Terry and the Peachers

XV

By Michael Arram

'Well, that's that,' said Matt as he put the phone down. 'No Ansons, no Whittakers, no Pellews, no Gowers, and no Pigotts.'

'It was worth a try. And, who knows, maybe he really isn't in town.'

'That's good?' Matt looked unconvinced. 'Better the devil you know, Terry.'

'That devil I could do without. So it's back to Plan A, shadowing Paulie.'

'I'm off to the university, coming?' Matt stood up and pulled out a shoulder bag.

'Sure. I'll pop off afterwards and see me mum and dad. Didn't you have a plan to go up to Northampton, Matt?'

'I will, but later.'

They took a leisurely walk through the city centre, reminiscing about their earlier lives. Terry had slid back into the local patois.

'Iss better now I've left,' Terry decided. 'I like home, even though it's a boring city, wiv nothing much going on. Still, iss home, iss familiar. But now I get to see all the places I ever wanted, and the lives of the rich and famous. Christ, I danced in the White House! And I can come back here and see how far I've travelled in the meantime.'

'It's different for me, Terry. This place was the first time I'd left home to live on my own. It was liberation and possibilities. It still feels oddly exciting to be here.'

Terry paused at a sidestreet. 'Hey... y'know wass down here Matt?'

'The Queen's.'

'Come on, I wanna say hello to Frank and the boys.'

'OK then, let's do it. But not too long. I've got to see Dr Faber at three.'

The King's Cross was usually pretty empty in midday, and the same was true that day, although there was a scattering of drinkers, and several men at the bar.'

The barman, a waspish and vinegary middle-aged man, looked over when Terry entered. He snorted, 'If you want your job back, forget it Terry boy. Looks like you don' need the money anyway. Being screwed by a millionaire are you?'

'Love you too Frank. Just here as a customer, so be polite. Mine's a bitter. Matt?'

'At this time of day, a gin and tonic.'

Frank's eyes were drawn towards Matt and lingered. Several other heads had turned.

'Don't I know you from somewhere?'

Terry gave an evil grin, 'You probably wanked over his picture, Frank. This is Matthew White.'

'Fuck off, Terry. Sorry about him Mr White, he crawled out of the gutter and we gave him a bar job because we were sorry for him.'

'Steve still here?' asked Matt.

'You know Steve Wharton?' asked Frank and Terry simultaneously.

'Old mate from college.'

'He never said. He still helps out some evenings. I'm expecting him tonight in fact.'

They collected their drinks and found as quiet a corner as they could.

'So you and Steve...?' ventured Terry.

'Steve had a thing about me for years, a bloody annoying thing in fact. He tried to beat up Andy once, because he was with me. Fortunately he was so pissed at the time he couldn't have knocked over a four year old. He only snapped out of it last year, when he took up with Dave Evans.'

'Christ, I know both of 'em. I used to work on Saturday nights with Steve, and Dave was always here, naturally enough, sitting at the bar with his tongue hangin' out staring at Steve's muscles. They never mentioned you and Andy though. As for booze, I never saw Steve take a drop.'

'Ah, that would have been because of Dave. Another one of my admirers. They got together for a fan club meeting one day and discovered how sad they were, so they got off with each other instead.'

'Sounds very... romantic. Dave and Steve are still together and pretty happy, especially Dave. Steve is quite the sexual athlete: massive stamina, and the stamina is not the only massive thing he has, according to rumour.'

Matt pondered for a moment, 'We need to talk with Steve, he's a useful sort of bloke. Anyway, let's down these, and then get along. You go see your parents and I'll go see my supervisor. We'll meet up here again at six thirty, OK?'

Terry grabbed a taxi to get home, rather than walk the streets and get recognised by one of Anson's men. His dad and mum were both home. He had the best chat he had ever had with his father and had a lot of fun describing his new job, watching his father's jaw descend. He also began some guarded enquiries as to the likelihood of his father, night watch officer for the Central Division, stepping up patrols on Finkle Road. He hinted that his employer Mr Peacher was staying there incognito and needed screening from the press. His father was receptive to the idea, which astonished Terry no end. 'Great. Thanks dad.'

