Max and Me

by c m

Chapter 9

Over the next week I was busy putting stuff together for Oxford. Having been to boarding school, I had some idea of what to do – and the thought of being away from home didn't faze me. I'd decided not to take the car, and Dad was happy to take me and drop me off which made things easier.

The first term of the first year starts with Freshers' week; a chance for all the new students to get know their way round before lectures and tutorials started. There was a big Student Fair where all the clubs and societies had tables. There seemed to be no limit to the activities available if the mood took you. I registered my interest with the University Hockey club, and was told that Trials would be taking place on the Monday and Tuesday of the following week once all the other students had returned.

I wondered if I should join Gaysoc – the club for gay and lesbian students - but it all seemed a bit too 'out' and political to me. I had decided that whilst I would be honest with anyone who asked or wanted to know if I was gay or not, I wasn't going to broadcast it around unnecessarily.

In College, I had been given a very nice set of rooms; a generous sitting room with a leather sofa and chairs and a reasonable-sized bedroom with a small but functional shower and toilet in what had once, I assumed, been a set of wardrobes. It was one of a set of eight identical rooms in a block, and over the first few days I had met all of my neighbours and had coffee with most of them. They were a real mix – in terms of subject, the type of school they had been to, and gender. Coming from an all-boy school that was perhaps the most striking difference.

I got on particularly well with the boy in the rooms opposite mine, Ian Landy. He was studying Maths, but had been to a modest public school like me – and he played hockey. He was only about five foot nine, but an absolute ball of energy who always seemed to have a smile on his face. He also made great coffee – and we hit it off at once. He was quietly good-looking with non-descript brown hair that he wore just off his collar. He was invariably dressed in jeans, an open-necked shirt and well-worn trainers. If the weather was cold, he wore a slightly scruffy, but clearly much-loved, Arran sweater that had canvas patches on the elbows. He was easy to talk to and had a seemingly inexhaustible supply of stories about his diverse and unorthodox family and upbringing. He had a knack of getting people together, and in that first week, after lunch, there would often be four or five us in his room drinking coffee and getting to know each other. I really liked him. And he really seemed to like me. We were completely at ease in each other's company – and he was the first guy I came out to at Oxford.

We'd gone out for a drink and, as we sat there, a couple of very pretty girls came past. One of them winked at me.

"Woo Chris. You see that? She definitely fancies you. Mind you, with your looks, I imagine that happens all the time."

I just shrugged, helplessly. "What's a boy to do?"

"I know what I'd do, I'd go and offer her a drink – assuming you fancy her. Or do you have someone back home?"

"Umm, yes, Ian. I have someone back home."

"Doesn't that make life difficult? I mean, I admire you for it, but it must be hard to keep a relationship going when you're apart. Is she at Uni too? I couldn't do it. For me, part of the excitement is the freedom to meet and date whoever I want. And if were half as good-looking as you, I'd be beating them off with a shitty stick."

"I understand. But my someone back home is kind of special. And we have an agreement about our time at Uni."

"How intriguing; tell me more."

I took a deep breath – but something told me it was going to be OK.

"Well, first of all, you need to know that it isn't a 'she', it's a 'he'."

It took him about two seconds to process this information. And then he held up his hands.

"Oh man. Me and my big mouth. I'm so sorry – I should have thought." His face cracked into a smile. "So you're gay? Wow. Have you known him long?"

"About eighteen months."

"How did you meet?"

And so I told him my story.

"Oh my word, Chris. That's – extraordinary. I'm so sorry about Mark, but Max sounds amazing."

"He is, Ian. And we are determined to make it work."

"I can see that. And I understand. Please forgive my stupid talk earlier."

"Nothing to forgive."

He grinned. "There's going to be a lot of disappointed girls. Can I tag along with you and offer to pick up the pieces?"

I looked at him and we both creased up with laughter.

"Yes, Ian. That would be fun. And you're OK hanging out with a gay boy?"

"I'm OK hanging out with you, Chris. You're a really nice guy and you're fun to be with. Can I just ask, are you 'out' to the world?"

"I'm not hiding it, but I'm not showing it off either, Ian. I'll tell people if they ask or if they need to know – like you did - but I'd rather not have it shouted out everywhere. As far as I'm concerned, being gay isn't what defines me – it's just who I am. It defines who I want to have sex with, but nothing else. I'm Chris Alexander; I study history, I play hockey, I like coffee, I enjoy a drink. I just want people to treat me as they find me. Like you have."

Ian smiled. "You got it. Another beer?"

"Thanks. Love one."

The hockey trials went OK, but there was no doubting that the squad was strong. I was in the company of three England Under-21s, and a South African, a German and a Dutch international as well. On top of that, there were three more members of last year's Blues team. Ron Walton – the boy I had met at the club before term started - wasn't there, and Ian had said he himself was nowhere near good enough to come to trials.

