Return of the Sun

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

Chapter 1
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
Page | 3

she gave him a sympathetic smile as she glanced at all the sleeping people around him. "have you been abroad long?" She was being really sweet. but it was better than nothing. after his own promise had failed to deliver." Scott replied as he scribbled more words on the paper. no money. friends. "Yeah. so he wrote it down. "First time on a plane?" "Nope." "That's nice. He lived out the rest of his student loan and. 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. Reject her and he would likely be cut off. Well maybe he didn't phrase it quite so eloquently. He had a chance for a better life." he gave her his warmest smile. flashing her teeth at him in a way that made Scott mildly uncertain of her attention. But he blew it." she said in her rich English accent. finally going home.. It was nothing more than a summary of his life since he had moved out of his father's house and gone to university. his entire culture on an empty promise. He liked that. Scott had felt so proud then.' He had no plan. "going home actually. Was she hitting on him? If she was. so accomplished. The only thing he knew was that he had to get home.. always a good tactic in a situation like that. he had never wanted to leave in the first place.. he had done it he had succeeded where his dad had failed. It wasn't that Scott lacked the intelligence to do well in university. "I've been away from home for about eight years. He decided the safest thing to do was play oblivious. but he had discovered life was more interesting to him than learning about things he felt he already knew and didn't care about. The stewardess returned with more paper and Scott accepted it gratefully. After the ninth week of not bothering to show up to class. Scott drank the coffee in a couple of swallows and bent back to the paper. and was now on a plane back to the only real home he had ever had: England. Now. 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. Scott knew he was failing out. He was an unemployed: 'uneducated loser on a one-way ticket to nowhere seeks room and board as well as a statesanctioned food budget. she was after all his lifeline to the coffee pot. and promptly gave up entirely. That something had never appeared. uproot his life for the promise of something better.." Page | 4 .. Lydon me!' though to be honest that was what Scott wanted to say to him. It was an eight-year bitterness welling up inside him. he was in trouble.Return of the Sun Christopher P. He had been made to give up his family.. he had no idea what he was going to do once he got there.

The trick was how to convince her of that without seeming like he was rejecting her. lives." he replied. Now. He was shocked to discover that instead of Page | 5 . setting his pen down so that he could shake her hand." he lied effortlessly. wondering how she would react if he just came out and said he was gay. really without thinking about it. was simply looking for a way out of there as soon as possible. Connex South Central to be precise. She opened her mouth to continue. and bussing would just take too long. Scott had her telephone number in his pocket and an empty promise to call her. And he wandered his way down to the train station at that point and reintroduced himself to the wonder that is British Rail. 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. "Scott. but from there it was anyone's guess. especially when he didn't want to upset someone. Gatwick Airport is one of those places where the world connects to everywhere else. enough to get him to Eastbourne." She gave him a grin that showed all thirty-two of her perfectly polished white teeth. but not what he was looking for. as she offered Scott her hand. adamant on starting a conversation with him. continuing her conversation. and hadn't experienced the blessed gift of privatization. that was cruel. 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. It is an intersection of cultures. He threw the number away in it along with the letter he had written his dad. "So you're going home then?" she asked." she said. "Hi. It was instinct. I'm Stacey. He never liked to just shoot a person down. He didn't want to get drawn into a conversation with her. whatever that meant. "Yeah. families and commerce. He had cash in his pocket.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Lydon "Were you at school?" she asked. Scott was home. "What part of England?" "London. 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. Scott. He continued to smile patiently. Sure she was pretty. Give them just enough of what they wanted so that they would leave happy. By the time the plane finally landed sometime the next morning. and he really wasn't. however. that would imply incorrectly that he was interested. I was studying classics in Brooklyn.

Scott had asked her where she was going. but they were soon conversing like old friends. though he hadn't had a shower yet. her or him. Scott had apologized for his appearance. The reliability of the trains actually arriving on time was nonexistent. and as the train began to roll. She gave him an apologetic smile as she fought to stow it above her. Scott was going home. just a little worse for the wear after so many years. She gave him the once-over as they sat across from each other. It only made him self-conscious. Had Scott been straight he might have taken it as a sign from the Almighty to ask her out at that point. Scott told her of his travels abroad. and he had to keep remembering not to grin every time he blushed. and when he countered with Grovelands Elementary. they were soon engaged in a discussion. but he did. She of course asked him what school. They sat in quiet awe at the way life plays out sometimes. well that was left squarely in the hands of God. The trains were still made up of the ancient carriages that had been around since his father's childhood. he shouldn't have done it. It only encouraged more cute comments. Lydon making things better. The world was a shockingly small place. He sat in a first-class compartment. but Scott kept his Page | 6 . spent the extra money on train fare for the luxury of a door to his seating area. He needed the chance to relax. Scott helped her. it had made an already bad system even worse. and Serena apparently was on her way home from Canada. 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. His clothes were rumpled and he had on his high school varsity jacket that he had earned playing soccer. And he knew she had to be wondering why he hadn't. short dark-haired and dark-eyed with a goofy-looking grin that everyone thought was too cute. or a chance to change his clothes. Serena took it in her stride and countered that she wasn't too much better. Her first real trip away from home on her own. she naturally replied that she had gone there. Scott had travelled across the ocean twice. It marked him like a giant neon sign saying "American" but he really didn't care. Scott didn't remember which of them had started the conversation. Scott didn't feel like anything remarkable. Ever the gentleman. spent eight years in a country he had never wanted to go to in the first place. Scott had been shocked. He'd earned his jacket through blood. sweat and tears and he wasn't about to get rid of it because he was back in England. and when she had told him Halisham. and the hope that you would actually get to where you wanted to go. She had been visiting her aunt. and there he was sitting on a train with someone he had been to elementary school with.Return of the Sun Christopher P. replying that was where he was from. he felt like death reheated and he knew that he probably smelled like it too.

But Serena was having none of that. across from a large square patch of grass everyone called 'the green. Well that was it. "It's me. anxious breath as he rang the doorbell and set his bags down. Gran. He wasn't expected. her mother had driven out to meet her. Scott was being driven home. 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 . When the train reluctantly wheezed its way into Polegate Station and they both debarked. It turned out Serena's mother attended the same church as his gran and they knew each other well. the end of his journey. Scott took a deep. Why he hadn't done that he didn't know. before he finally managed. as she tried to place who the short dark-haired young man was on her doorstep. but those eyes were still very much the same. "Yes?" the old woman asked as she stared at him through thick bifocals. Scott felt jarred. It was about halfway down Meadow Road. he chided himself as he hefted his backpack to his shoulders and gathered up his suitcase. He was terrified. 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.' He was still thinking like an American.. And she looked so old. Scott nodded. he hadn't called ahead to let anyone know he was coming." She looked again. 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. Scott didn't argue. if he had been thinking. the lines on her face were so deep now. He worked his jaw a few times. and her hair that had once been a rich chestnut-brown was completely silver. there was the woman who had raised him from diapers. Scott hefted his bags to catch a bus for the last leg of his journey. it saved him the money of a bus fare and a hefty hike with his bags on his back. but the decision to leave university and come home had been a sudden one..Return of the Sun Christopher P. and Serena filled her in on Scott's situation and who he was. despite the emotions in his words. "Are you related to Rita Walker?" she asked in a matter-of-fact kind of tone. "Can I help you?" she asked in a voice that reminded Scott of when he was a little boy. been a mother to him his entire life until his father had transplanted him.." And that was that. harder. his heart beating in his chest as the door slowly cracked open.. "I'm her grandson.

Return of the Sun Christopher P.. Lydon "Scott?" her voice was faint. Home. and filled with emotion of her own.. Page | 8 . and Scott dropped his backpack to rush into her arms.

and feeling slightly the worse for wear. painted wallpaper and his bags laid out with care on a rickety-looking wooden chair in the corner. retreating up the bed as fast as he could. "I'm sorry. look I'm sorry we didn't have much time to talk yesterday. as he struggled for that last ounce of consciousness. he looked around him at the small room and the old woman who was looking as shocked as he was. setting the mug of tea down beside him on the bedside table." Gran said with a smile as she pulled open the curtains on the bright sunlight sweeping in from outside." she began.. "I have a shower in the bathroom.. already sorting out the dirty clothes from the clean ones and hanging the latter in the old-styled wardrobe. And as he blinked away the sleep. "Thanks. But real coffee was a luxury in a nation that prided itself on its instant-coffee consumption and its broad selection of teas." Scott worked at rubbing his eyes as he looked about him at the tiny room with all its fifties-style furniture. I set some towels out for you on the side.. He must have made it halfway up the wall before he realized where he was and what was happening. 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. How long had he been asleep? He could barely remember how he had gotten to the bedroom. Lydon Chapter 2 Scott leapt awake." Gran said as she picked up the suitcase and opened it. "I thought I should probably wake you up. and when you're done I should have some breakfast waiting for you. "Yeah." Page | 9 ." he said as he picked up the cup of tea.. "Wha-?" Scott asked. You must have been really tired. "Did you sleep well?" she asked. He was still fully clothed. Everything was real. I know you are probably more used to taking one than having a bath." "You were exhausted. wishing that it was a cup of coffee. He had been away from England for too long to acclimatize in a few minutes.Return of the Sun Christopher P. choosing not to mention the fact that when he had awoken he had tried to literally climb a wall. Scott took a deep breath and steadied his heart as he sat down cross-legged on the pillow. recoiling from the light touch. but subtly wrong from his perspective.

he had about a hundred pounds to his name. So he slipped into a pair of battered khaki Dockers and threw a cotton shirt over his Yankee's tee-shirt. about retaking a piece of his life. don't eat breakfast. When he emerged from the shower. He eventually figured it out after his Gran had shown him how to work it. Scott was home. Gran's house had been quiet since Granddad had passed away. The shower was a totally new experience." Scott knew better than to try to argue with her. And he realized that all he had eaten in the last few days was airline chicken. almost hesitantly. Lydon "I. The overwhelming instinct to go home had overpowered every other rational thought he had. "Nonsense. Page | 10 .. But that didn't change the fact that he was nearly broke. she had a way that simplified things.Return of the Sun Christopher P. let alone turned the shower into one. you just couldn't do that with Gran. and there were various other odd jobs he could do here and there to say thank you to her. had a pull-cord and was connected to the pipes by an intricate system of bendy hoses. He stared at it. It was needlessly complicated. Scott hadn't been able to give real thought to what he was going to do once he got there. and that wouldn't get him very far." 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. "I'll have sausage and eggs waiting for you. with its big dial threatening to electrocute him. that bacon smell that just made the mouth water. and she set the plate down in front of him. before he darted down into the kitchen in time to find his Gran piling a plate high with an assortment of greasy delights. Who put an electrical device in a shower anyway. It was an effective way of currying obedience." she sniffed as she continued to putter.. She gave him a knowing look as he sat down at the breakfast bar. never the most wholesome of eating. The gadget on the wall was plugged into an electrical socket. He usually skipped the most important meal of the day. 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. preferring a cup of coffee from the campus coffee shop to anything else. towelling off his hair." Scott admitted after a pause. and any decent North American plumber would make a mint with just a couple of strategically placed pipes and water pressure. and a voice that made you feel like an idiot if you tried to complicate them. more or less. it was about the journey. it had a large garden that was in need of some care. and while showering he could actually take a moment to think about where he was. the house was filled with the smells of a good old-fashioned English breakfast. "I suspected you were hungry so I made a little extra.

before moving with his Dad. They passed the same swing set he had played on when he was three. Lydon "I have to make a short run into town. It was like walking into something typically American and finding nothing he recognized. for the time being he was welcome home. methodically cleaning everything and setting it to dry in the rack. The stores had all changed. but a different past. or had new signs on them. It was a beautiful July day. "I wasn't expecting you and I need to buy some extra food for you. pre-prepared macaroni and cheese made with real cheddar and fresh-cut meats. Scott had been away too long. and having lived with Granddad for so many years she had never had to learn. with a cut knee needing her to kiss him better. Scott didn't say much as he walked. It gave Scott a chance to see the little town he had spent the first few years of his life growing up in. It was all so familiar. even the grocery stores were different. Places he had taken for granted when he was little now held such significance to him. It was a sign that once again. men were too fond of their cars anyway. To Scott. she thought. instead he chose to just listen to his Gran ramble on about Halisham and all the modernization it had gone through. Downtown was no different. Where was the Kraft Dinner? The hot dog wieners? The bologna? Instead there were real sausages. They walked past the soccer goal posts where he had scored his first goal. She had been happy when he had volunteered to walk with her into town. He was going to have to face some tough decisions. playing on the recreation ground when he was little. She had to know he wasn't really listening to her. It was like being suddenly thrust into the past. instead of learning. Gran refused to drive. sunshine beaming down upon them when they left to walk to the town centre.Return of the Sun Christopher P. and past the public library where his gran had taken him to read his first book. she didn't seem to mind it. and she had just eased it with understanding. Scott felt a pressure leave him. The concept of anything other than 'student food' was frightening to him. which was his chief worry right now." she said. Page | 11 . He had spent so much of his life there. and yet again. but for the moment Scott could just be the little seven-year-old who had sat at the same stool he now sat in. Back stateside he could never afford this stuff. So when he had passed away." There were no questions about how long he was going to stay. There would be plenty of time for him to get himself sorted out. She seemed to realize that he was suffering culture shock and just left him to sort it through on his own. It was healthier. she had just decided to walk. And he felt guilty for her footing the bill when she was a pensioner. a student loan only stretched so far. as if she just knew he needed to be there with her. but in between the familiar buildings were new ones. that was a man's job in her mind.

he was impressed that everything in the grocery store was so cheap. Just when you had a grasp on one subject she was on to a whole new one. Since she didn't recognize him. that was like 14 cents American. Scott stood there a moment in complete shock.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Mum!" Aunt Christine." "Hello." He was surprised to be shoulder-checked aside by the short woman as she tried to get to Gran. there was a deep-seated anger Page | 12 . and even he had to admit that it was a blessing. She had a voice that belonged on a school bus." "Scott?" Christine asked. as Gran tried to get a word in edgewise around Christine's complaints about the price of milk. still made him cringe. Wasn't that backwards? Wasn't the cost-of-living supposed to be higher in England? Scott had to admit." It was cruel. in moderation. he was beneath her notice. He had been fishing for something Gran had specifically requested in the freezer. "it's one of John's boys. Scott had forgotten how peaceful the last eight years had been not to have to deal with specific relatives. holding a bag of frozen peas and eyeing her warily. not even stopping to offer an apology to the stranger.. It wasn't a good look. It wouldn't have been so bad. Scott was sure his Gran must have done it to see Aunt Christine speechless. Lydon That was until he actually looked at the prices. when he heard an all-too-familiar shrill voice that even after all those years. but Aunt Christine was unaware of moderation when it came to expressing herself. "Is that one of your neighbours' sons?" Christine asked slowly. 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. Gran took her chance. When she finally paused." Gran said with an air of smug triumph. It had cost Scott a buck for the same loaf of bread back in the US.. turning back to regard him with a critical eye that said she remembered all too well who he was. It took a moment before Aunt Christine registered that the man she had pushed out of the way was still there. It was when he was in the freezer aisle of the food store that Scott first realized how much he had changed since leaving. 7p for a loaf of bread. "No. Scott stared at her a moment as Gran looked? past her at him. and still would drown out all the kids. "Guess who that is. 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".

When he had been younger his gran had raised him with his brother when his dad had been divorced the first time. and he hurried back with the bag tucked under his arm. "What's he doing here?" she asked. "Probably not that long. Scotty dear?" Scott stared at her a moment and nodded. and at that point he decided that he should consider moving there as soon as he could. returning a few aisles to where they had the bags of chips and selected a nice plain bag. what was he doing there? He couldn't exactly move forward with his life while he was staying in Halisham. despite Gran's attempts to treat everyone fairly and the same. "No. "Could you get me some chips. Though he slowed when he heard Christine talking to Gran. All the action happened in Eastbourne. "Need anything else?" Gran nodded her head. and we haven't had a chance to really talk about it. That meant the other grandchildren would always come second." Christine sniffed. It was tiny. Gran shook her head in bemusement. how long is he staying with you?" Gran seemed thoughtful." Gran replied as she rested on the shopping trolley. after all what could go wrong? Page | 13 . It shouldn't be too hard. it looked vaguely like the variety he used to buy in school. With a voice like hers there wasn't a possibility of whispering." Scott decided that it was probably an opportune time to walk up to the cart. an afterthought on the A-22 to London. "He arrived yesterday morning. "I hope these are the kind you like. "Well." he said as he held up the bag of chips. "I'll telephone him tonight and talk to him about it. To Gran." "Does his father know he's here?" "They had a falling out. the baby boy. but 'little' was the opportune term for it. however long he needs to take to get back on his feet." Gran said in reply." Scott said with an incline of his head as he dropped the peas into the shopping cart and looked over at his gran." She walked to the freezer cupboard and pulled out a bag of thick-cut French fries. Lydon there. The resentment was evident on her face. "I don't know Christine. It was a nice little town.Return of the Sun Christopher P." "I thought he was in university or something. Scott was more of a son than a grandson. And Scott felt sheepish as he went off to return the bag of "Crisps" as they were called there. Scott thought about Aunt Christine's words. chips. "Aunty Christine. no dear.

as a small shape dodged past him. but certainly not old enough to have an eight-year-old. He was essentially a stranger. Page | 14 . who gave him an unruly grin before he tried to dash off again. Christine sniffed her disdain. He turned and nodded to Scott's gran. "Alright then." "I'll do that. Compared to everyone else. just make sure your brother Joel comes by to mow my lawn Saturday morning. "I don't know why you put up with them." Dickie stated." she said in her most arrogant voice. "Alright sprog. his hair was cut differently." He flashed one of those smiles that sparkled." Scott grinned.. "Get back here!" a booming voice rang out." He was enjoying just looking at the angular features of the blond young man.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "I see young Master Jasper is being a handful. "Well I should." Gran gave him a smile." "When isn't he. returned to his own checkout line. "Mrs Walker." Dickie stated as he switched the fuming "sprog" from one arm to the other. He glanced about the grocery store at all the local people. no more running off.. The "sprog" was currently wriggling to escape the blond's arms. He was dressed differently. and offering a final nod to Scott. "Cheers. Scott actually balked at that. mate. and he accepted the pre-offered monster graciously. He looked down at the bespectacled face of an eight-year-old. he was probably a year or two older. Lydon He stuck his hands in his pockets and trailed along behind the trolley. and even his own family didn't recognize him. "I have a little sister. wondering if." "Dickie. he just felt out of place. in his rush to get home he had really thought all of it through.!" the lil'monster complained. you just saved me having to chase him all over the store. Scott on instinct caught him before he could take two steps.. tucking the kicking boy under his arm. It was going to be hard to try to find a niche for himself. and he felt different. and he adjusted his grip to hold on. The tall blond man walked along the line of checkouts looking grateful." Gran said with a smile. "Put me down mister. even the way he slouched along behind the cart was different. and Scott dodged back to allow the little monster who was now clinging to his pant leg to peer around him. loved doing the same thing to me..

" Scott furrowed his brow. Lydon "Christine." Gran intoned her warning. Noticing the look. and Jan was a friend of mine. Dickie tipped a salute back at him as he continued to unload. and he glanced across the store to the handsome guy unloading his cart.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Page | 15 . "that family has been through a lot recently. wondering what that exchange meant.

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. but it was binding. He had blushed a little at the attention and thanked her in return. but after hour two of standing there he had caved and accepted. 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. 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. all to get a stamp in his passport removed: Leave to enter for six months: Employment and recourse to public funds prohibited.Return of the Sun Christopher P. that thermos had to be getting pretty close to empty and he didn't want to drain it. 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. move forward about a foot every time some one ahead of him made it to the wicket. He looked at the massive line that snaked back upon itself. or that he had a British birth certificate. he was tempted. air-conditioning in public buildings wasn't considered a necessity and so no one had bothered to turn it on. As it was he had been waiting eight hours and had only just entered the actual room with the wickets. He hadn't thought that entering England on his American passport would make a difference. Page | 16 . It didn't matter that he had a national insurance number. or even that he could produce his elementary school report cards if he had to. But without a water fountain. It didn't sound like much. 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. It was hot. and he did the only thing he could do. So those throngs of humanity from across the globe sweltered in the heat of a British summer. It was insane. as she offered him a refill on the tea. The line at the home office in Croydon was immense. 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. There was easily a thousand people between him and the wicket. At first he had politely refused their hospitality. The woman. The little Chinese woman touched his arm and he turned to her with a warm smile. 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.

" Scott felt the heat rising into his cheeks as Li tittered at him. "From Brooklyn. He chose to blame Mrs. day after endless day. He hadn't noticed how pervasive the American way of speaking had been to him. it was the least he could do in return. This was apparently his third attempt to reach the wicket. and strangely for the first time he noticed that he actually spoke with the accent. "She say your most welcome. so Scott bit his lip and slid his passport through the crack under the bulletproof plexi-glass. and he had grown accustomed to it. "My wife Li Shang Hui. "Scott Walker. and thanks for the tea.Return of the Sun Christopher P. a Yank." he said." he stuck out his hand. "Great. "American?" the gentleman asked." he murmured. "Tell her thank you. Will grinned in open gratitude and accepted again. Rossini. the elderly gentleman reached into his bag and produced a second thermos. Lui nodded his head a few times before turning back to him." Lui turned to his wife and spoke at a rapid pace. pointing to the American passport sticking out of Scott's top pocket. after all their kindness to him. New York. His entire time in the States people had commented on him sounding British. Page | 17 . When he finally was beckoned forward. and he had come prepared." The line progressed slowly but steadily. blushing like a mad man he lifted the thermos. make good husband one day. "She say you are pretty. "Lu Kai Hui. but he had let the Huis go ahead of him. the over-worked civil servants struggling to keep up with the flood of humanity that washed up against their wickets. And Scott was next. the stress of their job had eroded them into apathy. supposedly too low for Scott to hear him. and started to rattle off something to her husband in Mandarin. Scott decided that trying to explain that he was actually English would take too long so he just nodded. However. he was faced by a very bored and exhausted clerk who rolled his eyes. He would have been at a wicket. but Scott had always had excellent hearing." he shook the hand with a grip like iron. Lydon Seeing his hesitation. She responded to him and Lui turned back again. calling the man on his comment wouldn't get him to help." The wizened old woman bobbed her head. 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. touched by the display of kindness to a complete stranger.

"Liverpool?" he asked in utter defeat." he said. Page | 18 . Scott collected his papers helplessly as he stumbled towards the door. putting on his most charming smile and trying to be polite. he pushed these through the slot." Scott's jaw dropped open and the smile was gone.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "They made you wait in that awful line like an immigrant?" She shook her head. if I need money I have to get that stamp changed. "But I don't have much choice. I was born and raised here. "Well. "You're a citizen. Gran. nothing. "Move along. Lydon "Hi there. the clerk's face held a momentary flash of delight." The clerk examined the documents carefully. Even though the clock was coming dangerously close to the end of the workday. can't collect unemployment. as Scott looked back at the impossibly long line he had made it through. "Well. I must serve the next person. half-heartedly pushing a sausage around the plate. And he looked at all the bitter and resentful faces of the people still waiting in line. he pushed them back through. and they might have to go through the process all over again. sir. "What about getting your English passport?" "Huh?" Scott looked up at his Gran in confusion. He just had to accept it and go to Liverpool." She said resolutely. there was nothing he could say to that. disappointed that there was none. You have as much right to be here as anyone else. "I was told I could get my passport re-stamped here." "Well we just have to find a way around it. "Well." The clerk dismissed him." Scott replied." "True. scrutinizing them as if looking for a mistake." The clerk flipped it open and squinted at the picture before squinting at Scott. 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. Trying to keep the smile on his face. you're in the wrong office. This office only deals with foreign nationals emigrating to England. Jealous of the fact that he had actually been served and they still had to wait. *** "Liverpool?" Gran sounded incredulous as she put the bangers and mash down in front of him. Mister Walker. you're a citizen so you need to go to Liverpool. I can't work. sir. I was there when you were born.

" "Yes." Scott laughed. Lydon She sat down at the table with her own dinner. "You look like an American." he said with a note of amusement in his voice. Page | 19 . now eat up before your dinner gets cold. He was prepared to go to Liverpool... but remembered that Doctor Hanratti just had a unique way of doing his trade. returning to stare through his scope into the deep recesses of Scott's ears." He got out a scope and jammed it into Scott's ear a little too roughly." he murmured. "I-" he was genuinely shocked. from the fact that he had no tonsils down to the mole on his. "I think I can see light.Return of the Sun Christopher P. He had been Scott's GP for years before Scott left. "My father was from Calcutta." *** A much-aged Doctor Hanratti stared through his glasses. "You still look like an East Indian. There was little Hanratti didn't know about Scott. "That's just plain mean!" he complained. Hanratti looked surprised for a second at the observation." Hanratti said. we'll get that sorted out for you in the morning.. Scott's jaw hung open. All you need is your birth certificate. you can do that at the post office in the high street. stand in another long line and probably find out he was really supposed to be in Glasgow. "but no one's ever noticed before. and when you bring someone into the world. "Let's see if all that American TV really does rot your brain. filled with thoughts of girls and fast cars no doubt. why don't you just apply for your British passport." Scott fired back.. mildly annoyed at the reaction he kept getting from the people who had known him before he left. He hadn't even considered that loophole. "Good then. "Well you need to prove that you are a British citizen. "It's just I came in here to get you to sign papers for me to get my passport. "What? I haven't even asked you to turn your head and cough yet. His gran gave a resolute nod. "Empty-headed just like your father was at your age." he said flatly as he circled the examination table Scott was perched on the edge of." He leaned back to jot exactly that down in the medical record. Scott blushed." Scott winced a little at the rough treatment. Hanratti leaned back. Hanratti snorted." Scott shifted in his chair and looked at his gran in surprise at how simple she made it sound. you have a tendency to act familiar around them.

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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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his cousin grinned at him." Scott replied. mate. "Right to the point huh?" Scott asked." Gran eyed her black-sheep grandson carefully. opening the door to said monstrosity. and to a large. "Where are we going. I know what boys are like at your age." Page | 23 . Gran gave him a knowing look. when Friday night had rolled around Scott had learned that his cousin Darren was to be putting in an appearance. and although his mother generally regarded him as a black sheep. mind." she said. "Whatcha doin' back here then?" he asked.Return of the Sun Christopher P. And Scott knew from experience that meant he was going to get into a whole heap of trouble. "and bring him back in one piece. Once they were walking to the curb. "Get yer coat. handing him a key." "I'll tell you over a beer. and patted Scott on the shoulder. he was a good person. Scott shrugged on his jacket and piled into the passenger seat. anyway?" "Hellingly. For Scott this was cheerful news." he greeted with a nod as Scott answered the door. 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." he said in a voice filled with innocence. "You take care of him. "All right then. "Go have fun dear. "you know how she is. she likes to know everythin'. "Nice quiet pub up there and you're not likely to get yer head kicked in looking like a Yank." Darren's face took on a look that reminded Scott of the blond-haired angel he had been when they had been children. "Mum's all in a tiz about it. battered. "I'll look after him Nanny. as he struggled with a broken seatbelt that wouldn't pull free." Darren said." she said with her hands on her hips as if she knew all too well what Darren was all about. 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. Darren had shown up at the door with his hands in the pockets of a well-worn motorcycling jacket. we're goin' for a pint." he said starting the car on his third turn of the key. red monstrosity that Scott hoped to God wasn't Darren's car. giving up on the seat belt and holding onto the dashboard as the car rolled forward. Aunt Christine's eldest boy was Scott's age. Lydon Chapter 4 The time waiting for the passport seemed to pass quickly.

his face well-known.. "It's all I got. Page | 24 ." "You saying I'm short?" he said. thankful to at last be back in a country that had a respectable drinking age of sixteen. and had at least thirty pounds on him. talk about a walking stereotype. He had chosen a particularly smart-looking navy-blue long-sleeved Henley tee shirt. Lydon "Great. Darren hopped out. I didn't mean to insult ya back there. He felt he looked fine. Darren grinned." He led the way into the pub where he was greeted with a round of hello's and friendly nods. Moments later he was back with two of Whitbread's finest lagers. "A pint Lewis!" Scott lifted the glass. He craned his head to make sure." he replied honestly. mate. And he tilted the glass back. He was amazed when. He liked what he was wearing. He lifted his glass." Darren chuckled at him as the car stalled. I'm getting used to it. He was a good four inches taller than Scott who was a modest 5'8". and in a near flawless impersonation of Inspector Morse said. "something to look forward to. then started again. "Well. wheezed." Darren stared at him with a concerned look in his eyes as he rested his elbows on the roof of his car. Darren sighed. Darren shrugged as he wrestled the car into second gear. the car actually made it into the parking lot of the low ramshackle building that was supposedly a pub." Scott shrugged. At least there he hadn't been given dismissive glances by tired old men cradling pints and trying to forget life for a while.. not the ludicrous twenty-one. Darren cheerfully waved Scott into a booth." Scott glanced down at himself and shrugged. and felt a little offended about it being referred to so derogatorily as 'American'. "Just want you to remember that some people don't like Yanks around these parts.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Darren was a regular. It was surprising considering Scott was actually a few months older than Darren. and a pair of new Levi jeans. feeling the smoothtasting lager slide down his throat and hit his system with a refreshing burst. have you looked in the mirror? You look like one of those guys from an American sitcom. and dressed like that. "You'd have to grow an inch or two to be short. after a few minutes. folding his arms resolutely. "Look mate. it protested loudly and Scott was sure the clutch was somewhere back on the road behind them. over top a clean white regular T. suddenly Scott really missed the pool hall 'The Broken Cue' that had been a second home to him." Scott murmured darkly. and given your size. "Look. you might get some trouble for it.

And that got me thinking about a lot of things. well it's a classic story.. It was my dad's dream you know." "Ain't it always?" Darren responded. "but then Mum thinks that about any lad our age. I got to university and I worked hard." Page | 25 .Return of the Sun Christopher P." Darren said in his usual forthright manner." Darren said pushing his hand down below the edge of the table. He shook his head as he came and sat down at the table again.. sprawling back into his seat.. "Anything left in there of that nippy little left-winger we loaned the States eight years ago?" Scott grinned. it was only a hundred pounds. too precious to be wasted you see. Thanks. except for a few locals and some kids their own age playing the fruit machines in the saloon bar." He laughed. "So you gonna tell me now?" Scott chuckled. "Bloody hell. "I'm still here. "you'd think you hadn't had one in years. just matters what I am. it took me three months to get her to believe me that Emma was already pregnant when I started to date her. looking shocked at how fast Scott downed the drink. the bar was nearly empty." he shrugged. or do I have to buy you another round?" Scott licked his lips as he glanced at the pump. "Don't go flashing that round here." Scott looked about in confusion." "Mum thinks you got some girl pregnant. "Shit. but. "Let me get this one." he said pulling out his wallet and thumbing through the bills. not mine. "Doesn't seem to matter to anyone who I am.. Lydon "Steady on. finishing his first pint and immediately swapping it for the second." Darren waved it off. "You have no idea. And I did. Darren shook his head. I needed that." Darren said. "it just wasn't my thing. lest you give someone some ideas. nodding politely to the bartender who heard his accent and scowled. He really didn't see the harm in thumbing through his wallet. So are you going to tell me why you're here so I can get Mum off my back. "You should have seen her when I brought Emma home.." Scott set the glass down on the table and breathed a relieved sigh.and then I just decided I wanted to come home. as if reluctant to give up his lager." he murmured. bud." He grinned and got up to buy the next round. just picked up some bad habits that's all.. looking back at the bar.. "Ok.. "Don't worry about it mate... my pleasure. you are a Yank aren't you?" He stared in wonder at his cousin. "I'm getting sick of this.

Lydon "Bet she loved you for that. my own car. if you could be that way in England.streetwise." "Yeah. Besides. His father had always forbidden Ron from taking him. seeming relaxed now that he was getting to know his cousin again.. right? So come. "Yeah. and so he disowned me." He squinted into his rapidly emptying glass to see if there was a hole at the bottom of it. He was more realistic than some of the other members of the family. Mum was like that when I didn't go to sixth form. I saw Grade A Loser. less idealistic and more. "He saw Doctor or Lawyer. "My own flat.." Scott winced. especially in the local demolition derby.." There was an excitement in his eyes." He smiled. "Oh." "Oh you do have a rebellious streak in you. Scott nodded. I got out of school... "But I got apprenticed at my dad's old garage and its been great ever since. "Some buddies took me to get my licence my first week in the residence.. but he wasn't a little boy anymore. Mum will go ape-shit. a love for speed. but I did it anyway. Actually its more like he's disappointed. I got free of her the moment I was sixteen. the roguish young man had grown up into someone who had a healthy respect for life. find one you like and I'll spot you till you get a job. He liked Darren.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Come see me and I'll hook you up for a couple of hundred." Darren looked like he had just discovered gold." He nodded to himself thoughtfully." Scott shrugged. Dad said no. "I don't have it. "I felt the same way when I left home.. you should stop by and take a look. so I decided to move into residence and he didn't like that." Darren huffed." Scott said with a wink. "You and Uncle John have a falling out?" Darren asked. "You will eventually. Scott grinned.. "That's good." Scott could appreciate that." "You drive yet?" Darren asked slyly. We're working on a banger for the Darlington track. "I can." Page | 26 . there wasn't." Scott said. but I can't afford one right now. "I'd like to.. I need to get a job and get set up... bud. I'd love that. Dad was getting too much. and no more nagging.. it was the one thing his Uncle Ron and his Cousin Darren shared. and you need a car. into the garage and I've been happy ever since.

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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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." Scott coughed." Serena pouted a smile on her pretty face. "I didn't want to give anyone the wrong idea that's all. "How come the cute ones are always gay." he said in a manner that said he really didn't care one way or the other. I thought that." "..Return of the Sun Christopher P. "But I'm gay. "Sorry. "I-" "No need to explain. who was asking him something. and he narrowed his eyes before he bent back to his shot. I'm not really the kind of guy who knows about. you in stockings and a bra is a nasty thought. and he was thrown for a second.." Scott confirmed. "You sure?" "Been out for a year now. Scott turned back to Dickie.." she began and swallowed it before she said too much. waving off his apology.." he said.. "I'm sorry. and Serena was looking at him blankly. Lydon Luke glanced up from the table and noticed Scott watching him.." Page | 30 ." he started to apologize. "Ok." Dickie replied. "I'm sorry?" Dickie shrugged.. It was the closest he had come to any kind of emotion the entire game. "You're right. I was wondering if you would like to join us. "So that's why you didn't. he hated it when he was caught off guard like that." She gave him a petulant look before she broke into a broad grin. looking shocked at the fact he had just blurted it out like that." Scott scratched his temple. He gritted his teeth.." He realized he was being set up on a date.. sinking the ball. women's clothing." Dickie gave him a disgusted look.. "You look like a short football player to me. Though I wouldn't recommend yelling it too loudly in a pub again. glad that it was finally out in the open... "help me pick out clothes. "Umm.. "I'm sorry." He lifted a hand to cheerfully wave at a couple of the regulars who were staring in shock in their general direction. You probably haven't had a chance to meet anyone yet. Dickie shrugged. "We're going into Eastbourne tomorrow night.. Serena just offered to bring you along.. Fleur had sat up in surprise.. "You could come shopping with us next weekend!" she looked delighted.. "I don't care.are you sure you're gay?" Serena said looking at him closely..." he looked at Serena.

