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Monday, 31 March 2014

518

Thomas de Grey


When Graeme arrived 20 minutes later, the sitting room was already loud with chatter and laughter.

“My dear, so beautiful, and such warm people I always thought and I did love the climate having drinks on the terrace and listening to the servants talking so melodious.”

“I think my mother’s Italian is dialect,” said Esmé.  “I don’t know.”

“You should ask her,” said Lucasta.

“Oh … I …we don’t talk any more.”  Esmé’s dismissive comment was tinged with sorrow. 

Jason brought Graeme over and introduced him.

“Graeme, my grandmother Lucasta Ellesmere, and my friend Esmé Kovac who are both fans of your writing.  Grandam, Ezz: may I present to you Graeme alias Amantha Masterton.”  Jason bowed like an impresario.

“So delighted to meet you Graeme I am a great fan of your stories so insightful and such fun.”

“You’ve enlivened many an unhappy hour,” said Esmé.  “Dreams of handsome princes and romantic castles and buxom beauties swept off their feet.  This ninny”—she gestured at Jason—“didn’t mention who you were when we met last time.”

Jason stuck his tongue out at her.  Graeme laughed. 

“As I said to Jason, it’s a job.  I admit, I make what the inimitable Jane calls ‘a modest competence’ from dear Lord Balencourt’s amorous and pugilistic adventures.”

“Your swordfights are very realistic.”

“I did some genuine training for a while.  Just so’s I could get it right.”

“You have more fans over there,” observed Jason, gesturing to the other corner of the room where Keith and Eleanor were chatting.  “Let me introduce you.”

Episodes 1 to 500 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)   


Sunday, 30 March 2014

517



“Grandam, you remember Keith?”  Keith tried to let go of their hands but neither Jason nor Esmé allowed it.

“Of course I do so kind to pick me up at the airport makes travelling so much better to be met and swept to one’s destination in congenial company and such a dear car reminded me so much of my own youth which in a way is a sad thing and maybe even dreary but I am having so much fun.  Did Jason tell you the news? We are to host Amantha Masterton so exciting I’ve been a fan for years just wait until I tell Parker.”



“Yes, I’d heard,” said Keith gamely, having given up the struggle to pull his hands out of Jason’s and Esmé’s.

“So sorry waffling on like that I do apologize we haven’t been introduced,” this to Esmé.  “I’m Lucasta Ellesmere.  And Jason is my grandson.”

“Oh, we’ve heard all about you,” said Esmé smiling.  “I’m Esmé Kovac.  It’s really pronounced Kovatch because it’s Yugoslav.”

“Oh, my dear, so interesting, my husband was ambassador in Belgrade for 3 years but you know I do find that Australia has so many people from somewhere else which makes everybody so interesting and different.”

Jason introduced Esmé to Eleanor who’d just come in.  As soon as he got the chance, he whispered into Eleanor’s ear, “Do you mind that Keith and Esmé have come?  I didn’t expect them.”

“Oh, no, not at all!  Your friends are always welcome here, my dear.”

“Well, then, do we have enough wine?  When you looked?  I could nip out quickly to the bottle store and buy some.”

“Well, I do think so.  In the pantry.  But they’re dusty.  They’ve been there a while.  I used to have so few parties.  It’s wonderful having these get-togethers.”

“Shall I open a bottle of red?” asked Jason.


“Yes, please do.”


Episodes 1 to 500 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)   



Monday, 24 March 2014

516

The doorbell rang.

“That’ll be Graeme,” said Jason.  “He’s a little early.”

“Then,” said his grandmother firmly, “he won’t mind if I go and brush my hair and powder my nose.” 

Jason opened the door. 

It was Keith and Esmé.  They were smiling and carrying a bottle of wine.

“G’day!  Bonjour!”  Keith’s French was strongly accented with ocker.

“You stars!” cried Jason, grinning from ear to ear.  They were just what he needed to lift his melancholy.  “Guess who’s going to be here!”

“Tony Abbott?  Father Christmas?  Colby Keller?”

“Why not all of them together?  Could be fun.  No. Graeme.”

“Who?”

