Jump to content
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Never walk alone - 12. Chapter 12

By morning, the rain had temporarily ceased, although the dark clouds hung low and ominous over the city, shrouding almost the entire mountain in cloud. They closed up the yacht, and hurried back to the apartment. There, they showered, dressed in fresh clothes, put all the laundry into the washer and went out for a late breakfast. They had just been seated at Mugg & Bean when they spotted Dr Smith and beckoned her over to join them. She walked to the table, smiling broadly.

"Ryan, Andrew it's good to see you again" giving Ryan an appraising look.

"Hello Dr.Smith. Good to see you too. Please join us. Are you day off today?"

"Please, my name is Nicola. Dr.Smith is for the hospital", she said, thanking Andrew as he held the chair for her. "I'm actually on vacation at the moment. My partner Beth and I are leaving for Phuket next week for ten days. She's still having to work until tomorrow before her vacation starts. You're looking well Ryan. How are you doing?

"I'm great, now! Things were bad just after I left hospital, but you know that. I've had almost four months of therapy but now I'm doing great. Andrew went to the therapy with me and it helped us both come to terms with what happened. We still have two months to go, depending on what your shrink friend has to say. Thanks for all your care and thanks for asking", Ryan replied.

"It's only a pleasure. What have you two been up to? You both look disgustingly healthy and tanned for late winter".

Andrew laughed.

"That's because we just got back from a week sailing our yacht up the West Coast. You get tanned out at sea even if it is overcast. We sailed in late yesterday afternoon, just ahead of the storm"

Nicola nodded.

"I think I heard something while I was treating Ryan that you guys have got a yacht. You do charters, right?.

"Yeah," Ryan answered, "but this last trip was just Drew and I. We wanted to get away on our own, and we made some big decisions while we were away".

"Oh, what kind of decisions?"

"Well", Andrew replied, "We have decided we want to buy a house. We've been living in an apartment here in the Waterfront up until now. Then we want to start a family".

Nicola raised her eyebrows as Ryan added,

"We have considered adoption, but have decided to go the surrogacy route. We want to find a surrogate who will be prepared to have two babies, two years apart. One with me as the father, the other with Andrew as the father. We would like the babies to have the same mother".

Nicola nodded.

"I'm really happy that you feel you are ready for a family. Particularly after what you went through. I might actually be able to be of assistance with it, but it would mean involving Beth as well"
Andrew and Ryan looked at one another, excitement in their eyes.

"Well, why don't you and Beth come to dinner tonight at the apartment"

Ryan was busily looking at his phone and looked up.

"I've got an even better idea. The weather looks like it's going to clear by tomorrow late. Why don't we take Nicola and Beth out on the yacht for the weekend? Maybe up to Hermanus and back. If we leave early Friday we can do it easily. Get them in the mood for Thailand".

Andrew nodded eagerly, looking at Nicola.

"That is a great idea Ry! What do you think, doc?"

Nicola giggled.

"Wow, you two may be gay, but you sure know how to impress the ladies. Let me get hold of Beth and check with her", pulling out her mobile and waited to connect.

"Beth, it's Nicky. Sorry to hassle you at work. How would you like to go sailing this weekend? We've just had an invite from an old patient of mine and his husband. They have a yacht berthed at the Waterfront. Yes, just the four of us. They want to discuss a proposition with us as well. I will fill you in when I see you later. Okay, great. Love you. Ciao ".

She grinned at them.

"We would love to go sailing with you. What time do you want to leave?"

Ryan glanced at Andrew and said,

"Well, as I said, if we leave early, we should get there and back. Just depends on the wind. We could motor all the way, but that isn't my idea of sailing. So say, we meet you at the yacht at 06h30 to set sail by 07h00."

Nicola finished her latte and after getting all the info from Ryan about where to meet them, she left, leaving them to finish their breakfast. Andrew pulled out a notebook and pen he always carried with him and made some notes.

"Okay, we'll have to stop off at 'Belle Catherine ' and just do a quick inventory check, then go do some shopping, especially for fresh foods, meat, dairy, fruit, vegetables. And get the port aft cabin ready for them. We should be pretty much okay with all the basics. I just want to do a quick check. Maybe we can get the diesel tanks and the fresh water tanks filled up tomorrow as well. Give the water maker a bit of a break. Then tomorrow afternoon, just give her a good clean and we should be good to go. With all the rain we've had, her exterior should be clean. What are we going to do with Rascal?"

Ryan looked intently at Andrew.

"That little dog comes with us. There is no way he ever gets left behind. Not after what he did. I could be dead today if it wasn't for him. And you, of course"

Andrew nodded.

"Then I think we need to get him a bed that we can keep on board".

At 06h30 on Friday morning, Andrew and Ryan stood at the rail, with Rascal peering over the seat of the helm station, on board 'Belle Catherine' and watched as Nicola and Beth approached the yacht from the parking area. The girls could not have been more different in appearance had they tried.

Nicola was medium height, blonde, trim and athletic. Beth was a tall brunette, with a good fuller figure . She obviously kept herself in shape as well. Ryan jumped on to the dock as they got closer and stopped. He walked over to them.

"Hi doc, bang on time! How are you?"

Nicola pecked him on both cheeks.

"Great thanks Ryan, meet Beth Cameron, my partner".

Ryan shook her hand

"Hi Beth, good to meet you. Let me help you board".

He walked with them to the edge of the dock and passed their bags to Andrew waiting on the deck.

Nicola looked at them both and said,

"Jeez guys, when you said you had a yacht, I thought it would be just a normal yacht with a sail. I did not
expect a huge, twin hulled catamaran. She's beautiful. I'm impressed".

Beth nodded in agreement. "That's for sure. How big is she?", speaking with a slight Scottish accent.

Andrew answered, extending his hand to greet Beth and help her aboard.

