The Chav Prince

XIV

By Michael Arram

A cloud settled over Highgate a few days later, after Will had left to return to his home in Strelzen. The interview happened and it was fun; Nathan and Justin posed for a photographer in the designer lounges of Matt's house and in the summer garden. The only clothes they were talked out of were their shoes and socks. They even did a formal 'family portrait' style shot with Matt and Andy. Copies of the shots were all over Justin's board. But the day after the interview Nathan and Justin had their first serious difference of opinion.

It began with a kiss. Justin did try to be good. If he had to have an early morning smoke, he hung out the window or slipped out into the garden, but that day he had lit up in the bathroom, the only room without smoke alarms, and when Nathan had come in behind him Justin had offered to kiss him, but Nathan had automatically shied away.

'Wha...?' Justin had felt a twinge of rejection and didn't like it.

'You've been smoking in the house, oh Justin!' Nathan scolded. Scolding was not something he did in general, but he had been surprised into it.

Justin kicked automatically into aggression, 'So! If I wanna fag, I ave a fag. No skin off your nose. Whatchu coming all heavy for? You're not me dad. I never had a fuckin' dad!'

Without any intention on his part, Justin's face twisted back into the sneer not seen there for several months now. His delicate good looks were squeezed away by the grimace, and he no longer looked the pretty boy he was. Nathan recoiled, unable to say anything, but just staring. With Justin that was the worst thing to do. His aggression had to be met and subverted, as the more mature Matt and Andy had understood, but such behaviour was alien to Nathan.

'Why you lookin' at me like that? You think you're too good for me doan' you? Iss not just the smoking. All the time you're criticisin' me and doin' me down! I'll never be good enough for you, Lord fuckin' Underwood. Get the fuck out of my life you superior git.' He pushed past Nathan and into their room, slamming the door behind him.

And now they were in the kitchen, and not talking. Nathan was floundering, and indeed he had no idea what to say without making things worse, so he looked woebegone. Justin's anger was feeding on itself, and he took Nathan's silence as a further accusation. Matt came in, scented the emotional storm, looked at the two boys and left without a word. It had to happen sooner or later, and they would have to sort it out. It was a silent couple that boarded the Andersons van.

They spent the whole day doing no more than grunt at each other. They went their separate and miserable ways for lunch, and by then it was not just Nathan who was desolate. Justin's anger had boiled off into space and he was depressed and guilty. With guilt came further emotions, and for the first time in his life he hinted to himself that he might just possibly have a share in the blame for a situation. Then he too became woebegone. At three thirty he looked across at Nathan with a sad expression. And that was all Nathan needed, he leapt on Justin, hugging him frantically. 'I'm so sorry, Justy. I must be hard to live with.'

'No iss not you,' came the smothered reply, 'iss me and me temper. I'm juss not good enough for you, Nate. I try, but iss too hard.'

'I know you try, Justy. It's why you're such a hero to me.'

'Wha' me? A hero? Come off it.'

'Well yeah. What you've done and how you've changed this year. It is seriously heroic. And you're all I want and more. You're good enough for me alright. I love you.'

'Oh God. And I love you too, so much. Thass it! I'm givin' up them smokes as of now.'

'Eh!' Nathan was impressed, but alarmed. 'You think you can?'

'I gotta. Iss bad for me health. And you doan' like kissin' an ashtray do yah?'

'OK Justy. But we'll take it easy OK? Tell you what. How about you come to the gym with me this evening? Exercise may help take your mind off things.'

Justin grinned, 'Done.'

So they exercised on frames and running machines, sweat pouring off their bodies, and since the changing room was empty they had daring sex standing naked in the middle of the benches, the sex heightened by the imminent possibility of discovery. There was also the fact that it was their first experience of the sweet sex that follows on from a lovers' reconciliation.

'God. That was better than ever!' Nathan groaned, after he unloaded in Justin. 'I wanna faint.'

'Don't take your stiffie outa me, iss all thass holdin' me upright.'

'We've got to get dressed, someone could come in at any time.'

'OK. OK. But iss late and the place is almost empty. Do me again.'

'No, you nutter. You can do me when we get back home.'

It was all Justin could do to stop himself dragging Nathan down any dark lane they passed on the way home. His passion for his lover amazed even him, and when they were finally in bed and Justin was inside Nathan, smiling up at him from their bed, he came almost immediately, in fountains. 'Ooh Justy! You disappointed?'

'No, embarrassed. That was almost a premature ejaculation. But hell, I'm not deflatin'. I'm ready to do it again.' He came almost as copiously twenty minutes later. The two exhausted boys slumped and then slept, too exhausted even to turn out the room lights.