“You know, the guy I met at the beach.  The one you were all jealous of.”

Esmé grinned.  “Keith?  Jealous?”

“Oh, him,” said Keith off hand, pretending indifference. 

Jason ushered them inside.  “Yep.  Grandam and Eleanor are fans of Amantha Masterton.”

“What’s that got to do with it?” asked Esmé.

“He writes Amantha Masterton’s novels.””

“What?  Why didn’t you say?”  Esmé exclaimed. “They’re fantastic!”

“Didn’t I tell you?”

“No, I’m sure.  I would have remembered.”

“He also writes super gay stories too.  He writes under another pseudonym there.”

“What one?” asked Keith.

Jason told him.  “Endeavour Lambano.”

“Waow!” said Keith.  His stuff is sao hot.  And romantic.”

Jason and Esmé both turned to look at him.

“What?” Jason snorted.  “Oi’m a romantic.  Not ashymed of that.”

“You’re gorgeous,” said Esmé, smiling at him.

“The best,” said Jason, ruffling Jason’s hair.

Keith coloured.  “Youse two!” he mumbled.

Each of the other two took one of Keith’s hands and escorted him through to sitting-room.

Episodes 1 to 500 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)   


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

515


He heard his grandmother come into the sitting room.

She looked at him, worry in her eyes, but as usual she spoke around what concerned her.

“Eleanor and I are such fans of Amantha Masterton. Her and yes I know it’s a he but I still feel that she is a she and I know it will all become clear when I meet him I’m getting into such a muddle like that time in France when your Grandfather had a funny turn on the Metro and I couldn’t think straight and forgot all my French which is ridiculous since I learnt it as a child from dear Mde Bertrand so kind I had quite forgotten her till this very instant and I forgot all my French too which was most awkward because I kept on calling for “docteur, docteur” but of course it’s médécin I went quite dilly with worry.”  She was looking at him now with great anxiety and he knew his grief was showing clearly on his face.  He answered her unuttered question.

“I was thinking about Brent, grandam.  I’ve made new friends here, far more than I thought I would.  And I’m very fond of them.  But …”

“Quite.  I used to go round the house looking for things which reminded me of your grandfather but it was silly I knew it was just that it all helped.  I had rather a row with Canon Green about it and the justice of God there’s some word for it which I forget—“
“—theodicy—“ interjected Jason.
“—well there you are exactly such a strange word like Theodore who was a friend when I was up at Oxford and come to think of it I’m sure he was queer but he was a very dear man.   Where was I?”

Jason wondered which of all these effusions she would fix on.  His lips quirked up a little.  As usual, his grandmother had improved his mood.  Her good-humoured babble and her underlying love and care warmed his heart.

She continued without waiting for his answer.  “Oh yes, quite so, theo-whatsit and Life which seems to me to be another word for God but Canon Green disagreed and he is so passionate about God’s Love and was quite discomforted by my mentioning Job which always seems to me to be a very bleak view of the world and of God so duplicitous and really one shouldn’t do good just because there is some reward on earth or in heaven so complicated but because you must.  In the end, you know, it was you and Amanda and Mark and my friends and Parker who helped me recover after your grandfather’s death.  And your friends will help you and it’s good you’ve made them.”  She smiled tentatively at him.

Episodes 1 to 500 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)   

Monday, 17 March 2014

514

From this website


“Grandam, do you remember me mentioning Amantha Masterton?”

“Yes, darling, I do.  And before you ask, yes, I would love to meet him.”

“Oh yes, I remember you met him at St Kilda Beach,” said Eleanor. 

 “Well, I asked him round to visit me here, so if you’d like to meet him, you’ll have the chance in …” he looked at his watch “… half an hour.”

“Such an interesting occupation creating whole worlds out of nothing quite like God really though Canon Green would disapprove of my saying that or maybe he wouldn’t since he  is so broad-minded sometimes though I must say he was quite het up about something cruel the government did such a dear man. I always enjoyed Amantha’s novels, so insightful into the human condition and somehow he manages to quite get how a woman thinks rather clever really since he is a man and I must say that was quite a surprise to me, Jacie dear when you told me.”

