Nathan B...'s Schooldays
by N Fourbois
There is a defining moment after taking the 16+ public examinations in which the more thoughtful come to realise that they are no longer boys. For Nathan and Tom it manifested itself in the following manner. This would be the last long summer holidays in which they could truly say they had no academic work to do. Then if they wanted the material goodies in life it was time to start earning their living. Consequently they did not go on holiday with their parents that summer, but got themselves a job with the city council dealing with deckchairs on the seafront.
During the summer season their main task was to collect the charge made for using the deckchairs and if need be help with distribution and collection first thing in the morning and last thing in the afternoon. The sessions were from ten until one in the morning and from two till six o'clock. Providing they covered the whole seafront at least once during each session they could work as they wished and so naturally they worked in pairs, gaily, and sometimes gayly, chatting with the holiday makers and enjoying each other's company. They had to be prepared to work seven days a week, but if they hadn't, plenty of other teenagers would have been. Providing at the end of the day the money checked up with tickets sold and they paid the takings into a safe in the council offices opposite the pier, no one bothered them. Of course certain perks went with the job and they used the system to their own advantage. They didn't have to get up early in the morning and they had their evenings free. The only 'uniform' they were required to wear was a council tabard with a numbered badge (worn on the right side, of course) and so on hot days they wore the shortest of their shorts, sandals and nothing under the tabard. A master stroke of security in their own minds was to keep the paper money they collected in the box pouch of their jockstraps. A mugger or pickpocket would think twice before putting their hand in there. Within a week they were as brown as berries. During their lunch break they would lock up the takings and their ticket machines securely in the council offices, change in the deckchair hands' hut and go swimming. Wearing the council tabard not only entitled them to a free ride on corporation buses to and from work, but also got them cups of tea and snacks at reduced price from the caterers along the seafront. However, their contract didn't deal one way or the other with the most rewarding perk of the job - boyspotting - and if the boys being spotted were sittin g in their deckchairs they had every excuse in the world to chat them up. The only overtime worked in the job was by Tom's gaydar. It also turned out that our boys' parents went on holiday at different times and so Tom could stay at the B...s' for a fortnight and be fed, and vice versa for Nathan. Even Bruce, if he promised to behave, was allowed to go to work with them. He only let himself down once when he cocked his leg up against a deckchair. Fortunately the occupant was asleep at the time.
The magic Thursday before the bank holiday weekend arrived and both boys were on tenterhooks all morning. To put them out of their misery Mrs H... picked up Mrs B... after work and they drove down to the seafront and made their way, both armed with an envelope, towards the deckchair hands' hut near the pier. It was Bruce that spotted them first and started barking. The mothers handed the dreaded envelopes to their sons who walked off some distance to open them. There were immediate whoops of delight and hugs as they discovered they had passed in all ten subjects, and with good grades. They ran back to their mothers to tell them. The celebrations had to wait until they returned home that evening.
On the 1 September the season goes dead, almost as if a magic wand is waved and the day trippers and holiday makers are returned to their boxes until the following Easter. Just the occasional Saga lout is to be seen along the seafront. With the end of the season came the end of Nathan and Tom's job. With no time to go on a real holiday before school began they booked themselves in for a long weekend at Midi-Parcs, a residential leisure centre out in the middle of the country, and it was no coincidence that they had booked for a special gay weekend, even though it meant they had to lie about their age on the booking form, nor had they told their parents that it was a 'specialist' weekend.
Tom and Nathan caught the train to the nearest station where Midi-Parcs had laid on shuttle buses to take guests to the centre. Outside the station there were a number of singles and couples waiting for the bus to arrive. Tom's gaydar was at risk from meltdown although Nathan dismissed it as a demonstration of the blinding obvious. The boys had an odd feeling about their surroundings and were beginning to wonder whether they had made the right decision. As they looked round they saw a number of 'normal' guys - 'like themselves,' they thought - but there were also several out and out queens, some in tight clothing, some topless, some in obvious and less obvious make-up, some with weird and wonderful hairstyles, many a mix and match of all these. At this stage Nathan and Tom just kept themselves to themselves, overawed by what they were seeing. They could not keep their eyes off one man, easily in his twenties, dressed in high black boots that came above his knees, a pair of tight emerald green short shorts which displayed part of his buttocks with a matching tanktop and, to crown it all, he was carrying his weekend gear in a dinky bright pink backpack which conspicuously clashed with the rest of his outfit. Nathan squeezed his boyfriend's hand and said
"It's okay, Tom. It's not compulsory to dress like that if you're queer."
The bus arrived and Tom and Nathan climbed on board with their fellow guests. After arriving at Midi-Parcs the boys went through registration at reception and found their room. Although small it contained a large double bed, a television, two armchairs, a writing table with a chair and a fitted wardrobe. When Nathan went into the en suite bathroom he found on the shelf next to the wash basin a welcome pack with the message 'Have a safe and enjoyable weekend with us'. In addition to the usual bars of soap, shower gel and shampoo was a dozen pack of extra-strong condoms and a tube of K-Y gel.
"Someone's thought this through," said Tom.
"I suppose for next week's lesbian weekend they'll contain double dildos and tampons," countered Nathan.
"Ewww, Nathan B..., there are times when you really are gross," said Tom. On the writing table was a printed programme listing events and meal times with departure after lunch on Monday. Our boys had an hour to settle in before the official welcome.
The official welcome consisted of a drink on the house and a talk about the facilities available at Midi-Parcs. Afterwards Nathan and Tom took a walk around the centre to see for themselves what had been recommended. Since their arrival they had been aware of being looked at, checked out, by both singles and couples.
"Don't worry, Natt," said Tom. "It's bound to happen 'cause we're probably the youngest. As long as we stick together we should be safe, but should things get unpleasant, remember a knee in the balls, scrape your heel down his shin or stamp on the bridge of his foot. Then run like hell and scream."
