The Tale of Croydon Below
The story is copyright © 2016 by "It's Only Me from Across the Sea". All rights reserved.
School's pretty good. I've been here since I was almost fourteen. I've grown up with it. I got a decent spread of GCSEs and I hope my A-Level results in August mean I can take up the offer of four A grades to study political science. Not that I want to be a politician. I rather fell for Malcolm Tucker's rants in The Thick of It. I don't think In the Loop was as good. I think I want to be Malcolm Tucker!
When I watch Dr Who now I keep expecting The Doctor to say "Fuckety-bye!"
Rehearsing that must have been a mixture of fun and hell. I like Peter Capaldi. I've just found the Youtube uploads of Neverwhere. Wow, that was in 1996. I read the book last year and found it... weird, but Wikipedia told me Capaldi played the part of The Angel Islington, and now I want to see it.
See, I feel as if I've fallen through the cracks. I'm not in London Below, though. This is worse. I'm in Croydon Below.
Only I'm in Croydon Below while I'm still in Croydon.
I think one needs to have read Neverwhere to know what I mean. But my life isn't a homage to Neil Gaiman, nor to Capaldi, much as I admire his acting. I hadn't realised that the book came after the TV series. I can't be as much of a nerd as folk seem to think.
I do like Tolkien, but the books beat the films hollow. I am absolutely not a Barry Trotter fan. Well, I was for the first three books, but that Rowling woman needs an editor badly for the rest. Radcliffe is too square jawed to be cute in the films, too.
Mind you, he and I share the same poor taste in glasses. Maybe I should get a lightning flash?
I think I may be rambling. I do that. I do it when I want to hide in plain sight. I think people tune me out.
It's not that I always want to hide. What I want to do is to go up to Callum Stapleton and tell him he's hot, and just my type. And there's nothing stopping me, not really, not when I think about it hard.
And, by the time I've thought about it hard I've realised that, Callum being hot is outside my grasp, or, he's so hot I'll get burned if I grasp him, or something.
And he's just hot. He's popular in a tall, dark and handsome sort of way, except he's got stunning red hair and the greenest eyes you ever saw, but Shannon Carter and he are an item, so it makes no difference anyway. They make quite a contrast, his red and her long black hair.
Mouse brown me, I don't stand a chance.
Not that I really want Callum. It's the idea of Callum that I want. I want a Callum Stapleton, one of my own.
Except that you don't own other boys.
Maybe I should let one own me?
It's not that I'm really a nerd.
I mean I'm more than a nerd.
Which would be nice. I'd prefer 'bugger' really, but I'll settle for a mutual wank.
Only, not with Callum.
Why is this so hard? I've seen year 10s with two boys hand in hand, despite our no touching rule. I've watched several go openly to the Gay Club on Thursdays after school, boys, girls, couples, and loads are holding hands.
Just not me.
As a little kid I wasn't shy like this. I got slapped down just before we moved to Croydon. I was brave enough when I got to my last school. Just twelve and I knew I was gay. I told Aaron, who insisted it was pronounced Arran, that I was gay and that I liked him. More than liked.
What he said was "You're a fucking queer. Fuck off!" And it went all round the school fast. Ethan Hemmings is queer.
They didn't even say 'gay'. No. ' Queer'. They said it in italics.
Well, I was. I am. Only... it's normal, too.
Mum and dad knew. I went home in tears and told them. They minded that I was being bullied all right. That I'm gay? Not really. Mum was a bit upset about the grandchildren part. How she expected I'd have those at twelve I've no idea.
I went into myself a lot after that. Dad wangled a move with work. Not far, We were in Enfield before and he manages the Croydon depot now, so I'm here, in Croydon Below.
I chose to fall through the cracks. I didn't love Aaron, I just liked him, and I loved his platinum blond hair and piercing blue eyes. But those weren't him, those were just bits of him. The bits I thought I liked vanished when he called me a fucking queer. I saw through the little plastic shit, flashing his blue eyes and tossing his perfect hair to get his perfect way with everyone.
And I protected myself.
There's plenty of time. A whole three years of university after this last term of school's done. I'll find someone there.
Meanwhile I need to go and do my stint as librarian. I volunteer on Thursdays.
Why the fuck aren't there any teenagers with hairy legs and hairy chest and hairy back like I've got in gay porn?
I've not seen one.
Haven't read about one on gay story sites, either.
I like sleek bodies too, but, dammit, I turned into a werewolf at sixteen, and not in a Twilight way. And, almost by definition, no-one, not ever, is going to want me and my pelt.
The dark body hair almost makes my Harry Potter glasses look sexy!
No-one's eyes turn and look at me in the showers. Well, except out of curiosity. I've had all the jokes about it being full moon again.
"Who're you taking to the leavers' dance, Ethan?"
"No idea, Shannon. You're going with Callum, I take it?"
"Rotten shit hasn't asked me yet. Anyway, you haven't said who you're going with?"
"True. Yup, true."
"Well, she can't be at school here, or I'd know."
I like Shannon. She's one of the good ones. Sort of an honorary lad. She's pretty fit, too. I can admire form on girls, I just don't get excited about them.
"Well..." In for a penny. Heck we only have half a term left. "She'd be a he. And no-one."
"That's so cool!" That was half a surprise, but not really. This is 2016 after all. "And not cool, too. No-one? That sucks bigly."
Before Shannon asked I hadn't cared at all about the dance. I was just going to turn up, keep a wall company, have my regulation issue half pint of beer which I hated anyway, and go home. Now I cared.
"Who they heck would go with me?"
"Ethan Hemmings, there's nothing at all wrong with you that I can see from here. Ok, you have those less than flattering specs, and you sort of slouch a bit when you need to stand up straight. My bruv gave me a clue, and I use it. He said, all army-like, ' Git vat stomach right in! Stick yer bleeding tits aht. Make yersel' look prahd', so I do. Stomach in, tits out, shoulders back, and I got the bloke I was after."
"You'd've got him anyway! Everyone wants a date with you."
"Yeah, well, that's not happening. Callum, yes. He's hot!"
"See, I don't stand a chance."
"Now I get it. I see now. You and me are going to have a chat. Let's see if we can't sort you out a bit."
I was laughing, suddenly. "I don't want a bit! I want a nice boy. One who can see past the glasses."
"Ever thought of contacts?"
"I am not having a makeover."
But we had a long chat, just Shannon and me. I've a grown up sister. Well, I'm pretty grown up too, but she's six years older. This wasn't like talking to her at all. Shannon's nice. If I were bi I'd go for her in a big way. Told her so, too. She kissed my cheek.
"You're gay, and no-one cares, well except a few jerks. But I'm the first to know?"
I told her all about Aaron and how I'd shut down, shut myself in after that.
"He was horrible. He probably didn't even know how badly he'd hurt you. Just a nasty, spiteful brat."
"Yeah. Couldn't even pronounce his own name right!" I'd been down when we started chatting. I was brighter now.
"So, that was then, this is now. What's stopping you?"
"I'm still scared."
"Seriously? Gawd, what am I going to do about you?"
"Do? About me?"
"D'you want someone to go to the leavers' dance with?"
"I can't dance, don't know how to. Anyway, who'd want someone like me?"
"I'm awkward. I'm not hot. If I were I'd know. I'm not the type of bloke you see in porn movies..."