Though the blow to his ego would have to be tended after he had received his first welfare check. apparently Fleur worked there during the day down on the home accessories floor. before she had swept off to check out the latest fashions at Debbenham's department store. an allotment of money that he would use to feed himself and ensure he could travel to and from interviews. heading headlong into the most tangled example of government red tape he had ever been exposed to. Lydon Chapter 5 The next two weeks seemed to drag by. those first days back home where Scott was still trying to find his footing. He was armed though. Or more aptly he had become her fag-bangle. It was after one such morning of being dragged unwillingly around the Arndale mall in Eastbourne. was something else entirely. 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. however. that he had blessedly been saved by his appointment with English bureaucracy. Scott was starting to relax. Rent. Only in England it wasn't called that. A status symbol signifying that she was cool. It was essentially exactly that. 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. 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. he was ready to actually start getting up on his own two feet again. apparently he would have to go and wait in another line to get that. 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. Welfare was seen by many as subsisting off of the backs of others. that gay fashion accessory all the popular girls wanted to have with them. Scott grinned and bore it well. who had developed rather quickly into a stereotypical fag-hag. As was typical of bureaucracy the world over. His grandmother had been overjoyed that he was making friends. Scott had ambled across the road. he enjoyed spending time with Serena. they had found a politically-correct term called 'Job Seekers Allowance' which supposedly was to make it a proactive social contract.Return of the Sun Christopher P. There was even a budget for him to buy a new suit. he had a shiny new British passport in his pocket as well as all his other papers.

a faint glimmer of recognition in his eyes as he did so. wondering who the young guy with the accent was who knew his name and actually used it.Return of the Sun Christopher P. A guy who Scott had shared his lunch with in the lunchroom. "Yeah?" he responded setting a leather-bound book across his lap. The same guy who Scott had goofed off with in class when they were both supposed to be paying attention. only grown taller. He looked at Travis for a moment. the thick black trenchcoat and the pale white face. underpaid. "Wow. Page | 32 . There was no mistaking Travis Woodard. the Goth get-up. Scott had been lucky enough to grab a chair as he waited for his number to be called. It reminded Scott of summary justice. Scott was surprised. and he sat fiddling with the sleeve of his jacket and staring listlessly at the floor as he did so. He was reduced to begging for a handout. and despite the fact that they were in a place shrouded in a stigma of gloomy depression. Travis took the hand. it was stupid but he didn't really have a choice. before they were swept off and another would step forward. "Travis?" He looked at Scott in puzzlement.. where in medieval times a King would sit on a throne as people came before him to beg for leniency on crimes.and make up? Scott started in shock. doing anything rather than just wasting away doing nothing at all. "Hi!" Scott said enthusiastically as he stuck out his hand. Scott filled Travis in on his life. It was amazing. Lydon overworked. or to beg for a scrap of food. "Scotty?" he inquired cautiously. they talked about the good old days. He couldn't exactly go on staying at his gran's house in Hailsham. apathetic caseworkers who were coldly uncaring to the plights of the people who came before them with outstretched hands. "Seat taken?" the heavyset young man asked as he flopped down beside Scott. that is you!" And just like that Scott was reacquainted with his best friend from school. again the world was proving it was really a small place. he simply hadn't changed. He didn't want to be there. Scott looked up past the leather pants. and what had happened to the scrawny little striker who had one day simply not shown up for class again. Scott needed to feel like he was moving forward with his life. the faint hint of his original hair colouring poking out from under the bad black dye job. his pride was taking the kind of world-class beating that came from going five rounds with Ali. and depending on the King's mood. a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down would decide their fate.. Travis in turn told Scott about the slightly podgy kid who had grown up into a full-fledged Goth.

Lydon Once Scott had completed his begging. She seemed mildly intrigued to meet the longhaired gothic man. he walked with Travis back to the train station." Page | 33 .. true." Scott looked at her blankly." Scott replied. He gave her one of his patented stupid grins before he darted over to the counter to order one. "Did I forget to mention how lovely your eyes are today?" Travis chuckled. a bird. Though one girl wanted me to sit a HRT. but charming me isn't going to work. He had just returned to the table with a cup of tea. No doubt making use of Fleur's store discount at Debenhams. real.. Real coffee. "That was a bloody good try Scott. fresh. Einstein. "Habitual Residency Test. stirring his coffee and savouring the first mouthful.. "Look. the teabag sitting in tepid water which for some strange reason he found appetizing. "Did you get it?" Serena asked as Scott sat down again." he pointed out of the window. but it was definitely real coffee. a little sugar." Serena gave him a scandalized look... "Name three English political parties." He grinned. Scott nodded. returning to the table holding the liquid gold that he had been craving for over two solid weeks.. "Yeah. with cream." "HRT?" Travis asked. 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. "Nice one!" Travis grinned slapping him on the shoulder." "Worked on the girl in the Job Center. rather painless once I showed them I was really English. "You chatted up the woman at the Job Centre?" Scott turned his head." "Alright. "Piece'o'cake.Return of the Sun Christopher P. She was sitting at her own table with what vaguely resembled a cup of coffee in her hands. not instant. In fact when Scott looked at it closely it was a real cup." Serena said. "Impressed her so much she just filled all the answers in for me. Serena had been overjoyed to meet Travis again. 'overjoyed' may have been an optimistic overstatement on Scott's part. and Serena blushed before shaking her head to refocus. not meeting her gaze. "That never works for me. She was surrounded by shopping bags suspiciously filled with clothes." Scott replied candidly. "I answer a bunch of questions about England in an effort to prove I live here.

It reminded Scott of a university dorm.." Serena dropped them off close to Travis's flat in the Town Farm area of Hailsham. In fact he had been warned several times to stay out of Town Farm. "Well I was hoping to avoid taking the full page ad out in the Daily Telegraph. Page | 34 . "it's not like I'm trying to hide anything. as a way to provide housing to the younger generation. The flats were small bachelors with a kitchen and a bathroom and little else. Travis choked on his tea.." he said looking at Scott suspiciously... and to Scott's middle-class English family. or gay. so he resolutely ignored those warnings. he really didn't care.. It was watched over by a retired nun. Plus he never could wrap his mind around social discrimination. a squat three-story building with a decided nineteen-eighties feel to the architecture. More like shoeboxes than dwellings. was sitting in the middle of various different track housing. It was a place where the lowest classes lived in homes.. Scott had cleared a space for himself from the crumpled magazines and books. thanks for that. He wasn't crazy. or block of flats as Travis kept referring to it.." Scott replied shrugging his shoulders. ran St. as Scott sipped a cup of cheap tea that tasted more like hot water than anything else. he was just searching for something he simply hadn't found yet. Travis was one of those people who perpetually spent his time at other people's houses. Town Farm was an idyllic suburb compared to that.. Apparently she considered it more like a dormitory rather than an apartment building." Serena said covering her mouth. The local diocese of the Anglican Church. And Travis's was remarkably spartan having only a large double bed and a pile of clothes in his. "so maybe you're not as gay as you thought. Georges. or apartments." "I'm so sorry. just watch yourself around my family. Lydon "Great." He gave her a meaningful look. Scott had spent the last eight years in Brooklyn. I'm helping you to take advantage of vulnerable women." she caught herself a moment too late as she flushed red at the fact she had just let slip. Jewish. to him it was just as bad as discrimination against someone who was black." Serena finally grinned at him.Return of the Sun Christopher P. and had his back to the gaudy canary-yellow wall as he looked over at his old friend.. 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.. "Meh.." Scott murmured darkly. still in shock over how careless she had been. Scott could tell it wasn't really lived in. not you. But for the moment. "I'd rather my gran not find out from someone else. "but I see the town crier got to it first. a place that was beneath contempt. "No.. The housing estate was considered one of the unsavoury neighbourhoods of the small town. The apartment building.

it was all he had been looking for at the time. he was the same age as Scott. So. Scott realized he would have to head home soon. who was he to judge Travis? Scott hadn't really been in a relationship before." Travis admitted. and made arrangements to get together and spend a good evening down the pub. and he knew that Gran would be waiting with his dinner in the oven. the blue sky deepening towards twilight. wondering what on earth possessed Travis to date a woman that old. "She your girlfriend?" "Her real name is Kerry. he wasn't fully prepared to learn that Kerry was in her early forties. He gave himself about twenty minutes and he would be home. or what should have passed for prime time. and Brian was nothing more than a few clumsy casual encounters that resulted in a prolonged one-night stand. Not that he minded. she had to be a unique woman that was for sure. It wouldn't take him that long. married with two children. Not to mention the fact that she was a married woman. and the various houses around him were lit up with the flickering televisions watching their prime time. It was getting dark. a warm breeze in the air. And as afternoon wore on to become evening and darkness began to set in. Scott was stunned into silence. but then he was still slightly jet-lagged and adjusting to English time would take him awhile. Scott was one of those people who asked questions that invariably forced him to learn too much information. No real time for it. He said a warm goodbye to Travis." Scott smiled at this. 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. Page | 35 . well.Return of the Sun Christopher P. programs." "Mia?" Scott asked. in asking Travis what his girlfriend was like. and an affair with a woman that old. "I spend most of my time with Mia. literally half her age. Without much fanfare. tasting the unfamiliar name as he said it. "Nothing really. Meadow Road was a good hike away from Town Farm." Travis replied. sitting there. It wasn't particularly late. Scott set out into Town Farm heading for home. as he shifted on the end of his unmade bed. nineteen. Scott decided not to say anything. a short walk till he found George Street and from there out onto South Road. what's she like?" Bad question. in fact it was still relatively early to Scott. And that she and Travis had been having an affair ever since they had met at a pub two years before. "Great. "We've been seeing each other for a while now. But to actually be in an affair.

turning to keep walking. years of running on a pitch kept him in reasonably good shape. "You a fucking Yank?" Scott braced his shoulders. He wasn't a little girl." the guy put two fingers to his lips and tapped them a couple of times.. 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. But he couldn't keep the pace up for long. If there was a typical type he had been warned about. one wrong turn and he would be in a dead end street. one was even wearing a Liverpool jersey. unlike two guys who spent the majority of their time on a couch with a six-pack. "Oi Mate. The three apartment buildings closed the street off neatly. "Hey. and from Page | 36 . they were almost up with him. Lydon It was quiet though. he didn't know where he was running to. He almost collapsed in relief. He was just letting all those worried comments about Town Farm get to him. the two louts crashing and cursing through the bushes behind him. obviously directed to him. And the way they nudged each other and nodded to him. it was the ones that dressed like soccer hooligans.. slow down.. "No. Short of booking it up the middle of the road screaming like a little girl. He was screwed." one called out." he said apologetically. feeling for sure he was in trouble. Scott knew this wasn't going to be a friendly encounter. and as he turned the two hooligans jogged around the corner to block his only way out. the tone of his voice. and he rounded a corner to pull up short. 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.. He turned and took off like a jackrabbit. lit everything around him in a surreal orange glow. The footsteps behind him made him tense up a bit as he glanced behind him at the pair of young men walking behind him.you know. "got a fag?" He tensed. and Scott knew immediately he was in trouble again. bounding off of the curb and sprinting up the street for all he was worth. the orange streetlights that were the same the world over. a dead end. "What?" "Got a fag." the other one called out. I don't smoke. he was fresh out of ideas. the two larger louts in hot pursuit..Return of the Sun Christopher P. he'd just make it up past the market and he'd be fine. Shaven heads. He turned. He kept long strides. A cigarette. and he shivered involuntarily as he thrust his hands deeper into his pockets and began to hurry. that's what they wanted..

" "Could have been beaten within an inch of your life. a uniformed man blew his whistle again. Lydon the looks on their faces. that's all. you're asking for trouble like that. He backed up slowly into the middle of the street." "A walk home I take it." the one in the jersey reassured. I. He rubbed his brow as if to relieve some of the tension there and he picked up his mic. Scott breathed his second sigh of relief for the evening. "This isn't your country. who appeared to shrink away from the police officer." Scott shrugged. "Just going home.Return of the Sun Christopher P. I don't have any money on me." "Are you dense?" Luke accused. I was just trying to go home." he knew he was trying to reason with two people who weren't about to listen to him. I'm from Hailsham. "You can't walk around Town Farm alone at night. still looking menacingly towards them until the rounded the corner out of sight. I live here.. but he had to try." "Look.. "I'm not an American... As he turned back to Scott." "You sound like a Yank." he said holding up his hands and continuing to back up. constable. stepping forward so that the light lit up his face. it was either that or let them kick his head in." Luke replied. "It's no big deal. he was not going to escape this one by talking." The officer stood aside to let them past... "Nothing. there had to be someone about in the housing estate. constable. The shrill whistle stopped them short in the dim light at the opening of the street. only the gleaming emblem on his bobby's helmet shone in the orange light. "What the bloody hell do you think you're playing at?" Luke asked.. "Alright then.. the rest of him was dark. "Just out for a walk." The one in the jersey stated balling his hands into fists. "I was just heading home. "Guys. looking about vainly for anyone to see him. Robert?" His head turned to the other lout. obviously angry. "Dispatch this is PC Allston. how about you. I went to Grove. Sam. he removed his helmet and tucked it under his arm.. you look like a Yank. what's going on here?" The two louts glared at him and turned to face the police officer. It was still early. It was a futile gesture.. I have a bloody prat here who thought it was a good idea to take his evening Page | 37 ... He had his hands on his hips and looked dangerously threatening.

I'm going to see that he gets home with his head still attached." And he clicked the mic off." "Roger. lead the way." Page | 38 ." Luke half-smiled. over. Constable. it was the closest Scott had seen him smile yet. setting his helmet back onto his head he looked at Scott. Lydon constitutional through Town Farm. "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. Luke. "Roger that. "Yeah I'm coming.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "tell the idiot he owes you a drink when you get off duty." the radio crackled back at him. Over.

Return of the Sun

Christopher P. Lydon

Chapter 6
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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Return of the Sun

Christopher P. Lydon

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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Return of the Sun

Christopher P. Lydon

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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it was just dull." Luke bowed his head." "Well. "Well. you look very smart. It was entirely too witty for its own good. loved every minute of it. but to his dismay he was solidly reminded of the abysmal state of English Television." Gran replied returning his nod." "Scott!" Gran's voice climbed a strangled octave. "as for you." she said putting her hands on her hips and turning to Scott." Luke took a step back to go. I will deal with this rapscallion. putting the helmet back on. however. chuckling along and pointing out. who was still mightily amused by the fact he had been brought home by a police officer. I felt I should walk him home. "I'm on duty tonight and need to get back to my beat. And it was far too late to change his mind and stay in Brooklyn.Return of the Sun Christopher P. offered her a chip." Scott replied barely containing his amusement at the bizarre situation. Gran gave him a proud smile." Luke replied rolling his shoulders back a little as he puffed himself up. trying to explain the plot to him. make sure he got back and all. So finally. a rickety Victorian antique that had seen better days in its previous occupation as a medieval torture device. *** He had finally explained everything to Gran. relying on innuendo and sarcasm.. "Are you sure you don't want to come in for a cup of tea?" "No Ma'am. Scott decided that was the way to end his night. "Found him wandering around Town Farm by himself. Page | 42 . "Yes ma'am.. still smiling. He nodded. 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. Gran. a confused look on his face wondering for the umpteenth time if emigrating home had really been worth sacrificing his prime time television. being a boy raised on American TV. that had a passable sense of humour and tried not to take itself too seriously. England had four terrestrial channels." she gave Scott a teasing smile. "I'm fine. it was a step in the right direction. "Thank you Luke. Lydon "Scott?" she asked looking at the smiling young man beside the police officer. who. each progressively more dull than the one before it. Except channel four. And he was perched on the edge of his grandmother's couch. She was ecstatic that he had sorted out the Job Seekers as well. watching some nonsensical show that was supposedly a sitcom.

and an over-enthusiastic girl. Dickie shook his head. padding along behind him. Walker. Page | 43 ." Dickie said hopping into the car and banging a hand on the roof through the open window. Scott looked confused for a moment before he reached for his jacket. grumbled trying to find a seated position. but you know how to play the American version. you won't need it. "Evening old chap. Lydon The doorbell ringing caused both of them too look at each other. time's a-wasting. Mrs." "Yeah. if you don't mind sparing him. The little Austin Metro zipped up towards the Holt end of Meadow Road." Dickie pressed. in slippers and a night gown. Scott didn't recognize it. Serena gave him a big grin as she hit the gas to drive off. Scott shrugged." He nodded to her. Come on. right?" he asked still smiling." Gran chuckled as she turned to head back to her programs. his gran's brow furrowing as Scott reluctantly got to his feet to answer it. "Leave that.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "I was wondering if I could borrow Scott here for about an hour or so. but he thought it said Brick Layers on the sign. "There's another version?" Scott asked cautiously. The car squealed to a stop as it pulled into a pub parking lot. Dickie cast his head back and looked towards the sky. British pub signs were always difficult to read when you were being dragged as fast as possible through the doors by an excited Englishman. "You know how to play pool. Scott. his gran. "Thank you!" he said thanking whatever deity had delivered him exactly what he needed. "What the hell?" Dickie turned back to him. We had a pool hall a few doors down from our apartment building. finally buckling himself in. Dickie beamed at him from the doorstep." He rushed Scott through pulling on his shoes and all but pushed him out to Serena's waiting car. those ever-penetrating eyes gleaming excitedly." "You boys. who was being tossed around the back seat. it was getting later in the evening and he really had no idea where he was being abducted to..... "I know how to play. "You'll see. "What's going on?" he murmured tiredly in confusion. I practiced quite a bit.

though. much to Miami's dismay. Serena looking excited and Darren just looking amazed. 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. Scott grinned. He shrugged at them and sank another ball. "Yeah. he knew it. sinking three balls consecutively. Miami. Dickie smiling like a proud father. The way he and his buddies were laughing. and he would start to look like a prick so he deliberately missed the next shot. Page | 44 . "Your break. "Hell!" he cursed. but it wasn't enough. he had been so thrown by the sudden display of talent. making sure he looked like he really tried for it. "Kick 'is arse!" Scott walked around the table keeping his eye on Miami. "Hey Brooklyn. as Scott leaned back to sweep the table clean. Brooklyn. "Crap." The guy grinned." Scott protested as he had a cue stuffed into his hands by an angry-looking Darren.Return of the Sun Christopher P." He pushed Scott towards the table. stepping back. "Hi." He pointed. you're still going down. Too much. whatever. The Brits in the pub went nuts." Dickie replied. Miami was up again. clucking in amazement and missing his next shot. "He's playing next. There were advantages to having nothing better to do with himself. "Show 'em. "You're one of us and you're the only one who knows how to play by their rules." Scott murmured looking up at the large guy. "That's how we do it in Brooklyn. and Orlando's shocked cries. He stepped back as the eight-ball teetered on the edge and finally fell home with a satisfying thud and roll." introducing the other two. When it was his turn he called the shots cleanly." Dickie stated. striding up and laying money on the edge of the table. there was no doubt they were Americans. "I'm not that good. Scott glanced over at his friends." came the cries. The one in the cap sneered. making a minor comeback as he cleared a few balls." He sank the eight ball effortlessly. He made it look easy." 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. "For Queen and Country!" he declared." The guy pushed his hat higher on his head. "Doesn't matter. "Orlando and Cleveland.

"It's going but." "Almost didn't. "Well anyway. "Bloody oiks can't leave well enough alone. How's the job hunt coming Scott?" Scott shrugged.. good for him. there's nothing to fuss over." he nodded. "Well." "PC Allston?" Dickie said. "This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship old chap.. setting the cue back into its rack.." He nodded as he confirmed that Scott still had everything attached. "Good thing too." "How'd you do that?" Darren asked him." Darren winced." "Not much call for an Anal Crusader." Serena suddenly became apologetic. "This round is on the house.. you keep showing townie pride like that and you'll be 'In Like Flynn. he can play." the bartender explained." Scott wasn't sure what an oik was." Scott responded. my brother now.." He shook his head. glad you made it. "He's right. whatever it was it sounded derogatory. Lydon Dickie was clapping him on the back in congratulations. "When I dropped you off. that was great. Scott looked at him totally unimpressed..." Dickie looked over his glass.." He toddled back to polishing glasses.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "You were in Town Farm alone? You're a real nutter Scott. looking back at the table.. "He's ok." Page | 45 ." "I didn't think." Darren replied looking back over his shoulder at the now much quieter Americans in the corner. obviously surprised.. he can do these trick shots... "They've been at it all night. "Well your brother Luke had to come to the rescue. bragging about their "skills".. "'Bout time some one beat them.. eh?" Darren chived.. let's enjoy the round before last call. playfully nudging him. "I had to be rescued in Town Farm. "I'm really not that good at it.." Scott replied. I just haven't had much luck." Scott said with a sigh. remind me to kick your ass later." Dickie cupped a hand on his shoulder and guided him over to the bar. I'm so sorry...'" He held up two fingers and the bartender set down a couple of tall glasses. waving off his attempts to pay. "Yeah... "Lots and lots and lots of practice. "That. "Pool is about all there is to do when you're under twenty-one in the States and Friday night rolls around.

so he allowed himself to be dragged around. then he would need a decent suit." She stated firmly. but it was a little too much fuss. He rolled his eyes back. "we'll have that. an over sized ken doll to be dressed and undressed on a whim. had found a nice grey suit for a wedding in this very store and he had made an impression with it. he could have bought a nice blazer. Gran brushed the lapels down and stood back. Page | 46 . Gran had been making steady additions to his wardrobe over the last few weeks. staring back at him was a man in a business suit. but wasn't educated to do anything specific. He swam in it. "Ow!" he exclaimed as he was poked with a pushpin into a nether region. you see. 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. the real world. Scott huffed. He felt for certain it was her way of ensuring a young man of his class looked respectable.Return of the Sun Christopher P. so grey would make him stand out. Nothing fashionable. it was an awful lot of work for just one suit. And he realized how totally unready he was for it. it was really a nice gesture. "Very nice. but all of it smart. yes that will do nicely.. His uncle. It didn't seem to matter what he thought. and he knew it. It seemed that Hailsham was made up with about half of those second hand stores that were miniature versions of the Salvation Army store. bit his lip and endured. She was right. Lydon Chapter 7 Charity shops." Scott looked at himself in the mirror. a couple of pairs of slacks and have been just fine. he had no idea what he was going to do next. Gran had insisted that the grey suit was perfect. he would find she had left neatly folded shirts and trousers on the end of his bed whenever she went out shopping. Here he was getting ready to go to work for the first time in his life. she was making sure he had what he needed to be professional. They put a logo of an illness research society on the door. The sudden realization that he was no longer a kid hit him. And it was sheltered. everyone wore black of pin stripes she reasoned. not that sheltered existence of university or high school in the States.. but his Gran was adamant that if he was to find a decent job. collect junk and resold it to unsuspecting passers by as the best deal out there. 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. He had skills.

" Gran exclaimed excitedly." Gran said eyeing him over her glasses as they angled towards the Boots pharmacy. Lydon He changed out of the suit. "Grab one of those would you dear?" Scott picked one up. and your uncle Nigel worked in the printers down Diplocks way. "I don't know. so like any other Brit. I mean I just never gave it much thought. No jeans. holding onto it. essentially leaving him alone to his thoughts." Scott admitted. taking in his small stature." Scott replied. it was a way to pay her back for everything she was doing for him. "But you're not really right for that kind of work. Just a stranger staring back at him. and so town was bustling with the farmers from the various farms in the region. a fresh pair for each day. He nodded. I'm not exactly sure what to do. "They advertise lots of positions in there." "The Friday Ad.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "We could pop over to the Friday Ad store and ask Serena if they're hiring. He looked so much older. "I was just thinking. Scott staring in fascination at the nylon stockings. used to his role as general baggage mule on these shopping trips. Have you though about working in a shop?" "I could do that. we'll pick one up on our way through. it was almost extravagant. "About work?" Gran asked him waiting for him to catch up. stopping to let a pregnant woman wielding a pram like a deadly weapon go ahead of him.. He wasn't even dressed like himself.. It was a market day. 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. "You're quiet today. "Well you're father got a job working at the glass cutters in the industrial park. Gran was a diabetic." "What do you like doing?" she pointed to the shopping baskets by the door. Gran was steering him through the town centre. pulling his slacks back on and loosening the collar of his shirt. "Yeah. of course. and the regular trips to renew her prescriptions were a standard part of the week." She eyed him carefully. all stopping into town to buy and sell livestock. Your Uncle Ron is in the garage. Hailsham was one of the oldest and last remaining open markets in Sussex. no Henley's no jacket. he had figured to put a shirt on to give the proper affect when he tried on suits." Gran was picking up items she needed and loading the basket as they walked." Page | 47 .

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." Gran was oblivious.. he never thought he would now be looking through it for work." Gran said already adding the item to the basket. Lydon The Friday Ad is a classified magazine. "You just need to have a little belief in yourself." Scott continued. He stared at it in shock. and Scott was certain he had felt fingers brush his hand. get settled and be back on your feet in no time. "Well I've got a good resume and with a little luck. "Oh I do Gran. "Do you need a new toothbrush?" she asked holding up one and distracting him from his thoughts. you'll figure out what you want to do. It was one of those staples of south coast life. He blinked. he blushed a smile and looked away. the Blonde nodded to him as he stood in front of the Aspirin display." he responded to her comment over his shoulder. standing amidst the total devastation he had just wrought with his carelessness. "You should take your time. resting a hand on the edge of a display stand." Scott nodded absently as his eyes wandered to a particularly nice looking young man who was bending down for a hair bleaching kit. "It's only a matter of time." "Yes but it's a little old. "I have one. you wouldn't have been accepted to University if you weren't." The blonde picked up a bottle of Aspirin and eyed it suspiciously before glancing to make sure Scott was still looking. and find something you like. packed full of small ads selling everything from used sofa sets to cars. Scott wasn't certain but he was sure that. breaking out into a grin as he endeavoured to play it cool. dropping the bottle into his basket." "Mmhmm. When he saw that he was. He had to drag his eyes away before his Gran noticed.. Page | 48 ." "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. "That's good dear. "You're a bright boy." The blonde brushed past him. "Don't worry. "I absolutely agree...Return of the Sun Christopher P. We just need to find you a nice job to get you started." she continued leaning in to hand her prescription across the counter. When he was little he had always flipped through it dreaming about the really neat cars." She gave him a reassuring smile." she led the way up to the prescription counter.

I'm so sorry Mrs.I mean. grinning from ear to ear.. Scott?" He looked down at the pile of rubble and up at her." He said with a grin." Page | 49 .Return of the Sun Christopher P." 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. and after I made a complete ass out of myself. Walker is your boy okay?" "Aside from a case of frayed nerves. Scott was half tempted to blame him. "not with Gran standing right there. Lydon He held up his hands. "I should be fine. "It does that occasionally. "What were you doing?" Gran asked catching her wits and collecting back her composure. "Did you at least ask the guy out?" "I couldn't.. if I am going to make a complete arse out of myself I am not about to try chatting up some complete stranger. It just." He gave her a miffed look as he corrected himself. "At least it would be some excitement round here." the store manager stated rushing forward with a couple of assistants to begin picking up bottles. The Blonde was staring at him. "arse then. She rested her elbows on the counter of the deserted store looking over at him. "Did I mention my Gran was there?" Serena straightened up and began to reorganize a display of pens.. "I didn't." "Arse. laughing at him.. "If you're going to live here you're going to start pronouncing it properly." Scott said. laughing as he explained the story to her as she worked in the stationary store." he was thoroughly humiliated and just stood there embarrassed.. "It's okay.." Gran said. *** Serena thought it was hilarious. "Something tells me I shouldn't work in a shop.." She smiled at him.. 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." she corrected." Scott screwed up his nose. "I think you kissing a bloke would be interesting to see 'cause I still don't believe you're gay. Serena grinned at him. Serena had been glad of the company. "Oh I just think it would have been nice to see you snog him in the middle of Boots.

He loved that about her. "Want to go?" "When?" he asked looking about him to see if anyone would over hear. he nodded to Scott before paying and walking out again. Page | 50 . "Well I have Friday off. and she was always looking for an excuse to drag him with her. buy you something to wear." she had that 'shopping' fever again.?" Serena stared at him.. "Yeah. that's the dogs bollocks. I want to shag you rotten.. but he still didn't like it.. It means its great." She shook her head.Return of the Sun Christopher P.. "Brighton?" She grinned.." she said tossing back her mass of curls and leaning on the counter again and fixing him with a large smile. curls following the head a second or two later. "alright we'll go if it will satisfy your curiosity. there's like a million there. "It's pay day. so we could go. his dopey grin on his face. there isn't exactly a gay pub in Hailsham. she was also so vibrant like that girl off of Trek." "Don't call me that. "I mean I think it would have a conniption after the first five minutes. "I mean you come out with us. He didn't know how she got it to do that. "But seriously though.. he knew she was just teasing him. "Should I buy you one of those little pocket translators?" "I don't think they are programmed to cope with English slang. He really hadn't watched enough of it to know anymore. Deanna or something. None of this nineteen fifties retro look you have on at the moment.. I'm going to buy you a real out fit as well." "That's the badger!" she stated firmly. least we can do is go out with you one night to prove you're a poof. I mean real clothes. "Friday night. stay so tightly curled with so much volume.. I know there is one in Eastbourne but we're right close to Brighton." He looked back at her." he replied honestly." he began cautiously. Scott blinked.. "You know. "What does a badger have to do with. Lydon Scott folded his arms. I know I feel like that sometimes." Scott said." She said. but the woman off of it had always struck him as beautiful.. babe. that's the badger. "that is only because you have the hots for me. "I don't know I." He replied rolling the Friday Ad and tucking it under his arm. but it always made her look so exotic." She shook her head at him." The door clattered as a man walked in to buy some printer paper.

Lydon "Wow so there are customers." "So we're going on Friday night?" She pressed." Scott said in amazement. "Of course there are. She threw a pen lid at him. "Yeah. "it should be a lot of fun. look I should be getting back before Gran start's to wonder where I went to." Page | 51 ." he replied hand on the door handle. "Just teasing you. they come to see me." Scott caught the pen lid and set it back down on the counter.Return of the Sun Christopher P.

Scott held onto the dashboard as the small Metro bounced into the air and landed solidly. definitely. she thought it looked better out. "Alright. so he can prove he's gay. well a normal shirt with a label." "So. deciding to focus on the adventure at hand." Serena said firmly. Dickie. "and it's a chance to get away from Hailsham for a night." Scott began. He was sure the glove compartment was filled with unpaid speeding tickets. "I'm not a slut. in the interests of actually making it there alive. pairing it with a beautiful pair of black slacks and his well-polished shoes.. I'm not just going to kiss the first guy I see. instead of going around the white painted circles she generally drove right over them.. agreed with Scott. He had come to accept the fact that Serena was the stereotypical woman driver." Page | 52 . jostled around the back seat. but changed his mind as she shot him a dirty look in the rearview mirror. "Well. Though the argument to tuck or leave un-tucked still raged. seeing the red stoplight zoom past them." Dickie said nodding his head. well. apparently it was what all the well-dressed guys were wearing." Dickie began. looks sharper..." he commented. Lydon Chapter 8 He picked at the shirt: Ben Sherman. If she had her way she would do the same with the gigantic ones lined with crash barriers. continuing their course along the A-27 to Brighton. But Serena had insisted on buying it for him. He thought it looked better in.. Serena always did that. about as bad as they got." Dickie said. "In. overtaking a Morris Minor. And she loved it.. Scott watched the startled face of the other driver as this Metro cut him off.. "Do you want to drive?" she asked. "Steady on!" Dickie called. he actually felt stylish. turning his head as they passed over a roundabout." Serena said with a grin as the Metro swung around one of those giant roundabouts. leaning forward from the back on the seats in front. To him it kinda looked like. she was just worse.. "What's our mission tonight?" "To find Scott a bloke. "why exactly am I being dragged along on this man safari?" "You owe him..Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Watch out for that. coming dangerously close to clipping the curb..

" Dickie said affecting a proper upper-class English accent. "Tell you what. my old boy. "This looks like as close as we're going to get." Serena gave him a look. we'll hop out and walk. "I say. 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.. Serena just fumed. famous for it. More gay bars per capita than anywhere else in Europe. Scott chuckled.. the sooner you kiss a bloke the sooner we get to go home. doing his damndest to keep all of them entertained. "Nice one. cold pint would really hit the spot. It was one big gay village." Dickie rolled his eyes. "we're nearly there and it's still early. Brighton was synonymous with homosexuality." "Well I doubt it will be that easy. "Nice pub. it's still early." "What about the pier?" Serena asked. maybe we want to catch a drink before hitting a club or something?" He waggled his eyebrows. sounds like a spiffing idea to me." She switched off the engine. where are we going first? Serena's right. mate. as she suddenly cut the car into a parking spot that someone had just vacated. 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. "So." Dickie leaned forward again. They were naturally stuck in traffic. "Let's go to the Pier and then find a pub to get sufficiently inebriated. especially on a Friday night." "Sloshed." Serena said looking at him. "So much for a cold pint. what. Lydon Dickie heaved a sigh.Return of the Sun Christopher P. the car will still be here when we're done." Scott said.." "Oh give over.." he conceded. it was a Mecca to gay people everywhere. "They have a big arcade on it. and the amusement park at the end. "Unless you lads don't want to walk?" Page | 53 ." Scott said as the Metro began to enter Brighton city limits. "Alright then. occasionally bellowing out insults to the other drivers as the car inched forward at an impossibly slow rate. And from the way Serena had described it. her eyes lighting up at the prospect." "We can split it. Scott. it didn't shy away from the stigma normal places associated with being gay.

"How come it says Brighton Pier?" Scott asked. but the narrow tall houses and shops virtually built right on top of each other went back centuries. 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. "Some prats bought the pier a few years ago and renamed it. It was like taking a trip to Vegas. Narrow shopping streets that instantly transported you back hundreds of years to a simpler time. people and bristling with life. But it was one of his fondest memories of spending time with his father. three bars. He immediately fell in love with the city all over again. It extended a good 1700 feet out to sea. it was now used for theatre performances and as a historical tourist attraction. Brighton was a lively place. "I'm not crazy. firmly resting a hand on Scott's shoulder and propelling him past the doors towards the intersection and the magnificent Palace Pier. The lights. I guess they thought they were being bright. It was a little older than other cities he had been in." Dickie said. The white palace always reminded Scott of the Taj Mahal. right?" Serena shrugged. staring up at the glowing sign. looking up at an unremarkable door. an arcade. the slot machines and one armed bandits. contrary to popular belief there was not that much room in the back of an Austin Metro. a great construct of steel and lights. cars. "You'll see. So much so that Queen Victoria had kept the Brighton Pavilion there.Return of the Sun Christopher P. it had been Brighton's crown jewel for over a century." She led the way through the circle of take-out places and onto the wooden slats of the pier. "What's that?" he asked. under a laser sign that cast light down upon the pavement rotating the word 'revenge' in bright white light onto the paving stones. They walked along the street. Lydon Scott got out of the car and flipped the seat forward to let Dickie out who uncoiled his long legs and stretched. sitting in the front row having dolphins sing happy birthday to him. It boasted everything a person could need. There was even a section of the city called 'the lanes' that predated cars. but that attraction was gone now. 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. the bells ringing and Page | 54 . domes and columns. an amusement park. All on a massive man-made construct. Scott pointed to it curiously. considered too cruel on the dolphins. dining.

