny perch no bigger than Scott's hand." she said. "Bagsey on the bedroom. Page | 99 . opening cartons of Chinese food and bending down to smell the roast duck. "I'm the gatherer. turning. Too many years of good Chinese food in Brooklyn had forced him to learn. "Are they still going to rough it?" Scott said." he replied. Dickie. watching as he began to dish out three plates. "Reckon they are going to catch anything?" she asked as she expertly wielded chopsticks and sampled some of the duck. also preferring chopsticks. "They're still fishing. Lydon "Where are Dickie and the other boys?" Serena asked as she began to put six-packs in the battery-operated fridge alongside the bottles they had brought with them. and Scott relaxed just enjoying the presence. but after a moment she accepted it and began to tuck in. "Sleeping arrangements. "I doubt it.
I get to sleep in it. "Does this mean I have to pitch the tent?" Scott sighed reluctantly. It was proving to be an impossible feat.Return of the Sun Christopher P. especially since he knew there was no real coffee within a five-mile radius of them. But then Luke was a Scout leader. "So much for comfort. stamping out into the cold morning air. "I'll do it. he thrust his bare feet into his sneakers and opened the door. He looked around. obviously there had been even less room in the tent than they had assumed and Luke had wrapped himself up outside. but he would probably disturb the sleeping occupants. He blew out a sigh. I am a girl after all. Give him a Page | 100 . Lydon Serena looked through to the double-bed sitting at the back of the camper. rubbing his jaw and eyes to clear the sleep that lingered there.. realizing he had to pee. Scott tossed. I call the bench here in the lounge. and a cow was happily munching on it. he needed to pee." Scott and Darren exchanged looks. It'll barely fit two as it is. paper. Scott thought. followed by rhythmic breathing as he fell back asleep. He debated slipping into the camper. There was a ground fog curling around the field. There was a stirring in the sleeping bag as Luke opened a blearyeyed head out of the flap and looked at him." *** Cramped into the backseat of the Rover wrapped in a borrowed sleeping bag. he was probably used to sleeping outdoors. he yawned and the eye closed again. mildly annoyed that he couldn't do that. He returned the stare. "Rock. That's right. And so he crept past the tent where Darren's feet were sticking out of one end and loud snoring emanating from within.. picking up the balled-up jacket he was using as a pillow and thumping it a few times before he collapsed back to try to sleep again. he was going to hate the day. He would give his right arm at that point for a decent Starbucks or something close by. rising up amidst the grass. He had been tossing and turning all night trying to get comfortable. or scissors. trying to remember why he had gotten out of the warm Rover. but if I put it up. Scott lifting his balled fist." Darren's face fell a little. and she sighed. At least someone was getting some sleep. He sat up sleepily pushing his hair out of his eyes. casting him a big-eyed glare and snorting before bending back to its grazing. and decided ducking behind the tree line would be the best thing for him. trying desperately to get some sleep. Reluctantly sitting upright again and pulling the sleeping bag around his shoulders like a cloak. and dawn was beginning to tinge the sky a light shade of blue. Scott took another few steps coming around the tent and seeing a sleeping bag tucked outside of it.
Dickie. He had enjoyed the night sitting around talking with his friends. licking his lips and looking up at the ancient oak tree he was watering.Return of the Sun Christopher P.. it was far too early. strangely fitting into the odd mixture of very different people. And for the second time that morning Scott was shocked: Serena. Lydon knife and drop him in the middle of the Amazon and he would survive. A low moan caused him to look about him puzzled. Page | 101 . hugging as he found a tree and began to relieve himself. Scott went red as he gaped for a second. so if he could just slip away and leave Dickie and Fleur alone to their morning liaison. He leaned around the tree. no one would ever have to mention the fact that he had. Dickie dropped and the pair rolled over and she lifted her head. They had obviously not heard him. rising and falling in a particular rhythm that was unmistakable. they were all going out of their way to make him feel part of their circle. or was he just imagining it. Had he really heard something. The gasps from his partner confirmed it. and he was certain all he wanted to do was climb back into the Rover and not think about what he had just seen. He sighed. Scott felt a little jealous of that. not exactly sure what he should do. the long curly black hair and face twisting in ecstasy. as naked as the day he was born. zipping himself up and stopped. Luke was a survivor. his jaw hanging open. He slipped back to the camp site as quietly as he could.. and what it meant. curving her back.
He didn't want to be alone with Dickie. He at least had an idea now what Serena had been trying to tell him the day before. Dickie adamant that he had enough culture for one day and wanted to find a pub. he was distracted. steeped in the history of a nation. a decent job and the start of some good friendships. He just didn't know what to do about what he had seen. Luke had gone with Darren trying to find Thomas the Beckett's tomb. we've all been there. mate." Scott nodded looking out of the warped glass window at a troop of tourists being shepherded around by a harried-looking tour guide who didn't look that happy about her job. taking a long draught from a pint of bitter. Even though it was only about midday it had been a long morning. Especially with Luke dragging them all over the Cathedral precincts and pointing out pieces of history. "Ah. And as much as he wanted to enjoy himself. The ancient stones almost sang. They had eventually managed to break up into smaller groups. Lydon Chapter 15 They had travelled into Canterbury. adding to the complicated situation. Page | 102 . His own problems were petty in the grand scheme of things and he knew it. "What's wrong?" he asked." Scott replied barely touching his own. "Nothing. Scott suspected that it was mainly done for his re-education benefit." Dickie stated as the two started off to find a quiet pub. Despite everything the two seemed to be friends. She kept trying to wave her arms and get everyone to move along. but finding sometime to actually talk to her alone was problematic. and Scott immediately felt uncomfortable. he was never happy unless he had a pint in this hand and a cigarette.Return of the Sun Christopher P. it had been Luke's suggestion that they do something cultural. he could close his eyes right there and fall asleep. rough night in a car. and there was a feeling of sheer awe looking up at the high vaunted ceiling that made a person feel so small and insignificant beneath it. "Just you and me then. It had a way of putting things into perspective for Scott. but a group of rebellious vacationers were adamant that they wanted to photograph everything in sight. and Serena had dragged Fleur away in an effort to go souvenir shopping. Typical Dickie." Dickie laughed. They settled into a pub booth and Dickie affixed those searching eyes on him. Scott sighed tiredly and slouched in the seat enjoying the sunshine. he was on the right road though. "I just didn't sleep well last night. But he was stuck now and found himself swept along by the charismatic man. at least not until he had a chance to find out what was going on from Serena. It was a simply stunning building.
He had managed to get a few good shots in. Dickie watched him a moment. Scott turned back at the unexpected question. "I wanted to do something meaningful. well I just can't picture you as a priest." Scott rolled his eyes at the not-so-subtle patriotism. I want to be out there. "It's not. I didn't get much out of it the first time round." "It's a matter of finding something you love and doing that. "You know. The best way was to ignore it." "Right.. which is good. "I've thought about it. but I am going back after Fleur has the baby. "Why theology?" Scott asked. "but honestly I don't know if I want to. and he shrugged. Page | 103 . Scott was on his third and feeling a little light-headed." Scott said. and no little tea party would change that fact. "A bit of philosophy. over here at a real school. normally people didn't go into his abortive university days. he was used to his friends firmly believing England was the only place on earth worth living. Dickie leaned forward in his seat. beginning to wonder what had happened to the others.. and it was just good to take a load off and rest.Return of the Sun Christopher P. the latter being a chance for Scott to give as good as he got for a change. Dickie scratched his head. turning the tables. "What were you studying in university?" he inquired jovially. I think my mum wanted it more than I did. English." Dickie nodded around his glass draining his first pint and getting up to order himself another. Lydon running about all over the place. They had covered a wide array of topics from the Peloponnesian Wars through to the stark differences between 'Yanks' and 'Limeys'. the usual. but Dickie chose to keep his smile on his face. sitting back. to call any of them on something they said would only earn him a lengthy lecture about how England was the mother country and how it founded the world. I just don't think university is my thing. doing something with myself. Luke had set a hectic pace. and was feeling rather proud of himself." Especially not after that morning." "Ever want to go back?" Dickie pressed. "because you're getting something out of it. "I wanted to say something to you." he said beckoning Scott in closer to him." Scott replied taking another drink. *** Seven pints later Dickie was drunk. those blue eyes boring holes into Scott as if trying to read what he saw in Scott's eyes." Dickie replied. His eyes seemed to tighten slightly.
"there's no way I'm letting you drive us back. there was no denying how toasted he was. right?" He settled back smugly in his seat. you're a great friend and a decent bloke. "Sorry. As luck would have it. a confused look on his face before he leaned in again. you've travelled. Lydon Scott humoured him and leaned in." she said exasperatedly. But Dickie seemed to be having a problem with it. Serena rolled her eyes and extended her hand to Scott. Dickie looked at him blankly and shook his head. I feel bad about it. "We've been right here.I'm not gay and I'm sorry about that. trying to make sense of what Dickie was saying.." Scott nodded his head. he had said it as a joke... pointing into the pub. her hands on her hips. setting his drink down.. "It's okay." Dickie said. I just. it's like you're everything they're not. so Scott tried to explain. Serena recognized him." Dickie struggled again. having trouble expressing himself. "It's true." Dickie chuckled as he slid a little in his seat. that really hurt. You're handsome." "It's okay. to like me.Return of the Sun Christopher P. pulling out the keys and giving her his lopsided grin. "Yeah?" "The other night in Brighton." Serena said. You know you make people jealous.. "What I mean is. He was smashed and it was high time they tried to find the rest of them and went back to the camper. Serena was walking past the pub windows with Fleur and Scott tapped on the glass and beckoned them inside." Scott blinked. "When you said 'I can't give you what you need' that upset me. his mind dismissing most of what Dickie was babbling about. "I don't understand. obviously happy he knew something Scott didn't. Luke and Darren pushed their way inside." Scott stood and fumbled through his pockets. Page | 104 . He sat back a bit.." Scott offered. it's just I'm not gay. I like you as a friend. "Gimmie the keys. "We've been looking all over for you two!" Serena accused." Scott squinted. "Do you remember where you parked?" "I'll take you there. smiled and waved at someone further up the street. I'm not gay. he knew full well Dickie was straight. did Dickie think he was coming on to him? That hadn't been what he meant." "Well. A few minutes after Serena joined them. I tried it once in university but it wasn't for me.
Return of the Sun Christopher P. It wasn't something he could accurately put his finger on." he confirmed as they crossed a cobbled street under a gate that had to date back seven hundred years. "You. thinking back to his own garbled conversation with Dickie. finally glad to get Serena alone for the chat he needed to have with her. it was this thin vein of arrogance that made Scott cringe." Scott decided to take the direct approach. mortified. Page | 105 . Like the assumption that Scott had feelings for him.. that was just plain wrong. Dickie leaning forward in his seat again. her eyes thoughtfully staring at the pavement in front of her feet. guess what. big oh. saw a bit more of nature than I wanted to.. There were the obligatory nods all round and they left leaving the four to sit around the table." *** He was glad to be out in the fresh air. And ordinarily." Scott agreed a little too readily. She looked at him. there was no question there. Scott liked him. Dickie had a powerful draw about him... "That's a good idea.. "Oh. but loved him? No chance of that. as she seemed to consider how much she should tell him. as well. the wind was picking up a little and they both walked in silence down towards the car park where they had left the Rover. And Scott kept quiet himself. Lydon "How about we wait here for you both?" Darren suggested eyeing the bar and licking his lips. Scott might have been attracted to him but there was something else about Dickie that just made Scott want to keep him at arm's length. "I. "Something on your mind?" he asked. "Hey.you saw?" "I saw. He stopped and bought an ice-cream cone from a vendor and they walked." He nodded. Those powerful eyes held your attention and made you listen to what he had to say. respected him.. "I was peeing this morning. finally breaking the silence that had descended on them. Scott wasn't Fleur. he at least had enough self-confidence to avoid that trap. She glanced at him." Serena flushed bright red. It had been big enough to ferry all of them so fortunately they had just brought the one vehicle." They continued on in silence. "Yeah. Scott had watched people gravitate towards him.
"You realize this means I get to see you starkers. just be careful okay?" Page | 106 . The two friends giggled. "It's okay.. Dickie's not married." "You don't go at it at all. no big deal." She screwed up her nose. It had to be tearing her up inside. Some kind of validation that she wasn't the evil monster she felt like she was. "Come on." Scott replied climbing into the passenger seat. it's only fair.Return of the Sun Christopher P. well.. "Ewww." Serena admitted finally. "He's about to have a kid." he moaned.. Mister Right and all that. "You're a fine one to talk." He looked at her in genuine surprise. "Ok. "You know. "Ohhhh. startled by the sound of the engine rumbling like a rhinoceros about to charge. "but he's married.." He smiled in a way he hoped would reassure her he was being sincere." "I'm saving myself. look at you." Scott replied as they rounded the last corner and came upon the Rover." She adjusted the seat and the mirrors before starting the Rover with a roar." He twisted his face in an imitation of ecstasy. A passing nun flashed him a scandalized look and sped up to get away from the lurid American. "There is this guy at work." "I think you're just too timid." She looked at him as if she needed him to understand that. it just happened. "you don't need to explain it. stop that. "So you're getting some. it wasn't as if we were trying to do anything. I mean you haven't even so much as snogged anyone since you got here. "That's different. "Yeah. Her aged features took on a look of horror as she hiked up her skirts. She popped it into gear and they began to drive back to the pub. you don't want to do that. sometimes these things just happen." he said reaching out to squeeze her shoulder.." She shook her head.." He gave her a roguish grin. we just ended up." He shifted in his seat and gave her a serious look. "I don't drop my drawers and go at it in the middle of the countryside." she said. "Looked like you were having fun." Serena said still not sounding convinced." "No chance of that. Lydon "We've been seeing each other for the last week. "I don't know." Scott said with a grin..." she stated.
bending to help him lift bags up into the back of the car. his eyes still desperately sad. "Well. They were all wrestling with mature problems on a trip that was supposed to let them feel like kids again." he said. she sat across from him wide-eyed holding onto a cup of tea she had insisted on having." he said tiredly. instead life had stalked them down like a ravenous lion. getting to his feet and pulling on his jacket and walking out to where Darren was piling bags into the back of the Rover. As they climbed sombrely into the Rover Scott wondered what had happened to the high spirits. And Scott rubbed his forehead resting in the bench seat of the Winnebago watching as everything was packed away again. Page | 107 ." Scott decided." Serena murmured as she put the Rover back into gear and drove back to the camper. Lydon She nodded as they drew up. "Hey. A loud argument with Dickie had resulted in everyone agreeing to head back a day early. "What's up?" Scott asked. They were supposed to leave all that behind and have fun. "Just we'll go out for a drink tomorrow okay?" He met Scott's eyes and made it clear he meant it. aren't we a cheerful bunch. almost disappointed. and surprisingly she shot Scott a look before snuggling into the crook of her boyfriend's arm possessively. Fleur had unanimously decided that she didn't want to be there anymore. the others standing in a quiet group on the side of the street. Scott wanted to go home. He glanced back at them. Darren sighed. Luke was staring hard-eyed out of the window. his jaw set in that classic 'I'm pissed' pose he carried so well. As if by some divine cue. Since it was Serena's Metro she was being forced to leave as well. pouncing on each of them and killing the last vestige of enjoyment. "It's not my place mate. The atmosphere inside the car was so strained that Scott turned on the radio to break the uncomfortable silence that had settled over them.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Darren shook his head. It turned out when they returned to the Camper that he wasn't the only one. Darren just looked like someone had died. It was as if life had suddenly become infinitely more complex in the space of a few short hours. He rested his head against the window and watched the world flow past. it began to rain. "I'm going to find out what's going on. pushing back his wet hair and looked at Scott. Serena had no idea what was going on either. Fleur was clinging onto Dickie for dear life.
Lydon Scott frowned. giving one last glance at the caravan as she did so. "Shit!" Page | 108 . The Rover made a valiant effort to start. neither acknowledging anyone else as they climbed into the back seat. and was rewarded with more clicks. "this is going to be fun. spluttering and fading into clicking. Darren cupped Scott's shoulder with his hand. "Great. Luke was gripping the steering wheel tightly staring ahead. walking over to get into the passenger seat of the Metro." He opened the door and got in closing it behind him and buckling his seat belt. Dickie's head turned and his eyes met Scott's a second before he wrapped a hand around Fleur protectively. the cold hard look back in his eyes. Serena came out of the Camper a few minutes later pulling on her own coat and looking up at the rain-soaked sky. letting it fall to his side as the rain started to hammer down. walking around to the driver's side of the Rover. So much for the vacation. "We're leaving." Luke ordered. Scott lifted a hand as the Metro rolled away. scrubbing the side of his head as he stepped back to let Darren shut the trunk." Scott murmured to himself. He slammed his hands down on the steering wheel in frustration. She gave him a light brush on his arm as she went around and got into the driver's side of the car.Return of the Sun Christopher P. The stuttered choking of the engine caused both of them to look at the dashboard. He pulled open the door forcibly and climbed inside and slammed it shut. making it clear that Scott wasn't driving. Luke tried it again. Dickie and Fleur had come back from wherever it was they had gone to continue their argument. He turned the key again. he finally wrestled with whatever he was wrestling with and reached down to start the Rover. Of all the moments it would pick.
He slipped out into the rain and was already soaked to the skin after taking a few steps." Page | 109 . there was an almost sad look in his eyes as he looked at Scott. it was an off-the-cuff comment Scott had made when he was drunk that had been misinterpreted. he might as well find out if he was right. it probably had to do with the conversation with Dickie and his arrogant assumption that Scott wanted him. He's smarter. Luke rounded on him. a tense expression setting onto his face. Scott sighed. taking two more steps forward. Whatever had broken up the vacation. it's okay. "He'll never love you. "Are you going to tell me what I'm supposed to have done." Scott said. it might also explain Darren's. It would explain Fleur's reaction. his hair matting from the rain. He gets a girl pregnant. he still hadn't turned. he would probably be justified in his hatred of Scott. "that's just the way it goes. followed by a rumble of thunder and Scott turned to stare out of the window as they sat in dead silence." "I'm not in love with him." he said with a strange tone in his voice. "This is such bullshit!" Scott bellowed. the angrier he was getting at the whole situation. There was a flash.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "He doesn't love anyone but himself. he's popular. and if the accusation were true. but the fact that everyone took what he said as gospel. Luke was stalking back towards the caravan through the rain. He was getting wet. He can't do anything wrong. listening to the sound of the rain pounding on the roof of the vehicle. His hands were still balled and his body language was closed. and everyone fucking loves him. oh. well that wasn't his fault he's just taking a break till the baby's born." Luke snapped. Was he that upset over his brother's accusation? He did seem protective. It wasn't true. He drops out of school. But then much about Luke was just unfathomable to Scott. The slamming Rover door caused Scott to start. desperate to make Luke realize this. he wasn't deluding himself." Scott said dryly. but Luke's? That was a mystery. or am I supposed to keep guessing?" Scott said angrily. Lydon Chapter 16 "You broke my rover. "Everyone does. every time he does people make excuses for him. Luke was almost back to the Caravan. he was annoyed not just at Dickie's arrogance. The more this went on. and he ran a hand through it to keep it from getting into his eyes. all it would take would be for him to open his mouth and say something. But the accusation was false. he just made a mistake.
