Jilted at Christmas

by Jolyon Lewes

Will had suffered a terrible tragedy. When he was seventeen both his parents had died in an horrific road accident on the A 303 near Amesbury. It was dark and wet and they had no chance to avoid the oncoming petrol tanker that had veered onto their side of the road and hit them at speed. In a flash both vehicles and their occupants were engulfed in flames. Will's only consolation was that his parents would have died instantly. Or so said his Housemaster, who told him the dreadful news the next morning. The Housemaster's wife took immediate control of Will and tried to comfort him in her kitchen, well away from anyone else. There'd be no classes for Will that day.

Gradually and with lots of help, Will began to come to terms with being an orphan. He certainly didn't lack support and was able to continue his schooling and at eighteen was ready to start at Sussex University, reading for a degree in life sciences. His godfather Godfrey, his father's brother, made sure Will had all he needed in material terms. Up till then, Will had always thought it was funny to have a godfather named Godfrey but the old man became a stalwart friend. Whatever struck Will's fancy, Uncle Godfrey was always ready to furnish the necessary materials.

Will was the son Godfrey would have loved, if only he'd married and had children. Too late for that now but the newly-orphaned Will gave Godfrey the chance to support and nurture the son he never had. It hadn't escaped his notice that Will had inherited his mother's delicate good looks and his father's brains. Clearly destined for a brilliant career, Will was also a fine catch for the lucky person who would become his spouse, Godfrey privately hoped the spouse would be another boy.

Will's considerable inheritance was to be handled by Godfrey. It was in trust until the boy was twenty-one but Godfrey was able to acquire the funds to buy a studio flat in Brighton for Will to use as his home while at university. He could have paid for driving lessons and a car for Will but didn't want his godson to find independence too quickly. He rather enjoyed the boy eating out of his hand and hoped that would be the case for at least a couple more years.

October 2009 saw Will moving from Godfrey's house in Tonbridge to his nicely-furnished, brand new flat in Brighton. He was excited about this new phase of his life and looked forward to Freshers' Week. The university campus was three miles away on the Falmer Road and there were buses galore. Godfrey hoped Will would spend Christmas with him but if he'd made good friends by then he wouldn't object to the boy partying in Brighton instead. Godfrey had spent years partying and enjoyed the convivial company of good friends.

Tall and good-looking, Will turned quite a few heads at the various meetings and presentations that week. Nobody knew how wealthy he was but even if he'd been known to be a pauper there were plenty of boys and girls eager to seek his company.

The academic year began. Within a month Will had a firm circle of friends, three girls and two other boys. One of the boys was a slender seventeen-year-old called Richard. He liked to shorten his name to Rich and he had a much-repeated catch phrase: 'I'm Rich by name but not by nature.' You might think this would get irritating but whenever he said it he fluttered his eyelashes and gave a sweet little smile and you couldn't help but like him for it. Two of the girls, Sue and Sarah, looked as though they'd like to mother him and the other, Mandy, was getting friendlier by the minute with Dan, the other boy in the group. By mid-November Dan and Mandy, although still part of the group, began to leave parties early to do what healthy boys and girls do together.

Of the three girls Will liked Sue most. She was a strong girl with shortish, blonde hair and at home in Yorkshire kept a pony called Wizard. She talked about the gymkhanas she'd been to in the summer and Will, who'd ridden a little, thought he'd like to have a horse of his own and soon he'd be able to afford that sort of thing. Alone in his flat, he looked through the glossy magazine Country Life for country properties for sale with equestrian facilities. There were loads to choose from and he imagined himself in a few years time with a nice place in Herefordshire with about twenty acres, Sue as his wife, stables for the horses and maybe a little son or daughter.

He thought about it a lot but once in bed invariably found his thoughts drifting to Rich, the boy with the dancing eyes and the saucy grin. He hadn't seen any of his new friends unclothed as yet but assumed Dan and Mandy saw each other unclothed most nights. It was fun to wonder what Sue and Sarah looked like in the nude but even more fun to wonder what Rich looked like, not naked because that would be rude, but in a tiny pair of shorts. He wondered if Rich had learnt to ride - he had the build of a jockey - and his thoughts turned to Herefordshire and instead of Sue and the children it was Rich with whom he'd share the estate. But what if Rich had no interest in horses? Will knew he'd have to discover what Rich's interests were.