Justin woke and felt around for the fag packet on his sidetable. Then he remembered, he had thrown it off the Hornsey Viaduct ceremonially on the way home from the gym. He had a moment's reluctant regret, then he caught Nathan's sleeping face and breathed out a sigh. He would overcome it, yes he would, for Nathan.

Justin ate a big breakfast, which was unusual for him. Nathan always ate a big fry up, and he silently made another for Justin when he saw how hungry he was. 'Do you think this is how your body is coping with withdrawal symptoms from the nicotine.'

Justin belched with no embarrassment at all, 'Scuse me. Yeah. Food takes me mind off the craving. But we better go and do something again tonight so I can work off all the extra carbohydrates and then... dunno, maybe we could do some extra stuff in the shower, know what I mean?'

'I remember someone telling me that if you could last out the week, you gotta good chance of kicking the habit.'

'Really?'

'Yeah. Also that withdrawal will make you crabby and horrible to everyone round you.'

'So how will you tell the difference?'

'Don't be hard on yourself, Justy. You're great to be with... most of the time. You're gloriously mad and funny, and so sexy. When you really want it bad, you got this look in your eyes like there's a fire burning behind them. Gives me the chills.'

'I doan' deserve you, Nate. I really don't.'

Another hard day's work helped, as did a swim in a local pool after work. They had dinner at home with Matt and Andy.

'So, what's up, Justy?' asked Andy 'There's something different about you. Something not hanging out the side of your mouth.'

'I gave up the ciggies,' he said proudly. 'It's been twenty four hours now...'

'... and counting,' smiled Nathan.

'Yeah, I'm embracin' health and clean livin', and plenty of exercise'

'Yes,' said Andy, 'me and Matt can hear you two working out sometimes. It's impressive.'

'Sorry to make you guys feel inadequate.'

Matt guffawed, 'It's a phase, Justy. We went through it, and it evens out eventually. But at the moment it's good that you can't get enough of it. And yes, it does make us feel inadequate...'

'... as did Pete and Tim in their turn,' Andy chipped in, 'God, were they insatiable. The bed had to be resprung in Annandale when they left for university. They couldn't get enough of each other.'

'Yeah, so Pete said, no wonder they...' Justin stopped and suddenly flushed red. Andy looked immediately suspicious. His slip had been noticed.

'No wonder they... what? Justin! Did they talk you into bed with them on the Speculator? Just the sort of thing Pete would do.'

'Er... no.'

'What were you going to say?'

'Nothing. Honest.'

'Who have they been sleeping with then... oh no. I bet I know... Ramon and Tim have a thing - I noticed - as do Pete and Terry for that matter. They had a foursome didn't they?'

Justin was bright red. 'Not saying.'

'You don't have to.' Andy looked at Matt. 'I could have guessed. That Terry should have known better, he's supposed to protect Pete, not shag his brains out. If my dad ever found out, not all that Terry has done for the family would save his ass.'

Justin was distraught. His face was red and Nathan saw with some anxiety that it was pinching into that dreadful grimace that went with an outburst, and then he noticed something even worse, that tears were in the boy's eyes too.

'Andy,' he cut in, 'you won't tell on Justin, will you? He didn't mean to tell you anything and you tricked it out of him. Please say you won't tell.'

Andy saw the tears in Justin's eyes and the fear in Nathan's, and was moved. 'No I won't. And you've done nothing wrong Justy. It's not that I didn't have suspicions... Pete is as randy as a ferret on heat, and Tim is so sex-obsessed he can be very dangerous. As for Terry, well we all know his history. No I'll keep it to myself and hope they can keep out of each other's pants. If the press ever heard of it... but at least Terry would never let that happen, which I suppose was why Pete let it get so far with him.'

The boys left and Nathan looked at a silent Justin as they were climbing the stairs. He was furious again, and clearly furious with Nathan.

'Waddya poke your nose in for! I'm not a kid, Nate! I doan' need you to wipe my arse. I coulda dealt with it.'

Nathan's heart sank again, 'Sorry Justy, I didn't mean to...'

'You're always treatin' me like a kid.'

Nathan's heart was wrung. It hurt so much when they fell out, and he still had no idea how to deal with Justin in a bad mood. 'No... I didn't mean anything like that. It's just the look on your face, I felt so sorry for you. I just wanted to help, Justy! Please.'

Justin scowled at him and when the door had closed on them he said curtly, 'You're on the sofa.' And Nathan found he had no choice but to curl up in his boxers pulling a throwover on top of himself while Justin occupied the bed. He was at last beginning to find that he could be resentful, and he resented this treatment. He drifted off in a haze of hurt and confusion.