After the two days were over, I reckoned I was going to be in the squad – but in the second XI. Two of the internationals played in my position. As we walked off the pitch, Will, the captain of the University team put a hand on my shoulder.

"It's Chris, yes?"

"Yes."

"You're a fine player, but it's your bad luck that both Gerd and Graeme play in the same spot. I wanted to say don't be disheartened. The Occasionals, the University 2nd XI, will be a fine team this year – and if anything happens, it's good to know we have quality back-up. I think you'll walk into the team next year if you keep playing the way you have, OK?"

"Thanks, Will, much appreciated."

And it was. He didn't have to say what he'd said - but he'd taken the trouble to. I walked into the changing room feeling surprisingly good. The other advantage of playing for the 'O's would be that I would also be able to play College hockey as well – something that the schedule the first XI were on made virtually impossible. I stripped off and headed for the showers, and was vaguely aware of a boy with black hair following me with his eyes as I walked past. I had noticed him during the trials. Good player. I reckoned he was half-Asian – he had the classical good looks that that blend gives; looks that I had always found rather sexy. I quite liked that his eyes had followed me. I tried to remember his name. Dan, I thought.

The showers were pretty busy – there must have been thirty or forty guys trying out for the team, and I allowed myself the pleasure of idly studying the bodies that surrounded me. I was aware of the Asian boy coming into the showers and standing two showers down from me. He was fit and lean and had a nice, if unremarkable, circumcised cock poking out from pubic hair that had clearly been trimmed. His face was turned up into the stream of water, and it coursed down his olive-tinged skin, making his hair stream out down his back. Nice. I turned away; it wouldn't do to be caught staring. As I turned, I was aware of his shaking the water out of his hair, and turning to look at me. And his gaze was definitely not on my face.

Back in the changing room, as I dried off, Dan emerged from the shower and came and sat down on the bench beside me. He held out a hand.

"Dan Haggerty. Hope you don't mind me introducing myself. Third-year at Magdalen."

I shook his hand and smiled at him. "Chris Alexander, first year at Merton."

"Pleased to meet you Chris. You played a strong trial. Pity about the competition for your position."

"Thanks, and yes. Will has pretty much told me that there won't be a place for me this year."

"Yes – he and I talked about you. I'm going to be captaining the O's this year - so I'm sorry for you but pleased for me; it means I'll have a first class forward in my side."

As we talked he was drying himself, and he turned fully to face me as he towelled his hair, giving me a full frontal view of his naked self from a range of about twelve inches. Up close his body was even better. I was dressing as he sprayed himself with squirt of cologne. I couldn't see what it was called, but it smelled nice – kind of woody – and I was packing up my kit when he said:

"If you've got time, do you fancy a coffee? It would be good to get to know you a little better if we are going to be playing together."

I thought about it. I had nothing particular to do. Why not?

"That would be great, thanks."

We walked side by side back towards Magdalen, chatting companionably. As I had guessed, it turned out that his mother was Thai and his father English. When we got to his rooms, as he opened the door and showed me in, his hand brushed briefly – almost accidentally – down my back. I felt my balls tingle involuntarily at the sensation. He showed me to the sofa and then went and filled a kettle and put it on. He found two clean mugs and opened a jar of Gold Blend.

"Black? White? Sugar?"

"White, no sugar, thank you."

He came and sat down beside me as we waited for the kettle to boil. He turned towards me and looked straight into my eyes.

"Would you mind if I asked you a rather personal question?"

"You can ask."

"It's just…are you gay?"

I raised my eyebrows. "That's certainly pretty personal. Why do you ask?"

"Because I am. And I find you incredibly attractive. And I've found that life is simpler and you avoid misunderstandings and embarrassment if you are open about these things. Especially as we are going to be playing on the same team."

It could have sounded predatory but it didn't. The way he had asked had been open and honest. It just sounded sensible – and even in the brief time we had talked I felt good about him.

"OK. Well, yes I'm gay. And - for the record - I think you're really sexy too. But you need to know that I have a boyfriend."

His face fell. Then he shook his head. "Of course you do. Stupid of me to think that someone as stunningly good-looking as you would be unattached." A smile crossed his face. "No chance of you dropping him for me, I suppose?" He grinned.

I laughed. "I would date you in a heartbeat if I were single, but no, no chance of me giving up Max. Sorry."

"Max? Is that his name? How long have you been together? Is he at Oxford as well?"

"I've known him for eighteen months and we've been together for nine months. And no, he's not here. He's German and he's at University in Frankfurt."

"German? Wow. How did you meet?"

And so I told the story again.

"That's really moving, Chris. But kind of inspirational as well. How do you think you'll cope with being apart for three months?"

"I honestly don't know, Dan. I miss him, of course – his laugh, his touch, his smell. And yes, I miss the sex too. I told you we have an agreement – but I really want to try and stay faithful to him."