Next day Will managed to get Rich to himself in the Students Union bar and asked him how he spent his holidays.

"You'll laugh if I tell you," said Rich.

"Try me," said Will. "I promise I won't laugh."

"I like travelling."

"Why should I laugh at that? I love travelling too. My parents used to take me all over. We went on safari in Kenya, skiing in Aspen, cruising in the Caribbean, we even went to Antarctica when I was sixteen."

"Very nice," said Rich, "but I'm Rich by name and not by nature, remember. By travelling I mean sticking to this country and doing it by train. All by myself."

"Oh, right," said Will, trying to take in this unexpected news. "So where did you go last?"

"Back in August I had a seven day Rail Rover ticket and I did Cornwall. As you know, I live in Ludlow and I want to visit every railway station in England beginning with L. Not Wales, cos there's too many beginning with L. My rule is I have to stand on each of the stations. If I just pass through on the train it doesn't count. I've obviously ticked off Ludlow and Leominster but at Easter I added Ledbury and Malvern Link."

"Malvern Link?"

"Yeah, Link begins with L, doesn't it?"

Will wasn't sure if Rich was having him on. "OK, so when you did Cornwall in August, where did you stay?"

"I took my little tent. First I went to Liskeard and then to Looe. I camped there for two nights. Then it was back to Liskeard and down the line to Lostwithiel and then Luxulyan and a night near Newquay On the last day I went to the far west to tick off Lelant and Lelant Saltings and had a night at St Ives. Then I went back to Ludlow."

"The lad from Ludlow," said Will, finding himself with an erection as he pictured Rich in his little tent. "Apart from the tent you must have travelled light. What did you wear?"

"I'll show you some pics." Rich took out his phone and Will saw a succession of photos of Rich in a dark blue T-shirt and pale blue denim cut-offs of sensational brevity. Will's erection became rock-hard.

"That's really cool. Is that all you wore? And who took the photos?" Will wondered whether Rich had really been 'all by himself' or with a friend and admirer.

"I got people to take the photos and no, I wore more in the evenings when I went out to eat. I can still wear clothes Mum bought me when I was about fourteen. I don't often buy new clothes. I'm not Rich by nature, remember. Oh look - Sue and Sarah are coming over."

Will couldn't get Rich out of his thoughts. Every time he saw him he looked more appetising and every time he spoke to him he seemed funnier, wittier, brighter and, yes, sexier. Will became jealous when Sue or Sarah fussed over Rich but even as they were doing this, Will saw Rich looking at him and giving him a private smile or sometimes a wink. It was almost as if Rich was flirting with him. Will had never before felt like this about a boy. He was getting erections just thinking about Rich, never mind looking at him or talking to him. He liked it.

Within a week of Rich telling Will about his train travels something strange and wonderful was happening to Will. He lost his appetite for food, he couldn't concentrate on his studies, he worried if Rich was even a tiny bit late turning up for a lecture and in bed he thought of nothing else but Rich's slender body, his cheeky grin and pointy chin and the dimples ever-present on his smooth little face. These images were enough to inspire some hearty wanks but oh, how good it would be to see more of Rich's body. Save the tiny images Rich had shown Will on his phone, the only unclothed parts of Rich he'd seen were his face and hands. He needed to see a lot more and in the flesh not in photographs.

The flesh, thought Will. With a face like his, Rich would surely be no disappointment with fewer clothes on. He didn't look the sort to have a hairy chest but what about his legs? Will thought hard about those thumbnail images of Rich in his little blue shorts and tried to enlarge the images in his mind. Rich wore tight enough jeans for Will to judge that he had very good legs and that his bottom was firm and cute. But were they hairy? Will so hoped they weren't.

Will slept little that night and didn't fancy breakfast so made do with a shower and a glass of orange and took an early bus to the university campus. Was it a mistake to have a flat, he wondered. If he'd been in hall he'd be able to see much more of Rich, in every sense, as the showers were in a communal space, not en-suite as they were for more senior students. The six friends usually sat together in the lecture theatre and worked together in the labs. At coffee break Dan spoke to Will.