"We don't want any trouble, Tom. Don't forget we're under age."
Since it was September it started to grow dark at about seven. Dinner was to be served from seven thirty onwards. The boys went back to their room to get showered and changed.
"I'd better have a shave," said Tom "or I'll be damaging that sensitive skin of yours."
"Why? What are you going to get up to?" asked Natt coquettishly.
"This," as he grabbed him, forced his lips apart, French kissed him and finished by running his stubbly chin across his cheek. As they stripped the full effect of their summer suntan could be seen starkly contrasted by their bikini line in brilliant white. They dressed in khaki slacks and white short-sleeved shirts. It was a conscious decision to wear the same clothes as far as possible over the weekend because they were at last, just for these few days, free to act as a couple in public and they wanted to warn off any potential predators. The welcome briefing had mentioned that security supervision was effective all over the complex, but they still felt vulnerable because of their age. The travelling had tired them and they had decided on an early night. They would give the disco a miss.
They walked across to the restaurant hand in hand, suddenly aware and taking advantage of the freedom that the ambience they were in gave them. On reaching the restaurant they were welcomed by the manager and shown to a table for two by the window which looked out on a series of fountains and pools. The table was laid with a white table cloth and decorated with lavender napkins and a single lavender candle. Upon their being seated the waiter appeared and both Nathan and Tom were immediately taken aback. Their waiter couldn't have been much older than them and he immediately made an impression. As soon as he spoke and introduced himself as Patrick they realised that he was from North America and before they could commit the ultimate faux pas of accusing him of being from the United States they read his name badge: 'Patrick Saskatchewan.' He explained that he would be their waiter for their stay and that as it was table d'hôte they had a limited choice, but there was always a vegetarian alternative. Nathan and Tom were hardly listening to him as they admired his clean cut features and his short sandy neatly styled hair. In his waiter's uniform of white shirt, black bow tie, black trousers and the long white apron tied about his svelte waist he was absolutely breathtaking. Patrick wrote down their order and said
"Gentlemen, I need your room number." Tom showed him their key fob.
"You can have our number any time," said Nathan giving Patrick his best come-on smile. As Patrick left, their eyes followed his neat little butt until he disappeared to get their drinks. "Now, there's something worth chatting up," said Nathan.
"And we won't be wasting our time," replied Tom. "My gaydar's working overtime."
"Pity about the pinny, though. I can't check him out."
Tom and Nathan had been among the later ones to arrive and the serving was largely over by the time they received their main course. As things were winding down it became obvious that they were receiving more than the average amount of service. They got talking to Patrick. He had such an engaging smile and was permanently exuding personality without being overbearing. They wanted to know what brought him from Canada.
"I graduated from high school in May and after what my grandparents told me about the old country I really wanted to visit England. I need to earn some money before university and so I combined the two."
Tom took the plunge. "What time do you finish?"
"Nine o'clock providing all the guests have been served."
"Would you like to have a drink with us when you're finished?"
"Great idea. I've got your room number on my pad."
"By the way I'm Tom..."
"...and I'm Natt."
"I'm sorry, Tom and Natt, I have to charge you for your drinks. You can either pay me now or it can be put on your account for you to pay at the end of your stay."
"How do you do it?" asked Nathan full of admiration for his boyfriend. Tom smiled. "Furthermore, how do you get away with it?" The boys went straight back to their room and waited for the anticipated knock. They made themselves comfortable, stripping down to just shorts. Nathan's body had slimmed down as he grew. He would never have the sixpack and the flat stomach, but compared with his body shape when he first went to grammar school he was a marvel. When the knock came Nathan threw open the door and Patrick was welcomed by both boys. He was still wearing his waiter's uniform, minus the pinafore, with black trousers, but in the poor lighting Natt was still unable to check him out. Tom took three bottles of lager from the small fridge under the sink unit in the bathroom.
"It's okay, guys. I'll talk to Lisa about that tomorrow. She's your chambermaid. I'll see she replaces the bottles and loses the charge somewhere. Our boys sat in the armchairs while Patrick kicked off his shoes and lay on the bed.
"So what hours do you have to work, Patrick," asked Tom.
"Breakfast seven till ten and dinner six till nine. It's not only serving, but laying the tables as well. Then we make up the hours by doing lunch every other day. Not many people take lunch, so they can do with less staff, and that's supposed to be for six days a week and then we do one more day if we want as overtime. I'm here to earn money, so I do it most weeks."
"When do you finish?"
"I was supposed to finish on September 1st, but they asked for volunteers for the gay weekend and next week's lesbian weekend. I said I'd do the gay weekend, but I wasn't going to stay on for a load of dykes. Still I wanted to see a bit of Britain before I go back. So I finish Monday and leave sometime Tuesday for London." Patrick drained the bottle he was drinking from and lay back on the bed.
"So what do you think of England then," said Nathan, but no reply was forthcoming. Patrick had fallen asleep just like that. Our boys talked among themselves.
"Natt, do you think we should wake him up?" Nathan nodded and they shook him, but he just continued to sleep, in the middle of their bed. "He's still breathing," said Tom.
"Oh well, there's just one thing for it," said Nathan. They got ready for bed and fortunately the bed was big enough for them to crawl under the covers while Patrick slept on top.
They were woken by a series of high pitched beeps.
"Bloody hell, what's that? Not the fire alarm?" said Nathan as he scratched his balls and Tom rubbed his eyes, partly in disbelief.
"It's okay, guys," said Patrick. "It's the alarm on my watch. It's six o'clock." Tom groaned. "Hey, have I been here all night?" Tom nodded in the gloom and Nathan drily added
"No, only since a quarter past nine."