"Hi, I'm Andrew, welcome aboard. She is fifty three feet long, just over seventeen wide and sleeps ten in five cabins. Although we can sleep sixteen if we absolutely have to. Hi Nicola, welcome aboard. Okay let me show you to your cabin and then we can get going. I'll have breakfast ready in about an hour."

Andrew led them down to their cabin in the port hull, giving them a brief tour along the way.

"Wow", Beth exclaimed when she saw the saloon. "This is amazing. You guys sure know how to live. This isn't just a yacht, it's a luxury yacht" and when they saw the cabin, they were just as delighted.

"Wow, just wow" echoed Nicola "And our own bathroom too. I am really looking forward to this".

Andrew grinned proudly.

"She is pretty special, isn't she? All the cabins have their own bathrooms. Their are three cabins in this hull and two in the starboard hull, where the master cabin is. Do you want to unpack or come up on deck to watch us sail out of harbour?"

"I think we can unpack later, let's go up on deck. I think I smelled coffee as we came through the saloon", Beth replied, glancing at Nicky who nodded in agreement.

Andrew chortled.

"Yeah, you did. Come on then, let's go see what Ryan is up to"

As they started climbing the stairs, an engine rumbled into life and they could feel the yacht start moving

"Grab a mug of coffee and go join Ryan in the aft cockpit, then you can watch our departure from there. And give you a quick safety briefing" suggested Andrew, "And I'll get busy on breakfast. Bacon and eggs for everyone?"

"Hmmm, yummy, yes that would be great", Beth replied as she and Nicola stepped out into the aft cockpit and made themselves comfortable. It was still very quiet in the marina, so the big catamaran on the move attracted some attention from the early morning joggers, cyclists and walkers.
Approaching the bascule bridge, Ryan radioed the bridge control and the bridge swung open allowing them to sail through the canal and into the harbour proper, eliciting some curious stares from the groups waiting on either side of the bridge. He grinned as Rascal stood with his front paws on the armrest of the helm seat, growling and barking at them as they passed as if to say "Whatcha lookin at. Be on your way!"
He heard one of the girls say "Aww, he's so cute".

Once into the harbour, Ryan turned to starboard to head for the harbour mouth, radioing harbour control for permission to exit the harbour, which was promptly given. Then, with a turn to port, Ryan lined up the bows with the harbour mouth and pushed the throttles forward, picking up some speed.

The weather had cleared as predicted with blue skies and a few wispy clouds. Being a very early spring morning, the air was cool with the wind blowing from the west. It was forecast to continue to swing from West, to southwest, move through the south and finally blow from the southeast by Sunday.
Which meant that once they had passed Greenpoint, they could raise the sails as the wind would be more favourable. Right now, coming through the harbour mouth, the wind was blowing from almost dead ahead, so engines it would have to be. They cruised through the mouth, the girls waving at some fishermen on the breakwater, and sailed out into the bay for a while, before Ryan turned to port to head past Granger Bay, and going to port again to sail towards Green Point and down the coast of the peninsula.

"Drew", Ryan called, "can you give me a hand here please babe?"

Andrew appeared from the galley, wiping his hand on his apron.

"Babe, could you keep us on this course while I raise the spinnaker?

"No problem, husband mine, I can do that" said Andrew, relieving Ryan at the helm as he moved onto the bows to fly the spinnaker. Ten minutes later he was back with the huge blue and white sail billowing out ahead and slightly to port. Andrew centred the throttles and cut the engine. There wax a soft gasp from one of the girls behind them. They turned and grinned at the girls.

"Now you know why we love sailing so much", Ryan said.

"When the engine is quiet, and the sails are up and it's just the wind and the water you can hear. It never fails to be magical!, added Andrew, stroking Rascals ear. The little dog had curled up on the seat and fallen asleep, quite contented, not moving when Ryan took Andrew's place.

Nicola and Beth grinned back and nodded with Beth commenting,

"I can totally believe that. I can't get over how peaceful and serene it is"

Andrew vanished into the saloon again, but reappeared a few minutes later with a tablecloth that he covered the table with.

"Andrew, can we help? ", Nicola asked.

"Yes please, that would be a great help. Follow me".

The girls reappeared a short while later with crockery, cutlery and glassware and set the table. Andrew followed a few minutes later with two jugs of fruit juice, orange and mixed berry and a bottle of sparkling wine.

"Breakfast is ready. Would you ladies like to help yourselves? It's all on the warmer. Ry, can I get something for you or will you join us at the table?"

Ryan looked at the radar plot, then pushed the autopilot." There's nothing on radar except for that large car carrier, so we should be okay. I'll join you at the table and just keep an eagle eye on the radar".

They all helped themselves to a hot breakfast and sat at the table chatting.

"God, I feel so spoiled. Here I am sitting on board a luxury catamaran, eating a hot breakfast and watching Sea Point cruise passed me, if you know what I mean. Only film stars and celebrities get to live this sort of life. Certainly not Beth Cameron", breathed Beth.

Andrew grinned at her.

"I must admit, I felt the same way the first time we took her out. But she's become almost like a second home to us. It probably sounds very blasé, but it's true. Actually, when we buy the house, she will be a third home, or will the apartment be our third home", mused Andrew. He looked at Ryan. "We'll have to decide if we're going to keep the apartment or not, I guess".

Ryan glanced at him, chewing a mouthful of food. When he swallowed he said, "I've had some thoughts on that one. It would depend on how we go about our other issue".

"Speaking of which", added Nicola, clearing her throat. "I mentioned your decision to Beth after I spoke to you guys. Beth, you want to fill them in?"