"I admire that, Chris. But if ever it gets…too hard, well…and please don't take this the wrong way - I'd be happy to help out. I promise I wouldn't try and break you two up. Just some relief sex if you need it. No strings."

I smiled. "Thanks, Dan. I'll bear that in mind."

"Hey, I clean forgot about the coffee while you were telling me your story. Hold on."

He went and briefly reboiled the kettle and then filled the mugs. They steamed as he brought them over. He sat down next to me again.

"Your turn to tell me about you, Dan. I guess you don't have a boyfriend right now?"

"No." He scratched his head ruefully. "I made a mess of things last term with a guy. As a consequence, I'd decided to stay unattached - unattached, not celibate – "he looked up at me and smiled, "and then you come along and suddenly I want a boyfriend really badly…but hey, we can't always have what we want."

I put a hand on his shoulder. "But I hope that we can be friends – good friends."

"I hope so too. I'd like that a lot." And he put his hand on top of mine. We linked fingers and gave each other's hands a squeeze.

The conversation moved on, and he told me about his upbringing and how coming out to his parents hadn't gone too well – which made me all the more grateful for how my parents had treated me.

"The worst of it, Chris, was that I was being sexually bullied at school – but I couldn't tell my parents because of what they'd said about me being gay. Though with hindsight, I wish I'd told them. I know now that they love me despite the fact that still find it hard to come to terms with my sexuality. Fortunately the boy abusing me left after a year and things got better. But I wonder if that experience has affected my own ability to have successful relationships."

I could see tears in his eyes as he finished talking. I put down my coffee and went over and knelt between Dan's legs and put my arms round him, giving him a hug.

"I guess I've been really lucky. And it must have been awful to be treated like that at school. I'm sure things will work out, Dan. You're a lovely guy."

He put his head on my shoulder. "Thanks, Chris. You're the first person I've told that to – you seem to be easy to talk to. I'm sorry to have dumped that on you in the first conversation we've had."

"We need to talk about the things that cause us pain, Dan. I'm honoured that you shared it with me. Maybe just talking about it will have helped."

He looked into my eyes. "Maybe. I hope so. I don't want to keep having screwed up relationships."

"The right person will come along. I'm sure of it."

"Maybe he just did – and I can't have him."

"You can do much better for yourself than me."

"I doubt it – but thanks anyway, Chris. It will be good to have you as a friend."

We gave each other another hug and then I let go of him and stood up.

"You too, Dan. And now I ought to be making tracks. Look forward to seeing you again soon. When's the next training session?"

"Will will let everyone know which team they are in and then there will be an 'us vs them' match on Saturday which should be good. The season starts for real the week after that, and we play roughly once a week either Wednesday or Saturday, so there's time for you to play College hockey if you want as well."

"OK. See you Saturday then – unless you fancy popping round to see me before then. You'd be very welcome."

"I might just do that, Chris."

We stood up and gave each other a final hug, and then I headed out. It had been some afternoon.

I soon got into the routine of College. Lectures some mornings, a tutorial once a week and an essay to produce. This, along with playing both University and College hockey left little time for anything else. The match against the Blues had been a fantastic game. We were outclassed, but only lost 3-1 – and I scored.

College hockey was fun too. Ian played for the College and we had a good team. There was an inter-college knockout competition and we won the first two rounds comfortably. The next match was against Christchurch, the college that Ron Walton went to. What with everything else going on, I had completely forgotten about going to see him. But bizarrely enough, that very afternoon, there was a note in my pigeon hole from Ron.

Hi Chris,

So sorry I haven't been in touch – good intentions and all that.

It would be great to catch up. If you're free, do come and have a drink this evening

at about 6. The college bar is easy enough to find, and I'll be there.

Ron

Christchurch College was less than a five-minute walk from Merton, and so at just before six I headed up Merton Street and went in through the back gate to Christchurch. It was a big College with a very imposing front Quad, off which the bar was to be found via the left-hand corner. The bar was busy, but I saw Ron sitting at a table with a couple of nice-looking girls. I made my way over but before I got there Ron had looked up and seen me. He waved me across.

"Hi Chris. Let me introduce you to Steph and Lucy, two good friends of mine. Guys, this is Chris. He a fresher at Merton, he plays hockey – rather well - and we met at a club match before term started."

"Hi Chris." Lucy held out a hand which I shook. She looked at me appraisingly and then turned to Ron.

"Why on earth didn't you introduce me to your good-looking friend before, Ron?" She turned back to me, "And you're at Merton?"

I nodded.

"Just down the street. And is the food as good as they say?"

"Yup, pretty much – you must come and have dinner some time."

"I'd very much like that."

"Blimey, Chris, you don't waste much time do you?" said Ron. "Can I get you a beer?"

"Yes – that would be great, thanks."

He got up and headed for the bar.

"So, Chris, what are you studying?" continued Lucy.