'That's OK son, I'm really glad to see you looking so happy and healthy. And... don't get me wrong... you've, er, changed a bit. Not so in-your-face gay, if you know what I mean. Not that I've got any objection to you being gay, but you did play up the limp-wristed thing more than a bit.'

'Ah well, dad, that was to shock you.'

'I'd more or less guessed that.'

He got a lift back after tea to the Queen's. Matt was not there, but Dave Evans was.

'Well bloody hell, Terry O'Brien. I like the clothes, like the hair, like the style too,' he marvelled. 'Who gave you a makeover?'

'Lo, Taff. Like the contacts... given up the specs I see. Where's your boyfriend?'

'Be in later... and how're you?'

'Working for Andy Peacher.'

'No. Seriously? Little Andy? That's landing on your feet. Where's your boss?'

'France, but Matt's here.'

Dave looked momentarily confused, but rallied. 'Good. I'd like to see Matt... well, who wouldn't, eh?'

'You'll see him in a few minutes, then. I was supposed to meet him here.'

Terry got the drinks, chatting with some of the regulars, catching up on the news. He circulated back to Dave.

'Dave, you seen this guy lately in the Queen's?' He produced the picture of Anson copied from one of his passports, the one in the name of John Whittaker.

'You with the cops now, Terry?'

'Not quite.'

Dave looked at the photo closely, 'Looks a little familiar, but I can't remember seeing him recently. Hang on, I'll go show Darren over there. He was talking to him here once.' He disappeared over to a table on the far side, where a couple of shaved heads in denims were drinking. He talked a while and came back. 'Dazzo says he saw him last week, not here but in the Lamb and Flag. He was trying to get Dazzo and his mate interested in a group sex session with another mate of his. Made the mistake of offering Dazzo money.'

'Shit. That's interesting, that's very interesting.'

Steve and Matt came in together, laughing, at this point. Steve had his big arm affectionately round Matt's shoulder. Terry caught the look in Dave's eyes, a mixture of faint jealousy and baffled lust, before it was wiped out by Steve coming up, leaning in and kissing the Welshman thoroughly; he pulled Dave onto his knee.

Matt sat down, and smiled a little ruefully at Dave. He took his hand gently and squeezed it, as if he was visiting a sick friend. 'Good to see you, Dave. How's the MA going.'

'Don't like the theory side, but the dissertation's rivetting work. I'm doing the decline of the coal industry in the Monmouthshire Valleys in the twentieth century. Doesn't interest anyone else, but fun if you're from a mining family in Tredegar.'

'And Steve?'

'He's interested in tunnelling too.' Steve guffawed.

'I asked for that. No, what I meant...'

'I know what you meant, Matt. He's settled down to some serious work, haven't you Steve? My money's on an upper second.'

'I been really good. I've done everything Davey told me to do, even grown my hair back.' Steve ruffled the thick unkempt mass of his chestnut hair with a fetching grin. Terry thought he looked pretty hot and even caught himself wondering what Dave's attitude would be to sharing his hunk. Perhaps not, he told himself sternly: keep your mind on the job in hand. He excused himself and went out into the backyard where the empty steel barrels were stacked. He put a call through to France, just to check up on Mark Rudat, and show him he wasn't forgotten. He had a cheerful exchange of jokes and a brief update on the house search round the city.

When he returned to the bar there had been a change in mood. Someone had said something he should not have, and Dave in particular looked uncomfortable. Matt was suddenly keen to wind up and get back to the hotel. Terry shrugged, downed his drink and followed Matt out, after saying his farewells to the others.

Matt was silent as they walked back through the city streets. The city had emptied of workers, but was beginning to fill up with revellers. Parties of underdressed girls and already tipsy boys were chattering enthusiastically and forcing others off the pavements. It was as he was jostled by a big group of Goths into the entrance of the indoor market, that Terry noticed a familiar face making its way down the other side of High Street. He pulled Matt in after him. Matt looked a question.