"Okay! Nicky mentioned that you wanted to have a baby. Two babies. Nicky and I want to have a family as well, if it were up to me alone it would happen immediately. But, Nicky is in the middle of her specialisation training right now, which will take another two years. We both feel that having a family right now, would make it very difficult for her to juggle the familial and medical. So we have decided to put it off until she has completed her specialty and we are married. Which leaves me rather broody, which means that if you are agreeable, then I would like to volunteer to be your surrogate".

By now, Andrew was grinning like a Cheshire cat and crying at the same time.

"Oh my God, Beth, thank you. You have no idea how grateful we are". He looked at Ryan who also had tears in his eyes.

"We can assure you, you will have the best help possible. Although you have a doctor for a partner. What are you specialising in, Nicky?" added Ryan

"Not gynaecology or obstetrics. I'm doing surgery", grinned Nicky. "Okay, now that you know that Beth is willing to be your baby carrier, I have something I want to run past you".

She paused as Ryan jumped up to check the proximity alarm on the radar. He stood studying it for a moment, stared ahead of them and made a slight adjustment to their course, then returned to the table.

"No worries, just another yacht crossing our bow. He's well clear already! You were saying?" looking at Nicky intently.

"When we spoke, you mentioned you wanted two babies, two years apart. Right?. They nodded at her.

"That is not a problem at all. However, what would you say about trying for both at the same time?"

Andrew and Ryan's eyes widened and Ryan answered. "Quite honestly, we had never really considered it. Mainly because we did not know it was possible"

Nicky nodded.

"Well it is possible. It is called heteropaternal superfecundation. That is when two eggs from the mother are fertilised with the sperm of two different donors. If the fertilisation is successful, it results in twins with two different fathers."

Andrew was wide eyed. He looked at Beth.

"And you are willing to have twins?"

She nodded.

"Yeah, it doesn't really matter either way really. It just means you won't have to wait another two years for the second baby".

Ryan stared at Andrew in wonder.

"I think we should try it. If it does not work, we go back to plan A"

Andrew turned back to Nicky.

"Doc, what are the chances of success?

"Slightly less than a single implant. But with today's technology, extremely viable"

Andrew stared at Ryan who nodded.

"Beth, Nicky, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We accept! We'll try for twins and take it from there". He stood up and hugged Beth, then hugged Nicky as well. Ryan did the same. They looked at one another in awe.

"We're going to have babies. Two of them. Your mother is going to be ecstatic", Andrew enthused.

Nicky coughed.

"Guys, there is one more thing. Actually two. Would either or both of you be prepared to donate sperm when we decide to start our family?"

Ryan stared at Andrew with a stunned expression. Andrew nodded.

"Yes, of course there is no question of that not happening. When the time comes, our swimmers are yours. Can we donate enough now, and just keep them in storage until you are ready?"

Nicky nodded.

"Yes, that can definitely be done. It saves some hassle later"

"And what was the second thing". Andrew asked.

Nicky glanced at Beth.

"Go ahead, fill them in on what they are letting themselves in for"

Beth grinned at the two suddenly very anxious looking faces opposite her and giggled.

"It's not as bad as it sounds. You would both have noticed my Scottish accent. As it happens, I am the grand niece of the head or Lochiel of the Clan Cameron in Scotland, Donald Angus Cameron. He and the rest of the family will want to see the babies at some stage. Even though the babies will be born by surrogate, they will still be considered Cameron, and the clan would expect them to be formally introduced to them, as would you. So at some stage, you are going to have to make a trip to Fort William in Scotland. I know it all sounds quite intimidating, but when you go, I will make sure that we are there as well. All it really means is that no matter what, the babies, and you as their fathers, will always have the backing and support of the Clan Cameron and they will be fully entitled to wear the Clan Cameron tartan".

Ryan rubbed his hands together.

"Wow, okay. This gets more exciting by the minute. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. So when can we get started?"

"Well, not that I want to dredge up bad memories now, but how long is it since your assault, Ryan. I seem to think it's just under six months now.

"Yeah, nearly six months. My last tests were all negative, so it seems I am in the clear"

"Good, but just to be safe, we need to do a final test before we do anything. We have to ensure that not only you, but Beth and the babies are safe too"

Ryan nodded.

"I would agree with that. Just to make sure. Can you set it up when we get back? The sooner, the better".

"Yeah, I'll arrange it before we leave for Thailand. By the time we get back, those tests should be back as well and we can take it from there".

"And", added Andrew, "I will get my attorney to draw up the necessary contracts so that we all know where we stand. I feel we would all feel more secure. We can go through them when you get back as well".

"Great, now that all the serious stuff is out of the way, we can relax and enjoy ourselves and spoil you ladies a little" said Ryan. "I would suggest you stay here for a while. We are approaching Clifton, and after that is Chapmans Peak Drive, which is pretty spectacular. Once we are past Chapmans, we are basically in open sea. So then you can go down and unpack. What we have neglected to do in all the excitement is give you the safety talk. So here goes."

Ryan then explained the pfd's and harness rules when on the side decks, and demonstrated how they work, getting them to put them on and take them forward to the bow, where they sat in the dolphin seats over the two bows watching the yacht slice through the water.

"With a bit of luck, we should get some visits from dolphins when we get along the coast. Maybe a Southern Right whale or two as well. . Another thing, if either of you feel queasy, speak to Andrew. He has pills and patches should you need them. Okay, I need to get back to the helm. Do you want to stay here or come back with me?"

"We'll stay here for a while", they replied in unison, giggling.

"Okay, just remember what I said about safety. Make sure your harnesses are connected to the railing".

The remainder of the weekend passed all too quickly. They made it to Hermanus just after sunset on Friday and managed to find a berth in the small yacht basin, 'Belle Catherine' being the largest yacht in the basin and attracting some attention. They had decided to go ashore for dinner, at a swanky hotel on the cliff overlooking the bay, so they showered and dressed simply by smartly, left Rascal some food and fresh water, then walked the short distance to the hotel.