"History – although I seem to be spending more time playing hockey at the moment." I smiled.

"Are you playing for the University or just your college?"

"Both. Well, second XI for the Uni - at least for now."

"You must be very good."

"Well, more enthusiasm than I talent I think, but I'm enjoying it. And you?"

"I study PPE and I enjoy rowing. I'm hoping I'll make the College first VIII this year."

"I've never rowed – it looks like hard work."

"It is, but it's very satisfying when the boat is moving well. If you invite me to dinner, perhaps I can take you out in a boat and you can have a go."

"Sounds like fun."

Ron returned with the beers and the girls stood up. "We have to head out, Ron – but thanks for introducing us to Chris, we'll catch up soon."

Lucy turned to me. "I'm going to hold you to that invitation. Drop me a note – or come over and see me. I'm on Peck 4, room 6. You'd be very welcome."

They left with a brief wave. Ron turned to me, shaking his head.

"Christ, Chris. How did you manage that? There must be half a dozen guys chasing Lucy and she virtually invites you up to shag her. Oh well, I guess you've got the looks – that and the lure of a meal at Merton."

"Must be my magnetic personality." I grinned at Ron. "Anyway, how are you? How's the hockey? I think we're playing you in the next round of the knock-out."

"Yes, you are. I can't say I'm looking forward to renewing your acquaintance on the pitch. Being given the run-around once was quite enough."

"I just had a good day. Lightning doesn't strike twice."

"There's no lightning about it. I understand you're in the Blues squad?"

"Well, I'm in the thirty that make up the Blues and the O's – but I'm definitely an 'O'."

"Well, there you go. Still, anything can happen in these games."

"Indeed."

"Settling in OK? Clearly no problem with meeting girls anyway."

"Settling in fine, thanks. It's an amazing place, isn't it?"

"I guess so. You kind of take it for granted until you visit one or two other places. Not that there's anything wrong with them – they just don't have the…feel, the atmosphere. Oh, and if you're handing out invitations to dinner, I'd be happy to twist your arm too." He smiled.

"Consider yourself invited. I'll check the menus and you can let me know which day suits you."

"Great. Thanks."

I suppose that we talked for maybe another half an hour, but with dinner at Merton happening at 7.30, it was time for me to get back to College.

"Thanks for the drink, Ron. Good to see you again. Catch up with you on the pitch if not before – and I'll drop you a note about dinner into your pigeon-hole."

"Great to see you again too. And let me know how it goes with Lucy – I want all the details!"

If only he knew, I thought. "Will do, Ron. Cheers for now."

In college, I'd gradually got to know most of my fellow-students; Merton was small, only about 300 souls including postgrads, so I'd put names to most of the faces by the middle of term. The opportunity to share conversations with people studying other subjects or from other years made for a rich and diverse social and intellectual experience. I shared my tutorials with a fellow-historian called Rory whose formidable intellect made me look like an intellectual pygmy. But he wore his learning lightly, and shared his thoughts generously and unselfconsciously. I learned as much from him as I did from my tutor. He was shy and gentle – and I liked him. He was nothing special to look at, and seemed entirely uninterested in either girls or boys. He drew genuine pleasure and satisfaction from just studying. Despite the fact that we were opposites – or maybe because of it – we slowly became firm friends.

He often came back to my room after a tutorial for coffee and I had noticed him looking at the picture of Max and me that I kept on the pinboard in my room. One day I could see him plucking up the courage before he said:

"Who's that Chris? If you don't mind my asking."

"That's Max. He's my boyfriend."

"Boyfriend? So you're gay?"

"Pretty much."

"Ah."

And that was it. No other questions. No comments. It was just information that he processed and stored away. He never mentioned it again and it didn't affect our friendship in any way. Looking back, I think Rory was pretty much asexual, and other people's relationships were simply of little interest or concern to him.

My friendship with Ian also grew. He was a useful hockey player and he and I struck up a good understanding on the pitch as well as off it. He played squash too, and we had the occasional game together, which I usually won - although not by much. He was entirely unselfconscious in the showers and he had a good body. I told him so.

"Now you're not starting to fancy me are you – I mean, I know it's been a long time since you saw Max but…."

I laughed. "No, you're perfectly safe. But you do have a good body."

"Makes two of us then. Well, yours is better than good, it's bloody perfect. I've lost count of the number of girls who've eyed you up when we've been out together. And boys too for that matter. I've seen them. You must be made of steel to resist the opportunities you could have."

I smiled. "They probably think we're a couple."

"'WHAT? You're not serious…"

I hooted with laughter. "You're too easy to wind up, Ian. But look, you're a good-looking guy – why mightn't people think that?"

"Fuck. Better get me a girlfriend fast."

And he had – although not as a direct result of our conversation. Her name was Fiona, and I got regular updates on how things were progressing. I met her a couple of times when she was visiting him and she seemed like a really nice girl.