It was all a little overwhelming and he just stood there with a stunned expression on his face. right?" Dickie gave a friendly shrug. "It's getting right expensive in here. "it's changed a bit.. looking around her.. bugger. "Are you ok?" Dickie rested a hand on his arm looking concerned as Serena was off getting change. occasionally clicking for a reload before returning to shooting the creatures. he always used to." he said. before being torn away from everything he ever loved. that's all. hey. growing up in Brooklyn had a decided advantage over Hailsham's finest. they had that game at the local arcade back in Brooklyn. the gun braced in two hands sweeping to and fro picking off vampire bats that rushed at him. affixing him with that x-ray vision of his. "House of the Living Dead?" Scott suddenly brightened. "It's not perfect but. complete with handheld guns." "Time'll do that. "You're on!" He enjoyed the game where two heroes have to rescue a girl from a house possessed by demon creatures.." he lost a life and chuckling he bent down to reload tokens into the machine." Dickie agreed. After a few minutes Dickie was shaking his head. where'd you learn to shoot?" Scott didn't take his eyes of the screen. "Didn't. I guess..Return of the Sun Christopher P. Lydon the video games squawking musical notes at different levels. remembering the last time he had been there. staring at everything at once. it's odd to be back here." she exclaimed. how happy he had been. it's still new. seeing deep inside him.. we're getting far. "I suppose you lads want something violent with guns blood and guts. whatever works. "Wow. Scott nodded snapping out of his trip down memory lane. It was chaotic and the noise was thrilling. "I. Scott's eyes had to be as wide as a little kid's." Page | 55 . keeping his breaths short.. squeezing the trigger only when he exhaled because breathing-in caused the gun to drift upwards." he said staring in wonder again. "I'll figure it out. It was one of the classic arcade shooters. "Dad used to take me hunting in Michigan." He grinned as Serena returned holding up a small bucket full of change and tokens. Suddenly. smiling at his friend." Scott confessed. "feeling a bit out of place still?" "A bit.

Don't take this the wrong way." Scott nodded again. but it did. how come you didn't go?" "I did." Dickie replied. "Nothing. "But after Fleur got pregnant.." "Wow. "I figured as much. changing the subject as they continued on through the house. "took a few philosophy courses. "Two years into my theology degree." "Fleur's pregnant?" another shock. "So how does your mom know my gran?" Dickie glanced at him. Scott grinned. your gran started showing up at the house. "So I heard you went to university. the only useful thing he ever did was fuck off. frankly. Dad couldn't hack it and so he walked out and never looked back..." He swung the gun back and pulled the trigger again. Lydon Dickie shifted his grip to match Scott's.... what did you study?" Dickie said. Dickie nodded. "After Dad.. "One of the few useful things I learned from my Dad. but the game was working his frustration as he bit out his words.. Gran's a determined woman who likes to fuss over people. nothing really interesting." "The reason's she's." Scott shrugged." Scott blinked as a larger creature charged him. then she started to help Mom." Scott was suddenly uncomfortable delving too deeply into some one else's life.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Dickie reloaded by pointing the gun away from the screen and clicking the trigger. giving Dickie the occasional covering fire. "Thanks." Page | 56 . how about you?" Dickie stared intensely at the screen. but Rita's like a gran to my brothers and I. "It wasn't supposed to happen. "Right after my mom was in her accident." Scott was shocked.. "My dad was a drunk. "Hey it works. and his score was starting to reflect it. "Yeah. "I'm glad he's gone. at first just to talk to Mom." he added. "Yeah. two shots from Dickie soon ended its virtual existence. I wanted to be a priest." Dickie was angry. swinging his gun to and fro.. she's paraplegic. wondering why Scott didn't know. watch out for the.. and it went from there." he sounded surprised as he shot an axe-wielding psychopath." Scott replied honestly.left.. mimicking his motions and his aim steadied considerably. but Dickie had suddenly become the one doing most of the work.

" "I noticed. "Sorry. A couple of turns and Scott was lost." he rationalized. and try explaining that to your mom.. "Wasn't paying attention. "Can we find a pub now?" Serena eyed him suspiciously. let's find a pub. "I'm thirsty. Not Page | 57 ." Dickie said as he reloaded again.." She looked at both of them and held back on her own protests. obviously he had been hoping for a last bastion of heterosexuality before they immersed themselves in Brighton's gay scene.. 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. "Game cheated. "I was saying that Fleur and I were having some problems and next thing I know she's pregnant. guys kissing. she just held the door open and indicated that he should just stop complaining and enter the bar. Serena didn't answer him. Lydon Scott emptied his clip into the un-dead zombie. "So that was the end of my theology degree. "You only played one game and you already want to go to the pub?" Dickie didn't seem apologetic.rainbows. staring up at the gay icon looking royally pissed on his sign. "I could actually use a pint as well if you don't mind. close though.. into a hoard of spiders that swarmed towards them. for now I just have some time on my hands.. instead he was faced with a pretty bulk standard pub." He shook his head. I'll go back after Fleur has the baby. He got back up and moved a bit faster but the creatures were swarming them too fast and they were both overwhelmed. "Is that Freddy Mercury?" Scott asked incredulously. "Boys have fun?" she asked as the machine swallowed another pound. Scott went down first.." Dickie responded. "Ok. 'The Queen's Head' was boldly painted on the sign under a picture of." On the screen they burst through a door." he said.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Scott nodded in agreement. Laughing and cursing the cheating game they left it to rejoin Serena who was happily playing a fruit machine. It was the first time Scott had ever been into a gay bar anywhere.. He was expecting pink.. "You brought us to a gay pub?" Dickie stated. ok?" They all agreed and started off back across the road towards the collection of ragged-looking buildings tucked down narrow alleys. anyway.

" Serena stated with a broad smile." "No you don't. "Oh.Return of the Sun Christopher P. The man in the gaudy outfit walked around pressing the microphone up into peoples' faces and asked them their names loudly... a Yank! I love Americans. "I think I should have stayed home." Dickie said with about all the enthusiasm he could muster for this game. "Is that a big Dickie or a little Dickie?" the gaudy man asked lecherously." Scott responded. because Serena had gently laid a reassuring hand on his arm. Something must have registered on his face. Lydon exactly how they had been painted on television." He gave a flirty wink and moved on. "you love the attention too much." he said reluctantly." the man patted him on the shoulder." He replied. eventually arriving and pressing it into Scott's nose. "Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to the Queen's Head tonight. New York.." "Scott. I'm afraid." he brushed on completing his round of the bar's patrons. He swept down the bar. where are you from Scott?" "Brooklyn. "And you. ok so that wouldn't happen in a straight pub.. leaning back to examine Dickie's crotch. sir?" "Dickie. Serena ordered lemonade. you never knew when the Sussex police would stop you and make you take a Breathalyzer test.." Page | 58 . in fact he was surprised at the normalcy of the regulars tilting glasses of lager or bitter and chatting amongst themselves.. Dickie shook his head into his glass. There was a bustle at the other end of the bar and a man emerged from behind the bar wearing a sequined shirt. "That's ok. Conscientiously. ordering a round of drinks. And as a group they made their way to the bar. he lifted a microphone. "Oh and accent. "a little Dickie is better than none at all. "That would be a little Dickie. "And you are?" he asked in a haughty tone. To kick things off tonight I want to go around and introduce everyone. Glittering in the lights. Dickie blushed." Scott blinked. trying to pull back from the microphone that threatened insertion into his nose. don't you? Everything's bigger in America.

. noting that Serena's Metro was drawing up. she wasn't and he turned back to Dickie. looking up the road to see if she was coming yet. "The drag queen.. Page | 59 . 'Lady Vickie'. "No." Dickie replied." Dickie said. "But she didn't see me kiss a guy. and more importantly to Scott. "She's gone to get the car so we can take you home.. two levels of music. giggling as he fell over again." "Yeah. They were standing on the street outside the nightclub 'Revenge' under the rotating laser sign. I remember. "Where'd Serena go?" Scott asked. stay with me old chap. "You can't give me what I want anyway. Dickie helped him upright. "Oh yes. so much so that the normally unflappable man had been all but chased into the bathroom to hide and await rescue. "Oh. no. The world kept tilting to one side and every time he tried to tilt with it. Revenge had turned out to be a massive gay bar." Dickie said. a voluptuous Drag queen with an overly exaggerated bust had taken a particular liking to Dickie.." Scott shook his head trying to clear the fog.." Dickie replied. "Why didn't you kiss anyone. Scott was giggling. turning around to see if she was standing behind him. puzzled.Return of the Sun Christopher P. a note of annoyance entering his voice.. Dickie had not been so amused. "What about you?" "You want to kiss me?" Dickie looked suddenly shocked.." Dickie explained patiently." Scott nodded as if the comment made all the sense in the world to him.. drugs and alcohol. though he was in no better condition. boys. Lydon *** He was drunk." Dickie gave him a remarkably sober look. keeping Scott from pitching over again. he fell down. but held it well. "Come on. he was also drunk." "There weren't any girls. but in his drunken state Scott just ignored it.. but he simply didn't care by that point. which it didn't.. Scott and Serena had found it hilarious.. he knew he was drunk because he couldn't stay upright." Scott said as if remembering.. "There was always Lady Vickie!" Scott exclaimed." "Because you were too scared to talk to any of them.

Lydon Dickie rolled his eyes as he piled the drunken Scott into the back of the car. Page | 60 .Return of the Sun Christopher P. looking entirely too happy the night was over.

resting an arm on the hedge talking to old Mister Roberts. "Don't break them. Lydon Chapter 9 A summer evening on Meadow Road was a strange step back in time. Jeans and t-shirts had given way to shirts and slacks. "he's even been out to a couple of interviews. and an Adam's apple that bounced up and down as he talked.Return of the Sun Christopher P. The laughter of children at play and the hiss of hoses. strangely they were cooler in the heat and weathered the garden work a lot better. the rust stubbornly refused to budge. no. now that he was on the verge of becoming an adult. and he realized how much he had taken them for granted when he was young. As with the last twenty times he had tried the same trick.. hoping that by some miracle the rust would magically disappear. young Mister Walker?" Mister Roberts called to him rousing him from his thoughts.. shirtsleeves rolled up. he appreciated the quiet moment. In the new millennium it was a rare occurrence. Gran was in the front corner." Gran said. Scott." Page | 61 . now that he was an adult. With those thick plastic glasses. children playing on the green." Scott replied sheepishly. I've been submitting my resume." "He's been applying all over the place." Gran admonished. enjoying the onset of evening. the ancient specimen of humanity that had occupied Number Nineteen Meadow Road almost as long as Gran had lived in Number Seventeen. Scott scrubbed a hand through his hair. "Have you found a job yet. They were discussing the state of the Wealden district council. setting them aside and pushing his back against the firm oak door. while their parents watched from their gardens gossiping to each other while trimming the hedges that separated the houses. Scott shook his head and banged the shears on the edge of the brick doorstep. Scotty dear. "Sorry. or watering the prize rose bushes would have been normal. Fifty years ago.. "Well. He looked over at the antiquated man who always reminded Scott of a tortoise without its shell.. and from all the "Tut-ing" and "Tsk-ing" there would be a few votes going squarely to the opposition come election time. throwing him a proud smile that made him feel ten. It was all strangely relaxing. was wrestling with a rusty pair of hedge-clippers and having no luck with them. He shook the can of WD-40 and generously sprayed the shears.

The extended vacation was starting to look more and more like a permanent arrangement. still sitting on the step decided that although the discussion was about him he would really have no say in it. with just a look. feeling uncomfortable stuffed into the grey suit waiting nervously for someone to grill him with the same set of questions over and over. Was he just doomed never to fit in anywhere? No matter where he went. for the interviewer to actually look at his skills and see him for who he was. "I could put in a word for you if you'd like." Mister Roberts said. resettling his glasses on his nose. they wrote him off as a foreigner. "but Scott could use a hand. as much as he liked Gran and Hailsham. he looked smart. answered their questions correctly. just one time. It was always the same message. we'll call you if there is no one else. scribble some notes." He gave a meaningful look at Scott. "I see here that you went to school in America. but data clerk? Bank teller? Shop assistant? They were all positions he could do." Scott. what he did. Invariably they would stare at the resume after that question. But then what did he expect? It hadn't been an easy move so far. I couldn't ask that." "Oh. "He's looking for someone to run the office and the like. engrossed in their conversations the two pensioners would Page | 62 . It was just the bitter fact that they saw an American sitting across from them. So. Always ending with the same one.' but in England he was the 'American'. He wanted. It was just the same card being played against him every time. there were just so many stumbling blocks that he was starting to really doubt that he had made the right choice. scrubbed-up and hair combed. 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.Return of the Sun Christopher P. shake his hand and send him on his way with an empty promise to call him should they have a position for him. he was getting bored. 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. expressively gesturing with her hand that she was just being polite. He would understand if they were educated positions. But what other choice was there? In Brooklyn he had been the British kid. over the past few weeks he had been to five interviews. It was growing ever more frustrating for him to land work. Lydon He had been busy. set to drive him crazy with each passing day. He wasn't one of them. He didn't like it when. no matter how he tried to present himself. an 'Englishman in New York." Gran said.

" She had her hands on her hips again. anyways. 'allo." Luke's eyes softened again.. Page | 63 . He sat back knowing better than to even try. "Well then. "well you run along then. Dirty rotten stop outs the pair of them. what's all this. it was like her own particular oddity. the policeman pulls her over and tells her she was going too fast. I just stopped because I was passing. "It was nothing like that. then?" came a suspicious-sounding voice from the other side of the hedge. she said." he stated resolutely. Luke looked back at Gran. "Your mother must be so pleased. "Mum was threatening to haul the superintendent out of his office by his ear if he didn't change the rotation. "They moved your beat?" she asked sounding happy. otherwise he was left pretty much out of it. Gran immediately dropped her conversation with Mister Roberts to turn to him. Scott glanced up at Luke walking along the footpath in uniform. nodded to him. bold as brass.Return of the Sun Christopher P. at least not for the next little while." Luke just nodded. Mrs. I'll catch you tomorrow night and have a sandwich waiting for you. "Your mother has quite the tongue on her." Gran always repeated 'she said' in conversation. Scott got to his feet and brushed the dust off of his trousers. "Thanks. he nodded to Scott with a tensing around his eyes as he stopped at the gate." he replied with genuine gratitude. and still without cracking a smile. There was this once." Gran chuckled. "'Allo. I've never seen anyone do that to him before. came home drunk as a skunk he was though I suspect your brother had a hand in it. and I'll never forget. 'allo. "that she would give him a warning if he pulled her over again. Walker.. his eyes flicking over to where Scott lounged. asks him how fast." Gran's face fell slightly. "There was the other night." Luke nodded in reply. we were going to an antiques fair. your superintendent was lucky. and she. He replied that he was only giving her a warning and she said. Lydon occasionally look at him for a nod of ascension. she got pulled over by this policeman outside of Lewis." "Oh." he admitted. "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. "No more nights in Town Farm.

it was almost cold. he'd been in the garden too long. "But the least I can do is try. "This may sound strange to you Scott. Scott checked his wallet and slipped out onto the road. for someone so nasty as a kid when he used to torment and terrorise Scott. falling silent again. Gran had already resumed her conversation with Mister Roberts about Scott's future. if you don't mind the company?" Luke hesitated. Page | 64 . or become reacquainted with. "Look I'm not saying we're going to be friends like your brother and I are. "You must be glad of the new beat. "What is it now?" Luke asked catching Scott's goofy grin. "So you want to get to know me?" Luke asked sarcastically. The sun was beginning its steady slide behind the horizon and the shadows were lengthening. Luke was one of those people who would take time to get to know. As they both began to walk." Scott rubbed his arms feeling the beginnings of a sunburn." That came out entirely too harshly for Scott's liking." Scott continued. Luke's fists were balled at his side. he was always the meanest son of a bitch till you actually took the time to get to know him. yet at the same time the most distant. as an adult he was just. but maybe I just don't like you." Luke just grunted. actually I wanted to go to the corner store. Scott fell silent again.." Luke said finally breaking the awkward silence." "Yeah. And out of everyone he'd met so far. Lydon Scott walked to the gate. Luke was determined to make the process as difficult as possible.. Luke seemed to be the most together. Scott smirked. his eyes staring at the playing children as if expecting them to misbehave.. and he refused to look at him.. Scott sighed. "I was just thinking that you remind me of a guy I knew in high school. They walked a little ways in silence before Scott started in on the conversation. a troubled look dancing in his eyes before he finally nodded. "Don't bother. It was strange. then he was pretty cool. They had turned down a short alley between the buildings coming out into a car park tucked in behind the houses.Return of the Sun Christopher P." He put so much sincerity behind the statement that Scott felt hurt. "Well.

. Fuck. and alone. you're going to have to pronounce it properly. whatever man. I'm going to the fucking store." He was swearing now. I don't need this on top of everything else. banging the backdoor closed behind him as he walked to the kettle and turned it on. but you aren't. I'll tell you what. even the adults who had thought it funny to call him it. "maybe you'll realize that I was just trying to be nice.. nobody ever made him angry. Luke closed his eyes. he had come home of his own accord. He pulled out the milk bottle and added it to his mug.. Lydon Scott shook his head. you were one when you were a kid and you're still one now. even friendly towards him. and now he was facing the same situation all over again. "What the hell did I do to deserve that?" Scott protested. 'if you're going to live here. Banging a mug down and tossing a teabag inside he pulled the fridge open with enough force to rock it on its legs. an edge of hatred there that caused Scott to step backwards." He trust his hands into his pockets and stalked away. Things were just going from bad to worse. He had felt it much of his life. and this time he only had himself to blame. still. and they were alone.. suddenly feeling lost. but Serena's words rang in his ears. Hell he was going through it all over again. Luke breathed hard releasing his fists and opening his eyes." he was actually angry.. you never fucking change. You always thought you were better than everyone else. "You've been itching to do that since I offered to walk with you. Here he was. It was an old guilt that had been given a new dress and painted up to look younger. small. Luke turned to him." He threw actual vehemence behind his words. just that square peg that no matter how often you wailed on it would never fit into the round hole. and all was quiet. "Look. "You're a prat. His father hadn't dragged him home." "No." Scott bit back. his head nodding as if confirming what he had known all along. Sure there were those who were polite.' Page | 65 . "Look. tell you what. they had come to a stop in the middle of the car park. leaving PC Allston standing in the middle of an empty parking lot alone. just so different that he couldn't relate to anything. unaware of how they sounded. you're not. The limey jokes that had been thrown at him at school.Return of the Sun Christopher P. I'm sorry. Scott. *** He was still seething when he came home. when you finally get rid of that big chip on your shoulder. Look. but he knew her for who she was. Scott..

grown up in ways he couldn't begin to describe. but that was so far away from where he was now. and yet it had become such a part of him that he had brought it with him. His Gran walked in from the garden. "You'll always be my little boy.Return of the Sun Christopher P. she was there to stop him from floating away." Scott replied with a sigh. and he walked to the breakfast bar. taking a drink of his tea and trying to ease the feeling of loneliness he felt. the street-hardened kid from Brooklyn had to start over and he would have to try to fit in as best he could. "So why don't you come help your gran with a crossword puzzle. "Are you okay dear?" she asked sympathetically." He looked down into his mug. Gran gave him one of her knowing looks as she set about making a cup of tea herself. she looked at him with such love that he had to give in to her. Allowed the little pieces of his culture to escape him until he had become an American. letting it play while he sat on the fire escape of his apartment listening to the sounds of the city. no matter how big you get. "Nonsense. "I'm fine. It was her way of telling him that he had come home. or the television. "Okay." he said. The bubbling kettle had him pouring himself a mug of tea. He would have to adapt again. He missed baseball on nights like this. 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. Page | 66 . seeing him sitting quietly in the dark she turned on the kitchen light. "I'm not little anymore. climbing into one of the stools as he stared out of the window at the gathering darkness. He had always felt it. I'll be right in. even though he felt displaced. releasing a long breath. He had adapted well to life there. you used to love doing that when you were little. standing up and setting his empty cup into the sink." Gran stated flatly." he said. tuning into the game on the radio. it had been the main reason for him coming home in the first place." Scott looked up at her and he couldn't help but smile.

"Well see you at noon. lunch then somewhere good. only in England would people automatically assume lunch meant a trip down the pub. smiling at her politely." She screwed up her nose. He picked up a copy of the magazine he had travelled down town for and rolled it up." He shook his head. "no way. grinning as he downed a glass of orange juice and grabbed couple of slices of toast before he was out the door. "Not down the pub. He didn't particularly care what he was going to be doing that day. Scott was certain that if he imported Air Conditioners for days like this. "I can go in a couple of hours if you want to come back. Hailsham high street was its usual busy self. I'm comfortable. Lydon Chapter 10 Of all the things that could go wrong.Return of the Sun Christopher P. but he knew it was too warm to stay in the house he just had too much energy. Yeah. he figured there was no harm no foul. "there we go love. The stationery shop was tucked down along one end towards the old school. a tee-shirt he had used to wear when he had whiled away last summer skating." He rolled his eyes. back when dinosaurs had walked the earth. He had ignored her." He grinned at her. 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. It let his black hair poke out of the top." she said cheerfully as he wandered back out onto the high street. "You look like a pineapple. Kerrigan gets right snarky if I take a liquid lunch. Mrs. it was going to be another scorching hot day. he would make a mint. and your receipt." "Okay. So what time is your lunch?" She glanced at the clock. "I thought we were breaking you of your bad habits. a little bit of hair wax and the spikes stood out at odd angles. the kind of day for beer gardens and pools. and since he had to pop into town for a Friday Ad anyway. And of course his prized visor cap. The sun was climbing that morning and warming the whole town. Scott had been feeling particularly stubborn that day. a tiny brick building that had once upon a time been a schoolhouse." She turned finally to give him her full attention. As it was he just wanted to Page | 67 . deliberately ignoring all the pressed shirts and trousers. picking out a stylish pair of white cargos. "Cool." Serena grinned as she bagged a customer's purchases.

but it was still a decent selection. hanging them back on the hook. in a sick kind of way. But he was struggling to find the right words of.. if a bit crass British lass. immerse himself in his culture. laces instead of buttons and puffy sleeves. Up near the front it had a wall of the latest music." Page | 68 . he just grinned. Even if most of the North American stuff was a few months behind. And with those looks. Scott had known he was going to say that. even though she would never have admitted it. He reminded Scott of a slightly podgy Errol Flynn. to express his." he tried to sound awed.. She was there. "I got a job. "What's up?" Travis pointed vaguely into the store. Kill the morning until his lunch with Serena. maybe walk into Woolworths and look at their CD's. well. she got away with it. "Wow." Somehow. we're celebrating. Travis didn't notice. he would do that in his own way. He was actually looking forward to the time he spent with her. it was work. praise. "Hey Dude!" Scott said cheerfully. "Oh I was just out with Mia. For a girl she had tonnes of selfconfidence. He grinned in pleasure at seeing a friendly face and slipped the headphones off.. he was wearing an odd shirt that would have looked right on a peasant in a medieval castle. not exactly as broad a collection as the virgin mega stores had. people wanted him to blend in. Well sure. all he needed was a rapier and a chandelier to swing from and the image would be complete. so far there were simply too many forty-year-old women about. Ever since Brighton he had grown closer to the friendly. the kind of girl that had grown up on Spice Girl power. 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. Slipping on a set of headphones he began to sample some of it. and she didn't give a toss what anyone else thought about her.. but it came out sounding strangled. "Where are you working?" "The funeral home. there was a whole rack of British music he had never heard of. starting with some decent club music. a store with a little bit of everything. "That's great!" Scott exclaimed enthusiastically. "I am going to become an undertaker..Return of the Sun Christopher P. Woolworth's was much like Wall-mart." Travis said proudly. Lydon bum around town.." "Celebrating?" Scott asked curiously trying to spot Travis's girlfriend in the aisles.

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. Scott's jaw just fell open. but Scott gave her his best charming grin. a long and slow gesture the back of her hand upwards as if she expected him to bow and kiss it. "Well." Travis grinned and bobbed his head.. shining with intricate Celtic designs that looked painstakingly hand made. Lydon Scott's mind flashed to a particular character from a wrestling show he had watched in the states. he clasped it firmly and shook it up and down in the age old used car salesman routine. Page | 69 .. and tried desperately to hide the fact that he found her appearance hilarious. It would have been tasteful." He said politely. It was just ironic that she happened to be walking down an aisle filled with vacuum cleaners. ma'am." Travis said pointing to a bespectacled woman sweeping through the store.. and she treated him like one. "Mia. She handed him her shopping basket to hold and affixed Scott with a regal look.. All she needed was a pointed hat and a broomstick.oh damn. I'm a kid. Scott had that sinking feeling again. and the laces on his puffy sleeved shirt. "Nice to finally meet you. Scott this is Mia. But one look at the happiness in Travis's eyes.." He stared at her like a lovesick puppy craving attention. How wrong he was. "She's gorgeous isn't she. "she looks. He did exactly what he father had shown him to do in such circumstances. if it had been used in moderation. It took a sheer force of will to close his mouth. nice. Skateboard chic meets Gothic vogue. The old. love me look that seemed to always work on old women.." Scott said finding his voice.Return of the Sun Christopher P. older.. dark and terrifying was kind of the exact opposite to the foppish looking man standing in front of him." he said. She glided through the aisles." Travis began the introductions. "That's great.. Silver jewellery clattering against her. "That's her. turning to Travis and hoping against hope that he wasn't serious. He slouched a bit. less absurd. and the image just didn't match Travis at all. Her eyes narrowed a little at being called Ma'am by someone the same age as her boyfriend.. move on to something safe. Tall. her black velvet skirts falling about her in waves that rippled as she moved.. this is my friend Scott. She extended a hand. sweeping from his sneakers up to the spiky hair and back down again. "So Mia's here is she?" hopefully a change of topic was in order.

"Honestly. tucked into the old stables across from the market?" "Yeah. you know the one." Scott replied with a grin.. and she the salad. "Mystic energy. he had ordered the pie. "Oh I bet she liked that. "Travis is all over her. She hesitated a minute. I just don't get it." "Yeah well." Serena said sarcastically. "I think I've seen her." "Mirror mirror on the wall." Page | 70 . Lydon *** "So what did she do next?" Serena asked poking her salad dubiously with her fork. so much for the Aitkin's diet. "She sounds a right nutter. Scott could tell she didn't want to eat it." "The what?" Serena asked sceptically. "I learned from the best. "Not that kind of whipped. before she attacked the Shepard's pie with reckless abandon." Serena rolled her eyes." Scott replied. she looks like an owl.. Have you never been whipped by a guy?" "I'm sure I'd remember." He liberated another leaf from her plate.." He bowed his head. Apparently she had a great conversation with a mirror. but she was on another 'diet' and couldn't possibly eat anything with so many Carbohydrates. curls as usual bouncing to and fro. so I decided to tag along." Serena giggled." Scott replied." "Yeah. And you say she's forty?" "Forty two. you're right dirty some times. It was odd." Serena nodded around a mouthful of potatoes... "They have some nice jewellery in there. I haven't seen Travis since that day we were all in Eastbourne. who's the strangest of us all. she kept eyeing his Shepard's pie with ravenous eyes. she just has to crook her finger and he comes running. "Well she insisted that Travis take her to the antiques store. "You really are a mo aren't you." she said disparagingly.Return of the Sun Christopher P. she shook her head.. she was talking about all the antiques and the stories they were trying to tell her. "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. but they were more interested in the other person's lunch than their own. Scott pushed his plate till it sat between them and reached over to spear one of her lettuce leaves with his fork.

Dickie just likes to be the centre of attention." Serena mused idly. "Well she did mention something about this mole on your. re-tucking his hair under it." "Ah. Lydon She gave him a big smile. he likes you a lot. "I could show you if you want. "Anyway. what's up with him and Fleur?" Scott tapped his visor cap." Scott replied.." "I'll pass. but I woke up the next morning with a hangover." she shrugged." she replied. but Serena had made the choice." He stopped and looked thoughtfully at her. I hope she wasn't communing with that. probably because it was just a few doors down from her shop." Serena flashed him a gleeful look." She smiled at him. "My mom sold our old bathroom suite to that shop." "Yeah.. "Your ear's really stick out when you do that. Cornish pasties. making it clear that it wasn't a bad thing.. "He got her pregnant at University." Scott said. "Was it just me." He winced at the memory.. he was getting used to her constant flirting. we got to talk at the arcade." "You had fun then?" Serena asked with a grin. I wanted to say thank you for the other Friday night.. "yeah I think she took delight in it.. right." He chuckled one hand holding the coffee cup in his fingers gesturing with it. he kept wanting to bag." Serena observed with a grin. she decided to make pancakes and banged everything together she could get her hands on. when he isn't he sulks. 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. Why they had come there Scott couldn't fathom. The small restaurant was more of a diner without the large counter and the over worked waitresses. "don't worry about it babe." Scott said turning up his nose at the thought. "she wasn't even supposed to be seeing him any more they broke up. "Dickies a good mate. "Well so long as it wasn't anything serious. he likes to think he's the dog's bollocks. it served an odd assortment of low prices food. "Yeah.Return of the Sun Christopher P." "Oh. Page | 71 . sausage rolls right up to what looked like school cafeteria stew. "Gran had fun that morning. "I don't remember much. or was Dickie not enjoying himself?" he asked abruptly. getting entirely too much of a mental image that time.

" "Skunting?" Scott asked. "No worries. shaking his hand. "Well that would be my grandson. but she doesn't do anything about it. But the funny thing is." Gran was looking slightly mortified at Scott's exuberant entrance. though lord alone knows where he's been all day. you wanted to know. *** He came dashing back into the house entirely too enthusiastically. "Do I want to know?" "Skank hunting." Serena got up as well. "Oh give over. Zulee would write him off as a punk kid and be done with it." "One of those. I'd like you to meet Mister Karmali. "Zulee Karmali. "I should be getting home anyway. So much for that. "Sorry. Gran's got to be wondering where I got to. The small man sitting at the other end of the table polishing his spectacles looked up at him.. "Your Gran was telling me that you needed a job. "Fleur knows what's going on." Scott replied making to get up. 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. "Yeah no worries." Scott replied knowingly. "Yeah.. Dickie still goes out skunting every chance he gets.. slapping the Friday Ad down onto the counter and turning to look for his Gran." she said seeming concerned that she had polished it off." she replied simply." Mister Karmali clarified. "I guess this would be the lad in question Rita." "Sure. looking at his Gran quizzically. Lydon She rolled her eyes at his expression. we'll go for a pint later. uh you sorta caught me unprepared.. "Yeah." Scott cocked his head as he caught his breath and crossed to the man." Scott was suddenly painfully aware of how underdressed he was for that meeting.Return of the Sun Christopher P. no one's said anything about it. Scott dear." Page | 72 ." he replied.

Return of the Sun Christopher P. who was trying hard not to look very pleased with herself. Lydon Zulee shrugged. I don't think my resident's will. just like that. you need work I need someone to do some general office work." Page | 73 . fair Scott?" Scott blinked. "It's an informal meeting Scott. He nodded his head." and he gave Scott a quick look over.. if you survive two weeks you can keep the job. appreciate your current look. "Suit and tie as well. "You have a deal Mister Karmali. "Uh... And the fact that I owe Mister Robert's a few favours we can consider a trial run." Scott glanced at Gran." "Good.. okay.

he was surprised to see all the activity. standing nervously in the hallway looking about for someone to tell him where he should be. maybe a workspace sandwiched between a bathroom and a lounge of something. "This is Ben. But Scott had the usual teenagers fascination with the machines. making arrangements for doctor visits and of course the darker side of geriatric care. A few moments later he clicked off and smiled at his new employee. "I see my new gopher has arrived. One of those GHz varieties that were powerful enough to be used any where in a building the size of Ashley Gardens." Scott replied a little uncertain of himself." He got up and walked around his desk.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Good. A staff of about five people running administration and ensuring that the home ran properly. he knew how to keep one working." Zulee took him by the arm and led him across the hall. What do you know about computers?" "A bit." Scott looked apologetically at Ben. When Scott arrived in his trusty suit. Lydon Chapter 11 Working at the Ashley Garden's retirement home was a new experience for Scott. because nobody here knows anything about the damn machines. Scott stared at him uncertainly but the small man was serious. Page | 74 . 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. Instead there was an entire corner of the building devoted to office space. but Ben simply shrugged and gave him a friendly smile standing up. played with his own from time to time. Zulee was sitting behind his desk drinking a cup of coffee and talking into a very expensive cordless phone. "Come along. deaths." he said introducing Scott to a very attractive man in his mid twenties. "Shouldn't we get him a desk Zulee?" he asked looking about the large. if rather barren room with its double row of filing cabinets. He nodded and tapped on it gingerly. scheduling events. He looked up at Scott and nodded at him before bending back to the phone. he had expected a nursing home. but an entire office? He suddenly felt very out of his league. "He's my accountant you are going to be sharing his office. You've just become the computer technician.

Vancouver bud. more like in lust. perfect face.. tools. and he plugged in the first computer. It ran Page | 75 . He would have to try to figure out what was wrong and how to fix it." "Eight years in Brooklyn. smiled tightly and nodded. so that it was more comfortable. Lydon "Already arranged. That was five years ago. right?" Scott sucked in a breath." Ben said beaming at him." Zulee said pushing Scott aside to allow the man wearing maintenance coveralls through with a broad table. and looked up at the other young man." Ben's finger's flew across his keyboard inputting numbers. "I take it you have no idea what on earth your supposed to be doing. "You're American?" he asked incredulously. "yeah. "Uh hi. Scott adjusted the stool. He stared at Zulee for a moment. from the sounds of it you've spent a little time across the pond yourself. it was a friendly one filled with teeth. it sounded easy but as his eyes looked down at the broken computers he felt his chest clench. I was plopped down into this desk and told to balance his books. "but I get that all the time. "Welcome to Ashley Garden's. and something about the way he said it caused Scott to start." "Neither did I when I started. well not love.Return of the Sun Christopher P. stool. "Great. He gingerly sat down on his stool at the bench facing Ben's desk." Scott replied. and four computer boxes piled on the table. "Coffee?" Ben said.. Especially perched on top of a stool in a monkey suit. Within minutes Scott had his own workbench. I just had to learn it as I went. "I just make sure everything balances and if it doesn't I figure out why it doesn't." 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 smiled. one of the swivel kind used by drafters. this was going to be a lot harder than just entering numbers. but the old man was talking into his phone again wandering back to his office." "That's it?" Scott asked incredulously. And Scott was instantly in love. rewarded by a whine of it booting up. I'll be right back." He said still not exactly sure what was happening. Ben was an amazingly handsome man. smart suit and a smile that could curl toes. "Canadian." Ben replied standing up.

he set it down and walked around to his desk. which actually loaded Windows this time." Ben stated returning carrying two mugs of coffee. "Get too good at that and you might make me look bad. there were no lights. Scott shook his head. however the settings had been fiddled with. nothing. "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. A few clicks and it was back to normal. Lydon through its normal checks. Two down. "Got lucky. leaving him to uninterrupted work. pretty cool." Scott replied trying the next one. rolling up his sleeves. "Hey. Five minutes and one of his five was working again. Ben watched him in between inputting his figures. He flipped the machine on for a quick test. no sound of a fan. he couldn't figure out why it wouldn't turn on. he had two computers completely dismantled and he was attempting to build one out of the two. and was rewarded by life. He poked around inside it and could see nothing physically wrong with the computer itself. stepping back to try it again. one was still sitting there for him to reload windows on to it and the last was being scavenged for parts. he could do this. happy that he had actually accomplished something." he replied taking another drink. buying one of the first computers back in the day and upgrading to the newest model each year. but he was smiling. He chewed his lip. those blue eyes captured Scott's as he spoke. but froze while trying to load windows. He grabbed a sheet of paper and made a note of that before unplugging it and moving onto the next one. he pulled out a screwdriver and had the case open." Ben chipped jovially watching him. That one hissed at him and refused to start at all. He knew that because his brother had pulled similar tricks on him back before he left home. An hour and a half later. and each time Scott drained his mug Ben would refill it. The next machine was stubborn. he just needed to remember that he had played with similar machines the entire time he was growing up. This time it booted first time. but the thing remained dormant. "Great job!" Ben commented. He crossed his arms and stepped back." Scott grinned his usual dopey grin. "it seemed like a good idea to just get stuck in. He had managed to fix three of the five. taking off his suit jacket and draping it over the shoulders of the chair. His Dad had been a technophile. returning to his numbers.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Finding the loose cable he plugged it back in. Page | 76 .