"You just have no clue do you? You've been too busy staring after my brother to realize it. but then he had so many thoughts going around in his head that he just had to get them all out. "Had you even thought to ask?" He turned at Luke who was staring at his shoes. "It doesn't matter anyway.. It took a while. I have just had it!" He seethed.. the man who was so angry at the world and everything in it couldn't even face him.Return of the Sun Christopher P. was everyone insane in this country? Or had his friends picked that day." Scott's eyes slid closed as yet another piece of the puzzle slid into place. he stood a moment dumbstruck trying to make sense of what Luke was saying. a hint of fear in it. he advanced on Luke. "don't you think you've caused enough aggro for one day?" "How dare you say that my behaviour is unacceptable!" Scott had flipped. Page | 110 . and I'm sick of everyone thinking they're better than me. "Serena has the cell phone so I'm going to walk up to the farm house and call the AA." Scott said firmly. what was going on? This wasn't what he had expected. I've had enough of you.. of all days. "You just made the same assumption everyone else did. He had simply reached the end of his rope. soaking wet and yelling at him. "I've had enough of it." Luke's voice was deadly quiet. It was enough to stop Scott cold. and he looked back over his shoulder. the rain falling steadily between them. who the hell do you think you are?" He was inches away from Luke now.. "I never said that. not with the wrong impression. realizing he wasn't making much sense. Scott took another step back towards him." Luke repeated. He closed his eyes. the bitter policeman. "You've never liked me anyway!" He swore again. to collectively go crazy? Whichever. "That's not what I said." "I." Luke began. your goddamn brother who seems to think everyone is out to sleep with him. his head sank lower till his chin rested on his chest and he knew the world had indeed gone insane in a single day.. turned his back and began to storm away. "What?" He asked." Luke's shoulders fell slightly. Lydon Scott frowned. he wasn't about to let Luke go. before Scott could find his voice. fury in his eyes. his own voice reflecting his confusion. "Why?" Luke said returning to his earlier angry state. "You're so fucking condescending." "How about you just stay put and tell me what you're talking about. trying to work out the meaning of that statement.. and you just wrote me off without even giving me a chance. his voice getting a little stronger. shivering slightly from the cold.
"Fine. and for a moment Scott had a clear window Page | 111 . You know what I think? I think you love it that you're miserable. "You have kissed someone before.. "Say it!" Scott had his hands on his hips." Scott said firmly raising a finger. "Listen to me.. I am not in love with your brother." Luke licked his lips nervously. His eyes were wide and fearful of the rejection he was expecting.." Luke kissed him.." he said with a tense smile trying to make a joke out of his sudden lack of confidence." Luke said in defeat as his shoulders sank again. "Ask me!" Scott demanded. blinking at him in the sodden weather. I'm talking. trying to put his perspective on the world at that moment together again. a coarse kiss at first. "Fucking look at me!" Luke glanced up. there was confusion on his face as he warred between his anger and his hopes trying to work it all out. you love hiding in your brother's shadow. Scott's words had sent him reeling. that way you can blame him every time you don't get what you want.." Luke tried again to form words. and then proceeded to make my life as miserable as yours. struggling to find the words.. meeting Scott's wild eyes..... "You really don't know how to make things easy do you? First you make me miserable. Look at me.." he stopped and blinked at Luke.. you can forget it!" Luke stared at him nervously. deliberately. Lydon "No.." Scott said slowly. Scott arched an eyebrow." Scott replied. making it as clear as he could. Kiss me!" He held up a finger. His eyes looked at Scott with a mixture of hope and hopelessness. Scott threw his hands up into the air. then when you get what you want you. he now seemed a different kind of uncertain. realizing who he was talking to. "I don't know how to ask... He opened his mouth and tried to say something. and Scott roared." Luke tried again. "You made up your damn mind. He looked strange again. "if you won't I will... still furious at the situation. "But. "Can't say that I have.. "I said something to him. and he mistook what I said. contemplative." Luke kept his gaze fixed on the ground.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "but if I get one hint your usual facetious sarcasm. "Oh." "I. no longer wrestling with himself. a rough pressing of his lips against Scott's.
Scott smiled." Luke was kissing him again. his brow furrowing. "Ok.." Luke continued with the accent. Lydon into the terrified soul of the other young man.. smiling.." he admitted.. ok. "It's okay. "Bloody useless thing." "Finish that sentence and you are walking home. more exploratory." Scott rolled his eyes..." Scott replied trying to stop his giggles." he said in a flawless Sean Connery imitation.Return of the Sun Christopher P." He was laughing so hard at the absurdity of the situation. Luke nodded.. you still haven't asked permission. a hunger that he was just beginning to discover for the first time. "You sure you're Luke? You didn't get possessed or something in Canterbury? We are in the rural part of England." Scott stated. feeling Luke's hands wrap themselves about him. The same Luke who had just kissed him not once. reaching up to turn Scott's visor so it sat sideways on his head.. Luke broke the kiss and shook his head. obviously afraid he had screwed up somehow. "Now about that kiss. "I still feel silly. "I deserved that." Scott stated setting his jaw. gently parting his lips and returning the kiss. "Whoa.. Page | 112 . hello there Ms. the same one who had called him a prat and had treated him like crap. feeling the thrill of his touch. "Ok. "Is M in his office?" Scott laughed.." Luke gave him a devious look. I so asked for that." Luke looked a little lost. "You're getting ahead of yourself. but twice now. holding Scott around the waist and staring at him from a few inches away." he said. he was kissing Luke in the middle of a thunderstorm in rural Kent. it's just.. you're a fucking asshole. relaxing into a kiss that this time was softer." "That is correct. "What?" Luke asked in concern. putting both hands up to stop Luke's advance." he said slipping out of Luke's arms. "What am I supposed to say. The same Luke who had been so mean to him as a boy. stop... and he sighed. "If I wanted cheesy pick-up lines I'd rent a Bond film. "Well. And Scott pushed him away laughing. nice shoes lets." he muttered bending in again. looking about as if realizing it was raining for the first time.. Moneypenny. Luke was growing eager developing a taste for the kissing. "I'll be all right. where all those alien crop circles appeared.
mate. that's nice... Lydon "Are you even gay?" Scott asked. "You're the first person that's ever gone out of their way to get to know me. "You're nicked. that's it.. After you fight someone for the better part of four years.." Luke snarled." Luke confessed. I mean." Scott nodded his head. I would have thought the kissing would have given you a hint.. "What about Darren?" "Griff? Well." "Oh. "well then. waving a finger. "You and those damn chips. Luke forwards.. "You're driving me crazy." he said in his best British bobby tone." he said looking about him.. Scott took a step backwards." Scott supplied." he finished lamely. Walker." "Who actually wouldn't leave you alone. I'd have told you to get stuffed. "I've never really thought myself much of anything.. Mrs.." Scott nodded. "I thought your mother." he really didn't know what to say to that bit of news." He lifted his hand to the side of his temple and shook it." Luke admitted.." "Like you? I can't stop thinking about you." Scott said.Return of the Sun Christopher P.. we used to beat each other up at school. if you'd asked me last week if I'd ever kiss a bloke. err.. "Well. It's like. "Too busy with life to stop and think about it. taking another step forward. Darren's different than everyone else. unlike you. well I couldn't exactly tell your gran the truth now could I?" He shook his head. 'Then I decided to change my beat. Luke rested his palms on the door on either side of Scott. sooner or later you realize you respect them and after that fighting just seems so pointless. seem to have run out of places to run. sobering up from his laughter and looking Luke straight in the eye.. "So you do like me..... "I. So we started going out for beers and playing pool. "Don't I get rights or something?" Scott asked." Scott arched an eyebrow again. Page | 113 ." "Yeah.. By the way I changed my beat just so I could see your grandson. shaking his head. Scott backwards again and again until Scott felt his back press up against the door of the Rover. "Hi there. I don't know.
" Luke indicated Scott's bedraggled appearance. "But...you have the right to an attorney.. "You're a fine one to talk.Return of the Sun Christopher P. he was certainly getting better with practice. if you can't afford one then." Luke suggested looking back at the Winnebago... It was Luke who broke this kiss." Scott replied. only genuine honesty. that is..." They kissed again. Lydon "How do they go: you have the right to remain silent or something. stepping back and laughing. or suspicion." Luke said leaning in a bit closer. Scott blinked at him. ". well we could. "You look like a drowned rat." Page | 114 .... knowing full well what he meant by it. "Stay... nodding to him. "What this time?" he asked exasperatedly. "Should we try to walk to the farm house or something?" "We could stay here another night." Luke stared into his eyes. those deep brown globes that were looking at him now with no shred of malice. He felt his heart stop. Scott closing his eyes and enjoying the feeling of Luke's kiss. and he looked wide-eyed at Luke. and his stomach churn nervously. Scott followed his glance.
and when she set her mind on something there would be no shifting it. It was almost as if the night before had been surreal. "I wasn't having ideas. Scott blushed at that thought." "Yeah. it had taken some time to get him to talk. who gave him a nod before getting into his car and driving away. "No. and buckled himself in. he was still quiet and it had taken some time to get him to talk." Scott said adjusting the visor on his head as he checked his mirrors. even though his face said that he was. The kind spent on a beach somewhere sunning. through all the Page | 115 . The mechanic slammed the hood and wiped his hands before pulling out some paperwork for Scott to sign. He was again glad for the AA membership. Scott wound his way towards Tunbridge Wells preferring a more direct route back to Hailsham than the one they had used to get there. almost sounding reluctant. Luke held up a finger. "Ready to go?" he asked. So he signed the forms with a grateful smile to the mechanic." Scott rolled his eyes again and took it off. "Back to the real world then. always a wise investment for someone who didn't know the engine block from the alternator." he said. "You know I hate that thing. Luke had relaxed." Luke agreed. Some time over the night it had stopped raining. Luke tossed the last of their bags into the back of the Rover and rested a hand on it. tossing it into the back.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Lydon Chapter 17 The man from AA had fiddled under the hood for about an hour before instructing Scott to start the Rover and it rumbled to life sounding a lot quieter than it normally did. "You coming?" Luke shook his head in wonder at Scott. It had been fine for travelling to. "I can see that keeping up with you is going to be a fulltime job. they had finished getting ready to leave. as the Rover started its long journey home. It was Sunday morning. He leaned out of the driver's-side window. "It makes you look fourteen. still a quiet man. right?" Luke commented. it was going to be another sweltering day. and the sun was back in all its majesty. Even though Luke had relaxed." Scott grinned." He climbed aboard the rover. but even then the conversation had been sporadic. and after an early-morning excursion to call for a mechanic. He looked reluctantly back at the camper. or better yet in a beer garden with a tall pint where you didn't have to think about anything. "Happy now?" "Better. before you get any more ideas. His gran had been insistent that he get one before taking a road trip.
" Scott looked over at him.." he rested his head against the frame of the door. "Look.." he said slowly. that's all." he rubbed his face. If he had been thinking he would've told Brian where to go the first time. and every time Scott had heard it he had no choice to accept it. what now?" "Well. but I'm not looking for a relationship. Scott. He knew this story. "Right. Brian had fed it to him every morning-after. mate. "I." Scott replied. I didn't mean that. I mean. the nervous edge back in his voice. the Rover accelerating out of a turn passing through a rural village. Luke pulled out his sunglasses and put them on." Luke shook his head. "I'm no good at this." "Don't be daft. "You know full well what I'm on about." "Shut up. that's all. "Tricky this. turning the car onto the road and accelerating slightly.. "I think you're proposing. sometimes he enjoyed being facetious.. "So." Luke said.. shaking his head." Scott smirked. but Scott was rather anxious to just get home. for now I'm driving back to Hailsham. you know." Scott said a touch of bitterness entering his voice. "Hot one. "I'm just trying to figure out what's next. he wanted to talk to Serena and Darren and straighten things out with them about Dickie. Lydon scenery. I'm just trying to wrap my head around it. and Scott nodded his head. "We need to talk.' Same worn-out line. "It's okay.. "I'm trying to ask you what you think about all this." Luke said sounding mildly annoyed.. resting back into his seat. 'Great night. "Don't be a pillock." Luke struggled to find words." "Yeah." Page | 116 . "you're not going to tell me it was a oneoff. surprisingly initiating a conversation. aw fuck me.. "No.." he said. Now here he was going through it again." Scott digested that a moment.. but he had just kept falling back into that trap." Luke said." Luke grinned at him. I understand. here it comes." he murmured shaking his head as he tried to form his thoughts.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Scott braced himself. "No.
you. "Right. and Luke's work. so that's the awkward part out of the way. "Right. his mouth hanging open as he gaped.. "Ask me." He scrubbed a hand through his short black spiky hair. "I should have a solicitor present.. "not like I have any better offers lately." he said." "So you want to give it a go?.. you'd never get me out again. to be my. "Seriously. it was justified. this is like working out a contract. "If you want we could stop at a pub. Luke recovered slightly and grinned. just a bit. let you have a little Dutch courage." Luke grinned back. this one's yours.." Scott could sense Luke's apprehension.. Scott." Scott said softly.." Luke asked. what did he want? Could he get into a relationship with Luke? If he did what would that mean? How would he tell Gran." Scott shrugged..?" "Sure. boy." Luke agreed. his work." "Yeah." Scott stated softly. working up the courage. Lydon It was worth the dig just to see Luke's terrified reaction." Scott looked over at him again. should he even tell Gran? Then of course there were his friends.." "Yeah." Scott replied." "Yeah.. me. it was after all his first day out of his closet and he wasn't exactly comfortable in his own skin in the first place. get me into a pub right now. "That's my line. It had been simpler last night because they hadn't been thinking about the future. obviously trying to figure out if Scott was serious. the fun of awkward conversations. "Don't keep relying on me to make the first move. but seriously though.Return of the Sun Christopher P." He looked over at Scott again.." "Asshole. It was all Scott could do not to burst out laughing. "I've never had a boyfriend before. Page | 117 . "Right. "So what do we tell people?" "That depends on you. "Boyfriends. They were returning to reality and with it came a whole slew of problems." Scott grinned.." Luke swallowed. but on the trip home there was little choice but to face it. "I'm not even sure what we're supposed to do in this situation. then. what do you want?" Scott chewed his lip watching houses slip past as he swept around a small roundabout. I should be off my face for this. Bugger me this sounds silly. "I want you to be my.
.. "You're right there. "Not that it would bother him." Scott agreed. Scott sighed." Scott retorted. you can't put one past her." "Mum too." Luke agreed. "And I'd like to avoid Dickie for awhile.. we don't tell anyone then?" "Well. that could be asking a bit much. "wasn't I the one seducing you?" "Dream on. I don't think she'd understand. but I had to hit you over the head until you did." "Fleur is a little off. resting his head on his hand. "But Serena is going to know something's up. Griff's the same." Scott agreed.." Luke murmured." Luke sucked his teeth.." "Ohh. she does look like one doesn't she. "Your gran is going to have my guts for garters.." "I meant her general demeanour." Luke hissed." Scott said. "She thinks Fleur's a little off. "I don't know if I'm ready for one of her golden eppy's yet." Luke agreed.. Lydon To suddenly burst out.. "How about we just forget this conversation before I get started on what I think of her right now. So." "Right." Luke responded nodding. it's just Fleur was really upset when he told her.." Scott concluded. "But you're right. not them at least. "yeah." "That's probably for the best.. then. prancing arm-in-arm with his new boyfriend up Hailsham High Street. "You sure you want this Luke? I mean we could just stay friends or. Gran's a bit old fashioned." Page | 118 ." "Yeah. "If I recall I was the one who had to ask." Scott replied. "Wait a second. so there's two that have to know.." Scott said dryly. "remind me to thank Dickie for that." "Yes." It wasn't so much a question as a statement." Luke countered. though he'll never say anything." Luke settled back into his seat." "You are really going to get on with my mum. "I'm going to have to tell Mum eventually aren't I.. "I think she keeps her ex-boyfriends in pickle jars. Now I have the troglodyte mad at me.Return of the Sun Christopher P.