"You mean the man with the awful moustache who's come to fix the fridge, and has a shit Scandewegian accent and then fucks the lady of the house stupid? Ethan, they're usually so ugly it's not true!"
"I've seen some of those. I thought they were comedy! No, gay porn." I went bright red, suddenly very embarrassed. "They're slim, sculpted, with enormous todgers... And not a hairy chest in sight." I paused. "Not bad looking, either, most of them."
"I might have to watch one. I like boys too, you know! You get more of them for your money in a gay vid! All the regular stuff's about dicks going into girls! I rather like dick! Well, and Callum!"
I told her a bit about a story I'd just read where the main character was into Japanese cartoons, but one particular gay video with ' Squealing Gay Video Boy ' and how everyone was hairless. "I'm not. I'm not the gay ideal, no-one likes blokes with hairy chests, backs and legs."
I looked at her. She is beautiful. I wish I fancied her. "Not quite what I meant. What sucks is that you think you're not attractive to anyone because of something you can't help."
"Who wants a werewolf?"
"Almost all the girls who watch Twilight, and a good few of the boys. Anyway, that's the wrong question."
"If you're not careful I'm going to make you my pet project! It is." She paused. "Ethan, what sort of boys do you like?"
I started to describe body types.
"No. That's bodies. I want to know about boys. What're they like as boys?"
That made me think. "I like them to be people. I like people like you, people with a brain. I like people who make me think, who talk sense, well, at least some of the time, don't get too flattered!"
"So the body's not important? The face, even, that's not as important either. You've not even mentioned faces."
She'd got me thinking. "The face needs to show something. I don't need someone who's the 'beautiful and knows it' type. There's that old song, You're So Vain. I don't want one of those. I don't want a fugly one either. He has to have a light behind his eyes, mischief, just what I don't have." I thought some more. There was a kid a year below us, round face, not exactly handsome, not ugly, but with mischief written all over his face. "You know Si Bradshaw?"
"Of him, yes."
"Well, he's no beauty, but he also manages to be hot." I did my best to describe why Si was hot. "He's not sleek, either. Doesn't seem to have shed his puppy fat!" Come to think of it, I was attracted to Si Bradshaw.
"Be too much to expect that he's gay, too," she said. "I'll find out!"
"Don't you dare tell him..."
"Why ever not? This is 2016. Anyway, if it all goes tits up you only have a few short weeks left here."
"I'm terrified it'll be Aaron all over again."
"Course you are. Now, we need to do something. Stand up!"
"Do what?" I stayed sitting down.
"For fuck's sake, Ethan, stand up! This'll be painless!"
Reluctantly, I stood.
"Right, Git vat stomach right in! Stick yer bleeding tits aht. Make yersel' look prahd!" She walked round me. "Ethan Hemmings, that is the first time I've seen you properly. No, keep them tits aht, shoulders back, head up! You're not half bad. Clench!"
"Your bum, dimbo! Clench it!" I did. "Right, not bad at all. Decent bum, head held high, not fat, stupid expression on face."
"You'd have a stupid expression on your face with your buttocks clenched!"
"I'll have you know I always have my buttocks clenched! Seriously, though, we need to look at your hair."
"I like it fine the way it is."
"You might, but will Si Bradshaw?"
"He's an example, Shannon."
"Gotta start somewhere. Anyway, my mum's a hairdresser. You're coming round to mine, and today."
"Not!" But I knew I would.
It made a huge difference. Shannon's mum 'Call me Myra, dear' lopped a great sheaf of curls off, and made me look less like a floor mop, then set about what she called 'modern sexy boy'.
"Fancy some highlights, dear? I've got time."
I did. I wasn't under Hans Christian Andersen illusions. 'A swan? Me, a swan?' Even so it wasn't half bad. I was a bit embarrassed when Shannon told her mum about me and why I was there. "Gay, dear? If I was prejudiced against gay men I could never run a successful salon." she said. "You must be a bit special. Our Shannon doesn't help just anyone."
I couldn't think what was special about me, though. Gave them both a huge hug at the end, then burst into tears. "Sorry." I was sniffling. "Not used to..."
"To what, dear? People liking you, being nice to you?"
"Don't write yourself off. If our Shannon likes you, you're good enough for anyone. And don't let anyone tell you different. Now, dry those tears that never happened and let me look at you."
I remembered to stick my bleeding tits aht and look prahd.
"He'll do, won't he, Mum?"
"He'll do just fine. Might turn a few heads now, too. Now you, my girl, have to find out who might just be his date for the leavers' dance."
They noticed, when I got home! Mum and Dad both said how great I looked. They took pictures. More than one had my face beetroot red.
Lunch the next day I was teased rotten about the new look. Except it wasn't bad natured. I was starting to feel less of being in Croydon Below and more like being back in the real world. It was new, and I liked it.
"We've got to find Ethan a date for the dance," Shannon announced to them all. "He looks great at last. Now he needs a date."
"Becky Harris hasn't got a boyfriend." Tracy was Becky's best friend.
"Nor's Ethan," Shannon told her. "Oops, Sorry Ethan."
She wasn't. Her face said not. I flinched.
"Wait..." Tracy looked at her. You mean Ethan's..."
"Gay. I'm gay." Wow. Was that me?
"Way to go! I can ask Becky out now I know she's free. No competition from you!" Pete was shy, too. Except I wasn't shy. I'd been hiding. "I'd ask you, Ethan, but you're seriously not my type. You've got one of those little things that'd come between us!"
"It's not that little!"
I hadn't really been part of the banter before. I'd sat with this lot at lunch for ever, and watched and listened, but not been part of it. I was Invisible Hairy Boy. I wondered what my super power would have been in the old Legion of Super Heroes comics Dad still had from his childhood. They were as kitsch as hell, but fun. I wonder what The Doctor would make of Superman? I'm still a nerd!
"Who do we know who's gay and single?" Tracy was in deep discussion with Shannon. "Apart from Ethan, I mean!"
"I'm going to find out." I'd definitely become Shannon's project, and it was actually good!
"I have my ways, Girl! Trust me!"
"Don't you dare set up a booth to interview them!" I was almost serious.
"That's a great idea. Come on, Tracy, let's make posters!"
They'd better have been teasing!
Thursday I was in the library. I may have had a new hairstyle, but I was still me. I heard a cough, one of those attract your attention coughs. When I looked up it was Si Bradshaw. "Shannon 'bumped' into me." He was a bit awkward.
"I thought she might. What did she say?" Scared of the answer.
"That you're gay, find me interesting and need a date for the dance."
"You're not here to take the piss, are you?" I was defensive, remembering Aaron.
"Nothing like that. In case you're wondering I'm not here about me. I don't swing that way."
"Pity. You're cute." I was braver.
"I'll take that as a compliment. It is. But look, there's someone I think you might like. And he's gay. If I'm your type he probably is too. He's a bit sensitive. He had a knock about being gay a few years ago."
"Tell me about it. Is he my twin?"
"You, too, eh? I wondered... Anyway... Would you at least say hello to him?"
"You promise you're not taking the piss?"
"Even if I were out of you, I'd not out of him."
"I'll risk it, then. Does he know?"
"Of the idea? Yes. That you will? Not yet. He will after I text him."
His phone pinged back at once. "He says to meet after school, if that suits you?"
"Tell him 'yes' and ask him where?"
About half an hour later Si and I were at the greasy spoon about a quarter of a mile from the school, waiting.
