Inkerman Street

by Arapiles

Chapter 1

It was cold, one of those days where your breath comes out looking like a dragon's and you can feel the sting as the wind whips along the road and hammers your face. I shivered a little, pulling my coat around me tighter as I got off the tram and began the final walk to my home.

The tram had been overcrowded, and full of the usual mixed assortment that Melbourne public transport did so well. Office workers and students and tourists in there with drunks and homeless wanting to keep warm. One of the former had been singing to me in a wildly off-key voice and muttering about Muslims, or "towel-heads" as he called them, most of the way down StKilda Road apparently blithely unaware of the rather stylish looking female lawyer in a hijab across from us.

Somewhere around the Shrine I had given her a look and asked in that unspoken way whether she was upset. She just smiled and shrugged, and I shrugged back, sharing a moment of our common existence in that simple gesture that would be lost on the drunken man spewing out his vomits verbal and particulate. Some days that shared moment was the best sustenance I had.

Today had been one of those days. I had survived a string of seemingly endless meetings at work and the determined efforts of some of my fellow workers to remove the last vestige of my will to live. Somehow that little spark had clung on for dear life against the slings and arrows of office politics and I made it out the door of our building just as darkness settled over the city and the flood-tide of people like me headed for Swanston Street and a tram to somewhere warm and safe. The drunken guy hadn't managed to crush it, and the little exchange with my fellow travellers left me feeling strangely elated for reasons I could not describe.

Maybe it was the sheer banality of it, I reasoned, as I walked along with my ears feeling as if they might snap off in the cold. The whole tram had kind of shrugged it off, as if to say, what can you do about crazy? And the woman had taken it in her stride as much as anyone. If there was one test of our strength as a city, perhaps it was in our ability to ride out the crazy and not be fooled into reaction. Maybe there was hope for us after all.

Rounding the corner, I came towards the block of shiny townhouses that included my home, fiddling in a pocket for my keys . There was a half-crushed box full of some random garbage left on the pavement, and I hefted it with difficulty and walked it over to a skip sitting in the driveway of the townhouse next door to mine. The owner had been renovating, and the contractors had dumped a skip there and left it while they filled it with random construction garbage, carpet, pieces of plywood. I figured one more piece of rubbish wouldn't be noticed, and I liked things neat and tidy.

I had just let go of the cardboard when my eyes locked on a pair of bright blue ones suddenly wide open in surprise. I got a glimpse of a youthful face, and a head with a shock of blonde hair, when the box impacted the same head with a clunk and the owner let out an oath and a cry of disapproval.

"Hey! Fuck you!"

I was too stunned to do anything much except stand there and watch the young man stand in the skip, reaching his full height still rubbing his head and frowning.

"Fucker! Be more careful next time!"

All my bonhomie was lost in a nanosecond, replaced by the kind of soul-destroying ennui I felt all fucking day whiling away the hours from meeting to meeting. I guess that was why I suddenly snapped like I did.

"Be more careful? What the hell do you think you are doing here in my skip? Right...that does it mate. I'm calling the cops..."

Ok, so it was a little white lie, but the skip was sort of mine. It belonged to my neighbour, and we shared a building anyway. Close enough, but mostly I had just had enough of the arrogant little shit getting uppity at me, of all people, when there really was no good reason to expect some random bloke would be in there after all.

Come to think of it, what the hell was he doing in there?

I didn't have time to think on that question further, for the mention of the cops seemed to have its effect. The big blue eyes went wide again, and the fear was palpable. He gave a little curse before gripping the metal edge and leaping from the skip onto the pavement.

"Hey! Wait a minute!"

I could see he had left a bag behind in his haste, but I was not a match for his speed. Once I was a decent runner, middle distance mostly, but it had been a long time since I had felt the need to run fast, and now my running was mostly of the staying in shape variety. There was no way I could catch a young man in a hurry. I caught a view of a retreating back, blonde hair streaming behind, as he tore down the street as fast has his feet could take him. I hefted the backpack in my hands; heavy, battered, it had once been black but now was mostly just dirty. The label had gone, and the zip had a small frayed length of ribbon attached, but otherwise there was not much to identify it.

The guy had bolted, and I could not see him anymore. He had turned a corner probably, one of the many little side streets, and disappeared. I frowned, squinting into the semi-darkness to see if there was any sign of him returning, but the early winter evening made it difficult. Streetlights cast a stuttering blue glow, not fully effective yet, as the night stole over Inkerman Street like a lover and soothed its many hurts with the balm of deep blue calm.

It was that time of day where the many tradesmen fixing up the old and decrepit houses in the shabby genteel heart of the city left just as their new owners arrived back from the office. The tradies loaded up their trailers with assorted crap, overalls dusty and flecked with paint, to head to McMansions on the city fringe where a wife and two kids sat in front of their massive plasma TV in the open plan entertainment room and watched A Current Affair while opining on how abos or reffos or migrants or homos or hipsters were fucking the country. I had often wondered how they coped with their clientele in Inkerman Street, consisting as it did often of wealthy migrants, homos, hipsters and their fellow travellers. I assumed money cured all ills, as it always did.

One of the plasterers from my next-door neighbour's was loading up. I gave him a wave and signalled him over.

"Hey...did you see where that guy went?"

He gave me a grimace and a shake of the head.

"Nah...moving like he was in the Melbourne Cup tho..."

"Did you see him round much t oday?"

He scratched his balls as he dug out a fag from his pocket. A quick flick from his bic and he sucked in a blessed lungful of smoke. I sniffed the air daintily, cursing inwardly for his casual enjoyment of the ritual. I had given up on doctor's orders a few years ago, and fuck I still craved a smoke something fierce.

"Think he was hanging around a bit since three. Young guy, dark rugby top, jeans?"

I nodded.

"Yeah, he was over at the café begging when I went to get a latte."