'It's Anson's sidekick, Laurie.' The man had not apparently noticed them, and they became very interested momentarily in a jeweller's shopfront.

'OK, Matt, I'm off after him. Oh, and by the way, Anson was in town last week. Go and e-mail an alert to Jenna at Paulie's.' Matt was gaping as Terry sidled off after the group of Goths, using them to screen him from Laurie's observation. They turned right at the top of High Street, while Laurie turned left on to the Swindon Road. This was not good, as the Swindon Road led over the river bridge and cut straight through an endless suburbia, with only occasional shops, garages and Pentecostalist churches to lend interest and cover until it launched out of the city into a wasteland of industrial estates. This was Riverside, which Northsiders like Terry despised. But just past the bridge was the Holiday Inn, a seven-storey block set back behind a car park full of flagstaffs. Terry took a gamble. He let Laurie cross the bridge and disappear. Then he ran across, just in time to see him, as expected, cross into the Holiday Inn. Terry smirked to himself.

He put on his shades and sauntered into the reception area. Laurie was nowhere to be seen now, but Terry sidled cautiously into the bar. It was populated with a scattering of salesmen, but no faces he recognised. He got a pint and took up station where he could watch the exit and the lifts. He rang Matt's number on his mobile. He picked up a discarded paper and pretended to read the racing pages.

'Lo Matt. Did you e-mail Jenna?'

'I certainly did. What was that about Anson?'

'He was in town last week, spotted by some friends of friends in the Lamb and Flag. So we can assume that a move against Paulie is imminent. And now we know where their base is. Isn't that grand. If only we had more troops. We can't protect Paul and shadow this lot at the same time. What I suggest is that me and Jenna meet up at nine. Tell her to come here and join me in the bar. OK?'

'What about me?'

'Matt, thanks for the offer, but your face rules you out other than as logistical support and sympathy. We'll meet at the Radisson for breakfast, same time as this morning.'

'OK Terry. By the way, you're good at this.'

'Cheers, Matt me mate. It's all that cottaging I did in me youth. It's payin' off dividends now.'

Jenna turned up promptly. She pretended to be his girlfriend, and took him by surprise when she closed in for quite a long kiss. He kissed back imagining that she was a really hot young gay twink, it almost worked.

He smiled, 'Good day, darling?' And as he was saying it, there came a sudden pang; a sudden realisation of what life would be like if Jenna and he were really what they were pretending to be. He would be mainstream, no one would look at him oddly or coldly. He would be acceptable and his parents would be happy... Now where the hell had that come from, he wondered.

She smiled back, 'Yes, dear. That Paul is quite a guy, one of the most interesting days I've ever spent. He can really explain Joyce.'

'It's a great thing that you're interested in English literature.'

'I wasn't, but I am now. But apart from that, the BMW was back. It took off after six, when a police patrol car pulled up alongside and asked a few pointed questions. It's a disk parking zone, and they weren't happy about his stay there, I gather. I'm afraid it's one of Anson's men alright. He has quite a team here, we're way outnumbered. And they won't use the BMW again.'

Terry smiled to himself. His dad had been prompt to act. 'Tsk,' he said. 'We'll keep watch on this place for a while together. I don't suppose you'll want to stay in a bar like this on your own for too long. All these salesmen will think they're in with a chance and you'll just get conspicuous. I suppose Paulie will be OK for a bit now the BMW had been chased off.'

Despite their hopes, Laurie didn't resurface, nor anyone else they recognised. They left at ten thirty.

The police were very evident on Finkle Road that night. Terry began to think his dad had overdone it, but it didn't seem that the house was under observation while Team Anson changed their car. Terry and Paul did not make love again, although Terry insisted to himself that it was not because of Matt's scolding. In the morning, he slipped out the back over an obscure side gate he knew, as Jenna took the day shift.