"Hey, mate, you look all washed out. Are you alright?"

"Didn't get much sleep," said Will, his eyes following Rich, who was walking across the room.

Dan saw where Will was looking and said "Rich was saying it's a pity you live down in town cos you miss some of the fun we have here. Don't you get a bit lonely in your flat, all alone?"

"Not really," said Will, "but it's a bit strange cos I've never lived alone before. At boarding school you're never alone for a moment."

"What, not even in bed?" said Dan with a grin. He'd heard about boarding schools.

Will smiled back. "Yeah, I managed to be alone in bed but you still had snores and grunts from other boys."

"And the rustling of sheets, I dare say," said Dan.

This made Will blush. Was Dan referring to wanking and if so, did he have a way of knowing Will had spent the night wanking himself crazy?

"You sure you haven't got a temperature, Will? Your face has gone red."

Will had lost sight of Rich so looked at the floor, unable to think of what to say to Dan. Then he felt a pair of hands clasping his waist and they weren't Dan's. The hands moved down to his hips and alarmed, he looked around to see the laughing face of the culprit inches from his own. It was the Lad from Ludlow, hands now in his pockets.

"Hey, Will, you woken up yet? You spent all morning yawning!"

"Sorry, tired," said Will, suddenly aware that he'd just had Rich clasping his hips. "I mean sorry, Rich, I didn't realise I was yawning so much. I need more coffee."

Will wasn't so tired that an erection was out of the question as he looked fondly at Rich. This did not escape Dan's attention. Later that morning Will felt his phone give a little vibration and he took it from his jeans to read a text from Rich. It asked him if he was doing anything that night.

Will looked over to where Rich and Sarah were involved in note taking beside some important-looking equipment. Rich looked so cute in his white lab coat. 'Even cuter if he had nothing underneath,' thought Will, who replied to Rich's text thus: 'Wanna see my flat?'

Thirty seconds later Will saw Rich looking at him with a thumbs-up. This seemed a good cue for yet another mighty erection.

As the skies were darkening over Sussex, Will and Rich took the bus to Brighton and then walked to Will's flat.

"It's fantastic!" said Rich. "Can I look round?"

Will showed him the sitting room, the tiny kitchen, the bathroom and the bedroom with its neat little single bed. Being brand new, the flat and all its furnishings were pristine. Will saw Rich eyeing up the bed and thought 'what if?'

"Shall we go to the pub or would you rather stay here? I've got some beer."

"Let's stay here," said Rich. "Maybe we could get a pizza or something later."

It was a pleasant enough evening. The boys chatted about their coursework, their families, Sue and Sarah, and Rich's train journeys.

"They have these cruise train things," said Rich. "You actually live on them and they go all over the place."

"You mean like the Orient Express?"

"Yeah, but they have them here too. There's one that does the Scottish Highlands."

"Must be like the Hogwarts Express, but without Dementors, I hope."

"Yeah," said Rich, laughing happily."I'd love to go on one but I'm Rich by name...."

"But not by nature," said Will, also laughing. "I'll do some research."

"But they're really expensive," said Rich, looking a bit sad.

The boys chatted on and went out for a pizza and when Rich had taken the bus back to the campus Will got to work on his computer. It was a desktop computer with a huge monitor, all the better for viewing photos. He'd have to ask Rich to send him his photos but how to do it without raising suspicion? He didn't need to ask because just before bed a number of files arrived from Rich with a little message:

'Thought you'd like to see some of my pics from Cornwall. More tomorrow if you like.'

Bedtime for Will was delayed for a couple of hours. Rich had sent only six images and in only two was he in his tiny blue shorts but that was enough to send Will into something approaching ecstasy. He knew he'd look even more washed out next morning but he didn't care.

"You're looking knackered again," said Dan at the coffee break. "Did Rich stay the night or something?"

"No, he didn't," said Will, blushing. "I just couldn't get to sleep."