He awoke an hour later to find a warm and naked body snuggled against him, clasping him with its arms. A kiss landed on his nose. Justin whispered in his ear. 'I knows yer awake, Nate. I'm sorry. I'm a cunt. I doan' know why I treats you like I do. Maybe it was watchin' all those bastards treat me mam like shite over the years. Maybe I doan' know any better now, but I'm sorry.'

Nathan was possessed by feelings strange to him till now. He threw the cover off them both, picked up Justin effortlessly and dumped him back on the bed. He ripped down his own boxers and forced back Justin's legs. It was more than passion he felt this time, it was anger too. Without any preparation he pushed his dry erection hard into Justin. Justin arched under him with the pain as Nathan's big and blunt cockhead forced aside the lips of his anus.

But Justin was urging him on. 'Yeah, thass right Nate, hurt me. It makes me feel better. Hard. Thass it. Fuck me like the cunt I am!'

And Nathan thrust into him brutally, tearing into his rectum: taking out his own pain by punishing Justin's hole. He spurted hard into the boy, and fell on him. Justin held him and stroked his hair, kissing his face. 'I needed that,' he gasped.

Nathan held him, wonderingly 'Why?'

'Cos you treat me too nice, Nate. You gotta fight me, or I'll just piss on you. I'm that sort of bloke. You gotta learn or we won't last. I feel it. I may still love you, but I'll lose respect for you. Act like a carpet and I'll walk all over you on the way to the door.'

Nate rolled off his lover. 'I don't know if I can do that, Justy. In my world confrontation and argument means you've failed, it's a surrender to the worst side of you. I can't remember my parents arguing with real anger. I can't even remember them ever telling me off. Argument is painful. It means hurting someone back, and I can't abide hurting anyone.'

'... except greenfly.'

'Greenfly are evil and must be exterminated, as also slugs. But that's not the same thing at all. The idea of deliberately hurting you makes me feel horrible.' Needing to clean himself up, he suddenly sat up and flicked on a bedside light and he was horrified at what he saw. 'Look, I got blood on my dick. Your blood. I've torn you. Oh God. This is awful.'

Justin looked at him coolly. 'No iss not. Happens a lot, we both know it. Between two lovers iss as common as a nosebleed or chapped lips. I'll wash me arse in cold water; it'll sting, go away and be forgotten, just like our arguments will if you realise that the love underneath can't be hurt. You gotta grow up, Nate. The world's not always nice, and you can't make it nice juss by bein' so nice yourself.'

Nathan got up and washed his genitals in the bathroom; Justin followed him and asked him to look at his anus and wash it. There was little damage done, just a slight tear to his pucker. Although it had bled, it was already clotted and ready to be washed clear. Nathan knelt and kissed the damage he had done to his lover, and then worshipped his small and smooth buttocks, with licks and kisses. Justin stood and enjoyed the attention, smiling into the mirror. They eventually embraced and returned to bed, sleeping in one another's arms till the alarm woke them.

On their way to work the next morning, Nathan hopped out of Anderson's van and picked up a copy of Gay Universe from a newsagent. The lady at the counter gave him a warm smile. 'Sorry, love. I've not got a bag to put it in, will it be alright to carry it like that?'

Nathan smiled back, 'It's OK... glad to be gay.'

'Bad news for the girls, dear,' she added. Mr Anderson saw the magazine and did a double take, then he gave the boys a really close look. They smiled back at him and snuggled together in the back of the van. He shrugged.

They weren't on the cover, but they had a three page spread inside. There were lots of pictures, including a nice one of Justin and him on the carpet leaning back against a sofa, barefoot, Justin clasped round the waist by Nathan. They looked really sweet.

'Doan' we look sweet?' laughed Justin, 'just the sorta lads that any long lost dad would be keen to meet. Read out wha' they said about me and me background.'

Nathan read, 'Justin's mother died of cancer earlier this year, leaving him a theoretical orphan. But he knows the name of his father, a gay North Londoner called Jack Whittaker, and he is very eager to trace him. "Not that I intend leaving Matt and Andy's care," Justin said, "They've been brilliant and I can't imagine my life without them. They've taught me so much about how to be a teenage gay and proud of it. But knowing my father may be out there somewhere, maybe still living in London, fascinates me. I'd like to meet and talk at least, although I'm not looking for a relationship unless he wants."' Nathan laughed. 'They left out all the "fuckings" you put in every third word, and it's grammatical now.'

'Ha ha,' scoffed Justin, 'So now we'll see what happens.'

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