" He stopped and frowned." "Thanks. he was a good foot higher than his workbench. Sink or swim kind of guy." Scott broke out into a broad grin. But all things considered. all the time keeping his composure. "He's an odd one that's for sure. "You're eyes did this three point check thing that my brothers always used to do. "My Brother is gay. Cocky. you?" His heart was racing now. satisfied the hall was empty he leaned forward. Page | 77 . if he likes you you're set. "Eyes for intelligence. arrogant Canadians were all the same. I figured if I got it out in the open you wouldn't feel so uncomfortable working up there. Ben turned red as a tomato. if he doesn't you're out. "Eyes." he grinned at Scott seated high above him. catch them off balance and they always blushed." Ben responded. "I think he is going to like you.Return of the Sun Christopher P. All gay men do it subconsciously. how'd you know I was gay?" Ben craned his head to make sure no one was listening." Scott shot back quoting Serena. Scott's jaw hung open. not entirely sure how to answer that." "That'd be the one. "Gotcha." he motioned to the bench full of working computers." He responded as Scott's eyes travelled down to it. and he felt like an idiot sitting on it looking down at the confidently smiling Ben who was staring back up at him. too laid back for their own good. had he been staring at Ben too long? Had he just blown it? He struggled to figure it out. was he calling it right? If not he was going to be left hanging over an awfully high drop. "a year. The gold wedding ring making a dull thudding as it tapped the highly polished surface. belt buckle and shoes. Playing it cool was second nature. "Okay then mister big shot." Ben crossed his legs in his chair and slid it back. immediately realizing how uncomfortable the thing was. belt buckle to see if he's in shape and shoes to see if he takes pride in his appearance. "So how long have you been out?" Ben asked out of the blue. and Scott was pleased that he had finally turned the embarrassment tables about on him. "What made you think I was?" "Cute ones are always gay. "Yeah well all the good seats were taken." he said with a smile." Scott yawned and sat down on his stool. Scott licked his lips." He balanced his cup on his knee. Lydon "Zulee likes that. he wasn't about to let Ben know how ruffled his feathers were. "Nice try though. Ben grinned at him and rapped his ring finger on the desk.

. Lydon "Watch it big ears. well they aren't shy about it shall we say. it was a great way to pass the time. in the Spartan office. my wife thinks I just like the attention." He glanced over at Scott. "I'm a terrible flirt. "You think I'm coming onto you?" Scott asked now thoroughly amused by the whole conversation." Scott shook his head. unless that's your thing though. nor the way he tapped his wedding ring every time Scott accused him of hitting on him. besides you're too busy staring at me. "No. they're really not. and not just because of that odd smile of his. "Sorry. with both of us in here they are never going to let us get any peace. and knew a joke when presented with one. He was really starting to like Ben." Scott stood up laughing as he set about repacking his tools into the toolbox. Ben leaned forward shaking his head still smiling as he set to work. And I thought my office was popular before. "I think I'll pass thanks." "Not the only one staring.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Ben shrugged.. "But seriously though we have a number of nurses here. mostly women but most of the male ones are." Ben stated pointing at him. "Funny guy. just think of all the dirty old men.. "You realize we could both be done for sexual harassment. "Thought you might." "Married long?" Scott asked hoping to steer the conversation back to something more manageable. "Five long and happy years before you get any ideas." Page | 78 ." Scott countered." "That why you work here?" Scott was enjoying the verbal sparring." Ben gave a smile as he pulled his hand's back from the keyboard. Ben tapped the ring on the edge of the desk again. "a pretty boy like you in a nursing home." Ben was laughing." "No you're not. There was a bond forming with someone that gave as good as he got." "Any cute ones?" Scott grin became predatory.. Besides. "And here I was thinking you were coming onto me. if it is I'm sure you will be popular." Ben smirked at him. Ben laughed again. what else was there to look at? "Five years this Fall.

especially not when's someone's rubbing it first so it's you who can be forgetting the ideas." Ben grinned as he tapped his ring again. "Sorry don't know what you mean.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "You always steer the topic of conversation back around to that? I think you have some repressed issues over there my friend." Scott stated setting the toolbox aside." Scott looked down at the ring then slowly back up at Ben. well my Daddy always said not to rub another man's rhubarb. "Uh huh. "I can see this is going to be a lot of fun." Ben chuckled shaking his head. Lydon "Why is it." Page | 79 .

" Scott responded taking a pull on his pint and staring thoughtfully up at a bare patch of the wall. looking across at Darren who was telling them both about the Darlington races that were coming up. Lydon Chapter 12 The Golden Martlet. much to Scott's dismay. However.Return of the Sun Christopher P. That in itself was a revelation. "Well. he reasoned. He had ended up being made to drive all over town to pick up the original documents by hand. it seemed to like receiving faxes and turning them into pictures about the size of a postage stamp. At least it had been an excuse to drive his boss's car. and not be stuck in town dependent on his friends every time he wanted to go anywhere. He's got some good second-hand cars sitting there he might let you have cheap. Scott was only half-listening while looking about the bar. are you going to buy a car now?" Darren asked suddenly switching topics on Scott. "look on your lunch tomorrow. "He's thinking 'bout it. it would be a welcome asset to work. it had been a long day at work. 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.. And no matter how much Zulee made it out to be a punishment. one hand on the back of Serena's chair. Darren could see him mulling it over and he grinned at Serena. He could. Brighton would suddenly be a whole lot more accessible. the pub in Hellingly that Darren had first taken him to.. "Go on. tie loosened. "So." Page | 80 . He was getting a decent wage from Zulee. Stop by the garage and talk to me dad. But that wasn't important to Serena who had insisted that she wanted them together after work for a drink." Darren egged him on." "I am. Scott was still in his suit. for the first time in his life he could actually afford to own a car. and Zulee had given him the onerous task of trying to get a computerized fax modem to actually receive faxes. 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. holding onto a pint and leaning up against the edge of the bar. When Zulee had complained." Scott was suddenly aware that he could finally afford one. Not exactly the most useful format in the world especially since they were usually important contracts. Scott had recommended a magnifying glass and things had spiralled downhill from there. actually. was dismally quiet on a Thursday night.

"We should do something." She stopped herself.." Serena said. Lydon "Not like that Banger you have. Great. she deliberately changed the subject.. now is complaining when I try to help him out. "He probably has a job. Darren as usual grinned and kept going. "'ere look at 'im. referring to Darren's red rocket that was parked alongside the building. part-English--sounded like the pretentious host of an English cooking show. heading for their own end of the bar. And pints in hand. the way his eyes lit up just talking about them.Return of the Sun Christopher P.partAmerican." Scott said hopefully. much to Scott's relief." A couple of larger young men walked into the pub." Darren had decided that Scott's blended accent-." Darren was all for cars. apparently the reverse gear would no longer work so he was limited where he could park. Serena looked about ready to stuff her pint glass into his mouth to make him stop. "Yeah. as Gran used to say. "He gets off a plane with the shirt on his back. what's he supposed to be?" Apparently Scott was a bit overdressed for the Martlet." "Like what?" Scott asked. Mate?" Scott nodded. I'm fine. Scott felt they looked vaguely familiar." "Hark at Lloyd Grossman over here. I hope. "Yeah. Scott shot him a look. The other one shook his head. So you were saying about cars?" "Well. he could happily while away an entire evening talking about different ones he worked on. finally when she had enough of his incessant babbling about carburettors. One of them nudged the other." she said getting a glint in her eye. It was a right lark. Fuelled on prayer. "last year a bunch of us girls rented a flat on the Isle of Wight for a weekend." she smiled." He said it in such a way as to signal to his buddy that he wasn't interested in starting anything. all he needed.. find you something you'll like and can use. looking sweetly up at Scott. "Something special this summer. glaring at Darren daring him to change it back. I met this one bloke and. Not exactly the most flattering of comparisons. Darren was looking at his cousin in concern. "I actually want to get to and from work without breaking down.. Dad could probably work out a deal. all dressed up. "You okay. Scott glanced up and felt his chest tighten. or things he planned to do to his own once he got the money. the pair of them went off to lay claim to the pool table. Page | 81 . "Well. politely ordering another pint and leaning in to hear her better.

"We were just thinking about doing something this summer. uncertain at the hostility against her idea. "What is?" Dickie asked. busy with work. Scott hadn't even noticed him enter the pub. Which was fine. at least for Scott. It sounded like fun. Luke gave him a sidelong look while sipping his Guinness and turned a little away from him. "Wales?" Serena offered. joining the conversation." both boys stated at the same time. his dad trying to keep control of a pack of Walker children as they terrorized their way through the small Cornish holiday town. But the prospect of spending a weekend on the Isle of Wight. "Our Granddad owns a caravan in Kent. a good way to spend a weekend and enjoy themselves away from Hailsham." "Luke. Strangely." Dickie grinned." Scott remembered those weekend trips. Wales would be cold. wet and miserable. "Just a suggestion. Lydon Scott chewed on the idea a moment. going somewhere for the weekend or something. so naturally he would think returning there would be a good idea." Darren nodded back. joining them a second later with a couple of pints of Guinness. At least he was able to avoid the uncomfortable conversation that way. "Scott's dad.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Fortunately. Page | 82 ." Serena said. but tradition was tradition. Every time Scott had been he had spent more time inside watching the rain than he had outside enjoying himself. used to rent a flat there each summer and take all of us when we were little. looking up at Darren who seemed to be thinking on it as well. Darren had always been in the thick of the trouble." "What's this?" Luke asked. "No. "Griff. "What about Cornwall?" Darren asked. Luke didn't look at him with the same kind of suspicion in his eyes as that he directed towards Scott. sounded about as exciting as watching a flock of seagulls. Scott was getting used to Luke giving him the cold shoulder. Scott remembered however. Uncle John. He handed one over to Dickie and nodded to Darren. how much his father had dreaded those trips. causing mayhem and pandemonium wherever they went. hoping to dissuade Darren before he got too set on the idea. Scott had been spared Luke's nightly stops past Gran's. he looked over at him and shrugged. Typically. "Perhaps we should go somewhere new?" Scott asked. For the moment.

now he was signing a used-car loan. now free after the two louts had moved to a booth to work on a fresh round of drinks. Darren racking the balls. Scott felt Serena lightly squeeze his hand and brought him back into the conversation. Page | 83 ." Serena said and looked up at Scott." *** Scott ran a hand down his face as he reached for the pen and signed the paper. She had a relationship with the bank on the high street going back nearly thirty years. hoping the answer would be no. but enough for Serena to look at him funny. Luke glanced over at Scott. "Sure. Luke looked over towards the pool table." Scott exhaled in disappointment. gripping the back of Serena's chair. He suspected his gran had something to do with him being accepted for it. Darren nodded and the two of them crossed to the table." Luke replied noncommittally. "So if we go. he just seemed to like pissing people off. it will make Friday nights easier. "You're getting a car? Great. I'd love to.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "It would be fun. you apparently develop some pull with the manager. "Pool?" he offered Darren." Dickie explained. "Yes. Lydon "We're thinking about taking a holiday. Getting credit was a huge step forward for him. "We haven't been up this year and if I go and ask him I think it should be alright to use it." "You should come. not too loudly. seeing managers come and go." Darren offered. who was holding his breath. She always bristled around Luke." Dickie looked pleased. We can all split up among two cars and not have to cram into the back of your Metro." Dickie offered. would it be okay for Fleur and I to ride with you?" Dickie was asking Serena." "Ah. something about the two of them together that just didn't gel properly. "I was just saying Granddad's caravan. it was the first time he had ever taken out a loan on anything. no problem at all. When you do all your business at the same branch. Scott suspected it was probably Luke's doing. Luke nodded thoughtfully as he looked at Dickie who shrugged back at him. "If you get a car this week we can use that as well and do a convoy." Serena said. too late for either Scott or Serena to stop him. only a week or so ago he had been collecting Job Seekers. "sounds like fun. And he shrugged.

. he had been absently responding to her questions. murmuring something about the taxpayers working hard just so he could babysit an arrogant. he was beginning to sweat and looking at everyone nervously as he passed them. "I'm sorry sir. She gave him a smile as he set out. Lydon "How would you like that. And I had this feeling. Page | 84 . 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. "Typical. She was a pleasant girl who had been courteously walking him through every step of the process. If there was nothing. It was stupid. The assistant returned a few minutes later with five stacks of bills. see what was available. he was going to make a quick run over to Uncle Ron's garage. keeping a quick pace all the way down George Street. "and where am I walking you today?" He shook his head." he stated in a tone that said he wasn't happy. still reading the contract he had just signed. Luke was standing outside the police station. he hadn't actually expected her to give him five thousand pounds in cash." she warned Scott as she handed him the wads of cash.. no doubt thinking the same thing that he was. How was he going to carry that much money across town? He swallowed and accepted them. did you say cash?" He nodded. trying to make sure she had heard him correctly." Luke corrected. not registering the joke Scott had made at his expense.Return of the Sun Christopher P. I would advise you to be careful carrying this much money. one look at Scott and he made to intercept him. what person would be dense enough to pull a stunt like that?" Scott looked Luke dead in the eyes. "Mister Walker. "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. Mister Walker?" the bank assistant asked him politely. cash?" he asked. pushing them into his suit pockets and wondering if he would get jumped on his way. he could always visit one of the car dealerships up the far end of the high street. "Uh. "Shouldn't you be playing in traffic or something?" "That's directing traffic. He hurried through the town. It was a very brave man. She blinked at him. still a little stunned at how completely painless the experience had been for him. or a very foolish one to do what he was doing. His eyes bulged.

I'm sorry. "I didn't get a chance to apologize to you for the other day. Lydon Scott shrugged. as usual his eyes looking everywhere but at Scott. Ron was covered in grease." Scott replied firmly. It was nice to finally see Luke relax and actually not be such a complete ass. "You're a nice guy and besides your gran is. we wouldn't want that.. "Well. hating again that Luke was making him feel like an imbecile." he replied. So rather than look like a complete moron I decided it would be good enough. the least you can do is be civil to me this time. But Scott knew progress when he saw it. he was perpetually covered in grease. "I am. "I thought you were going to be civil?" Scott bit back.. 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. and endeavoured to find his uncle." Scott replied." Luke continued. "I'm going to Diplocks Way. "Well. as kids it had been the quickest way to get to school. They didn't speak for the rest of the walk to the garage. There was only so far he had to go to be polite." Scott said as they cut across the recreation ground." "Why bother?" Luke responded. and although it never once touched his face." Scott replied. I know. and Scott stuffed his hands into his pockets. because if you don't I'll kick your ass. "I misheard the bank teller and so I ended up getting cash." Luke replied dryly. and his patience had limits. a short." Luke replied. The smile from the first time he had insisted on escorting Scott home was back in his eyes. "Okay. he had finally hit his breaking point with Luke. wiry. "Well. softening his tone. breaking out into a smile as they struggled through the dirty track that connected the back of the recreation ground to Diplocks way. a few extra lines and a few Page | 85 . I didn't mean it. for a start. The two began to walk." "Yeah. Scott could see it.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Luke took a sigh. if I am stuck walking with you. I'll be civil. He hadn't changed much since Scott and Darren had been kids." "That was because I wouldn't let you." "Well. balding man. Luke gave them one of his cold hard stares and they immediately scampered away." "Buying a car. Luke simply nodding goodbye once they arrived and setting off back the way he had come. "on the condition you tell me why you want to carry that much money on you.

" Ron was never the greatest conversationalist." "Off-road?" Scott asked." Ron grinned.and off-road." he got a glint in his eye as he spoke. He preferred to quietly work on his cars rather than actually have to deal with others. knowing that he wasn't going to get much say. a Range Rover? Weren't they ridiculously expensive? When Ron had said Rover he had instinctively thought to the classic banker's sedan." Ron said as he kept going." Scott stated. that was about it. "What did he want?" Ron asked.. He rubbed his hands on a cloth watching Luke walking back up the street carefully. but she's served him faithfully both on. looking concerned. "Just a friend of mine.. Range Rover." he warned. wiping his nose with the back of his hand and smudging more grease across his cheek. it often came across that he was struggling." "No. "Well. even if it was his nephew's. "not a Rover Rover. Darren was working on a car up on the hoist and waved at his cousin. He just had to trust his uncle knew what he was doing.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "she's about fifteen years old though. "I thought you said a Rover.. Uncle Ron. "Well. pointing to the lot alongside the garage. no. though he wasn't about to say how much money he had sitting in his pockets. Lydon extra pounds. nodding at Luke. in all different kinds of conditions." he said. There were all different types. "That's right. My boss was actually going to scrap his old Rover." Ron said. Page | 86 . "What did you have in mind?" Scott said.. His uncle Ron was honest to a point. "I was thinking something more durable. "Darren said I should talk to you about a car. coming to a halt. "and there's about 170 thousand miles on her.. "Don't want that French piece of junk. and reluctantly Scott pulled himself away from the car and followed him deeper into the knackers yard. "I have something you might like. Darren was telling me that you learned to drive. Scott cheerily waved as he was led around back to what amounted to a graveyard of cars. still holding a spanner. though he tried his best. beyond that he wasn't above making a little extra cash at the expense of someone else's naiveté." Ron clarified.. bending down to look in the window of a rather sporty Peugeot that looked all right." Scott dismissed it quickly." Scott's jaw hung open.

The engine. but he wasn't nuts. Scott turned to his uncle in surprise.Return of the Sun Christopher P. He wasn't about to pay a ton of money for something that wouldn't. which promptly came off in his hand. but I'd like to see her continue in service a bit longer. stopping to slam it again to make sure it latched.. "the engine isn't running at the moment. "Can we do something about the dash?" "I can replace that.. his Range Rover. Though I can't help you with the seats. and some of them were really big. I'd say another thousand or so. "We were going to scrap her down for parts to keep other Rangies on the road. reasoning he could afford new seats." Scott looked at the old beast and at his uncle. if battered-looking vehicle. when running." Scott replied resting a hand on the mirror. and everything so she can pass safety. "How much to fix her up?" "Engine running. The interior was a bit shredded as well. "She's going to take a bit to pass inspection. though. Scott hopped down from the cab and slammed the door. Good brakes and electrics. there wasn't a body panel without a dent. and Scott honestly thought Ron was trying to mark the price up. Page | 87 . "That out of the way. leading him around the corner face to face with the elegant. The gearbox is equally good." he looked apologetic." Scott nodded. He sheepishly handed it back to his uncle. but when it does run it sounds good and it's very peppy. "How soon can you have her ready to go?" Ron looked at him sceptically. "You're going to take it?" "It's a fucking Range Rover.. thup-thuping as it reluctantly died.." Ron said with a smile. some parts are here somewhere." Ron said." Scott said." He sighed. But the price is good. the diffs are fine.. and the chassis is very solid. Four days later his gran was leaning on her hedge when the Rover rumbled to a halt across the road.. The engine growled as it came to a halt. "Four hundred. walking up to her.. here's the good news. all in all she looked very scruffy. Ron nodded as he patted the hood. and part of the dash was ripped up. Lydon "She's fallen on harder times. There were bits missing here and there. "I have another one kicking around here somewhere. He walked around the Range Rover. Man. We junked another Rangie a year ago. it was a Range Rover. nobody back in the States is ever gonna believe this." Scott nodded." "Replace them and add it on.. and grinned a lopsided grin." Ron said looking hopeful.

nodding to the olive-green monstrosity that was still looking slightly the worse for wear despite Uncle Ron and Darren's best efforts." he stated firmly. "It's mine. Despite its appearance it was running perfectly. Scott gave her his dopey grin. Lydon "What on earth is that?" Gran inquired.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Page | 88 .

setting the screwdriver down and removing the computer's defective hard drive." Scott's phone rang and he reached out to scoop up the receiver as Ben returned to playing solitaire on the computer. "I don't know. Scott wondered what would have happened if they had decided to go to Ibiza. "Yeah. "I think I'll pass on that one if you don't mind. I just got off." She sounded excited. "I was going to kidnap you and turn you loose on the wilds of Milton Keynes. "Oh it's not the Scousers I'm worried about." he offered with a deadpan expression. Page | 89 . "No thanks. Scott looked up from a particularly stubborn computer that was sitting in pieces spread out across his workbench. Ben winked back at him." Ben shifted in his chair. why?" "Well. we're all waiting on you." He crossed back to his desk and flopped into his chair. it's you." "What." He gave a broad grin as he let the blinds fall back to rattle against the window. 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. not up to it?" Scott grinned. I like it in here where it's warm and cosy." Scott shook his head. Dickie is over at mine with Fleur and Darren's gone to pick up Luke. "Huh?" "Safari. he was holding a screwdriver and had a determined look on his face." "Can you skive off work early?" Serena asked breathlessly. If a holiday to Kent could have that effect. Scott cradled the receiver against his shoulder as he went back to fixing the computer. "I could get a winch attached to the Rover and drag you out of the closet. looking down on Scott's battered Rover from the window of their office. hunting dangerous animals on the savannah. Scott had come to learn that Ben thrived on it. invariably he would go back to his favourite game of seeking attention. Boredom did funny things to Ben. if you don't kill me then a pack of wild Scousers will. "Ashley Gardens. babe." He gave Ben a grin. you know.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Scott speaking. "Though knowing you it's probably dangerous animals in Brighton. Scott looked across the desks at his colleague." Ben winced. "A good old-fashioned manhunt. Lydon Chapter 13 "You sure you're not going on Safari?" Ben asked.

he never tried to over-think a situation. It was sterile. Scott decided he should just spit it out. the whole family curling up in each others' arms on his dad's bed sharing their grief. There were no signs anywhere of areas actually being lived in. Zulee liked to keep everything neat and organized and the housekeeping staff worked extra hours to keep it that way." "I know. and Scott didn't want to think too much on it. It was a stark shock that everyone was mortal. a kind of look that acknowledged he was there. it was three in the afternoon. asking their thoughts on current topics and making sure they knew he cared about them.. Gran was getting on. Zulee would be down touring the residence floors making sure everyone was comfortable and happy.Return of the Sun Christopher P." she hung up the phone. babe. she was too vibrant. Harris what she thought about the news. he kept things simple and he expected others to do the same. treating them all with respect." Scott said glancing up at the clock. when his grandfather had passed away he had been abroad and they had heard the news over the phone. one of those powerhouses who would keep going till the day they died. Ben was grinning at him. "You're going to try to get off early. like he was too young. "You've been dropping hints all week. Scott sighed as he set the receiver back on the hook. He felt disheartened. When he saw Scott coming he was smiling. setting his tools down again. see you soon. "Great. "I'm going away for the weekend.. "I was wondering when you were going to break and ask me." Zulee said after he excused himself. She looked at him with no recognition in her eyes. too clean. It always felt like a hospital." Page | 90 . Zulee was standing in the doorway of one of the lounges asking old Mrs. the man was an eccentric character. Scott shrugged as he set off into the maze of corridors that connected the administration officers to the actual nursing home. It was strange. would she end up like that? No. no matter how much care had gone into making it feel warm and inviting. He passed an old woman labouring to get up the hall on her walking frame. He disliked this part of the building. none of the fire that made a person a person. It was a frightening thought. aren't you?" he asked. The way he said it left little doubt in Scott's mind that it was going to be a difficult feat indeed. He never patronized his residents. Lydon "I'll try. he always felt so out of place there. but nothing more." Zulee stated with a paternal smile.

She looked him up and down and shook her head. and he changed into something a bit more typically American.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Scott felt foolish. a pair of cargos and his trusty Page | 91 . To Scott it sounded like a truck. and Darren should be back soon. It didn't bother him that much." she said. but there was no denying the power behind that engine.. she was wearing a tank top and a pair of flood pants. and strangely. those computers aren't going to fix themselves." She looked behind him at the Rover. He found the bathroom right where Serena had told him it would be. "Dickie and Fleur are up at the corner shop picking some stuff up.." he said. a loud pollution machine. There was no denying the fact they were going away. "Do you mind if I get changed?" "Yeah. "Excellent. her eyes lighting up. he would respect an honest effort at a compromise. tossing her the keys. and definitely more comfortable. He slid down and took off his suit jacket tossing it back into the cab onto the backseat. "Well. Zulee smiled and took his hand. it was a feeling of safety that came from driving something that big. Serena came out of the house grinning at him. had he really been that eager? "My friends are ready to go. The Metro was decked out with roof racks piled high with baggage and a cooler. A blue short-sleeved shirt with a dragon print on it. He loved the feeling of being above everyone else on the road. looking him over. passing her mother wrestling with what looked like a couple of sleeping bags. already opening the rear of the Rover and eyeing the space appreciatively. the loo's upstairs on the right. He hadn't had a chance to change yet. a trilby hat on her head to shield her from the sun. and hopefully he could use Serena's bathroom. reasoning that Zulee was a businessman. "You're not going like that." she said." *** The Rover rumbled up outside Serena's bungalow just off Western Road. hefting his bag up and nodding at her house. Lydon "Yeah. they're just waiting on me. Serena was going all out for this trip and it looked like she wanted to take as much as she could." "How about if I make up the extra hours next week?" Scott said. "Do you mind if we start loading some stuff into the boot of that?" "Sure." Zulee thought about it. Scott ducked through Serena's house. maybe you can finally get the fax modem working. she looked ready for summer.

"So how's this going to work?" Luke asked. glad the sunglasses hid his eyes as he rested on the back of the Rover watching Luke begin to take his shirt off. The way Serena had stuffed it." Luke grumbled. Luke climbed out of the passenger's side shaking his head. He adjusted his shirt and turned back to a now completely changed Luke.. slamming the trunk of the Rover closed at last. unbuttoning his shirt. Darren rested on the garden wall dressed as he always was. tucking his white tee-shirt into a pair of jeans before slipping on his Adidas windbreaker over top. Lydon visor. "Looking sharp. He took the time to comb his hair so that it hung over the sides.. Scott grinned despite himself. 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. there. Feeling better he put on his blue-tinted sunglasses he had picked up for the trip. he cursed Serena's bad timing. it clattered a bit more before it finally came to a stop across the street. They had flipped down the back seat to make more room and packed everything in tightly leaving only the front seats empty. "What are you giggling at?" Dickie asked. He made it outside to find Dickie and Fleur loading shopping bags into the rear of the Rover that was rapidly filling with stuff." Dickie said. with shorts and a safari shirt. "You didn't have to babysit a bunch of Cub Scouts this afternoon. All he needed to complete the look was the neck scarf and the hat. struggling with the last of the bags. "You didn't know he's a Boy Scout leader?" "That's right. "Don't just stand there being useless. and the way the cotton slid off of. Luke was dressed like a Boy Scout. it looked like they were going for a full week rather than just a few days." Page | 92 . laugh you wankers. get your thumb out and give us a hand. I don't think my car will survive the trip. "Yeah. nodding in approval as he hefted a deflated air mattress into the back. and he looked back at the red rocket. The ragged rattling of Darren's car pulling up made them all turn." Scott blinked. it wouldn't be joining them on the trip. Serena slapped a bag into his hands.Return of the Sun Christopher P. From the way the red rocket sounded." He flushed. trying to contain his own chuckles. appreciating the British summer weather. glad actually that Uncle Ron had thought of him with the mammoth vehicle.

and slowly removed her hand from his arm. "Engine's a bit loud. about as pleasant as pulling teeth out of a grizzly bear. especially to him. you can ride with me. "Ok." Scott winced at the oxymoron. A beast chasing a small animal. another castle. in a hot car with Luke." Luke said looking about the inside of the cab." Scott offered. "Me. he had no desire to be cooped up that long with Luke while he went through one of his erratic mood swings. and Scott reluctantly climbed into the Rover. He winced at the pressure she was exerting. I should ride with you. Luke leaned forward and flicked on the radio. so who's that leave?" Luke rested a hand on the front brush bar that protected the front end of the Rover. startling his passenger. this one dating back to Roman times." Luke commented.. because his grandfather had worked in the Royal Observatory there most of his life." he explained as the Rover lurched forward and began to rumble after the small Metro. Scott ignored him as he reached down and started the Rover.. patting the hood of the Rover. one that said she didn't like that idea at all and to show her displeasure she tightened her grip on his arm. "On second thoughts I should ride with Serena. They should be coming out somewhere down by Pevensey. The beautiful summer sun shone through the green leaves of the old oak trees hanging over the roads." he said apologetically. buckling himself in. strangely energetic despite his normally reserved nature. The Page | 93 . Lydon "Well. the engine roaring to life. "Okay. "Figures you'd drive one of these. and if we get separated on the way you'll never find it. there's more room at the moment in the Metro. neither of you know the way. He kept his eyes peeled for the castle. shifting to get comfortable on the new seats. just stick behind Serena. satisfied when some decent music started to play he settled in for the trip. switching the dial to Virgin Radio. Luke hopped up beside him.. But Serena and her passengers were already piling into the metro. a funny sight to Serena's mother who was waving them off. Suddenly Scott seriously wanted to be back at work. Dickie shook his head. Scott looked over at him. a famous landmark. "No.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Sounds like a freight lorry. As pleasant as their short walk the other day had been.. And Scott tried to maintain the silence as the Rover bounded along the back roads following the Metro down to the coast via Herstmonceaux." Fleur gave him a pouty look. an Austin Metro and more room just didn't belong in the same sentence." Stuck in weekend summer traffic.

You've never been to Pevensey Castle?" he asked in surprise." he murmured. he looked good out of uniform. He looked past the pump into the gas station to where Luke was paying the cashier. The Rover was a great vehicle." Scott replied as he turned the indicator on and turned into the nearest garage." Scott replied. settling back in to nap. everything was so new in comparison to a fortress that had stood for nearly two millennia. more relaxed when he wasn't staring at everyone with a look that said he knew they were up to no good." he said. there was nothing that old in America." Scott said sincerely. turning to look at the castle that was literally a few feet away. I'd forgotten that. So much for them sticking together. re-educate you." Scott said. watching the meter on the pump climb steadily higher towards his destitution. well I felt like saying it. oblivious that they had lost the other half of their convoy. His short-cropped hair spiked out on top and with his soft Page | 94 . but it definitely wasn't the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the road. "For what?" "For not making fun of me just now. "Thanks. "We're going to have to stop for gas soon. Lydon area was just so rich with history. trying to see what Scott was looking at. still awed by its sheer majesty. becoming a bit embarrassed." Luke replied. Scott breathed a sharp breath. Scott smiled. Luke opened one eye. "What?" Luke asked shaking himself awake from where he was snoozing. "Leave it out.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Only ever passed it when we were little. "I'm going to buy a pair of sunglasses. "Petrol. Scott thought as he hopped down and started to fill the tank. Luke sat upright." He looked down at the gas gauge. "Oh. "Yeah. He'd have to thank Uncle Ron for that one." "Gas?" Luke inquired. do you want something?" "Coke'll do. and as the Rover swept around those ancient stone walls." Scott fired back. Luke got down from the Rover and wandered around to him. and a couple of drinks. looking over the rims of his sunglasses. "We should all go one day. the Metro continuing its course. reaching down to wind down the window and resting an arm on the door as he let the fresh sea breeze whip past him. "Wow.

Lydon features. 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. "Think they make me look cool?" he asked. "Tell me about the States." Scott replied with a daring grin. "Bugger that. but it's just not worth it. Scott smiled in return. Luke tossed Scott a bottle of coke as he climbed back into the cab. "And you're a prat. what do you want to talk about?" Luke thought a moment and grinned." Scott replied. lowering his foot a little on the gas pedal.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Luke looked at him." He rested his head on the headrest and enjoyed the drive." "Okay then." he warned still smiling. He withdrew the pump. returning to lounging his arm on the window." Luke countered. "So give me a ticket." "That's 'cause you're an asshole. "since you seem to want to have a conversation." Scott said. "Nothing. mate. "just good to know there's a human being under there somewhere." Luke replied. hardly one of Hailsham's finest. "What?" Luke asked. "And given the fact that you're short. "I write you up and you won't speak to me the rest of the trip. looking with dismay at the price it registered. you're a little prat. his paycheque from Ashley Gardens would be clearing soon. you'd just assume he was another college student or something." Scott said with a grin as the Rover bounced and rattled along a rough section of road. turning. removing the price tag from his new sunglasses and slipping them on. "I am a policeman. Scott flashed him another look and turned up the music. it was Friday. slotting in his bankcard to the pump and paying it directly. Let his overdraft worry about that. "I could make a comment." Page | 95 . and for the first time he actually smiled. Hearing the vehicle accelerate Luke sat upright. too nice of a day.

. Darren cursed up a storm as Luke hurried to give him a hand. pushing the sunglasses down his nose to get a better look. Scott bent down to start repacking the bag." Scott shook his head and grinned as he tossed the kits into the bag. and shot Scott an accusing look. "Alright then. She started when she saw her cosmetics spread all over the grass. talking into a cell phone. She looked at the mess. He looked up at Luke who was wrestling with a couple of sleeping bags. and Serena is inside storing shit. Scott?" he asked. "I have to go Mum." Scott picked up a tube of lipstick and looked at the label.. slacker?" Scott called out of the window smirking at him. and she looked at him. It was tucked at the back end of a rustic field under a huge oak tree. "How am I supposed to attract a really fit guy now?" Page | 96 ." Darren grinned as he walked out of the camper and opened the Rover's trunk to get at the bags loaded there. and Rovers like this one had competed in the Amazon Cup for years. he furrowed his brow at the collection of beauty products. "Finally. It ground to a halt alongside the camper surprising Darren who was busily unloading the Metro and ferrying stuff inside. no doubt informing her mother that they had made it. Lydon Chapter 14 He had been expecting a small round camper caravan. the spilled compacts and blush that had spilled out over the rest of it. picking up makeup boxes. it was designed for this kind of off-roading." Darren replied. Instead he was looking at a stylish and quite modern Winnebago." He struggled with a particularly heavy bag that slipped from his hand spilling its contents on the ground. Serena stepped down out of the Winnebago. setting her jaw." "You're more an ochre kind of bloke. a hair drier and more combs than one person could ever use in a single lifetime. "Trying to impress someone. the kind normally seen in holiday parks all over England at this time of the year." He laughed as he handed her the bag. "Passion Red is my colour. Scott's trying on my makeup. "I don't think.Return of the Sun Christopher P. handling the rough terrain easily. "You know I was just trying to make myself look pretty. "Dickie and Fleur buggered off. spitting distance from a small river that had once been a part of the canal network. The Rover bounded down the dirt track.

suddenly wondering what he had been gotten himself into. Lydon "Don't worry." "Fat lot of good that does me.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Luke stopped dead in the doorway of the camper. looking about her again. adamant that they were going to rough it for the weekend. you're queer. "I'll still love you. and I knew I should have brought a hose. from there the continent." Serena shook her head. "Not actual opera. "Yes. Darren coming up behind him collided and stumbled backwards. "He said something about taking Fleur for a walk. and Fleur and Dickie hadn't returned from their 'Nature' walk." Scott commented. but they're probably just shagging in the woods. or browsing through the multitude of antiques shops that seemed to be everywhere." Page | 97 . "there's supposed to be an opera house around here somewhere." 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." They both clambered aboard and Scott shook his head at Serena as he fished in the back of the rover for his own bags. "It's a beautiful town. *** Serena had insisted they take a trip into Royal Tunbridge Wells because she wanted to see the Pantiles shopping district. holding up a rather expensive looking makeup kit that had broken open. Darren and Luke broke out their fishing rods. One glance at Serena's long legs told him he wouldn't get five steps. Unfortunately Scott had been the poor sod who had ended up going with her." she commented. The sun was warm and Serena." Serena sniffed. There were a lot of tourists about snapping pictures of the Georgian shopping precinct. hands in his pockets looking about him. if he reached it he could probably make Dover. still in her hat.. we could get something to eat before heading back to the caravan. "That's gross. "Don't just stand there gawking!" Darren complained. and he looked at Scott in genuine surprise." Scott said standing up and brushing off the dust from his pants." Serena replied in exasperation. "Move your arse. Perhaps if he made a run for the Rover." he commented." "Opera?" Scott asked. "Not even here five minutes and they're at it. "Where'd Dickie go?" he asked. "it's a restaurant. was looking to and fro with a decided purpose.. walking with her.

