With all the events surrounding Andy over the previous week, Thomas had forgotten to give Andy his design for the nipple clips he wanted made for Jared. So, first thing on Monday morning he emailed the drawing to Andy, who called him back about an hour later.
“Hey mate! Are you trying to get my job?”
“Why?” asked Thomas.
“This design for the nipple clips is amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it before where did you get the idea?”
“Firstly I wanted to give him a gift to show my love for him. He has prominent nipples, and remember, at Price’s drinks do, he showed interest in the bartender’s nipple jewellery. Well I figured that was a good place to start. Also when we were at Southpine we had an encounter with a snake and I found out he has a phobia about snakes.”
“So you want him to wear snakes on his body?”
“I thought it might help him get over his phobia and besides the shape of a coiled snake just lends itself to the design.”
“How did you come up with the design to fasten them to the nipples? Anything I’ve previously designed for nipples required piercing.”
“It’s the only way I could think of without piercing.”
“Do you think Jared is averse to piercing?”
“No, it’s not that but I think this design will suit Jared’s fetish . Do you think you can make it?”
“Yeah, the fastening method is something new but I think I can adapt some watch mechanism to suit.”
“Great! How long do you think it will take to make them?”
“Given my current work backlog, because of all the trouble, probably three months.”
“Oh, I was hoping for something sooner.”
“I know, just teasing, I’ll give them priority and assuming I can get the parts quickly, they could be ready in a week.”
“You’re amazing Andy, did I ever tell you that?”
“I’m glad someone thinks so. I better go now as there is a small part I need and I think they may have it in the Melbourne studio; I want them to get it on the overnight courier.”
“OK, I’ll let you go now but can you call me back when you sort out the courier thing, there’s something else we need to talk about”
“Should I be worried?”
“No, it’s nothing like that.”
“Bye for now.”
Thomas called the estate agent and told him to put on hold his request to view apartments as he was not quite ready. He also had unfinished business with Mrs. Price as he had not had the opportunity to talk to her about Mr. Price and Andy and was not sure if she was up to date with the latest. He called her and arranged to have coffee with her on the terrace, her favourite place on the estate. He used the meeting as a general catch up as well as sorting out the Andy issue.
“I didn’t know about the car,” she said, “he must be really feeling guilty. Good on Andy, he deserves it after all he has done for my husband.”
“Yes, he seems much more relaxed now and I think they will be able to co-exist in the same building.”
“Now tell me dear, is he still at your boyfriend’s place?”
“Yes, he’ll stay there until I get an apartment and then we will share.”
“Ah, that will be nice for the both of you.”
“A top up Mrs. P.?”
“Yes, just a half cup thanks Thomas; don’t want to be up wandering the corridors all night.”
“May I ask how your relationship with Marcel is going?”
“Of course you may ask and it’s going well, he keeps me happy. But as long as you have asked and following on from our discussion about you leaving, I’m now concerned about his happiness. He doesn’t seem to have a life, as far as I can gather, outside the house. You made me aware that I sometimes forget about the emotional needs of the staff. Do you think you could have a chat with him about that and if necessary be his friend and encourage him to go out occasionally?”
“No problem Mrs. P. It will be my pleasure.
Andy called Thomas while he was munching on a sandwich in his office and browsing apartments for lease on the internet. “Hi Andy, how did you go?”
“Excellently, they have what I want and it’s on the way. I expect it here tomorrow morning. Now what did you want to talk about?”
“Now that Jared has asked you to stay at his place, I don’t want you to think you have to necessarily move in with me when I find an apartment.”
“But that was the plan, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, but that was when you were planning to leave Price and had no other place to go.”
“You mean you don’t want me to share with you.”
“No, I would love it, but what I’m trying to say is that it’s entirely your decision as to where you want to live. I don’t want you to feel obligated one way or the other.”
“I am happy at Jared’s but can I leave the decision until you find a place?”