"She's asking about you, Chris. Wants to know when she'll meet your girlfriend. She reckons you're too damn gorgeous not to have one. What do you want me to say?"

"Just tell her I'm gay, Ian. I'm OK with that. It's like I said, I'm not going to hide it."

"OK – if you're sure."

"I'm sure."

Funnily enough, if anything it increased the bond between all three of us. I liked Fiona and she liked having a gay friend in a way I didn't quite understand - but what the hell. Ian's relationship progressed fast with her as well. I only realised how fast when I knocked on his door one morning and he opened it in his towel.

"Oh hi Chris, I'm just about to hop into the shower."

I was about to say that I'd come back later when there was a loud crash from the bedroom. Ian hung his head.

"Ah. Not alone I take it…Fiona?"

He nodded.

"I'll leave you to it. Sorry to have interrupted."

"No – it's fine. No secrets from you."

And at that moment Fiona appeared in the doorway of the bedroom wearing one of Ian's pyjama tops – and looking, it has to be said, absolutely gorgeous.

"Sorry, Ian. Broke a glass. Hi Chris." She flashed a smile at me.

"Well hello Fiona." A mischievous thought crossed my mind which I couldn't resist. "Had a good night?"

If I expected her to be non-plussed, I was mistaken. "Fabulous, darling. He was insatiable."

"Too much information."

"Yes, way too much Fi – and Chris may be gay but I'm not sure I want you flaunting that lovely body of yours at him."

"Don't be a spoil sport. I'm sure I have nothing of any interest to him."

"I always admire beauty, Fiona – and I'm looking at it right now."

"Oh, you're SO gallant. Did you hear that, Ian? How come you never say that to me?"

"Just go and take a shower. I'll be with you in a moment. Coffee?"

"Yes please." She turned. "See you later Chris."

"Bye Fi."

I looked at Ian and raised one eyebrow. He just shrugged his shoulders.

"It just happened." A huge grin split his features. "It was bloody great!"

"I'm going to leave you to it. Catch up with you later. And I want all the details."

"Pervert."

"That's me."

I went back to my room. I was really happy for him. But it also reminded me just how much I was missing Max – and how horny I was.

I'd also grown closer to Dan. We often sat by one another if we travelled to away matches, and the more we talked the more we seemed to have in common. He looked at the world in the same way as I did. The same way as Mark and Max did, in fact, when I thought about it. He was funny and had interesting views – not all of which I agreed with but which we could discuss and explore in a way I really enjoyed. The fact that he clearly fancied me but knew how the land lay and didn't push it endeared him to me as well. On one journey he let his leg drift against mine. I didn't mind – it was rather nice actually, a kind of shared secret - and I pushed gently back against him. We looked at each other and smiled – and left our legs touching. It too reminded me just how much I wanted Max.

Oh yes, I wanted Max. Over the previous four weeks, I'd been masturbating more than I could ever remember. I always thought about Max as I came - except once when I found my thoughts had drifted to Dan - but it somehow just wasn't giving me the relief I needed. I thought again about Dan and his offer.

I sat down and wrote to Max. We'd already exchanged a couple of letters telling one another about University life. I treasured those letters, but we'd never touched on the area of our sex lives - or lack of them. This one was different. I told him how much I ached for him. Told him my cock was red raw with masturbating. Told him how incredibly horny I was and asked him if he felt the same. He must have answered the letter straight away and posted it by return.

My dearest Chris

It is the same with me. I miss you so much. I miss your touch and your kisses. I miss the feeling of you inside me so much it hurts. I don't know how to manage without you for another two months.

You know I am always honest with you; I want to have sex. We knew this might happen and we agreed what we could do. Are you still OK with this? I would not do anything to hurt you.

I love you from the bottom of my heart and I can't wait for us to be together again.

With all my love always

Your Max

xxx

I wrote back to him telling him I was OK with our agreement. I figured that meant that Sigi was soon going to be one happy boy. It also left me free to talk to Dan.

I left it until after a Wednesday game. We'd played a local school side and beaten them embarrassingly easily. I invited Dan back to my place for a drink, with an invitation to stay for a meal - an invitation he had been extremely eager to accept. It seemed that Merton's reputation for food was universal. It was the first time I'd had him round to my rooms and he, of course, instantly saw the picture of Max and me.

"Is that him? Is that Max?"

"Sure is. Sexy, no?"

"Very, very sexy. Love that curly hair – and he has a lovely smile."

"Yes, he does."

"How are you getting on without him?"

"Not good. I miss him terribly. And he's missing me too. We're both feeling incredibly sexually frustrated too."

Dan smiled. "Well…you know that you only have to ask…"

I looked him in the eyes. "Yes, I know. And I'd like to ask – is the offer still open?"

Dan's face was a picture. First amazement. Then a smile like the cat who'd got the cream; he realised that he was the boy whose wildest fantasy was about to come true. Then his face fell.