"Oh my god, I'm sorry, guys. I didn't mean to... I just... oh no, have I stopped you two guys...?"
"Yes," interrupted Nathan in the way that only Nathan can.
"I'll make it up to you. I'll make it up any way I can."
"Well, there is just one way you can make it up to us," said Tom.
"What's that? I'll do anything... anything."
"You can spend the night with us tomorrow... or rather tonight," said Nathan "provided you promise not to go to sleep on us again."
"You've got a deal, but don't tell my boss. I want to leave on Tuesday with my wages and a clean record." Patrick quickly pulled himself together and said "See ya at breakfast," as he slipped out of the door.
"I think we're on a promise tonight," said Tom.
"I think we are," replied Natt. "Come here, you gorgeous hunk. I want to feel you inside me, so far up until it comes out of my mouth."
Patrick was still apologetic at breakfast.
"No worries," said Nathan "apart from the fact that we shall be taking the piss out of you all day."
"All night," corrected Tom. Patrick had obviously changed for while Nathan was admiring his butt he noticed that his trousers no longer had the creases from sleeping in them. Our boys had the day worked out. First port of call was the gym. Nathan was apprehensive about this, but Tom soon persuaded him that it was nothing like the gym at school. He was fascinated by all the machinery and even he worked up a sweat. After a quick shower and change they had an appointment at the hairdresser's. Since they had been working every day since the end of the school term and unable to get to the barber's they had let their hair grow and become quite shaggy and after lots of exposure to sun and salt water, even their usual shampoo and conditioner could not cope with the rough treatment their hair had received. Not only were they going to have their hair cut, but also conditioned. They lay back in the chair and luxuriated as their hair was washed and anointed with various elixirs. It simply amused Nathan that his hairdresser insisted on rubbing his crotch against his elbows as he moved round the chair and Natt even stuck them out farther to provoke a reaction. It was only at the final stage that their chairs were swung round and they could view the identical styles, dyed black with blond streaks. Feeling fully satisfied with the result they emerged into the sunlight, deciding to find somewhere they could go and snack. They could go swimming provided they thoroughly washed the chlorine out of their hair before getting dressed. They loved the freedom to walk round Midi-Parcs holding hands or with their arms round each other's waist, although unlike some other guests they would not go as far as kissing in public. Most of the afternoon was spent on the tennis court and finally, supposedly as a treat, but of course they had never tried it before in their lives, they went to the sauna. It was quite small and as they lay on the pine benches completely naked they fell asleep. They were awoken by the door opening and found another couple had come in. Our boys had left their towels outside in the changing room, so it was too late to worry about modesty and the couple that had just come in were likewise stark bollock naked. Having spent the last five years checking out other boys Nathan found that old habits died hard. But what he saw was like nothing he had witnessed before for one of the partners had a dick larger than anything he had seen on a human being.
"You like it, son?" asked the newcomer. "You can touch it if you like."
His friend giggled. "You can. I don't care," he said in a fem voice. To be blunt Nathan didn't like it. Yes, it was longer and chunkier that anything he had ever checked out in his life and as such he regarded it as a museum piece, more precisely as something from a side-show at a travelling fair, but over those five years he had developed his own rules concerning the aesthetics of the penis and scrotum and this specimen didn't fit in with them if only for the fact the foreskin exceeded the shaft by a good inch.
"Thanks for the offer," remarked Nathan "but I'm a vegetarian. I don't handle meat." Tom laughed, impressed with his quick thinking.
"You prefer a cucumber to a sausage, dear," retorted the owner of the equipment under discussion.
"Nothing less than a marrow will do me," he quipped back. The sauna resounded with laughter and giggling. Although the banter was friendly, Tom felt uncomfortable lest it should lead on to something unpleasant, so he said
"We've had our hour. It's all yours," and he took Nathan protectively by the hand and imperceptibly led him out. They dived under the cold shower before getting dressed. "Ooh, that water's cold," said Tom.
"Yeah, they cool it specially to feed the sauna showers," said Nathan. "I'd like to see what effect it would have on that bloke's prick." Nathan's tackle had all but disappeared up inside his body. "Mmm, just like the old days," he remarked "like after rugby or cross-country in the freezing weather." Tom's equipment was of the opposite type. Normally very soft and loose when warm, cold water made his semi-stiff and stand out from his body.
"Let's get dressed and go out in the sun," said Tom "or we won't have much to offer Patrick tonight at this rate." When they got back to their room, they were immediately met with a vase on the table containing two red roses and a card which read 'From Patrick'. On the pillow were two new complete welcome packs and a selection of the 'good night' chocolates. Patrick certainly had persuaded Lisa to 'make it up to them'.
When Nathan and Tom went into dinner that evening Patrick met them to offer apologies for not being able offer them a table for two, but would they mind sharing.
"Not in the least," replied the more extrovert Tom. Patrick led them to a table where two gentlemen in smart dark suits were seated. They suddenly felt underdressed.
"Gentlemen, these are my two friends, Tom and Nathan." They shook hands and said "Hi". As they sat down the taller one said
"This is my husband Austin Bannerman-Carter," and the shorter one said
"And this is my husband Maurice Carter-Bannerman." Our two boys explained which one was Tom and which one was Natt. "This is the first anniversary of our civil partnership and so we're celebrating tonight," said Austin.
"You don't mind us intruding?" enquired Nathan politely.
"Oh, you're not intruding," said Maurice. "The real celebration begins when we get back to our room."
"Are you two married?" asked Austin.
"Engaged?" said Maurice.
"Oh no," said Nathan. "We're still at the boyfriend stage."
"Do you think you'll marry?"
"We haven't really talked about it," said Tom.
"We want to get through school and university and started on our careers before we make any decisions about our lives," said Nathan.