"It's just that you seem to have a thing about him. You'll make Sarah jealous. Mandy says she reckons he'd be fantastic in bed!"

"How does she know?"

"Oh, you know, Will, girls talk about boys just like we talk about girls."

Will was feeling uncomfortable with the way this conversation was going and went to talk to one of the tutors. Later, he managed to get Rich to himself.

"Like the pics?" asked Rich.

"Yeah, they're great. You said there might be more."

"OK, I'll send them in a couple of batches cos they're big files. Then if I can go to your place again I'll explain them when we see them on your huge screen. We've got lectures tonight so tomorrow?"

Will nodded enthusiastically and that evening did more research into cruise trains. The next day was Friday and Rich was going to Will's flat again. To Will's surprise and enormous pleasure, at lunchtime Rich had a simple question. It was "Can I bring my toothbrush?"

Will went home as soon as he could and popped into Tesco for quite a lavish ready meal for two, some wine, some beer and a few Christmas decorations which were in place when Rich turned up at about seven.

"You've made it all Christmassy," said Rich. "Is it just for me?"

Will gulped. Was Rich being just a bit forward?

"Not really. I heard today my godfather's having Christmas in London so I'll go to his for New Year and have Christmas here. I don't mind, really."

"That's sad," said Rich. "Not sure what I'm doing yet but it'll be Ludlow for New Year. I like your decorations."

"Fancy a drink?" asked Will. "I've got us a nice meal that can go in the oven. Let's look at your pics then I'll show you what I've discovered about train cruises. One looks very interesting."

"Ooh, let's look at the trains first, Will!"

Will's computer was on his dining table and the boys sat beside each other to look at it. Will got a tingly feeling when he felt Rich's knee move into contact with his.

"There's three companies I like," said Will. "Two have luxury trains but the only meals you have on board are lunch and tea. You all get taken to hotels for dinner and to spend the night. The third company is called Whiskaway and the train has sleeping compartments like the Orient Express so you stay on the train the whole time and get out only for visits to castles and things. It means you have your own little room if you want a bit of privacy."

"I like that," said Rich, "let's look at Whiskaway."

It was an extremely luxurious train. Two coaches were for dining and one coach was a piano bar. The remaining five coaches comprised cabins for sleeping. Each had a single bed and an armchair and storage space, as well as a tiny but well-appointed bathroom. An interconnecting door gave access to the next-door compartment for when two passengers were travelling together. There were photos of the scrumptious meals served in the dining saloons and of the Continental breakfasts served to the cabins of passengers preferring to eat in private. One photo showed two dashing young men in dinner suits toasting each other with champagne.

"Look, that's us! " said Rich, his voice almost squeaking with joy.

"D'you mean you'd want to go with me? " said Will. "I thought you'd want to be with Sarah."

"Yes, but I like you just as much," said Rich, ramming his thigh hard against Will's. "But it's hopeless. How could any of us possibly afford a trip like that? I think it's a Rail Rover for me. Hey, Will, d'you want to come with me on my next trip? I thought Yorkshire."

"You'd find me very boring company," said Will, hoping Rich would disagree.

And he did: "No I wouldn't! You're one of the coolest guys I know!"

"Thanks, Rich! Look, let's talk about this over dinner. While I get it ready why don't you send all your other pics to my email and we can look at them later."

In the kitchen Will decided it was safe to tell Rich of his considerable wealth. He thought with a smile and a growing erection he'd tell Rich he could afford a Whiskaway holiday for both of them but dare he say a condition would be that Rich took his tiny blue shorts with him?

"You brought your toothbrush," said Will, as the boys sat down for dinner. "But I've only got one bed. I'll sleep on the floor."

"Nothing of the sort! I'll sleep on the floor!"

They smiled at each other. Will found himself with yet another erection. He couldn't wait to see the photos Rich had sent.

The meal over, the boys sat side by side again to look at the photos on Will's big monitor. Once again, Rich moved his thigh so it touched Will's.

"This is me on the quay at St Ives," said Rich. "D'you like my shorts?"

"Fantastic! Didn't you have jeans or anything?"

"Oh yeah, for the evenings in pubs and things and I had some longer shorts for the train journeys. Look, here I am at Liskeard."