Luke nodded. He didn't blame Luke at all. "Girlish?" he asked." he looked panicked. Luke shook his head. "Huh?" "Well." "You're relaxed for your first day. Always were.. well I..." "Now that's going to be fun. he had a hard enough time keeping respect without adding to the problem. "Ok that made no sense.. the Rover turning onto the A22 for the last stretch to home. "You were very." Luke mused darkly as he played with a piece of rubber sealing on the window.." Scott blinked at him. aside from the fact you're still a pratt." Scott nodded. But let's be careful. a neutral expression of indignation on his face. "I don't want to deal with that yet. "I never said that. it's not that I don't." Luke searched for a polite way of putting it. "Yeah.. I think I'm okay with giving this a try." "Steady on!" Luke exclaimed. "Great." "You're serious about this aren't you?" Scott said looking over at Luke. being gay was one thing. Lydon Luke looked over at him. being a gay policeman was another.. I knew I should have stayed in bed." Scott replied. an eyebrow climbing slowly. "Well. fuck me!" "Winding you up. 'cause you do." Scott said with a smug smile. "I don't want to be your friend Scott. you sure about this?" Luke looked over at him." "Yeah.... "But if I can deal with Mum.. Give me a bit of time to figure all of this out.. That was inviting trouble.. "You're in love.. girlish. how I want to tell people. "I mean.but I do. I can deal with anyone. I guess you're too pretty for your own good.Return of the Sun Christopher P.. "You're a policeman after all. so now I'm batting for the opposition and my boyfriend's being an arse. and Luke was young." Scott chivvied back lightly.... Page | 119 . "Seriously though." He sighed.." Scott turned at him. when I first met you." "I get what you're saying. Luke reached out to squeeze Scott's knee with his hand.. I don't want to go about like you don't matter." Scott agreed again. alright?" "I figured.
shaking his head. mildly annoyed at being referred to as a pansy. but things were different now. "Great. great. this kind of conversation is the reason I don't date.. I'm happy... "You're not a girl." Scott was still indignant... Lydon "Anyone ever point out that a vein in your temple throbs when you're annoyed?" Luke said trying to change the subject quickly.. playfully pushing Scott's leg. There was nothing better than returning to somewhere familiar after a long trip away. I'm sorry for saying it..Return of the Sun Christopher P. right now.. "This is so going to take getting used to.." "Girl. "Oh..but as you got older you turned into a wicked Striker." "Keep digging. "I didn't mean anything by it. But you're not exactly David Beckham either." Scott turned the rover off of the A22 and into the outskirts of Hailsham.. changing subject. "You know.. "Well at least I wasn't a little psycho with a pencil!" "You were hogging the poster paints. "but yeah.. ok. don't be like that. you don't react well. They had to be. Taking a quick look behind him he pulled it off to the side and leaned over and kissed Luke quickly.. "Girlish?" Scott repeated." Scott said. you're not effeminate at all.. I was just saying that I think you're good-looking. "Happy now?" he asked." Luke replied in a feeble attempt to explain.. Page | 120 . "Ok. Tomorrow they would be back to the regular routine. "Ok." Luke said stopping the conversation right there." Luke said waving a finger. "Well. but you grew.." He was laughing now." Luke said.. "Remind me never to tell you stuff." Scott stated turning the Rover back onto the road and relaxing slightly." Luke looked at Scott's diminutive stature.. realizing he was probably a bit too late. "Girlish?" Scott demanded." "Good... his voice climbing a strangled octave. so I was a girl in school. we're nearly home and I don't think we should kiss goodbye on your doorstep. you didn't exactly grow." "Girlish?" Scott repeated setting his jaw." "You said I was a girl!" "I said you used to look like a girl." "Yeah." Luke blew out a sigh. "you weren't bloody thinking that when you were.." 'Ok." Luke replied leaning in to steal another one.
but they were also much better. things were definitely more complicated. Page | 121 .Return of the Sun Christopher P. Lydon Scott sighed softly to himself.
more from the fact she just didn't like cars. "I have to get to work. he was certain she knew something." Scott said with a smile as he closed the paper. "Will you be home for tea?" Gran asked as she picked up his empty bowl and took the mug from him. "Perhaps you should have your Uncle Ron look at it?" Scott nodded. It was as if she preferred to do things the way she had always done them. "Well. dear?" she asked extending the small pot to him." Scott nodded. accepting it gratefully while glancing over the newspaper beside him." He scooped up his coffee mug and drained it. more from the fact that Gran had watched Corrie since its first episode. And as she buzzed about her kitchen that morning smiling at him. "I'll drop it off there today and walk to work. "Thanks." he said." she said.Return of the Sun Christopher P. And though she never drank it herself. Darren was by yesterday looking for you. but unlike the tabloids in the States that were mostly fiction." "Fat lot of good a car that doesn't run in the rain will do you here. preferring to walk. she always ensured he had some with his bowl of cereal in the morning. he seemed surprised you weren't back yet. "The Rover broke down so we decided to stay an extra night and call the AA in the morning.. He turned the page quickly." she said picking up a cloth to wipe down the breakfast bar. one of the tabloids that his gran enjoyed reading. Lydon Chapter 18 The moment she saw him she knew something was going on. shrugging on his sports coat feeling glad that he could get away without wearing the suit now that he had settled into his job. "you didn't tell me about your trip. The television was a grudging acceptance of modernization." "Oh.. and was greeted with a picture of a rather large-breasted woman that dominated the third page. giving him an I-told-you-so kind of look. It was like a sixth-sense he was certain she possessed but then that was an impression she always left him with. But then Gran didn't own a VCR. Every time he had offered to give her a lift she had politely refused. Page | 122 . One of the first things he had done when he had started work was go out and buy her a trusty coffee pot. it was running fine until it started to rain. turning the page of the newspaper. at least this paper actually tried to be accurate in its reporting. It was more gossip than news." Gran sniffed again. "So. Gran was one of those women who could just look at a person and sum them up in a glance. already washing them and setting them to drain dry. "Coffee. or a microwave. She seriously disliked the noisy Rover.
"Your Uncle Nigel and aunt Debbie are coming down from Nottingham this week. but it was undoubtedly love.. I mean that." she said. "Now get to work before you're late.." he said. I'm configuring his fax machine." he smiled. Lydon "No. you'll soon be on your own two feet and moving out again. and nodded to the Rover. "Oh. "And so do you by the looks of things. as well. the one that kept the family together and kept them all sane." She turned to look at him. she was a constant. slacks ironed. "Morning. She started on the first try. whatever the AA mechanic had done it had worked. tie tied. an odd tone in her voice as she dried her hands on a tea towel.Return of the Sun Christopher P." "Oh. and the blazer. and he leaned on the brush bar as Scott hopped down. He emerged from his bay. Scotty dear. She was like a stalwart bastion against the changing world. sounding tired." Scott replied. yet old enough to be responsible.. Nothing seemed out of place. No matter what. He hadn't seen his dad's brother in years and it would be great to see him again. "You just look so grown up. Scott stuck his hands in his pockets." Scott nodded. "She needs a look-over I think. He walked out to the Rover and climbed in." He looked at her with the same eyes that had idolized her growing up." Gran said stopping him one foot out the backdoor. He still had that sad look on his face as he watched Scott rumble up. vainly wiping his hands on an oily rag that didn't seem to be helping his situation." Page | 123 . "Thanks Gran. a touch of emotion in her voice as she brushed down his lapels." she said dismissively. a deep grey-blue that suited him. Aunt Debbie was one of those wonderful women. looked sharp. just young enough to still be interesting to the younger generation. with a great smile and a model's physique and nobody could work out exactly what she saw in Nigel." Scott said before he closed the door behind him. barely eight-thirty in the morning and he had already gotten stuck in. "Just stand there a minute. "You're on your way now. thanks for everything. before I forget. "What?" he asked looking down at himself. you don't need to thank me. Uncle Nigel had been the 'cool' relative." she said. Darren was covered in grease.. "Zulee has me working late this week. slamming the door twice to get it to latch. "Cool. and Scott was soon running up South Road to Diplocks Way and Uncle Ron's garage." Scott blushed a little at the attention.
Lydon "No. I want to clear up that mess the other day." Scott agreed. "Huh?" "You haven't said anything in an hour. and he reluctantly peered into his empty coffee mug.." "Well that's no good. "you awake over there?" Scott looked up from the pdf document he'd been reading. you still up for that drink later? I tried to find you yesterday but Gran said you hadn't come back yet." Scott said blowing out a sigh. space case!" he said with his usual grin. "Yeah. Mum just had me up at the crack of dawn today. it was getting close to the end of the day. "Heard you got stuck in Kent." Darren nodded.. without your distraction I'm actually getting work done. "Dare I ask how your trip home was?" Darren winced. that's just no fun at all. Serena decided after we'd dropped them off that she was no flower so we started to call her Weed. you know what she's like." *** Ben tossed a screwed-up paper ball across the desk." He sniffed and wiped his nose with the back of his hand." Darren said shaking his head." "It really wasn't like that.. then.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Scott bobbed his head." Ben grinned. Page | 124 . it's all a big misunderstanding. "Chances of running into Mauvais Herbe are a little too great at the Martlet." Scott said with a nod." Ben replied petulantly." "Yeah. smearing oil across his cheek. and well. "Tense." Scott fought back a yawn. I'll buy you a pint at the Martlet." "Mauvais Herbe?" Scott blinked." He shrugged. which bounced off his head." "Something like that. "I'm okay. and you're not talkative. "Besides. "We'll go somewhere else. Darren grinned. "which is a world record for you." Scott reassured. mate." Darren winced again. "Hey. "Nothing much to say.. "Fleur is French for flower." "Right. "Here I am waiting to hear all about your dirty weekend in a camper with five other people. really. "you could pick me up after work and bring the Rover back to me. "I bet you do.
" Scott stated firmly. I trust?" Hanratti was looking about the office." He turned to Ben. no orgy. "I see you've been indulging in your gran's cooking. Though from what Scott had seen. "We did have a nice day in Canterbury. He always was when Hanratti visited. "And how is young Mrs Appleby. you need to put on weight." Page | 125 . doctor. "Now when I get back." "Yes. "I have to live vicariously through yours. right?" Ben pressed a gleam in his eye. looking up and shaking his head in wonder. the pair stopping in the kitchenette. and Scott rolled his eyes. He saw Scott and walked across to him looking him up and down. Hanratti milked it for all it was worth. "Mister Appleby. I'll take a cup of that when you're done with it. Lydon "But it was a camping trip. Doctor. "She's fine. "Alright where are the old biddies? Warn them no pinching this time because I brought toe tags and body bags with me. Ben nodded his head. but something did happen. the aging doctor had his customary examination bag tucked under his arm and a slightly harassed look on his face. Scott hopped to sit on the edge of the counter." Scott shook his head as he stood up and stretched his legs and followed Ben to the coffee machine. He was startled when the door crashed open on Doctor Hanratti. each taking part of the workload needed to ensure the residents of Ashley Gardens got the best care. "My point exactly. you're gonna tell me all about it." Ben responded. and Scott noticed again that Zulee was notably absent. the female residents developed mysterious illnesses that often cleared up right after he left. whenever Hanratti visited. "Because I have none of my own. looking back through the offices towards the door. if there wasn't an orgy what's the point?" Ben was teasing him. "Why the sudden fascination with my sex life?" Scott asked." Ben replied. "There was no orgy. probably something to do with cheating on the doctor's prescribed diet. getting up and collecting Scott's mug." Ben responded. Ben examined the suspect contents of the coffee pot before pronouncing it toxic and setting about making a fresh pot.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Good." "Aren't you married?" Scott asked again.." "So. well." The town doctors took turns visiting the home..
"All I wanted was a passport signature.. conveniently close to the Police Station." Scott responded as they made their way back to their office. "wow. "Bet you didn't know that Gran used to be a bar maid here when she was our age. next thing I know I'm being poked and prodded with an array of things. accepting the mug of coffee and striding away from them heading deeper into the home." "Fleur was pretty pissed about it.." Ben said getting a dirty look on his face. she doesn't like you much right now.. "Not that it's a bad thing or anything. "Yeah.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Come on. "What happened when I was off with Serena?" Page | 126 ." "You're lucky.." Darren agreed. Both young men gave their boss a look of sympathy as he made a mad dash for his car. now it's been blown all out of proportions." Scott sighed." Scott glanced around the pub that didn't seem that old." he said knowingly." Ben said shaking his head after the eccentric doctor. "Bring out yer dead!" he intoned loudly. "You're kidding.. Lydon Hanratti gave a cursory nod. look alive there Mrs. "So you were saying this morning about a misunderstanding?" Scott rubbed the bridge of his nose. Once they were settled into a corner Darren looked about him. Dickie mistook something I said to him when I was drunk for a come-on." "Oh." "Yeah." Darren grinned." "Such an odd man. making good his getaway. Scott chuckled when he saw Zulee slipping out of the main doors. "When I first went to him I ended up getting a full physical and I was only going in for prescription renewal." "You're a vile creature sometimes." Ben offered. "You're on. Jensen.... *** Darren picked him up in the Rover after work and the two ended up at the George. Scott had an idea to collar Luke after he was done his beat so had left a message that he would meet him at the pub when he was done.. "Five pound says he won't make it. "bet you enjoyed the prostate exam." Scott replied." Scott replied..
You know Dickie. Darren gaped at him a second. "do you think if I asked her she'd go for it?" "I don't know." Darren said resting his elbows on the table. Blessedly the off-duty policeman in question entered the pub sparing Scott from anymore worrying. "Could you.." He developed an almost dreamy look on his face. wondering if he should just tell Darren or wait for Luke. "Just killed the weekend though." Luke greeted tapping his hands on the table.." Scott winced inwardly." Darren said shifting in his chair.' Darren said." "Great. mate?" he asked. Luke was smiling openly. you and her are best mates. no doubt imagining things with that overactive mind of his. "Alright then. and under the table nudging Scott's knee twice with his own. staring in wonder at Luke's odd facial expression...Return of the Sun Christopher P. I was really starting to make progress with Serena. "He's a good bloke. Page | 127 . 'course I'm interested. I wish Dickie'd just kept his trap shut instead of spoiling it for the rest of us." "Hey. whatever Fleur wants. and she kept whining that she wanted to go home." "Well. too." Scott replied honestly.. "Girl like that." Scott said." "It's okay. "She was bitching about you mainly." "So I noticed. uh-oh. "You okay. "What?" Darren asked with a sly grin." "Hey. "I didn't hit on him.." Scott commented dryly." Darren said switching topics suddenly.you know.. the guy's like a walking doormat." Scott replied. I just want that clear. Scott gritted his teeth and made a face. sliding into the booth beside Scott. Lydon Darren grunted into his beer." "With a big mouth. "Ok. bit low on the social graces but decent enough.. she gets. Luke saw them both and inclined his head as he joined them. "I'll try. there's a mental image I didn't need." Darren had the look of a hopeful teenager in love on his face and Scott didn't have the heart to tell him about what he had seen over the weekend. lads. She's all exotic and the like. "how'd you handle being stranded in Kent with Luke? I know he's not the easiest bloke to get along with. The physical contact made Scott blush a little. "we found we had something in common and it kind of went from there.
. as he looked back at Darren." Page | 128 . not exactly sure how to express himself at that moment." Luke said settling back into the bench.. Griff." Scott said." he smirked to himself as he abandoned Scott to a very curious Darren. "Looks like you two are nearly done. "This is where you both say that. "Ok. turning as Luke sat down. it's just that.. you son-of-a-bitch." Luke said screwing up his nose. "Disgusting. Darren blew out a ragged sigh." Scott shot after him..." he looked at their faces." Scott nodded. "No!" he laughed. Lydon "I'm fine. "You're having me on!" Darren decided. "Mum's so gonna have a fit when she finds out.happy. "Right. "No!" he exclaimed in a hushed issuance of shock.." Luke sighed as he leaned over the table.. well.. with only one word to express his disbelief. "Spill it. "No!" Darren shook his head incredulously." he stuttered. "I'm only telling you this because you'd figure it out eventually anyway. "Shitty death!" he exclaimed loudly.. more of his leg pressing up against Scott as he did so. and Scott knew that he had guessed." "Speaking of finding out.Return of the Sun Christopher P. now I know something's wrong. Darren stared at him strangely for a second of two. He swore to himself." they both replied together. shaking his head even faster.. "you're not having me on. well. "Ask your cousin. isn't it?" "No!" Darren was stuck speechless.I. shorty.. "Yeah.. "You sure? You're. this was becoming a very repetitive conversation. Scott smiled. "Oh. "Yeah." Luke leaned across the table. He turned and looked over at Luke who had paid for their drinks and was returning with them." Luke said looking at the pair of nearly empty glasses...well." "I should be. are you?" "Nope. "You. "Yeah.." Darren's jaw flopped open." Darren demanded. round on me?" Darren looked distressed..
"I'm all about the minge. "Not a word about it. you of all people. Darren winked at him and leaned across the table. "'bout time you got some. "I am so not having this conversation with my cousin. "Ok. and then he grinned at Luke. now I know it's time to change the subject!" Page | 129 . Lydon "You have my word." He looked at Scott and under the table nudged him again twice. I'm just pulling your leg." Darren swore solemnly.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Oh. "So what's it like?" he asked teasingly. Christ." Darren said. now I know you're not fucking with me.. "Tell me about it. waving him off. Christ." "Hey!" Scott exclaimed.." He swore again.." Scott declared adamantly. looking straight at Luke and still blinking in disbelief. Luke shrugged. Darren caught the motion and glanced under the table." He licked his lips in a way that made Scott want to cringe in disgust. "Ok.." he said.
. staring at the block of new houses that had been erected where his school had sat. The neighbourhood was familiar. "Oh. following Scott's look towards the alley that led to school. retracing steps he had taken a hundred times before. he had played where that car now sat. the proper little gentleman in his school uniform and. Scott was already crossing the street. he had kissed his first girl over in the corner where a dog was barking.Return of the Sun Christopher P.. but Scott was unresponsive as he walked into the alley.girlish features.. jogging to catch up. the pain evident in his voice. Scored his first goal." Luke called warningly." he said softly. he had learned to read where that new house sat. Scott's eyes swept about him for some sign of his childhood that had been so thoroughly eradicated. they weren't uncomfortable. It was gone. but it was too late. Groveland's school had stood relatively close through a secluded alley tucked in the back of Forestview. remember how as a little boy he had walked up this road to go to school. "Four generations of my family went to that school. stealing a moment alone before Luke had reached for the door handle to go. He swallowed back his emotion. All that time he had no idea that Luke had lived right on the school's doorstep. and after the pub Scott had offered to run Luke back home." Luke called again. Page | 130 .. He felt Luke wrap his arms around him from behind. It was just perfect. "Scott. Luke was watching him.. and it was gone. and in stunned silence Scott just stood there shivering. It could only exist in memory. feeling the light breeze tickle his arms. resting his chin on Scott's shoulder. lifeless. He found Scott standing on the ground." he said quietly. it was a warm night and he was just in his shirtsleeves. Wanting to get to the playground and his friends... which was brightly lit and the sounds of the television reaching even out to the street. He got out of the Rover as well. "What are you thinking?" he asked in concern. He remembered meeting Aunt Christine and Darren each day. pulling at his gran's hand to let him run off ahead. looking about him. casting the occasional glance at his bungalow. the past was dead. Lydon Chapter 19 From there it had gone surprisingly well. "Scott.. just pulling him against his chest. He loved nights like this. This was his past.
" Scott turned. "I should have warned you.. "You realize I'm standing about where you stabbed me.. And how many times do I have to apologize for that?" Scott blew out a sigh and rested his forehead against Luke's staring into his eyes. "Last time. Page | 131 . Lydon "They built a larger school just up on Grovelands Road.. clutching onto his knees and catching his breath. laughing as they sprinted back up the alley back to Luke's house. "It's a good change then. Scott breathing hard and still trying to stop laughing as he looked back the way they had just run. I promise." Luke said.. "You're a demanding sod aren't you. "Is that young Scotty Walker with you?" she asked. peering into the gloom. concern still evident in his. They fell panting against the wall of Luke's house. "Not your fault. still in Luke's arms." Luke said into his ear still holding onto him." Scott kissed him." Jan sounded puzzled. then?" Jan's voice demanded suspiciously as she wheeled herself out of the backdoor. "You two up to mischief?" She gave them both a suspicious look that was so typical of certain members of the Allston family. "Just keeping him out of trouble. the sound of a rather annoyed homeowner bellowing obscenities after them." Luke said pushing him forwards a bit and off to one side. Ma'am. emotion still rich in his voice. the kids have everything they need." Scott nodded feeling Luke's breath on his neck and he leaned his head back a little." "Actually. "It was more like here." Luke rolled his eyes. Luke shook his head at him grinning like a maniac. "Oi! You two. Mum." Luke replied with no hint of sheepishness in his voice. "Yes." he said.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "It's beautiful on these great fields.get off my bloody lawn!!" a rather loud man bellowed from the doorway of his house. "Well. "What's going on here." Scott replied with a smile as he straightened up and smiled at Scott's mother. Both Luke and Scott took off at a run.