After a shower at the Radisson he met Matt for breakfast. Matt seemed disconsolate again. Terry followed him back to his suite. He sat gloomily on the sofa, while Terry tried to look attentive. Matt was not his boss, but since Matt slept with his boss, it amounted to more or less the same thing.

Eventually he said, 'I feel as useless here as I did in France, Terry. So I'm off to Northampton. I've got a hire car ordered for twelve.'

Terry nodded, 'You're not useless Matt, it's just you're too well-known a face for surveillance work. I'd rather you were here, it's good to talk to you, but I understand if you want to go see your parents. Any chance you'll be back in a few days?'

'It's Saturday. Mum will want to go to church with me tomorrow. I'll be back on Monday some time, I'll keep the suite. That OK with you?'

'Sure. But I have a feeling that things may well come to head before then.'

'You know this?'

'Just a feeling. The jackals are gathering. I wouldn't be surprised if Anson doesn't turn up today or tomorrow.'

'Monday then. But have you any plan for dealing with a snatch attempt on Paul or an assault on Finkle Road?'

'Jenna and me have talked it over. We've kept Paulie indoors, but he's got to come out soon or it'll look odd. We've got to make it look natural. So we're going to let him take a drive to church on Sunday morning for mass, we expect he'll be followed. But there's a thing we can do in the church car park... you remember it?'

'I do.'

'Well, let's just say that Paulie will innocently disappear towards the M4, and any pursuer may find it difficult to follow him.'

'And where will he go?'

'Crouch End, I expect, with Ben and Alex. We can keep him out of circulation there for a few days. That'll bugger up Anson's plans for a while. That's all we've really got to do, keep the target shifting for a couple of weeks while not looking as though we are. As soon as the axe comes down in the Peacher empire, we can take more robust measures. But by then Anson will have lost interest. Vengeance is no fun if you're not being paid for it.'

'Had it occurred to you, Terry, that you would then become the target?'

'Only if he knew I was here. Which I don't think he can know. The sources in Peacherland that might have told him have been shut down.'

Jenna and Terry stood together at the back of mass on Sunday morning. The church of St Francis of Assisi was quite full. At the angelus, Paul joined the early leavers, and Jenna slipped out with him, but showed no recognition. Terry ambled out a little later, and was not unhappy to be stopped by Fr Allenby, an elderly and intelligent priest who in normal circumstances he would have run from. Fr Allenby had an uncomfortable knack of guessing what went on in people's heads.

'So hello Terry. It's been a while.'

'Good to see you too, father.'

'And who was the young lady I saw you standing with, or were appearances deceiving me?'

'No, she was a lady. Just a colleague who is in town.'

'Aah, for a moment I thought that there had been a miracle and your orientation had veered wildly.' Fr Allenby had been school chaplain when Terry had come out. He had been very supportive. And as the priest said what he said, that fleeting pang came again to Terry, what if he was a straight...

'No father, still happy to be gay,' he asserted strongly.

'You certainly seem happier, my boy, and better dressed. New job?'

'New job... and a boyfriend.' Now why, Terry said to himself, did I tell him that?

But the old man smiled mildly and said, 'That's good. It's only love that changes things for the better in this world, Terry. And you won't argue with me when I say that there're things about you that need changing.'

'Er... no, father.' He shook his hand and pressed on out.

Terry smiled broadly as he stopped inside the porch. Paul's silver Rover had already disappeared, and Jenna - acting the dumb blonde - had reversed and stalled across the exit which led to the M4 feeder road on to which Paul had escaped. A people carrier driven by Laurie, but with two others in it, was stuck. It had tried to get past Jenna, and then tried to reverse to the further exit, only to find it blocked by the crowd of worshippers. Laurie was by this time thumping the wheel and swearing. Terry edged behind the church notice board and tried to memorise the faces of Laurie's companions. He did not recognise them, although one of them was stocky enough to have been BMW man. Eventually Jenna managed to extricate her car, and they drove off forlornly after Paul, but they would never catch him up now. Jenna pulled in to pick up Terry.

'That went well, Jen.'