We were still waiting a quarter of an hour after the time the International Man of Mystery said he'd be there. "I'll kill him," Si said. Got his phone out and was halfway through killing him by text when the door opened and in walked someone who looked just like him.
"Si," he said.
"This is Ethan," Si pointed at me. "Ethan, this is Brian. Brian's my big brother. We're about eleven months apart, though why that's important I've no idea."
"Ethan." Brian shook my hand, formally, but never looked up, never said hello with his eyes.
"Majorly embarrassing, or what?" This was obviously going to be up to me to make even the greeting work, or it was a failure from the off. Gawd. Brian was worse than I was.
"Tell me about it! Si said you'd had a lousy experience once. Me too."
I looked around. Si had vanished. "Look, we can have a coke, or a cuppa or go for a walk. I've no idea how to do whatever it is we're doing either."
"Walk, please. Park, maybe?"
Si had paid. We walked. He was hard to get to open up. I told him about Neverwhere and my idea about Croydon Below, and how I loved Peter Capaldi, and Doctor Who and wondered whether The Doctor would suddenly say "Fuckety-Bye" to a Dalek.
Did I say hard? On the Moh's Scale of Hardness I may have been quartz. He was corundum. See, I am a nerd.
We'd ended up at Waddon Ponds. I'd done most of the talking. I wasn't used to being the talkative one in any group, and this was only a group of two. "Let's sit on one of these." I pointed to an empty bench. "Brian, what's wrong?"
"I'm afraid this is a piss take."
"So was I. But, even if it is, does it matter? Heck, I'm gay, and I've just come out as a totally weird nerd to you on the way here. I like Malcolm Tucker, Doctor Who and I'm about to watch a 1996 TV series on Youtube. Heck, come home and join me watching it?"
"I'm sorry. I know Si wouldn't do anything bad to me."
"I hardly know him. I admit I fancy him, but I don't know him. That's so weird, telling his older brother I fancy him. Si I mean. I've not really seen you yet to fancy or not. Can we maybe get to know each other a bit?"
"I'm sorry. I had a weird time a few years back."
"Don't need to apologise, Brian. You can tell me about it if you like. Maybe not straight away? I'd rather see who you are not who you were once."
"I'm sorry. Oh, I apologised again, Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Damn. And yes. Yes, please. I'd like to watch Neverwhere, even if it turns out to be awful"
"Good. Fancy a pot luck supper with my folks?" I thought if we parted we might never meet up again. "Won't be fancy or special. And, Brian, they have no need to know whatever there is to know, or not know... You're just a mate, not that I know you yet."
"That'd work." I saw his face at last. He was almost smiling.
"We're a couple of tram stops, well, five or so. Tram or walk?"
"Walk. Too much adrenaline. Sorry, I sound like a total fuckwit. Damn. I apologised again, Sorry. Oh fuck it!"
"You're beginning to sound like most of my life since... Well, Since."
So we walked, Silence was good, talking was better. He talked. Pretty obviously whatever happened to him was too hard to talk about yet. Maybe he'd open up later, if there was a later. We shared knowing we were gay. I talked about Aaron. The more often I shared the shit about that time the less power it had over me. I told him about Shannon and her mum and my makeover that I hadn't wanted and now loved.
"I like the highlights," he said.
I'd texted Mum to say we had one more for supper. She stretched spag bol. Chat over supper was about school. Brian didn't go to ours because of a mix-up over catchment areas, otherwise he'd be in my year. At least that was safe ground. After supper he and I adjourned to my room, and I pulled up Neverwhere.
Not weird at all, we agreed, two episodes in, with more than a hint of irony.
"I know what you mean about Croydon Below, now."
"I sort of fell through the cracks on purpose. It was after Aaron." And I explained about the brat, wondering if I'd told him before. He listened as though I hadn't, anyway.
"So," he started, using that awful fashion of starting sentences with 'so', "You need a date for your leavers' dance?"
"No." I was definite. "No, I don't need a date. I'd like a date, but because someone wants to go on a date with me, not because they've been asked to, not because they feel sorry for me, not because it's a charitable thing to do..."
He stopped me. Not sure how, He didn't speak when he did. Maybe I just ground to a halt?
After a bit of silence, "Ethan, I think we've got enough in common to go on a date. Not a lifetime commitment, not a ticket for the dance, but a date."
"Ok, Matthews Yard suit you? Saturday? Lunch?"
"I'm not sure how dating a bloke works. Let's go Dutch, and see how well we get on?"
"Deal. See you there at 11?"
School next day at lunch I told Shannon, Tracy and the others I had an exploratory date. Not who with, not where, and certainly not when.
It seemed more real and more scary by telling them. "But what do I wear?"
"A good pair of jeans, chinos if you must, and a tight T. Don't even think of being too smart. It's a date, not a wedding. No suits."
Tracy made good sense.
Saturday dawned. I delayed shaving until it was time to leave. One side effect of having a wolf pelt is fast beard growth.
Two helpings of under arm paint (unscented) to help mask my nervousness. No-one wants to see that.
I'd chosen blue jeans and a white T. 'No stereotype there,' I thought, with a certain irony.
We hadn't organised where to meet exactly, but that was ok. You'd think we'd have swapped phone numbers. Nope.
Didn't leave too early, had no intention of being fashionably late, arrived bang on time. So did Brian. And he looked lovely. In the weird time we'd been together before he hadn't really let me see him. Where he got white jeans I've no idea. He matched me in reverse in a way. White jeans, a T, and a blue denim top, Billy Elliot style. Jamie Bell had been a cute kid in his. Brian was magnificent.
He was, I realised, my type of guy. Still a boy, becoming a man, and looking good. "Wow!" Hmm. That was both of us.
"We both seem to scrub up well," he said. "You do anyway!"
"I love denim jackets! Wish I had one. And you're not so bad yourself."
We spent the next hour learning how to talk to each other. This is a subject that ought to be on the National Curriculum. On second thoughts, how to get to know another gay lad's probably hard to teach!
We didn't go near whatever it was had happened to Brian. We didn't touch on Aaron at all. We found out that his school's probably not quite as gay friendly as mine, but it does ok.
Over some amazing burgers I asked him, "What do you think Si's hoping for?"
"Me to be happy, I think."
"D'you think we might make a go of that?"
"It's worth a try, isn't it? Are you up for it. No, not like that!"
"I'm not about to rip your clothes off, not yet at least, but yeah, I think I'm up for it. Don't look so disappointed!"
"Twit! I'm half disappointed about the clothes part. I like the idea of more dates. Half of me wants to take it slow. The other half's torn between running away and also ripping your clothes off."
"So, let's get this right. You running away ripping my clothes off means I have to chase you down the street half naked?"
"Sounds like a plan."
"Brian, seriously for a moment?"
"What do we do about, er, well, erm, well..."
"Since you put it that way, yes."
"You're as analytical as me! What I think is, however hard we try, whatever we do, neither of us can get each other pregnant."
"True. But how will we know? And, er, well..."
"Not going past the 'how will we know?' bit, yet. 'Er, well' comes way after that. And we will just know. And if you want to know how I know that, I just know, ok?"
"But I'm worried..." I was, and I was interrupted.
"Look, I'm a virgin. I think you are too. I know I like blokes. So do you. You're coming pretty high on my 'this is a bloke I'd like to get very close to' list. I've got hangups too. We'll get through them when the time comes." This was a long speech, the longest I'd heard. But I almost missed it. His eyes flashed while he was speaking and held mine in a grip so tight I couldn't look away.