"Did he get anything?"

The big tradie smiled at my naivete. "Nah...you think that tightarse Chink owner would let him have anything? Fat fucking chance..."

I grimaced a bit at his casual racism, but I had heard it all before. He seemed to become bored anyway and gave me a wave as he headed for his ute.

"Anyway...you have a good one."

I couldn't bring myself to wish him the same.

I realised I was still holding the backpack, and not able to decide what the hell to do yet, I hefted it and headed for my door.

The entry hall lighting was perfect, LED's set beautifully into stylish settings. The walls were broad expanses of white, with the floorboards polished spotted gum lacquered into a dark shiny rich finish that almost radiated heat. I had selected some abstract art from a local artist I loved for this space, so I could always see something I liked on entering. It helped me feel home, surrounded by elegant perfection that managed to create the feeling of distance. Life was to be savoured, but on my terms. I had given up savouring more emotionally satisfying aspects a long time ago, when the accumulated pains made me cauterise those parts of myself to carry on. Now I savoured this; material substituting for the spiritual. It mostly worked.

The tattered remains of the street were changing. Once Inkerman had been the epicentre of down and out in the city, populated by junkies, streetwalkers, pimps, drug dealers, and homeless. Now it was transforming, like a butterfly, and the transition was almost complete. There were only patches of the old life left, the occasional broken-down terrace or ro oming house, filled with the flotsam and jetsam of the city. The offices of the Prostitutes Collective of Victoria still held on, against all odds. You could still see the denizens of the night, but discretely now, almost apologetic.

The cops even came here again, where once it had been a no-go zone. Mostly for domestic disputes when someone started a circular saw at 6 a.m. on a Sunday to do a kitchen and someone decided to smack their head in order to punctuate their displeasure at having their Sunday morning sleep-in interrupted. Then all parties would decamp to Woodfrog for a croissant and coffee to make up.

Progress. Elegant, refining progress. Sic itur ad astra...with interior design and chrome bath fixtures and lighting by Nascent of Fitzroy.

I dumped the backpack on the kitchen table and leafed through my mail. Nothing of importance, mostly people asking me for money subtly or less so. I had long since got rid of my landline because of the same phenomenon; anybody who knew me rang my mobile, so the only people who rang the landline were telemarketers or push polling. I was not much interested in either, though playing with the Indian scammers was an occasional diversion.

I turned on the television to SBS, getting the end of Newshour, and reached for the menu stack on the kitchen bench. I felt like Thai tonight, and it would go so well with that bottle of Riesling.

Several hours later I was dozing comfortably on the couch, bottle empty, and the remains of a green curry with vegetables on the coffee table. I had tuned out the Scandinoir on the television and woke to find the late news droning on about interest rates. I stumbled to my feet, a little hungover, and noticed the backpack.

My scruples had lasted all evening, and normally I was a stickler for privacy. I reasoned though that if I was to find it's owner, I had to check it out. So I trotted over to the table, and reached for the battered bag.

There were no locks or anything, and the zip opened reluctantly but readily enough. Inside was a mish-mash of stuff. A heavy jacket, in some sort of quilted mat erial, and a couple of old t-shirts. They looked antique, like 80's castoffs with old bands and a retro Adidas logo, probably from one of those fashionable shops into retro gear. And even more intriguing, I pulled out a couple of magazines.

They were porn. Vintage gay porn...Hot Studs to be exact.

Now I was in full-on nostalgia mode. I had remembered this one...fuck, I think I even owned this edition.

Turning to page twenty-seven, I let out a little moan. There he was, the big fucking built trucker with the harness I had fallen in love with as a teenager. I turned the page...

"Ahhhhhh..."

I remembered him now. That thick-veined length of flesh had been responsible for a disturbing percentage of my jerkoff fantasies when I was fifteen. I touched his image on the crinkled page and smiled.

No sense wasting it, I guess...

I headed for bead, and a hot date with a trucker, and memories of ages past. I surprised myself, managing three decent loads that coated my chest and belly before I lost my erection and sleep stole over me still grinning with the magazine discarded on the pillow beside me.

When I woke, it was to a vague sense of disquiet. I shook my head, wondering what had got me to come out of a deep and most pleasant dream, where I had a dozen hot twinks licking my chest. Then I heard it...

A scrape, then a thud, and a crash.

"Fuck..."

It was whispered with some feeling, and it was not my voice. The noise was coming from the kitchen, and it sounded like whoever it was had knocked something over. If it was the Kosta Boda art piece, I was going to be severely disappointed...that had cost a fortune.

The noise got closer, and I heard the scrape of shoes on floorboards. Now I was angry, I realised, and though underneath I was scared as hell, part of me also felt really really pissed off. Shoes on floorboards...probably scratching up the lacquer. I always took mine off when I came in, an made visitors do the same, if they wanted to be invited back that was.

Climbing from the bed, I tiptoed cautiously to the walk-in robe. There was something in there I remembered, one o f David's mementoes of youth. My hand touched the handle just as the noises approached the door to the bedroom.

I heard the door open, and a figure appeared in the doorway. I watched it stalk into the bedroom, with about as much stealth as a drunken ninja. His rugby top flicked over a picture on the bedside table as he reached across my bed, knocking it over. I turned on the light and faced my assailant, with David's ancient Gray Nicholls scoop cricket bat in my hands, last reminder of the days when he strode the pitch like some latter-day Don Bradman, if the Don had been a gay dom with a wicked grin and a body like an Adonis.

The figure stood up startled, blinking those big blue eyes, and gave me a look.

"Seriously? Please mister, don't cover drive me."

I gave him a scowl. I had registered the outline before I turned the light on, but it still surprised me a little seeing him here. The guy had returned, and he had slung his backpack over his shoulder. The blue eyes were full of mischief, not fear. Somehow he knew I wasn't about to brain him with the bat.