They were given a table at the windows with a view of the bay and the harbour. 'Belle Catherine' was clearly visible with all the exterior lights on, including the underwater hull lights. She looked spectacular and they overheard a few comments about the large yacht in the harbour.

After dinner they wandered through the town, stopping for more coffee then strolled back to the yacht. Beth sighed and grinned.

"Talk about lifestyles of the rich and famous. I feel like a celebrity, heading back to my yacht after a night out on the town. I could get used to this".

Andrew grinned back at her.

"Well remember, you will be the mother of our children, so you will be family. So it will definitely not be the last time you sail with us. I think I can confidently predict that".

Back on board, they sat in the main saloon, as the wind was quite chilly, with Rascal curled up on Ryan's lap, had more coffee and a nightcap and retired to their cabins for the night, with Ryan setting the intruder alert before heading down to the master cabin with the puppy following behind, his tail wagging vigorously

The following morning, Andrew was up early to take a walk to the fishing harbour, where he bought some fresh red snapper, a bag of mussels and four crayfish for a BBQ dinner that night. They would have dinner at sea, sailing just after lunch on Saturday so as to not arrive back too late on Sunday.

The wind was still quite cool, so Andrew set up the table in the saloon, realising it was the very first time they were using the saloon table for dinner. The TV screen was turned towards the table, and the course and radar plotter redirected to the TV so Ryan could keep an eye on sailing operations.

Andrew prepared the mussels 'Mariniere' style for starters with crusty French loaf. The main course was BBQ grilled snapper and a whole crayfish each with lemon dill butter, savoury rice and a garden salad. All washed down with a Wildekrans Dry Rose, and his favourite Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc. Dessert was Baked Malva Pudding with Amarula Custard. A meal fit for a celebration. Afterwards they sat sipping coffee and more Amarula. At least the girls did. Andrew and Ryan had just had one glass of wine each as they were going to be sharing watches during the night.

The girls went down to their cabin, while Andrew cleared the table and lowered it to make up a bed for the non watch keeper to sleep in close proximity to the helm should he be needed. Rascal promptly hopped up and made himself comfortable. The night passed uneventfully, and Sunday morning found them sailing past False Bay with a stiff south - easterly wind driving them towards Cape Town. Andrew was sleeping on the saloon bed with Rascal snuggled against him, having stood a 01h00 to 06h00 watch. Ryan was at the helm and would take them to Cape Town.

The girls came up at 07h00 and made coffee, and started breakfast of maple syrup pancakes with bacon and link sausages. They also made some muesli, yogurt and fresh fruit salad parfaits.

Andrew finally became aware of movement around him and opened his eyes to find the girls in the galley, cooking up a storm.

"Ladies, you are angels. Thank you". He crawled off the bed, passing the puppy to Ryan, pulled off the bedding and took it back down to the master cabin. While there, he showered, brushed his teeth and dressed in fresh shorts and golf shirt and a warm sweater, and returned to the saloon to raise the table and put the saloon back to rights.

The wind was still cool, so he went out and dropped the transom protection sheets to shield the aft cockpit from most of the wind. With the protection sheets dropped, it was actually very pleasant in the cockpit. Ryan sighed in relief.

"Now why did I not think of that. Been sitting here thinking it's quite chilly and I could have solved the problem by just dropping the screens.".

Andrew sidled over to him and kissed him.

"Well, that's why I'm the clever one, and you are the good looking one", he said, at which Nicola and Beth exploded in gales of laughter.

Ryan looked at them with a pained expression on his face, then raised an eyebrow at Andrew.

"Did you just imply, my dear husband, that because I am good looking, I don't have any brains?".

Andrew shrugged and walked back into the saloon, looking over his shoulder.

"Well, my love, if the shoe fits, wear it", resulting in more laughter from the girls.

And that set the mood for breakfast, with good natured banter and lots of laughs. It was a happy relaxed group of people who berthed in Cape Town in the middle of the afternoon.
Andrew and Ryan thanked Nicola and Beth again for agreeing to the babies, and they were in turn thanked for a wonderful weekend. They walked the ladies to their vehicle, wished them Bon Voyage and made arrangements to meet them when they returned from Thailand.

True to her word, Nicky made the arrangements for Ryan to have the further test, and he received an SMS notification on his mobile early on Sunday evening for an appointment the following day.

Andrew accompanied Ryan into the city in order to visit his attorney to get the paperwork started for the surrogacy while Ryan had his test done. They had lunch at a bistro in downtown Cape Town, before driving back to the apartment, to be greeted by a very excited puppy who ran in mad circles around them until Andrew picked him up.Then they sat on the couch, shoulder to shoulder, legs outstretched. Andrew had a notepad in his hand with Rascal squeezed in between them.

"Okay, we have more decisions to make. Firstly, the house. Where do we look? Personally, I would like to see both the mountain and the bay"

Ryan reached for the Sunday Times, which had been on the doormat when they arrived back yesterday, took out the property section and mused,

"Do we stay close to the marina? That would probably mean an older house in the Green Point area. Maybe a renovated property.
Or somewhere on the slopes above the city. Tamboerskloof, or maybe more Sea Point way, Fresnaye or even Camps Bay.
Or we go further out. Tableview or Bloubergstrand. I think Melkbosstrand is too far".Ryan suggested

Andrew stared out the window at the Waterfront below, thinking.

"Where would you like to be Ry. And be honest. Don't go with where you think I would want to go".

"Quite honestly, my love, I don't really have a preference. I just want to be where you are, and where we can raise our family in a happy and safe environment. I think you want to be in the Blouberg area. It is close to the lodge, easy access to the marina, and most of our support are close by as well. Given that, I think Tableview or Blouberg are our best bet. And there are some great houses in the area. Might be a little overpriced, the area is extremely popular, but with our cash buy, we can probably negotiate a good deal. I doubt there are that many buyers out there who can drop a couple of million in cash on a house".