"I'm sorry. I'll worry later."
"Phew. I'm worried enough for both of us! Now, what shall we do this afternoon?"
"We could go and search for some cracks to fall through?"
"Ok, we'll look for them in the park, then back to my place."
I hadn't realised what an asset parks were. Gosh, that sounds posh. What I mean is, I'd taken them for granted. When I was little I'd been to the swings and played, but without taking any notice of the park. Today I was walking with someone my own age and having a real conversation about, well, nothing in particular.
It was good, and the park, a bit scruffy in places, was good, too. Some things made me sad. I told Brian. "Look at those kids, tear-arsing around, not a care in the world. That's what I'll miss because I'm gay. I love kids. I love their silliness, their sudden deep philosophical moments so deep they take your breath away, their need for love. I've enough love to give a child, to raise one..." And I found I had tears creeping down my face.
"That's something I didn't know I needed to hear from you, and found I did, Ethan. I truly needed to hear that." He's stopped and touched me, turning me. His finger gently wiped the tears from my cheeks, which caused more to form. "I'm good with kids, too. I never thought how much being gay meant no kids. Not easily, at least. I was just busy being gay and alone. Just maybe..."
Seems I wasn't going to hear more about that, or not just then. A thought struck me. "When we get you your place is it going to be full?"
"Si may be there, not sure. The folks are out, gone for the weekend. Why?"
"Well, I'd like a snuggle. And I'm embarrassed if other people know. And, well, I'm just embarrassed. I don't feel like one of those beautiful boys in gay stories, I don't look like the boys in gay pornos. And don't you dare tell me I'm beautiful inside!" I was almost but not quite laughing at myself. But I did need reassurance.
"Those figments of the imagination in gay stories, the impossibly beautiful boys with long legs and taut bodies, the ones who fall for each other in an instant? Those never existed. Real boys exist. We're real. I like your eyes, your face, your personality. I like talking to you. I like it that you have opinions and they aren't the same as mine. I like it that we disagree over Britain and Europe and the referendum result. I like the way we disagree, but both think Nigel Farage is a prize prick, too."
"But, nothing. I like you more than I ought. This started out as a blind date. We were organised together by my baby brother. I wanted to meet you, actually any gay boy my age, but I resisted as well. And this gay boy that I've met, I like. And I like him enough to ask him home. Like I think you liked me enough to ask me home. So what are you worried about?"
"But look at me. I'm not the gay ideal. Look how hairy my arms are."
"What do you mean 'and'?"
"So you've got hairy arms. Me too." He took his jacket off. "See?"
"Yes, but mine goes all over. I'm like a werewolf. Smooth boys are what's wanted..." Today that sounds so stupid. Then it was an all consuming worry.
"Oh lord. We'll comb it if it's that long, or plait it. If we we get that far and feel kinky I'll wax you! If being hairy's what's worrying you, forget it."
"I stand by my threat of waxing you. Come here." And his arms were around me. In public. He was holding me. He was holding me! And it felt... like no hug I've ever felt before. Strong, firm body, tough. I gave it back and melted at the same time.
"I feel a bit stupid now," I mumbled into his ear.
"There's no arguing with that," I heard the smile in his voice, but he wasn't teasing me, I knew that, too. "We've both got hangups. I, for example, do not have a porn star dick."
"Actually, I do need to tell you more about me. Si told me he'd told you I'd had a bad experience. I did. And it might affect us, if there's to be an us."
"I'd like there to be an us. You don't have to tell me, you know."
"I do, because I'm afraid. And the more I think about it the more afraid I get. I just need to work up to it a bit."
We were walking again. I was being quiet, companionable, not waiting in expectation. The back of my hand brushed the back if his, in a sort of reassuring way, or I hoped it was. I wished I dared hold his hand in public.
"When I was thirteen," he started, "I was... This is harder than I thought... in the showers at school. I got hard. It was one of those automatic things. Get naked, get hard, you know." I knew, and nodded. "I wasn't thinking of anyone, anything, except how to get this spike down before anyone saw." He paused. I thought of speaking and thought better of it. This was his time to tell me something important.
"It was seen. I could have stood being teased, laughed at, called a queer, all of that. Instead they pulled me out of the shower, called me a queer, held me down, and shoved a broom handle up my arse."
"Shit!" That crept out, suddenly and loudly. "Awful. Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt."
"It hurt. It hurt a lot. I was bleeding. I found that afterwards. They weren't as cruel as it seems, they were a bit innocent about it, just like normal bullying, you know?"
"It hurt a lot. I got dressed and got through the day, still hurting. I got home in tears. Mum found me. I couldn't tell her at first."
"When I did, it was embarrassing again. She had to see! I knew she'd have to see. And then we had to go to the hospital, and they had to see, too. I felt raped by the boys, cared for but embarrassed by my mother, and then raped by the hospital, in a way. And my arse hurt. I can still remember the pain of it. At least they's just shoved a small bit of the broom handle in. Much more and I'd have been badly damaged inside, maybe dead. But they had to look and my arse was torn. They had to put a thing in so they could look. Ok, they'd used local anaesthetic which stung like hell when they injected it, but more things had to go in to check I wasn't going to die. They even took photos of it."
"I don't have any words..."
"No-one did, it's ok." I got a reassuring squeeze on the arm from him. "I had stitches. And I still had to shit through it each day. So I had creams and ointments and antibiotics and was off school for three weeks. Part was the arse, part was the fear." He paused again. "And the hospital had to tell the police, and the police came round and I had to tell them all about it when all I wanted to do was to forget about it and die quietly. They were as nice as they could be about it, but I was thirteen and having to talk about what happened again and again. My parents did their best. Si was amazing. My baby bro's been my protector ever since."
"He's nice. I like him."
"He went straight round to the ringleader's house and beat the crap out of him. He was a good six inches shorter than the sod, too. He got into a shitload of trouble over it, and got hurt, too, but no-one could take the pain of the broken nose off the bastard who started it! Si was lucky not to have been prosecuted."
"He loves you."
"I love him too, I'll do anything for him. That's why I met you. He bullied me into actually turning up. I think he got it right again."
"Me too. I hope I'd have gone and beaten the bastard up, too."
"In a way it was lucky he did. The police said it spoiled the possible prosecution, though I've no idea why. That meant I didn't have to go to court and tell the whole tale yet again, too. They all had an official police caution. That stopped a trip to Disneyland for one of them. His parents has bought tickets, and they couldn't go because of it."
"What did the school do?"
"Gave them a severe telling off, I think. You know, I didn't care any more? I wanted it over. But it isn't over."
"Ok, what isn't over? I mean I'm honoured you trust me with this..."
"Here's the thing. At thirteen I was just a kid. Fourteen or so puberty started running in my veins, and I was suddenly attracted to boys, and no girls at all. I wondered for a while if I'd caught it off a broom handle!" He almost laughed. It was almost funny. "And then I started to worry."
"Not with you yet. Am I being thick?"
"A bit. Where do gay boys put their dicks?"
Light dawned. "Ah."
"I have trouble with even the concept of anal sex."
"Oh Brian." It was my turn to hug him. "If we get that far we'll solve that somehow. And no, I have absolutely no idea how. But we will. Even if that's out of bounds for ever."
"But I thought we each had to..."