"What the fuck are you doing here?" I tried for anger, but it mostly came out as bluster.

"I came for me stuff. Found the backpack, but something was missing..."

I saw his gaze rest on the magazine, and his eyes widened. I cursed a little, realising I had been a little...overenthusiastic on my second cum, and a nice long streak of dried seed had crinkled the glossy paper right over a picture of the trucker showing off his furry asshole and low hanging scrotum and cock. Bingo...right on target. He looked back and gave me a wink.

"Looks like you found my favourite page..."

"Enough! What the fuck do you think you are doing, breaking in..."

"...um, your front door was unlocked..."

I felt a little chagrined then. I was supposed to lock it but falling asleep in front of the television after a bottle of booze had not helped my normal sense of order. Still, I was determined not to be put on the back foot.

"I don't care! It is still trespassing, and I could call the police and have you arrested!"

He looked sad now, and th at cute mouth screwed up. I realised he looked like he might cry, and he turned away to hide it.

"I'm sorry...just, you scared me, ok?"

"Ok..." he sounded genuinely remorseful. I handed him the magazine, and he took it gratefully.

"Does it really mean that much to you?"

He looked down at the magazine in his hand, a little lost. "The magazine?"

"All of it."

He shrugged. "It's all I've got mate."

I felt stupid all of a sudden, as the reality dawned at last on my sleep befuddled brain. He hadn't just been hanging out in the street...he had been sleeping in the skip, to keep out of the cold. And I had taken his backpack, with his warm clothes.

He opened the magazine, and I watched him, taking in the details at last. The battered old rugby top, the faded 501's, the way his big shock of blonde hair looked unkempt. He had the end tied with a piece of frayed ribbon, matching the length tied to his backpack, and a single earring in his left ear and a shell necklace around his neck. Tanned skin, looking dirty, and the blonde hair was also dirty. His eyes were red with fatigue, even as he smiled as he flicked through the pages.

"See...this guy...that's what I want to look like!"

I smiled indulgently. "Aren't you a bit the wrong build? You look more naturally lean to me..." and he did, lean and gangly, taller than me at a good six foot four, but with muscle under the skin still. Not like the big burly brute in the magazine of course. I also realised he was probably younger than I realised at first. Late teens at most, the fatigue and the dirt made it hard to gauge.

"Hey! I may not be heavy all over, but I am where it counts!"

That got me laughing, and he giggled cutely at my amusement. I relaxed finally, putting down the cricket bat by the bed, and sitting on the side. I looked him up and down, while he waited, a little uncertain, and I sighed. Me and my stupidly sentimental nature.

"If you want to stay tonight..."

"For real?"

He looked so thankful. I swallowed hard to cover my embarrassment.

"Yeah, stay tonight. Just one night but...you can have a shower and get some proper rest and..."

He held up his hand, not wanting to look at me. I knew the score, so did he. One night. Enough for charity, not enough to make a difference. Still, he seemed pleased.

"Thanks..."

"Spare room is out in the hall, first on the left. Bathroom second on the left."

He nodded and gave me another wink, and headed for the bedroom, with the magazine rolled in his hand.

I heard the sound of water running later as I lay in bed, shaking my head at my own stupidity. I had no idea who he was, or anything about him at all. Except that he was cute. Ok, more than cute. And more than a little cheeky, which made my heart flutter and my brain go all gaga. But still; a mystery, and a possibly underage one too. This was a bad idea.

The water stopped, and I tried to not imagine the sight in my guest bathroom. The boy had no intention of letting me off that easy though, and I soon saw the door open again, and the sight of a tall dark figure in the doorway. I turned on the Philip Starck bedside light, casting a reassuring yellow low over my new companion.

He was naked, and he had washed all over it seemed, even taking the time to tend to his hair properly, which now flowed down his back in rivers of gold. He stood there, hands on hips, watching me and grinning.

"Thanks mate. You know, I guess you deserve a freebie...for letting me stay and all."

Now I was flummoxed. "Freebie?"

"Yeah...I should charge top dollar for a night, but...well, you're special, and sweet, and you have an awesome apartment..."

I blinked rapidly at this new information. It seemed the boy belonged in Inkerman Street after all, though I thought the police had managed to flush most of them out. They had decamped to other parts of St Kilda, or more often, advertised discretely on Squirt.com and hooked up in the elegant confines of the Melbourne Wine Room off Fitzroy Street. The old-fashioned street tricks were...well, old fashioned.

I gave a slight start as I felt him suddenly by my side. He smelt of soap and musk. Naked skin slid under the Egyptian cotton, and I felt him snuggled beside me, with his face on my chest.

"You are pretty hot for a rich guy..."

"Thanks, I think."

"Don't mention it. How old are you anyway?"

I blushed. I hated it, but I blushed. His hand found my cock still encased in my briefs, and I blushed harder, and felt my cock spring to life. I moaned too, embarrassingly. He didn't seem to mind, but I didn't want to answer the question, at least not directly. Instead I gave voice to the worry nagging my brain, or at least one of them.

"Old enough to be your father!"

He giggled. It sounded so sweet. "Mate, let me tell you, you are nothing like my dad."

"How old are you?" there, the worry was out in the open.

"Old enough to know how to do this..."

"Seriously, how old are you?"

He seemed to sigh and gave me a grin. "Seventeen…now, can I get on with it?"

I found myself exhaling, a breath I hadn't known I was holding in leaving me behind. Legal, at least. The morals of what I was doing, as opposed to the legalities, were a more complex beast.

His lips found my chest hair, nibbling, suckling, then across to my nipples. They hardened so much they were almost sore, and his lips and tongue made me cry out, then he licked down my chest and belly and I felt him engulf my length in the warm wet bliss of his mouth.