'Call me Jen again, and I'll shatter each of your metatarsals individually.'

'I might enjoy pain.'

'Not the way I do it.'

Terry giggled, 'Did you get a good look at Team Anson.'

'I did, as I was fluttering helplessly at the controls. That was Laurie at the wheel, I imagine.'

'Yes it was.'

'I'll recognise the other two when I see them again. So what about the next four days? No Paul, nothing to do.'

'There's nothing stopping you taking a couple of days to yourself, if you want.'

'Shall do, then. What about you?'

'I'll wait for Matt, he's coming back tomorrow. I have an idea about the Holiday Inn I want to pursue. I'll see you at the Radisson: Wednesday at nine thirty in the morning.'

Terry sat in the Radisson bar on Sunday evening, watching the sports channel and nursing a pint. He was feeling relaxed and fancy free. He was also tingling with suppressed excitement. He felt on a roll this evening and his libido was high. He'd been observing the other men at the bar, and two were shooting speculative glances, but none of them were the slim, shy and dark types that got him fired up. He was more choosy these days. At that moment a small backside in tight dark trousers floated past his view. A young waiter tidying up flashed a shy and interested glance at him. He smiled back encouragingly, but the boy disappeared, although not without a backward glance from the door. He must have been Ramon's age.

After half an hour, Terry, disappointed, gave in. He finished his glass, and went to the bar to hand it to the barman. Having worked behind the bar, he had a conscience about causing other barmen unnecessary work.

'Thanks. Another drink sir?'

'No thanks. It's quiet in here.'

Usually is, sir. The sort of client we have isn't into karaoke and live bands. The management don't want us on the city pub crawl circuit.'

'Don't get me wrong. There are nights I like it quiet too, and tonight seems to be one of them. Can I get some quick food?'

'There's room service or the carvery.'

'Think I'll take room service. Night.'

Terry had a shower when he got back, put on a terry robe, sat on the bed and got out the room service menu. He put in his order. Twenty minutes later he hit the jackpot. He opened the door on the young waiter from the bar, who looked momentarily confused and tongue-tied, before apologising and bringing in his trolley. Terry suddenly knew his luck was in. How to manage this.

The boy shot a look at Terry under his long lashes and asked if he should put the food on the table. Terry came up quite close and thanked him. The boy began unloading, and whether it was nerves or a hopeful strategy, dropped the cutlery. Terry shot down beside him to pick them up, the robe revealing rather a lot of the parts of him which were not generally on display, and his hand closing over the boy's. He clung on as they got up. 'What's you name?'

'Will,' was the low reply.

'I'm Terry. When are you off duty?'

'Half an hour.'

'I'll still be here in half an hour.'

'Might see you then.' He gave Terry a sudden sexy look that reminded him of his own lubricious grin.

The boy left and forty five minutes later there was a soft knock on his door. It was Will of course, in an outdoor coat. He squeezed in and stood close to Terry, not sure what to do next. Terry leaned in and touched the boy's lips with his own, licking them lightly. They tasted of toothpaste. This was sweet, the boy had tried to get ready. Then Terry moved in closer and began a proper kiss, pushing onto the warmth and wetness of his mouth. Their arms wrapped round each other, and Terry felt the boy's arousal through his trousers.

Terry broke off the kiss. 'You done this before?'

Will's eyes dropped, 'Not really... does that matter?'

'We'll take it slow, and see where you want to go.'

'I want to go all the way.' Will looked very serious about it, 'I'm ready to lose it, Terry.'

Terry led him into the bathroom, and he undressed the boy. He was slim, slender-limbed and quite well-proportioned; Terry admired his gorgeous neat ankles and narrow feet. Terry threw off his own robe, and the boy admired him, 'Jesus, you're fantastic. Man, what a cock.'

'Let's see your package, Will.' He pushed down the boy's boxers over his white buttocks, and admired in his turn the modest white dick that sprang out.

'It's not very big,' said Will apologetically. 'And don't say size doesn't count.'

'It's beautiful.'