"Hmmm, you're right of course. See you do have brains. Not just a pretty face". Andrew dodged sideways to avoid a slap upside his head. He chortled and kissed Ryan on the jaw.

"Sorry, couldn't resist. But seriously, if you are happy with that, then we go with Tableview and Blouberg. Let's set up an appointment right now", reaching for his mobile. He looked at an advert for a house being marketed by a well-known estate agency and dialed.

"Hi Ivan, my name is Andrew Devlin-Major. I am interested in finding a home in theTableview/ Blouberg area".
He listened for a while then replied.

"I would guess somewhere in the four to seven million area. At least 4 bedrooms, it would be nice if they were all en suite, definitely a room we can turn into a nursery, double garage at least, nice living area, and a view of the bay and the mountain". He listened again. "Okay, great, we'll see you at 2pm tomorrow".

"Right, that's done. Now, something that has been bothering me since we made our decision on the babies. What are we going to do about the yacht and the charters. I don't really want to stop them. But at the same time we can't both be away from home when the babies are here. Also, you are the only one qualified to captain her".

"Well", replied Ryan,"this is part of what I meant when I said I had some thoughts on the matter. The main point as I see it, is that one of us will have to be with the babies at home. The way I see it, we have a couple of options. Unfortunately they are all going to add expenses.

One, we employ a relief skipper. But I'll come back to him or her.

Two. We employ two crew. Preferably ladies. They would be responsible for what you are doing now.

Three. We employ a mate and one crew to cover me for watches and to help the crew with the guest's.

Four. We come back to the relief skipper or maybe just a 1st Mate. He and I do alternate trips, with you doing the trip I am not on. We employ one crew to assist you on your trips, and the 1st Mate will assist me and her on my trips.

Five. This is a big one. We take the babies with us". Ryan grinned as Andrew's eyes widened. " I knew that would be your reaction. I don't mean take them immediately. We wait a few months and see how it goes. But we convert the space that would have been the midships cabin in our cabin into a nursery for the babies . It's the most stable part of the yacht. Then we take them with us on the charters. We will have to still employ a crew to help us. We can't be standing watches, caring for babies and caring for guests, especially you. I really would love to have them on board with us. It would mean making some adjustments, but I believe it would be totally worth it. This way, we only lose one cabin. All the others we lose at least two if the relief skipper and crew are different sexes. We could possibly plan our routes so that it would not be necessary to stand watches, but be anchored at night, but there will still be occasions when standing watches will be unavoidable. Also, we might have to add some extra sound-proofing between our cabin and the forward guest cabin"

"You have given this some thought. We still have time on our side, so let's just let it simmer for a while. I just thought of something. If we do take the babies with us, we would need to find space in the saloon and in the helm area for them. Maybe the same sort of bassinet arrangement they have on aircraft, except it would have to be bigger for twins. Maybe we should call Steve and see whether he has any ideas. We can also sound him out on adding solid bulwarks instead of the aluminium railings we have now for when they get older and more mobile."

"Hmmm", mused Ryan, "All good points. It's going to add weight, but she can take it. We might just have to box clever on what we load onto her. Cut down on the unnecessary items."

"Okay" said Andrew, "Next item, what do we do with this place?".

Ryan thought for a moment.

"Well, sell it. Keep it and rent it out. Keep it and use it to house any new hires for the yacht. Include it in their package. Or just keep it for us to use when we want to"

Andrew grinned at Ryan.

"You really are on a roll today. Full of bright ideas"

"As someone said to me very recently 'I'm not just a pretty face!"

Andrew kissed him on the tip of his nose.

"No my love, you most definitely are not".

The next day, they left early to drive around the areas they were looking at for a house before meeting with Ivan, who took them to view four houses that were on the market. He had brochures for each house and were spread through their four to seven million price range with one slightly over. They made notes on each of the brochures as they viewed the houses. At the end of the viewing Ivan asked if they had seen anything that might interest them. Andrew looked through the brochures and pulled out the second house they had viewed.

"This one, we think, fits most of our criteria. It's not as close to the beach as I would have liked, but the view from its position against the hill is spectacular and it's over our price range that we had in mind.

"Yeah, the reason I chose to show that house was for the view, the office attached to the main bedroom that I thought would be ideal for a nursery, and the owner is very negotiable," Ivan explained.

"We both thought so too when we saw the office. Could we go back and take another look. I know it's getting late", asked Ryan

Ivan scrolled through his mobile and dialled.

"Hi Pam, it's Ivan. The clients I brought through earlier would like to take another look. Yes, they are with me now. Give us five minutes. Thanks"

They headed for the vehicles and Ivan asked,

"I know you guys are married and want to start a family. Are you adopting?"

"Actually, no", replied Andrew, "We have a surrogate who will carry the babies for us".

"You say babies? How many children to you plan on having?"

Ryan grinned at him.

"Well, the original plan was two babies, two years apart with the same mother. Now we believe twins might be a possibility ".

"Oh wow, I admire what you guys want to do", Ivan commented. They were walking down the path to the vehicles. He asked,

"What size bond would you be looking at if you are to put in an offer?"

Ryan glanced at Andrew who replied,

"No bond. Cash"

Ivan stopped dead in his tracks, eyes wide.

"You're kidding me, right! Cash!", looking from Andrew to Ryan and back again.

Andrew nodded.

"Cash, no kidding".

Ivan gaped at them, speechless. His eyes suddenly widened as he looked at them.

"Wait, Devlin-Major! Are you the owners of the Blue Bay Lodge?"

Andrew grinned and nodded.


"Oh my god, why did I not make the connection earlier? You own a charter yacht as well, I think?"

Again a nod and a grin, this time from Ryan.