Scott accepting a seat at the dining-room table as Luke began to dish up two plates of Shepherd's pie. another lanky-looking teen about fifteen ambled out. Lydon She gave them both a look that said she knew full well what boys their age were capable of getting up to. "Welcome to the family." They both nodded. "Yes. Jan gave them both a critical look until they were both tucking happily into the meal before she returned to the front room and the noise of the tele. Page | 132 . "Mummy." Luke said gesturing with his fork after the fleeing little monster. He shifted and tucked his feet under the well-scrubbed table and glanced around. Mummy. he squeaked to a stop when he saw Scott sitting at the table. "Nothing wrong with Corrie. well." Scott replied with a smile. nodding to the two of them as he inverted a chair and straddled it. it looked ready to topple over at any moment. beginning to sober up from his uncharacteristic enthusiasm as he shovelled another fork full into his mouth. There were coats hanging precariously from a coat rack that had seen better days and had definitely never been designed to hold that many coats. Reaching into a bag of sliced bread in the middle of the table and pulling out a slice. "I know Gran's been watching it for years. hand-me-downs were essential in a family that big. Scott reasoned. The television began to sound out the trumpeted notes announcing Coronation Street and Luke screwed up his nose.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Well. "Joel. There was a sewing machine tucked into the corner with a pile of trousers that needed re-hemming. sitting at the table. supper is on the stove." It was like watching a full-on retreat from the front room. he tore it into slivers and mopped the gravy from his plate. dark-haired and loud came roaring through the dining room holding onto a toy aeroplane. He looked startled a moment before tearing off bellowing." Luke introduced. Mum's going to be distracted for awhile. "I presume you probably haven't eaten either." She paused and looked at Scott. this was his first time in the Allston house. so haul yourself inside as well and get something to eat. Moments later." She gave him a stern look. "And no arguments from either of you." and shuffled into the bungalow behind her. and Scott was glad she didn't know the half of it." he surmised." Luke said. "All right then. there's a stranger in the kitchen!" "That would be the sprog. First the 'sprog' came barrelling out running past both of them again to tumble into a heap in front of a toy box which he began pulling toy cars out of. To Scott it looked the spitting image of Luke at that age. he's Mrs Walker's grandson. Scott. Scott began to reply when something short.
shaking his head as he finished his own supper. it all worked out in the end. gesturing to the living room where the sounds of yelling were just beginning. bending down to scoop Jasper up into a full hug. pulling up short as the sprog wrapped his arms around his legs. "I'll go talk to her. getting up and absently allowing his hand to accidentally touch Scott shoulder before he vanished into the front room. Dickie looked in some surprise to see Scott sitting at the table. "Your mum insisted. Page | 133 ." he said." Scott offered. "Water under the bridge. "Whoa. and under the table Scott nudged him twice with his knee." "No need." He was giving Scott that penetrating look as if trying to read him again. "Great. "Mum's pissed at you. if we'd have waited you wouldn't have ended up stranded like that. "Don't swear. something else to be mad at. She does realize I work. Lydon "Scott." Scott reassured." Joel greeted with a smile." Scott said. that's all. Scott couldn't make out what was being said. Both mother and son possessed the same capacity for arguing and used it liberally. hey there. Fleur just gets a little possessive. "Why's she mad this time?" "You didn't take the rubbish out before you left. a deep-seated apathy for everything." Dickie shrugged it off." he greeted. "I usually let them have it out." Luke rolled his eyes. "Hey Dickie. but he knew it was getting heated. Dickie rolled his eyes listening to it start before he walked over to the stove and heaped the last of the food onto a plate and joined Scott at the table. don't worry about it." "No worries." Luke said. "Wanted to apologize for Fleur last weekend. "We shouldn't have just left you two there like that. right?" The coldness was seeping back into his eyes.Return of the Sun Christopher P. before looking back at Luke." he said in a knowing tone. we got our wires crossed or something." he said as if explaining it. as the yelling in the living room was getting louder." he said. I think. "I should be apologizing to you. but nodded at him with a puzzled look on his face before putting Jasper down. Joel was grinning. Dickie did it instead. Dickie stomped in from the backdoor.
"Hey. surprised at his declaration of friendship with their brother. keeping quiet. but then after everything was said and done last weekend. it was probably smarter for Scott to do it. he had nothing to really relate it to." Scott said. if he ran after Luke he would have to explain why. he'd moved out of his dad's as soon as he could. "I work just as hard as Dickie does at home. Not that Fleur would see it that way. the one that was tender and eager and loving all at the same time. keeping his eyes focused ahead of him as he walked." Dickie warned. no problem. Now there were several thousand miles between him and his immediate family. glad I can count on you.. "You should leave him be. "Not now. but he's a friend." Luke said after a minute. He caught up to him walking down the road. jogging up alongside of him and falling into step." Luke growled. "What are you doing on Saturday? I need to make a run into Eastbourne if you wouldn't mind giving me a lift. "he just needs to cool off.. respecting Luke's need for quiet. Scott sighed as he kept pace. He kept stealing glances at Luke." Scott agreed wondering why Dickie didn't just ask Serena. He shrugged.." Scott was torn." "Sure. "Yeah. "If he had forgotten the rubbish she would have just made me or Joel take it out and nothing more would be said about it. "Great. Scott nodded.Return of the Sun Christopher P.. Dickie blew out a sigh and looked over at Joel who just shrugged.. All he had to worry about at home was ensuring Gran was okay." Joel and Dickie both looked at him. and didn't acknowledge anyone as he threw open the back door and slammed that behind him as well. hoping for a flicker of the Luke he was falling for. But because it's me there's a big deal." The yelling reached a fever point and the front-room door slammed as Luke stalked out. He used that moment to slip out after Luke. Scott. taking the opportunity to just be there for Luke in the way Luke had been there for him at the school grounds. "It's just not right. hands thrust deep into his pockets and a dark scowl on his face." He shook his head.. "It'll blow over soon." He shook his head and swore. but if he just left Luke alone and obviously upset. he was livid. the one that hid behind all the anger. Page | 134 . Lydon Dickie looked up apologetically. Scott looked back and forth and made to get up." He decided to change the subject. and I have a full time job.
"shows me how you really feel about me. Scott. doesn't do anything and yet he's golden. "Sorry. "'cause I'm a stupid little prat. not wanting the physical contact." he said slowly. Scott?" Scott shrugged. "Why do you bother with me. he doesn't contribute. Scott turned to him. look." he replied. and turning back with a hopeful look in his eye before he blushed and turned away again. letting him go again a moment later. I like the uniform. "What do I have to do?" Scott reached out a hand and brushed Luke's shirt and Luke shrugged it off. I understand what it's like." He shook his head. But Luke reached out his own and caught it. darker and secluded from the main street. "Besides. I guess you're more patient than I am. lifting a finger when he has to. I just." Scott said nudging him. Just holding it lightly for a moment before letting it go. I don't get on with my dad." he said turning away." Page | 135 . Scott withdrew his hand and went to stick it back into his pocket." Luke glanced back. Lydon "I mean. "It's fine. bringing money home and have I ever gotten a thank you? All Dickie does is laze about the place." Luke nodded as they rounded another corner.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Christ. "I'm sorry. And Scott suddenly found himself swept up into Luke's arms as Luke just held on for a moment or two. I've been at work all bloody day. "It's ok.
and he poked his head out of the bathroom to hear Gran greeting Dickie and insisting he have some breakfast. Curses. sipping the coffee happily as he took his customary seat at the breakfast bar. the roaring vacuum drew closer to his room and he grudgingly opened an eye. "Morning.Return of the Sun Christopher P. a voice that was entirely too happy for that early on a Saturday morning. He sat upright reluctantly and swung his feet out of bed. it seemed. He wondered if he could get away with just giving Dickie the keys. Suitably armed with a cup of coffee. He'd had a late night the night before. That morning it was the vacuuming. foiled again. but the smell of fresh coffee wafting through the house definitely warmed him to the idea. stumbling back upstairs and curling up under his covers again. relieved for the fresh water that helped him return to some semblance of consciousness. was always up at the crack of dawn busying herself with laundry or a whole host of other chores she seemed to always find to keep her occupied. Scott grimaced at the thought of a heavy English breakfast. stepping around Gran's vacuum that threatened the trip him if he wasn't careful. out with Serena. Gran gave him a bemused look as he sleepily stumbled into the bathroom. Scott was sure she took delight in ensuring he didn't get to lie in. He tugged on a pair of jeans and a football shirt he had found in amongst the latest additions to his wardrobe his gran had made. Gran. Gran was already working on a second plate as she merrily set sausages to sizzle in the pan. Luke had been working late so they hadn't had a chance to see each other. "So what are you two lads up to today?" she inquired. stumbling out of his room and crossing the landing to the bathroom. "Morning. it was comfortable and wasn't going to draw too much attention while he was bumming around Eastbourne with Dickie. yawning for the umpteenth time that morning. sleepyhead. He figured why not. Time was a rare commodity between Luke's awkward hours and Scott's steadier yet inflexible schedule at the home. He was towelling off his head when the doorbell rang. Page | 136 . Lydon Chapter 20 There was something wrong with being up early on a Saturday morning." she said cheerfully. he nodded to Gran as Dickie looked up from a large breakfast that looked suspiciously like it had been prepared for Scott. cracking a couple of eggs. but one look at Gran told him that would not be a possibility. And he grunted out a reply as he shut the door and ran the shower." he murmured.
sitting in the small café in the middle of the Arndale Centre with a very cold mug of coffee in front of him. "I thought it was later in the year. It would be great to finally have a drink with Nigel. "Yeah. your Uncle Nigel is coming today and I'm sure he wants to see how you've grown. though." "I was just saying what a beautiful day it was outside." she explained." Scott grumbled into his coffee mug. "Is your brother Joel stopping by today to do the garden?" Gran asked. see how he'd changed." Scott responded innocently. She missed it as she buttered the toast and brought the plate over to him. Walker. what are we doing?" Dickie beamed. I knew exactly what he was saying. just remember not to be too late home tonight. don't they?" She threw Scott a look that said she knew exactly how badly he wanted to be back in his bed. "grumble so low as you didn't hear him. "We all do it. "He should be here at ten. I'm just glad Scott offered to ferry me about today." Scott smiled. "Well. Too many things going on with Luke and with work it had just slipped his mind. It's Mum's birthday in a few weeks and I wanted to pick up something special.Return of the Sun Christopher P. There were better things he could be doing rather than sitting Page | 137 . already washing the pans. "I have a couple of errands to run. and more importantly what he thought about his nephew all grown up. That had been nearly three hours ago. he'd forgotten all about that." Scott's brow furrowed--Gran didn't forget birthdays--and he shot her a worried look." "Is it?" Gran asked in surprise. I'll have to make sure to pick something up for her. Dickie chuckled. teenagers do like to laze about. and Scott's well of patience was running dry. Lydon Scott blinked and looked over at Dickie. Dickie nodded between bites. Mum turfed him out of bed at the same time as me this morning. "His granddad used to do that. Mrs. then. "Stop that. He sighed as he set about working on his breakfast. Dickie had ducked off to do his errands and had insisted that he wouldn't be long." Gran admonished him before turning to Dickie." "That's good. a few things to pick up. *** Scott absently looked at his watch.
" She looked at his hair disparagingly.." Scott didn't look impressed. "You can come with me. I'm waiting for Dickie. "Not really. grinning a big toothy grin. "it's quite the get-together." "No." He instinctively reached up to his hair which he had to admit was getting a bit long." she said. And it wasn't as if he had anything better to do at that moment so he nodded. "Scott!" Serena bellowed coming out of the big Boots Pharmacy and waving to him.. Least he could have done was stopped back to let Scott know what was happening." "That's the spirit!" she exclaimed enthusiastically. Page | 138 ." Scott sighed as he got up. He shook his head. not noticing Scott's annoyed look.. and she bounded across to him. In North America it would have been called a food court.. except for the fact there was only the one café and the décor was a lot more upscale. sitting down across from him and beaming at him. "Do you trust me?" she asked as they walked out onto Eastbourne's shopping precinct. Dickie could ride a bus like everyone else for all he cared.. but then he rationalized Serena always shopped on a Saturday at the Arndale Centre and the mall really wasn't that big so when he thought on it the chances of running into her that afternoon were pretty good. "I knew you were a closet style-queen." Serena said. in that case I should just go home then. I saw them when I was parking the car at the station. He started." she said reaching out to catch his arm. and contemplating going home. "Well. The café was situated in the middle of a square bank of shops. I'm getting my hair done and there's still plenty of shopping time. a touch surprised. He set his coffee cup down and waved her over. "Sure. He was bored senseless.." "Yeah. Lydon watching the ebb and flow of shoppers around him going about their ritualistic Saturday shopping trips. he's got quite a group with him in there." "Really?" she looked confused. "I see.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "He's up at the Gildridge pub with a bunch of his friends. "And if you want I could ask Tasmin if she can fit you in.
"How would you like this cut. "Oh he's fit Serena. "I have an appointment." Serena giggled.. Taz. and as he attempted to protest he was laughed at. So he sat with a scowl deepening on his face as he felt the scissors clipping away. "Oh. single too.. "Oh. running her hands through his hair. taking the time to wrap him in the stylist cape to protect his clothes from falling hair. "Oh. he tried to turn his head." she said addressing the beautiful woman behind the counter. "Hi Tasmin." she said. Serena." Tasmin said as she used the buzz clippers to straighten out his side burns. He wondered darkly how much she was paying attention to the job on hand.. you're going to look good for all the girls. taking him by the arm and guiding him into a chair." Page | 139 ." Tasmin said. but he has yet to prove it." she replied with another grin. then?" she asked. "Alright love. then. and he has an accent too. "He says he's gay. that your new bit of fluff?" "Fluff?" Scott asked.." Serena nodded to a picture up on the wall that was just out of Scott's ability to see it. Lydon "Why do I get cold chills whenever you say that?" he commented dryly as they walked into the stylists. "He needs something like that." She picked up a spray bottle and began to damp down his hair..or boy's. I'm going to have to give him highlights. looking confused. "He's not my boyfriend." Serena said as Tasmin's assistant began to wash her long hair in the sink. scrubbing the water in." "Well the jury's still out on that one. "Because you love me. Serena chuckled at that and Tasmin looked at her then down at Scott. ". you got quite a catch here. "Cor." Scott blinked.. His head was being hijacked by two women. Scott made to open his mouth but Serena cut him off. I love a man with an accent. but I was wondering if you could fit my best mate Scott in as well?" Tasmin gave him a big smile as her eyes swept over him appreciatively. but Tasmin had a firm grip on his head holding him still.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Tasmin and Serena happily chatting away about the latest gossip.
"You've been hiding a man haven't you!" she said with certainty. She frowned." Scott fired back and Tasmin began to apply the highlight cream. He sighed loudly. "Oh?" Serena asked sitting upright. Lydon "I don't tell you everything. "We won't tell a soul.. He nodded." Scott replied with a shrug. it is a feller.. then her eyes went wide as she clued in. thought better of it and tried again.Return of the Sun Christopher P. who is it?" Scott looked at her and mouthed "Luke." she said. Serena caught the look in his eyes and she suddenly grew a toothy grin. "But." Serena was about to say his name. it's not that Ben from work. He'd actually tried to tell her the night before at the pub..." chimed in Tasmin who mimicked the gesture. "No. Page | 140 . both physically and in Serena's eyes. "Luke who?" she asked a little loudly. is it?" Scott shook his head. "What's his name. as Tasmin returned with a cup of tea for each of them.. but with so many other people about it had been hard to actually get her alone long enough to say something. "If I tell you it's got to stay between us. "Me either. Serena leaned in." she breathed. "No. He looked away from her and at his reflection in the mirror wondering what he was going to look like after this ordeal was over. Serena glanced at Tasmin. it's not Ben. "You're keeping something from me?" Scott grimaced. He gave her a look that said she knew he only knew one Luke. "But I am right.. crossing her heart. Scott looked up at her in trepidation. wrapping parts of his hair in tinfoil. "but he's an arsehole!" "He's a good kisser. When she had gone." She frowned at him and he whispered it. go on. hand covering her mouth... okay?" he asked giving her a meaningful look. what's his name?" She pried eagerly. "Go on then. stylists were notoriously bad at keeping juicy gossip to themselves. Tasmin pouted a little as she went through to the back to make a cup of tea. waiting for the peroxide to do its magic on Scott's hair." he replied.
Return of the Sun Christopher P. Combined with the football jersey there was no mistaking him for an American." Scott nodded. His mum's going to hit the roof if she finds out. though in reality he probably looked nothing like him. He was shocked.. "It sort of gave us a chance to talk. "and it's not like I exactly had a chance to tell you. the blond highlights giving a lighter expression to his face." he said. "You two weren't stuck after all." Scott replied.." Scott shot back. his hand reaching up to his earlobe..." Scott admitted. "Wow. "Your ear pierced. "It looks great!" Serena said with a smile. her hair still firmly setting into its perm.. Lydon "But.?" "You did..." Serena was awestruck. reminding her that he wasn't the only one to go on a camping adventure that weekend with an Allston boy.. now is it?" Tasmin was keeping very quiet listening to them as she began to pick the tinfoil out of his hair. Scott Walker!" "It's only been a week. Serena screwed up her nose." she chose her words carefully again." She shook her head in wonder... the trip!" she exclaimed. "Just need to get your ear pierced and you're all set. It was the first thing he thought when he saw the style. that's just wrong and you know it. you know.. "So that's why. It was like being on one of those make-over shows where they did atrocious things to you in the name of fashion.." Scott said deliberately." "What?" he looked frightened...." she said resolutely. cropped close at the sides with a long fringe. blinking and tapping a lock of fine hair that had fallen across his forehead. I'm hurt. "Come on.." "Yep. at the end of it sending you back to your dreary life looking like a million dollars." Page | 141 ..." "Then she'd better not find out. "how did you.. it'll look good. The style was very English. "Did you two. "Him though." "We were. Serena shook her head. He felt he looked like Robbie Carlyle. "him of all people?" she tsked.... "You two have been carrying on behind my back all this time. as Tasmin turned him back to the mirror so that he could get a look.. "But. And Scott was reminded that he really had no idea what they were both doing to him.