And although he couldn't find wieners. all in black with pale skin and dark rings around her eyes. and they had promised they would stop and pick up some drinks for the night. Scott turned the Rover off the road and they bounced along the dirt track into the field. Page | 98 . They were really just browsing now anyway." she quipped. he was adamant that if he was camping at least one of his traditions would stay alive." Scott replied. 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. "Shouldn't we be getting back?" he asked. He felt his stomach rumble loudly and Serena grinned as she looked down at it. turning them over in her hand. But once you got out into the country there was an entire subculture to enjoy. but faltered and looked away. finally she agreed and they wandered back to the Rover to find a Sainsbury's supermarket. Wednesday from the Addam's Family. or even graham crackers for s'mores. Scott sighed. He sighed and grabbed the bags of Chinese before hopping down. glancing at his watch to see it was getting closer to seven in the evening. obviously disappointed at not being able to have supper in an opera house. "What?" he asked. Fleur was sitting on the steps of the Winnebago. working up to telling him something but dancing away from it whenever he gave her a chance to tell him. After that they had stopped for Chinese take-out which filled the cab of the Rover with mouthwatering smells. as they passed a couple of restaurants in the Pantiles that looked just as appetizing to him. Scott had to get inside before he burst into giggles at that thought. "I told you we should have stopped at the Opera house. The great outdoors was just a stone's throw away. looking at her. and she smiled at Serena. Serena looked forlornly about her. some things he had just grown accustomed to taking for granted growing up in the States. Scott thought it was a smile. Well. "It's ok. He frowned at her as they drew up at the camper. we're nearly there." Serena was giving him one of her looks. with Fleur you could never be sure. as if working up the courage. she had been doing that all evening. He tipped his sunglasses further down his nose and looked at the food realizing he was starving. and if you wanted to travel you had to be prepared for long drives. a look Scott had learned from experience meant she was about to tell him something. "You what?" she asked again.Return of the Sun Christopher P. embarrassed. Lydon "Oh. She opened her mouth.

Serena accepted her plate and sat down on one of the bench seats. opening cartons of Chinese food and bending down to smell the roast duck. "Reckon they are going to catch anything?" she asked as she expertly wielded chopsticks and sampled some of the duck. his arm gently brushed Scott's leg.Return of the Sun Christopher P. but after a moment she accepted it and began to tuck in. obviously the makeshift ringleader. "I'm the gatherer. looking hopelessly at his fish. "They're still fishing. skewering a piece of duck with a chopstick and tasting it. also preferring chopsticks. holding his plate in front of him. abandoning his fellow men and grabbing a plate that he began to load with food. watching as he began to dish out three plates." Scott replied." Luke said. as Dickie abandoned Darren's fish and joined the others in the Chinese. "I doubt it. and Scott relaxed just enjoying the presence. taking quick small bites while cradling the plate against her and looking about in case a larger animal tried to take it from her." she said." he said. Too many years of good Chinese food in Brooklyn had forced him to learn. Serena grinned. "Sleeping arrangements. They seemed entirely too pleased with themselves till they noticed the three others holding plates of cooked food. holding up the fruits of their labours: a tiny perch no bigger than Scott's hand." Serena said. turning. She acted like a squirrel munching on an acorn. Luke turned and held up his plate. men. His friend Yin had shown him one lunch hour at school and since then he had become adept at it. Darren was in the lead. "But what about the pact?" Darren protested. "Remember to be strong. 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. hopping up to sit on the countertop. Page | 99 . He sighed in relief as he leaned back on the counter. looked at his men. Fleur looked hesitant as Scott handed her a plate. The camper door rattled open as the triumphant hunter-gatherers returned from their expedition. "Bugger that. Dickie. "Are they still going to rough it?" Scott said. "Bagsey on the bedroom. "You're evil." Fleur replied in her timid voice." he replied." Dickie said. even though his eyes were locked on the chicken ball Serena was lifting to her mouth.

mildly annoyed that he couldn't do that. I am a girl after all. But then Luke was a Scout leader. Lydon Serena looked through to the double-bed sitting at the back of the camper. but he would probably disturb the sleeping occupants. he needed to pee. It'll barely fit two as it is. he thrust his bare feet into his sneakers and opened the door. paper." Scott and Darren exchanged looks. That's right. "So much for comfort. There was a ground fog curling around the field. He blew out a sigh. I call the bench here in the lounge. He sat up sleepily pushing his hair out of his eyes. "Rock. obviously there had been even less room in the tent than they had assumed and Luke had wrapped himself up outside. At least someone was getting some sleep.Return of the Sun Christopher P. he yawned and the eye closed again. realizing he had to pee. And so he crept past the tent where Darren's feet were sticking out of one end and loud snoring emanating from within. He looked around. stamping out into the cold morning air. he was going to hate the day. He had been tossing and turning all night trying to get comfortable.. Scott tossed. Reluctantly sitting upright again and pulling the sleeping bag around his shoulders like a cloak. and she sighed. he was probably used to sleeping outdoors. Scott lifting his balled fist. It was proving to be an impossible feat. or scissors. trying desperately to get some sleep. and a cow was happily munching on it. He debated slipping into the camper. "Does this mean I have to pitch the tent?" Scott sighed reluctantly. rubbing his jaw and eyes to clear the sleep that lingered there. He would give his right arm at that point for a decent Starbucks or something close by. trying to remember why he had gotten out of the warm Rover. and decided ducking behind the tree line would be the best thing for him. followed by rhythmic breathing as he fell back asleep. Scott thought. casting him a big-eyed glare and snorting before bending back to its grazing. rising up amidst the grass.. especially since he knew there was no real coffee within a five-mile radius of them. 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. I get to sleep in it. but if I put it up." Darren's face fell a little." *** Cramped into the backseat of the Rover wrapped in a borrowed sleeping bag. Give him a Page | 100 . There was a stirring in the sleeping bag as Luke opened a blearyeyed head out of the flap and looked at him. Scott took another few steps coming around the tent and seeing a sleeping bag tucked outside of it. He returned the stare. and dawn was beginning to tinge the sky a light shade of blue. "I'll do it.

so if he could just slip away and leave Dickie and Fleur alone to their morning liaison. They had obviously not heard him. the long curly black hair and face twisting in ecstasy. it was far too early. zipping himself up and stopped. or was he just imagining 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 leaned around the tree. as naked as the day he was born. rising and falling in a particular rhythm that was unmistakable. Page | 101 . A low moan caused him to look about him puzzled. He had enjoyed the night sitting around talking with his friends. He slipped back to the camp site as quietly as he could. He sighed. and what it meant. curving her back. hugging as he found a tree and began to relieve himself. his jaw hanging open. not exactly sure what he should do. Had he really heard something. Scott went red as he gaped for a second. And for the second time that morning Scott was shocked: Serena. The gasps from his partner confirmed it. licking his lips and looking up at the ancient oak tree he was watering. Scott felt a little jealous of that. 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 were all going out of their way to make him feel part of their circle. Lydon knife and drop him in the middle of the Amazon and he would survive. strangely fitting into the odd mixture of very different people. Dickie. Luke was a survivor.Return of the Sun Christopher P.

And as much as he wanted to enjoy himself." Scott replied barely touching his own. "I just didn't sleep well last night. steeped in the history of a nation." Dickie laughed. Despite everything the two seemed to be friends. adding to the complicated situation. Luke had gone with Darren trying to find Thomas the Beckett's tomb. he could close his eyes right there and fall asleep. and Scott immediately felt uncomfortable. he was on the right road though. Especially with Luke dragging them all over the Cathedral precincts and pointing out pieces of history. he was never happy unless he had a pint in this hand and a cigarette. but finding sometime to actually talk to her alone was problematic. His own problems were petty in the grand scheme of things and he knew it. Scott suspected that it was mainly done for his re-education benefit. Scott sighed tiredly and slouched in the seat enjoying the sunshine. Dickie adamant that he had enough culture for one day and wanted to find a pub. They had eventually managed to break up into smaller groups. we've all been there. It had a way of putting things into perspective for Scott. The ancient stones almost sang. he was distracted. She kept trying to wave her arms and get everyone to move along. It was a simply stunning building. a decent job and the start of some good friendships. rough night in a car. He at least had an idea now what Serena had been trying to tell him the day before. taking a long draught from a pint of bitter. "Just you and me then. Even though it was only about midday it had been a long morning. and Serena had dragged Fleur away in an effort to go souvenir shopping. at least not until he had a chance to find out what was going on from Serena. He didn't want to be alone with Dickie. 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." Dickie stated as the two started off to find a quiet pub. He just didn't know what to do about what he had seen. But he was stuck now and found himself swept along by the charismatic man." 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. "Ah. Page | 102 . Typical Dickie.Return of the Sun Christopher P. mate. They settled into a pub booth and Dickie affixed those searching eyes on him. it had been Luke's suggestion that they do something cultural. "What's wrong?" he asked. but a group of rebellious vacationers were adamant that they wanted to photograph everything in sight. Lydon Chapter 15 They had travelled into Canterbury. "Nothing.

those blue eyes boring holes into Scott as if trying to read what he saw in Scott's eyes. "It's not. "because you're getting something out of it. but Dickie chose to keep his smile on his face. Lydon running about all over the place. doing something with myself. The best way was to ignore it. and he shrugged. *** Seven pints later Dickie was drunk. I want to be out there. turning the tables." Scott replied taking another drink. "You know. "A bit of philosophy. I think my mum wanted it more than I did. Dickie leaned forward in his seat." Scott said." "Ever want to go back?" Dickie pressed. and no little tea party would change that fact." "It's a matter of finding something you love and doing that. "I wanted to say something to you. His eyes seemed to tighten slightly. which is good. I just don't think university is my thing. Scott was on his third and feeling a little light-headed. Page | 103 . I didn't get much out of it the first time round. sitting back. beginning to wonder what had happened to the others. and was feeling rather proud of himself. normally people didn't go into his abortive university days. He had managed to get a few good shots in. well I just can't picture you as a priest.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Dickie nodded around his glass draining his first pint and getting up to order himself another.." "Right.." he said beckoning Scott in closer to him. over here at a real school. "but honestly I don't know if I want to. Luke had set a hectic pace. and it was just good to take a load off and rest. "I wanted to do something meaningful. "Why theology?" Scott asked. Scott turned back at the unexpected question. They had covered a wide array of topics from the Peloponnesian Wars through to the stark differences between 'Yanks' and 'Limeys'. but I am going back after Fleur has the baby. Dickie scratched his head. the latter being a chance for Scott to give as good as he got for a change." Dickie replied." Especially not after that morning. "I've thought about it. "What were you studying in university?" he inquired jovially." Scott rolled his eyes at the not-so-subtle patriotism. he was used to his friends firmly believing England was the only place on earth worth living. the usual. 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. English. Dickie watched him a moment.

it's like you're everything they're not." Scott stood and fumbled through his pockets. setting his drink down. right?" He settled back smugly in his seat. I feel bad about it." she said exasperatedly." Serena said." Dickie struggled again. there was no denying how toasted he was." Dickie said. so Scott tried to explain. "I don't understand. obviously happy he knew something Scott didn't. "Sorry. you're a great friend and a decent bloke." "It's okay.. "there's no way I'm letting you drive us back.. Serena recognized him." Scott offered. "When you said 'I can't give you what you need' that upset me. Serena rolled her eyes and extended her hand to Scott." "Well. a confused look on his face before he leaned in again.I'm not gay and I'm sorry about that. having trouble expressing himself. Serena was walking past the pub windows with Fleur and Scott tapped on the glass and beckoned them inside." Scott squinted.. to like me.." Scott nodded his head.. You're handsome. A few minutes after Serena joined them. that really hurt. did Dickie think he was coming on to him? That hadn't been what he meant. "We've been right here." Dickie chuckled as he slid a little in his seat. "Do you remember where you parked?" "I'll take you there. He sat back a bit. He was smashed and it was high time they tried to find the rest of them and went back to the camper. "It's true. But Dickie seemed to be having a problem with it. "Yeah?" "The other night in Brighton. Page | 104 . I'm not gay. he knew full well Dickie was straight. I tried it once in university but it wasn't for me. pulling out the keys and giving her his lopsided grin. I just. "It's okay. I like you as a friend. "What I mean is. her hands on her hips. his mind dismissing most of what Dickie was babbling about. Lydon Scott humoured him and leaned in." Scott blinked. "We've been looking all over for you two!" Serena accused. As luck would have it. Dickie looked at him blankly and shook his head. Luke and Darren pushed their way inside. you've travelled. You know you make people jealous. he had said it as a joke.Return of the Sun Christopher P. trying to make sense of what Dickie was saying. it's just I'm not gay. pointing into the pub. smiled and waved at someone further up the street. "Gimmie the keys..

. "I was peeing this morning.. big oh. thinking back to his own garbled conversation with Dickie. There were the obligatory nods all round and they left leaving the four to sit around the table. "Yeah. It wasn't something he could accurately put his finger on. "That's a good idea. "Hey. but loved him? No chance of that. as well. "Something on your mind?" he asked. finally breaking the silence that had descended on them. saw a bit more of nature than I wanted to. Scott had watched people gravitate towards him. She glanced at him. respected him. She looked at him. mortified. And Scott kept quiet himself. Dickie leaning forward in his seat again. Scott wasn't Fleur.. her eyes thoughtfully staring at the pavement in front of her feet." He nodded. finally glad to get Serena alone for the chat he needed to have with her. Page | 105 . "Oh. It had been big enough to ferry all of them so fortunately they had just brought the one vehicle. Dickie had a powerful draw about him.you saw?" "I saw. 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. He stopped and bought an ice-cream cone from a vendor and they walked.. And ordinarily.Return of the Sun Christopher P. it was this thin vein of arrogance that made Scott cringe. he at least had enough self-confidence to avoid that trap. "You. Like the assumption that Scott had feelings for him. guess what. Those powerful eyes held your attention and made you listen to what he had to say." he confirmed as they crossed a cobbled street under a gate that had to date back seven hundred years. "I." *** He was glad to be out in the fresh air. that was just plain wrong. Lydon "How about we wait here for you both?" Darren suggested eyeing the bar and licking his lips." Serena flushed bright red." Scott agreed a little too readily... there was no question there. the wind was picking up a little and they both walked in silence down towards the car park where they had left the Rover. as she seemed to consider how much she should tell him." Scott decided to take the direct approach." They continued on in silence. Scott liked him.

"Ok. you don't want to do that." "No chance of that. "You're a fine one to talk. She popped it into gear and they began to drive back to the pub. "Looked like you were having fun. A passing nun flashed him a scandalized look and sped up to get away from the lurid American. "I don't know.." he moaned.." She adjusted the seat and the mirrors before starting the Rover with a roar. "you don't need to explain it. "Ohhhh. "but he's married. Lydon "We've been seeing each other for the last week." Scott replied as they rounded the last corner and came upon the Rover." Scott said with a grin." "I'm saving myself. The two friends giggled." He looked at her in genuine surprise. Dickie's not married. Some kind of validation that she wasn't the evil monster she felt like she was.. it's only fair. "You know." Serena admitted finally. "So you're getting some.. "Yeah. it wasn't as if we were trying to do anything." He twisted his face in an imitation of ecstasy. "He's about to have a kid. Mister Right and all that. It had to be tearing her up inside. "It's okay. sometimes these things just happen. "There is this guy at work." Scott replied climbing into the passenger seat. no big deal." She screwed up her nose. "Ewww." "I think you're just too timid. startled by the sound of the engine rumbling like a rhinoceros about to charge." She looked at him as if she needed him to understand that." He shifted in his seat and gave her a serious look.Return of the Sun Christopher P." "You don't go at it at all. Her aged features took on a look of horror as she hiked up her skirts. it just happened." He gave her a roguish grin. "You realize this means I get to see you starkers." she said. well. "I don't drop my drawers and go at it in the middle of the countryside. just be careful okay?" Page | 106 . "Come on." Serena said still not sounding convinced. stop that." she stated. I mean you haven't even so much as snogged anyone since you got here." He smiled in a way he hoped would reassure her he was being sincere. look at you." he said reaching out to squeeze her shoulder.... we just ended up." She shook her head. "That's different..

They were all wrestling with mature problems on a trip that was supposed to let them feel like kids again. instead life had stalked them down like a ravenous lion. the others standing in a quiet group on the side of the street. getting to his feet and pulling on his jacket and walking out to where Darren was piling bags into the back of the Rover. Darren shook his head. aren't we a cheerful bunch. He glanced back at them. it began to rain. "Hey. and surprisingly she shot Scott a look before snuggling into the crook of her boyfriend's arm possessively. "Just we'll go out for a drink tomorrow okay?" He met Scott's eyes and made it clear he meant it. "I'm going to find out what's going on. she sat across from him wide-eyed holding onto a cup of tea she had insisted on having." he said." Serena murmured as she put the Rover back into gear and drove back to the camper. As if by some divine cue. The atmosphere inside the car was so strained that Scott turned on the radio to break the uncomfortable silence that had settled over them. It turned out when they returned to the Camper that he wasn't the only one. Fleur was clinging onto Dickie for dear life. Page | 107 . pushing back his wet hair and looked at Scott. Scott wanted to go home." he said tiredly. Fleur had unanimously decided that she didn't want to be there anymore. his jaw set in that classic 'I'm pissed' pose he carried so well. "It's not my place mate.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Serena had no idea what was going on either. Lydon She nodded as they drew up. They were supposed to leave all that behind and have fun. And Scott rubbed his forehead resting in the bench seat of the Winnebago watching as everything was packed away again. pouncing on each of them and killing the last vestige of enjoyment. Since it was Serena's Metro she was being forced to leave as well. It was as if life had suddenly become infinitely more complex in the space of a few short hours. Darren just looked like someone had died. bending to help him lift bags up into the back of the car. almost disappointed. "Well. Darren sighed. A loud argument with Dickie had resulted in everyone agreeing to head back a day early. Luke was staring hard-eyed out of the window. As they climbed sombrely into the Rover Scott wondered what had happened to the high spirits." Scott decided. He rested his head against the window and watched the world flow past. "What's up?" Scott asked. his eyes still desperately sad.

he finally wrestled with whatever he was wrestling with and reached down to start the Rover.Return of the Sun Christopher P. spluttering and fading into clicking. "Shit!" Page | 108 . giving one last glance at the caravan as she did so. "We're leaving." Scott murmured to himself. scrubbing the side of his head as he stepped back to let Darren shut the trunk. The Rover made a valiant effort to start. Of all the moments it would pick. Luke tried it again. So much for the vacation. walking around to the driver's side of the Rover. "Great." He opened the door and got in closing it behind him and buckling his seat belt. walking over to get into the passenger seat of the Metro. Lydon Scott frowned. Dickie's head turned and his eyes met Scott's a second before he wrapped a hand around Fleur protectively." Luke ordered. 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. Darren cupped Scott's shoulder with his hand. He slammed his hands down on the steering wheel in frustration. The stuttered choking of the engine caused both of them to look at the dashboard. Luke was gripping the steering wheel tightly staring ahead. She gave him a light brush on his arm as she went around and got into the driver's side of the car. and was rewarded with more clicks. "this is going to be fun. He pulled open the door forcibly and climbed inside and slammed it shut. Scott lifted a hand as the Metro rolled away. neither acknowledging anyone else as they climbed into the back seat. the cold hard look back in his eyes. Dickie and Fleur had come back from wherever it was they had gone to continue their argument. making it clear that Scott wasn't driving. He turned the key again.

Return of the Sun Christopher P. It would explain Fleur's reaction. but Luke's? That was a mystery. he's popular. Luke was stalking back towards the caravan through the rain. There was a flash. he might as well find out if he was right." Scott said dryly. His hands were still balled and his body language was closed. He slipped out into the rain and was already soaked to the skin after taking a few steps. a tense expression setting onto his face. But the accusation was false. Was he that upset over his brother's accusation? He did seem protective. "This is such bullshit!" Scott bellowed. "He'll never love you. It wasn't true. and he ran a hand through it to keep it from getting into his eyes. and if the accusation were true. and everyone fucking loves him. all it would take would be for him to open his mouth and say something. his hair matting from the rain. desperate to make Luke realize this. But then much about Luke was just unfathomable to Scott. He gets a girl pregnant." "I'm not in love with him. it's okay. "He doesn't love anyone but himself. it was an off-the-cuff comment Scott had made when he was drunk that had been misinterpreted. he would probably be justified in his hatred of Scott. He drops out of school. Lydon Chapter 16 "You broke my rover. oh. listening to the sound of the rain pounding on the roof of the vehicle." Page | 109 . every time he does people make excuses for him. The slamming Rover door caused Scott to start." Scott said. the angrier he was getting at the whole situation. he just made a mistake." he said with a strange tone in his voice. he still hadn't turned. He can't do anything wrong. "Everyone does. followed by a rumble of thunder and Scott turned to stare out of the window as they sat in dead silence. The more this went on. "that's just the way it goes. it might also explain Darren's. there was an almost sad look in his eyes as he looked at Scott. "Are you going to tell me what I'm supposed to have done. Scott sighed. Whatever had broken up the vacation. taking two more steps forward. it probably had to do with the conversation with Dickie and his arrogant assumption that Scott wanted him. well that wasn't his fault he's just taking a break till the baby's born. he was annoyed not just at Dickie's arrogance. but the fact that everyone took what he said as gospel. He was getting wet. He's smarter. Luke rounded on him. or am I supposed to keep guessing?" Scott said angrily." Luke snapped. Luke was almost back to the Caravan. he wasn't deluding himself.

before Scott could find his voice. trying to work out the meaning of that statement." Luke repeated. "Why?" Luke said returning to his earlier angry state.." Scott said firmly. the man who was so angry at the world and everything in it couldn't even face him. "I've had enough of it. turned his back and began to storm away. realizing he wasn't making much sense. the rain falling steadily between them. his head sank lower till his chin rested on his chest and he knew the world had indeed gone insane in a single day. and he looked back over his shoulder. his voice getting a little stronger. It was enough to stop Scott cold.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Had you even thought to ask?" He turned at Luke who was staring at his shoes. soaking wet and yelling at him. "You just made the same assumption everyone else did. and I'm sick of everyone thinking they're better than me. "You've never liked me anyway!" He swore again. "It doesn't matter anyway. Page | 110 . He closed his eyes. "Serena has the cell phone so I'm going to walk up to the farm house and call the AA.. the bitter policeman. he advanced on Luke. He had simply reached the end of his rope." Luke began. he stood a moment dumbstruck trying to make sense of what Luke was saying. he wasn't about to let Luke go.. Lydon Scott frowned. Scott took another step back towards him. "What?" He asked. his own voice reflecting his confusion.. was everyone insane in this country? Or had his friends picked that day. "don't you think you've caused enough aggro for one day?" "How dare you say that my behaviour is unacceptable!" Scott had flipped. "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. of all days. I have just had it!" He seethed." Luke's voice was deadly quiet. I've had enough of you. shivering slightly from the cold. your goddamn brother who seems to think everyone is out to sleep with him. who the hell do you think you are?" He was inches away from Luke now.. what was going on? This wasn't what he had expected. "You're so fucking condescending. "I never said that. It took a while. a hint of fear in it." Luke's shoulders fell slightly. fury in his eyes." "How about you just stay put and tell me what you're talking about. and you just wrote me off without even giving me a chance." Scott's eyes slid closed as yet another piece of the puzzle slid into place. not with the wrong impression. "That's not what I said. to collectively go crazy? Whichever." "I..

I'm talking." Luke kissed him. "Ask me!" Scott demanded. "I said something to him. a coarse kiss at first.. making it as clear as he could. blinking at him in the sodden weather. Scott's words had sent him reeling. Look at me. Lydon "No. Kiss me!" He held up a finger. "Say it!" Scott had his hands on his hips." Scott replied. meeting Scott's wild eyes." Luke kept his gaze fixed on the ground. "You have kissed someone before. and he mistook what I said. His eyes were wide and fearful of the rejection he was expecting..." he said with a tense smile trying to make a joke out of his sudden lack of confidence... then when you get what you want you... "Listen to me." Scott said slowly." Luke tried again.. contemplative. "I don't know how to ask. You know what I think? I think you love it that you're miserable. "You really don't know how to make things easy do you? First you make me miserable. I am not in love with your brother. that way you can blame him every time you don't get what you want. He opened his mouth and tried to say something.." Scott said firmly raising a finger. still furious at the situation.. "but if I get one hint your usual facetious sarcasm.. "Oh. His eyes looked at Scott with a mixture of hope and hopelessness. deliberately." he stopped and blinked at Luke. "Can't say that I have. struggling to find the words.. you love hiding in your brother's shadow. Scott arched an eyebrow. Scott threw his hands up into the air.. realizing who he was talking to.Return of the Sun Christopher P. no longer wrestling with himself. trying to put his perspective on the world at that moment together again." Luke said in defeat as his shoulders sank again.. and Scott roared.. and then proceeded to make my life as miserable as yours. you can forget it!" Luke stared at him nervously... a rough pressing of his lips against Scott's. he now seemed a different kind of uncertain.." "I. "You made up your damn mind. and for a moment Scott had a clear window Page | 111 ." Luke licked his lips nervously. there was confusion on his face as he warred between his anger and his hopes trying to work it all out. "But." Luke tried again to form words. He looked strange again. "if you won't I will. "Fine. "Fucking look at me!" Luke glanced up.

"Whoa. "You sure you're Luke? You didn't get possessed or something in Canterbury? We are in the rural part of England. "I deserved that. "What am I supposed to say.. Moneypenny." Scott rolled his eyes.. "You're getting ahead of yourself. looking about as if realizing it was raining for the first time. "Now about that kiss. "Ok. "It's okay. a hunger that he was just beginning to discover for the first time. "Bloody useless thing.. nice shoes lets.Return of the Sun Christopher P. you still haven't asked permission. obviously afraid he had screwed up somehow. Scott smiled." "That is correct. The same Luke who had just kissed him not once. and he sighed. "Ok. but twice now.." Scott replied trying to stop his giggles.. putting both hands up to stop Luke's advance. Lydon into the terrified soul of the other young man." "Finish that sentence and you are walking home." he muttered bending in again.." Luke was kissing him again. "Is M in his office?" Scott laughed. Luke was growing eager developing a taste for the kissing. more exploratory. hello there Ms." he said in a flawless Sean Connery imitation. "What?" Luke asked in concern. "I still feel silly. holding Scott around the waist and staring at him from a few inches away.. Luke broke the kiss and shook his head." he said. gently parting his lips and returning the kiss.." Luke gave him a devious look. reaching up to turn Scott's visor so it sat sideways on his head. ok. I so asked for that. Luke nodded." Luke looked a little lost. And Scott pushed him away laughing. where all those alien crop circles appeared. "Well. "If I wanted cheesy pick-up lines I'd rent a Bond film. he was kissing Luke in the middle of a thunderstorm in rural Kent.. it's just." he said slipping out of Luke's arms. The same Luke who had been so mean to him as a boy. feeling the thrill of his touch." Luke continued with the accent." Scott stated. feeling Luke's hands wrap themselves about him.. stop. Page | 112 .." he admitted. smiling. relaxing into a kiss that this time was softer. you're a fucking asshole.. the same one who had called him a prat and had treated him like crap. "I'll be all right.. his brow furrowing.." He was laughing so hard at the absurdity of the situation." Scott stated setting his jaw.

. Luke forwards. Walker.. "You're driving me crazy... sobering up from his laughter and looking Luke straight in the eye. "Don't I get rights or something?" Scott asked." he said looking about him. I mean." Luke admitted." He lifted his hand to the side of his temple and shook it. It's like.. Luke rested his palms on the door on either side of Scott. taking another step forward. sooner or later you realize you respect them and after that fighting just seems so pointless. mate. "Too busy with life to stop and think about it." he really didn't know what to say to that bit of news.Return of the Sun Christopher P.. I don't know." Scott supplied. Lydon "Are you even gay?" Scott asked. that's nice. Page | 113 . "I. "I've never really thought myself much of anything. "You're the first person that's ever gone out of their way to get to know me." "Yeah. seem to have run out of places to run. "Well." Scott nodded. Darren's different than everyone else. err. By the way I changed my beat just so I could see your grandson. "So you do like me." "Oh." Scott nodded his head. that's it. Scott took a step backwards. "You're nicked. shaking his head." he finished lamely.. well I couldn't exactly tell your gran the truth now could I?" He shook his head. "Hi there. we used to beat each other up at school. Mrs... 'Then I decided to change my beat. waving a finger..." "Like you? I can't stop thinking about you. "You and those damn chips." he said in his best British bobby tone.... Scott backwards again and again until Scott felt his back press up against the door of the Rover.. So we started going out for beers and playing pool. I'd have told you to get stuffed.." Scott said. I would have thought the kissing would have given you a hint.. "I thought your mother. After you fight someone for the better part of four years." Scott arched an eyebrow again." Luke snarled. "well then.. "What about Darren?" "Griff? Well." "Who actually wouldn't leave you alone. unlike you. if you'd asked me last week if I'd ever kiss a bloke." Luke confessed.

. ". "What this time?" he asked exasperatedly." Luke said leaning in a bit closer.. he was certainly getting better with practice. or suspicion.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "You look like a drowned rat... It was Luke who broke this kiss... Lydon "How do they go: you have the right to remain silent or something. "You're a fine one to talk.." They kissed again. and his stomach churn nervously." Luke indicated Scott's bedraggled appearance. Scott followed his glance. only genuine honesty. those deep brown globes that were looking at him now with no shred of malice.." Luke suggested looking back at the Winnebago.. "But.. that is." Luke stared into his eyes. Scott closing his eyes and enjoying the feeling of Luke's kiss." Scott replied...you have the right to an attorney. and he looked wide-eyed at Luke. "Should we try to walk to the farm house or something?" "We could stay here another night. well we could." Page | 114 . nodding to him. if you can't afford one then. knowing full well what he meant by it. Scott blinked at him. He felt his heart stop. stepping back and laughing. "Stay.

still a quiet man." Scott said adjusting the visor on his head as he checked his mirrors. "I can see that keeping up with you is going to be a fulltime job. Scott wound his way towards Tunbridge Wells preferring a more direct route back to Hailsham than the one they had used to get there. Luke tossed the last of their bags into the back of the Rover and rested a hand on it." Luke agreed. before you get any more ideas. So he signed the forms with a grateful smile to the mechanic. and buckled himself in. he was still quiet and it had taken some time to get him to talk. 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." he said. and after an early-morning excursion to call for a mechanic. "No. "It makes you look fourteen. The kind spent on a beach somewhere sunning. it had taken some time to get him to talk." Scott grinned. The mechanic slammed the hood and wiped his hands before pulling out some paperwork for Scott to sign. tossing it into the back. always a wise investment for someone who didn't know the engine block from the alternator. Luke held up a finger. almost sounding reluctant.Return of the Sun Christopher P. as the Rover started its long journey home. it was going to be another sweltering day. Even though Luke had relaxed." He climbed aboard the rover. even though his face said that he was." "Yeah. through all the Page | 115 . Some time over the night it had stopped raining. and when she set her mind on something there would be no shifting it. right?" Luke commented. but even then the conversation had been sporadic. "You know I hate that thing. they had finished getting ready to leave. Scott blushed at that thought. "I wasn't having ideas. His gran had been insistent that he get one before taking a road trip. He looked reluctantly back at the camper. "Back to the real world then. He leaned out of the driver's-side window. "Ready to go?" he asked." Scott rolled his eyes again and took it off. who gave him a nod before getting into his car and driving away. "Happy now?" "Better. or better yet in a beer garden with a tall pint where you didn't have to think about anything. It had been fine for travelling to. "You coming?" Luke shook his head in wonder at Scott. It was almost as if the night before had been surreal. He was again glad for the AA membership. It was Sunday morning. and the sun was back in all its majesty. Luke had relaxed.

'Great night. that's all. "It's okay.. what now?" "Well." "Don't be daft.." Luke grinned at him." Page | 116 . that's all. surprisingly initiating a conversation." Scott smirked. the nervous edge back in his voice. "No. Now here he was going through it again... "Don't be a pillock. and every time Scott had heard it he had no choice to accept it." Scott said a touch of bitterness entering his voice." "Yeah. Scott. here it comes. and Scott nodded his head. I understand.." Scott looked over at him. "Hot one. but he had just kept falling back into that trap. "You know full well what I'm on about. I mean. "you're not going to tell me it was a oneoff." Luke struggled to find words." Luke shook his head. the Rover accelerating out of a turn passing through a rural village. aw fuck me. sometimes he enjoyed being facetious. "No. "We need to talk." Luke said. he wanted to talk to Serena and Darren and straighten things out with them about Dickie. He knew this story. for now I'm driving back to Hailsham. Brian had fed it to him every morning-after. "Tricky this.. I didn't mean that." Luke said. "I'm just trying to figure out what's next." he rested his head against the frame of the door. but Scott was rather anxious to just get home. turning the car onto the road and accelerating slightly. If he had been thinking he would've told Brian where to go the first time. Luke pulled out his sunglasses and put them on." "Shut up. shaking his head...Return of the Sun Christopher P. "I.' Same worn-out line. but I'm not looking for a relationship. "I think you're proposing. "I'm no good at this." Luke said sounding mildly annoyed. mate. you know. Scott braced himself." he said slowly. I'm just trying to wrap my head around it." Scott replied. Lydon scenery." he murmured shaking his head as he tried to form his thoughts.." he said. "So." he rubbed his face. "I'm trying to ask you what you think about all this. "Look." Scott digested that a moment.. resting back into his seat. "Right.

. to be my.?" "Sure." "Yeah. just a bit. "I've never had a boyfriend before. "I'm not even sure what we're supposed to do in this situation." "Asshole." "So you want to give it a go?.. working up the courage. me. "If you want we could stop at a pub." Scott shrugged.." Scott looked over at him again." Scott grinned." Luke asked." he said.. "Don't keep relying on me to make the first move." Scott could sense Luke's apprehension. "Boyfriends.. it was justified.. "That's my line." Scott replied. "Seriously. this is like working out a contract." Scott stated softly. 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." Luke swallowed." He scrubbed a hand through his short black spiky hair." "Yeah. "So what do we tell people?" "That depends on you.. They were returning to reality and with it came a whole slew of problems. obviously trying to figure out if Scott was serious. what do you want?" Scott chewed his lip watching houses slip past as he swept around a small roundabout. his mouth hanging open as he gaped. then. Luke recovered slightly and grinned. but on the trip home there was little choice but to face it. get me into a pub right now. let you have a little Dutch courage." He looked over at Scott again." Luke agreed." Scott said softly." "Yeah. I should be off my face for this. Bugger me this sounds silly. "Right. "I want you to be my." Luke grinned back. should he even tell Gran? Then of course there were his friends.. what did he want? Could he get into a relationship with Luke? If he did what would that mean? How would he tell Gran. and Luke's work. you'd never get me out again.. but seriously though. the fun of awkward conversations. so that's the awkward part out of the way.. this one's yours. It was all Scott could do not to burst out laughing. boy. "Ask me. "not like I have any better offers lately. "Right.Return of the Sun Christopher P. you. Scott. It had been simpler last night because they hadn't been thinking about the future.. "Right. Page | 117 . his work. "I should have a solicitor present. Lydon It was worth the dig just to see Luke's terrified reaction.