"Please don't joke with me, Chris. I like you so much and I still want you so badly that it's unkind to play with me."

I put my hands on his shoulders. "I'm not playing with you Dan. I mean it. Max and I have talked about it. We're both at the point where we need relief. And you were good and kind enough to say that that was what you could provide. I can't be your boyfriend, but…if you still want to…I'd love to go to bed with you."

"Oh. My. God. Of course I want to Chris. Are you sure?"

"Yes I'm sure."

"Now?"

"I don't think I can wait until after dinner. Come on."

I took him by the hand and led him through to the bedroom. We undressed almost shyly. I could see the tent in his briefs as he took off his trousers – and I'm sure he could see the bulge in mine. When he pulled his briefs off, his erection sprang up against his stomach. Not particularly big, but not small either – and clearly rock-hard. He stepped over to me and hooked his hands into the top of my underwear and pulled it down. He ended up kneeling in front of me, my cock poking out at forty-five degrees, stiffly erect.

"Oh my god. It's beautiful. You're beautiful. May I?"

He looked up at me. I nodded. His tongue flicked gently over the head before he took hold of the shaft in one hand and rolled back my foreskin. He put his other hand around my balls, cupping them. Then he took me in his mouth.

"Oh god Dan, that's amazing."

He sucked me expertly, and when I came, he swallowed it all.

"You taste as good as you look, Chris."

I pulled him to his feet and took him over to the bed. I lay him down with his legs apart and knelt between them. His cock was slim and dark, with a clear, slightly ragged line where he had been circumcised. His pubic hair was short but silky. He must have shaved his armpits, because the rest of his torso was entirely hairless. I loved it. I ran my hands over his body, up across his chest and gently pinched his nipples, then bent down and kissed him lightly on the lips.

"You are beautiful, Dan. Really."

I sat back and shuffled down the bed until I could lean forward and get my face in his groin. I ran my tongue up the length of his shaft before taking the plum-coloured head in my mouth. I rolled his balls around in the palm of my other hand and began to slide my lips up and down his cock. He started to moan. I took my time, enjoying the pleasure of a cock sliding back and forward over my lips again. I felt his balls tighten.

"I'm going to cum, Chris."

I released him from my mouth and gave his cock three or four swift tugs - and then he was cumming; five spurts, one after the other, each accompanied by a little squeaky grunt, shot in the air and landed on his stomach. I ran my finger through his juice and held my finger to his lips. He sucked it into his mouth.

"Mmmmm. That was fantastic, Chris. Better than my most colourful dream. Thank you."

We lay beside one another. I felt so much better, but I desperately wanted to fuck Dan too.

I had no sooner formulated the thought than Dan said:

"I hope this isn't too forward, but…could we do that…or something else…again?"

"Sure Dan…I'd really like that. Umm… I should have asked before, but are you top, bottom or…."

"I'm kind of versatile bottom."

I smiled. "Oh man…that's just like Max. I'm pretty much a top – except with Max sometimes – if that's OK with you."

He held up a hand.

"I'm very fine with that, Chris. I'd love you inside me – and although the thought of doing the same to you is…intriguing…I'm fine if that's off limits. You are, by some distance, the sexiest boy I have ever met. I'll take whatever is on offer. Sorry if that sounds pathetic, but I really, really like you, Chris. And I really want you inside me…please."

I felt a bit ashamed that I had been out that morning and bought condoms, but I was also pleased I had. I took the packet out of the bedside drawer and opened it.

"Please Chris…let me."

I gave Dan one of the condoms and he tore it open and put it on the tip of my cock before rolling it down.

"I like it doggy style if that's OK with you, Chris."

I smiled. Someone else who knew what they wanted and wasn't afraid to ask. "Sure"

He got on all fours on the end of the bed. I stood behind him and used a blob of KY to lube Dan's hole. I put the tip of my cock against him and pushed. I had assumed – I don't know why – that he was pretty experienced, but his hole was tight.

"Have you done this much before, Dan?'

"You're just my fourth, Chris. And number one was only once. Sorry if I'm a bit tight."

"Sorry? Dan, you have nothing to be sorry for. It's great. I'm really happy – I just don't want to hurt you."

"You won't. I want you in me Chris. Now, please. Just do it."

I thrust hard into him and felt myself pop through his ring of muscle. He groaned.

"That's good. So good. Don't stop."

I put my hand on his hips and started to move in and out of him. He arched his back.

"More, Chris, more."

I picked up the pace a bit and reached a hand around to take hold of his cock. He was hard. I masturbated him as I thrust into him.

"Deeper, Chris. Harder. Please."

I started to thrust in and out of him as hard as I could.

"Oh yes. Oh yes. Oh god. Oh yes. Do it, Chris. Do it. Cum in me."

With a final groan I felt his cock buck in my hand and he was cumming. I was only seconds behind as I felt myself erupt inside him. He collapsed on the bed and I lay on top of him.