"That's right. The 'Belle Catherine '"

"Okay, so I'm getting a bit of a clearer picture here. Guys, if you are interested in this house, my advice would be to go in at the 7.25 mark and we take it from there. That's one million below the asking price. If she turns you down, you have room to negotiate upwards. My guess is she will accept 7.5. But you never know with cash. She might just go for the 7.25. Let's go take a look, and you guys can have a chat about it on the way"

They got into the SUV and drove a short distance up the hill to the property. The modern, three level home stood in a small front garden with a gravel driveway to the double and single garage and the front door, and front boundary wall with metal inserts between plastered brick support columns.
The two living levels above were fronted by reinforced glass balconies across the full width of the house.
On the right, two terraced spaces, supported by retaining walls with flowers growing in them, contained a small grassed garden on the top level, which led off the main bedroom, while the lower terrace housed a small swimming pool and deck with a hot tub and BBQ off the covered patio which in turn led off the lounge and dining room. The open plan floor also had a fireplace in the feature wall between the lounge and dining room, kitchen, pantry and laundry and at the far end, a doorway led into a spacious guest suite situated over the garage. The upper level had three large bedrooms all en suite plus the main bedroom which had an attached office/study. All the living spaces had 180° views of the bay, Table Mountain and Robben Island.

Ivan walked them through the house again with particular attention to the office area. It had it's own small cloakroom, full length sliding doors and view. The bedrooms and guest suite were carpetted, while the rest of the floors were tiled. The entire house was air conditioned. Having had a second look, they asked Ivan to give them 24hrs to mull it over.

The following morning, Andrew advised Ivan to present an offer of 7million, which they all knew was a cheeky offer, but nevertheless Ivan duly approached the seller. Not surprisingly, it was rejected. While still with the owner, Ivan phoned Andrew.

"Andrew, I am with Pam at the moment. She has turned down the 7million offer. Can I put you on speaker?"

"Yes, sure no problem. Is the seller aware at it is a straight cash offer"

Pam interjected, "Yes, Ivan told me. It is very tempting, but I feel it is a bit low".

"Okay, how about we push it to 7.25million?"

Ivan looked at Pam. She nodded. "Okay, I will accept 7.25 Thank you"

"Thanks guys. How soon do you need occupation?"

"There is no major rush, Ivan, just make it a reasonable time for Pam to sort herself out"

"Okay, great. I will get back to you. I will need you to sign the documents as well. Are you going to own it jointly?

"Yes, joint owners"

They were on 'Belle Catherine' two hours later doing a spot of housekeeping when Ivan called to say he needed to get the documents signed and arranged for him to meet them on the yacht. They got the usual reaction when he arrived.

"Fuck me! Sorry, I had no idea she would be this big."

"You and everyone else", Ryan replied. "Even we were surprised by how big she was when we saw her, and that was just the hull. Come aboard and have a look around"

They gave Ivan a tour then returned to the saloon, sitting down at the table.

"She's a beauty all right. You guys have done an incredible job with the interiors."

"That's mostly Andrew's doing. He's the resident decor expert".

"Well, then I cannot wait to see what you do with your home", handing over a portfolio with all the documents for them to complete and sign. He took them through the documents and indicated that transfer of the title deed would occur in six weeks when they could take occupation. They signed the documents and he handed them a copy.

"Congratulations, gentlemen, you are the official owners of a new home. I wish you many years of happiness living there" Ivan stated, shaking their hands.

"Thanks, Ivan for all your help. It's been a pleasure. We'll send you an invite to the housewarming" grinned Ryan, walking with him onto the deck where he helped him onto the dock.

Ivan grinned back at him.

"I might see you before that. I want to try and persuade the office to have our year end Christmas party on the yacht. Will you send me a proposal? 8 people, all the bells and whistles, for the whole day including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Give me dates where you can accommodate us, any time from the beginning of December"

"No problem. We will check the charters and get back to you by the end of the week".

Ivan left and they stood on the deck, arms around waists. Ryan shook his head.

"I cannot believe we just bought a house. We're gonna get lost in the place after the apartment"

Andrew leaned in and kissed him.

"Well, it won't be long before we have at least one baby, hopefully two, on our hands. Plus, we can invite your family down for Christmas and New Year. Maybe combine New Year with the housewarming".

A week later, Ryan had a call to confirm that the test that Nicola had requested had come back negative. He was in the clear. Over the following two weeks, he and Andrew attended the fertility clinic where the fertilisation would be performed and donated sufficient sperm for ten treatments. When Nicky and Beth arrived back from Thailand, they advised Beth that the sperm was available whenever she was ready and the wait started.

Fortunately, they were distracted by some three and four day charters through November and Ivan's office Christmas bash in early December which turned into and overnight booze cruise that kept them busy, as well as running around looking at furniture for the house.

On the second Thursday of December, they moved into the house. They were given occupation on the Wednesday and a van load of cleaners descended on the place and spring cleaned from top to bottom.
On the Thursday, Andrew and Ryan arrived early with Rascal and were waiting for a steady convoy of delivery vehicles that arrived with new furniture, equipment, decor, linen and every other item that would be required for a newly furnished house. The only items that came from the apartment were two artworks that had originally hung in the lounge of Andrew's parents home, the rugs they had purchased in Mauritius and Rascals bed, where he now slept, oblivious to the organised chaos around him.
Marie and Emma, and some off duty housekeeping staff from the lodge arrived just as the first truck was pulling up and they were on hand to direct each item to the designated room that they were marked for.

The move had been planned like a military operation, and by 3pm, everything had been delivered, unboxed, placed, connected, laid down, or hung up. Beds had been made up, curtains hung, bathrooms equipped and clothes packed way. Marie and Emma drove the housekeepers back to the lodge, but not before it was agreed that the Mason's, the Davidson's, Claude and François and Nicky and Beth would come over the next evening for drinks and dinner. A duty manager would watch over the lodge for the one night.