. tucking it behind an unfamiliar white Citroen with a large dog staring back at him. "You should get it done. "And Mum's going to just love that. and giving him the once over. shaking his head. he'd have to get that fixed eventually. love. He had his distinctive Walker dopy grin on his face as he got up and clasped Scott's hand firmly. he was probably still at the Gildridge with his friends whiling away the day in the bottom of a pint glass. He climbed down and slammed the door." He squinted at the earring. There was no mistaking Uncle Nigel." Scott smiled. "She's right. pumping it up and down." Mister Roberts waved off the thanks." Scott smiled. Scott was still upset at that. nodding to old man Roberts who was clipping his hedge. still pumping the hand." "No. I really appreciate the help. haven't you. He snorted as he slung the Rover into its usual spot across the road from Gran's house." he said.." Tasmin agreed. "That's okay." Nigel said. He hadn't bothered to go find Dickie. "You've grown up then. "The fact that you are doing well is thanks enough.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Scott smiled to himself as he walked in the back door.. Apparently he had owed it to her for not telling her earlier about Luke.. He blinked at it. as it in turn blinked back at him before it went nuts in the back seat. "God do you ever look like your father." *** He fingered his tender earlobe. "I tried to stop. "Yes they are. and grinned. "Scott!" he said warmly. getting up to pay Tasmin. stopping to slam it again." Page | 142 . my boy. wondering what on earth had possessed him to let her talk him into that? But when Serena was on a mission to get what she wanted there had been no stopping her. he wasn't Dickie's chauffer service. Mister Roberts gave him his customary turtle-esque look before waving at him. stepping back and shaking his head." "I can see that. barking like crazy. even though his hair was turning grey at the temples and there were definite lines around his eyes. thank you Mister Roberts. Lydon "Says who?" Scott stated. "I hear from old Zulee things are going well over at the home. He crossed the road. and drew up short as the two people sitting around the kitchen table stopped to look up at him.
we shouldn't be too late. and in fact they had been the ones to conspire to get Nigel and Debbie together in the first place." "Do I even want to ask?" Nigel stated with a knowing look. "I owed her one." Scott shook his head. "No. that's okay. "Well. She smiled at Scott. "Anyway. motioning to the door." Scott replied with a grin. there's a macaroni and cheese dinner in the freezer if you feel like eating." Nigel said. I'll be in the way. we were just on our way out. you'll probably be welcome as well. "Serena. "Now what did you go and do that for?" she said with a disapproving look. Lydon "Mum's going to love what?" Gran said. "Yes it's very nice dear." she paused when she saw the earring. suits you. She stopped and examined Scott's hair." Scott shrugged." Gran was already putting on her coat.. "We're going over to say hello to Debbie's mum and dad. "Thanks. Gran and Debbie's mother were old bingo friends. "Well. you guys have fun. you remember your Aunt Debbie?" He turned and Debbie stood up to shake his hand.. Besides I'll catch up with you later tonight. still looking as beautiful as ever.Return of the Sun Christopher P. She affixed him with her dark eyes and gave him a hug.. returning to the kitchen.." Page | 143 .
crawl into bed early and write the weekend off entirely.. watch some bad T. glancing over at Mister Roberts who wasn't seeming to pay attention. not that Scott blamed him at all. He was used to Luke dropping by for his evening sandwich on his regular beat. he really didn't feel like it.V.V. there was one option." "Gran's gone out. no doubt Uncle Nigel had seen fit to modernize Gran's living room. "Hi. I can come back. "If I turn you away. come in for a second. a peaked cap tucked under his arm this time instead of his customary helmet. Gran will never let me hear the end of it. Scott grinned. never designed for a young man to sprawl out on." he said dropping his voice a bit. fighting off sleep as he picked up the right remote and flicked on. "I was just making the rounds and. lightly-cushioned affairs with wings. he could walk down to the corner store and rent a film. too." Scott said. Sure he could have gone out. breaking into a smile. Luke broke into a shy smile. It was perfect for little old ladies sipping tea on the edge of the seats. He grumbled about the rotten day he was having when he finally gave up and tossed some cushions onto the floor. was a brand new VCR. Scott looked down at him and grinned. Page | 144 . and had barely closed the door when Luke had enveloped him in a tight hug. He yawned tiredly. swinging it open on a nervous-looking Luke. He was still in uniform. Lydon Chapter 21 Scott was settling in for a night at home. He nodded. though." He waved Luke inside." Scott said. He clambered back to his feet and went out to the front door. though his eyes did soften as he saw Scott open the door. staring at it stupidly before looking about the living room. There. The whole point of his choosing to stay in was to allow him a chance to be by himself. pressing his nose into the nape of Scott's neck. no. Luke was nervous." he said cheerfully.. Yet fate had other plans. "No. trying to get comfortable on the Victorian-style couch that his grandmother liked so much. but after being abandoned by Dickie most of the day.Return of the Sun Christopher P. It was one of those high-backed.. Gran's sandwiches were top rate. "Well. He wanted to stay home. but that hadn't stopped him from stopping by though. He shifted. under the T. The doorbell ringing at that moment caused him to look up in annoyance. "Hello to you. He stopped when he picked up an unfamiliar remote control. still looking uncomfortable. happily discovering something passable and relaxing in to watch the show. his earlier reluctance for company vanishing completely as he enjoyed Luke's embrace.
mate.. Scott grinned again. "It's okay.Return of the Sun Christopher P. taking delight in that imagery." Scott snorted as he popped the fries in the oven and turned." He looked Luke up and down." Luke said.. "Okay." Scott shook his head in disbelief. and it seemed to be his own special magic that gave it life." Luke said." Page | 145 ." "He's too used to having other people chauffer him around. "Now? Aren't you doing your beat or something?" Luke held up a finger and clicked on his mic.. suddenly feeling very domestic as he bent to root through the fridge for something edible.. he had to bus back." Luke replied as he shrugged off the uniform jacket and put it on the back of his stool. so I have my very own police officer for a few hours.. Lydon "Sorry. but I swear he ditched me.. I doubt he'll bother asking you again after today. "Well. "Yeah. and boy was he upset. Ok. glancing at his watch. I have some time. it was so rarely seen. "So I heard you were out this afternoon.. as Luke sat down at the breakfast bar. "I could cook. "Me abandon him? He wasn't the one left in the café for three hours while he got drunk with his friends. talking to dispatch through his radio. I'm starved. that made no sense.. you're busy and I work days." He glanced at Luke. letting go and sighing." Luke said. trying to hide his grin. maybe a little. A few moments later he looked up at Scott." "Well. Scott was growing fond of that smile.. nothing like having a smile that was yours alone. this I can live with. Prince Charming had to ride public transport." Luke was doing a poor job of trying to hide his delight. "Have you eaten yet?" "No. Scott's jaw dropped open. Scott turned the kettle on to prepare a pot of tea.." He smiled..... "But hey. "and abandoned my brother in Eastbourne. "I didn't exactly do it on purpose." Scott nodded. "I haven't had much of a chance to do that since Monday." Luke was laughing now.. The mac and cheese his gran had recommended was woefully small for the two of them so he fished out some french-fries and began to spread them out on a tray.. "Sarge owes me for covering for him the other week so it looks like I'm all yours. putting his peaked cap down on the edge of the counter.." he said with a smile.. "I told them I have a migraine headache and asked for the rest of the night off. Scott thought." Scott said leading the way through to the kitchen.
" Scott shrugged. it's a trumped up charge. tasting his own tea and wincing at the bitter watery flavour.. "Though I did date a psychotic pencil stabber once. too." Luke replied. still holding onto Luke. "It's really quite endearing." "Hmmm. He was still adjusting to the idea of people knowing about them. concern clouding his eyes.. pouring the water. he gave Scott a puzzled look." Luke's face slipped a little into sadness as he looked up at the window. "Serena found out this afternoon and she said I owed her for not telling her sooner. Pulling back.." Luke said. firmly resting on the counter and looking into Luke's eyes." "You... "But I haven't begun to harass you yet." "How'd she take it?" Luke asked. Luke took a second before reciprocating the kiss. turning to fetch two cups from the cupboard. harassing a police officer is an offence. Lydon "I should think not!" Scott said. "Right now I'm trying to figure something out." Luke rolled his eyes." Luke admitted. just to spend some time with you. he crossed the kitchen and kissed Luke firmly..." "Meh." "Oh. "Arrest me.. "I'd probably have to let you go with a warning and a slap on the wrist. and Scott realized at that moment the depth of the commitment Luke was offering him." "Arrest me. never really been one for that sort of thing. "I don't know.. "It's good to see you." Page | 146 . He couldn't help it. why was it he could never make a cup of tea like his gran could? "What would possess an intelligent. "You promised you'd drop that. "I was coming up with an idea to arrest you.. huh?" Scott replied with a grin." he replied adding sugar to hide the tea's awful taste. "because you're such a prat?" He added with a smile." he admitted.. "That would be your fault actually." Scott said.. "What was that for?" "My way of saying thanks." "After I get my chips.. Scott grinned.. but he was resigned to the inevitable happening. as he peered at it through his dark eyes.." Luke replied with a contented sigh.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "One of these days you're going to have to tell me what you see in me worth changing your entire life for.. handsome guy like you to get an earring.. You know. lazily sitting back and liberating one of the cups of tea from Scott.." "What's that?" Scott asked." Scott replied. Surprised.
"Burning's a bit strong. Lydon "Well." "Damn!" Scott said. we do have Dominos... hurrying over to salvage the french-fries that resembled charcoal. *** Scott was dozing peacefully." Scott suddenly sat bolt upright as he heard the latch on the door downstairs go. The talking had led to kissing that had naturally progressed on.. "I know how." he shook his head and picked up the phone to place an order. "Hi. "I didn't know you could order pizza over here." "Burning.. "You were out like a light.. "You're kidding. I think that's a compliment..I just can't do it very well.. "We are living in the twenty-first century.." Scott bit his bottom lip. sitting around. enjoying pizza and talking. "though I had hoped there was some kind of." Scott croaked dryly with a smile." Scott responded with an odd smile. dreaming a warm dream in which he and Luke had enjoyed a wonderful evening together." "It's been a long day..... Gran was home.. right?" Scott shrugged." Luke shook his head. and he snuggled deeper into Luke's arms. giving him a contented look in return. "Burning..." Scott responded. And he opened an eye as he felt Luke's hand brush the hairs away from his eyes.. I'll order a pizza. he realized he hadn't been dreaming..." "Probably not. As consciousness slowly returned to him. looking at the unappetizing mess on the tray." Scott stared at Luke dumbfounded. "I don't think ketchup is going to save this lot. "I was hoping for something a little.." "No..Return of the Sun Christopher P.." he admitted truthfully. "Hi." Luke agreed.." Luke replied." Luke said turning Scott slightly so that he could point to the black smoke coming from the oven. "Take-out it is then.. "They have pizza here?" Luke turned to him a mixture of disbelief and surprise on his face. "I take it you don't know how to cook. Scott.. Page | 147 ." Luke said. He looked up at Luke apologetically.
The front door opened and there was the sound of voices in the hall. Luke was going down with him.. He walked out into the kitchen. "I just woke up. and his heart sank as Uncle Nigel stood examining Luke's peaked cap in puzzlement." Scott said trying to calm himself down." "Fine. simply nodded with terror in his eyes as Scott slipped out of the bedroom closing the door behind him and trying to smooth down his ruffled hair. "Stay put!" he said firmly in a fierce whisper." "Poor thing. you'd think the devil himself had touched him the way he jumped." Scott's heart returned to a normal level." Gran explained to Debbie. there was only one way down from upstairs and somehow he had to sneak Luke out past not just his gran but his aunt and uncle as well. trying to reach for his clothes. if anyone's interested." Scott said. Gran giving Scott another look. Gran looked up at him coming down and she gave him a rueful grin. Stubbornly it refused and he slipped downstairs. Luke catching him before he did himself an injury. feeling his heart pounding in his chest and a tight knot in his stomach." "This late at night. sunshine?" she asked brightly. "You'll never sleep like that. trying to escape the two women who would surely see through his tissue of lies at any moment. "I should go give Uncle Nigel a hand. It was a mad rush against time they were both going to lose. how could they not know? He was doomed. "he always wakes up with such a start. that's all. Uncle Nigel yawned. Lydon "Shit!" he said leaping out of bed. Nigel?" Gran admonished.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Are you all right dear? You look a little flushed. Page | 148 .. and there was nothing left to do but bail out and pray." Nigel waved her off as he went out to the kitchen. "Yeah. and he swallowed. fumbling with the buttons as he did so. Nigel turned and saw the strangled look on Scott's face and he looked down at the cap again. and Scott hurried to think. shrugging on his jersey as Luke tried desperately to put his uniform back on. You should have seen him that first night. if he was lucky they would go to bed and he would be able to pull it off. "Sleeping again.. "I'm going to make a cup of coffee. but his feet were tangled in the duvet and he fell backwards.." he said. Scott pulled on his jeans as fast as he could. Luke wasn't about to argue. This was going to take some doing.
either. I think Scott should stay up a little longer. "Well.Return of the Sun Christopher P. he's a policeman.. "If you're that tired you should really go back to bed. Gran watched him spill the coffee on the counter. A few seconds later he lifted out the two cups. "That wouldn't belong to that. "Y-yes we do. Woodenly he walked to the cupboard and with shaking hands began to prepare the coffee. Gran nodded in satisfaction as the coffee began to percolate. I see. Scott wanted nothing better than to curl up and die at that precise moment. though the mortified look on his face must have been priceless." Scott said turning the hat in his hands." he said." she said as she poured the water in." Nigel said." she warned as she followed Debbie up the stairs. and Nigel stuffed the cap behind his back and painted an innocent look on his face. Luke. don't we Scott?" he asked. I'm going to go to bed. giving Scott a look that said he was going to explain everything. Nigel waited until they were out of earshot before he bent down to pull the cap out of the cupboard he had stuffed it in. As Gran turned her back. Nigel hadn't moved. walking up behind Scott. "Oh." he stammered. knowing full well Nigel wouldn't buy it for a second." "You know. You two boys don't be up to much longer. Debbie returned to the kitchen yawning herself.. Scott just offered to make it." Scott lied. Scott nodded. "Something you need to get off your chest?" he asked lightly as he handed Scott the cap. giving her husband a kiss and wandering back towards the stairs. "Well. walking over to the sink and picking up the two plates that were there. "You sure there's nothing you want to tell me? Or should I go upstairs and ask him?" Page | 149 . I have to be up for church tomorrow. and she 'tsked' at him as she took over. throwing a look at Scott to play along." "Oh. I think he and I have a lot to catch up on. "I think I should be going as well." he snapped his fingers trying to remember the name. isn't he? Mum was saying you two were friends." she stated. "Jan's boy. Nigel hurriedly stuffed the cap into a cupboard and rested on the counter over it. Lydon "Did you find everything?" Gran asked. "No. "he might have left it here earlier in the week. and Scott was still looking at him with fear in his eyes.
. His father had always taken his coffee that way." "Huh?" Scott asked in surprise as he turned. "A couple of friends. turned to look at him fearfully. "Darren. "You're lucky. he poured himself a cup. so to hell with your dad. From what Gran says you're working hard and settling in alright. "Though I can see how this might be a bit more." Scott crept up the stairs and leaned around the door to his bedroom. "I should go get him. I remember getting caught sneaking a girl out when I was your age.. that's about it.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "I don't think your gran needs a heart attack tonight. weren't we?" he stated. swallowing and stumbling in shell shock to the coffee pot. "difficult. walked to the saltshaker and added a pinch. fetching himself a mug of coffee and stirring in some sugar." He stopped and looked down at the hat and back up at Scott. Lydon Scott knew full well he was caught. they never see the man that boy becomes." Nigel gave him a serious look." Nigel said." he squeezed Scott's shoulder." "Right." he advised. He kept his back to his uncle as he collected his wits." Scott threw his arms around his uncle and hugged him tightly. "Let him out the back door. "You have to understand I hadn't seen you in years so had no idea. though my money was on your Cousin Darren." Scott replied. "No." "Give them a few minutes to settle in. there were only so many lies he could tell before he could admit he was caught fair and square. then go. "Is this why you fell out with your dad?" Scott set his mug down on the counter and swallowed. "Anyone know?" Scott shook his head." he searched for the word. said it was good for the nerves." Nigel said firmly. Mum used to be a lot sharper than that. "I don't think he'd react well to that. No. holding on for a while before letting go. "Well it's about time." "Well that's typical. "The front is always too loud." Scott admitted.." Nigel nodded. Scott smiled at him and held a finger up to his lips as he Page | 150 . "Bit careless tonight." "Yeah. "I should go get Luke. Luke nervously pacing to and fro. I think he might have guessed but I wasn't even out to myself when I last saw him. and downed the mug." Scott replied in open embarrassment. Nigel nodded. a grin spreading across his face. "Dads only see the boy.. he wasn't pleased that I dropped school." Nigel said knowingly.. Nigel chuckled..
. but I don't think I'm that liberal yet. Luke watched him leave and felt Scott draw close to him. it's you I'm worried about. he blinked again as he realized it hadn't entered his thoughts. "Just be thankful I'm not chasing you out of here with a broom..outside if you don't mind. "It's good to finally meet you. "I'll live... he'd been too concerned about Scott to worry about himself. "That's my Uncle Nigel....Return of the Sun Christopher P. The pair of them moved quietly down the stairs and through to the kitchen. Scott shrugged.. I should say good night. "really. "I'm. shaking his head in apology." Luke looked into Scott's reassuring eyes before accepting Nigel's pre-offered hand." Scott set Luke's cap on his head and turned it on an angle the way Luke had done with his visor. and reached up to kiss him good night. He swallowed and shrugged." With that. that is. then. "I do too. he turned." Luke blinked as if he hadn't considered that angle. Luke gave Nigel a startled look. as well. but Scott shrugged and handed him his cap. I'd rather not meet the rest of your family like this. Now you two better kiss goodnight. I mean. "He's." he stated..." he said with a teasing grin.. I love you. and I am going to bed.." "Oh..I'm fine. Nigel shrugged. I'm liberal. he's okay. as that bombshell fell on one unsuspecting American-English immigrant." he introduced. "I'm so sorry. he set off.." He'd never used those words before. love you.. Page | 151 . "Well. Lydon motioned for Luke to follow him." he said. Luke sighed and relaxed.... the look of shock still on his face.." Scott said. his voice trebling. "Nice to meet you." he took Scott into his arms.
looking over at Scott." Ben replied. he was having enough difficulty trying to update a computer's drivers. "Maybe. Though he likes to think he is. right?" Ben asked." "He seemed to take it well. He looked up and shook his head. if Ben was right and Luke was really uncomfortable then he had to talk to him. "He's a cop." Scott replied." Scott's eyes shot up in surprise as he forgot about the computer in front of him for a moment.Return of the Sun Christopher P." he said a little testily." Ben responded. you should probably talk to him and make sure he is really as comfortable as he acts with all this. "Well that just proves my point even more. "Huh?" "Gotcha. Ben gave him a serious glance. "But seriously though. and he should never have fallen asleep. He hadn't heard from Luke since." Scott replied defensively. Typical for that time of the year. He's. finishing up the latest batch of invoices. as usual he had to follow about a half-a-dozen different links only to find the driver he was looking for buried on a page loaded with pop-up advertising." He grinned. "Yes it is. following the endless links trying to download the particular driver he wanted. Ever think he may be putting on a show because he thinks it's what you want?" Scott thought about that long and hard. not that big. it flashed between dreary thunderstorms and Page | 152 . and not that tough. interrupting his thoughts and Scott looked up at the rain pelting the window." Ben said. "Used to playing the tough guy. "It's not that funny. Scott was not impressed." Ben replied with a grin as he continued to work. not exactly the most convenient time for either of them to get together. well." "You're just jealous. Lydon Chapter 22 Ben was laughing at him. "Raining again. He felt responsible in a way for the situation the other day. rubbing his temple absently as he inputted another sequence of numbers. "I was hoping to have you all to myself. it would be you. he had been careless. right?" Scott shrugged. if this Luke's a 'new recruit' to the Pink Militia you should probably try to avoid embarrassing situations with your relatives. and he wondered if perhaps that had something to do with it? But it was the middle of the week. "If there was one person who would get caught trying to hide a policeman in his bedroom. "I can't really picture him as your typical tough cop.
my wife bought me a chastity belt a long time ago." Ben said innocently as he smirked.. one that was so unexpected that his mind reeled from it. "Not going to happen.Return of the Sun Christopher P.. you're married. "Come on. And Scott stared at the storm and wondered at how complicated everything in his life was. "Your download's done. I'm worried about that as well. Lydon torrential downpours to beautiful sunshine in an instant. "It completely slipped my mind. looking over the monitor. you can admit you love me. And what a kiss it was. especially since this is his first relationship. as Ben had put it." "Bullshit. was when Luke dropped all the acts and was just himself." Scott said. "Sometimes I swear I'm working in a high school!" Ben flashed his devilish grin. just doing this because it made Scott happy? What made Scott happiest. how strong were his feelings? How far was he willing to take this? Or was he. crossing the office floor and grabbing Scott firmly by the shoulders." Scott shook his head. "Oh. remember?" "Oh yeah. The paper ball bounced off his head. Scott picked up the ball and tossed it back at the Cannuck. first relationships never work." Ben said smacking his forehead in mock realization." Ben shot back getting up and filing some papers." "Yeah but you're a closeted homosexual with something to prove." Ben said sliding the file away." Scott turned back to the computer and began to install the drivers. those cold eyes that only warmed when they looked into his own. "But seriously. Ben stared at him with a long and considering look. you know. "Yeah. the kind of mind-blowing kiss that came from nowhere." Scott nodded at his friend's sage advice. Luke was weighing heavily on his mind. this policeman of yours has a lot of thinking to do. he spun him about and kissed him full on the lips." "One of these days you're going to wind up being pounced on. Scott stared in shock for a second as he felt Ben wriggling his tongue on his lips and he opened his mouth to accept the kiss. "I married my first girlfriend. Page | 153 .