Fingers curled round my sack. I was proud of my balls, stupidly, David had always loved sucking on them before we fucked. He told me I had the best-looking balls he had ever seen, the first night we had long proper loving sex, and he kept on telling me that all the time we were together. The boy seemed to like them too, stroking the underside with his fingertips, drawing moans as he began to squeeze gently.

He threw back the covers, and I wondered what he had in mind. I didn't have to wait long to know though; he gave me another wink, twinkling in the lamplight, and straddled my groin.

"Should be just about wet enough, and you are leaking like a tap mate...take it easy though mate, don't want to wreck the joint..."

I tried to protest, but he put a hand over my mouth to quieten me. The other hand was busy, guiding my tapered tip to his hole.

"Ahh...shhh ...ffff...aaaahhhhhhh"

He sat down on me slowly but steadily. I felt the incredible heat of his ass, tight and yet yielding. He surrounded me with him, the feel of skin touching me all round, and then he squeezed and I cried out.

"There...all the way…fuckkk." And I was, hilted in the young man...I was glad he was legal, because there was no way I was stopping now no matter what his birth certificate said. He seemed to know what he was doing though. Taking me, even with my modest size, with only pre and spit for lube was no laughing matter.

He rode me steadily, almost casually. I was nowhere near ready, not after jacking out three loads already that night, but he seemed in no hurry. I reached for his magnificent length, now hard and swaying before me. It was perfectly straight, with a prominent head, and I just enjoyed the feeling of it in my hands and stroked faster and faster until he lay his head back and stared at my ceiling and let out a wild cry and I got to watch him ejaculate, a fountain of spunk spewing forth from his pulsing tip.

Still he wasn't finished, and he pulled me over until I was above him and begged me in his cutest voice to fuck him properly. And I tried, I really did, as he nibbled my neck and swore and yelled and ordered me roughly to fuck him deeper and deeper.

When I finally came, it felt like my balls had poured forth into his ass, along with every last drop of energy. I rested in his arms, cradled against him, and fell asleep to the sound of birds tweeting the old-fashioned way that the morning was due. They could keep the morning; I had what I needed.

When I woke again, it was 9:30, I was horribly late for work, and there was a spot on the other side of my bed where someone should be but wasn't. I checked the apartment. He was gone; he had taken his backpack, and skedaddled. And I didn't even know his name.

He had not just taken his backpack though...

"Fuck...fuck...fuck...fuck..."

Not very original, but I didn't swear that often, and it seemed the most eloquent way to describe what I was thinking.

My wallet was gone, but that was not t he worst. For when I checked the table in my dressing room, I realised I could not find the watch that had sat on it's little plate next to the spot I left my wallet. It had sat there, though I did not wear it, because I liked to look at it and remind myself. It had been David's, one of the things he had managed to leave me.

My face screwed up in anger. If I caught that little shit...he was going to wish he had never been born.

At least I knew what I was going to be doing today.

The police station was an incongruous looking brown brick monstrosity amongst the fashionable Victorian facades. I liked it in a way; it looked like nothing more so than itself, a kind of fortress building that brought to mind the Troubles in Northern Ireland. All it lacked was a guard tower and razor wire.

Of course, that was not how it was supposed to look. This was the new age of policing, community friendly and engaging. I had to smile at that; David had talked about the bad old days when the police from this very station used to raid the bathhouses and bars in Prahran looking for gays to arrest. Now they rode around on bikes clad in revealing lycra sharing lattes with the queers. Progress was a wonderful thing.

Waiting in the reception area I saw my cop mate come through the armoured doorway and give me a grin. He looked good, as he always seemed to. Though there was a flash of grey in his close-cropped brown hair and a little in the stubble at his chin, he was still one hot hunk of man with bulges in all the right places.

"Nigel! To what do I owe the pleasure..."

"Got a problem Matt. Need some help."

His expression turned ever so slightly concerned, just a slight turn down of the corners of his mouth and his big brown eyes misted a little. He nodded and ushered me through into an interview room.

Sitting at the table, with the tape recorder and the ashtray, I had a sudden chill go down my spine. It was all too familiar to anyone used to watching police procedurals, and the shock of being in one of these nondescript rooms made me contemplate my own behaviour. I was confident he was as old as he said he was, but still, I would need to be cautious.

"Matt, I had a burglary last night..."

He had his pad out, taking notes rapidly with his eyes narrowed as he worked. I hadn't seen him in action before, and it was illuminating. The big bluff cop was no nonsense on the job. I felt myself liking him even more.

We had met in one of the bars off Commercial Road one night about ten years ago. David was already sick and had not yet reached the long dark tunnel of final collapse, but we had long since stopped being lovers. For most of our relationship we had been like best mates, who shared each other's conquests and tragedies with the easy familiarity of brothers and a similar lack of physical intimacy despite what the incest fantasies may say. He even introduced me to some of my fuckbuddies.

One night when he was out at a gallery opening with an artist I couldn't stand I had gone trawling for companionship and found Matt. I had no idea he was a cop, until the next morning when he pulled on the uniform as he got ready for work. He told me with a regretful look that he didn't usually tell his pickups what he did, as for every one for whom it was a turn on there were five who ran screaming from his flat. But he could see it didn't bother me, and I got a lingering kiss and then an impromptu blow job for good luck before he headed off for his shift.

We had the occasional fuck while David was still alive, but once he died I somehow lost the light inside me that powered my nocturnal activities and we had turned into mates just like I had with David. We caught up occasionally for brunch in Chapel Street and occasionally I accompanied him to the footy when one of his cop mates baled. I hated football with a passion but I never told him. I made sure I had my iPod with me though and listened to Rachmaninoff surreptitiously through an earpiece while everyone around me roared and groaned in turn.

"A burglary...what was taken?"

"My wallet...I've already cancelled all the cards. And...well, David's watch. The Rolex, gold, it's mostly sentimental but it's probably worth twenty grand..."