When they were finally alone in their new home, Andrew and Ryan, with little Rascal trotting behind them, walked hand in hand through the house, just looking at each room, both with huge grins on their faces. They were both exhausted, but supremely exhilarated. The move had gone off without a hitch and they were in. The only room not yet complete was the proposed nursery which was still bare.

For dinner the following night, they thought of getting the lodge to do the catering, but decided against it to give Paul and Claude a break from the lodge food. Instead they ordered take out from a few of the restaurants in the area including Italian, Greek, seafood, Chinese and sushi to be delivered along with beer, wine and soft drinks. Everything was laid on warmers in the dining room and they would dine at the table on the patio while the sun dropped below the horizon and the lights of Cape Town flickered across the bay.

Nicky and Beth were the last to arrive and when the doorbell chimed, everyone was very interested to see who the arrivals were as no one had been told about the plans for the babies. Ryan met them at the front door and escorted them up the stairs, to be greeted by six rather curious sets of eyes wondering who the two women were who had warranted invitations to dinner.
Andrew was chatting to Claude and François when the level of conversation dropped as they appeared at the top of the stairs and he excused himself to greet them.

"Everyone, please meet Nicky Smith and Beth Cameron. Ladies, I don't expect you to remember everyone's names, but starting from closest to us, meet Claude, François, Emma Davidson and her husband Ben, and Paul and Marie Mason.
Some of you may recognise Nicky as the doctor who treated Ryan, and Beth is her partner".

He took a deep breath, glanced at Ryan and added,

"Beth is also the angel who has agreed to be the mother of our children".

There were gasps from around the room and Ryan held up his hand.

"Beth has already undergone two treatments, and we are awaiting results of the second treatment"

Everybody started talking at once and the two couples were pulled into the room and hugged and kissed. Once all the hullabaloo had quietened down, Ryan yelled,

"Okay, who wants a tour?"

Of course everybody did, so they all trooped through the house with Ryan acting as guide. When they arrived in the master bedroom, Ryan turned on the light in the nursery and pulled Nicky and Beth in.

"This will be the nursery for the babies once it is done" .

"Just a minute", interrupted Marie, pushing through to Ryan, "You just said babies."

Ryan flicked a glance over her head at Andrew, who shrugged and moved to stand next to him.

"Shit, okay, we weren't going to say anything until we knew for certain, but we are trying for twins"

Marie's eyes widened at his words and then burst into tears, throwing her arms around them.

"You two just never cease to amaze me. You're going to be amazing dads".

There was a further flurry of hugs and well wishes, and they all moved back down the stairs to the dining room to start dinner. Andrew and Ryan were pleased to see how Nicky and Beth were drawn into the group and made to feel welcome.

In the run up to Christmas, they had a few three day charters and several day charters for year end parties, but had kept the calender clear for Christmas and New Year and the first week of January for their 1st wedding anniversary, when Ryan's parents, and Donna and Craig would be visiting.

They had decided to have Christmas lunch at the lodge again, but for New Years eve there would be a small get together at the house. Unfortunately, Paul and Claude would not be able to attend due to the event being held at the lodge. They would tell Ryan's family about the babies when they arrived, because they had seen and purchased two adorable white cots, that now stood in the nursery. The days leading up to their arrival was a flurry of activity as extra food and beverages were stocked, and a huge fresh Christmas tree was placed in the centre of the entertainment level, decorated with tiny white lights and gold and silver balls.

The Majors and Craig Kenton all flew down on Christmas Eve on a mid-afternoon flight from Johannesburg, hired a car for the duration of their stay and arrived at the house soon after 4pm. David and Janice were shown to the guest suite to unpack while Donna and Craig were in one of the bedrooms on the top level, followed by the proud new owners showing their home to the family.

As expected, the tour came to a screeching halt in the master bedroom when Janice poked her head into the nursery and saw the cots. She gave an ear piercing shriek and spun around to look at Andrew and Ryan, both grinning from ear to ear.

"Darlings, what is going on? Do you have something you want to tell us?" By now, the other three were
standing in the nursery looking at the cots.

Ryan walked over to his mother and took her into his arms, looking down at her.

"Well, let's just say that by this time next year, we are hoping you will be a grandmother"

She stared at Ryan as if he had just sprouted another head, then buried her face in his chest and burst out crying. Andrew walked to them and put his arms around her too. He kissed her cheek and said,

"Mom, you're supposed to be happy for us. Or don't you want to be a grandma?" He could hear chortling from somewhere in the room, that he thought sounded like David.

Janice lifted the tear stained face and glared at him before slapping him upside his head, which caused more laughter behind him.

"Of course I want to be a grandmother, you ass. I was just unexpected", pulling herself free from their arms and pointing a finger at them. "I want to hear more. All the details".

Andrew linked his arm with hers and said,

"Right, okay, I think we need something long and cold to drink and Ry and I will fill you in. Let's go downstairs, it is almost cocktail hour anyway"

Ryan took drinks orders, beers for all the men, a tall Manhattan for Janice and a glass of white wine for Donna, while they settled into the chairs on the patio. Andrew took her hand, and began to explain the decision process and where they stood at the moment.

"So as of this moment, we don't know if it will be twins or just one baby and who the father of that baby will be, but we should have some clarity quite soon. The last update we had from Beth, who you will meet tomorrow at Christmas lunch, the latest fertilisation and implants had gone well and that the doctors were hopeful that they were viable. I tried to contact her today, but I haven't heard from her or Nicky. We just have to wait now".

Donna came over and hugged them both saying,

"I'm not going to congratulate you now. I will do that when we know for sure. But I wish you both all the best. How are you two going to juggle business and parenthood?"

Ryan answered, carrying over a tray with the drinks.

"We have had some discussions about that already, but haven't taken any firm decisions other than buying this place. We have a couple of options we are looking at".