." He patted Scott on the shoulder. Scott gave her a nod. "If I was I'd be all over you. "He's avoiding me." "I kissed Luke. "Mister Right's out there.. and after a full morning at it." she said firmly. he had taken an early lunch and had walked to Serena's stationery shop to take her to the diner." She rested her chin on her hand and pouted. he got what he wanted and now he's gone running back to Fleur. "I might add you still haven't fulfilled that requirement. her eyes growing sour. "what about you and Dickie?" Serena shook her head. "Doesn't count unless I see it. not gay in the slightest. "Guess he's not the one. realizing that he was sitting on his stool a moment too late as he slid off landing with an undignified thump at Ben's feet...but..." he shrugged and looked down. "More coffee?" *** "He kissed you?" Serena asked.. He quickly picked himself up and shook himself off.. "Yep. "Yeah.." he protested.. At the rate he was getting surprised lately it was a wonder old Doc Hanratti hadn't had him in for a bypass.. "Maybe the two of you could stage a demonstration or something. once again tucking happily into his lunch while he helped himself to her salad." Scott said spearing a small cherry tomato and waving his fork at her. sorry dude. I only see him when he's out with his mates." "Hey." "I thought we had agreed kissing a bloke was a way to prove you were?" Serena said with a grin. "but he was just proving he wasn't gay. She got up to refill her orange juice returning a few seconds later and sitting opposite him again. "not even a twitch.." Scott said offering her a smile of reassurance.... Ben grinned at him as he picked up Scott's mug. nodding to himself. she had readily agreed to his impromptu rescue.. "That." Scott said." Page | 154 . deliberately changing the subject. She was looking harassed. that confirms it.." "Speaking about Allston boys. stock inventory was apparently one of the things she hated the most about her job..Return of the Sun Christopher P. but. Lydon Ben pulled back and licked his lips. raising a finger to ward Ben off while he tried to put his thoughts back in order.no!" he said." Scott gaped a moment and leaned back...
He shrugged at her." Scott rolled his eyes at the typical British class prejudices. if she was going to polish off his Shepherd's pie he was going to make damn sure he got the best part of her salad. "You'll be fine and you know it. "Yeah? I've been going on dates since I was sixteen. Serena shrugged.... He really disliked that mentality. "It's called soap.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Serena looked at him in surprise. "Don't you own a rain coat?" she asked allowing him to join her under the small umbrella. She gave him a disparaging look. getting up to pay the bill." "Yeah but." he said adopting a lecturing tone. Lydon She cocked an eyebrow at him. well I can see this is going to be an easy pairing.. "he smells like engine grease." he murmured." Scott said it almost without thinking it through. and he gritted his teeth. "Don't be a tosser.." she screwed up her nose.. he's a little late isn't he?" Scott sighed at her." She whacked him on the shoulder. then?" she asked him." Scott looked at her in utter disbelief." she said. "You know full well Darren's a good guy. You're the strongest girl I know. when he wants to be. "Yeah he's fit and all. "And he works hard at what he does. The two friends emerged back into the rain.. "I only brought the one jacket with me when I got on the plane. but. It was as if anyone lower down the class scale was diseased. and he swallowed nervously. "Name one bloke that wants to date me. if he'd ever bother to ask me out I might say yes." Page | 155 . "Griff?" "Sure." "Darren.." he said firmly.. there are plenty of men out there who would kill to go out with you." she gave him a lame shrug." she grumbled. "Well. sounding very non-committal.. it does wonders on grease. figured I didn't need the ski jacket any more. He blew out a sigh of frustration." "Yeah? Who's that. "Right. well. "There's this wonderful invention.. Serena struggling to put up a flowered umbrella as Scott huddled in his jacket getting steadily soaked. you didn't want to touch them in case you were infected with the dreaded disease called 'dead common'." Scott said with a shrug as he tugged her plate closer to him so that he could get at the pickled onions. "he's so. The moment it was out he regretted it..
"I'm fine. hiding in school to avoid the real world in which he always knew he belonged. Except now he'd changed. Scott was actually so surprised that he almost collided with a bench. he had a good home. He was better off now. He had moved himself home and had begun to build a life for himself. I didn't mean to upset you." he said softly as they reached the door to her shop. Trying to be that person that other people said he should be. Page | 156 . no hint of makeup anywhere. leaving her watching him in concern standing on the doorstep of her shop. Lydon "You figured wrong. Had he stayed in England he would have ended up like Dickie or Darren. grown up. He was... himself a little bit of both places. That life seemed suddenly so very far away. He was suddenly riddled by doubts he thought he had managed to put behind him. and he had changed so much from that arrogant kid on an airplane writing a letter. He didn't turn around. "You need to buy a new coat. He scratched his damp head as he loped over to his gothic friend." she said sounding exceptionally motherly. "You okay?" Serena asked." Scott shook his head as he trudged through the rain letting it plaster his hair to his head.. and he was suddenly loath to give up one last piece of his identity. and a man who loved him.. "You can just run it back to me after work. "I'm fine. How come then he didn't feel okay? Was it just the same doubts that had set him on the plane in the first place finally finding him again? He had left school because it didn't interest him. he didn't feel much like it right then. It just marked him as a foreigner. He had left an American college student. Something unique built from those experiences.Return of the Sun Christopher P." he said. after all." He shook his head. He blinked at Travis standing in the door way of the church dressed in a smart black suit. "I'm sorry. he'd been bored with who he was." He looked down at his beloved varsity jacket that had been so much a part of his life in Brooklyn. And had he stayed in the States and finished university he would have only postponed life. been so happy when he had first put it on. and here he was in a country where its significance was meaningless. just enjoying the rain. he was in a stable job. She looked at him suspiciously and offered him the umbrella. He smiled to himself as he crossed the main shopping precinct with the intent of cutting across the churchyard. He'd earned his jacket. stuck in their roles. He'd given up little pieces of himself on the long journey to where he was. sticking his hands in his pockets as he walked back up the high street towards Ashley Gardens. take care.
. "I got the job. somehow Travis and Kerry would fit right into a festival such as that.. "They go all out each year. Now if only he could convince Darren and Serena to go." Travis said with a mad glint in his eye. being polite. easily one of the oldest buildings in the town." Scott grinned." Scott grinned back. that just sounded wrong. "and Kerry is glad for me. "That's great.." Travis replied. "Damp out there?" he asked. "Feels good though. which is great since we missed last year's." Travis grinned back at him." Travis nodded in reply. "A tad. Scott nodded as he glanced up at the old stones of the church." Travis the undertaker.Return of the Sun Christopher P.Kerry?" Scott asked. "We're going to Medieval Festival next week... "Where's it being held?" "Herstmonceaux Castle. What are you doing?" "Working. an idea beginning to form in his mind." "I'll think about it. grinning from the shelter of the church doorway." "How is. Page | 157 . you must be relieved.. you should come. Lydon Travis smiled at him." "I love it. "She's good." Scott replied with a smile.
that was Hanratti all right. Gran had been surprised to see him bustle in early. Lydon Chapter 23 Scott was waiting for Luke. Poor old Zulee really didn't stand a chance against the eccentrically determined physician. and Scott wondered if they were actually able to catch anyone speeding. It was bright and easily spotted." Gran said. "and that rascal Hanratti asks me if I was going to the fair." She walked to the fridge and pulled out some lettuce and tomato. It was drearily depressing in a way. he should be locked up for conning little old ladies. Uncle Nigel and Aunt Debbie had gone back to Nottingham the day before and he was sure she was feeling a little lonely so had talked his ear off as she prepared the customary sandwich for Luke's evening patrol. I said I hadn't thought about it. buttering the bread. Scott blew out a long sigh as he waited. But then he didn't really mind. "So when he gives them to me he says 'That'll be twenty pounds. He put it down. She was telling him about how Doctor Hanratti had tricked her into buying tickets for the Medieval Festival. "So he asked me if I'd like some tickets. there was something familiar about them." she said. "Would you be a dear and run it out to him when he stops by? I need to get started on your tea. "So I am in getting my blood pressure done. Scott actually found he liked the evenings on Meadow Road. "Well. please'. Page | 158 . He had managed to finally catch Zulee the other day by turning up for the weekly checkup a day early. resting on it and looking up at the dark grey sky. pulled on his coat and walked out to the front gate." She rolled her eyes. Zulee was always willing to make a deal time-fortime and somehow Scott always seemed to be the one to lose out in those deals. picking up the sandwich and walking to the door. it was extra money in the bank to help pay down the Rover. a Vuxhall Astra done in the garish yellow-and-blue-check patterns that were unmistakably English Police patterns. Luke should be by soon. there was no sign of the usual gaggle of children playing football on the green and even Mister Roberts had decided to avoid the rain by remaining indoors. It was almost as if the sun had decided that it was taking a well-earned vacation. a reward for finally getting the fax program working. leaving Britain to its typical rain-soaked weather. cutting the sandwich neatly." Scott nodded.Return of the Sun Christopher P. A police car pulled up across the road. soulful. he'd managed to wrangle another early night off of work." Scott chuckled. a person could spot a speed trap a mile away. Invariably he found a way to get exactly what he needed out of people.
trying to catch Luke's eyes." Luke glanced away back towards his patrol car. "So are you.. "Well. noting the look of uncertainty in Luke's eyes. there you go. "you look great.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Scott decided to play it safe and build to the questions he had to ask. holding up the sandwich. Scott. taking it from him." "It is curry." "No. Scott heard the lie." Luke replied hesitantly. "I'm fine. his eyes hard searching for anyone. tucking his cap on his head. "I like Tika. "Hi. it looked warm but strangely made Luke look like an oversized banana. wrapped in the fluorescent yellow safety coat that all traffic policemen wore." Scott said. "You're upset about the other night." Scott shot back. "I'm working traffic duty for the next little while." Scott greeted. Lydon Luke got out of the small police car. shaking his head. now he just felt stupid. He crossed the road carefully and walked up to Scott. then. "Hey. "Figures. and he felt his heart sink. can't stand it myself. it tastes too much like curry. "Everything okay?" Scott asked. He extended the plate still smiling." Page | 159 ." Scott smiled warmly. "I look like a lemon." Luke replied. "Congratulations. "I got promoted. Luke glanced about him." "Thanks." Luke reassured emptily." Scott said looking down at the sandwich lamely." Scott drew a long breath." Luke said with a half-grin." Luke replied. his voice still quiet. blinking at Scott. yellow's your colour." he said trying to change the subject." "Bugger off." Luke observed. Scott nodded. finding no one he relaxed a little. "Gran made you Chicken Tika today. "Oh. but Luke seemed focused on his sandwich.." "You're a terrible liar. always have to me. "Look if you want us to take a step back from this so that you can catch up.
. couldn't be ready.. It's like we're running when I haven't learned how to walk yet. It hit me that this was for real the other night." she said absently as she took his coat. Page | 160 . "Car four to dispatch I'm inbound." he murmured. it's all a bit much to take in all at once. Turn. swallowing back the rush of emotion. Luke rushing off to his life and he was left standing there. "Dispatch to any patrol car near Upper Dicker. I'm responding. He looked at Scott again and reached out to brush his hand. Ben had been right. Turn.Return of the Sun Christopher P. holding a half-eaten sandwich as it started to rain.." Luke shook his head abandoning his sandwich. Turn. Turn. suspect is a young male in his mid-twenties driving a blue Ford Escort C reg." he promised as he jogged back to the car." There was a harsh crackling sound of PC Allston's two-way radio as the conversation died and it sank to a buzzing." "Tango.. Against that background a string of staccato police jargon struck up. Scott watched him leave. still holding the soggy sandwich. giving out a harsh crackling sound. "Are you coming in?" Gran called from the doorway behind him. Turn." "Right. "Did Luke get a call?" Scott nodded towelling off his hair." A two-way radio burst into action. "Something about a stolen car. what direction. and looked down at the half-eaten sandwich. "You'll catch a cold standing there in the rain. Lydon Luke swallowed." He swallowed down his emotion as he wiped his eyes quickly before smiling as he turned back to her. and in a peal of sirens. "I just don't know Scott. she wouldn't understand and he didn't feel like explaining anything just then. "Car four. That was it then." "Roger. And that was it. Luke wasn't ready. He didn't want her to realize how upset he was. Turn and off. we have a stolen car that needs intercept. "We'll talk later. He walked back in and Gran handed him a towel. was gone. "You're soaked." "Heading south on the A22. Turn." He threw Scott an apologetic look as he clicked off the mic.
" he said again.." The way she was looking at him left him in no doubt she was trying to tell him something. He blinked at her a moment and opened his mouth to tell her. his mind wandering back to Luke. almost as if she knew what he was going to say. wondering what she was hinting at.Return of the Sun Christopher P. about a family and the secrets it harboured." "Right." Scott replied honestly. and stopping him before he did. greeted by a movie on the BBC. the husband is having an affair. "Well." Gran said. Your grandfather helped build their house. kept themselves to themselves. Scott wasn't sure if she was changing the subject on him or not. "It really didn't matter at the end of the day." "Oh. setting her knitting into her lap. it was none of my business what goes on in someone else's bedroom. She was giving him a look as she picked up her knitting again. "Well." she said with a maternal smile." Page | 161 . She nodded to the screen." she said pointedly. it didn't matter what they told anyone or what anyone thought about them. They didn't need one of those parades. didn't advertise it though everyone knew. looking at her. "Wonderful men." Gran said. The movie was pretty heavy. "He seemed a little off today. considering. right. "So how was Luke?" she asked. the wife can't stand him either." he said. and no one bothered them about it. The only happy couple is the son and that. and the daughter fights with her husband. "The point is. And as it progressed it unfolded that one of the children was having a gay affair with a servant. Once settled she turned on the television. "I never asked them. "I knew a gay couple once. continuing her train of thought.. trying to work out if she did in fact know or this was just a conversation arising from the movie. Lydon "Well you go sit down in the living room. at least they're in love." she said. "that they were in love." Scott said. glancing at her." "Right. looking up from her knitting and breaking the silence." "Huh?" Scott said. "But he's been promoted to traffic duty so he gets to ride around in a patrol car and hand out tickets. it'll help warm you up. Ironic. Apparently they met during the war. "The only normal relationship out of the bunch. she stayed there a moment as Scott chewed absently on his beans on toast. your tea's ready.
" Gran replied as she completed her row. "Things are a lot simpler in the States." "The name?" Scott asked doubtfully.. it's just we're more open about it.Return of the Sun Christopher P. took his time and got to know her instead of rushing headlong into a mess. now there's a marriage that will last for a long time." She smiled at him again. "Then you should learn to slow down.. "It's all about taking your time. "He thinks I go too fast... He did it right. "Oh yes. Unlike his first wife. he wrote us a letter the day before the wedding to tell us all about it. he thought that sort of thing only ever happened in films or bad literature. Lydon "You'd best stop speeding." He gaped at her. it's just she wanted the name." Scott scratched his head. Page | 162 . "No wonder it didn't work out. not in real life. "She was from Town Farm and looking to get out. then. and a week later he turned up with your mother. "It goes on over there as well. "Happens quite often around here. all too aware of the double entandre that existed in what he was saying. but your father got married to your mother after a week." Scott said slowly." Gran said cheerfully." "Wow." "Oh no. she felt if she had a respectable name like Walker it would help her..." "Oh yes." Scott nodded. "I never told you this." he said dryly. she wasn't really interested in getting married. looking at the film that suddenly held a lot more relevance to him." "Right. "Marie. especially not in modern England. "You always were in so much of a hurry." he reflected in surprise." Gran responded. "He might give you a ticket." Gran joked back to him." Scott said in surprise." "People actually do that?" Scott was incredulous." she said sagely. "Oh yes. She and your Uncle Nigel divorced after about a year and she moved to Rye. "I didn't know Uncle Nigel was married before.. all the family secrets were coming out now. "Take your Uncle Nigel and Aunt Debbie. just like your father. then." Gran said shaking her head sadly." Scott blinked." Gran responded. Some young women will do whatever they have to do to change their station.. "Really?" She nodded. "Walker.
Lydon "But back to my original point. she would continue to love him." Scott looked at her. It didn't matter what he did. Page | 163 .Return of the Sun Christopher P." Gran said. working her knitting. no doubt in his mind at that point that she knew exactly what she was saying. a person is still a person regardless of his choices. "Some things are just best left unsaid. And he loved her all the more for it.