His eyebrows wiggled the way they did when he was thinking and not saying much. I swallowed.

"Anything else?"

"Not that I've found."

"How did they get in? Window, broke in through a door?"

"Ahh...I...um..."

Matt's eyebrows danced now. He looked at me squarely, and very deliberately closed his notebook.

"Nigel, I think you had better be honest with me."

I let out a sigh and dropped my eyes to the desk. My temples hurt, and I rubbed them as I spoke in soft gasps.

"He didn't break in. He was a homeless guy I think, a boy, well young man anyway. Living in a skip when I found him, outside my place."

Matt was smiling now, and I found the gaze made me feel warm. I cursed under my breath, knowing this was a bad idea but not knowing any other way. Still, it felt embarrassing as fuck.

"Very...public spirited of you Nigel."

"Look, Matt..."

"Anything else you can tell me about our friendly young man stroke boy here?"

"He's tall, about six foot four, tanned, blonde hair, lean build. Seventeen, he told me..."

"Really...and he is living on the streets?"

"I don't know, but I think so yeah..."

"Name?"

"I don't know."

The cop folded his arms across his chest and shook his head.

"Did you fuck him?"

"No! Well...yes...but..."

He let out a snort and his nose jiggled in unspoken contempt. Still he looked sympathetic, and I hoped to fuck he didn't realise I was about to cry.

"Probably a runaway Nigel. You know that right?"

"Yes."

"David's watch is probably long gone too you realise."

"Yes." It came out as a whisper, and I wiped my eyes to stop the flood I knew was incoming.

"Leave it to me. I'll see if any of my contacts can help. Go grab a coffee, I will give you a ring if anything comes up."

I was almost pathetically grateful, I knew, but I couldn't help myself. So would the stag plead with the hunter if he could.

Taking Matt's suggestion I headed for a café down Malvern road near the station. It was usually busy and usually decent, with a good line of single origin coffee and some useful salads. I realised I was hungry, and I tucked into a decent quinoa salad while ig noring calls from work studiously. I had told them I was sick with the flu, and though I knew that wouldn't stop them calling I knew it would stop them persisting eventually.

After about an hour I got the call.

"You are one seriously lucky fucker Nigel."

He sounded almost disappointed, but I wasn't. I felt like a prisoner getting a reprieve on the scaffold.

Picking me up out front in his car, he briefed me in the few hundred metres we had to drive before we reached Chapel Street.

"Got a hit on your credit card, someone tried to use it at a 7/11 on the corner. Then one of my pawn shop mates came up trumps. You friend is in there now trying to knock off the watch for a quick hundred. Stupid shit has no idea what it's worth. We need to get a move on, he is stalling him for me now."

I felt a slight burst of warmth as we parked in a no parking space with absolute impunity and headed for the pawn shop. It felt like I was part of an old school cop show, only missing a surly female partner for the taciturn male lead. I guessed I would have to do; Matt's partner was off today and he was supposed to be catching up on paperwork but this seemed to qualify as a special case.

The shop looked like a relic from another age, with the traditional gold balls hanging above the door, a window full of random merchandise, and a wizened man behind the counter. He was engaged in an animated discussion with the boy, who had his back to us thankfully.

"Now now sir, please be patient. I am just verifying the model and age of this particular timepiece so I can confirm the appropriate valuation..."

"Look just hurry it up old man! I haven't got all day..."

"Yes, you do you know."

He froze in mid-sentence as my Matt laid a hefty mitt on his shoulder. The boy tensed, and he turned his head slowly towards a fate he already seemed to know.

Strangely he didn't seem to react too much to the sight of the cop. He did to the sight of me though. His big eyes went bigger still and he seemed to plead at first, then closed his eyes in resignation.

"Funny, knew it would be you mister..."

Handcuffed and sitti ng in the back of the police car, he sulked. I watched him, a little fascinated, and a little angry. He finally lifted his face and gave me a stare back, one full of resentment.

"He told me I could have it."

Matt laughed at that, I just fumed.

"Really mate, save it for the tape."

"I'm telling you the truth. He told me I could have it; the watch I mean. Oh, I nicked the wallet yeah but..."

"I said save it kid. We are almost there."

We pulled into the garage at the back of fortress cop and Matt pulled him gently from the back seat. Even with the boy's height, my mate seemed to be able to move him easily enough, and he was marched into receiving and a frowning desk sergeant with a look like curdled milk.

"Nigel, you need to wait in there please."

He indicated a drab waiting area with industrial carpet and uncomfortable seats and a coffee machine that looked like it came out of the sixties. I settled in with a sigh and found an old edition of Good Weekend to peruse.

I had long since become bored and frustrated by the time my friend came to talk. He was not looking happy, and I saw him wince a bit as he sucked down bad coffee from the machine. I made a mental note to buy him some good stuff this weekend, along with a bottle of his favourite whisky.

"So?"

"Well, he is maintaining that he was offered the watch. I know it's bullshit, and nobody will believe him. He is admitting the wallet, and otherwise keeping very quiet. He has been charged with theft..."

"Not burglary?"

That drew a smile. "Burglary needs trespassing Nigel, and you did invite him to stay the night...apparently, your cock feels good by the way."

I mumbled and bristled, and my ears burned as they always did when I was embarrassed. It reminded me of playing sport at school and having everyone watch me make an idiot of myself. Today it was an audience of one cop, but it happened to be a cop I cared about which made it worse. He seemed to realise and take pity.

"He will be offered diversion I think, and a caution. He is being processed now. I will need you to sign a statement..."

"I don't...I don't want to p ress charges."

Matt seemed to swallow then. His eyes bulged, and he coughed.

"Um...what did you say?"

"I said, I don't want to press charges. If I can have my watch back..."

"Nigel, it's not that simple!"