He handed Janice her Manhattan and she looking up at him said,

"Thanks darling. I'm so happy that you are looking so well. When I left after your court appearance, I was still worried about you. But I can see you are back to the normal Ryan. And may I say, I think married life has done you two the world of good. You both look so happy and contented. Peaceful"

Andrew leaned back to look at Ryan standing behind him, stretching his arm back to take his hand.

"I would not change it for a moment. Ryan's assault was definitely a curve ball we were not expecting, but we came through a, better, stronger couple and our bond and love have been strengthened".

Andrew raised his glass.

"To life, love, marriage, family and the future. Cheers family, it's great to have you all here"

They toasted one another and sat watching the sun dip towards the western horizon, although it would not be fully dark until 8.30 or 9pm. Andrew and Donna disappeared into the kichen to feed Rascal and start dinner, while Ryan chatted to his parents and Craig while firing up the BBQ.

Dinner would just be simple BBQed porterhouse steaks, baked potatoes with sour cream and chives and
a Greek salad. Dessert was icecream and hot chocolate sauce. Andrew carried out some potato crisps, pretzels and a cream cheese dip for them to snack on until dinner was ready. The potatoes had been parboiled and wrapped in foil so it would not be long before they were completely done. Then Ryan slapped the marinaded steaks onto the grill and the mouthwatering aroma of meat grilling over hot coals filled the air, causing Rascal to come sniffing around as well.
Donna carried out the salad and dressing, and the bowl of sour cream, while Andrew opened a bottle of Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir.

When the steaks were ready, Ryan plated them with a baked potato and everyone helped themselves to salad and the extras while Andrew poured wine. For a while, silence descended except for the sounds of contented diners and cutlery on plates.

After they had eaten their dessert, Andrew went to make coffee, taking Janice and Donna with him to give them a lesson on how to operate the fancy machine they had bought. They moved back into the lounge and had coffee, while the music system played holiday music and later carried out all the wrapped gifts and placed them under the tree. It was a beautiful, peaceful, happy, family Christmas Eve.

At one stage, Ryan caught Andrew looking pensive, holding Rascal in this arms, staring at the reflection of the tree lights in the window. He snuggled up against him and took his hand, kissed him on the temple and whispered,

"I know what you're thinking. I love you ".

Andrew looked at him with a sad smile and put his head on Ryan's shoulder.

"Thank you babe, love you too. I just wish they could have been here too".

Ryan just squeezed his hand and nestled this cheek on Andrew's head. Janice gave him a questioning look and he held up his hand discreetly to indicate "Not now". Just after 10.30pm they started clearing up, packed the dishwasher and turned it on, before getting ready for bed. Andrew went downstairs with Craig to show him which garage to use for their car. Janice looked up at her son,

"Was that look of sadness about his parents!"

Ryan nodded

"Yeah mom, always birthdays and holidays. He is much better this year than last year. I found him sobbing his heart out early on Christmas morning last year. Nearly broke my heart too. But this year, he seems to be coping much better. I wouldn't want him to forget, mom. I just hate seeing him so sad. It kills me".

"That's because you feel his pain, darling. You two really are one heart beating in two bodies. You have no idea, the state he was in when you disappeared. If you had not been found, I really think it would have killed him. He would have died of a broken heart. You truly love one another."

Andrew and Craig appeared coming up the stairs. She kissed Ryan on the cheek and turned to Andrew as
he neared them, hugged him and kissed his cheek too.

"Thank you for loving my son. Just know that you may not have come from my body, but you are my son too. Not only by marriage. But here!" laying his palm on her chest over her heart. She looked at both of them. "I'm off to bed. Good night".

"Night mom" they echoed and she turned to walk to the bedroom. They stood watching her until she disappeared and Andrew looked at Ryan.

"What was that about? What did I miss?".

Ryan stood facing Andrew and put his arms around him, looking at him.

"She saw you were looking a little sad and asked if you were okay. I just explained that you missed your folks, especially at Christmas and birthdays".

Andrew kissed him until it deepened and became more intense. When they broke apart, he said softly,

"She is a very special lady. I know where you got your heart from". He looked around the room. "Let's lock up and get to bed as well".

They closed all the windows, locked doors and turned off all the lights except for the lights on the tree, then hand in hand walked up the stairs to the master suite, Rascal trotting obediently behind them.

Copyright © 2020 Andre Delport; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 27
  • Love 25
  • Haha 1

Any comments, good or bad, will be gratefully received.

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
You are not currently following this author. Be sure to follow to keep up to date with new stories they post.

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments

1 hour ago, scolvert said:

Absolutely wonderful chapter.  So well written that I almost feel I'm there.  


Thank you. Quite honestly. I'm blushing. I just wish my teachers at school thought  my writing skills were good.  Perhaps I would have received better grades.  In hindsight, perhaps that skill??? comes with age!

  • Like 4
Link to comment
13 hours ago, chris191070 said:

Andrew and Ryan are doing well and have found a great surrogate in Beth.

Not only in Beth, but a whole new dimension of support from her clansmen in Scotland. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment

Yes I agree, a wonderfully loving chapter! Ryan's mom is perfect and she probably will help "fill-in" as a surrogate Mom to Andrew!!  Up next two bouncing babies???

  • Like 2
Link to comment

All the joys of buy and moving into a new home!  Fortunately with a lot less hassle and work.  It's nice to be rich!  I hope that the births of their twins will be just as easy on Beth.  Ryan's mom didn't take long to call them on the carpet to explain the nursery.  This was just a nice warm and wonderful chapter.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

    You probably have a crazy and hectic schedule and find it hard to keep up with everything going on.  We get it, because we feel it too.  Signing up here is a great way to keep in touch and find something relaxing to read when you get a few moments to spare.

    Sign Up
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..