"Oh Chris. Oh man. I never felt like that ever."

I pulled out of him and removed the cum-filled condom from my cock. I rolled over to lie beside him. I felt sated as I hadn't in weeks.

"Thank you Dan. Thank you so much."

"It's me who should be thanking you. That's probably the best fuck I've ever had."

He turned to me and hugged me. We just held each other in the after-glow. I stroked his hair and he ran his fingers through the sprinkling of blond hairs on my chest.

"Max is a lucky boy, Chris."

The truth was, now that I had fucked Dan - now that the lust was spent - I felt incredibly guilty. Why couldn't I have waited another few weeks and done this with the boy I loved? I liked Dan. I liked him a lot, but I couldn't escape the fact that I felt as though I had used him - and failed Max at the same time.

"Let's go shower before we go and eat, Dan," was actually all I said.

We showered together – tight as it was – and Dan gave me a huge hug. I couldn't help myself. I had to say it:

"Dan…I feel like I've just taken advantage of you. I'm so sorry."

His head snapped up.

"You what?' Don't be so fucking stupid. You told me how it was and I accepted that. You didn't pretend. You were completely honest with me. I love you for that. I'm the same. That's why we get on. It's why we can do…what we've done. It's OK. It was just sex. Just relief. The best fucking sex and the best fucking relief, maybe, but in what way have you taken advantage of me? I could have said no – not that that was ever going to happen. Jesus."

He rubbed his hands through his hair, before continuing;

"Do you know just how lovely you are? I don't just mean good looking and sexy - though god knows that's true – I mean that there's not an ounce of nastiness in you. You're kind and thoughtful and modest and funny. Do you know the one thing I wish for? The one thing I would ask for if I found Aladdin's lamp? Do you?" He paused and looked at me. "I would ask to be Max."

I could see tears in his eyes now. I hugged him close to me.

"I'm so sorry I can't give you that, Dan. Thank you for being you. I don't deserve your kindness."

"Chris. I understand and accept your relationship with Max. I envy him – but I know why he must love you so much. I'm happy with a touch of your love. You haven't – and you couldn't – take advantage of me. I'm so glad to have been able to give a bit of myself to you in exchange for a bit of you."

And that was Dan. I was so happy to have him as a friend. We continued to have occasional sex - sometimes in my rooms, sometimes in his. It didn't change anything between us; we were just friends with benefits who enjoyed one another's bodies as much as we enjoyed one other's company. It was perfect.

In the meantime, the College hockey knockout had continued. We'd beaten Christchurch – to Ron's chagrin if not to his surprise - and we'd won our semi-final against New College as well. In the final we were due to play…Magdalen. Dan threatened never to sleep with me again if we beat them.

In the meantime, I'd also fulfilled my promise of inviting Lucy to dinner. Her presence beside me in the bar before dinner, and at the table during it, drew a lot of admiring glances – she was genuinely pretty and she turned out to be witty and engaging company as well. I invited her back for coffee afterwards. As we walked back to my rooms, she put her arm through mine and pressed up beside me. I knew that I had to be straight with her – if that's not an unfortunate choice of words – before she could reasonably think that I had misled her or made her look foolish.

I showed her into my sitting room and went to put the coffee on. Like Rory – and Dan – she noticed the picture of Max and me on the board.

"He's nice. Friend from home?"

I turned towards her.

"Please don't be cross with me, Lucy. He's more than a friend – he's my boyfriend. I'm gay."

She looked at me and closed her eyes. Her head dropped against her chest.

"Fuck it. Why do the good-looking, charming ones always turn out to be gay."

She looked back up at me.

"Thank you for telling me before I made a fool of myself. And I'm not cross. Disappointed of course – but you can't be held responsible for my dreams. It's so frustrating. You're a lovely, lovely guy. Drop dead gorgeous, of course, but not just that. You're genuinely a nice guy. What's his name by the way?"

"My boyfriend? It's Max."

"And which College is he at?"

"He's at university in Frankfurt."

"Frankfurt? What made him go to Germany to study?"

I smiled. "Because he's German."

She looked up and me and caught my smile and the next moment we were both snorting with laughter.

"I'm so sorry Chris. How stupid of me. He looks lovely, by the way."

"He is. And Lucy – I do hope we can be friends. I really like you…and I'm sorry I'm gay."

"Don't be sorry. You're you. And you wouldn't be you if you weren't. If you see what I mean." She paused. "Could I ask a favour?"

"Ask."

"Could we just let my friends think that we spent the night together? For a while anyway. They are so envious of me. I'm not suggesting a lie if we get asked a straight question, but…."

"If they assume, that's not our problem?"

"Exactly."

"Why not? How many times did we do it?"

"At least four. You were a stallion."

"I was, wasn't I."

She giggled, and snuggled up against me on the sofa. "Is this OK?"

