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Sunday, 31 May 2015


Cody hadn’t said anything through all this.  Jason looked over at him sitting next to Luigi and said, “Enough about me.  How’re you, Cody?”

Cody was startled out of his thoughts.  He’d been far away, worrying again about Philippa and Luigi and their relationships.  He ducked his head, shy with Jason, who seemed to him to have everything: a beaut body; a handsome face; wealth; confidence; charm; and now, to crown it all, a title.  What he really felt was anger and jealousy, and it didn’t help that he found Jason attractive or that Luigi had had sex with him.

“Oh.  OK.”  Cody thought that if he said this strongly enough, they would believe him.  But the truth was, he was far from all right. 

Jason looked at him and gave him a smile of great sweetness and Cody felt ashamed of his hostility but also paradoxically, even angrier.   How dare Jason also be charming!  On top of everything! It was so fucking unfair. What made it worse was that he couldn’t get up and walk out.  He had nowhere to go. Luigi was friends with Jason, but he himself had no home to go to.  On top of that, he might yet lose his job.  And then where would he live, without money, without a job? And always, there was the fear that the killer would find him again and this time, finish the job.

Saturday, 30 May 2015


“This calls for champagne”, exclaimed Keith.  He waved the waiter over.  “A bottle of Yellow, please.”  There was a little space of quietness while they waited for the waiter to bring the bottle and some champagne flutes.

“To us!” said Keith after the waiter had poured.  “We’re the tops.”

“Only some of us,” said Luigi drily.

Keith just smirked at him, unrepentantly.

“So is your name really Jason?” asked  Luigi, sipping his champagne, his eyes watchful.

“Yeah. That’s my real name. My surname is Armstrong-Beaufort.  And I have an honorary title, Viscount Saint-James.  And one day I will inherit my dad’s title and will become the 18th Duke of Coniston.  And yeah, I went to Eton and everything they say about it is true.  My first sex was with a guy called Stewart, a sixth-former.  And he was a toff too.  Met him in the City afterwards, a few years later, and he’d joined some investment bank and was oh so proper.  Tool.”  He added, dispassionately.

“But won’t there be pressure for you to have an heir?  Isn’t it like royalty?  I mean, are you like a crown prince or something?”  Esmé was resting her head on one hand, watching him with interest.

“That would be ghastly!  Imagine being royal—you could never do what I’m going to.  Or be gay.  Nah.  There’s my brother Mark.  He can inherit the title and the estates.  He doesn’t much like the fact that I’m gay.  He didn’t like Brent.  So fuck him, I say.”

Keith looked at Jason through narrowed eyes.  “Is he as good-looking as you?” he asked, with a sly smile.

Jason stared at him coldly.  “For that, peasant, it’s the fishnet stockings and the whip when we’re alone later.  You can wear the high heels.  I’m not going to: they can’t be comfortable.”

“They’re not,” stated Esmé.  “Horrid uncomfortable things.  But they do make you feel very glamorous.”

“I definitely naid that,” said Keith with a grin.

“For sure,” said Luigi.  “You could start by dumping those Target jeans.  So daggy.”  His sparkling eyes belied his words and his tone.

Friday, 29 May 2015


“Everybody here, in Oz I mean, comes from somewhere else,” said Esmé slowly.  “My parents were Yugoslav and Italian, and yet, I’m neither.  And not just because they … because of what happened to me, but because this is a country which lets you be what you want to be.”

“And?” invited Keith.

“And that means you can be a lord all you want—“

“—I don’t want—“

“—but here in Oz, you’re just Jason.”  She turned sideways and kissed him on his cheek.

He kissed her back.  “I’m so glad I met you all,” he said, his voice wobbling a little.  “When I got here I was so … things were so bad.  I was grieving and … I just wanted to hide, like a wounded animal.  And then I met you all, and Eleanor and Graeme, and now I feel happier.  I’ll never forget Brent or how I could have saved him if I’d been a better person.”  He looked away, his eyes dark and his face drawn.  He drew a deep breath.  “You guys made me welcome.  You helped me heal.  So.  I’m going to make a difference.  A difference in my new country.” 