"They're still much shorter than most people wear these days," said Will, pummelling with one hand the throbbing mountain in the front of his jeans.

"I can see you approve," said Rich turning to give Will a sexy smile. "Do you like wearing shorts?"

"Haven't really thought about it. I've got some but not nearly as short as yours."

"You'd look cool in ones like mine," said Rich, clicking to another photo, this time a close-up, showing him sitting by his tent, hugging his knees. I like it best of all when I'm camping cos if it's warm all I wear is my littlest shorts."

"Cool!" said Will, with meaning and great relief. The relief was because there was no sign of any body hair and Rich's entirely bare legs were glinting gloriously in the sunshine. He gave his rigid penis another pummelling. He felt Rich move his leg away and worried that his obvious arousal had put off his friend but soon realised that Rich had moved away only because he too had to do some pummelling.

"If you like little blue shorts," said Will, "let me show you something else on the Whiskaway website. They let you choose your own cabin steward. They think young passengers like us would prefer young stewards rather than the older ones they allocate to wrinklies."

After a bit of clicking, Will found the picture he was looking for.

" Bloody hell! Just look at that!" Rich was obviously impressed.

The picture showed a blond, very young-looking male steward knocking at a cabin door and holding a well-laden breakfast tray. His uniform was pale blue with high-collared, tight-fitting jacket and shorts so brief they exposed the lower curves of his bottom.

"Just imagine being served breakfast by him! " said Will. "Look, it says his name's Felix."

"I'm not thinking about breakfast, I'm trying to imagine him coming to tuck me up in bed!" said Rich, somewhat breathlessly.

"So, if you don't mind my asking, are you gay?"

"Not sure, Will, I think I'm probably bi. I like Sarah cos she's fun and her body's a nice shape but I like you cos I think we'd get on and I'd rather share my tent with you than her."

"Thanks, Rich. I take that as a compliment. I didn't think I was anything till this past week or two but now I can't stop thinking about you . Like another drink?"

Steering away from the dangerous topic of sexual desire the boys explored the Whiskaway website, looking at the different itineraries and trying not to mention Felix. When it was time for bed Rich insisted on sleeping on the floor, covered with a rug from the sofa. But in the small hours, Will felt a movement and it was Rich, naked but for his briefs, sliding alongside him in his single bed. Will slept in just boxers so it wasn't long before two pairs of naked legs were having a gentle, sensual wrestling game. The boys fell asleep in each other's arms.

No need to get up early, it was Saturday. It was quite a shock for Will to awake to find a nearly naked boy beside him but when he realised it was Rich he put on the light and pulled back the duvet to look at the beautiful boy. What a sight! Sensing Rich might regret having climbed into bed beside him, Will got carefully out of bed and went to the bathroom and looked at his reflection. 'No, you're not so bad-looking,' he thought. Back into the bedroom went Will, to find Rich wide awake and giving him that sexy smile.

"I'm so glad you haven't got hairy legs, Will. I wouldn't like to share my tent with anyone with hairy legs."

"You could see Felix hasn't got hairy legs," said Will. "Would you have him in your tent?"

"Yeah but he'd have to join the queue. You'd be at the front of the queue."

Let's gloss over the events that followed. The morning progressed and by lunchtime Will had said he'd book an Easter train cruise with Whiskaway (with Felix requested as personal steward) and Rich had agreed to fix two Rail Rover tickets for an excursion to Yorkshire in the summer. And something else had been arranged. Will had invited Rich to stay from 23 to 26 December before he went to Ludlow for New Year. Rich had accepted and told Dan, who nodded knowingly and then told Mandy, who told Sue and Sarah.

Sarah, whose home was near Brighton, wasn't best pleased with this news as she'd hoped Rich would spend Christmas with her. It looked like Rich, who was not rich by nature but very rich in attractiveness, was getting rather popular.