Supposedly Serena was going with her mother. Jan and Gran behind him were talking loudly seeming to completely ignore the sprog. glad that Jan would be able to have a break instead of trying to handle the little one in a wheel chair in these crowds.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Scott's Rover was stuffed to the brim with Allston kids. Now here Scott was driving his extended family on his first outing. It reminded him of the family outings he had taken with his family before they emigrated. that the attendants took one look at the Range Rover and waved it into the forward parking lot. it was pretty obvious that she and Jan would be anxious to see the arts and craft stalls. and Darren was idly playing with the radio. if Scott was being dragged kicking and screaming to the castle. Gran already setting up Jan's wheelchair as Dickie and Joel helped her down into it. Page | 164 . "So what's the plan?" Scott asked. It was a warm day. His master plan was going along smoothly until Gran had called Jan to invite her along. "That's a good boy. It was a stark reminder that he had grown up." Gran smiled warmly. not that Scott was about to complain. There were advantages to driving a vehicle customary of upper classes. really. Jasper sitting on Dickie's lap on the folddown third row seat in the back was being loud. "I'll take sprog. which was a rarity due to her hatred of cars. and Scott suddenly had a very good lesson in exactly why he never wanted to have kids. Then again they were notorious for hedging their bets ever since the hurricanes they had promised would never come had torn apart most of southern England back in the late eighties. more a herd really. then so was he. scooping up the little one in his arms. Joel seemed to be the only quiet one out of the bunch as he listened to the headphones of his CD player. where as the boys were probably more interested in the jousts and re-enactments that were going on all day. and drag them all over the country to see the historical sites. adjusting his cap so that his hair spilled out the top and slipping his sunglasses on. Lydon Chapter 24 Darren had been given no say in the matter. Gran smiled and looked to Jan for direction. The Rover swung into the gravel parking lot and it was fortunate. and Scott had ensured that they would meet up at entrance to the festival and go in together." Dickie volunteered. His father would pack up his brood of children. He pulled to a stop and dug his visor cap out of the glove compartment as his passengers unloaded themselves from the back. Gran had made it very clear that she had wanted to go and had even asked Scott to drive her to it. despite the weatherman on the BBC predicting rain.
"We should buy swords. It's a festival. nudging Darren till he closed his mouth." Darren nodded. looking about him. There was also the din of a re-enactment in session as soldiers with pikes and swords clashed against one another to recreate a medieval siege.Return of the Sun Christopher P. cider." Darren muttered as he watched a couple of men unloading a wagon who were dressed as fourteenth-century peasants." Scott said." Scott gave him a look. moving about through the crowds. elegant and beautiful. There were jesters juggling balls and maidens dressed in traditional dresses made from wools and cottons. before you trip over that tongue. looking at a man dressed in animal furs and carrying a wicked looking warhammer. "I dunno. come on. I dare you to get dressed up. He stepped aside to allow a couple of men wearing swords to pass him. and Scott suppressed the urge to giggle at her long flowing dress and pointed hat. A few knights in chain-mail armour supped from tankards and boasted about their deeds on the field of battle. well I promised to meet a friend. "That's the point.. She looked like a storybook princess. Gran gave him a stern look that said he should rethink the idea of investigating the contents of those barrels that was probably forming in his head. "Isn't that a bit. Darren chuckled at them.." "If I do. Scott loved it." Scott said. "You both should. Darren just stood there moonstruck.. "Right." "Mmm. "Come on lug-nut. there was no question who Prince Charming would have married." Serena said. but nobody seemed to care that they were dressed like Vikings. as he nudged Scott. you have to as well. Cinderella had nothing on her at that moment. sweeping up." Darren said. The group moved off to the entrance producing their tickets and stepping back in time more than five hundred years. He realized that they weren't part of the festival.. "Alright. Darren grinned back at her in a way that said he would do it anyway. Lydon Scott nodded his head." Page | 165 .
" he said dryly." she said.. Page | 166 . "As a lady-in-waiting. She sniffed at him and motioned with her fan for him to turn around. "It'll do fine." she said in a haughty voice. *** Scott shot his cuffs feeling a little silly. "No idea. Darren was wearing leathers that were a bit too tight and showed his lean form and welldeveloped muscles.. The riding boots were a bit on the expensive side. Looking at himself in the mirror. he was over there.. as the three friends looked for an authentic costumers to dress the part. The merchant bowed his thanks and provided a bag for Scott to place his old clothing in until he could make a run out to the Rover. He stopped and walked over to where some beautiful waistcoats sat folded neatly on a table." he said looking about him." he said. There were a few things about authenticity he was willing to forgo. Now it was Serena's turn to gape. "It's a bit plain. he slipped it on and turned to present himself for another inspection. Scott rolled his eyes at her as he reached out to select a tunic from the rack." she remarked thoughtfully. and Scott broke out into a broad grin when he recognized Darren angling through the crowds towards them. "Right. then. In defiance to the costume he put his sunglasses back on. Picking up a black one with an embroidered Tudor rose on it. "Something cropped that shows off your bum. I don't want to be escorted by men who cannot dress themselves properly.. "You need a tunic or something. Serena inspected him as she tapped her chin with her fan. "What's wrong with it?" he asked. nodding as he followed behind Scott.Return of the Sun Christopher P. They both scanned the crowd for a moment. Lydon Darren shook himself and blinked at her. Serena hid her own pretty smile at the reaction she had caused. reaching into his regular pants pocket and paying for the costume. but he figured why not spend a little. "Where'd Darren go?" Serena shrugged. hemming and hawing a moment." she pointed to another merchant's stall. Scott had selected a simple white frock shirt and a pair of trousers that he was assured were authentic." He looked at her and narrowed his eyes. She smiled at him. although he had never seen anyone wear them in the films. he felt like he looked ok. "I'm not here to parade for you. Scott was not entirely comfortable with her looking at him like that so he turned back.
He felt like a kid going to a fancy-dress party. Serena was still staring at Darren's leather hose. "This is a medieval fair." "Heathens!" Scott cried loud enough to cause a few heads to turn to him. and reached out to take Scott's arm possessively as she glided through the crowd." "Good point. "Are you both going to stand there gaping at each other or shall we find a beer tent?" "You're driving." Darren grinned.. "Lemonade I think. "I'll stick to coffee.. Scott became aware of the nods they were getting from the other costumers.. gesturing off towards the castle. nothing in Scott's opinion could compare to an English blacksmith who took pride in his work." Darren reminded him with a grin. stopping to admire the intricate workmanship on the long sword." Scott quickly buckled it about his waist. She looked over at Darren and blushed. Scott looked down at it and over to Darren." Scott frowned as he unwrapped it.' She loved the attention. Scott shook his head at the pair of them. "Cuz.. In the entire world." Serena said. so what did they have back then to drink?" "Cider. lightly resting a hand on the hilt and grinning stupidly. It was an old-styled." he said with emotion in his voice. Page | 167 . as they walked through the throngs of people carrying their bags and looking for a refreshment tent. handmade weapon crafted with care in the traditional manner. and adjusted its scabbard to sit properly. eh? 'Made in England' still carries some weight. Her eyes locked with a new-found appreciation for English craftsmanship herself. Darren nodded. there is no coffee. He looked up at Darren gratefully. call it an early birthday present.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Scott replied. "I saw the booth and I figured what the hell. obliviously walking a few feet on her other side. "Right. It wasn't one of those made-in-China tinfoil things that would melt if left in the sun too long. Lydon He grinned at Scott and handed him a long package wrapped in tissue paper." Serena chuckled. "I don't think Gran would appreciate you getting pulled over. He looked up at her and inclined his head to Darren. and a few knights inclined their heads to Serena and referred to her as 'milady. he grinned at the crowd and blushed at his outburst. "Thank you.
Horatio. Scott sighed and crossed his arms waiting for him to get done. that's why we like you. not her escorting you." "Abuse. "Ow!" Scott winced. but he was laughing so hard that he nearly fell over. rubbing his arm where she had hit him. setting his jaw stubbornly." Scott grinned. I am not going to be your Ophelia." "I didn't say anything. you all look like something out of Hamlet. poor Yorrick. Gran smiled at him. returned to join Gran's table. "You're such a wimp." Darren cocked his head over at Scott. Lydon shaking her head. "It's okay. He held up a hand indicating to give him a second to recover." Scott glared at him." Scott intoned with a smile. "I didn't hit you that hard. Judging from the pile of shopping bags around them they had already been through the art and crafts section. "I take that back.." Serena patted his arm. "Murder! Help I am being assaulted." she said with a grin which got broader when she saw Darren and Serena returning with a plate of scones and a couple of ciders in plastic cups. you're just a delicate boy. thank you very much. He gestured again.. Dickie took one look at them and burst out laughing. Dickie walked into the tent with Jasper who was decked out in a belled jester's hat." They entered the refreshment tent to find Gran and Jan already enjoying a well-earned pot of tea. "I hate you." she said. he had to put the coffee mug down and shift it about to sit down.. "I knew him well. the Hamlet metaphor still alive and well. Scott was relieved to find there was indeed coffee available in this recreation of the past. discovering that modern plastic chairs were in no way compatible with fifteenth-century dresses. Chuckling to himself as the sword got tangled in the chair legs. "I thought you were supposed to be escorting the fine lady here." "Alas. and so armed. glancing over at Scott. "And no.. pushing down on the skirts in an effort to look dignified." she remarked. "I'd go mental if I had to dress like this every day." Serena fought with her billowing skirts in an effort to sit down." Scott called out. "Well don't you look a sight. Page | 168 .Return of the Sun Christopher P. Finally she hiked the skirts up a bit and plopped down on it. and she whacked him with her fan.
There was a buzz about the tournaments as the spectators cheered or booed the combatants that did battle for the glory of being the best. trying to get a better vantage of the square of battle." he said with a pleasant smile. Dickie looked over at Serena hopefully and she looked back. "I'm game for it. and he climbed onto an old stump to try to wave at them. just before the grand joust that was the highlight of the day's competitions." Jasper didn't look in a hurry to go. "Well. He saw that he had managed to get directly across from his friends when he caught sight of Serena's cone-shaped hat bobbing over the heads. he was probably eager for lunch anyway. recovering from his fit of laughter." She lifted the cup and held the pointed hat on as she tilted her head back to down the rest of her drink. "Just leave them with us and we'll take care of them." Dickie said. and the grand joust later. I'll come if you give me a chance to finish my cider. you kids go have fun. "Are you going to be here for awhile?" he asked Gran hopefully. clutching onto a tree branch to keep his balance. "they've got the lists going on in a few minutes. but realized it was a different time. the hilt of the sword catching on the edge of the table and he sat down again to get up more slowly. before Jan handed him one of the scones that he began to devour nosily. Serena and Darren. and Gran helped him up into a chair. But for now the Melee lists were about to take place. Scott had wandered a bit from the group.Return of the Sun Christopher P. there was definitely an art to costuming. He wondered what it must have been like to have watched the real thing all those years ago. He stopped though when he saw the three of them. Scott stood. if your lords and ladyship are interested?" He asked looking at Scott. The competitions were broken up into an archery competition to be held later in the afternoon. a different set of people with different values. "Okay. Gran looked down at the two bags of clothes and nodded to him. Lydon Jasper jingled as he cocked his head to look at them. The gaggle of friends left the tent looking for the Melee list tournaments. Page | 169 . Darren grinned at her obviously impressed and finished his as well. He stepped around the table. trilling with the din of metal crashing against metal to the roar of the crowds. It was close to recreating the real battles that were fought back then. the lists being brutal foot battles where armoured warriors hammered on each other with swords trying to score points.
And Scott wanted so desperately to help her but there was nothing he could do. "Piss off. Lydon Dickie was trying to get her attention. sidling up to Serena. Every instinct in Scott screamed for him to get over there. Darren was trying to give the two of them space. She was obviously attracted to Dickie. And he set out to catch up with Dickie's retreating form. and in frustration he tried to grab for her. there was no room for it. sneering as he pushed past him and stalked away. but when he finally entered their circle. He caught up with Dickie just as he crossed one of the re-enactment grounds in the lee of the castle. but it wasn't his place. He watched silently as Serena finally pulled away from Dickie. Dickie seemed apologetic at first." Dickie growled at him. Scott shrugged. Scott. It was no longer an age of chivalry. This was her choice to make. But her language was closed to him. He rounded and saw Scott. the history of it. but she was discovering that she was also attracted to Darren. oblivious to the fact that Serena didn't want that. but that faded as his own anger caught up to him and he began to yell in return. "What was that about?" Page | 170 . wondering when things had become so complex in life. Scott turned. But then. In the modern age where equality ruled supreme. touching her arm and pointing into the battle. trying to keep him close by her body language. With Darren she had a future. Darren needed time alone with Serena. trying to tell him that she wasn't interested in Dickie at that point. he reflected. putting himself between Dickie and Serena. which left him with the onerous task of dealing with the rejected Dickie. There was a heated exchange as Serena rubbed her arm and yelled at him over Darren's shoulder. each time he touched her she would look over at Darren. not sure what he should do. with Dickie she would be nothing more than his mistress. Defend her own honour.Return of the Sun Christopher P. dropping down from his stump he pushed his way through the crowds. the days of a knight-errant riding to the rescue of a damsel in distress were long gone. He was having difficulty getting back to them. He wondered if Serena was doing it consciously. Serena didn't seem to know what she wanted. Scott couldn't stand it any longer. trying to tell her about the fight. The magnificent backdrop of the castle that was now a Canadian university seemed suddenly a very odd setting for the moment as Scott fell into step beside him. all he could do was stand ready to help her when he could. Darren had his arm protectively around Serena as he led her away and Dickie was swearing after them. Darren stepped between them. instead a woman had to be her own champion. He shook his head.
" Scott said holding up his hands. were enough for Scott to know full well what they had just heard Dickie say. "Look if there's anything I can do. "Whatever it is you think you know. and it was directed to hurting him. he should deny it. her voice deathly quiet. you think you're the only one that knows a secret. "What. "In Kent that first morning.." "Look. Scott worked his jaw a few times. Say something to deny it." Dickie said.. Lydon Dickie turned. that's right. say anything.." "Listen to me you fucking. Scott? I know full well that you've been sleeping with Luke.. speak..." "I saw you." "Do?" Dickie rounded on him again. and he was left speechless. like he had realized what he had said in anger. "that's not what I... The anger and hatred that was thrown into that one statement was indescribable." he bit off the words wrestling for control.." Dickie stared at him with eyes filled with cold anger. nothing at all." Scott tried again. seated in her chair on the edge of the circle of people that surrounded them... Had Serena's rejection really shaken him that much? The indomitable Dickie Allston." "Is that a threat?" Dickie snarled. and he turned to his shocked mother struggling for words. it's wrong. and the sad look on Gran's.." Scott said cutting Dickie off cold. "Yeah. Gran held onto Jasper's hand as they walked towards the main jousting area.. "Do? You're too fucking busy doing my brother!" Scott's face fell in shock.Return of the Sun Christopher P. I'm sorry she's broken it off with you.... The look on Jan's face. "I know more about what's going on than you think. It was raw emotion. Whatever Serena told you is a load of. shaken by one girl? "Look. Dickie for his own part looked awful. there was no denying the pain that was held there.. Say something. "If you've come to give me grief as well you can forget it. He had nothing to say to that." Scott said backing up a step." "What?" Jan said.. Page | 171 . "No.
it just made the world seem claustrophobic. Now. confronting him about Scott Walker. the Vauxhall handling responsively as he swept through the Diplocks Way industrial park. Lydon Chapter 25 Luke was on patrol. Normally he would have a partner. But rather than meet her rage. driving around Hailsham at an ungodly hour of the morning he had no choice but to think. he didn't have time for them right then. That left him alone. He slowed the car a little and stared down the gap between two warehouses. It was a royal mess. She had ambushed him while he was tying his tie. trying to think of what to say. and now there he was operating a mobile unit. But his mother had been waiting for him when he had gotten up at five in the morning. knowing full well how rough it was. But his mind was fragmented. She made her accusations as he pulled on his boots. That had earned him the respect of his fellow officers. He was on duty. He needed one of those. He loved his work. relieved to find nothing and sweeping the car onwards. blocking his way out the back door. its driver holding the wheel tightly trying to focus on his job and not on the argument that had sent him storming from the house that morning. he needed to stay focused and not to think too much on what was to come. and then his puppy walking with Sergeant Taylor. and he rubbed his eyes trying to fight back the tears of frustration that threatened him. but Hailsham was a small town and the force was undermanned despite its best recruitment efforts. He swallowed. something that would turn this mess of conflicting emotions into a policeman. he had the morning shift requiring him to be up early to get a start on his patrol before he set up a speed trap at the Hempstead Lane intersection. a fellow officer riding along with him. and the morning was damp with a light ground fog that obscured very little. anger. The A22 was slick and Page | 172 . lowering his foot on the accelerator as the police car roared to life. He'd survived his cadet training. Sometime overnight it had rained. He had been asleep when his mother had come home the day before. which that morning he didn't particularly mind. fear. claiming it had been Dickie who had told her. doubt all assailed him at the same time.Return of the Sun Christopher P. he had simply walked around her and out of the house. She sat in her chair with a furious look on her face. the turbocharger under the hood turning it from a small family car into an effective tool of law enforcement. trying to find anything suspicious. He'd volunteered for the Town Farm beat. he'd only been doing it a year.
The tea was strong." He closed his eyes and trembled a little at that thought. Then he would be busy with the inevitable minor collision calls and road-rage incidents. but it was better than instant coffee that always tasted foul when left in a thermos. He picked up his thermos of tea and unscrewed the lid. there was no way he could blame Scott for this. Luke finished the cup and screwed it back together. her faith was something that had allowed her to survive life after her accident and go on to raise four boys. It wasn't as if Scott had made him gay. When he had to socialize. But what could he possibly say? "Yes Mum. He should have stopped it before it began. It had always been there. waving a wand and making him fall in love with him. leaving it on the passenger seat beside him. Pretty soon the road would be busy as commuters drove towards the M25 and work. I'm queer. pouring himself a cup as he sat and stared at the drizzle that was making an already grey day miserable. but it was habitual: if you saw a police car on the side of the road you slowed down. what was he doing? Was he really so selfish as to not consider how much it would hurt her? She was so set in her beliefs. they were always in such a hurry. But Scott hadn't taken no for an answer. He sipped the tea. He went to work... directing the radar gun up towards the London approach. It wasn't as if he expected to catch anything. He hated morning motorists. slowing on instinct when they saw the distinctive blue-and-yellow-checked Astra with its bank of blue lights sitting on top.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Lydon treacherous when he turned onto it. not realizing that everyone else was in exactly the same boat as they were. how could Luke stop someone who never seemed to take no for an answer? No. not having to deal with his own emotions. and he slowed down a little as he found the spot and pulled the car around to sit. The car rocketed through his speed trap doing nearly a hundred miles an hour. And in his selfishness. as much as Luke didn't want to admit it. Luke put his own thoughts behind him as he Page | 173 . his own wants and needs. but there were always a few reckless motorists. he kept quiet and stayed away from the crowd. watching a couple of cars shoot past. a small Peugeot that weaved dangerously as it sped onwards. It was just enough that the police showed a presence out on the roads at that time in the morning. he had spat on those beliefs. He had been so good at keeping people away. he came home. too long in the pot by its taste. Scrubbing a hand down his face he regretted the fact that he hadn't confronted his mother. They hadn't been speeding.