'Really?'

'Yeah.' Terry took the naked boy in his arms and meshed their groins. Will was trembling noticeably. He led him over to the shower, turned it on and pulled Will in. He began soaping him up and kissing him. Finally he got down to his arse. The boy caught his breath as Terry's fingers found his anus and began working soap into his crack, and then deeper into him. The anal ring gave, and with the boy bracing himself in the stream of water against the tiles, Terry began giving him a thorough and enjoyable finger-fucking. He was glad he had. Will hadn't cleaned in there recently.

Terry finished him off and left the water. They dried and Terry led him to the bed. 'Let's get serious, babe,' he said, placing Will sitting on the edge. He got between his legs and began a thorough blow job; the boy was soon panting and groaning, and shot hot semen into his mouth after only a minute's worth of excitement.

Will looked disappointed when he had recovered his breath, 'You want more?' He nodded. Terry swarmed up on to the bed and pulled Will up next to him. They kissed and caressed for a while, Will drawn to Terry's rampant manhood. Eventually he moved down and began to take it into his mouth.

'Mmm. That's good, babe. Don't brush it with your teeth. Try playing with my balls and arse too... real good.' After five minutes solid attention, Terry shot his load. Will had drawn back when he felt the pulsing of Terry's cock, and he sprayed him thickly over his lower face and neck. Terry moved down and licked it up, closing on the boy's mouth to share his taste. As he kissed the boy's small ears, he whispered, 'Ready for some arse, soldier?'

'What, you mean, up your bum?' He sounded unbelieving, 'I thought you'd want to do me.'

'Maybe later, you want there to be a later, don't you?'

'Oh yes, Terry... yes please.'

He turned on his back, gave his bedside lube to Will and told him to get busy, and Will tentatively went to work on his anus, chirping with delight when he found he could get more and more fingers into Terry's experienced hole. Then Terry sat up, fitted a condom on the boy, and invited him in. Will plunged in enthusiastically, but made a creditable job of postponing his ejaculation. But eventually he grunted and came, and fell forward on to Terry. Terry turned over. He liked post coital hugging and kissing, it was one of the many nice things about him. The boy was almost cross-eyed with confusion and content as he wrapped him in his arms.

They lay together, and Will began spilling out the story of his short life, naked in soul as well as body. Terry was suddenly alarmed; there were going to be consequences. It was just like Dom all over again. But Dom had at least taught Terry to listen, and listen he did, kissing the boy and smiling at him as he talked. He heard about his problems with his little brothers, his parents not understanding him, and the other boys he dreamed of sleeping with but whom he couldn't be sure of. At last Will looked across at the clock, leapt up and started dressing.

'Shit. Gotta get home, iss college tomorrow, and me parents wanted me home half an hour ago.' Will was a Riversider, on one of the fifties estates. 'I'm on tomorrow night at seven... but I could be here earlier.'

'That'd be great, Will... oh and one other thing.'

'Yeah?'

'You're really beautiful, y'know, and so sexy.'

The boy's eyes glistened, he kissed Terry briefly, smiled and left. Phew! More like Simon than Dom, Terry noted with relief.

On Monday Terry booked into the Holiday Inn for two days, not that he was expecting to sleep there. He smiled to himself as he used the name of Hartash. He took station in the bar again and concealed himself in a convenient corner where he could watch the reception area. So when one of Team Anson arrived he was out like a shot and saw the room number he was given.

Will's soft tap on the door found Terry uncharacteristically nervous. He opened the door and the boy slid in, his face shining. He embraced and kissed Terry with a clumsy passion that was irresistible. He was already undressing as they reached the bed. Naked, they lay together for a while stroking and kissing. Terry's hand was drawn more and more to the warm damp area between Will's legs, stroking and cupping his balls and finally fingering round his anus. He made up a pile of pillows against the headboard to support Will reclining upright and then, with the boy's legs hooked up over his shoulders, he began licking and sucking at the muscles of his anus. Will obliged with sighing and some low moaning. Terry's tongue was succeeded in time by his oiled fingers, and by then Will was gasping and arching with the abandon that Terry loved. 'Oh God! Oh Christ! I didn't know it would be like this!' he squealed as he squirmed under Terry's practised fingers.