Will had never been so excited. He wasn't sure how he and Rich would fill the three days but he was pretty sure how they'd fill the four nights. He bought more decorations, some Christmas lights, more food, crackers, drinks and a present for Rich - a bottle of Paul Smith eau de Cologne. The six friends did a bit of partying and after most of the other students had gone down for Christmas they and several others stayed till 23 December for optional tutorials and to see more of each other before dispersing. Dan and Mandy were now inseparable and Sarah doted on Rich's every funny comment. Sue chatted to Will about horses but he thought it best not to tell her about the Herefordshire properties he'd been looking at. Sue had been replaced in Will's thoughts by Rich.

On the morning of 23 December Sue left for Yorkshire. A rather solemn Rich wanted to speak to Will.

"Look, Will, I'm sorry but Sarah's persuaded me to go to her place for Christmas. It's only up the road and I'd have my own bedroom and her parents sound really nice."

One look at Will's face and Rich had to say "Oh, hell, don't take it too hard, Will. I'm really fond of you but I don't think I'm cut out for a gay relationship. Not yet, anyhow."

"OK," said Will, tears forming in his eyes, "I suppose you know what you're doing. We're both very young. But I'll really miss you."

Rich patted Will on his arm and avoided eye contact. "Merry Christmas, mate."

And he was gone. Will felt devastated and wandered outside in a daze. Suddenly he began to choke and the tears gushed forth. He went into some trees and cried like a baby. He'd never been jilted before. Later, back in his flat, he sat looking morosely at the decorations he'd arranged. 'What's the point in those?' he thought. Early that morning he'd changed the bed linen, tidied the flat and made sure the fridge was full of goodies. 'What's the point in anything?' he thought. He didn't want a drink or anything to eat but his mouth was so dry he had to have some water. Later, after it had got dark outside, he felt cold and went to get a sweater.

But what was this lying under his sweater? A bit of pale blue denim. Picking it up he quickly realised it was a tiny pair of shorts. 'Must belong to Rich,' he thought. 'But how did they get here?' Holding the shorts up he saw the hems were deliberately frayed, so that hundreds of little cotton strands hung down. He pulled and some of the strands came away. The legs of the shorts must once have been longer but now, the fraying had reduced the legs to less than two inches at the inside seams. He smelt the shorts. Freshly laundered. Why would Rich have put them in Will's drawer. Was he teasing him?

It didn't make Will feel any happier but he held the shorts to his face and kissed them. The night was long and desolate but the shorts spent the night under Will's pillow, something to remember Rich by. Oh, why did Rich have to go off with Sarah? Will had been jilted and he felt sick.

It was Christmas Eve and Godfrey would be in London, at his Club in St James's. Will ventured out into the streets of Brighton, filled with merry-looking people enjoying themselves. Again he felt sick, and terribly, terribly lonely. All that food and drink in his flat and no-one to share it with. He felt the chokes coming on again and returned to his flat to sit looking at the floor, He couldn't even be bothered to switch on his computer. He just sat there. Then, at three o'clock, his doorbell rang.

"Surprise!" A beaming Rich stood there, holding his rucksack. "Can I come in?"

Will was gobsmacked. What did this mean? He thought Rich had abandoned him but here he was, as if nothing had happened.

"You'd better come in, I suppose. Has Sarah kicked you out?"

"Let me come in and explain," said Rich. In Will's sitting room he said "Jeez - it's dark in here. Can we switch on your Christmas lights?"

"Would you mind explaining yourself," said an unsmiling Will.

"Yeah, it's Sarah - she's got hairy legs!"

" What? Would you mind speaking some sense?"

"Only joking, Will. It was Dan's idea. He wanted you to think I was kicking you into touch and I thought what a weird idea but Sarah agreed and I was only ever going to stay one night at her place. Separate bedrooms. Did you find my shorts?"

"Yes and I couldn't work out how they got here. They're, um, under my pillow."

"You old softy! That was meant to be the sign I'd be back."

At last it was time for Will to beam. "You're a weird boy, Rich. Rich by name and rich in irony. Can I have a hug?"

"If you'll have me, Will."

"Oh, I'll have you alright, you little tinker!"

"If you want I'll wear my little shorts for you tonight."

"And tomorrow, and the next day. It would make me very happy!!"

"And you're going to make my Christmas!" said Rich, giving Will the sloppiest kiss ever.

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