"And that's you being thick! We have to do precisely nothing. We do, if we want, what we want. And that means 'we', not me, not you, but we."
"Oh." Smaller voice. "Good. Oh good. Oh thank you..." and he was weeping openly. This had been hugely stressful for him. Suddenly being a werewolf was insignificant. Brian was disabled emotionally, and those things never show. I just had a pelt. He had suffered a horror.
We'd reached his house. Si was there. "I told him, Si," he said, a tearful still.
"Good. I knew you'd have to." Si put his arms round his brother. "Ethan, this is a big thing. Are you ok?"
"I'm ok. Brian will be eventually. And we, if he'd like us to be a we, we will be after we get used to each other."
"I'd like us to be a we," came through the tears.
"You two go into the living room. I'm going to do just what Mum always does."
"Argue with Dad?"
"No, idiot older brother. Make some tea! We need it."
There was a lot more talking over at least two mugs of tea. Si, and Brian, and me. It was so obvious how much those two loved each other. Brian needed to talk it out for a while. As he did I found I was falling quietly in love with him. I was half in love with Si, too, for being such a rock for his big brother. But I was definitely falling for Brian, and not just because he was vulnerable.
At one point Si went and made a load of hot buttered toast. Well, the toaster did. He just buttered it. There was definitely more tea then.
"I'm off out," he said, after we'd eaten the toast. "I'll be back late."
A little after Si had gone out, something he made obvious by yelling 'bye!' and shutting the door noisily, Brian and I were scootched together on the sofa. "I've been busy falling for you all afternoon," I told him. Then I blushed.
"That's a relief, me too, for you."
We had a not knowing what to do moment. I was deeply aware after all he'd told me that touching might not be the best thing. I leant in awkwardly and kissed his cheek. Apart from aunts, and always ignoring parents, Brian was my first kiss. And that was chaste.
He was quiet for a bit after the kiss, but there was no need of anything. Then nature and several mugs of tea took their course. "Where's the loo? Tea emergency!"
"It's upstairs, I'll show you."
When I'd finished the longest wee ever I found him hopping from foot to foot outside. "Me too! My room's over there. See you there when I've... [muffled by the door and peeing noises]"
Posters of Harry Potter! That would never do. Though I could grow to like it if he liked it, I supposed! "Harry Potter?" He'd come back.
"Well, I liked it with Harry in the bath..."
To be fair, I'd searched for that scene, too. It was rather good. Not, I hasten to add, worth seeing the awful films for! "Ok, gay boy, I forgive you."
"Can we try a kiss? I'm not sure I know how, but I'd like to try?" He looked shy and vulnerable.
We did. We worked out nose avoidance techniques and managed a lip-lock. A little bit of stubble was... interesting, though undesirable. I hoped I'd shaved closely enough, and that my breath didn't smell. Kissing was erotic. The trouser department had worked that out. It was amazing when we explored, tongue-wise, and the nerd worries of hygiene issues never entered my head. Well, they did, obviously, or I wouldn't have said that. But they were irrelevant.
We were standing, facing each other. My glasses were a bit in the way. I'm ok without them, just can't see well, so I took them off with a spare hand, then had to hold them. His hands pulled me in, stroking my back firmly. Mine did the same for him, glasses apart. Breathing was through our ears, it seemed. Though we were both breathless when we parted for a moment.
"I'd like to take your shirt off, I want to see this wolf pelt!"
"A shirt for a shirt, then." His Denim jacket had been shed long ago.
I have no idea what I was expecting. Brian was reasonably slim and totally pale. No sun seemed to have got through to him. He was almost hairless, except a small love rug going down his breastbone, and the promise of more below his waistband. Me, though? It's hard to see skin! On my breastbone you can get hold of a handful. I waited for him to turn away in disgust.
"Wow, you were right! It's amazing!" But he was smiling. "Honestly? I never quite believed you, but it's stupendous. I love it! It's strokable!" And he was stroking it. "I don't know why you were so worried about this, it's very different, but it's all you. You're all man!"
"I am? I've been disgusted by it since I saw gay porn and all those slim, sleek, hairless guys..."
"Think again, mate. That's like girls needing to be size zero. You've got what you've got. And if you've got it, flaunt it!"
"I'm not very slim, either." I was finding things to be embarrassed about still.
"Nor me. So what? Think it's that important? If so we can join a gym and get toned. That's cosmetic stuff. Ha! When did I get to be so wise?"
"Probably Si's doing."
"Not that I'm criticising, but why no sun on your body?"
"I've been avoiding things like that since the shower incident."
"We can stop avoiding things... together... if you like?"
"I like. Just not all in a rush?"
"If you keep the waxing idea away from my pelt then we won't rush!"
"Deal! Can we kiss again, skin to wolf?"
And we did. A lot. We ended up in the bed, still trousered, and very confined in jeans, but very happy, just going slow.
"Brian?" I was making idle circles in his chest with my fingers.
"I'm shy about sex. I'm falling deeper and deeper for you, and I'd love sex and stuff, but I don't know how, and I don't want to do anything to spook you after what you told me..."
We started a serious talk, face to face, there, on his bed. He told me he wanted to be able to do everything in the armoury, so to speak, but he was more than very wary about his arse. Neither of us were surprised about that. Arses, we agreed, could go slow. We giggled about putting them on the back burner! He'd done some research, he said, about anal sex, but was too scared even to touch his own. He'd found a web site, emailed the webmaster. And he'd read pages about anal sex and self exploration and how to prepare, and he hadn't put them into practice. He said the webmaster had written it all for a couple of friends, one of whom couldn't cope with the reality of anal sex, but wanted to, and that it worked for them.
"I'm totally shy about my arse, too," I told him. "But, when you're ready, you can explore me. We can pretend it's homework. And, if you don't want to, we don't have to go there."
"Just off upstairs to do our gay homework, Mum!" He was laughing.
"We could start by exploring the front? I'm getting really fed up with being rock hard in jeans!" I was more randy than I've ever been. Which, to be fair, is not saying a lot.
Jeans and underwear gone, somehow, while not leaving the bed, I liked what I saw, hoped he did, too. My dick hides in my pelt. I think some manscaping is in order there. His was up and proud, a slight curve upwards and to the left. Mine's ruler straight, but not enormous. I'm one of those that means someone else must have a huge dick for the averages to work.
"That must have been difficult for you?" I was remembering his ordeal suddenly. "Letting someone, me, see you hard?"
"It was, almost. Then I realised who I was with and thought 'I can do this'."
"I'm honoured and it's nice. No-one's seen me hard before either. Not that you can find it in the undergrowth!"
"Jokes against yourself and your hirsute body are now off limits! I can find it perfectly well. We may have to do a bit of a trim down there, but there's nothing to be embarrassed about at all."
"You can trim it how you want it to look, then. I'm yours. May I touch you?" I was so aware how hard it might be for him to be touched sexually.
"Yes. Yes, please. Yes!"
What I hadn't thought I'd do was kiss it! Not until it struck me that lips would show love and a hand might not. I pursed my lips and lip-nibbled the tip, tongue dabbed it right where his foreskin opened. Paused "Is this...?"
"Very!" A sighed exclamation seems ridiculous, but that was what it was.
I suppose I ought to have realised that keeping lips pursed and pushing gently would retract his foreskin. I was surprised when it happened, though. I was rewarded with something velvety soft, luxurious with a steel core, and a scent that came from his pubes, obviously clean, that was hard to define, male, masculine, adult, heady.