"But we hope to go to the same university even though we'll be taking different subjects," added Tom. "We might even find someone else," he said in a voice and with a look between them that both conveyed a great lack of conviction in what he was saying.
"So how old are you?" asked Austin.
"Si..." started Tom, but this was drowned out by Nathan saying
"Eighteen." The four had a lively conversation throughout the meal, part of the time giving each other suggestions about what to do over the weekend. It was odd. Our two boys felt most at home talking to this conservative couple dressed splendidly, but in an unobtrusive manner, gaining strength from the confidence they exhibited in themselves and their lifestyle. They had always naturally shied away from the out and out queens and in their relationship they celebrated everything masculine showing little interest or sympathy for the effeminate types among gay men. After the meal had reached its unhurried conclusion the four hugged as they said good night without our two young friends feeling any embarrassment.
Nathan and Tom returned to their room to await the arrival of Patrick. They slipped into a pair of Tommy Hilfiger boxer shorts, brand new out of their boxes, and lay on the bed together watching television until Patrick turned up. About half past nine the knock on the door came and Nathan answered.
"Hey, Natt, Tom. how's it going? Sorry I'm late. Just one of those evenings. I couldn't get away." They welcomed him in. Even dressed simply in dark blue sweats and a white tee shirt he exuded not only personality and beauty, but also a smell of soapy cleanliness from his recent shower. "I see Lisa's done her stuff," he said as they hugged. Nathan fetched lagers from the mini bar. He noticed three glasses had been placed on the fridge. Lying or sitting around as the cramped room allowed the three young men chatted over their lagers. "In Canada," said Patrick "you have to go where the jobs are and in Saskatchewan there's a lot of wheat, but not many seasonal jobs for students. So last year I got myself a job as a waiter in Banff in the national park in Alberta, at a place called Caribou Lodge. I met a lot of English people there, but I remember two in particular, obviously father and son. My gaydar picked up pretty soon that the son was gay and out of devilry I played up to it and tarted. He couldn't keep his eyes off me. Not that anything came of it, except an extra large tip."
"As you're our guest of honour tonight we are going to treat you to our special threesome," said Tom.
"That's if you're man enough to take it," added Nathan. Personal pride made Patrick say
"I accept the challenge."
"My parents are guardians to a lad called Tony whose parents work abroad and we worked this trick out one weekend he was staying with us." Tom and Nathan got their boxers off and Patrick followed suit by stripping off his clothes. Nathan peeled back the bed clothes while Tom went into the bathroom to fetch the welcome pack.
"You're sure you're up for this, Patrick?"
"Can't you see I'm hard already?" As Patrick lay bent over the bed Tom started applying K-Y gel to his hole, easing first one and then two fingers in.
"Now lie on your back. Natt, can you do this bit for me?" asked Tom as he wiped his hands on a towel. Nathan took an extra strong condom from the welcome pack and unrolled it over Tom's rampant cock. He then fetched a fruit flavoured one from his overnight bag and unrolled it over his own. Nathan got Patrick to put his legs in the air and kneeling at his head pulled them back towards his shoulders while Tom gently probed and finally gained entrance without Patrick feeling even the least pain. Once they were comfortable Nathan said
"Now suck my dick, Patrick." To complete the action Tom jerked Patrick off while gently and slowly pumping in and out of his body and deep-kissing Nathan. None of them could talk, but the moans of pleasure spoke for themselves. Who said that men can't multitask? Or perhaps it's only gay men who can.
The inevitable beep of Patrick's alarm watch went off. All three were immediately awake. Six o'clock.
"Sorry, guys. I've got to go to work," he said as he dragged his naked body out from between the covers and from between Nathan and Tom. "Thanks for a fantastic night," slipping his jogpants and tee shirt on and stuffing his briefs into the pocket.
"See you later," said Tom sleepily. Nathan had already fallen back to sleep in his warm arms. At half past seven he woke again saying
"Tom, was I dreaming or was I dreaming?"
"Neither," said Tom. "He really was here and it really did happen. The evidence must still be around here somewhere. Come on, we've time to make love before breakfast and it's my turn on the bottom." Nathan kissed his boyfriend.
Sunday morning was spent first at the gym and then on the tennis courts, the afternoon on mountain bikes followed by swimming in the outdoor pool and of course wearing their body length speedos. Naturally this caught a lot of attention, but our boys would have been disappointed if it hadn't. If they hadn't had another evening fixed up with Patrick they wouldn't have been short of offers, some of which they regrettably found to be rather unsavoury. The beeping of Patrick's watch came only too soon on the morning of their last day. After breakfast they took their gym session, but spent the rest of the morning relaxing. In the gift shop they managed to find a leather necklace with matching bracelet made of plaited rainbow coloured thongs which they presented to Patrick after lunch as a memento and lieu of a tip. They took their farewells, went back to their room to pack, handed in the keys and waited for the bus to whisk them off to the railway station.
Nathan and Tom came home to celebrate their seventeenth birthdays later in the week. Each boy's parents had given them a course of driving lessons as a birthday present and for the first time in their relationship a rivalry developed to see who would pass his driving test first, but that was in the long term. They would have liked a select party, but accommodation and travel made that impractical, especially as they had been out of contact with their schoolfriends for so many weeks, and so they ended up with a combined dinner party with their families at a local restaurant inbetween the dates of their two birthdays. Nathan gave Tom a pair of black leather driving gloves and Tom gave Nathan a pair of cufflinks with a subtle double intertwined male symbol worked into the gilt pattern.
A couple of days before term was due to begin Tony flew in back from his parents' home in Europe and so naturally he came to stay with his guardians for the interim. Once they had left the motorway Tom was allowed to drive the car back from the airport under his mother's supervision. From time to time Tony and Nathan sat in the back of the car with their hands folded and eyes closed in prayer position until Mrs H... told them off for being a distraction.