“Let me see if we have any wine in the fridge.  Or champagne.  And some biscuits.”  Eleanor ignored the other woman’s wandering thoughts.

Jason smiled at her.  “I’m sure we won’t blow away in dust or starve!”

“Yes, but these things must be done properly.  Amantha Masterton!  In my house.”

The two old ladies bustled off to prepare for the guest.  Jason slumped in the armchair and sighed.  He wondered how Luigi and Cody were getting on.  His thoughts drifted to Keith and Esmé.  Esmé didn’t seem to mind that Keith was fucking him and Luigi.  And Tom.  It was clear that she knew, from the comments she’d made.  But maybe she did care.  Maybe she was just making the best of the situation.  For the first time he wondered whether he could share Keith.  He was already, of course, but if … if Keith took Brent’s place.  He stared at the fireplace without seeing it, his mind on all that had gone so horribly wrong in England.  He didn’t deserve happiness and yet, unexpectedly it had crept up on him.  Mostly.  Right now, he was sad, but it wasn’t the crushing mind-numbing sorrow he’d felt when he fled England.


Episodes 1 to 500 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)   

Friday, 7 March 2014

513



“But you’re one of the de Graves family.  You could’ve gone into politics.  Money, connections, influence.  A name.”

“I thought I’d have to make too many compromises in politics. As for connections . . . well, my uncle might have once been Premier of the state but he’s a Conservative.  In fact most of my family is associated with the Liberals. And I’m not. But mostly, I felt that in the police I’d be able to do more good.  And one day, maybe I can still go into politics.  Join the Greens.”  He grinned.  “That’ll shock the crusty old farts at the Christmas dinner parties at de Graves House!”

“You’ve been wonderful to us. You … helped.  I’ll never forget it.”  Cody’s voice trembled.

“Just part of the job!”  Colin was eager to disclaim any special care and concern.

“The detectives didn’t think so.  They despised us.  You could see it.  Barely veiled contempt.”  Luigi was bitter, angry.

Colin sighed.  “Yep.  There’s still a lot of homophobia in the police.   Well, times change.  And we in them.” He drained the rest of his beer.  “I have to go.  I’ll be in touch.”

“You’re sure you won’t have another?”

“Thanks, but no.  Now remember …”

“Yeah, we know.  We mustn’t go after him ourselves.  We don’t know his name.  You never came here.  And the Pope is Catholic.”

Colin shook his head.  “As long as you mean it!”

“We do,” they assured him. 


As he left, Cody and Luigi shook hands with him again. 

Episodes 1 to 500 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)   

Colby Keller

I think the top is Colby Keller.  But whoever he is, he looks a lot like how I imagine Keith.



Wednesday, 5 March 2014

512


“I haven’t spoken to her, since . . .  well, she’d be within her rights if she didn’t allow me to see them.”

Luigi was just about to speak but Colin forestalled him.

“Would you say that if you’d been unfaithful with a woman?” he asked.

“Well, I . . .  Yeah good point.  Maybe not.  I dunno. It’s just . . . I feel so guilty.”

“You can’t help what you are mate,” said Colin.  “Any more than I can help being straight.  I’m not saying it’s easy.  Or that you didn’t hurt her.  But that doesn’t mean you have to feel bad about being gay.  Or bi.  Or whatever.  Just that  . . . it’s hard enough being gay in this world . .  .”

“. . . It’s worse being bi!” Cody interrupted.

“Yeah, I s’pose.  But it is what it is.”

“Colin why are you so accepting?” asked Luigi.  “I mean, I don’t want to . . . well, Cody and I are grateful … but it’s just that it’s very unusual.”

“What?” asked Colin.  “Straights who accept you?”

Policemen who accept us,” replied Luigi gently.

“Your experiences have been so bad?”  Colin sounded sad.

“Yeah.”  Luigi didn’t bother to elaborate.

“I always wanted to be a policeman.  From when I was a little boy.  It seemed to me that I would make the world a better place.  And there was the uniform.  And the motorbike.  And the gun.  And the walkie-talkie. “  His grin was somewhat wry.

Episodes 1 to 500 (without pictures, 20 episodes per chapter)   


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