"'It's very OK Lucy."

And I kissed her. And she kissed me back. And she stroked my hair. And then she said,

"Umm…Chris…I don't suppose…and it's fine to say no…but… might we actually spend the night together. No sex, I understand that – but I would love to sleep with you… just have you beside me. I really like you - gay or not. And then it wouldn't even be a bit of lie to say we slept together."

She smiled at me. And I thought to myself 'why not? She's beautiful; you really like her – and maybe it would be fun.' And then I laughed out loud.

"What's the joke?" said Lucy, " I'm sorry if I've offended you."

" Oh no, no, Lucy – you haven't offended me; I was just thinking about how Max will react when I tell him I've spent the night with a girl."

And then it was her turn to laugh. " So is that a 'yes'?"

"Why not? I'd like that Lucy."

When we eventually headed to bed, we both stripped off unselfconsciously in front of one another. Naked, she was absolutely stunning – even to a gay boy like me. She clearly thought the same about me – and we neither of us had any inhibitions about touching each other all over as we lay on the bed. I traced the line of her small, firm breasts with my fingers and felt the nipples harden as my fingers drifted over them. The faint smell of her perfume still clung to her body. Between her legs she was completely hairless – but it didn't seem to be the moment to say that that was how my boyfriend preferred to be too. She told me it was OK to touch her between her legs. So I did, but all I felt was an absence, not a presence. I took my hand away.

Then it was her turn.

"You have a great body, Chris," she said, as she ran her hand over my chest, through the fuzz there, and then down over my stomach, stopping as she reached my pubes. She looked up at me and I nodded. Her hand continued down, reaching between my legs and taking hold of me, her fingers gently stroking my shaft and drifting over my balls. Little shivers ran through me, and then, 'mirabile dictu', I found myself hardening at her touch. She looked up at me and giggled.

"Ooo….is this OK?"

"It's as much a surprise to me as it is to you Lucy – and of course it's OK – it feels bloody wonderful."

"Are you sure we can't….?"

"I'm sure. I know that I wouldn't stay hard inside you – and, lovely as you are, it's not for me."

She smiled. "Of course. That's fine. But is it OK to keep…doing this? I love the feel of you in my hand." she said, as she took a firmer hold of my now fully-stiff erection.

"If you're OK with it being a bit one-sided, it's absolutely fine with me."

She kissed me and then laid her head on my chest and just kept masturbating me. Her hands felt soft and silky on my shaft and on my balls, and I was soon lost in waves of pleasurable sensations. A few minutes later, I could feel the inevitable approaching.

" If you keep doing that, Lucy, I'm going to cum."

"Goody. I want to watch it close up. And I love the shaved balls, by the way."

She put her head on my thigh, her eyes just inches from my cock. I could feel her breath on it as she moved one hand up and down a little faster. The other was squeezing and caressing my balls. And then she flicked the little 'v' on the back of my cockhead with her tongue. Just once. It was electrifying – and it sent me over the edge. My seed spurted over her hand and my belly. And, as the last few drops oozed from the end, she ran the tip of her tongue all over the head of my cock, licking it clean.

"Mmm…that was so sexy to watch – and you taste as lovely as you look. Thank you."

"I think it's me that should be thanking you. You do realise that you are the first girl who has ever done that to me?"

"Then that makes it even more special. Now I just want to cuddle up with you for the rest of the night."

So we did. And in the morning, after we'd showered, I took her into breakfast.

So it was not only Lucy's friends who assumed that we had slept together, mine did too – the ones who didn't know that I was gay, that is. My standing went up substantially.

…and (of course) I wrote to Max and told him all about it; he just said it proved how much I must be missing him – and (of course) he was right.

Lucy and I became good friends after that. She came over for meals and we went out for the occasional drink. She even came and watched the odd game of hockey – and she took me out rowing as she had promised. But we never slept together again – although I knew that she always took a secret pride and pleasure in having got a gay boy hard and having made him cum.

The College hockey final turned out to be quite an event, with a surprising number of spectators turning up to watch. We played well, but we were uninspired - unlike our opponents; and that was the difference. We lost 2-1. It was galling and frustrating; we'd had the talent to win, but we hadn't performed. It was a small comfort to have lost to Dan – and I understood how Max must have felt when we beat them in the Hague tournament.

Dan went out celebrating with his team that night, but on the Sunday he came round to see me. Suffice to say that I performed much better that afternoon in bed with him than I had the previous day on the hockey pitch.

The end of term was fast approaching, and a notice went up asking if anyone would be prepared to stay on a few extra days to act as Guides to those coming up to take the Oxford entrance exam – as I had done the previous year. I remembered how helpful it had been and signed up.

A day or so later I got a note formally thanking me and telling me that I had been chosen, and giving me the names of the two students who I would be responsible for. A Matthew Pike and a Jonathan Cruise. I wondered what they would be like.

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