“Now I want you to be honest with me. Do you have any problem with me living at Jared’s?”
“Why would I?”
“He is your boyfriend, and I don’t want anything to cause difficulty with your relationship.”
“Like jealousy, or lack of privacy when you two are together.”
“Andy, you are to me, the brother that I didn’t have. I trust you and I know you wouldn’t do anything to come between us or get in the way. Is that honest enough for you?”
“I’m glad that’s settled. Now get back to my jewellery piece.”
“Will I see you tonight?”
“No, I might have overstayed my welcome at Leichhardt so I’ll have this week at Castle Hill. Bye for now”.
True to his word, Andy had Thomas’s jewellery ready by Friday and took it home with him, assuming that Thomas would be at Jared’s for the weekend. When Thomas arrived, Andy quietly told Thomas he had finished the nipple clips and they where in his bedroom, so he could get them when he wanted.
The three had dinner that night at a local restaurant and returned to the house around 10.00pm. In order to give the other two some privacy, Andy said he was tired and went to his room shortly after they returned to the house. As he was saying goodnight he winked at Thomas as a reminder about the jewellery. Thomas made an excuse to go and see Andy in his room. He examined the nipple clips and told Andy they were just what he wanted and confirmed that he was a genius at jewellery making. He put the small box in his pocket and gave Andy a hug.
Jared and Thomas sat on the sofa for about an hour, sharing their week’s news with each other before they also went to bed. While Jared was in the bathroom, Thomas put the small box under his pillow and then took his turn in the bathroom. When he returned he jumped into bed beside Jared, who asked “Are you up for it tonight?”
“Up for what?” replied Thomas in a teasing manner.
“Do I really have to spell it out for you?”
“What I want to do is this.” he said as he reached under his pillow.
Thomas handed Jared a small box with the Prices diamond logo on it. Jared looked surprised and asked “What’s this?”
“You’ll only find out if you open it.”
“But what is it for?”
“That you will also find out if you open it.”
“I mean why are you giving it to me?”
“Oh you are so frustrating. It’s a gift for no other reason than I love you. Now will you open it?”
Jared slowly opened the box as if something was going to jump out. He looked and gasped as if something had. “Oh snakes, but what are they for?”
“They are for your nipples but you don’t have to get pierced.”
The jewellery was a pair of silver coiled snakes, with the centre of the coil open. Each piece was about 4 centimetres in diameter.
“There are beautiful in their own way, but also a bit scary.”
“Í thought they might help you get over your phobia if you wear them regularly.”
“How do I wear them?”
“You place them over your nipples so that the nipple comes through the centre of the piece and the snake appears to be coiled around your nipple. Then if you feel along the outer edge near the snakes head you will feel a small wheel behind the snake. Rotate this wheel and four small pins will come out as you turn the wheel. The four pins will press into your nipples. You can adjust the wheel so that the pins are just tight enough to hold the piece in place; and here’s the best part, you can continue to tighten the pins so that they dig into your nipples causing just the level of pain you want to bear and you can wear them as long as you like. You can even tighten them more during the day if you feel like a pain hit.”
“That’s amazing, where’d you get them, I’ve never seen anything like them before.”
“They were especially designed and made by Andy. Intimate jewellery is his speciality at Prices.”
“You mean they’re a one off just for me?”
“Custom designed and made.”
“Do they come with free fitting?”
“Of course, let me do it for you.”
Thomas attached the nipple jewellery and deliberately over tightened them so that Jared could feel the pain.
“You like me to suffer don’t you?”
“It’s your choice; adjust them to suit yourself.”
“I think I will wear them just as they are. The pain will remind me of you.”
“Is that a good thing?”
“These will be great. I can feel pain all day long but not show it outwardly. That is what I want to achieve.”
“I thought that would please you.”
“Now come into my arms so I can thank you”.
Next chapter - A day at the beach and Edward interviews Jared.