Terry pulled back, pushing Will's legs back on to his chest. His hole was well opened and gaping slightly as the boy kept pushing down on it with his pelvic muscles as Terry had taught him. He looked at the boy's nervous and expectant face. 'We'll take this slowly, babe.' He lined himself up at the boy's hole, put on a condom, oiled it, and made contact. A slight push brought half his cock head into Will, who groaned and clamped down, his muscles trying to push Terry out. Will did not yell, but his face took on a look of preoccupation. It took quite a while for him to pop inside his muscle ring, which caused the boy to gasp with pain when it happened. Then Will stopped grimacing and let out his breath in a shuddering heave. 'Babe, we'll just let gravity take you slowly down my length, OK?' Will gave a brave little nod. His hand snaked down to feel where Terry's cock was penetrating him, and as he shifted on it, his lips gave a little gasping 'Ooh!'

Terry loved that long fifteen minutes as Will slowly impaled himself on his cock, squirming, reaching down and measuring his progress. He kissed the boy, sucked and licked at his brown nipples, until finally he was fully inside him.

'Wow, you did so well, babe.'

'Terry... God you're big. I feel like I'm doin' the biggest crap in me life.'

'Believe me, babe, a crap is the last thing you'll be wanting for the next couple of days.'

'It don't feel so bad now.' Will gave a delightful wiggle with his hips. Terry pressed on him and began to pull out and push in, very slowly at first, helped by the condom's lubrication. Will grunted as the air was pushed out of him. Soon Terry was rhythmically stroking in and out, and Will's enjoyment increased with the pressure on his prostate. Terry was loving the expression on the boy's face, by turns preoccupied and ecstatic, his cock glistening and dripping between them with leaking cum. The tempo picked up and with a shout Terry came tumultuously. He rolled to the right, pulling Will over on top of him, kissing and embracing, still embedded deep in his arse. Will pulled himself off Terry's still erect penis with a sucking noise; it slipped out of its plastic sheath. Terry pulled the hanging condom out of him, creditably full of his ejaculation.

'How d'y feel, babe.'

'Empty... but happy. I'm a real, grown-up queer now, aren't I?'

'As bent as they come, me little gay lover. You have been royally fucked up the arse.'

Will hugged and kissed him, stroking all over Terry's body. He looked seriously into his hazel eyes, 'I love you, Terry.'

Terry's heart sank. Will probably meant it, and he could not reply in kind. He loved doing what he was doing to Will. He thought he was sweet, and a beautiful lay. But he did not feel for this skinny, pretty suburban kid what he felt for Ramon, and never could.

Rather than reply, he let his lips find Will's cock and began stimulating him to the point of ejaculation, relishing the heavy spurt of semen when it came, and drinking it all down. They dozed together, until Terry prodded the boy to dress and go on duty.

'Promise you'll fuck me again when I come back.'

'If your arse will stand it.'

Will disappeared with a grin and another wiggle of his hips, sexy in its innocence. He was back and stood another rougher, harder pounding before midnight and then refused to leave, but hung on to Terry through the night and wanted to be fucked again before breakfast. This was far more than Terry wanted. Attractive though Will was, Terry was only in search of sex, but the boy was clearly not mature enough to realise this. The shade of Dom rose to accuse Terry. How to let him down gently without reproaches and tears? How about running?

Terry packed a bag and headed over to the Holiday Inn as soon as Will had sneaked off home early on Tuesday morning. He took possession of the first floor room and rang back to the Radisson. Matt was still not returned.