"Yes it is isn't it? I don't want him...I don't want him getting a record."

"But he stole your lover's watch...I may not understand you completely Nigel, but I know how much David meant to you. After all, ever since he died you have been this...shell..." he was yelling now, and eyes were turned towards us. Curious eyes. I lowered my voice hoping he would follow suit.

"Matt, you don't understand. I didn't have...well, I didn't have a good time when I was young. I did stuff, bad stuff, and ended up in trouble a lot. I know what it's like...trust me on this. I don't want him, well he has enough challenges it seems..."

The cop shook his head again, staring at me as if I was mad, which I probably was. He let out a deep sigh, but finally the grin returned to his mouth and he stroked my flanks.

"You always were a sentimental shit Nigel."

Sentimental or not, I knew what I needed to do, or thought I did. I also had no real desire for everything that went on between me and the boy to end up in a police report.

The watch was returned to me in a little plastic bag with evidence notes, and my wallet in another. I would have to wait for new cards anyway, but it was nice to have it back. I had gotten it on a holiday in London and I had never felt leather quite like it since.

By the time I got home on the tram it was getting late, and I decided to screw work completely. The encounter with the boy had woken some other parts of myself, the ones that had lain mostly dormant since David died. I had needs dammit. And I could almost remember what that felt like.

Upstairs I carefully preened and prepared. I was no longer young like the first time I met him. A young trainee, I had managed to somehow score a summer internship at his company, with one-part bluster and one part charm. He noticed me right away, and I could tell the elegant and imposing man saw right through me in a nanoseco nd. He also seemed intrigued by this impostor pretending to be something he was not.

The first time we did anything was in his office. He pulled me against his body and kissed me, deep on the mouth, and I melted in his arms. He told me he knew, all along, that I had faked details on my resume but he didn't mind, and he liked my ingenuity. It turned out he liked my body too, and I his. His cock felt like a hot throbbing lance invading my tight tunnel as he bent me over his desk and fucked me into oblivion so painfully I almost screamed. I came all over his carpet and he kept fucking me until it hurt worse and then lay over me until it didn't.

Ever since I had known how good it could feel to give in to those urges, and when we no longer did it with eachother, I found plenty of more than adequate substitutes. I kept in shape, with gym and supplements and grooming products, and occasional slow jogs around the lake. Even in middle age now I was good, but not great. The hot naïve young guy was a world ago and an age away.

None of that would matter though in the back room at 55 Porter street. In the semi dark I could fondle some gymrat twink banking trainee and get him to fuck me thoroughly and exchange business cards and banter afterwards as if nothing at all mattered. It had been too long; thanks to the boy I was back on the horse. I smiled; David always liked horses. He kept a few out in Gisborne just to show off. I think I liked them more as individuals than he did, but I never told him that.

Properly prepared, with lube and condoms and poppers just in case, I headed downstairs ready for an evening. I noticed the plasterer's van still parked outside, and frowned a little. It was a bit late for him to be here...

Investigating, I found the door to the next door's townhouse ajar. I crept inside, as much as a middle-aged guy could with feet encased in Loakes brogues echoing uncomfortably on hardwood parquetry flooring. There were noises coming from the downstairs area, probably the garage round the back.

I peeked around a slightly open doorway and spied my quarry. He wa s standing in the garage, his overalls unhitched and down round his knees, boxers down too. The tradie had a hefty ass, covered in brown fuzz, and thick cheeks that were twitching rapidly like some manic semaphore. His muscular cheeks flexed suddenly, and I saw slight dimples form on the sides, and he let out a groan and a soft roar.

The second figure was on his knees on the other side of him, and his big but delicate hands slid around as I watched to cup those ass cheeks and squeeze. They were very familiar. He wasn't speaking, of course, as his mouth was occupied, but the tradie was.

"Ohh yeah slut...so good boy...keep going...so close..."

"Ahem..."

I coughed, and the plasterer turned around slowly, just his head. His eyes widened, and he gave me a good look over, but he didn't stop. Indeed, he seemed to pull the boy harder against his groin. The boy would have had no idea, and he kept on suckling.

"Such a hot slut..."

He was looking at me now as he spoke, and I saw him looking me up and down. The heat of his stare went right through me.

His eyes were unfocussed now, and he scrunched up his face and his head lay back a little and his ears seemed to shake.

"Ohhh fuck...ohhh fuck...yeah...take it bitch...take it all..."

His orgasmic roar was part pleasure part triumph. I saw his whole body tense and then relax, with hands still gripping his ass. He opened his eyes again and gave me a wink, and pulled his cock from the boy's mouth with a slurp. The boy suddenly saw me there, and rocked back on his knees with eyes wide.

"You want him too mate? Only twenty bucks..."

"No, and you realise he is probably underage..." well, it wouldn't hurt raising some disquiet in the big shit. Make him guess. It didn't seem to work though.

"Nah, hot piece of trash like this? He's no problem trust me..."

I hated him I realised, mostly for his casual denigration of the boy, more still for how much he made me feel like a piece of shit for watching. I knew I was hard, my cock poking its way against the fabric of my pants, desperate for some of what the tradie had. I knew I had no moral hig h ground to occupy, but it had never stopped me in the past.

"Does Ryan know you score tricks in his garage?"

I knew my neighbour, an upright Christian barrister with a stick firmly implanted up his ass. We were on civil terms, enough for me to tell him exactly what his builders were up to. The thought of petty revenge felt disturbingly good.

The guy paused finally, his expression changing to anger and contempt at last.

"Like you are any better than me!"

I had to acknowledge the truth of that, but it made no difference. I was on a roll.

"Get out. And don't touch the boy ever again, do you hear me?"

He gripped him by the hair, still kneeling, and pushed him towards me with violent strength. The boy yelped and hit his knee on the concrete. The man scowled.

"You are welcome to him mate..."