"Not that it would bother him. "How about we just forget this conversation before I get started on what I think of her right now." "That's probably for the best. but I had to hit you over the head until you did." Luke settled back into his seat." Scott retorted. Now I have the troglodyte mad at me. we don't tell anyone then?" "Well." Scott agreed." Scott agreed. she does look like one doesn't she.." Luke sucked his teeth. not them at least. though he'll never say anything." Scott replied. Lydon To suddenly burst out. "yeah.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Gran's a bit old fashioned. "wasn't I the one seducing you?" "Dream on. "She thinks Fleur's a little off." Scott said dryly." "I meant her general demeanour. "If I recall I was the one who had to ask. "You're right there.. "You sure you want this Luke? I mean we could just stay friends or." It wasn't so much a question as a statement. "And I'd like to avoid Dickie for awhile. So. it's just Fleur was really upset when he told her. you can't put one past her. "But you're right. "But Serena is going to know something's up.. Scott sighed." Luke murmured." Page | 118 ." "Yeah.." "Mum too." Luke countered." Luke hissed." Luke agreed. "I don't know if I'm ready for one of her golden eppy's yet." Scott concluded.. "remind me to thank Dickie for that.. "I'm going to have to tell Mum eventually aren't I. Griff's the same." "You are really going to get on with my mum. so there's two that have to know." Scott said.." "Right. that could be asking a bit much..." "Yes.. resting his head on his hand. "I think she keeps her ex-boyfriends in pickle jars. "Your gran is going to have my guts for garters. "Wait a second. then." Luke responded nodding." Luke agreed." "Ohh. I don't think she'd understand... prancing arm-in-arm with his new boyfriend up Hailsham High Street." "Fleur is a little off.

." He sighed." "Steady on!" Luke exclaimed. "I never said that." "Now that's going to be fun.." he looked panicked." Luke mused darkly as he played with a piece of rubber sealing on the window." Scott replied.. 'cause you do. Luke shook his head. being a gay policeman was another. "You were very. Luke reached out to squeeze Scott's knee with his hand." Scott blinked at him.Return of the Sun Christopher P. alright?" "I figured. But let's be careful." Scott turned at him." "Yeah.. how I want to tell people. and Luke was young. "Well. Always were." "You're relaxed for your first day...but I do.. when I first met you. Lydon Luke looked over at him. girlish. "Yeah. you sure about this?" Luke looked over at him.. "I mean.. I knew I should have stayed in bed.. fuck me!" "Winding you up." Scott said with a smug smile.." Luke searched for a polite way of putting it." Scott nodded. a neutral expression of indignation on his face. it's not that I don't.. Give me a bit of time to figure all of this out. I can deal with anyone.. I don't want to go about like you don't matter. "You're in love. That was inviting trouble. "Huh?" "Well. he had a hard enough time keeping respect without adding to the problem." Scott chivvied back lightly.. "Ok that made no sense. an eyebrow climbing slowly. the Rover turning onto the A22 for the last stretch to home. Page | 119 . "Great. "Girlish?" he asked. "Seriously though. I think I'm okay with giving this a try. Luke nodded. so now I'm batting for the opposition and my boyfriend's being an arse.... "I don't want to be your friend Scott." "I get what you're saying. well I... "But if I can deal with Mum.. "You're a policeman after all. "I don't want to deal with that yet." Scott agreed again. being gay was one thing." "You're serious about this aren't you?" Scott said looking over at Luke. He didn't blame Luke at all. I guess you're too pretty for your own good. aside from the fact you're still a pratt.

but as you got older you turned into a wicked Striker. playfully pushing Scott's leg. "Well." "Girl." Scott was still indignant. "Well at least I wasn't a little psycho with a pencil!" "You were hogging the poster paints. They had to be. "Girlish?" Scott repeated..." Luke looked at Scott's diminutive stature.. you didn't exactly grow.. I'm happy.. "but yeah.." Luke blew out a sigh. you don't react well. "This is so going to take getting used to.. "Ok. mildly annoyed at being referred to as a pansy. right now... this kind of conversation is the reason I don't date. "Great. "You know." Scott turned the rover off of the A22 and into the outskirts of Hailsham. so I was a girl in school. "Ok. ok.. I'm sorry for saying it.." Scott stated turning the Rover back onto the road and relaxing slightly. shaking his head." He was laughing now. "Oh. "Girlish?" Scott demanded. Page | 120 . "You're not a girl." Luke said waving a finger. There was nothing better than returning to somewhere familiar after a long trip away." "Keep digging. we're nearly home and I don't think we should kiss goodbye on your doorstep.. Tomorrow they would be back to the regular routine. "Happy now?" he asked.." Luke replied in a feeble attempt to explain...Return of the Sun Christopher P. his voice climbing a strangled octave. don't be like that." "Girlish?" Scott repeated setting his jaw..." Scott said. I was just saying that I think you're good-looking." "Yeah." Luke said." Luke replied leaning in to steal another one." Luke said stopping the conversation right there.. you're not effeminate at all.." "You said I was a girl!" "I said you used to look like a girl. "Remind me never to tell you stuff. great.. Lydon "Anyone ever point out that a vein in your temple throbs when you're annoyed?" Luke said trying to change the subject quickly. but you grew.. changing subject. "I didn't mean anything by it. Taking a quick look behind him he pulled it off to the side and leaned over and kissed Luke quickly. realizing he was probably a bit too late. but things were different now." 'Ok. But you're not exactly David Beckham either." "Good.. "you weren't bloody thinking that when you were.

Lydon Scott sighed softly to himself. things were definitely more complicated. Page | 121 . but they were also much better.Return of the Sun Christopher P.

It was like a sixth-sense he was certain she possessed but then that was an impression she always left him with." Scott nodded. already washing them and setting them to drain dry. giving him an I-told-you-so kind of look. he seemed surprised you weren't back yet. accepting it gratefully while glancing over the newspaper beside him. one of the tabloids that his gran enjoyed reading. "Will you be home for tea?" Gran asked as she picked up his empty bowl and took the mug from him.. "Thanks. It was as if she preferred to do things the way she had always done them. But then Gran didn't own a VCR. more from the fact that Gran had watched Corrie since its first episode. shrugging on his sports coat feeling glad that he could get away without wearing the suit now that he had settled into his job. turning the page of the newspaper. She seriously disliked the noisy Rover." Scott said with a smile as he closed the paper. "Well. "you didn't tell me about your trip. it was running fine until it started to rain. and was greeted with a picture of a rather large-breasted woman that dominated the third page. "I have to get to work. Every time he had offered to give her a lift she had politely refused. Lydon Chapter 18 The moment she saw him she knew something was going on.Return of the Sun Christopher P." she said." He scooped up his coffee mug and drained it. or a microwave. "I'll drop it off there today and walk to work. He turned the page quickly. "So. The television was a grudging acceptance of modernization. Gran was one of those women who could just look at a person and sum them up in a glance." he said. Page | 122 ." Gran sniffed again.. It was more gossip than news." "Oh. One of the first things he had done when he had started work was go out and buy her a trusty coffee pot. Darren was by yesterday looking for you. she always ensured he had some with his bowl of cereal in the morning. dear?" she asked extending the small pot to him. preferring to walk. "The Rover broke down so we decided to stay an extra night and call the AA in the morning. but unlike the tabloids in the States that were mostly fiction. at least this paper actually tried to be accurate in its reporting." "Fat lot of good a car that doesn't run in the rain will do you here. And as she buzzed about her kitchen that morning smiling at him. he was certain she knew something. "Perhaps you should have your Uncle Ron look at it?" Scott nodded. And though she never drank it herself. more from the fact she just didn't like cars. "Coffee." she said picking up a cloth to wipe down the breakfast bar.

"Your Uncle Nigel and aunt Debbie are coming down from Nottingham this week." Scott nodded. slamming the door twice to get it to latch. "And so do you by the looks of things. and he leaned on the brush bar as Scott hopped down. and nodded to the Rover." Scott blushed a little at the attention." Gran said stopping him one foot out the backdoor. sounding tired. and Scott was soon running up South Road to Diplocks Way and Uncle Ron's garage. Nothing seemed out of place. She started on the first try." Page | 123 . the one that kept the family together and kept them all sane. with a great smile and a model's physique and nobody could work out exactly what she saw in Nigel. "Zulee has me working late this week. I mean that." she said. barely eight-thirty in the morning and he had already gotten stuck in. yet old enough to be responsible. an odd tone in her voice as she dried her hands on a tea towel. Darren was covered in grease." "Oh. vainly wiping his hands on an oily rag that didn't seem to be helping his situation. Aunt Debbie was one of those wonderful women. "Now get to work before you're late... as well." She turned to look at him. before I forget." he smiled. "Just stand there a minute. and the blazer. just young enough to still be interesting to the younger generation. He hadn't seen his dad's brother in years and it would be great to see him again. looked sharp. a touch of emotion in her voice as she brushed down his lapels. "What?" he asked looking down at himself. "Cool. I'm configuring his fax machine. tie tied. Scott stuck his hands in his pockets. whatever the AA mechanic had done it had worked." she said." Scott replied. slacks ironed. thanks for everything. No matter what. He still had that sad look on his face as he watched Scott rumble up." she said dismissively." He looked at her with the same eyes that had idolized her growing up. but it was undoubtedly love.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Thanks Gran. a deep grey-blue that suited him." Scott said before he closed the door behind him. He walked out to the Rover and climbed in. "You're on your way now. She was like a stalwart bastion against the changing world." he said. He emerged from his bay. Uncle Nigel had been the 'cool' relative. "Oh.. "You just look so grown up. she was a constant. you don't need to thank me.. Scotty dear. "Morning. you'll soon be on your own two feet and moving out again. Lydon "No. "She needs a look-over I think.

" He sniffed and wiped his nose with the back of his hand. "you could pick me up after work and bring the Rover back to me. really. you know what she's like. "Nothing much to say. it was getting close to the end of the day. mate." "Yeah. "Besides.." Ben grinned. it's all a big misunderstanding. that's just no fun at all. "Fleur is French for flower." Scott agreed. "Tense.." Darren winced again.. "We'll go somewhere else." Scott fought back a yawn. "which is a world record for you. "I'm okay. Page | 124 ." "It really wasn't like that. then. which bounced off his head. without your distraction I'm actually getting work done." Scott said with a nod. Darren grinned." Darren nodded." *** Ben tossed a screwed-up paper ball across the desk. "Huh?" "You haven't said anything in an hour. Lydon "No." Scott reassured. and he reluctantly peered into his empty coffee mug." Ben replied petulantly. I'll buy you a pint at the Martlet. I want to clear up that mess the other day." Darren said shaking his head. "I bet you do. and you're not talkative. "Heard you got stuck in Kent. "Yeah." "Right." Scott bobbed his head. "Chances of running into Mauvais Herbe are a little too great at the Martlet. Serena decided after we'd dropped them off that she was no flower so we started to call her Weed.Return of the Sun Christopher P. smearing oil across his cheek." "Mauvais Herbe?" Scott blinked. you still up for that drink later? I tried to find you yesterday but Gran said you hadn't come back yet. space case!" he said with his usual grin. "you awake over there?" Scott looked up from the pdf document he'd been reading." Scott said blowing out a sigh." "Well that's no good.. Mum just had me up at the crack of dawn today. and well. "Dare I ask how your trip home was?" Darren winced. "Here I am waiting to hear all about your dirty weekend in a camper with five other people." He shrugged." "Something like that. "Hey.

"She's fine." Ben replied.. Though from what Scott had seen. I'll take a cup of that when you're done with it. He was startled when the door crashed open on Doctor Hanratti. "Alright where are the old biddies? Warn them no pinching this time because I brought toe tags and body bags with me. whenever Hanratti visited. looking up and shaking his head in wonder. the pair stopping in the kitchenette. getting up and collecting Scott's mug." He turned to Ben." Scott shook his head as he stood up and stretched his legs and followed Ben to the coffee machine. "I see you've been indulging in your gran's cooking. looking back through the offices towards the door. Good. right?" Ben pressed a gleam in his eye. if there wasn't an orgy what's the point?" Ben was teasing him. each taking part of the workload needed to ensure the residents of Ashley Gardens got the best care." Ben responded. well. and Scott rolled his eyes. and Scott noticed again that Zulee was notably absent. "Because I have none of my own. the female residents developed mysterious illnesses that often cleared up right after he left. He saw Scott and walked across to him looking him up and down. doctor. Scott hopped to sit on the edge of the counter. Hanratti milked it for all it was worth." "Aren't you married?" Scott asked again. the aging doctor had his customary examination bag tucked under his arm and a slightly harassed look on his face. Doctor." "So. He always was when Hanratti visited. Ben nodded his head. "There was no orgy. Ben examined the suspect contents of the coffee pot before pronouncing it toxic and setting about making a fresh pot." Scott stated firmly. "I have to live vicariously through yours. "Mister Appleby. no orgy." The town doctors took turns visiting the home. Lydon "But it was a camping trip. you're gonna tell me all about it." "Yes.. "And how is young Mrs Appleby." Page | 125 . "My point exactly. but something did happen. probably something to do with cheating on the doctor's prescribed diet." Ben responded. "Now when I get back. you need to put on weight. "We did have a nice day in Canterbury.Return of the Sun Christopher P. I trust?" Hanratti was looking about the office. "Why the sudden fascination with my sex life?" Scott asked.

. "When I first went to him I ended up getting a full physical and I was only going in for prescription renewal. "Not that it's a bad thing or anything. Jensen. "Bet you didn't know that Gran used to be a bar maid here when she was our age." Ben said getting a dirty look on his face. Dickie mistook something I said to him when I was drunk for a come-on." Ben said shaking his head after the eccentric doctor. she doesn't like you much right now.." Scott glanced around the pub that didn't seem that old. Once they were settled into a corner Darren looked about him.." "Yeah." he said knowingly." Scott sighed.. Scott chuckled when he saw Zulee slipping out of the main doors." "Oh." "You're a vile creature sometimes.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Both young men gave their boss a look of sympathy as he made a mad dash for his car. "You're on. now it's been blown all out of proportions." Scott replied. look alive there Mrs..." Ben offered." "Such an odd man." Scott replied." "Fleur was pretty pissed about it. conveniently close to the Police Station. "Five pound says he won't make it. "You're kidding. "So you were saying this morning about a misunderstanding?" Scott rubbed the bridge of his nose. *** 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.." "You're lucky. "Yeah." Darren grinned." Darren agreed. "wow. "bet you enjoyed the prostate exam. "All I wanted was a passport signature." Scott responded as they made their way back to their office. "Bring out yer dead!" he intoned loudly. next thing I know I'm being poked and prodded with an array of things.. "What happened when I was off with Serena?" Page | 126 . making good his getaway.. "Come on. accepting the mug of coffee and striding away from them heading deeper into the home.. Lydon Hanratti gave a cursory nod.

whatever Fleur wants." "Well. "What?" Darren asked with a sly grin." Scott said. Luke was smiling openly. sliding into the booth beside Scott." Darren said shifting in his chair. You know Dickie.you know." Darren said switching topics suddenly." He developed an almost dreamy look on his face. mate?" he asked. The physical contact made Scott blush a little. there's a mental image I didn't need. "do you think if I asked her she'd go for it?" "I don't know. 'course I'm interested. She's all exotic and the like. too.. I was really starting to make progress with Serena. Lydon Darren grunted into his beer." "Hey. no doubt imagining things with that overactive mind of his. bit low on the social graces but decent enough. and under the table nudging Scott's knee twice with his own. "Ok. she gets." "With a big mouth. "Could you.. uh-oh. "You okay." Scott winced inwardly.. I just want that clear. "how'd you handle being stranded in Kent with Luke? I know he's not the easiest bloke to get along with.. "Alright then." "Hey.' Darren said. wondering if he should just tell Darren or wait for Luke.. "we found we had something in common and it kind of went from there." Scott replied honestly.. lads. you and her are best mates. and she kept whining that she wanted to go home. Blessedly the off-duty policeman in question entered the pub sparing Scott from anymore worrying. Darren gaped at him a second." "So I noticed." Scott replied." 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.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "I'll try. "Girl like that. I wish Dickie'd just kept his trap shut instead of spoiling it for the rest of us. "I didn't hit on him.. Page | 127 ." Luke greeted tapping his hands on the table. Scott gritted his teeth and made a face. "He's a good bloke. "Just killed the weekend though. staring in wonder at Luke's odd facial expression." Darren said resting his elbows on the table." "It's okay." Scott commented dryly. the guy's like a walking doormat.." "Great. Luke saw them both and inclined his head as he joined them. "She was bitching about you mainly.

"Yeah.." Luke said screwing up his nose. well. this was becoming a very repetitive conversation." they both replied together. it's just that.. not exactly sure how to express himself at that moment. with only one word to express his disbelief." "I should be.I.well.." Scott shot after him.happy. Darren stared at him strangely for a second of two. as he looked back at Darren. "I'm only telling you this because you'd figure it out eventually anyway. "You sure? You're..." he smirked to himself as he abandoned Scott to a very curious Darren. "Yeah. "Looks like you two are nearly done...... isn't it?" "No!" Darren was stuck speechless." Scott said. now I know something's wrong. "Ask your cousin. turning as Luke sat down." he looked at their faces." Luke said looking at the pair of nearly empty glasses.. "Spill it." Darren's jaw flopped open. are you?" "Nope. "Oh. "Ok.. "This is where you both say that. shorty." Page | 128 ." Scott nodded. "No!" he exclaimed in a hushed issuance of shock." Luke leaned across the table." Darren demanded. "No!" he laughed. "No!" Darren shook his head incredulously. more of his leg pressing up against Scott as he did so. He swore to himself. He turned and looked over at Luke who had paid for their drinks and was returning with them. Lydon "I'm fine." Luke sighed as he leaned over the table.. "You're having me on!" Darren decided. and Scott knew that he had guessed. "you're not having me on. "Shitty death!" he exclaimed loudly. Griff. Scott smiled.. shaking his head even faster." Luke said settling back into the bench." "Speaking of finding out.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Right.. "You. "Yeah.. round on me?" Darren looked distressed. "Mum's so gonna have a fit when she finds out." he stuttered. "Disgusting. Darren blew out a ragged sigh. you son-of-a-bitch. well.

" Darren swore solemnly. "Ok." "Hey!" Scott exclaimed.... waving him off.. looking straight at Luke and still blinking in disbelief. Christ. Luke shrugged. Christ. "So what's it like?" he asked teasingly. Darren winked at him and leaned across the table. "'bout time you got some." He swore again." Scott declared adamantly.Return of the Sun Christopher P. and then he grinned at Luke. I'm just pulling your leg. you of all people. "Ok. "Tell me about it. "I am so not having this conversation with my cousin. Darren caught the motion and glanced under the table. "Oh. "Not a word about it. now I know you're not fucking with me." He licked his lips in a way that made Scott want to cringe in disgust. now I know it's time to change the subject!" Page | 129 ." He looked at Scott and under the table nudged him again twice. "I'm all about the minge. Lydon "You have my word." he said." Darren said.

It could only exist in memory.. looking about him.. but Scott was unresponsive as he walked into the alley. "Oh. "What are you thinking?" he asked in concern." he said quietly. The neighbourhood was familiar. Page | 130 . "Scott. He loved nights like this.. he had kissed his first girl over in the corner where a dog was barking.. He swallowed back his emotion. Lydon Chapter 19 From there it had gone surprisingly well. lifeless." he said softly. Groveland's school had stood relatively close through a secluded alley tucked in the back of Forestview. which was brightly lit and the sounds of the television reaching even out to the street. remember how as a little boy he had walked up this road to go to school. Wanting to get to the playground and his friends. He found Scott standing on the ground... staring at the block of new houses that had been erected where his school had sat. Scott's eyes swept about him for some sign of his childhood that had been so thoroughly eradicated. jogging to catch up. the past was dead.Return of the Sun Christopher P. It was gone. and it was gone. "Four generations of my family went to that school.. resting his chin on Scott's shoulder. retracing steps he had taken a hundred times before. just pulling him against his chest. the pain evident in his voice. but it was too late. casting the occasional glance at his bungalow. the proper little gentleman in his school uniform and. feeling the light breeze tickle his arms. He felt Luke wrap his arms around him from behind." Luke called again. he had learned to read where that new house sat.girlish features. pulling at his gran's hand to let him run off ahead. he had played where that car now sat. following Scott's look towards the alley that led to school. "Scott. it was a warm night and he was just in his shirtsleeves. and after the pub Scott had offered to run Luke back home.. Luke was watching him. stealing a moment alone before Luke had reached for the door handle to go. This was his past." Luke called warningly. He got out of the Rover as well. All that time he had no idea that Luke had lived right on the school's doorstep. He remembered meeting Aunt Christine and Darren each day. Scott was already crossing the street. Scored his first goal. they weren't uncomfortable. It was just perfect. and in stunned silence Scott just stood there shivering.

"It was more like here. "Last time. laughing as they sprinted back up the alley back to Luke's house.. "Not your fault.. Both Luke and Scott took off at a run. "You two up to mischief?" She gave them both a suspicious look that was so typical of certain members of the Allston family.Return of the Sun Christopher P.. "It's beautiful on these great fields. Page | 131 . concern still evident in his." Luke replied with no hint of sheepishness in his voice. "You realize I'm standing about where you stabbed me.. the sound of a rather annoyed homeowner bellowing obscenities after them." Scott kissed him. "I should have warned you. "Oi! You two." Scott turned. Luke shook his head at him grinning like a maniac. peering into the gloom. "What's going on here." Jan sounded puzzled. "Yes." he said. They fell panting against the wall of Luke's house." "Actually. 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." Luke said pushing him forwards a bit and off to one side. Ma'am." Luke said.get off my bloody lawn!!" a rather loud man bellowed from the doorway of his house. the kids have everything they need. Mum. "Just keeping him out of trouble. Scott breathing hard and still trying to stop laughing as he looked back the way they had just run. I promise. "It's a good change then. clutching onto his knees and catching his breath." Scott nodded feeling Luke's breath on his neck and he leaned his head back a little. still in Luke's arms. "You're a demanding sod aren't you. "Is that young Scotty Walker with you?" she asked. Lydon "They built a larger school just up on Grovelands Road." Scott replied with a smile as he straightened up and smiled at Scott's mother." Luke said into his ear still holding onto him. emotion still rich in his voice. "Well." Luke rolled his eyes. then?" Jan's voice demanded suspiciously as she wheeled herself out of the backdoor.

" he surmised. Scott. hand-me-downs were essential in a family that big. this was his first time in the Allston house. he squeaked to a stop when he saw Scott sitting at the table. there's a stranger in the kitchen!" "That would be the sprog. Moments later. it looked ready to topple over at any moment. he tore it into slivers and mopped the gravy from his plate. Mummy." and shuffled into the bungalow behind her. supper is on the stove. so haul yourself inside as well and get something to eat." Luke introduced. "Welcome to the family. "Yes. "I know Gran's been watching it for years. "And no arguments from either of you. nodding to the two of them as he inverted a chair and straddled it. beginning to sober up from his uncharacteristic enthusiasm as he shovelled another fork full into his mouth. He shifted and tucked his feet under the well-scrubbed table and glanced around. and Scott was glad she didn't know the half of it. "Well. The television began to sound out the trumpeted notes announcing Coronation Street and Luke screwed up his nose.Return of the Sun Christopher P. dark-haired and loud came roaring through the dining room holding onto a toy aeroplane. There was a sewing machine tucked into the corner with a pile of trousers that needed re-hemming. Lydon She gave them both a look that said she knew full well what boys their age were capable of getting up to. He looked startled a moment before tearing off bellowing. another lanky-looking teen about fifteen ambled out. 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. "Nothing wrong with Corrie. Scott accepting a seat at the dining-room table as Luke began to dish up two plates of Shepherd's pie. well. Scott began to reply when something short. Page | 132 . he's Mrs Walker's grandson." Luke said gesturing with his fork after the fleeing little monster. "Mummy." It was like watching a full-on retreat from the front room. Mum's going to be distracted for awhile. 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." They both nodded. Scott reasoned. "Joel. 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." She gave him a stern look. To Scott it looked the spitting image of Luke at that age. sitting at the table." Scott replied with a smile. "I presume you probably haven't eaten either." Luke said." She paused and looked at Scott. "All right then.

before looking back at Luke. I think. getting up and absently allowing his hand to accidentally touch Scott shoulder before he vanished into the front room. but nodded at him with a puzzled look on his face before putting Jasper down. "Great. we got our wires crossed or something. She does realize I work. "I should be apologizing to you. Dickie stomped in from the backdoor. pulling up short as the sprog wrapped his arms around his legs." he said as if explaining it. hey there." Scott said. but he knew it was getting heated. "Your mum insisted. if we'd have waited you wouldn't have ended up stranded like that. "Don't swear. Dickie looked in some surprise to see Scott sitting at the table. "Wanted to apologize for Fleur last weekend. Scott couldn't make out what was being said. gesturing to the living room where the sounds of yelling were just beginning." he said." Dickie shrugged it off. that's all. don't worry about it." Joel greeted with a smile. "Mum's pissed at you. Joel was grinning. Page | 133 . bending down to scoop Jasper up into a full hug." Luke rolled his eyes." Scott offered. "I usually let them have it out." "No need. right?" The coldness was seeping back into his eyes. and under the table Scott nudged him twice with his knee.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Both mother and son possessed the same capacity for arguing and used it liberally. a deep-seated apathy for everything." Luke said." he said. Fleur just gets a little possessive. "We shouldn't have just left you two there like that." "No worries. "Whoa. 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. Lydon "Scott. "Why's she mad this time?" "You didn't take the rubbish out before you left. "Water under the bridge. shaking his head as he finished his own supper. it all worked out in the end." He was giving Scott that penetrating look as if trying to read him again. as the yelling in the living room was getting louder." he greeted." Scott reassured. "Hey Dickie. something else to be mad at." he said in a knowing tone. Dickie did it instead. "I'll go talk to her.

"Hey. 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." Luke growled. "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. he was livid. the one that was tender and eager and loving all at the same time. Not that Fleur would see it that way. no problem.." "Sure. jogging up alongside of him and falling into step." He shook his head. "I work just as hard as Dickie does at home. if he ran after Luke he would have to explain why." Luke said after a minute. "It'll blow over soon. but then after everything was said and done last weekend. He kept stealing glances at Luke. "It's just not right. but if he just left Luke alone and obviously upset. Scott sighed as he kept pace.. hoping for a flicker of the Luke he was falling for." Scott said. he'd moved out of his dad's as soon as he could. respecting Luke's need for quiet. Now there were several thousand miles between him and his immediate family." He decided to change the subject." Scott agreed wondering why Dickie didn't just ask Serena. hands thrust deep into his pockets and a dark scowl on his face. Scott nodded. keeping quiet... and didn't acknowledge anyone as he threw open the back door and slammed that behind him as well.Return of the Sun Christopher P. but he's a friend. and I have a full time job. Dickie blew out a sigh and looked over at Joel who just shrugged. Page | 134 .. He used that moment to slip out after Luke. keeping his eyes focused ahead of him as he walked. "What are you doing on Saturday? I need to make a run into Eastbourne if you wouldn't mind giving me a lift. surprised at his declaration of friendship with their brother. "Yeah. He shrugged. Scott looked back and forth and made to get up. He caught up to him walking down the road. "You should leave him be." Scott was torn." Joel and Dickie both looked at him. glad I can count on you. taking the opportunity to just be there for Luke in the way Luke had been there for him at the school grounds. "Great." He shook his head and swore." Dickie warned. it was probably smarter for Scott to do it. the one that hid behind all the anger. he had nothing to really relate it to. Scott. "he just needs to cool off. All he had to worry about at home was ensuring Gran was okay.. "Not now. Lydon Dickie looked up apologetically.

Scott withdrew his hand and went to stick it back into his pocket. Just holding it lightly for a moment before letting it go. "It's fine. Lydon "I mean. bringing money home and have I ever gotten a thank you? All Dickie does is laze about the place. "'cause I'm a stupid little prat. Scott?" Scott shrugged. doesn't do anything and yet he's golden." Scott said nudging him." Luke nodded as they rounded another corner." Luke glanced back. Scott.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "I'm sorry." he said slowly. Christ. "Besides. And Scott suddenly found himself swept up into Luke's arms as Luke just held on for a moment or two. darker and secluded from the main street. he doesn't contribute. I guess you're more patient than I am. letting him go again a moment later. "What do I have to do?" Scott reached out a hand and brushed Luke's shirt and Luke shrugged it off. look. lifting a finger when he has to. "Sorry. not wanting the physical contact." He shook his head." he replied." he said turning away. and turning back with a hopeful look in his eye before he blushed and turned away again. But Luke reached out his own and caught it. I understand what it's like. I don't get on with my dad. I've been at work all bloody day. I just. "Why do you bother with me. Scott turned to him. "shows me how you really feel about me." Page | 135 . I like the uniform. "It's ok.

" she said cheerfully. sleepyhead. Time was a rare commodity between Luke's awkward hours and Scott's steadier yet inflexible schedule at the home. relieved for the fresh water that helped him return to some semblance of consciousness. yawning for the umpteenth time that morning. Gran gave him a bemused look as he sleepily stumbled into the bathroom. he nodded to Gran as Dickie looked up from a large breakfast that looked suspiciously like it had been prepared for Scott. stumbling back upstairs and curling up under his covers again. He sat upright reluctantly and swung his feet out of bed. cracking a couple of eggs. but one look at Gran told him that would not be a possibility. Lydon Chapter 20 There was something wrong with being up early on a Saturday morning. 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. the roaring vacuum drew closer to his room and he grudgingly opened an eye. That morning it was the vacuuming. sipping the coffee happily as he took his customary seat at the breakfast bar. and he poked his head out of the bathroom to hear Gran greeting Dickie and insisting he have some breakfast. out with Serena. He was towelling off his head when the doorbell rang. a voice that was entirely too happy for that early on a Saturday morning. Curses. stepping around Gran's vacuum that threatened the trip him if he wasn't careful. He wondered if he could get away with just giving Dickie the keys. Suitably armed with a cup of coffee.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Luke had been working late so they hadn't had a chance to see each other. Gran was already working on a second plate as she merrily set sausages to sizzle in the pan. Scott was sure she took delight in ensuring he didn't get to lie in. but the smell of fresh coffee wafting through the house definitely warmed him to the idea. it seemed. And he grunted out a reply as he shut the door and ran the shower. "Morning. He figured why not. stumbling out of his room and crossing the landing to the bathroom. "Morning. 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. Page | 136 . it was comfortable and wasn't going to draw too much attention while he was bumming around Eastbourne with Dickie. He'd had a late night the night before. "So what are you two lads up to today?" she inquired. Scott grimaced at the thought of a heavy English breakfast." he murmured. foiled again. Gran.

a few things to pick up. then. already washing the pans. "He should be here at ten." "That's good. "I thought it was later in the year. he'd forgotten all about that. teenagers do like to laze about. what are we doing?" Dickie beamed. don't they?" She threw Scott a look that said she knew exactly how badly he wanted to be back in his bed." "Is it?" Gran asked in surprise. and Scott's well of patience was running dry. Too many things going on with Luke and with work it had just slipped his mind. "grumble so low as you didn't hear him. Dickie had ducked off to do his errands and had insisted that he wouldn't be long. Dickie nodded between bites. She missed it as she buttered the toast and brought the plate over to him. "Is your brother Joel stopping by today to do the garden?" Gran asked." Gran admonished him before turning to Dickie. "His granddad used to do that. Dickie chuckled. *** Scott absently looked at his watch. "We all do it." "I was just saying what a beautiful day it was outside. sitting in the small café in the middle of the Arndale Centre with a very cold mug of coffee in front of him." Scott's brow furrowed--Gran didn't forget birthdays--and he shot her a worried look. There were better things he could be doing rather than sitting Page | 137 . Mum turfed him out of bed at the same time as me this morning. I'll have to make sure to pick something up for her. your Uncle Nigel is coming today and I'm sure he wants to see how you've grown. "I have a couple of errands to run. "Yeah. Lydon Scott blinked and looked over at Dickie. I knew exactly what he was saying. Mrs. "Stop that." she explained. He sighed as he set about working on his breakfast." Scott grumbled into his coffee mug. see how he'd changed. Walker. though.Return of the Sun Christopher P. It would be great to finally have a drink with Nigel. That had been nearly three hours ago. just remember not to be too late home tonight. It's Mum's birthday in a few weeks and I wanted to pick up something special. and more importantly what he thought about his nephew all grown up. I'm just glad Scott offered to ferry me about today." Scott responded innocently. "Well." Scott smiled.

"Sure. Lydon watching the ebb and flow of shoppers around him going about their ritualistic Saturday shopping trips. a touch surprised. grinning a big toothy grin." "That's the spirit!" she exclaimed enthusiastically. And it wasn't as if he had anything better to do at that moment so he nodded. "Not really. and contemplating going home. I saw them when I was parking the car at the station. In North America it would have been called a food court. "I knew you were a closet style-queen. "And if you want I could ask Tasmin if she can fit you in." He instinctively reached up to his hair which he had to admit was getting a bit long." She looked at his hair disparagingly. I'm waiting for Dickie. He set his coffee cup down and waved her over.. "You can come with me. 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. he's got quite a group with him in there." Serena said. "Scott!" Serena bellowed coming out of the big Boots Pharmacy and waving to him. sitting down across from him and beaming at him." she said.. I'm getting my hair done and there's still plenty of shopping time." she said reaching out to catch his arm... Least he could have done was stopped back to let Scott know what was happening." "No." Scott sighed as he got up.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Page | 138 . "He's up at the Gildridge pub with a bunch of his friends. He shook his head. in that case I should just go home then. not noticing Scott's annoyed look. "Well. and she bounded across to him. The café was situated in the middle of a square bank of shops." Scott didn't look impressed. He was bored senseless. except for the fact there was only the one café and the décor was a lot more upscale. "it's quite the get-together. He started. "Do you trust me?" she asked as they walked out onto Eastbourne's shopping precinct.." "Yeah.. Dickie could ride a bus like everyone else for all he cared. "I see." "Really?" she looked confused.

looking confused. Serena chuckled at that and Tasmin looked at her then down at Scott. but he has yet to prove it. I love a man with an accent. "How would you like this cut. but Tasmin had a firm grip on his head holding him still. "I have an appointment. I'm going to have to give him highlights. scrubbing the water in. Scott made to open his mouth but Serena cut him off. Tasmin and Serena happily chatting away about the latest gossip. "Because you love me. he tried to turn his head. "Oh." Serena nodded to a picture up on the wall that was just out of Scott's ability to see it. single too. "." Serena giggled. Lydon "Why do I get cold chills whenever you say that?" he commented dryly as they walked into the stylists.. taking the time to wrap him in the stylist cape to protect his clothes from falling hair." She picked up a spray bottle and began to damp down his hair. So he sat with a scowl deepening on his face as he felt the scissors clipping away. His head was being hijacked by two women. "He's not my boyfriend." "Well the jury's still out on that one. and he has an accent too. "Oh he's fit Serena. "He says he's gay. "Oh." she replied with another grin." Page | 139 . you got quite a catch here.." Serena said as Tasmin's assistant began to wash her long hair in the sink.or boy's. then?" she asked. He wondered darkly how much she was paying attention to the job on hand. then. that your new bit of fluff?" "Fluff?" Scott asked. running her hands through his hair. you're going to look good for all the girls. "Oh. 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.. and as he attempted to protest he was laughed at.. "Hi Tasmin." Scott blinked. taking him by the arm and guiding him into a chair." she said." she said addressing the beautiful woman behind the counter. Taz. "Cor.. Serena." Tasmin said. "Alright love.." Tasmin said as she used the buzz clippers to straighten out his side burns. "He needs something like that.Return of the Sun Christopher P.

both physically and in Serena's eyes.. She frowned. wrapping parts of his hair in tinfoil. as Tasmin returned with a cup of tea for each of them. stylists were notoriously bad at keeping juicy gossip to themselves. "but he's an arsehole!" "He's a good kisser. it's not Ben. it is a feller.." he replied. then her eyes went wide as she clued in. He'd actually tried to tell her the night before at the pub. Scott looked up at her in trepidation." chimed in Tasmin who mimicked the gesture. "Luke who?" she asked a little loudly. "Go on then. Serena leaned in. who is it?" Scott looked at her and mouthed "Luke.. "We won't tell a soul.. Serena caught the look in his eyes and she suddenly grew a toothy grin. Lydon "I don't tell you everything.. crossing her heart. "But." Serena was about to say his name. Page | 140 ." she breathed. Tasmin pouted a little as she went through to the back to make a cup of tea." Scott replied with a shrug. but with so many other people about it had been hard to actually get her alone long enough to say something.. waiting for the peroxide to do its magic on Scott's hair. thought better of it and tried again. is it?" Scott shook his head." Scott fired back and Tasmin began to apply the highlight cream. it's not that Ben from work. "Me either. He gave her a look that said she knew he only knew one Luke. "No. okay?" he asked giving her a meaningful look. He sighed loudly. Serena glanced at Tasmin. "You're keeping something from me?" Scott grimaced. go on.. hand covering her mouth. "If I tell you it's got to stay between us. "No. "But I am right. When she had gone. what's his name?" She pried eagerly." she said. "What's his name. "Oh?" Serena asked sitting upright.." She frowned at him and he whispered it. 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. "You've been hiding a man haven't you!" she said with certainty. He nodded.Return of the Sun Christopher P.