They were naturally keen to relate their adventures over the holidays, but that had to wait until they got home and Tony had unpacked. Late afternoon Mrs H... set up cold drinks on a table on the patio. The telephone rang and she went indoors to answer it. They were safe to talk for half an hour, especially if it was one of her WI ladies. The M...s didn't need to go away on holiday for they were already there. They took advantage of going on trips into the surrounding area and visiting the tourist spots which they couldn't when they were busy working. The highlight for Tony was the three week period when Eddie came to stay. Fortunately the size of the flat meant that Tony and Eddie had to share rooms for otherwise they would have had little privacy. The attitude of Tony's parents towards his being gay was different from that of the B...s or the H...s. They knew he was gay; they hadn't freaked when he discussed it with them, but in their own minds they were in denial: 'Oh, it's just a phase he's going through': 'Oh, he's only a boy still. He won't be getting up to all those things you hear about gay people doing'. If they were in denial about the full implications there was logically no need to supervise him and that worked to his advantage. On the other hand he had no one in the family he could talk to or gain guidance from, and consequently the question was never asked whether Eddie might be gay too and the concept of 'boyfriend' was beyond their ken. As a result after they had said good night, Tony and Eddie were left to their own devices.
"One thing I found out," said Tony "is that the age of consent there is fourteen for boys and girls and so we didn't have to worry about whether we were doing anything against the law."
"So you two had a good time?" said Tom wanting to push Tony on to reveal more without actually asking him outright.
"Sure, and do you know what?" Here Tony's voice was reduced to a whisper. "We actually did it. In fact, we've done it several times now."
"Did what?" asked Nathan, no longer out of naïvety, but from his intolerance of intellectual sloppiness.
"Oh my goodness, how common," said Nathan and both his and Tom's face displayed an exaggerated expression of distaste.
"Oh dear, how many times do we have to tell you," admonished Tom "that boyfriends make love?" Tony knew that they were taking the piss, but he also recognised the serious message behind the piss-take.
"The first couple of times we took it very steadily. Luckily, stowed away with my rugby kit, I had a jar of vaseline and with a lot of vaseline and a lot of finger we made sure it went right and didn't hurt."
"We'll give you a beginning of term present of a tube of K-Y gel each," said Nathan.
"Have you ever tried buying K-Y gel in a foreign language?" countered Tony.
"No, we just pick it up off the shelf in the supermarket and put it in the basket," said Tom.
"And then we go and stare out the checkout girl and will her to make a comment," added Nathan.
"They never do," said Tom "not even the spotty Saturday youth."
"Well, one spotty youth did once," said Nathan. "He just added a heavy emphasis to the phrase 'Have an enjoyable weekend, sirs'."
"Anyway, you've got to keep this a secret," whispered Tony.
"Cross our hearts and hope to die," chorused Tom and Nathan in camp voices along with the actions.
"You don't notice it when he's standing up. It's only when he's on all fours you can see that Eddie's got a cute little mole just below his butthole."
"A beauty spot they called it in the olden days," said Nathan
"Gives you something to aim at, I suppose," mused Tom drily.
The first day of term and the first day in the sixth form quickly arrived. Tony had been taken back to his boarding house the previous evening by Mr and Mrs H..., accompanied by Tom and Nathan. Now they had been deposited outside the railway station by Mrs H... and a sense of reality was just dawning on them. They walked onto the platform with a renewed confidence, the confidence that comes with nearing the top of the tree, the confidence that comes with wearing a different school uniform, smarter, more distinguished and of better quality, the confidence that comes after gaining good examination results, with having achieved something in life. They both tacitly noted the gaggle of newbugs on the platform, more out of nostalgia than any sexual or social interest, but perhaps the sight of them there sowed a seed in Nathan's mind, one not to lie dormant for long and to be watered and fed by something said later that day. For Nathan and Tom came the first parting of the ways, Nathan to the arts block for his specialised study of languages, Tom to the science block for his VI form course in maths, physics and chemistry. Old habits die hard and they would meet at house meeting, assembly and of course at break. They had gained the privilege of being allowed to stay indoors during breaks, but the pair preferred to meet outdoors and walk round the fields, and of course there were old acquaintances to be renewed. Martin they had already chatted to on the train; they now wanted to find Tony to make sure he had settled in okay. While they were talking to him and Eddie, Jack walked past and Nathan peeled off to have a word with him. He had grown noticeably over the summer, filling out. He was no longer the pretty boy that Nathan had up against the wall after the last night of Taming of the Shrew, but had turned into a handsome and mature young man for Year 10, his hair slightly longer, his voice deeper, but nonetheless attractive for that, who was still able to rouse a twitch in Nathan's trouser s. Jack described some of the things he and his boyfriend had got up to over the summer and it was obvious that they were in it together for the long haul. Nathan still felt very protective towards him. The first bell rang for the end of break and Natt rejoined Tom for a combined meeting for all the Lower Sixth (Year 12) with the Head of Sixth form, Nathan's modern languages master, Mr S.... For old time's sake both boys took a slash in the urinals that acted as a distorting mirror.
Nathan was fully content with the staff who had charge of him for Mr C..., his ex-English and drama master, was his form master and he and Mr S... would be playing a leading rôle in guiding him through the next two years and hopefully on to a good university. During the briefing he hung on Mr S...'s every word, especially the part where he detailed what the School expected of its sixth formers and the contributions they could make to running the establishment, particularly in organising House sporting and cultural activities. After lunch Tom and Nathan wandered out onto the school fields with the intention of joining the all-the-year-round cricketers, but they were waylaid by a grinning pair of hunky Year 10 boys, John S... and Dave O.... And even hunkier had they become over the long summer break, still sporting a tan and with their trousers fitting even tighter round the crotch. Nathan's mind flashed back to a seedy hotel in Brussels and half an hour of illicit pleasure in the fives court.