Luke tapped the wheel. he wouldn't get far. Page | 174 . They were now heading into the heart of Halisham and he made a frantic call to alert the other units as he kept up with the other car. amazingly its driver kept control as he took off down Western Road. Lydon turned on the lights and siren. Cursing himself for not seeing the move coming and knowing that an experienced police officer wouldn't have made that mistake. and the Peugeot ran right over the white painted circle." he squinted through the light fog. Luke clicked his radio and radioed in. lowering his foot on the accelerator as he heard the other morning units responding to the dispatch call." Luke replied. Luke desperately spun the wheel of his car to avoid hitting the wreckage. but a small Metro had just rounded the same corner and the collision had been spectacular. tires squealing as its hubcaps popped off. the police car easily closing the distance with the other car. in pursuit of a grey Peugeot 205 doing a hundred.Return of the Sun Christopher P. They were coming up on a roundabout intersection about halfway along the road. avoiding the other police car. The Peugoet shrieked as it collided with a bollard. the Astra jumping the curb and grinding into the metal railings of the rec's fence. bouncing in along the street. The Peugeot tried to jink again. this is car four." "Tango. but the reckless Peugeot driver was running out of places to go as they passed the library and the rec coming up on the Summerheath Road intersection. the Astra expertly handling the curve as it navigated the roundabout to keep up the pursuit. Luke followed it." "Car four. car was reported stolen last night. jumping the small hump and crashing back to the road as it kept going. The Peugeot suddenly cut left. At the rate the stolen car was travelling he was probably looking to lose his pursuer in Polegate. entering South Road. "Kilo Echo Alpha. There was another unit trying to head the car off at the George Street bridge. I am alerting other units to close on your position. to turn up Summerheath. Turn. "Dispatch. The other police car was not so lucky as it ran straight into the back of the Peugeot driving it further into the Metro. turn and off. Luke braked and turned after him. turn. but with the way the old railway bridge was set up. licence plate is Delta Six Five Tree. dispatch. his own car swinging wide to avoid the shattered bollard as the other unit swept up behind him. a village just south of Hailsham. starting the car and accelerating back onto the motorway. tearing the plastic casing clean off of its bolted mounts and sending it flying. And Luke knew the Eastbourne police would be waiting there for him. anyone coming up the road could see approaching traffic. proceed with caution.
some directing traffic around the incident as others took measurements. looking over to where Luke sat. alert all units to find PC Allston and bring him back to the station. "Bob. The aging police sergeant rubbed his beard as he walked around to where the other officer involved in the collision was being treated for a cut to his temple." Sergeant Taylor was saying to another constable. he was right there. discovering they couldn't handle the weight of responsibility. but that didn't change the fact that Taylor had one officer injured and another slipping into shock. Lydon *** "He's a bit shaken up. scanning the rec. moving his hand up to wipe his eyes. in cases such as this. head in his hands refusing to look at the crash. Luke Allston was a good officer.. he couldn't have gone far. Taylor had suspected something would happen. reckless driving on top of his auto theft charges. that was why Sam was supposed to watch the boy. Surveying the mess in front of him. Witnessing an accident like this one had a way of making a person question his abilities to do his job. this is Taylor we have a walker." He lifted his two-way and called in to dispatch. He was the lucky one. He glared at the constable who was supposed to be watching him who had turned his back on his charge as he helped the stretcher through. So many new officers left in their first year on the job. and in his current condition he wouldn't be going fast. cursing when he saw the empty police car. There were other officers coming on duty and reporting directly to the accident scene. And with Luke still in his first year.Return of the Sun Christopher P. their inability to do anything to stop something terrible from happening. and he swore himself. or.. he tried to figure out exactly what had gone wrong. The ambulance was just pulling up to rush the driver of the Peugeot to hospital. Sam?" PC Sam Reynolds looked surprised as he glanced back at the empty car. the poor woman in the Metro hadn't been as fortunate. though no one was at fault. and he turned back to look at Luke. Taylor swore loudly and gestured to the car. if they didn't get him back quickly they could lose him. "I don't know Sarge. It was a mess. "Where'd he go. door still open where Luke had been sitting. the driver would be charged with manslaughter. Page | 175 .." Taylor rubbed his head." Taylor rested his arms on the door of car four. "This is all I need.. but he didn't have the experience yet to deal with the shock of watching someone die in front of his eyes. Taylor sighed again rubbing his face against the drizzle. There would be an inquest for this.
. He'd been as miserable then as he was now. it had been a different world. driving yet another Page | 176 . or how he would get there. No. The rain fell more steadily. The look of anguish on his face enough to send her running. He'd left the hat sitting on the car's seat and his yellow jacket was hanging open. It didn't matter. Everything had been happier. He was locked into his own mind. And now. and he was walking again. Lydon *** It was raining now. looking up at him in surprise as he stared at her. The one who had stepped into his father's shoes when his mother needed him the most. He had no business being in a uniform. Dickie had probably taken malicious delight in telling her that. he worked hard. His mother had told him. That was long ago. when he had finally found something that made him happy once more. trying to deal with issues he should never have to deal with. There was a peal of thunder off in the distance. the one that always sowed misery wherever he went. He didn't know where he was going. the white knight that everyone relied on. That was his life though. that he wasn't responsible enough to protect other people. his mother had dressed him up and walked him to school like that when he was that age. except for him. running in rivulets down from his hair. A woman was ushering her kids to school.. her cold accusations when she had tried to demand an answer. She had warned him that he wasn't up to it.. He thought he had been a good policeman. His father hadn't left. he didn't notice. running down his neck as he walked through the alley that connected the Diplocks housing estate to the industrial park. He turned to follow her passage with his eyes. before he had joined. If he had been he would have stopped that car. he'd failed her just like he let everyone else down. he was the problem child. The pain of watching his father slowly slip into the drunken mess that had walked out on them when his mother's accident had left her wheelchair-bound had robbed him of his happiness. his mother could still walk. He had no direction. but then if he was a good officer why was a woman. he wasn't the paragon of virtue. He wasn't Dickie. She protectively put a hand on her eight-year-old's shoulder and pushed him onwards. He'd seen that in her eyes that morning. he just wasn't up to the job. fat steady droplets falling down upon him. He was nothing more than his uniform.Return of the Sun Christopher P.? He swallowed back the thought. he had nothing but his job.. it didn't matter. he let the water run down his face as he put one foot in front of the other. staring stock ahead of himself. he had no goal. the rain soon soaking him to the skin.
Admitting it to himself was harder than that first kiss. "What's wrong?" he asked almost in panic. on instinct he was walking to the one place where he wasn't judged. for good or for bad. Inside Luke's own private world he was wrestling with his own demons. He couldn't help it.. get back up and stumble onwards. He saw where his feet were taking him. The van driver called out the window for him to watch where he was going. He swallowed back the tears. Page | 177 . Luke realized he had always been gay. at first. but one look and his face changed and he had Luke in his arms. fishing out his keys and walking to the garden gate. that young man who didn't seem to care how much of an asshole Luke was to him. He couldn't even begin to grasp what that meant for him. But Scott had seen through it. He'd changed his life for Scott. His life was now no longer what it had been.. or rather subsisting on work. realizing he'd been crying for a while.. how or even why didn't matter to Luke. Lydon wedge between them. he'd always shoved the thoughts away. and wouldn't take no for an answer. a van's brakes squealing as it nearly ran him down. he was no longer able to just deny who he was. wearing the god-awful American jacket that was completely useless in the rain. there was no other explanation for his feelings. That stubborn man who wanted into the secret world Luke had created for himself. and still came back for more. who gave as good as he got. And he'd failed. It wasn't fair. The fact that someone had actually wanted to know him for him.. it was all different now. The driver. and the rain kept falling. just existing. again the admission rocked him. Scott was just coming out of his house. He. surprised when he didn't get a response. whether Luke wanted the change or not. He couldn't help thinking of Scott. but when was life ever fair? All Luke could do was try to be the best he could. The thunder rolled again. trying to hide behind his own fears and doubts. But he was failing Scott as well. She had an outlet there for the anger and resentment she should have thrown at her husband but couldn't. he was oblivious to the world around him as he crossed the street.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Insecurities about his worth. The same ones that now had him crossing the Holt and walking up Meadow Road. Luke loved him.. and a woman was now. As if the fact that he took after his father wasn't enough. Buried them down deep with all his other feelings.. to the one person who brought some level of happiness to his world. watched the stunned police officer trip on the curb. looked surprised to see Luke walking towards him.
Return of the Sun
Christopher P. Lydon
Luke's face screwed up as he buried his eyes into the nape of Scott's neck and began to bawl like a baby.
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Gran placed the piping-hot cup of tea down on the breakfast bar in front of Luke, giving the distraught young man a compassionate smile as she went to the airing cupboard to find him a towel. Scott was hovering protectively, his arms folded across his chest looking as if he wasn't quite sure what to do, which was pretty accurate for him at that moment. He was worried; Luke hadn't said a word, only cried on his shoulder in the rain until Gran had come out to usher them both inside. She was now trying to coax him into talking to her. "What's wrong, Luke?" she asked as she peeled the yellow jacket off of him. He let her, on automatic, in no real condition to resist, and Gran looked over at Scott in concern as she handed him a towel, "Get him dry, Scott dear, I'm going to make a phone call." Scott nodded as he accepted the towel and began to pat the water off of Luke's shirt. For a moment Luke just sat there mutely before turning to face Scott. Scott nodded and offered a weak smile as he began to towel off Luke's face, gentle strokes to wipe the tears and rain from his face. Staring into those eyes, and feeling forlorn and lost, tears of his own welling up inside him, as he fought them down. He needed to be strong for Luke at that moment, not an emotional wreck. "You look like a drowned rat," Scott said with a half smile as he traced Luke's chin with the towel. Before he knew it he was swept up into Luke's arms again, Luke burying his face into his chest and sobbing again. Helplessly, Scott let him hold on, running a hand through Luke's damp hair in an effort to comfort him. He needed to know what was going on if he was to help, but so far Luke hadn't said a word. Gran returned a moment later, looking at Luke clinging on to Scott and she met Scott's eyes. There was no accusation there, only support, and Scott felt once again how lucky he was to have such an amazing woman looking after him. "Luke, dear, I just called the police station. The Superintendent was relieved to find out you were all right. He is on his way over now..." She glanced at Scott, but Luke had made no move to acknowledge her, he simply held onto Scott for dear life. Gran blew out a sigh and poured a couple more cups of tea; looking down at Luke she pushed one over to Scott. It was the instant remedy for the world's ills; the British answer to every crisis, have a cup of tea, calm down and think. Scott reached for it over Luke's tight embrace and he managed to get it and take a drink.
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Luke released him after a minute or two, and Scott settled into the chair beside him, a hand on his back as if reluctant to let him go entirely. He was feeling fiercely protective, Luke needed him for a change and nothing was going to stand in the way of his being there for him. "Do you want to talk about it, dear?" Gran pressed, leaning down a little so that she could look into Luke's eyes. "Perhaps if you get it out you'll feel a bit better." He stared at her blankly, the fire in his eyes gone; there was nothing there at all that indicated life. It was like he was shutting down and retreating again. Gran flicked her gaze up to Scott, the only one who seemed to be able to reach Luke, and she made a small eye gesture indicating that he should try. Scott exhaled heavily as he slipped from his stool and ducked his head a bit to look into Luke's eyes, "Hey," he said nervously, "I need to know you're okay, I'm scared I'm going to lose you..." He realized his voice was trembling and he looked over at Gran who nodded at him encouragingly, "Please..." Luke lifted his heavy eyes and met Scott's, a flash of concern entering them as he tried to say something, but again nothing seemed to want to come out. And Scott wasn't sure what else he could do to reach him. He leaned in and kissed him, purely on instinct; it was his last chance. Luke's lips were cold and empty, like his soul at that moment, and Scott held the kiss for a second hoping for some kind of magic. As if loving someone could actually... "You're such a prat," Luke said, opening his mouth to speak around Scott's kiss. Scott felt a warm burst inside him as relief washed through his system; he took a ragged breath and leaned back, "And you're still an asshole." Luke's eyes warmed slightly, "Always you, isn't it; no matter how dark it gets you have to show up carrying a torch and shining it right where no one else..." Scott shrugged, "Someone has to." He brushed Luke's fringe with his fingers rearranging the damp hair so it looked a little more normal. He realized how intimate they were being and he looked over to where Gran was sipping her tea pretending there was nothing untoward going on in her kitchen. Luke lifted his arms to rest them around Scott's shoulders as he took a couple of heavy breaths. He still looked rattled, but with his eyes locked on Scott's drawing strength from the young man who had turned everything upside down with a few simple words...
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The Superintendent. sir. blinking at her." His eyes flicked up to Scott." "You're right." Luke swallowed and nodded... He took his cap off of his head. Constable." The Superintendent sighed again heavily. I'm sorry." Scott whispered." He sighed as he crossed his arms and settled back into his chair. "Tea. but you think on your feet and that makes you a good constable. you should have stayed on the scene. and there are going to be some adjustments we're all going to have to make. and back to Luke. Superintendent?" Gran offered innocently as she lifted the teapot. what you were trained to do. "I suppose you think what happened this morning was your fault. "I don't understand.. "What you need to get through that thick head of yours. he had to hold on just awhile longer." Page | 181 . The Superintendent... He wasn't ready yet to be without that loving presence. The doorbell ringing signalled the arrival of the Superintendent and Scott made to escape Luke's arms.Return of the Sun Christopher P. I should have." the Superintendent said. feeling extraordinarily self-conscious at that moment. She looked particularly interested in the bottom of her teacup at that moment. wiped his brow with a handkerchief and set both aside as he waited patiently. Lydon "I love you. "All things considered you're going to have a hard time of it the next little while till you find your footing again. "I. But I need you in that uniform doing what you do best. marched into the kitchen following Gran and balked in surprise at his missing policeman and the young man wrapped in his arms. Scott. glancing up to make sure Gran hadn't heard... resting a hand protectively on Luke's shoulder.. is that not only were you well trained. a tall severe-looking man. but given the circumstances you did what you had to do." Luke blinked a few times at him. sufficiently armed with a mug of Gran's finest sat down on the stool beside Luke and stared him evenly in the eyes." the Superintendent said sternly." Luke shuddered. but Luke refused to let him go. Sunshine.. "You gave us all quite the scare. glancing up at Scott who squeezed his shoulder reassuringly. wriggled out of Luke's grasp and stepped around to the back of the stool.. "I somehow think I'd better." "A seasoned officer would have known when to back off of a chase like that. "Sergeant Taylor had half the station out looking for you. "I.
I need you to give me a hand." she admonished. "Are you sure you didn't hit your head earlier? I'm saying that I'm not about to lose a man because he made a mistake. Page | 182 . Lydon The Superintendent rolled his eyes before squinting at Luke. under the circumstances. She smiled at him. and marched from the kitchen." the Superintendent nodded again. But he was nervous. tasting the word for the first time. "Once you've settled and found your head then you can go. Then I want you to talk to me before you make any decisions. "think other things might get in the way. bowing in thanks to her. He swallowed. seated finishing her latest pot of tea.. after Luke had finally been permitted by Gran to go home that Scott had found himself alone with Gran. quiet in the kitchen." *** It was later. Luke shakily got to his feet. "Luke's gone home?" she asked." He coughed as he stood back up and re-seated his cap on his head." he said. "Take the next few days off." Luke nodded. explain everything to her though she would never ask. Or because you. cold and hungry.. Scott nodded as he shifted on his feet. standing in the doorway." "Mister Walker. "I should go home. Mrs Walker. "Good. setting that in stone. "Mrs Walker. I'm not about to have one of my boys wandering around town in the rain. You're a police constable and you took an oath. slightly embarrassed by his sudden discomfort." "Not before you've gotten a warm meal into you." Luke sank back into his seat." Gran declared forcibly. who was getting rather disturbed at the fact that nodding at him seemed to be a good way of describing something everyone else was uncomfortable with saying.Return of the Sun Christopher P.." He nodded firmly." "Gran.. "Superintendent. now Scott dear. wanting to sit down and talk to her." he glanced up at Scott again. after the last few days." She glanced meaningfully at Scott. "Yes. not to somehow come out and say something. It just wasn't fair. and she looked up at him. clear your head and sort out what you want. "Gran. "I think. and to me that's all that matters.
that was until the word 'girlfriend' had sunk in. drawing her close to him.." she said reluctantly. "We were always worried about you when you were younger." she said after a moment of uncomfortable silence." It was later that evening and Darren had wanted to finish the day off right." He felt tears welling up into his eyes as he crossed to her and threw his arms around her neck." She shook her head. He suddenly felt very small. He swallowed trying to find some words. Scott was worried about Luke. hardly the type to go sneaking out of my house late at night with a smile on his face. about anyone. Scott was happy for him. "Do you think he'll be alright?" Scott asked.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Lydon She was giving him a look that said she understood what was going through his head. He was sitting beside her grinning the kind of grin reserved for Lewis Carol felines. "I've never felt this way before. "You were such a pretty boy. thinking about Luke. "We were afraid you were going to get picked on in school. Not exactly Scott's idea of romance. But you grew up into a strong boy and when you turned up on my doorstep I wondered what it meant." Serena said as she bounced a little closer to Darren on the bench seat of the Golden Martlet. "You're all grown up now. Page | 183 . his arm around her waist and looking altogether entirely too pleased with himself." *** "Married?" Scott looked incredulous. and all it had taken to get them together was the melee lists at a medieval festival. Scott crossed the kitchen to sit down at the table. "He's always been such a reclusive young man. "To Fleur?" "Yes. but whatever worked. Scotty." She smiled as Scott realized her window was right above the back door. "How so?" He swallowed. she'd seen. I think you gave your father more grey hairs than your sister did. But you worked hard and you are finally standing on your own. "apparently he said 'yes'.. and at first had been reluctant. Darren had pined after Serena for months. Nothing got past the old woman. despite Uncle Nigel's warning. "You love him very much. but there was nothing to say when someone officially declared your childhood was over. don't you?" Gran observed. dragging Scott along with his new girlfriend for a couple of pints to while away the evening.
scrunching up her face in disgust. "She wants to get married before the baby comes. "That was not what I was thinking. if ever two people deserved one another. he looked tired." Luke looked at Darren and shrugged. important you are. Fleur would have her claws into a man who would jump the back fence the first opportunity he got. Luke gaped at her a moment. and Serena rolled her eyes. turning to Scott." Scott said. There was a moment of shocked silence from the bar and Luke looked about at them. but he still spared him a smile." he said warmly.. "Well I guess that proves it." he remarked. "You survived. Lydon "Married?" Scott repeated. THE END Page | 184 . Scott was surprised to see him." Scott observed.Return of the Sun Christopher P." "Right." Darren smirked. and Scott felt the familiar three nudges under the table." Serena repeated exasperatedly." she said. Luke shrugged. He shook his head. "Hey. "Get used to it.. "Well. now there was a happy marriage in the making. "I'm sorry. "My mum's got to learn to live with it or I move out. and she didn't give him much choice.. Luke slid into the booth beside Scott. "And he said "yes'?" "That's what I said. "They're gonna snog." he said quietly. When I put it into those terms I think she realized how. I am never going to get used to the two of you." he said firmly.. leaning in to kiss Scott gently. sounding disappointed..." Serena said.
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