Terry lay on the bed. The incident with Will the Willing Waiter and the encounter with Fr Allenby had taken its toll on him. Then there was the fact that he had wilfully reactivated his old affair with Paul, whom he knew was, as they say, spoken for. He loved good sex with other young men, and was quite happy to take bad sex with older men if that was all that was on offer. He had confidence in his abilities in bed and he knew he was a kind and considerate, if indefagitable lover. What was wearing him down was the emotional consquences when men read more into the fuck or the blowjob than was there; also, he guiltily admitted, there was the Ramon factor. In retrospect he had felt hurt when Ramon - still not much more than a boy - proved able to read him as someone who could not stand against his own libido. The fact that it was true was just as irksome. Terry was not being allowed to be happy with himself and with his life anymore. He hated that.

He rang the Radisson again and this time Matt was there; they arranged to meet for brunch. Terry slipped out of the Holiday Inn without seeing any of Team Anson. Still in bed sleeping their failure off, he imagined.

Matt was sitting in all his moody magnificence in the restaurant, toying with a fruit salad. Suddenly Matt felt more of a kinship with this beautiful man than he ever had before. Matt made him nervous, not just because of his looks, but because of his evident brain power. But here he was, as confused and unhappy as Terry, for all his advantages.

'Morning, Matt.'

'Hi, Terry. So Paul got off safely then?'

'Certainly did, Jenna was magnificent. She's followed him up to London to tie up some personal business. We're not expecting Paulie back till Friday.'

'Good. We need to talk, Terry.'

'Bout what, Matt?'

'About you and Paulie to start with.'

'What can I say, Matt? I didn't seduce him... well, only a little. What he got was what he wanted. And look at it this way, there're issues in his life Paulie has to work out. Whatever you think of me, I'm just the catalyst here. He wanted sex with me, because I think he wanted it to find out if sex with men was what he was all about before he committed to the girl. I ain't gonna haunt him or look for a relationship... or at least that sort of relationship. It was just as well it was me, wasn't it? At least I care for him in my funny way.'

'Terry with the caring cock.'

Terry wasn't going to put up with this, 'And what about you, Matt?'

'Pardon?'

'I can see why you might be pissed at me cos of Paulie, but there's more to this than just Paulie, isn't there? You've been brooding over the landscape like a thundercloud for weeks. You had a row with Dave Evans over something. So I ask, wassup?'

The handsome face became more solemn yet, the fathomless dark eyes on the tablecloth, like an archangel meditating on the fate of humankind. The silence went on for quite a while, long enough for even Terry to become uncomfortable. Finally Matt looked up and gave Terry a quirky smile that almost stopped his heart... God, the man is so very beautiful, and, he finally admitted it, desirable. Damn, damn, damn. He had become another victim of Matthew White. His cock had sprung to attention, sniffing the air, hoping to be let out. Down boy.

'Terry, you have an erection.'

And for the first time in a long time, Terry blushed red and stuttered. 'Er, um... happens all the time.' But he knew that Matt had read him, and was amused in his Olympian way.

'You're nineteen, Terry, and an incorrigible cruiser. You don't need to explain anything, but you're right... I do. Terry, I'm going to leave Andy, at least for a while. Our relationship needs time to sort itself out. I have no doubts that he loves me and me alone, deeply and passionately. The problem is me. My head is totally fucked, not to put too fine a point on it. That Burnett business last year took too much out of me. I never had time to come to terms with it, and now all this has erupted round me. It's like living in the middle of a Jacobean tragedy, and I'm not cut out to be the duchess of Malfi... I'm just a simple, loving queen at heart. I told Andy last weekend not to expect me back any time soon. I want to put the world of wealth and power and homicide behind me. I'm bailing out. I just want to be a British postgrad and get on quietly with my work, not to travel the world dodging assassins. Dave told me I was being selfish, and I disagreed with him.'

'Oh,' was all Terry could say. Wow, he thought, the great love affair of our days, ended, just like that. And another part of his head told him that he had to get in touch with Mark Rudat and put the house search in Wiltshire on hold.

[Editor's note] Pease use only water based lube with latex condoms. An oil based one will make the latex disintegrate and you will have no protection from infection. Terry used, as it says in the text, plastic condoms. He's no fool
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