I wasn't about to try the deep throat thing I didn't yet believe in. I wanted to savour him in my mouth. As mouthfuls go it wasn't tasty so much as erotic. Yes, there was a faint salty tang, but flesh has no real flavour. What I was getting wasn't through my tastebuds but through everything else. He was tense, vibrating, making little grunts, pushing, releasing my head.
Sometimes I created a small vacuum, sometimes pushed with my tongue. I was trying to convey love, healing, my own sensitivity to his needs. I'd no idea whether I was doing well or not. I'm making it sound like a duty, but it wasn't. I was in heaven, too. He wasn't touching me, but I felt my own orgasm building as if he had been. His sense overdrive was getting through my brain into the rest of me.
I truly wasn't sure about his coming in my mouth. My own tasted unpleasant to me. Even so I wasn't giving this boy up. Another day I'd watch the intriguing cloudy fluid leave the end of his body. That day I was going to have him in my mouth.
I felt him tense. A big tensing, tight, urgent, squeals, and an imperceptible swelling as his breath left him and so did his semen. I hardly tasted it I was so excited. I'd made my Brian do that, helped my Brian do that. More pulses than I expected, urgent swallowing needed, flavour acceptable, though on the bitter side. I tried to drink his soul though his wilting dick, every drop was important. So was not overstimulating him. This had to be perfect, though I was short on ideas for perfection.
I decided to let go, probably just in time. "Eve-ery sperm is sa-cred" I sang, tunelessly. No idea where that came from. Well, Monty Python, obviously.
"You." He was panting, "Are. An. Idiot. And. That. Was. Won. Derful."
I was back at face level, kissed the tip of his nose. "If this is what being gay is all about, I wonder why I never joined up before!"
"Yeah. No more Croydon Below?"
"Not if I've got you."
"You've got me."
If I said I didn't need my own orgasm, was happy with sharing his, that my own need had evaporated has he came into my mouth, I'd never have believed it. But it was true. I had a weird rosy glow around my entire crotch area that had no need for anything else at all. Instead I had my arms around him.
It was dark when one of us stirred and woke the other. Or maybe we heard the front door as Si came back. "Stay the night?"
I texted Mum, said I was staying over with Brian. She texted some Mum-stuff back.
Some of that night I spent asleep. Some I spent looking at him in the light from the street that crept through his curtains.
It was morning. Last night I'd scored an away win, 1:0. Today we had a rematch. 2:2, a draw. Each was exquisite, different, wonderful. I loved making him squeak. We weren't quiet. Si was very discreet when we surfaced. "There's tea in the pot. I can do bacon sandwiches if you want?"
We wanted. Brian liked his with brown sauce. I like tomato. Must be a werewolf thing! Croydon Below was gone, gone for good.
We discussed the dance. I wasn't sure I wanted to go. Si said we had to. Not just mine, Brian's too. Mine was on the Friday, his on the Saturday. Si prevailed.
Brian and I made a decision about sex. Anything more committed than we'd done so far was to be after his dance, and then only if we wanted to, both of us.
Monday lunch Shannon and Co interrogated me!
"Yes, I met Si's brother. His name's Brian and we're dating."
"Have you done the nasty yet?"
"So you have!"
I let her think so. The grin on my face made it impossible to lie anyway. "Brian's my date for the dance," I told her. "And the day after we're going to his."
"What will you wear?"
I could see she had ideas of dressing me up. "I thought my old gold lamé trouser suit and a simple row of cultured pearls, Brian's wearing a leopardskin thong and a tiara."
"Ah, ok, rented dinner jackets, then," Tracy said. "When do we get to meet Brian?"
"At the dance, unless you see me with him before."
"What's he like?"
"Quiet, a bit serious, great sense of humour, and a little vulnerable. His face lights up when he smiles." I wondered if Brian was getting the third degree at his school, then I realised he probably wasn't. No-one there knew, probably, about us.
"I've been reading that web site, the exploration stuff again," Brian told me when we were together next. "It all sounds so simple, almost clinical, but friendly at the same time."
"I've been practicing, kind of."
"I know this sounds very naïve, but what's it like touching yourself back there? I mean I know about wiping and washing and things. What I mean is touching in a sensual way?"
"Quite relaxing, really. I doubt I'd get off on you tickling my arsehole, but it feels gentle, simple, really."
"Still not sure."
"Still doesn't matter to me. What we do already's great." It was. We'd done pretty much everything you can do with hands and mouths, and something that was a hilarious failure with feet, too. We'd each failed the elusive deep throat part, but liked the feel of mouth and tongue and cock. I'd found tapping the arrowhead under his with the tip of my tongue was the best way yet to bring him to a crashing orgasm. He'd found I liked having my balls squeezed 'so hard but no harder' as I reached mine.
Neither of us particularly liked the flavour of the other's cum, but we weren't going to miss out on it either. Sex is a paradox. Well, semen is! It was a triumph to make it happen, and that overrode the flavour.
I was fascinated sometimes by watching the tip of his cock as he fired his out, all over his chest. Small things created our sexual happiness. Well, his wasn't that small. Mine was shorter by a good thumb width, but the same size around as his, pretty much.
Manscaping was more fun than I expected. I started off at home with a bit of inspiration. Mum has Veet for sensitive skin. I risked it, using my phone to time five minutes. Slapped a load onto my balls and between my cheeks, and did my armpits for good measure. I've never liked hairy armpits. Leaped into the shower at five minutes with a face flannel and scrubbed the white gunge off, and loads of hair came away in a sort of messy clump. I read the instructions carefully. It was just starting to get prickly as I washed it off.
I'm getting used to Brian's liking me all hairy, but a hairy scrotum and arse crack turn me off. I hate that in porn. I didn't want him turned off me by anything.
At his place he took comb and scissors to my pubes. We, well, he, trimmed the hedge how he wanted it. When I looked in the mirror I felt very different. Instead of an unruly bush with a tiny hidden dick, I had a prominent dick with pleasantly manscaped framing behind it. I felt a million dollars. Which was odd, since we use pounds.
His barely needed a snip. The hair! I like my men unsnipped! Men! I like Brian unsnipped! I wanted to see how my scrotum and crack denuding worked before suggesting it to him, though. He'd had more than enough intrusion in the arse area.
"The dances are a week away," I told him, stating the obvious. "I'd like to celebrate after each of them. I know what I'd like to do after mine, and I hope you might get brave after yours. I want to give all of me to you, Brian. All."
"You know I'm scared of that for me... I'd be honoured to be part of you..."
"Let me tell you my plan. You tell me what you agree with."
The night of the first dance was scary. Now I knew other gay couples were going to be there, but that didn't make me less on edge. I was showing my Brian off to my crowd. I picked him up at his house. We didn't do that silly stretch limo thing. I went to his house, and we took a tram and a bus. We'd pre-booked a taxi for afterwards. He looked ace in his DJ. He told me I did in mine. Shannon's mum had been amazing and remodelled and re-highlighted my hair. I felt great but trembly. I remembered I had no idea how to dance!
"Nor do I," He said, when I told him. "So what? We jiggle in time with the music for the fast ones and smooch for the slow ones."
We made a great sweeping entrance to a crescendo of music, and applause... Or, rather, we walked in like everyone else. He grabbed my hand. "Mine!" he said, "Mine!" Just like those seagulls in Finding Nemo. He made me relax with that. "We're here to have fun, Ethan."