I reached out and took the boy's hand and pulled him to his feet. He seemed shaky, and I led him into my own place and up the stairs to the kitchen. He seemed thankful of a glass of water, and I ignored the passive aggressive slam from downstairs as the builder closed the sliding door on his van and the screech of tires as he drove away.

"You did me out of a good bit of money there mate..."

It was strangely nice to see the boy was unrepentant.

"You will get over it."

"Nah, now I will have to find another trick..."

"You won't. You can stay here, as long as you need, and you can have all the food you need. Just please, no more of this, and no more stealing my stuff ok?"

He stood, glass held in mid-air, and stared. He blinked a few times as if unsure what he heard, and I was no surer than he. I couldn't believe I was doing this.

"Are you serious?"

"Yes, on all counts. If I find you pulling tricks I will haul your ass to the police station and kick you into a cell myself..."

"I might enjoy it!"

The twinkle was back in his eyes now, and he gave me a big lopsided grin. I ignored his come-hither look and concentrated on the SBS news.

The boy was not in a compliant mood though.

He took up a spot next to me on the sofa, yawning extravagantly, and casually draped one arm over my thigh. His ha nd went exploring, despite my attempts to bat it away, and he zeroed in on my groin and an already hardening cock.

"Got to keep in practice somehow..."

He gave me that stupid grin of his and poked his tongue out when I told him point blank to stop. 'No' seemed not to be in this kid's vocabulary. He pulled my zip down easily and slid a hand inside my pants, cupping my rapidly swelling cock through my briefs.

"Nice...I missed this after last night..."

"You were too busy pawning my stuff."

"Mine, I told you, I was supposed to keep it."

"You are one seriously sociopathic cunt mate. You could at least tell me your name."

His fingertips edged under the elastic, and I felt his touch on my leaking tip. I hissed, and my body arched in needful surrender. I had nothing on the French it seemed.

"Andrew, but you can call me Andy."

His mouth found mine and we were kissing, the feel of rough tongue deep in my throat so good. He was eager and unskilled and I loved that just fine. His grip on my cock felt like velvet steel as he stroked all the way to my hilt and back, my balls already churning from his touch.

Soft lips found my ear and nibbled.

"I want you to fuck me again mate..."

"No."

He cupped my scrotum and squeezed playfully, but I was firm in spirit and in flesh.

"I said no. I am not fucking you again, I shouldn't have the first time..."

"Awwwwww!"

"I said no..."

Clumsy hands went to work on my carefully tailored clothes. He stripped my jacket then my shirt, his lips now feasting on my chest and suckling nipples already tingling from his efforts. He knelt over my groin and rested his hands on my head for support, and I could not resist him entirely. I lent forward and pulled his rugby top over his head, and lapped at the taut lines of his chest and belly, tasting sweat and finding a river of liquid building already in his navel. His cock was angry, trying to escape his jeans, and I ran my own fingertips over him feeling the wide head obvious even through the denim.

"No..."

"What will make you do it?"

"Nothing. I don't trust you, and I know it's wrong…"

The first was real, t he second mere window dressing. But it would have to do.

"What will make it possible for you to trust me mate?" I sighed at that. An impossible dream, but I had a starting point.

"For starters, not taking my stuff. I should have got them to throw you in jail for that and thrown away the key. The watch…you have no idea. No fucking idea."

I had let it get to me, and he saw it too, his big eyes wide and sad, just as mine were misting with tears. I felt his hands on my chest and batted them away. When I looked up, he had dropped his head.

"I…I'm sorry Nigel. I…really. I can make it up to you though. Here."

As I watched, momentarily taken aback, he knelt on the floor in front of me, gently parting my legs. I watched, shaking my head.

"No!"

He was not to be deflected though, and I was doing a piss-poor job of deflection. He reached into my pants, pulling my length out. I was hard still, he had me and he knew it, but I was still clinging to a thread of control.

"No stealing my stuff."

"Yes Sir." He gave my swollen head a long, luxuriant lick. I hissed, my hands now laced in his fine blonde hair.

"No tricks."

"Yes Sir." His lips slid down, their progress down my shaft making my toes curl. I grasped his hair tight, tighter than I should, and he yelped but didn't stop. He reached bottom, as my resolve crumbled to powder.

I was in a trance then, on autopilot remembering the moves from decades ago, another life and another world. My hand slid over his head, feeling the long soft strands like silk. He pulled off and I almost cried, but only long enough to stand and strip completely. I rested my hands on his ass, and he turned to show it off to me, the most beautiful I had ever touched, muscled but taut, with prominent dimples. His tan line ran to the top of his cheeks, a line of demarcation between his back, which was merely beautiful, and his rear which was sublime. I touched it now, fingers feeling his soft skin, no hairs on his cheeks, some on his thighs, and as he spread his legs for me, a long line of soft blonde hairs coming into view in his cleft. I let out a shudderin g sigh

"Get on with it mate. We haven't got all fucking year."

Bending to him, I let my tongue go where it wanted. It seemed he wanted it too. His sigh was as beautiful as his body.

When he turned to me, I was shocked to see his eyes were full of tears, but they had a twinkle back.

"Can you please fuck me now mate?"

I shook my head, though my cock was so hard it felt unhealthy.

"Then let me fuck you if it makes you feel less guilty."

He had me, and he knew it. I knew it too.

I made him use a condom and lube. He lay back on the sofa, rolling his eyes in impatience as I went to collect them, and I came back to find him with his massive length of cock in his hands. Its pink magnificence already gleamed with precum, and he twisted a nipple as he stroked in absolute unabashed self-pleasuring and I loved watching it so much I almost came there and then.

Eventually I brought out the little packet and bit down to tear off a corner, removing the functional latex to wide eyed stares. Rolling it on his length felt amazing, and I lingered over the mundane task long enough to have his hefty sack bouncing in near climax. I was careful not to rub him too much when I applied the lube so I could avoid him shooting off too quick.