"But. I'm hurt." Scott shot back. "Wow.. It was like being on one of those make-over shows where they did atrocious things to you in the name of fashion. "It looks great!" Serena said with a smile.. "You two have been carrying on behind my back all this time. "him of all people?" she tsked..Return of the Sun Christopher P." "Yep. now is it?" Tasmin was keeping very quiet listening to them as she began to pick the tinfoil out of his hair. Lydon "But. her hair still firmly setting into its perm. "Him though. "Did you two. "You two weren't stuck after all." "What?" he looked frightened.. reminding her that he wasn't the only one to go on a camping adventure that weekend with an Allston boy." she said resolutely..." he said.... Serena shook her head.. the trip!" she exclaimed." Serena was awestruck. his hand reaching up to his earlobe. He was shocked... that's just wrong and you know it. And Scott was reminded that he really had no idea what they were both doing to him. as Tasmin turned him back to the mirror so that he could get a look. "Your ear pierced.." Scott nodded. cropped close at the sides with a long fringe. "and it's not like I exactly had a chance to tell you. "So that's why. though in reality he probably looked nothing like him.." "We were. Serena screwed up her nose... Combined with the football jersey there was no mistaking him for an American. "Just need to get your ear pierced and you're all set. at the end of it sending you back to your dreary life looking like a million dollars.." Page | 141 . Scott Walker!" "It's only been a week. it'll look good. blinking and tapping a lock of fine hair that had fallen across his forehead.... He felt he looked like Robbie Carlyle. the blond highlights giving a lighter expression to his face." she chose her words carefully again. "It sort of gave us a chance to talk. you know. "how did you. The style was very English." She shook her head in wonder. His mum's going to hit the roof if she finds out." "Then she'd better not find out. "Come on. It was the first thing he thought when he saw the style.." Scott replied." Scott said deliberately." Scott admitted..?" "You did..

. as it in turn blinked back at him before it went nuts in the back seat. tucking it behind an unfamiliar white Citroen with a large dog staring back at him. "And Mum's going to just love that.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Scott smiled to himself as he walked in the back door. "Yes they are. thank you Mister Roberts." "No. He snorted as he slung the Rover into its usual spot across the road from Gran's house." Scott smiled.. he'd have to get that fixed eventually. He crossed the road. "She's right. "That's okay. nodding to old man Roberts who was clipping his hedge. Mister Roberts gave him his customary turtle-esque look before waving at him. he was probably still at the Gildridge with his friends whiling away the day in the bottom of a pint glass. still pumping the hand. "You should get it done. He hadn't bothered to go find Dickie. Scott was still upset at that. barking like crazy." Page | 142 .. even though his hair was turning grey at the temples and there were definite lines around his eyes." Mister Roberts waved off the thanks. "God do you ever look like your father. He climbed down and slammed the door. "Scott!" he said warmly." Scott smiled. He had his distinctive Walker dopy grin on his face as he got up and clasped Scott's hand firmly. and giving him the once over. "I tried to stop." He squinted at the earring. haven't you. "You've grown up then. I really appreciate the help. 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. and drew up short as the two people sitting around the kitchen table stopped to look up at him." he said. he wasn't Dickie's chauffer service." "I can see that. stopping to slam it again. Lydon "Says who?" Scott stated. He blinked at it. Apparently he had owed it to her for not telling her earlier about Luke. and grinned. "I hear from old Zulee things are going well over at the home." Nigel said. getting up to pay Tasmin." Tasmin agreed." *** He fingered his tender earlobe. There was no mistaking Uncle Nigel. "The fact that you are doing well is thanks enough. love. my boy. pumping it up and down.. stepping back and shaking his head. shaking his head.

suits you. She affixed him with her dark eyes and gave him a hug." Nigel said. "Well." Gran was already putting on her coat." Scott shrugged.Return of the Sun Christopher P. She stopped and examined Scott's hair." Scott shook his head. you remember your Aunt Debbie?" He turned and Debbie stood up to shake his hand. there's a macaroni and cheese dinner in the freezer if you feel like eating. "No. "Yes it's very nice dear. "Serena. Lydon "Mum's going to love what?" Gran said. She smiled at Scott. you guys have fun. "Thanks. "Now what did you go and do that for?" she said with a disapproving look." "Do I even want to ask?" Nigel stated with a knowing look. we shouldn't be too late. you'll probably be welcome as well. motioning to the door. "We're going over to say hello to Debbie's mum and dad.. that's okay. "I owed her one. Besides I'll catch up with you later tonight." Page | 143 ." she paused when she saw the earring. we were just on our way out.. returning to the kitchen. still looking as beautiful as ever. and in fact they had been the ones to conspire to get Nigel and Debbie together in the first place." Scott replied with a grin.. "Anyway.. "Well. I'll be in the way. Gran and Debbie's mother were old bingo friends.

Scott looked down at him and grinned. He grumbled about the rotten day he was having when he finally gave up and tossed some cushions onto the floor." Scott said. not that Scott blamed him at all. his earlier reluctance for company vanishing completely as he enjoyed Luke's embrace. "Hi.. He shifted.V." "Gran's gone out. I can come back. a peaked cap tucked under his arm this time instead of his customary helmet. watch some bad T. happily discovering something passable and relaxing in to watch the show. "If I turn you away. The whole point of his choosing to stay in was to allow him a chance to be by himself. Gran will never let me hear the end of it. no." he said cheerfully. Luke broke into a shy smile. but after being abandoned by Dickie most of the day. staring at it stupidly before looking about the living room. He wanted to stay home. Gran's sandwiches were top rate. lightly-cushioned affairs with wings. It was perfect for little old ladies sipping tea on the edge of the seats. under the T." he said dropping his voice a bit.. and had barely closed the door when Luke had enveloped him in a tight hug. still looking uncomfortable. never designed for a young man to sprawl out on. breaking into a smile. "I was just making the rounds and. though. he really didn't feel like it. trying to get comfortable on the Victorian-style couch that his grandmother liked so much. He yawned tiredly. no doubt Uncle Nigel had seen fit to modernize Gran's living room. There." He waved Luke inside. Lydon Chapter 21 Scott was settling in for a night at home. Sure he could have gone out. He nodded. but that hadn't stopped him from stopping by though. Scott grinned. He was used to Luke dropping by for his evening sandwich on his regular beat. "No.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Hello to you. Luke was nervous. He stopped when he picked up an unfamiliar remote control. swinging it open on a nervous-looking Luke. Yet fate had other plans. He clambered back to his feet and went out to the front door. come in for a second. though his eyes did soften as he saw Scott open the door. there was one option. glancing over at Mister Roberts who wasn't seeming to pay attention. pressing his nose into the nape of Scott's neck. He was still in uniform. crawl into bed early and write the weekend off entirely. fighting off sleep as he picked up the right remote and flicked on." Scott said. was a brand new VCR. It was one of those high-backed. The doorbell ringing at that moment caused him to look up in annoyance. he could walk down to the corner store and rent a film. too. "Well. Page | 144 ..V.

. putting his peaked cap down on the edge of the counter." Luke said. "Me abandon him? He wasn't the one left in the café for three hours while he got drunk with his friends." Luke said. Lydon "Sorry. it was so rarely seen." "He's too used to having other people chauffer him around... "Okay. you're busy and I work days. "Now? Aren't you doing your beat or something?" Luke held up a finger and clicked on his mic. "I haven't had much of a chance to do that since Monday. "So I heard you were out this afternoon.. Scott was growing fond of that smile. mate. talking to dispatch through his radio. Scott's jaw dropped open. letting go and sighing. "I told them I have a migraine headache and asked for the rest of the night off.. "and abandoned my brother in Eastbourne. "I didn't exactly do it on purpose." Scott said leading the way through to the kitchen.. Ok. he had to bus back. as Luke sat down at the breakfast bar. I have some time." "Well.. but I swear he ditched me. "But hey. that made no sense.. Scott thought. glancing at his watch." He smiled." He glanced at Luke. taking delight in that imagery." Scott nodded.. A few moments later he looked up at Scott." Luke was laughing now. nothing like having a smile that was yours alone. Scott grinned again." Luke replied as he shrugged off the uniform jacket and put it on the back of his stool. "Have you eaten yet?" "No." Luke was doing a poor job of trying to hide his delight. I'm starved. this I can live with. and it seemed to be his own special magic that gave it life." Scott shook his head in disbelief.. "Sarge owes me for covering for him the other week so it looks like I'm all yours. and boy was he upset. "Well. trying to hide his grin." Scott snorted as he popped the fries in the oven and turned. "Yeah. Scott turned the kettle on to prepare a pot of tea.." he said with a smile.. "It's okay. so I have my very own police officer for a few hours.. "I could cook..Return of the Sun Christopher P. suddenly feeling very domestic as he bent to root through the fridge for something edible. 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.. maybe a little.. Prince Charming had to ride public transport." Luke said.." He looked Luke up and down. I doubt he'll bother asking you again after today." Page | 145 ..

... "Serena found out this afternoon and she said I owed her for not telling her sooner.." "What's that?" Scott asked. just to spend some time with you. "I was coming up with an idea to arrest you. and Scott realized at that moment the depth of the commitment Luke was offering him. firmly resting on the counter and looking into Luke's eyes.. handsome guy like you to get an earring. pouring the water.. "It's good to see you. "What was that for?" "My way of saying thanks." Scott replied. "You promised you'd drop that. You know. "But I haven't begun to harass you yet. never really been one for that sort of thing." Luke's face slipped a little into sadness as he looked up at the window. "I'd probably have to let you go with a warning and a slap on the wrist. too." he admitted. turning to fetch two cups from the cupboard.. "That would be your fault actually.. he crossed the kitchen and kissed Luke firmly..." Scott said. Pulling back.. He couldn't help it.. lazily sitting back and liberating one of the cups of tea from Scott.. still holding onto Luke." Page | 146 . it's a trumped up charge. huh?" Scott replied with a grin." Luke rolled his eyes." Luke admitted.." "After I get my chips. harassing a police officer is an offence. "Arrest me. he gave Scott a puzzled look." "You. Luke took a second before reciprocating the kiss. tasting his own tea and wincing at the bitter watery flavour. "Right now I'm trying to figure something out. but he was resigned to the inevitable happening." "Meh." he replied adding sugar to hide the tea's awful taste. "I don't know." "Oh. Surprised." Luke replied with a contented sigh. why was it he could never make a cup of tea like his gran could? "What would possess an intelligent. "Though I did date a psychotic pencil stabber once." Scott shrugged. Scott grinned." "Hmmm." Luke said.. concern clouding his eyes. "It's really quite endearing. "One of these days you're going to have to tell me what you see in me worth changing your entire life for. "because you're such a prat?" He added with a smile." Luke replied. Lydon "I should think not!" Scott said." "How'd she take it?" Luke asked.Return of the Sun Christopher P. He was still adjusting to the idea of people knowing about them.." "Arrest me. as he peered at it through his dark eyes...

.. As consciousness slowly returned to him." Luke shook his head." Luke replied.. "though I had hoped there was some kind of.." Scott stared at Luke dumbfounded. we do have Dominos. I'll order a pizza...." Luke said. I think that's a compliment.." Scott bit his bottom lip. Scott." Luke said turning Scott slightly so that he could point to the black smoke coming from the oven. "I don't think ketchup is going to save this lot. hurrying over to salvage the french-fries that resembled charcoal.. And he opened an eye as he felt Luke's hand brush the hairs away from his eyes." he admitted truthfully. giving him a contented look in return.." Scott responded.." "No. "Take-out it is then... "You were out like a light. looking at the unappetizing mess on the tray. right?" Scott shrugged. "I was hoping for something a little." Scott croaked dryly with a smile... "I know how." "Probably not. and he snuggled deeper into Luke's arms. Page | 147 .." "Damn!" Scott said.I just can't do it very well.." "Burning." 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.." Luke agreed. "I take it you don't know how to cook. "Hi.. *** Scott was dozing peacefully.. He looked up at Luke apologetically." "It's been a long day. "Burning's a bit strong. dreaming a warm dream in which he and Luke had enjoyed a wonderful evening together.. "You're kidding." he shook his head and picked up the phone to place an order.. "We are living in the twenty-first century.. enjoying pizza and talking. sitting around. "Burning. "I didn't know you could order pizza over here. he realized he hadn't been dreaming. Gran was home.Return of the Sun Christopher P.. "Hi. "They have pizza here?" Luke turned to him a mixture of disbelief and surprise on his face. Lydon "Well." Scott responded with an odd smile.

Gran giving Scott another look. and Scott hurried to think. It was a mad rush against time they were both going to lose. if anyone's interested. that's all.. Gran looked up at him coming down and she gave him a rueful grin. Luke catching him before he did himself an injury. "I'm going to make a cup of coffee. "I just woke up. Page | 148 . Nigel?" Gran admonished." "This late at night. "Stay put!" he said firmly in a fierce whisper. "I should go give Uncle Nigel a hand." he said. trying to reach for his clothes. shrugging on his jersey as Luke tried desperately to put his uniform back on. 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. He walked out into the kitchen.. "Sleeping again. and he swallowed." Scott's heart returned to a normal level. how could they not know? He was doomed." "Fine. Scott pulled on his jeans as fast as he could. Luke wasn't about to argue." Scott said trying to calm himself down. "Are you all right dear? You look a little flushed. fumbling with the buttons as he did so.." Gran explained to Debbie.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Luke was going down with him. "he always wakes up with such a start. Nigel turned and saw the strangled look on Scott's face and he looked down at the cap again.. Lydon "Shit!" he said leaping out of bed. Uncle Nigel yawned. sunshine?" she asked brightly. 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." "Poor thing. if he was lucky they would go to bed and he would be able to pull it off. "Yeah. The front door opened and there was the sound of voices in the hall." Nigel waved her off as he went out to the kitchen. "You'll never sleep like that. This was going to take some doing. you'd think the devil himself had touched him the way he jumped. You should have seen him that first night. but his feet were tangled in the duvet and he fell backwards. and there was nothing left to do but bail out and pray. and his heart sank as Uncle Nigel stood examining Luke's peaked cap in puzzlement. feeling his heart pounding in his chest and a tight knot in his stomach. trying to escape the two women who would surely see through his tissue of lies at any moment. Stubbornly it refused and he slipped downstairs." Scott said.

" Scott lied. "Jan's boy. "I think I should be going as well. "Well. I'm going to go to bed." he said. knowing full well Nigel wouldn't buy it for a second. Scott just offered to make it." he stammered. A few seconds later he lifted out the two cups. I see. walking over to the sink and picking up the two plates that were there." Nigel said." Scott said turning the hat in his hands. You two boys don't be up to much longer. Gran nodded in satisfaction as the coffee began to percolate. "Y-yes we do." she said as she poured the water in." she warned as she followed Debbie up the stairs. Lydon "Did you find everything?" Gran asked." he snapped his fingers trying to remember the name. I have to be up for church tomorrow. and Scott was still looking at him with fear in his eyes. "Oh. Nigel hadn't moved. "Something you need to get off your chest?" he asked lightly as he handed Scott the cap. "That wouldn't belong to that. "Well.. Gran watched him spill the coffee on the counter. he's a policeman. either.. "he might have left it here earlier in the week. Luke. "No. Nigel hurriedly stuffed the cap into a cupboard and rested on the counter over it. Scott wanted nothing better than to curl up and die at that precise moment. I think Scott should stay up a little longer. "If you're that tired you should really go back to bed. don't we Scott?" he asked. As Gran turned her back.Return of the Sun Christopher P. walking up behind Scott. giving her husband a kiss and wandering back towards the stairs. isn't he? Mum was saying you two were friends." she stated. I think he and I have a lot to catch up on." "You know. 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." "Oh. Debbie returned to the kitchen yawning herself. and she 'tsked' at him as she took over. though the mortified look on his face must have been priceless. Woodenly he walked to the cupboard and with shaking hands began to prepare the coffee. and Nigel stuffed the cap behind his back and painted an innocent look on his face. "You sure there's nothing you want to tell me? Or should I go upstairs and ask him?" Page | 149 . Scott nodded. giving Scott a look that said he was going to explain everything. throwing a look at Scott to play along.

"The front is always too loud. swallowing and stumbling in shell shock to the coffee pot. His father had always taken his coffee that way. Scott smiled at him and held a finger up to his lips as he Page | 150 . "I should go get him." "Give them a few minutes to settle in.. "I don't think he'd react well to that." "Huh?" Scott asked in surprise as he turned. I think he might have guessed but I wasn't even out to myself when I last saw him. said it was good for the nerves. Luke nervously pacing to and fro. a grin spreading across his face. "I should go get Luke. "Is this why you fell out with your dad?" Scott set his mug down on the counter and swallowed." Scott admitted. he poured himself a cup." he advised. "Darren. they never see the man that boy becomes. holding on for a while before letting go. From what Gran says you're working hard and settling in alright.. "You're lucky.." Nigel nodded. "Let him out the back door. "Dads only see the boy. turned to look at him fearfully." Nigel said firmly. so to hell with your dad." Nigel gave him a serious look. He kept his back to his uncle as he collected his wits... "difficult. Lydon Scott knew full well he was caught." "Yeah." Nigel said knowingly. Mum used to be a lot sharper than that. "You have to understand I hadn't seen you in years so had no idea. "Anyone know?" Scott shook his head." "Well that's typical. that's about it." "Right." he squeezed Scott's shoulder." He stopped and looked down at the hat and back up at Scott.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Scott replied. then go." Scott threw his arms around his uncle and hugged him tightly. fetching himself a mug of coffee and stirring in some sugar.. No. though my money was on your Cousin Darren. I remember getting caught sneaking a girl out when I was your age. walked to the saltshaker and added a pinch. he wasn't pleased that I dropped school." Nigel said. "I don't think your gran needs a heart attack tonight. "Bit careless tonight. "Though I can see how this might be a bit more. "Well it's about time. there were only so many lies he could tell before he could admit he was caught fair and square. "A couple of friends." Scott crept up the stairs and leaned around the door to his bedroom." he searched for the word. and downed the mug. Nigel nodded. weren't we?" he stated." Scott replied in open embarrassment. Nigel chuckled. "No.

. he turned. "Just be thankful I'm not chasing you out of here with a broom. "I'm.." Scott said. he blinked again as he realized it hadn't entered his thoughts.outside if you don't mind. I'd rather not meet the rest of your family like this. and reached up to kiss him good night.." he introduced... "Well. and I am going to bed." he said. I'm liberal. "really.. He swallowed and shrugged. "Nice to meet you. he set off." he stated." he took Scott into his arms." Luke blinked as if he hadn't considered that angle... I love you.. "He's. Page | 151 ." he said with a teasing grin.I'm fine." Luke looked into Scott's reassuring eyes before accepting Nigel's pre-offered hand. Lydon motioned for Luke to follow him. "That's my Uncle Nigel... love you." With that. Luke sighed and relaxed. "I do too. Nigel shrugged. it's you I'm worried about. his voice trebling. he'd been too concerned about Scott to worry about himself.... but I don't think I'm that liberal yet. I should say good night. I mean. "It's good to finally meet you.. Luke gave Nigel a startled look.." He'd never used those words before. but Scott shrugged and handed him his cap." Scott set Luke's cap on his head and turned it on an angle the way Luke had done with his visor. The pair of them moved quietly down the stairs and through to the kitchen.. Scott shrugged. as that bombshell fell on one unsuspecting American-English immigrant.. "I'm so sorry. "I'll live.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Luke watched him leave and felt Scott draw close to him. he's okay. the look of shock still on his face. as well.. shaking his head in apology. that is. Now you two better kiss goodnight. then." "Oh.

if Ben was right and Luke was really uncomfortable then he had to talk to him. "Well that just proves my point even more. He felt responsible in a way for the situation the other day. Typical for that time of the year." He grinned." Ben replied with a grin as he continued to work. "I was hoping to have you all to myself. not exactly the most convenient time for either of them to get together. and not that tough. right?" Ben asked. 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. finishing up the latest batch of invoices." "You're just jealous." Scott replied defensively. Ever think he may be putting on a show because he thinks it's what you want?" Scott thought about that long and hard. he was having enough difficulty trying to update a computer's drivers. rubbing his temple absently as he inputted another sequence of numbers. right?" Scott shrugged. "It's not that funny." Scott replied. he had been careless. following the endless links trying to download the particular driver he wanted. "Raining again. looking over at Scott. Lydon Chapter 22 Ben was laughing at him. you should probably talk to him and make sure he is really as comfortable as he acts with all this. "Used to playing the tough guy. not that big.Return of the Sun Christopher P. and he should never have fallen asleep. Though he likes to think he is. it flashed between dreary thunderstorms and Page | 152 . interrupting his thoughts and Scott looked up at the rain pelting the window. if this Luke's a 'new recruit' to the Pink Militia you should probably try to avoid embarrassing situations with your relatives. "If there was one person who would get caught trying to hide a policeman in his bedroom." "He seemed to take it well. and he wondered if perhaps that had something to do with it? But it was the middle of the week." he said a little testily." Ben said." Ben replied. "Maybe. He looked up and shook his head. "But seriously though. He hadn't heard from Luke since. "I can't really picture him as your typical tough cop. Ben gave him a serious glance. "He's a cop. Scott was not impressed. "Huh?" "Gotcha. He's." Scott's eyes shot up in surprise as he forgot about the computer in front of him for a moment." Ben responded. it would be you. well. "Yes it is.

"It completely slipped my mind. first relationships never work." Scott turned back to the computer and began to install the drivers. And Scott stared at the storm and wondered at how complicated everything in his life was. The paper ball bounced off his head. Ben stared at him with a long and considering look. he spun him about and kissed him full on the lips. one that was so unexpected that his mind reeled from it. just doing this because it made Scott happy? What made Scott happiest. looking over the monitor." Ben shot back getting up and filing some papers. I'm worried about that as well." Ben said smacking his forehead in mock realization. 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. was when Luke dropped all the acts and was just himself. this policeman of yours has a lot of thinking to do. those cold eyes that only warmed when they looked into his own. Lydon torrential downpours to beautiful sunshine in an instant." Scott nodded at his friend's sage advice." Scott said. remember?" "Oh yeah." "Bullshit. "Not going to happen." "One of these days you're going to wind up being pounced on." Ben said innocently as he smirked.. "Come on. Page | 153 . how strong were his feelings? How far was he willing to take this? Or was he. "Yeah. you're married.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Ben said sliding the file away. the kind of mind-blowing kiss that came from nowhere. "I married my first girlfriend." "Yeah but you're a closeted homosexual with something to prove. crossing the office floor and grabbing Scott firmly by the shoulders. you know. as Ben had put it. "But seriously. you can admit you love me. Scott picked up the ball and tossed it back at the Cannuck. And what a kiss it was. especially since this is his first relationship. "Oh. "Sometimes I swear I'm working in a high school!" Ben flashed his devilish grin. "Your download's done.. my wife bought me a chastity belt a long time ago." Scott shook his head. Luke was weighing heavily on his mind.

her eyes growing sour. he had taken an early lunch and had walked to Serena's stationery shop to take her to the diner. "If I was I'd be all over you.. "Guess he's not the one. she had readily agreed to his impromptu rescue.. At the rate he was getting surprised lately it was a wonder old Doc Hanratti hadn't had him in for a bypass.. stock inventory was apparently one of the things she hated the most about her job..." he protested." Scott gaped a moment and leaned back. deliberately changing the subject. "That. 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..." "I kissed Luke. "Mister Right's out there." "I thought we had agreed kissing a bloke was a way to prove you were?" Serena said with a grin.. that confirms it.. She was looking harassed.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Scott said. "He's avoiding me. raising a finger to ward Ben off while he tried to put his thoughts back in order. "but he was just proving he wasn't gay. "Doesn't count unless I see it.. "what about you and Dickie?" Serena shook her head. once again tucking happily into his lunch while he helped himself to her salad." He patted Scott on the shoulder. he got what he wanted and now he's gone running back to Fleur. "Yep. nodding to himself." "Speaking about Allston boys." she said firmly. He quickly picked himself up and shook himself off.... She got up to refill her orange juice returning a few seconds later and sitting opposite him again. "I might add you still haven't fulfilled that requirement. "Yeah. "not even a twitch. "More coffee?" *** "He kissed you?" Serena asked." She rested her chin on her hand and pouted.. Lydon Ben pulled back and licked his lips. and after a full morning at it. sorry dude.. not gay in the slightest.but. "Maybe the two of you could stage a demonstration or something. Scott gave her a nod." he shrugged and looked down.." Page | 154 ." "Hey.. but. I only see him when he's out with his mates.." Scott said offering her a smile of reassurance..no!" he said. Ben grinned at him as he picked up Scott's mug.." Scott said spearing a small cherry tomato and waving his fork at her.

" "Yeah but. "I only brought the one jacket with me when I got on the plane." Page | 155 .. then?" she asked him. Serena shrugged. "There's this wonderful invention." "Darren.. figured I didn't need the ski jacket any more. "Right... "Griff?" "Sure." Scott said with a shrug as he tugged her plate closer to him so that he could get at the pickled onions.." "Yeah? Who's that." Scott rolled his eyes at the typical British class prejudices. "Well. you didn't want to touch them in case you were infected with the dreaded disease called 'dead common'. It was as if anyone lower down the class scale was diseased. and he swallowed nervously.. well. The moment it was out he regretted it." She whacked him on the shoulder. "It's called soap. The two friends emerged back into the rain. "he smells like engine grease. "And he works hard at what he does. well I can see this is going to be an easy pairing. He blew out a sigh of frustration." Scott looked at her in utter disbelief. "Yeah he's fit and all. "Name one bloke that wants to date me. and he gritted his teeth.. "Yeah? I've been going on dates since I was sixteen." she said. "Don't be a tosser.. "he's so. Serena struggling to put up a flowered umbrella as Scott huddled in his jacket getting steadily soaked. 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.. getting up to pay the bill. He shrugged at her. he's a little late isn't he?" Scott sighed at her. She gave him a disparaging look. "You know full well Darren's a good guy. sounding very non-committal. if he'd ever bother to ask me out I might say yes." he said firmly. Serena looked at him in surprise." she grumbled. "You'll be fine and you know it. He really disliked that mentality." she screwed up her nose.. but. there are plenty of men out there who would kill to go out with you. when he wants to be.Return of the Sun Christopher P." he said adopting a lecturing tone. You're the strongest girl I know.." Scott said it almost without thinking it through. Lydon She cocked an eyebrow at him. "Don't you own a rain coat?" she asked allowing him to join her under the small umbrella." he murmured. it does wonders on grease.." she gave him a lame shrug.

" he said softly as they reached the door to her shop. he was in a stable job. himself a little bit of both places. He was better off now. sticking his hands in his pockets as he walked back up the high street towards Ashley Gardens. I didn't mean to upset you.." Scott shook his head as he trudged through the rain letting it plaster his hair to his head. leaving her watching him in concern standing on the doorstep of her shop. he had a good home. Page | 156 . He was.. He smiled to himself as he crossed the main shopping precinct with the intent of cutting across the churchyard. stuck in their roles. just enjoying the rain." he said. He was suddenly riddled by doubts he thought he had managed to put behind him. He blinked at Travis standing in the door way of the church dressed in a smart black suit. Scott was actually so surprised that he almost collided with a bench." He shook his head. take care. been so happy when he had first put it on. and he had changed so much from that arrogant kid on an airplane writing a letter." He looked down at his beloved varsity jacket that had been so much a part of his life in Brooklyn. "You can just run it back to me after work. Lydon "You figured wrong. and a man who loved him. He'd earned his jacket. Had he stayed in England he would have ended up like Dickie or Darren. "You okay?" Serena asked. "I'm fine. he'd been bored with who he was. He didn't turn around. She looked at him suspiciously and offered him the umbrella. Except now he'd changed.Return of the Sun Christopher P. he didn't feel much like it right then. And had he stayed in the States and finished university he would have only postponed life. after all. He'd given up little pieces of himself on the long journey to where he was.. He scratched his damp head as he loped over to his gothic friend. and he was suddenly loath to give up one last piece of his identity.. He had moved himself home and had begun to build a life for himself." she said sounding exceptionally motherly. Trying to be that person that other people said he should be. Something unique built from those experiences. It just marked him as a foreigner. "I'm fine. and here he was in a country where its significance was meaningless. hiding in school to avoid the real world in which he always knew he belonged. "I'm sorry. grown up. no hint of makeup anywhere. 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. "You need to buy a new coat. That life seemed suddenly so very far away. He had left an American college student.

" Scott replied with a smile." Travis the undertaker.. "Damp out there?" he asked.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "and Kerry is glad for me. which is great since we missed last year's. "Where's it being held?" "Herstmonceaux Castle. Page | 157 .Kerry?" Scott asked." Travis said with a mad glint in his eye. easily one of the oldest buildings in the town.. you should come." "How is.. "They go all out each year. Scott nodded as he glanced up at the old stones of the church." "I love it." Scott grinned back. "That's great. "We're going to Medieval Festival next week. you must be relieved. Now if only he could convince Darren and Serena to go. "A tad. grinning from the shelter of the church doorway. Lydon Travis smiled at him. "She's good... being polite." "I'll think about it. an idea beginning to form in his mind." Travis replied." Travis nodded in reply." Scott grinned. "I got the job.." Travis grinned back at him. that just sounded wrong. somehow Travis and Kerry would fit right into a festival such as that. "Feels good though. What are you doing?" "Working.

resting on it and looking up at the dark grey sky. soulful. he should be locked up for conning little old ladies. Invariably he found a way to get exactly what he needed out of people. there was something familiar about them. cutting the sandwich neatly. It was bright and easily spotted. He put it down. buttering the bread.Return of the Sun Christopher P. It was drearily depressing in a way." She walked to the fridge and pulled out some lettuce and tomato. "and that rascal Hanratti asks me if I was going to the fair. that was Hanratti all right. it was extra money in the bank to help pay down the Rover. Luke should be by soon. She was telling him about how Doctor Hanratti had tricked her into buying tickets for the Medieval Festival. Page | 158 . "So he asked me if I'd like some tickets. leaving Britain to its typical rain-soaked weather. He had managed to finally catch Zulee the other day by turning up for the weekly checkup a day early. Scott actually found he liked the evenings on Meadow Road. "So when he gives them to me he says 'That'll be twenty pounds. But then he didn't really mind. Poor old Zulee really didn't stand a chance against the eccentrically determined physician. "Would you be a dear and run it out to him when he stops by? I need to get started on your tea." Gran said. Lydon Chapter 23 Scott was waiting for Luke. "So I am in getting my blood pressure done. It was almost as if the sun had decided that it was taking a well-earned vacation. A police car pulled up across the road. Gran had been surprised to see him bustle in early. a Vuxhall Astra done in the garish yellow-and-blue-check patterns that were unmistakably English Police patterns. "Well. a person could spot a speed trap a mile away. and Scott wondered if they were actually able to catch anyone speeding. he'd managed to wrangle another early night off of work. pulled on his coat and walked out to the front gate. please'. 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." She rolled her eyes." she said. picking up the sandwich and walking to the door. 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. I said I hadn't thought about it. 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. Scott blew out a long sigh as he waited." Scott nodded." Scott chuckled. a reward for finally getting the fax program working.

"Hi. "Oh. Scott. wrapped in the fluorescent yellow safety coat that all traffic policemen wore." he said trying to change the subject." "Bugger off. his voice still quiet. He extended the plate still smiling." Luke replied. shaking his head. can't stand it myself." Luke replied.. it tastes too much like curry." Scott said. "you look great." "No. "Well. "I got promoted. noting the look of uncertainty in Luke's eyes. yellow's your colour. holding up the sandwich." Scott smiled warmly. always have to me. and he felt his heart sink. He crossed the road carefully and walked up to Scott." Scott said looking down at the sandwich lamely. "Everything okay?" Scott asked. "Figures. "Look if you want us to take a step back from this so that you can catch up. Luke glanced about him. his eyes hard searching for anyone." Page | 159 . finding no one he relaxed a little." Luke observed. "I look like a lemon. "So are you. it looked warm but strangely made Luke look like an oversized banana. Scott heard the lie." Scott drew a long breath." Scott shot back. "Hey." Luke said with a half-grin. tucking his cap on his head.. Scott nodded. "I'm working traffic duty for the next little while. trying to catch Luke's eyes." "You're a terrible liar." "It is curry. blinking at Scott. now he just felt stupid. "Congratulations.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Luke glanced away back towards his patrol car. "Gran made you Chicken Tika today. "I like Tika." Scott decided to play it safe and build to the questions he had to ask. but Luke seemed focused on his sandwich. "I'm fine. then." "Thanks. there you go. taking it from him. "You're upset about the other night." Luke reassured emptily. Lydon Luke got out of the small police car." Scott greeted." Luke replied hesitantly.

"We'll talk later. holding a half-eaten sandwich as it started to rain. And that was it." he promised as he jogged back to the car. "You'll catch a cold standing there in the rain. Turn and off." "Tango. and looked down at the half-eaten sandwich. what direction. she wouldn't understand and he didn't feel like explaining anything just then. "Did Luke get a call?" Scott nodded towelling off his hair." There was a harsh crackling sound of PC Allston's two-way radio as the conversation died and it sank to a buzzing. Turn." "Heading south on the A22. suspect is a young male in his mid-twenties driving a blue Ford Escort C reg. "I just don't know Scott. "You're soaked. and in a peal of sirens.Return of the Sun Christopher P. it's all a bit much to take in all at once. swallowing back the rush of emotion." He swallowed down his emotion as he wiped his eyes quickly before smiling as he turned back to her. Turn. Turn. couldn't be ready.. we have a stolen car that needs intercept. "Dispatch to any patrol car near Upper Dicker. Scott watched him leave. He looked at Scott again and reached out to brush his hand. It hit me that this was for real the other night. "Car four to dispatch I'm inbound. "Something about a stolen car. Lydon Luke swallowed. He walked back in and Gran handed him a towel. Luke wasn't ready." "Right." He threw Scott an apologetic look as he clicked off the mic. Turn. Page | 160 .." Luke shook his head abandoning his sandwich.. still holding the soggy sandwich. "Are you coming in?" Gran called from the doorway behind him. That was it then. He didn't want her to realize how upset he was.." he murmured. Turn. Ben had been right. Turn. "Car four. It's like we're running when I haven't learned how to walk yet." "Roger." A two-way radio burst into action." she said absently as she took his coat. giving out a harsh crackling sound. was gone. Against that background a string of staccato police jargon struck up. I'm responding. Luke rushing off to his life and he was left standing there.