"Then fun we shall have! Er, how does one have fun with one's clothes on?"
"Idiot child, follow me!" And he pulled me onto the dance floor, led me into a routine where we both must have looked a couple of total dorks. But he was right! Fun is what it was. The slow dances were best, though, where he had me in his arms, cheek to cheek. We got a few wolf whistles. "Little do they know they're dealing with the inner werewolf," he whispered into my ear.
That's when I kissed him, there in the middle of the dance floor. We got a round of applause for that. They clapped the other gay couples too, boys and girls. Not the girls dancing round handbags, the ones dancing together.
Shannon and Tracy grabbed us and separated us. They claimed a slow dance each with each of us. That was fun, too. Girls feel so different. Softer, more yielding, but strong at the same time. What was great was not to feel any pressure to conform to the heteronormative stereotype. My stereotype's gay nerd! So's Brian's.
There were speeches and stuff before the last dances. It was an early start and finish. 'Carriages at 10' the posters said, and we'd ordered the taxi for 10:15. We were not, thank heavens, nominated for the king/queen stuff, not that it was likely, but you never know with Shannon! So we slipped away quietly at the end, waited in a friendly crowd for parents and taxis.
Dad had paid for the taxi up front. He's cool that way, so we let ourselves in quietly. Mum had left sandwiches for us. They knew Brian was staying over. I imagine they imagined we might be celebrating. If one of us had been a girl it would have been self evident.
Right back when our relationship was brand new Dad had had the safe sex talk with me. I wasn't stupid, nor was Brian. We knew, and we knew we'd not been with anyone else at all. Since you can't catch things from toilet seats we worried about hygiene, not safe sex. We were safe.
Up in my room I told Brian again what I wanted to do. It involved his exploring my body, almost clinically, seeing how I reacted, and considering how he might handle it himself, with absolutely no pressure. Tomorrow night the plan was to try to swap roles, but, if he couldn't for any reason, to reprise tonight. Assuming I enjoyed tonight. And, if we couldn't, then so what? Not every gay couple has anal sex, after all. But I sure as hell wanted to try accepting him into my soul.
We undressed each other, garment for garment. He decided it would prolong the event if we folded our clothes neatly and hung the rented DJs on hangers. Then a simple shower. He was first, I emptied myself as much as possible on the loo and was second. We have a shower on a hose. I took the head off and applied the hose astern, which was not comfy, and was astounded at how much poo was left inside. Not the most pleasant operation, but the inner nerd judged it vital. Gave me a load of endless amusement chasing it down the drain! I gave the room a spray of one of those 'Poo-Be-Gone' scents afterwards!
Then, all dry again, we pulled back the duvet and lay together on my bed. "Ready?" I kissed his nose.
We had a load of music stacked up on my laptop, raging from Enya to Mozart, all soft stuff, low volume. And we had low lights in the room. I felt him start by massaging me gently all over, sensually, but without being erotic. I think he was getting up his nerve to examine and explore me. "Turn onto your side, please, away from me. Good, now, bring your upper knee upwards."
I felt very exposed. No-one has seen my arsehole since I was a baby. "I'm going to touch you between your cheeks." His voice was certain, but he hesitated. I felt a warm finger where no warm finger had been before. "Interesting. It feels smooth. I like the lack of hair there, just there. Did you do that for me?"
"Mum's hair remover!"
"How does my finger feel?"
"Warm, gentle, nice. Would you mind adding some lube? Brrr Cold!"
"Sorry. I'm going to circle and head in to the centre."
"You do what feels right. No need to tell me. I'll tell you what I like or don't. This I like!" He was circling the prize, softly.
I felt a central pressure, and an intrusion. "That's rather good. Keep doing it, and do it more."
"It doesn't hurt?"
"Not in the slightest. Your finger feels solid, purposeful, intruding, and in a good way, and loving. And I'm more than very hard! And Brian?"
"I love you. Whatever we end up doing tonight and tomorrow, I love you."
"I love you too, you complete me. Now shh, my love, I'm carrying on"
His finger moved subtly, right at my opening, a little way in. I knew I could relax one muscle and only tense the other, so I relaxed as much as I could, and felt him ease further in. I had an idea. "Hang on. I want to turn onto my back and pull my legs up. And then, please concentrate at where those pictures show the prostate is?"
I turned, grabbed my legs behind the knees and pulled them up. "Wow. I can watch my finger disappearing into you."
"Don't let go of it!"
I felt firmer pressure and his finger seemed to get sucked in. It made me gasp. "You ok?"
"More than! This is the start of everything I've ever dreamed about. And no, no pain. An odd tension, but no pain. 'S easing now. Wow. Now that you can do for the rest of my life! That must be my prostate!"
"You're leaking precum, loads!"
"Add it to the lube!"
"Are you ready for a second finger?"
"Give me a minute, this is too good to stop, then do it without asking me."
I don't know whether I expected the second finger to be on the same hand or not, but it wasn't He slid the second in alongside the first. "That feels big."
"It's hard to get in, too. Can you relax a little more? You're not hurting are you?"
"Not a pain, it's like a taut rubber band, stretched, very stretched, a little uncomfy, but no actual pain. Wait, it's easing. Ok, stay like that and move when you feel me relax, if I can. This is amazing. If god had not meant two men to fuck he'd have put the prostate on the outside! Sod intelligent design!!"
It was amazing. I felt, hoped, there was better to come, no pun intended. Brian started to move his fingers inside me, two independent beings, finding things inside me to touch, tease, and to pummel, like my prostate! "This is intense! Amazing. I hate those boys who hurt you. I hope I can do this for you tomorrow. It's so personal... Wow. Do that again!"
"I think my fingers have had it... I'm sorry..."
"Be unsorry. I want another part of your body inside me. Get them out, get it in!" Wow, I was growling.
"Growl, WolfBoy, growl! Are you sure? It's bigger than my fingers..."
"Please fuck me... Now... Please..." Now I was whining. Would I howl?
I felt him at the entry, into the entry, inside me. "OH... MY... GOD... YES!" It was unexpected, filling, fulfilling, big, hot, personal, glorious, triumphant. My Brian was part of me! Yes, yes yes!"
"This doesn't hurt?"
"No idea! Seriously no idea, but I want more and I want it now! I want to be fucked as though you'll never get the chance ever again! And you will, trust me, you will" Oh shit. My parents were in the next room. Ah well, too late now!
And he did. He changed pace, changed angle, changed depth, came right out and right in, and, finally, with me encouraging him all the way, slammed into me and unleashed himself into my soul. And it was good. And he was sweaty, panting, making little grunts, on my chest. "Oh Ethan... You didn't break... You made me feel amazing... It was really good for you?"
"It was truly good for me. I mean truly good. You made a man of me tonight. I feel whole."
"Did you... Oh yes. You did. I never knew that was possible." He was playing with my coated stomach, rubbing it into my pelt.
"No wonder I don't need to, now! That was more than intense. I hope we can make you feel so good tomorrow night."
"I almost don't want to wait!"
"There's no way I can even move right now! I've been fucked senseless. If I could, then we would."
"I wonder if we woke your parents?"
"That we'll know in the morning!"
But we didn't. No knowing glances, nothing more than "Did you boys sleep well last night?" which we had, eventually, as we came down from our high, and questions about the dance and how we'd enjoyed ourselves. Which was hugely.