Monday, 4 May 2015


“Well, wait till you hear what I have to tell you!”

Esmé just smiled. 

“Thing is, I’m not just rich, but I’m also … a lord.”

“Wai would never have guessed,” said Keith drily.  “All those airs and grices.  Oi mayn, just so top drawer, ya knaow.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  But I’m serious.  I’m the son of a duke and I have a title of my own.  And when I came to Oz I wanted to put all that behind me.  Like I said.  But I just want to say, just because I’m an in-bred toff doesn’t mean it will change anything between us.”  This confident assertion was spoiled by him immediately saying, nervously, “Will it?”  Before anyone could answer, Jason added, “I didn’t want to tell you, well, because of Brent and the money thing, and because, well, you know, maybe you would see me differently.”  He looked away and swallowed.  “I wanted you to be my friends.  And I … well, I know you might feel strange with me being a lord and rich and stuff.”

“Meh,” shrugged Keith.  “I’d guessed ya were a toff anyway.  Mikes nao diff to me.”

“It’s just,” explained Jason eagerly, “that when I start this new home, I’ll want as much publicity as possible to get donations.  And you know with a title, and a poncey accent I can maybe make this home a success.”

“Doesn’t matter to me,” said Luigi.  He smiled fondly at Jason.  “You’re not special because you’re a fucking lord, mate.” 

“Talkin’ of fuckin’ …” said Keith with a wicked grin on his face, “haow come ya don’t go in for high hayls and fishnet stockin’s, like all those Eton types?”

“Try anything once,” said Jason with a relieved grin. “Even you, you idiot!”

First Majorca Flats post       Previous MF post (#547)       Next MF post(#549)

Episodes 1 to 500

Saturday, 2 May 2015


“The thing is,” Jason said when they all had coffees in front of them, “I've got something to tell you. I didn't want to say anything before, because I was … I was ashamed. Because of my money, because of my arrogance I didn't help Brent until too late. It was my fault he died.  And I blamed my money for making me arrogant.  So what I decided was that I would do without my money, it could rot, as far as I was concerned.  And so could my so-called friends in England. They always despised Brent, not because—not just because he was gay—but even more because he was working class.  And I did nothing about it. He was worth ten of them.”  He stopped and stared away.  When he looked back at them he had tears in his eyes.  He swallowed, and produced an unconvincing grin.   “Anyway, I've decided to stay here in Australia. I'm going to found a home for gay kids who've been thrown out of their homes by their parent.  So they won't have to go on the streets. Like you had to, Keith.”

“Cool!”—“Genius!”—“Wonderful!” His three friends were enthusiastic.  Cody didn’t speak, but he nodded, unwilling to be a wowser.

Jason held up his hand.  “Wait.  The thing is”—he looked away as he said this—“the thing is that I haven't been honest with you all. Nobody knows this. It's … kind of embarrassing

The others watched him. “We won't judge you, said Esmé gently. “We're your friends.”

Friday, 1 May 2015


Esmé didn’t answer her phone, so Jason left her a message.  She’s probly in a lecture, he thought.  He sent her a text message as well.  He wanted all his friends to be together when he told them.

Esmé was old-fashioned about using her smart-phone in lectures.  She turned it to silent when she was in one.  So she only saw the message when she went to get lunch in one of the uni cafés.  She had a prac until 5, but she could walk from the uni to Brunswick Street and get to the café by 5.30.  She texted back her acceptance.

She wondered what he wanted to tell her.  He was special.  She was in love with Keith but Jason was kind and he had a lovely smile and he treated her as a real person.  Keith and Jason and their friends might not be perfect, but they were incomparably better than her father—and her mother, too.  But she thought more charitably of her mother now.  Even though she was still angry at her mother for not protecting her when she’d been abused, she understood intellectually, if not in her heart, how afraid her mother must have been.  She thought back to an article she’d read in the newspaper, about battered women and how they often went back to their husbands because they had no alternative, financially, or stayed with them because they were afraid.  The article said that nearly a hundred women a year died in domestic violence.  She could believe it.

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

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