Stripping off, I straddled his groin, as he had done to me, and I let my rear slowly down onto his length. It felt so good and so painful in one, the first agony of his head, the rasp of his flesh on mine, the deep ache turning to a burn and then a throb as I hilted him with my ass on his thighs and his cock buried full length in my guts. We kissed long and deeply then, and his hand found my length and he jacked me with the same long pleasuring strokes I had seen him use on his own endowment.

It didn't take long before I felt his breath coming in gasps against my cheek and I pulled off the kiss to watch him. He had his eyes closed, his face almost peaceful for the first time I could remember. I kept riding his cock, not backing off, and his hand suddenly gripped my cock tight and would not let go.

"AHHHH!"

Suddenly I felt heat inside me. His chest muscles clenched, nipples, dancing, and when he relaxed it was with eyes still closed and his little pink tongue extended in satisfaction. When he opened them at last, he was grinning all over his face.

"Mate...sorry..."

"Shhhh..."

He was still hard. Oh for the vigor of youth. I rode him harder, and he cupped my cheeks and let me bounce on his cock and began to flex his thighs to drive up to meet me. I could feel the designer sofa creaking in outrage but didn't care. I was pretty sure this voided the warranty but there was no better way to do it.

When I came it was magic, and I sprayed a load all over his chest, decorating that lean mass of muscle and tanned skin with lines of pleasure. They dripped slowly down his belly as we held afterwards, both panting, both saying nothing, and he wrapped his arms around me and I felt strangely safe in ways I could not explain.

I ordered pizza, like a teenager again, and sent him down to collect it. He came back grinning from ear to ear and I took him to bed to eat.

"Hot fucker, that delivery guy...he wanted me too, I could tell."

"Do you ever think of anything apart from sex?"

"Food?"

He said this while shovelling half the pizza into his mouth. We drifted into an easy embrace with my head on his chest, and I wanted to sleep, but there were things I had to know first.

"What happened to you Andy?"

He tensed then and seemed to wait. Eventually when he spoke it was halting and laced with pain.

"My dad kicked me out."

"For being gay?"

"Yeah...you could say that."

"How did he find out?"

He laughed a bit, a bitter laugh, but a laugh nonetheless.

"I was busted sucking a guy off in the public toilets in the reserve near our place. Cops pulled me home and gave dad a right talking to for allowing me to be such a pervert. The sergeant was a mate of his, so he did him a favour or so he said. Wouldn't charge me, just leave me to dad to sort out. He beat the shit out of me, then he threw me out that night, told me if I ever came back he would kill me."

He wrapped his arms around me and shuddered. I was shuddering too in sympathy, and I let him nuzz le against my neck and cuddle my smaller body to his. Even gangly and young he was a massive unit.

Speaking of massive units, I felt one nudging my hole from the underside, and then sliding up and down my crack.

"No."

"Awwwwww..."

"No...I'm already too sore..."

He found an ingenious solution anyway, hotdogging his length between my cheeks until I felt a torrent of seed splashing my spine. He was snoring in minutes, and despite the sticky wet feeling I realised I had not felt this content in ages. I drifted off too, dreaming of a man with piercing blue eyes and a mischievous smile.

When I woke it was to find the bed empty again, and I rolled over grumbling at the empty feeling. This was becoming a habit it seemed. I was about to take a shower when the doorbell rang.

Heading downstairs I expected to find the boy. Instead I found a cop, in casual clothes, and looking slightly disgruntled. He looked at me, and especially my recently fucked contented air, and gave me a look of deep disapproval.

"Please tell me you didn't..."

"It's no business of yours!"

"It is you know. You made it mine when you came to my station, if you remember."

I had to admit he was right. I stood to one side and let him in and followed him up to the kitchen. Remembering the shit awful coffee in the police station I decided to make him something good and went to the cupboard for a packet of my best Grinder's blend and a genuine Italian espresso pot from Minimax.

He sat at the kitchen table, eyeing me up like I was a maniac, and ignored the Bircher muesli I laid in front of him. My man was not to be deflected it seems.

"Your boy is a mysterious one."

"I'm sure Matt..."

"He gave a name and address, before we were forced to drop the charges."

I ignored his accusing stare, whistling industriously as I put the coffee pot on the stove.

"Andrew McNaughton. No records in the database under that name, so I'm suspicious it's his real one. He had no ID on him."

"Hmmm..."

"The address he gave in Ringwood was fake. It's a shop, a copy centre to be precise."

"Seems he put one over you nicely Matt."

"Oh no he did n't Nigel. But I wish I could say the same about you."

His angry stare was accusing, and also sad. I matched his with defiance.

"You can't force me to do anything Matt..."

"No, I can't. And you can't force me to do anything either. I have his fingerprints, and I'm going to do some digging on our friend. Just because I'm looking out for you mind. Someone has to."

We ate in silence, and I sipped the coffee. He didn't touch his.

"You know Nigel, I can't take the good stuff. Station coffee is undrinkable if I get anything decent."

He dropped it in the sink with a sigh as he stood up to leave. I stood up too and found myself not wanting him to go.

"Matt...please..."

He gave me a kiss on the cheek, and a rub on my chest. Then he turned to leave.

"Tread carefully Nigel. You know nothing about our young friend. Nothing at all."

I didn't tell him that I did know some things. He would merely tell me I was being spun a line if I did. But somehow, I knew, the boy had told me the truth, and like the cop, I wanted to dig too. If I found his parents, I was going to do something serious, and though Matt might not like it, I would happily use his detective skills to find them. And then...

Well, first to find the boy again, and tell him to stop leaving in the morning. Morning snuggles were the best of all, and I hadn't had any for more than eight years. There was a serious backlog to be got through.

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