I told Mum, Dad, and Brian "That was the best day of my life so far!" and then, "Mum, Dad, I love Brian with all my heart. I haven't told him this yet. Brian, I want to spend the rest of my life with you!"
"Wow. The only answer is 'yes' Ethan. I do too, with you. And I love you the same way."
"We'll have to have a party," Dad said. "That was truly lovely, not entirely unexpected. Welcome to the family, Brian. I think we need to meet the in-laws." he was smiling, holding Mum's hand. "What are you boys going to do today?"
"Got to make sure the DJs are clean for tonight, Mr Hemmings. And wash the shirts."
"I'll do both of those for you," Mum told us. I know she'd been struggling a little to smile, She wanted her little boy to find a nice girl. All mums do.
"I think we'll got for a stroll, maybe feed the ducks in the park. What do you think, Brian?"
"Works for me. We can go from here tonight easily."
We spent the day being together. It didn't matter where we were or what we did, we were together. At six we were back, ready to go out, smart, washed, polished. "Do you want to go?"
"Not really, but I want to show you off. You're mine, Ethan, and I want to be a king for once. I'm saying this badly..."
"No, I know. I'll bring out my inner werewolf!"
"I knew you'd understand. I want to go, but actually what we have is so special I don't want to either."
"We'll make the same spectacular entrance we did last night!"
"Works for me!"
The dance was almost a carbon copy of the previous night. I didn't know anyone there, obviously, and no girls came to dance with us, but we had fun, just as much as before. "I could get to like dances." I was happy. Wonderfully happy.
In stories that's the point it all goes tits up. I've read them. The two lovers get beaten up, they end up in a hospital, we have a protracted set of scenes where one might die, the other has to hold bits when he has a pee, the whole set of clichés.
Not with us.
The taxi arrived on time, we were whisked, this time to his home, met by Si and his mum and dad. We told them our news, that we were committed to each other. Si went and got a couple of bottles of fizzy white. "Dad? Time for a toast? I've had these in the fridge just in case!"
"Too right. Get that bottle open Simon!"
You know you normally get six glasses out of a bottle? The Bradshaws had four glass to a bottle glasses. They toasted us. Brian and I cried a little. Mrs B cried a lot. Happy tears. I'm not used to wine, especially sparking, so I was a smidgen squiffy, but in a good way. There were sandwiches, too. We demolished those.
"Don't stay up too late, boys." And they parents vanished.
Si took me on one side as they did. "I'm glad I found you, Ethan."
"It was more Shannon who found you," I told him.
"Brian's happy for the first time since the shit he told you about. That was nasty. He's ready to be whole again, I'm sure of it."
"We'll make it. Si. We'll make it."
"I know, I trust you. I'm going to bed soon. Keep the noise down!" And he winked at me.
From his room he and I went through the shower routine. I didn't expect him to do the cleaning thing inside, didn't even mention it. I'd cope with whatever I needed to cope with. I knew he'd been reading the website, knew he'd do the best he could. I wasn't sure how to start, though. Then light dawned. In the bathroom was some baby lotion. I brought the bottle to the bedroom with me.
"I know you're nervous. I want to relax you. I know we're going to get very personal indeed, but I want to start just by giving you the best massage I can, not at all erotic."
"That sounds lovely."
"On your front, please."
"Of course not. Now shh, and trust me."
"I do, I'm just on edge. I want to do this, I do. I'm just terrified."
"I know. And we're going at your speed."
I started at his shoulders, his neck, and worked in to his spine, and out to his sides, all the way down his back, yes, massaging his buttocks but nowhere near the danger zone, then down his legs, all the way to the tips of his toes. "Over, please."
I felt him relaxing as time went by. The wine probably helped, too. Mine had mostly worn off, though. I went up his legs again, massaging his thighs towards, but not into the red zone, then up his torso, and down his arms. "How're you feeling?"
"Relaxed. That was wonderful. Thank you Ethan."
"Ready for the more challenging part?"
"Pretty much. Still frightened."
"Cling onto one thing. Last night you made me feel amazing. It was all positive. You didn't do one single thing that hurt me. My job tonight's to do at least as well as you did. I love you. I so do not get off on pain nor on hurting you."
He smiled as I kissed his nose.
"Let's start the same way as last night. On your side, top leg raised, and talk to me. I want to know what's good, what you don't enjoy, what you want to do more of and what you want not to do."
"Ok, Dr Wolf."
I started, very gently, to stroke his side, downwards to where he was exposed. "You know what my fingers are doing, so I'm not going to talk you through this. Just help me by letting me know how you're feeling. Ok?"
Gently, I started from his balls and moved softly backwards, not quite touching where I knew he needed a soft healing touch. I heard an "Ok so far," and took that as permission to carry on. I still had warm baby lotion on my fingers, so we were slippery together. I massaged his crack, very gently, not quite aiming for the centre.
"Are you ready to turn onto your back?"
My answer was his turning over. "This is the part that scares me the most. I've had so many people I didn't want to look at my arse, and stitches, and..."
"We can stop when you want. Just for now, be detached and an interested bystander."
He laughed! "I am so not having an interested bystander looking at my arsehole!"
"No, you've got a werewolf instead! Now, legs up please, in whatever way makes you the most comfortable."
"I'll do what you did. I can do this. I can."
As he raised his legs, I was able to see all of him. "Not that I'm an expert, Brian, but your arse looks perfectly fine, healthy and normal. Of course I only have porn and my own in a mirror to go on."
"How did you know I was worried about that?"
"Who's the boy who loves you? That's how. I also have a theory. I think I can undo with love the hurt you had before. I haven't said so before, I didn't want to mess with your mind. Now's the right time to tell you."
I moved in and circled him with my fingers, spiralling slowly to the centre. I felt him move towards me. I did a fist pump of joy in my head. I had a load of warm lube and made sure my circling finger was well supplied as it arrived where it was needed, didn't stop circling, just pressed a little harder. No real resistance, he'd given himself into my hands and trust, and it was easy to go in, deep in. I found his prostate. "Oh! Wow. That's interesting!"
"Do you want two fingers?"
"I want this to be 100% positive," he said. "I think I need to do this in stages, especially because of what you said about healing."
"Works for me. What would you like to do?"
"I'd like it very much if you left your finger in place, and gave me a blow job like the very first you gave me. I think feeling very good while you have a finger inside me is going to go a long way to solving this."
"Let's do that, then." I liked the idea a lot. "I just want this to be wonderful for you." I took him into my mouth and wriggled my finger into his hot button. It took longer than I expected, and there was a continuous flow of precum into my mouth until he exploded. It wasn't erotic, not for me, and I think not hugely so for him. But it was cathartic.
I went to the bathroom and got a warm damp flannel and a towel and washed him down carefully.
"I think you were right, Ethan. Thank you."
"Good. Was it ok?"
"It was good, useful, and yes, ok. I think I like my arse now. I just couldn't face, well, any more tonight."
"We got further than I expected, my love, further than I imagined. I wanted to give you back your body."
"You made a great start. I think I'll be ready to lend it to you soon enough. You were right, I think, about doing something similar, but with love. I just couldn't do it all in one go."
"We have the rest of our lives, Brian. The rest of our lives."
"I love you so much it hurts..."
I held him until he slept. I spent the night half awake, marvelling at my man, the man who thought I'd saved him, but who'd brought me back from Croydon Below.
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