"What have you two old queens been up to over the summer?" said John.
"What a way to speak to two sixth formers," remonstrated Tom, tongue in cheek. "We object strongly to the word 'old'."
"Give us skin," said Nathan and in their traditional manner the last movement was a feel of each other's crotches.
"Not much happening in there," said Tom dismissively and then they spent five minutes talking about various events from the summer holidays.
"God, they're rough trade," said Nathan as he and Tom walked away from them.
"But that's why we love them," replied Tom. "Give them sixpence and a lick of your lolly and they're yours for whatever."
"I can well believe them being the scourge of pubescent Italian youth at a resort for a fortnight and sorely missed after they caught the plane home."
"I think we'll have to sort them out in the near future, Natt." They had forgotten completely about joining the all-the-year-round cricketers and just continued to walk round the fields talking. Nathan was in a pensive mood.
"Tom, you know I've been thinking about what old S... was saying about making a contribution to school life. I really want to do something to help the gay community in school."
"I don't know yet."
"I can see it now," said Tom "the Head getting up on his hind legs in assembly and during notices reading out 'Tomorrow lunchtime the inaugural meeting of the HomSoc will be held in the fives court, or in case of inclement weather in room 69. All those boys interested should give their name to Nathan B... in Lower Sixth Arts.'" He mimicked the Headmaster well.
"Tom, at times you really are a prat and unfortunately I love you dearly for it. Heavens, I'm dying to kiss you."
"Not out here. Save it for room 69."
"But seriously, I had Mike R... to help me and between us we've helped Tony, and so indirectly Eddie; then there's S... and O..., Jack and Martin, and in a different way Eric McB... and David C.... There must be a number of juniors who wouldn't dare look at us sixth formers, let alone speak to us."
"You'll have to leave them to Phil E...."
"Exactly, that's another reason they need our help. And do you remember that abortion J...? Okay, he's gone now, but there could be another one and the vulnerable members of our community need protecting against someone like that." Tom was beginning to realise how serious and passionate Nathan was and how stupid it would be to treat his suggestion as a joke. At that point the first bell rang for afternoon school.
September was Nathan's favourite month at school. Not only did it have the feeling of progress and something new, but also the last vestiges of summer. Towards the end the month he and Tom were walking past the fives court after lunch, agonising over whether they should join the all-the-year-round cricketers or not, when Nathan got a nudge from his sixth sense. Strangely he had an effective sixth sense, but no gaydar. He jerked his head towards the entrance and Tom said
"You really do like disturbing courting couples, don't you, Natt?"
"Only if they're hetero," he whispered in reply. As they walked through the brick entrance they saw sitting on the ground in a corner with his arms round his bent knees a young boy. All they could see of his head was his tousled blond curly hair. His face was hidden to cover the tears running down his face and to stifle his sobs. 'Nathan, whatever you do, you don't cry...' After five years those words of his father still resounded through his head.
"What's your trouble, young man?" enquired Nathan. A pretty face looked up at him, showing an expression of fear and spoilt by red eyes and the marks tears were making as they rolled down his cheeks.
"Nothing," sobbed the unfortunate. Natt crouched down beside him so as not to appear so fearsome while Tom remained in the background.
"Now they're a lot of tears for nothing. Have you got a hanky?"
"No." Nathan pulled his own out of his pocket and offered it. Tom walked down the court to guard the entrance. "It's just that they keep on at me."
"The boys in my class."
"What do they do?"
"They keep on calling me gay."
"Why do you think they do that?"
"It started when we had to write an essay in English about ourselves. I had to read mine out and I s'pose it's because I said that in my spare time I play the piano, sing in the church choir and write poetry; and I like painting." He had a very refined accent that wouldn't have helped his image.
"Come along. Stand up and let's have a look at you. That's better. And are you gay?"
"No!" he cried out resentfully.
"What's your name?"
"Colin, Colin C.... I'm in Year 8."
"I'm Natt and this is my b..., er my friend Tom." Nathan shook his hand. "Now you've got to be brave and just ignore them because if you thump someone it'll be you that's in trouble unfortunately. Go and wash your face and by the time this afternoon's classes start, they'll have forgotten all about you. And if you still have any trouble you can come and tell us." Then Colin smiled the sweetest of sweet smiles and his eyes laughed and Natt could have taken him into an instant hug, but judged it the wrong moment. As he made his way towards the entrance he batted his eyelids at Nathan and said
"Thank you, Natt." He watched him walk with perfect poise.
"I bet he's good at gymnastics," remarked Tom.
"I now know why I'm gay," sighed Nathan.
"Hey, thanks a bunch, Natt, and all along I thought you were gay because of me."
"Present company excepted," added Nathan with as much glibness as he could muster and stuck his tongue out at Tom.
They left the fives court and slowly walked towards school taking the scenic route.
"You know, Natt," said Tom "I think we've just held the first meeting of HomSoc. Ironically, our new member is str8, and by the way, he is str8, but it really was for the gay community because we don't want to be used as a name for slagging anybody off."
"Mmm," said Nathan who was half listening. "Let's see. Isn't Eddie F...'s little brother Joe in Year 8?"
"You're the one with the encyclopaedic mind of the School List."
"If we've got time let's try and find Eddie and get him to get his brother to look out for Colin and they can report back to us if he's still getting stick."
"Good idea, Natt."
"Oh blast! Colin's still got my handkerchief. That'll be the third degree when I get home."
"Your mother's going to say you had a wank in it and threw it away."
"I think not, Tom."
They couldn't find Joe F..., but found his brother Eddie, with Tony naturally, and they explained what was wrong and what they would like Joe to do.
"I'll talk to him at home," promised Eddie.