She was giving him a look as she picked up her knitting again. it was none of my business what goes on in someone else's bedroom." Gran said. almost as if she knew what he was going to say. didn't advertise it though everyone knew. and stopping him before he did. and the daughter fights with her husband. Once settled she turned on the television. "He seemed a little off today." "Huh?" Scott said. He blinked at her a moment and opened his mouth to tell her. "Wonderful men. wondering what she was hinting at." he said again. and no one bothered them about it. The movie was pretty heavy." Scott said." she said." she said pointedly. "I never asked them. "It really didn't matter at the end of the day. "Well. "that they were in love. Your grandfather helped build their house. trying to work out if she did in fact know or this was just a conversation arising from the movie. She nodded to the screen." Scott replied honestly. his mind wandering back to Luke." "Right. it'll help warm you up." he said. continuing her train of thought. Ironic. your tea's ready. Apparently they met during the war.. kept themselves to themselves. "But he's been promoted to traffic duty so he gets to ride around in a patrol car and hand out tickets.Return of the Sun Christopher P. And as it progressed it unfolded that one of the children was having a gay affair with a servant. it didn't matter what they told anyone or what anyone thought about them. "The only normal relationship out of the bunch. "So how was Luke?" she asked." The way she was looking at him left him in no doubt she was trying to tell him something. Scott wasn't sure if she was changing the subject on him or not. "The point is.." "Oh. setting her knitting into her lap. the wife can't stand him either. the husband is having an affair. about a family and the secrets it harboured." "Right. considering. looking up from her knitting and breaking the silence. greeted by a movie on the BBC. Lydon "Well you go sit down in the living room. at least they're in love." she said with a maternal smile." Gran said. she stayed there a moment as Scott chewed absently on his beans on toast. glancing at her. "I knew a gay couple once. looking at her. "Well." Page | 161 . They didn't need one of those parades. The only happy couple is the son and that. right.

. especially not in modern England. "No wonder it didn't work out." Scott scratched his head... "Oh yes." She smiled at him again. Some young women will do whatever they have to do to change their station. just like your father." Scott said slowly. "It goes on over there as well. "Take your Uncle Nigel and Aunt Debbie." Scott nodded. then. Page | 162 . "You always were in so much of a hurry." Scott said in surprise.Return of the Sun Christopher P." "The name?" Scott asked doubtfully. "He thinks I go too fast. "Marie. but your father got married to your mother after a week." Gran said cheerfully... "She was from Town Farm and looking to get out.." Gran replied as she completed her row.. "I didn't know Uncle Nigel was married before." Gran joked back to him. Unlike his first wife. "He might give you a ticket. all the family secrets were coming out now. not in real life. now there's a marriage that will last for a long time. took his time and got to know her instead of rushing headlong into a mess." "Oh no." "Wow." Gran responded. and a week later he turned up with your mother. She and your Uncle Nigel divorced after about a year and she moved to Rye. it's just she wanted the name. he wrote us a letter the day before the wedding to tell us all about it. "It's all about taking your time." he reflected in surprise." he said dryly. "Then you should learn to slow down. looking at the film that suddenly held a lot more relevance to him. she wasn't really interested in getting married." "Right. Lydon "You'd best stop speeding. "Things are a lot simpler in the States. He did it right. it's just we're more open about it." she said sagely." "People actually do that?" Scott was incredulous. "I never told you this." He gaped at her. "Really?" She nodded." Gran responded. then." "Oh yes. all too aware of the double entandre that existed in what he was saying." Gran said shaking her head sadly." Scott blinked.. "Happens quite often around here. she felt if she had a respectable name like Walker it would help her. "Walker. he thought that sort of thing only ever happened in films or bad literature. "Oh yes.

" Gran said. working her knitting. Lydon "But back to my original point. she would continue to love him. a person is still a person regardless of his choices. It didn't matter what he did. And he loved her all the more for it. no doubt in his mind at that point that she knew exactly what she was saying. Page | 163 ." Scott looked at her.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Some things are just best left unsaid.

Jasper sitting on Dickie's lap on the folddown third row seat in the back was being loud. really. "That's a good boy. and Scott had ensured that they would meet up at entrance to the festival and go in together.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Scott's Rover was stuffed to the brim with Allston kids. and Scott suddenly had a very good lesson in exactly why he never wanted to have kids. not that Scott was about to complain. There were advantages to driving a vehicle customary of upper classes. 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. Supposedly Serena was going with her mother. that the attendants took one look at the Range Rover and waved it into the forward parking lot. and Darren was idly playing with the radio. It reminded him of the family outings he had taken with his family before they emigrated. Lydon Chapter 24 Darren had been given no say in the matter. Jan and Gran behind him were talking loudly seeming to completely ignore the sprog." Dickie volunteered. if Scott was being dragged kicking and screaming to the castle. it was pretty obvious that she and Jan would be anxious to see the arts and craft stalls. His master plan was going along smoothly until Gran had called Jan to invite her along. It was a warm day." Gran smiled warmly. "So what's the plan?" Scott asked. which was a rarity due to her hatred of cars. where as the boys were probably more interested in the jousts and re-enactments that were going on all day. Joel seemed to be the only quiet one out of the bunch as he listened to the headphones of his CD player. 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. Gran already setting up Jan's wheelchair as Dickie and Joel helped her down into it. The Rover swung into the gravel parking lot and it was fortunate. Gran had made it very clear that she had wanted to go and had even asked Scott to drive her to it. His father would pack up his brood of children. and drag them all over the country to see the historical sites. Now here Scott was driving his extended family on his first outing. It was a stark reminder that he had grown up. despite the weatherman on the BBC predicting rain. then so was he. He pulled to a stop and dug his visor cap out of the glove compartment as his passengers unloaded themselves from the back. Page | 164 . Gran smiled and looked to Jan for direction. more a herd really. "I'll take sprog. adjusting his cap so that his hair spilled out the top and slipping his sunglasses on. scooping up the little one in his arms.

" Scott said. looking about him. "Come on lug-nut. before you trip over that tongue. Lydon Scott nodded his head. I dare you to get dressed up. A few knights in chain-mail armour supped from tankards and boasted about their deeds on the field of battle." "Mmm." Page | 165 . Darren just stood there moonstruck. sweeping up. "I dunno. well I promised to meet a friend. Scott loved it.Return of the Sun Christopher P. as he nudged Scott. elegant and beautiful. "Right.." Scott gave him a look. He stepped aside to allow a couple of men wearing swords to pass him. there was no question who Prince Charming would have married. Darren grinned back at her in a way that said he would do it anyway. nudging Darren till he closed his mouth. you have to as well. It's a festival. but nobody seemed to care that they were dressed like Vikings. There were jesters juggling balls and maidens dressed in traditional dresses made from wools and cottons.." Darren said. "Alright.. come on. "That's the point." Darren muttered as he watched a couple of men unloading a wagon who were dressed as fourteenth-century peasants. cider. The group moved off to the entrance producing their tickets and stepping back in time more than five hundred years. moving about through the crowds. "Isn't that a bit." Darren nodded. She looked like a storybook princess. 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." Scott said." "If I do. 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. and Scott suppressed the urge to giggle at her long flowing dress and pointed hat.. He realized that they weren't part of the festival. "You both should. Darren chuckled at them." Serena said. looking at a man dressed in animal furs and carrying a wicked looking warhammer. Cinderella had nothing on her at that moment. "We should buy swords.

She sniffed at him and motioned with her fan for him to turn around. "It's a bit plain. as the three friends looked for an authentic costumers to dress the part. hemming and hawing a moment. Lydon Darren shook himself and blinked at her. and Scott broke out into a broad grin when he recognized Darren angling through the crowds towards them. then." she said in a haughty voice. he slipped it on and turned to present himself for another inspection." He looked at her and narrowed his eyes." he said. Serena inspected him as she tapped her chin with her fan. Looking at himself in the mirror." she pointed to another merchant's stall. "What's wrong with it?" he asked. I don't want to be escorted by men who cannot dress themselves properly. "It'll do fine. The riding boots were a bit on the expensive side. They both scanned the crowd for a moment. "As a lady-in-waiting. "No idea." he said dryly. "You need a tunic or something. Scott had selected a simple white frock shirt and a pair of trousers that he was assured were authentic. "Something cropped that shows off your bum. reaching into his regular pants pocket and paying for the costume. Scott was not entirely comfortable with her looking at him like that so he turned back." she said. *** Scott shot his cuffs feeling a little silly. "Where'd Darren go?" Serena shrugged. nodding as he followed behind Scott. Serena hid her own pretty smile at the reaction she had caused. but he figured why not spend a little. He stopped and walked over to where some beautiful waistcoats sat folded neatly on a table." he said looking about him. Page | 166 .. Now it was Serena's turn to gape. "I'm not here to parade for you. "Right. In defiance to the costume he put his sunglasses back on. Picking up a black one with an embroidered Tudor rose on it. There were a few things about authenticity he was willing to forgo. 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 was over there.. he felt like he looked ok.. Scott rolled his eyes at her as he reached out to select a tunic from the rack." she remarked thoughtfully. She smiled at him.Return of the Sun Christopher P. although he had never seen anyone wear them in the films.. Darren was wearing leathers that were a bit too tight and showed his lean form and welldeveloped muscles.

. as they walked through the throngs of people carrying their bags and looking for a refreshment tent." "Good point. obliviously walking a few feet on her other side. "I'll stick to coffee. gesturing off towards the castle.. It wasn't one of those made-in-China tinfoil things that would melt if left in the sun too long. call it an early birthday present. "I saw the booth and I figured what the hell. Page | 167 . Scott looked down at it and over to Darren.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Serena chuckled. She looked over at Darren and blushed. he grinned at the crowd and blushed at his outburst. Her eyes locked with a new-found appreciation for English craftsmanship herself. Serena was still staring at Darren's leather hose. "Are you both going to stand there gaping at each other or shall we find a beer tent?" "You're driving." Scott frowned as he unwrapped it." Darren reminded him with a grin. He looked up at Darren gratefully.. and a few knights inclined their heads to Serena and referred to her as 'milady. handmade weapon crafted with care in the traditional manner. Scott shook his head at the pair of them. "Right. stopping to admire the intricate workmanship on the long sword. and adjusted its scabbard to sit properly. Lydon He grinned at Scott and handed him a long package wrapped in tissue paper." Darren grinned. "Lemonade I think. so what did they have back then to drink?" "Cider. there is no coffee." he said with emotion in his voice." Serena said. "I don't think Gran would appreciate you getting pulled over." "Heathens!" Scott cried loud enough to cause a few heads to turn to him..' She loved the attention. and reached out to take Scott's arm possessively as she glided through the crowd." Scott quickly buckled it about his waist. "Thank you. It was an old-styled. He felt like a kid going to a fancy-dress party. Darren nodded. "This is a medieval fair. nothing in Scott's opinion could compare to an English blacksmith who took pride in his work." Scott replied. lightly resting a hand on the hilt and grinning stupidly. He looked up at her and inclined his head to Darren. eh? 'Made in England' still carries some weight. In the entire world. Scott became aware of the nods they were getting from the other costumers. "Cuz.

Lydon shaking her head. the Hamlet metaphor still alive and well. poor Yorrick." Scott called out. you're just a delicate boy." 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. thank you very much. pushing down on the skirts in an effort to look dignified.Return of the Sun Christopher P. and so armed. Dickie took one look at them and burst out laughing." she remarked. you all look like something out of Hamlet. Dickie walked into the tent with Jasper who was decked out in a belled jester's hat." "I didn't say anything. Page | 168 .. Gran smiled at him." Scott glared at him. "I thought you were supposed to be escorting the fine lady here. rubbing his arm where she had hit him. "I didn't hit you that hard. that's why we like you. returned to join Gran's table." Serena fought with her billowing skirts in an effort to sit down. "It's okay." "Alas." Scott intoned with a smile. "I knew him well. "I'd go mental if I had to dress like this every day." Darren cocked his head over at Scott. Horatio." she said. discovering that modern plastic chairs were in no way compatible with fifteenth-century dresses. glancing over at Scott.. he had to put the coffee mug down and shift it about to sit down.. "I hate you. I am not going to be your Ophelia." They entered the refreshment tent to find Gran and Jan already enjoying a well-earned pot of tea.. and she whacked him with her fan. "And no. He gestured again. setting his jaw stubbornly. but he was laughing so hard that he nearly fell over. "Murder! Help I am being assaulted. "I take that back. "You're such a wimp. not her escorting you. Scott sighed and crossed his arms waiting for him to get done." Serena patted his arm. Finally she hiked the skirts up a bit and plopped down on it. "Ow!" Scott winced." Scott grinned." "Abuse. Judging from the pile of shopping bags around them they had already been through the art and crafts section. Scott was relieved to find there was indeed coffee available in this recreation of the past. He held up a hand indicating to give him a second to recover. "Well don't you look a sight. Chuckling to himself as the sword got tangled in the chair legs.

but realized it was a different time." Jasper didn't look in a hurry to go. he was probably eager for lunch anyway. Scott stood. just before the grand joust that was the highlight of the day's competitions. 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. the hilt of the sword catching on the edge of the table and he sat down again to get up more slowly. He wondered what it must have been like to have watched the real thing all those years ago. Gran looked down at the two bags of clothes and nodded to him. It was close to recreating the real battles that were fought back then. He stepped around the table. before Jan handed him one of the scones that he began to devour nosily. Lydon Jasper jingled as he cocked his head to look at them. Page | 169 . recovering from his fit of laughter. "Well. and Gran helped him up into a chair. "I'm game for it.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "Are you going to be here for awhile?" he asked Gran hopefully. the lists being brutal foot battles where armoured warriors hammered on each other with swords trying to score points. you kids go have fun. trilling with the din of metal crashing against metal to the roar of the crowds. But for now the Melee lists were about to take place. there was definitely an art to costuming." She lifted the cup and held the pointed hat on as she tilted her head back to down the rest of her drink. The gaggle of friends left the tent looking for the Melee list tournaments. 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. Darren grinned at her obviously impressed and finished his as well. Dickie looked over at Serena hopefully and she looked back. "they've got the lists going on in a few minutes. trying to get a better vantage of the square of battle. He stopped though when he saw the three of them. and he climbed onto an old stump to try to wave at them. a different set of people with different values. and the grand joust later." he said with a pleasant smile. "Okay." Dickie said. I'll come if you give me a chance to finish my cider. Scott had wandered a bit from the group. "Just leave them with us and we'll take care of them. 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. Serena and Darren. clutching onto a tree branch to keep his balance.

the days of a knight-errant riding to the rescue of a damsel in distress were long gone. instead a woman had to be her own champion. dropping down from his stump he pushed his way through the crowds. Darren needed time alone with Serena. he reflected. He watched silently as Serena finally pulled away from Dickie. trying to tell him that she wasn't interested in Dickie at that point. There was a heated exchange as Serena rubbed her arm and yelled at him over Darren's shoulder. She was obviously attracted to Dickie. wondering when things had become so complex in life. not sure what he should do. Serena didn't seem to know what she wanted. He rounded and saw Scott. He was having difficulty getting back to them. with Dickie she would be nothing more than his mistress. Darren stepped between them. Every instinct in Scott screamed for him to get over there. He wondered if Serena was doing it consciously. Scott couldn't stand it any longer. putting himself between Dickie and Serena. oblivious to the fact that Serena didn't want that. trying to keep him close by her body language. but it wasn't his place. He caught up with Dickie just as he crossed one of the re-enactment grounds in the lee of the castle. 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. In the modern age where equality ruled supreme. This was her choice to make. the history of it. which left him with the onerous task of dealing with the rejected Dickie. "Piss off. but she was discovering that she was also attracted to Darren. And Scott wanted so desperately to help her but there was nothing he could do. He shook his head. and in frustration he tried to grab for her. Lydon Dickie was trying to get her attention. touching her arm and pointing into the battle. Darren had his arm protectively around Serena as he led her away and Dickie was swearing after them.Return of the Sun Christopher P." Dickie growled at him. It was no longer an age of chivalry. "What was that about?" Page | 170 . but that faded as his own anger caught up to him and he began to yell in return. each time he touched her she would look over at Darren. Scott turned. sneering as he pushed past him and stalked away. but when he finally entered their circle. there was no room for it. With Darren she had a future. Dickie seemed apologetic at first. But her language was closed to him. But then. Defend her own honour. all he could do was stand ready to help her when he could. trying to tell her about the fight. sidling up to Serena. And he set out to catch up with Dickie's retreating form. Scott. Darren was trying to give the two of them space. Scott shrugged.

there was no denying the pain that was held there.." "Do?" Dickie rounded on him again. and he was left speechless. He had nothing to say to that... Scott? I know full well that you've been sleeping with Luke.. were enough for Scott to know full well what they had just heard Dickie say.. Say something." "Is that a threat?" Dickie snarled. "that's not what I.." "I saw you. "If you've come to give me grief as well you can forget it." Scott said cutting Dickie off cold.... nothing at all. and the sad look on Gran's. shaken by one girl? "Look.. it's wrong. you think you're the only one that knows a secret. he should deny it. and he turned to his shocked mother struggling for words." Dickie stared at him with eyes filled with cold anger.. seated in her chair on the edge of the circle of people that surrounded them. "I know more about what's going on than you think.. like he had realized what he had said in anger.Return of the Sun Christopher P. Had Serena's rejection really shaken him that much? The indomitable Dickie Allston. "Whatever it is you think you know." Dickie said. It was raw emotion." he bit off the words wrestling for control. Scott worked his jaw a few times. say anything.. The anger and hatred that was thrown into that one statement was indescribable. Lydon Dickie turned. "In Kent that first morning... speak.. The look on Jan's face. Whatever Serena told you is a load of.. that's right. "What. "Do? You're too fucking busy doing my brother!" Scott's face fell in shock. "Yeah.. Gran held onto Jasper's hand as they walked towards the main jousting area." "Look. Say something to deny it. Page | 171 . and it was directed to hurting him. Dickie for his own part looked awful." "What?" Jan said." "Listen to me you fucking. her voice deathly quiet. "Look if there's anything I can do." Scott said backing up a step." Scott tried again. "No." Scott said holding up his hands. I'm sorry she's broken it off with you.

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. But his mind was fragmented. confronting him about Scott Walker. trying to think of what to say. Lydon Chapter 25 Luke was on patrol. Normally he would have a partner. doubt all assailed him at the same time. claiming it had been Dickie who had told her. She sat in her chair with a furious look on her face. She had ambushed him while he was tying his tie. blocking his way out the back door. the turbocharger under the hood turning it from a small family car into an effective tool of law enforcement.Return of the Sun Christopher P. the Vauxhall handling responsively as he swept through the Diplocks Way industrial park. he needed to stay focused and not to think too much on what was to come. he had simply walked around her and out of the house. That had earned him the respect of his fellow officers. He loved his work. He'd survived his cadet training. and he rubbed his eyes trying to fight back the tears of frustration that threatened him. She made her accusations as he pulled on his boots. He'd volunteered for the Town Farm beat. anger. and then his puppy walking with Sergeant Taylor. but Hailsham was a small town and the force was undermanned despite its best recruitment efforts. Now. 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 was on duty. a fellow officer riding along with him. But rather than meet her rage. and now there he was operating a mobile unit. He swallowed. which that morning he didn't particularly mind. it just made the world seem claustrophobic. He slowed the car a little and stared down the gap between two warehouses. It was a royal mess. fear. he'd only been doing it a year. relieved to find nothing and sweeping the car onwards. trying to find anything suspicious. lowering his foot on the accelerator as the police car roared to life. something that would turn this mess of conflicting emotions into a policeman. He needed one of those. The A22 was slick and Page | 172 . and the morning was damp with a light ground fog that obscured very little. He had been asleep when his mother had come home the day before. knowing full well how rough it was. 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. But his mother had been waiting for him when he had gotten up at five in the morning. Sometime overnight it had rained.

not having to deal with his own emotions.Return of the Sun Christopher P. It wasn't as if he expected to catch anything. but there were always a few reckless motorists. he came home. It had always been there. It wasn't as if Scott had made him gay. The car rocketed through his speed trap doing nearly a hundred miles an hour. his own wants and needs. But Scott hadn't taken no for an answer. but it was better than instant coffee that always tasted foul when left in a thermos. not realizing that everyone else was in exactly the same boat as they were. He hated morning motorists. The tea was strong. there was no way he could blame Scott for this. Luke put his own thoughts behind him as he Page | 173 .. a small Peugeot that weaved dangerously as it sped onwards. When he had to socialize. he had spat on those beliefs. as much as Luke didn't want to admit it. They hadn't been speeding. Luke finished the cup and screwed it back together. watching a couple of cars shoot past. her faith was something that had allowed her to survive life after her accident and go on to raise four boys. slowing on instinct when they saw the distinctive blue-and-yellow-checked Astra with its bank of blue lights sitting on top. Lydon treacherous when he turned onto it. directing the radar gun up towards the London approach. He picked up his thermos of tea and unscrewed the lid. how could Luke stop someone who never seemed to take no for an answer? No. And in his selfishness. It was just enough that the police showed a presence out on the roads at that time in the morning.. 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. and he slowed down a little as he found the spot and pulled the car around to sit. pouring himself a cup as he sat and stared at the drizzle that was making an already grey day miserable. leaving it on the passenger seat beside him. He went to work. But what could he possibly say? "Yes Mum. they were always in such a hurry. Scrubbing a hand down his face he regretted the fact that he hadn't confronted his mother. waving a wand and making him fall in love with him. he kept quiet and stayed away from the crowd. He sipped the tea." 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. He should have stopped it before it began. but it was habitual: if you saw a police car on the side of the road you slowed down. Pretty soon the road would be busy as commuters drove towards the M25 and work. I'm queer. too long in the pot by its taste. He had been so good at keeping people away.

At the rate the stolen car was travelling he was probably looking to lose his pursuer in Polegate. in pursuit of a grey Peugeot 205 doing a hundred. licence plate is Delta Six Five Tree. 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. proceed with caution. turn. The Peugeot suddenly cut left. car was reported stolen last night. Lydon turned on the lights and siren. Luke tapped the wheel. anyone coming up the road could see approaching traffic. dispatch. tearing the plastic casing clean off of its bolted mounts and sending it flying. starting the car and accelerating back onto the motorway. he wouldn't get far. They were coming up on a roundabout intersection about halfway along the road.Return of the Sun Christopher P. the Astra jumping the curb and grinding into the metal railings of the rec's fence. bouncing in along the street." Luke replied. Luke braked and turned after him. jumping the small hump and crashing back to the road as it kept going. 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. "Kilo Echo Alpha. The Peugoet shrieked as it collided with a bollard. I am alerting other units to close on your position. entering South Road. The Peugeot tried to jink again. There was another unit trying to head the car off at the George Street bridge. avoiding the other police car. the Astra expertly handling the curve as it navigated the roundabout to keep up the pursuit. Luke followed it. but a small Metro had just rounded the same corner and the collision had been spectacular. Luke clicked his radio and radioed in. Cursing himself for not seeing the move coming and knowing that an experienced police officer wouldn't have made that mistake. his own car swinging wide to avoid the shattered bollard as the other unit swept up behind him. Turn. to turn up Summerheath. a village just south of Hailsham." "Tango. lowering his foot on the accelerator as he heard the other morning units responding to the dispatch call. tires squealing as its hubcaps popped off. turn and off. the police car easily closing the distance with the other car." he squinted through the light fog." "Car four. The other police car was not so lucky as it ran straight into the back of the Peugeot driving it further into the Metro. this is car four. "Dispatch. but with the way the old railway bridge was set up. and the Peugeot ran right over the white painted circle. And Luke knew the Eastbourne police would be waiting there for him. Page | 174 . amazingly its driver kept control as he took off down Western Road. Luke desperately spun the wheel of his car to avoid hitting the wreckage.

or. he couldn't have gone far.. "I don't know Sarge. Taylor sighed again rubbing his face against the drizzle. and he swore himself. head in his hands refusing to look at the crash. door still open where Luke had been sitting..Return of the Sun Christopher P. He was the lucky one.. Lydon *** "He's a bit shaken up." Taylor rested his arms on the door of car four. that was why Sam was supposed to watch the boy. scanning the rec. "This is all I need. the driver would be charged with manslaughter. and he turned back to look at Luke. "Bob. There would be an inquest for this. "Where'd he go. Luke Allston was a good officer. and in his current condition he wouldn't be going fast. There were other officers coming on duty and reporting directly to the accident scene. this is Taylor we have a walker. in cases such as this. Taylor swore loudly and gestured to the car." Sergeant Taylor was saying to another constable. but he didn't have the experience yet to deal with the shock of watching someone die in front of his eyes. he tried to figure out exactly what had gone wrong. Witnessing an accident like this one had a way of making a person question his abilities to do his job. moving his hand up to wipe his eyes. alert all units to find PC Allston and bring him back to the station. The ambulance was just pulling up to rush the driver of the Peugeot to hospital." He lifted his two-way and called in to dispatch. looking over to where Luke sat. So many new officers left in their first year on the job. though no one was at fault. some directing traffic around the incident as others took measurements. their inability to do anything to stop something terrible from happening. Page | 175 . Sam?" PC Sam Reynolds looked surprised as he glanced back at the empty car. reckless driving on top of his auto theft charges. It was a mess. And with Luke still in his first year.. 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. he was right there." Taylor rubbed his head. cursing when he saw the empty police car. 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. the poor woman in the Metro hadn't been as fortunate. but that didn't change the fact that Taylor had one officer injured and another slipping into shock. Taylor had suspected something would happen. Surveying the mess in front of him. discovering they couldn't handle the weight of responsibility. if they didn't get him back quickly they could lose him.

the white knight that everyone relied on. He had no direction. 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. when he had finally found something that made him happy once more. No. and he was walking again. A woman was ushering her kids to school. the one that always sowed misery wherever he went. driving yet another Page | 176 . he was the problem child.. He'd left the hat sitting on the car's seat and his yellow jacket was hanging open. looking up at him in surprise as he stared at her. The rain fell more steadily. he wasn't the paragon of virtue. it didn't matter. he worked hard. Dickie had probably taken malicious delight in telling her that. Everything had been happier. his mother could still walk. it had been a different world. Lydon *** It was raining now. He wasn't Dickie. He turned to follow her passage with his eyes.. trying to deal with issues he should never have to deal with. He didn't know where he was going. her cold accusations when she had tried to demand an answer. If he had been he would have stopped that car. but then if he was a good officer why was a woman. he had no goal. His father hadn't left. he'd failed her just like he let everyone else down. His mother had told him. The one who had stepped into his father's shoes when his mother needed him the most. He was locked into his own mind. He was nothing more than his uniform. He had no business being in a uniform. He thought he had been a good policeman. It didn't matter. The look of anguish on his face enough to send her running. fat steady droplets falling down upon him. And now. he let the water run down his face as he put one foot in front of the other.. he had nothing but his job. the rain soon soaking him to the skin. staring stock ahead of himself. She protectively put a hand on her eight-year-old's shoulder and pushed him onwards.Return of the Sun Christopher P. he just wasn't up to the job. or how he would get there. He'd seen that in her eyes that morning. That was his life though. before he had joined. She had warned him that he wasn't up to it. he didn't notice. his mother had dressed him up and walked him to school like that when he was that age. He'd been as miserable then as he was now.? He swallowed back the thought. running in rivulets down from his hair. that he wasn't responsible enough to protect other people. running down his neck as he walked through the alley that connected the Diplocks housing estate to the industrial park. except for him. There was a peal of thunder off in the distance. That was long ago..

Luke loved him. The same ones that now had him crossing the Holt and walking up Meadow Road. His life was now no longer what it had been.. He couldn't even begin to grasp what that meant for him. he was oblivious to the world around him as he crossed the street. He couldn't help it. Luke realized he had always been gay. Page | 177 . that young man who didn't seem to care how much of an asshole Luke was to him. "What's wrong?" he asked almost in panic. whether Luke wanted the change or not. Insecurities about his worth. he was no longer able to just deny who he was. how or even why didn't matter to Luke. and a woman was now. The thunder rolled again. who gave as good as he got. She had an outlet there for the anger and resentment she should have thrown at her husband but couldn't. As if the fact that he took after his father wasn't enough. Lydon wedge between them. and the rain kept falling. looked surprised to see Luke walking towards him. trying to hide behind his own fears and doubts. at first. He. he'd always shoved the thoughts away. fishing out his keys and walking to the garden gate.. realizing he'd been crying for a while. He swallowed back the tears. He saw where his feet were taking him.. And he'd failed. on instinct he was walking to the one place where he wasn't judged.. That stubborn man who wanted into the secret world Luke had created for himself. get back up and stumble onwards. and still came back for more. wearing the god-awful American jacket that was completely useless in the rain. or rather subsisting on work. but one look and his face changed and he had Luke in his arms.Return of the Sun Christopher P. The van driver called out the window for him to watch where he was going. Inside Luke's own private world he was wrestling with his own demons. Admitting it to himself was harder than that first kiss. and wouldn't take no for an answer. It wasn't fair. a van's brakes squealing as it nearly ran him down. But he was failing Scott as well. The fact that someone had actually wanted to know him for him. But Scott had seen through it. watched the stunned police officer trip on the curb.. Scott was just coming out of his house. Buried them down deep with all his other feelings. it was all different now. to the one person who brought some level of happiness to his world. there was no other explanation for his feelings. He couldn't help thinking of Scott. for good or for bad. The driver. but when was life ever fair? All Luke could do was try to be the best he could. surprised when he didn't get a response. just existing. He'd changed his life for Scott. again the admission rocked 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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Return of the Sun

Christopher P. Lydon

Chapter 26
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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Return of the Sun

Christopher P. Lydon

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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But I need you in that uniform doing what you do best. is that not only were you well trained." "A seasoned officer would have known when to back off of a chase like that. he had to hold on just awhile longer." His eyes flicked up to Scott. feeling extraordinarily self-conscious at that moment." the Superintendent said sternly. The Superintendent. Lydon "I love you. Superintendent?" Gran offered innocently as she lifted the teapot." Luke swallowed and nodded. glancing up at Scott who squeezed his shoulder reassuringly." the Superintendent said. resting a hand protectively on Luke's shoulder. "What you need to get through that thick head of yours. "I somehow think I'd better. glancing up to make sure Gran hadn't heard. but Luke refused to let him go. sufficiently armed with a mug of Gran's finest sat down on the stool beside Luke and stared him evenly in the eyes.. "I. sir." Luke shuddered. you should have stayed on the scene.. Scott. The Superintendent.." Scott whispered. wiped his brow with a handkerchief and set both aside as he waited patiently. and back to Luke." He sighed as he crossed his arms and settled back into his chair." "You're right.. He took his cap off of his head. I should have. marched into the kitchen following Gran and balked in surprise at his missing policeman and the young man wrapped in his arms. I'm sorry. "I. "Tea. Sunshine.. He wasn't ready yet to be without that loving presence. and there are going to be some adjustments we're all going to have to make. The doorbell ringing signalled the arrival of the Superintendent and Scott made to escape Luke's arms." Page | 181 . "You gave us all quite the scare. but given the circumstances you did what you had to do.. "All things considered you're going to have a hard time of it the next little while till you find your footing again. "I suppose you think what happened this morning was your fault. but you think on your feet and that makes you a good constable. what you were trained to do." Luke blinked a few times at him." The Superintendent sighed again heavily. blinking at her.. wriggled out of Luke's grasp and stepped around to the back of the stool.. "I don't understand. Constable. a tall severe-looking man. "Sergeant Taylor had half the station out looking for you... She looked particularly interested in the bottom of her teacup at that moment.Return of the Sun Christopher P.

It just wasn't fair." "Not before you've gotten a warm meal into you. setting that in stone. I'm not about to have one of my boys wandering around town in the rain. 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. after Luke had finally been permitted by Gran to go home that Scott had found himself alone with Gran. seated finishing her latest pot of tea. "I should go home." she admonished." Gran declared forcibly." He coughed as he stood back up and re-seated his cap on his head. now Scott dear." He nodded firmly. under the circumstances. "Gran. Luke shakily got to his feet. "think other things might get in the way. "I think. "Superintendent." Luke sank back into his seat.. "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. slightly embarrassed by his sudden discomfort. Then I want you to talk to me before you make any decisions. She smiled at him." the Superintendent nodded again. "Yes." "Mister Walker. Page | 182 . But he was nervous. Mrs Walker." Luke nodded. "Take the next few days off. and marched from the kitchen.Return of the Sun Christopher P." She glanced meaningfully at Scott.. not to somehow come out and say something. Scott nodded as he shifted on his feet." *** It was later. "Once you've settled and found your head then you can go. and to me that's all that matters. tasting the word for the first time. wanting to sit down and talk to her. You're a police constable and you took an oath." he glanced up at Scott again." he said. "Mrs Walker.. "Good. cold and hungry. I need you to give me a hand. and she looked up at him." "Gran. Lydon The Superintendent rolled his eyes before squinting at Luke. quiet in the kitchen. explain everything to her though she would never ask. after the last few days.. "Luke's gone home?" she asked. standing in the doorway. Or because you. He swallowed. clear your head and sort out what you want. bowing in thanks to her.

that was until the word 'girlfriend' had sunk in." He felt tears welling up into his eyes as he crossed to her and threw his arms around her neck. But you worked hard and you are finally standing on your own.." she said after a moment of uncomfortable silence. "To Fleur?" "Yes. Not exactly Scott's idea of romance. despite Uncle Nigel's warning. He was sitting beside her grinning the kind of grin reserved for Lewis Carol felines." Serena said as she bounced a little closer to Darren on the bench seat of the Golden Martlet. "We were always worried about you when you were younger.. Scotty. Nothing got past the old woman. "You're all grown up now. Darren had pined after Serena for months. "You were such a pretty boy. thinking about Luke. Scott was worried about Luke. drawing her close to him. she'd seen. "I've never felt this way before." She smiled as Scott realized her window was right above the back door. Scott crossed the kitchen to sit down at the table. He swallowed trying to find some words. "Do you think he'll be alright?" Scott asked. Scott was happy for him. "apparently he said 'yes'. his arm around her waist and looking altogether entirely too pleased with himself. He suddenly felt very small. Lydon She was giving him a look that said she understood what was going through his head. hardly the type to go sneaking out of my house late at night with a smile on his face." she said reluctantly. I think you gave your father more grey hairs than your sister did." It was later that evening and Darren had wanted to finish the day off right. and all it had taken to get them together was the melee lists at a medieval festival." *** "Married?" Scott looked incredulous. Page | 183 . "You love him very much. don't you?" Gran observed. and at first had been reluctant. "He's always been such a reclusive young man. but there was nothing to say when someone officially declared your childhood was over. But you grew up into a strong boy and when you turned up on my doorstep I wondered what it meant." She shook her head. but whatever worked. "We were afraid you were going to get picked on in school.Return of the Sun Christopher P. dragging Scott along with his new girlfriend for a couple of pints to while away the evening. about anyone. "How so?" He swallowed.

THE END Page | 184 .." he said quietly. Fleur would have her claws into a man who would jump the back fence the first opportunity he got." Serena said. "Hey. "You survived. "Well I guess that proves it. "She wants to get married before the baby comes." Serena repeated exasperatedly. and Serena rolled her eyes." he said firmly." he said warmly. if ever two people deserved one another. important you are. Lydon "Married?" Scott repeated. scrunching up her face in disgust. "That was not what I was thinking." Scott observed.. I am never going to get used to the two of you.Return of the Sun Christopher P. "And he said "yes'?" "That's what I said. There was a moment of shocked silence from the bar and Luke looked about at them. and she didn't give him much choice. He shook his head. Scott was surprised to see him. "They're gonna snog. leaning in to kiss Scott gently." Luke looked at Darren and shrugged." Darren smirked. "Well.." Scott said. turning to Scott." "Right." she said. Luke shrugged." he remarked.. but he still spared him a smile. "Get used to it. and Scott felt the familiar three nudges under the table. 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. sounding disappointed. When I put it into those terms I think she realized how. Luke gaped at her a moment. he looked tired... Luke slid into the booth beside Scott.

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