It wasn't long until half term. Tom looked forward to having Tony staying with him at home, as did Nathan, but they had to be patient because he had been invited to spend the first weekend with Eddie's family. As compensation Nathan and Tom could spend 'quality' time together. Daily routine dictated that their sex life was severely curtailed during school time and they had come to accept the fact, but school holidays... now that was different. They could feast on one another's bodies with little fear of being disturbed, all within the framework of their love and passion for one another, and this half term they wanted to experiment with various positions after discovering that, while they usually made love face to face, Tony and Eddie almost exclusively went at it doggy style.
"If they like it so much," said Tom "there must be something in it."
"And what about lying on our sides?" added Nathan.
On Saturday morning they caught the train to P..., since their season tickets were still valid over half term, and met up later with Tony, Eddie and Joe at the swimming pool. Eddie looked resplendent sporting Tony's royal blue and gold onepiece while Tony filled a conventional turquoise speedo (and when I say 'filled' I do mean 'filled'), but it was Joe who was claiming Nathan's attention that morning. That roundhead's dick is what he wanted to get a sight of. The inevitable gaggle of girls tried to chat them up, but they only really got on with Joe and that was because he was smaller and cute, rather than a hunky male of their own age. The four soon swam off leaving Joe as the centre of attention with the girls. When it was time to go they had to prise him away. Back in the men's changing area Joe and Nathan were the last of the group to be showering off the strongly chlorinated water and Natt made it rather too obvious he was checking Joe out.
"You can touch it if you like, Natt," said Joe coquettishly. Nathan blushed. "No, I mean it. I don't mind. When you grow up with a gay brother you learn about these things and I know I'm different because I've been circumcised." Nathan was indeed intrigued. Over a snack in Burger Star Tom said
"God, those girls were a pain."
"That's odd because they thought you were a pain as well," said Joe.
"Why's that then?" asked Tony.
"You see they were each looking for a boy who is smart, sensitive, good-looking, daring, and sexy - unfortunately, they have just discovered that most boys like that already have boyfriends..." The others blew raspberries and made other disparaging noise and remarks at Joe.
"Is that so?" asked Nathan. The others turned on him as he became the object of their mockery.
"Natt, sometimes I wonder about you," said Tom affectionately putting his arm round his waist and pulling him close to him.
On Monday Tony made it to the H...s' house under his own steam just after Nathan had gone home for lunch.
"Good weekend?" enquired Tom as they hugged.
"The best. Just looking at Eddie you wouldn't think that he's a bundle of passion, would you? What are we doing this afternoon?"
"Taking Bruce and Natt walkies."
"Great, cos there's something I want to talk to you both about."
"What's that?" Tony tapped the side of his nose with his forefinger.
About two o'clock Tom and Tony went to collect Bruce and Nathan. They decided to take the well beaten path through the woods and past the stream (or into the stream for Bruce). It was on this walk that Nathan and Tom had done much of their courting, for want of a better word, where they had held some of their most intense adolescent discussions, and which for them had so many romantic memories; and here they were about to be engaged in one such discussion, this time with Tony.
"Don't laugh, guys, when I tell you what I want to talk to you about, and don't tell me off for bringing up the subject."
"As if..." said Nathan.
"Well, I did ask you once about butt-fucking, or making love as you call it..."
"There is a difference," protested Tom.
"I appreciate that, and I appreciated that you didn't want to lead me on to that step when I was young and innocent, but now I have Eddie and I'm no longer either innocent or a virgin. And nor is he."
"What are you trying to say, Tony?" said Nathan who was probably the better counsellor of the two. Tony took a deep breath. By now they had reached the clearing, now even more of a clearing as the leaves on the trees were changing into their Autumn hues and gradually falling.
"When Eddie and I make love we do it doggy fashion." Hearing that Bruce turned round, looked at the three boys and barked, almost with a grin on his face. "We've attempted the missionary position, but it just doesn't work for us. I was wondering whether you'd show me how to do it properly." Nathan looked at Tom and Tom looked at Nathan.
"What does Eddie think of this?"
"He knows I'm going to ask you and he hasn't any objection if you give me a practical lesson." Tom looked at Nathan and Nathan looked at Tom. The telepathy that only works between people truly in love with one another gave its answer and as one voice they said
"Providing you're sure this won't hurt Eddie," added Nathan.
"I suggest tomorrow morning when Mum's at work. We'll have the house to ourselves," said Tom. Bruce appeared out of the undergrowth at that moment, looked at his humans and barked to remind them that this was after all his walkies and it was high time for a swim in the stream before it got dark.
Nathan turned up on Tom's doorstep early the following morning. He hadn't slept well that night, all in anticipation of the morning's planned activities and from the fact that he couldn't touch himself as he wanted to perform well during the 'lesson'. For all his devotion to Tom, he still had this promiscuous streak about him. He loved Tom passionately and devotedly, but he also loved boys. Mrs H... was just getting into her car for the journey to work.
"Good morning, Nathan."
"Morning, Mrs H...."
"Go on in. The door's open." He found Tom not in his usual shorts, but in a dressing gown. They hugged and kissed swapping Colgate for Pepsodent. As they hugged, Nathan soon discovered why Tom was wearing a dressing gown. That was all he was wearing.
"Tony will be down in a minute. He's still in the shower. Now this is how I suggest we play it. Tell me if you don't agree."
After breakfast was over and cleared away the three boys went upstairs to Tom's room. Nathan's dick was in a fight with his briefs under his sweats in anticipation of what was going to happen.
"For the last time of asking are you sure you want to go through with this?" asked Tom. Tony nodded his agreement. "Take your dressing gown off and lie down on the bed on your back." Tom had already covered his duvet with a large bath towel. Nathan's eyes grew wide when he noticed Tony was wearing his highly valued Litesome under dressing gown. He was about to take it off.
"No, leave it on," said Tom. "Now lie on your back and draw your knees up towards you chest. That's right, that's the basic position, especially for beginners." Tom went and unlocked the bottom drawer of his desk and took out the K-Y gel which he slowly began to massage into Tony's hole, first one finger, then two and finally to his own surprise three. "My, Tony, you make it easy. Natt, will you do the honours, please?" Nathan took Tom's dressing gown off like a boxer's second does before he gets into the ring. His cock had already been fighting its way through the folds. He went across to the desk drawer, took out an extra strong condom and after unsealing it rolled it over Tom's now fully rampant dick.
"Why are you using a rubber?"
"We'll take questions at the end of the lesson," said Nathan mimicking his old chemistry master.
"It's a long story," added Tom. Standing by the bed he slowly eased his way into Tony until he got the 'Hhh... oooh' reaction, while Natt brought his legs forward to rest on Tom's shoulders. Tom advanced gingerly because he wanted to avoid, if possible, making Tony come off at this stage. Finally Tom's body went into paroxysms and then after shooting his load he pulled out. "All right, Tony?"
He grinned and nodded. "You've done that before, haven't you?"
"That's end of part one. Catch your breath and we'll start part two."
Nathan stripped his clothes off and picked up the tube of K-Y.
"Slight variation this time. First of all take your jock off and give it to me." Tony took it off and handed it to Nathan who put it to his nose and with deep breaths smelt the slightly damp article. "Mmm, how I adore that mixture of sweat, body, precum and detergent." Meanwhile Tom relubed Tony's hole. He wiped his fingers and undid another rubber which he rolled over Nathan's throbbing erection. "Shift up the bed a bit," said Natt. "That's it," and he knelt on the bed. "Assume the position. Now this time spread your legs." Nathan snuggled down over Tony's body and slowly drove in, lowering his upper body to meet Tony's chest. "Okay, can you lower your legs now?"
As he did, Tom said "One missionary position," and before Tony could answer Nathan had sunk his tongue between his lips and teeth. Natt pumped very slowly and very gently until he finally felt Tony's body judder under him. He relished the warm stickiness of his ejaculation between their two bodies. Nathan then pumped more vigourously to finished himself off, but instead of withdrawing he lay on Tony and maintained his own erection by kissing him passionately. Meanwhile Tom had gone off to shower and left the two in their erotic embrace. Finally Nathan softened and automatically slipped out, rolling off Tony with a slight tear of skin from where the heat of their bodies had started to dry Tony's boy juice. They both fell into a doze.
After getting dressed and tidying away the accessories from their session of lovemaking Tom woke the two boys up.
"Okay, you two, you'd better get cleaned up and dressed. There's not much hot water, so you'd better share the shower." There was in fact plenty of hot water, but Tom was in a mischievous mood and Nathan and Tony were not prepared to argue. When they were dried and dressed they went down to the kitchen where Tom had prepared elevenses - cocoa and home made cake. "Do you think you and Eddie can manage that now?"
"I expect so, but I don't know when we'll next get the chance."
"Why don't you invite him down for the weekend? Mum won't mind. She loves lots of people around the house and anyway I'll sleep at Natt's so we don't cramp your style."
"I'll ask when your mother gets home. The trick is that bit with the legs. We hadn't worked that out, but tell me why did you use condoms?"
"It goes back to that day we first met you actually," said Nathan. "You tell the story, Tom."
"In the afternoon we went skinnydipping. We'd found this secluded cove on the south-east side of the Island. What we didn't know at first was that there were two other skinnydippers there. We got into conversation and they'd forgotten their sunscreen, so we gave them some on condition we could rub it in. Anyway, one thing led to another until we gave them one. It wasn't till afterwards that we thought about what we'd been taught in PSE and we shouldn't have had unprotected sex."
"Do you use them with each other?"
"Not usually," said Nathan "not unless we want a bit if variation, but we've made it a rule to use them with anyone else just to be on the safe side."
"Where did get all those from?"
"Midi-Parcs, they were part of the welcome packs at our gay weekend, except our cute little waiter owed us a favour..."
"...of the non sexual variety may I add..."
"...so he got the chambermaid to unload some spares on us."
"That's where your K-Y gel came from," said Tom.
"Ooh, my arse is sore," exclaimed Tony.
"Not after our professional touch, I trust," said Tom indignantly.
"No, only kidding, but why did you make me wear my jockstrap?"
"Well, you felt what happened when Natt was dealing with you. It's just that in the first half we needed your dick under control and a jock does that and still gives full access to your butthole."
"Plus the fact that jock-sniffing is so erotic," added Nathan.
Back at school after half term Nathan and Tom ran into Joe F....
"Hi, guys," shouted the precocious young Joe oblivious of the fact that a Year 8 boy does not act in such a familiar way towards sixth formers, even if they had showered together during half term. "Eddie had a great time over half term."
"Why, what do know that we don't?" asked Nathan.
"Nothing, nothing," said Joe realising that the might have spoken out of turn.
"Say, how's Colin getting on?" said Tom. "Is he still getting stick?"
"No, fine. We're going on a double date on Saturday. A couple of girls we met at the swimming pool last week."
"Don't do anything we wouldn't do," said Nathan.
"That rather restricts us," riposted Joe and ran off with a grin all over his face.
"Cheeky little sod," exclaimed Tom. "I don't know what's got into these juniors these days."
One morning Mr C... asked Nathan to stay behind after registration. Natt wondered what he had done wrong, but his conscience needn't have worried him.
"Nathan, you probably know that according to school tradition from time immemorial this year it's the turn of the junior drama group to put on the Christmas production."
"Sir, don't you think I'm a bit old now to take part in the junior play?" Nathan remarked facetiously.
"Now that's a possibility I hadn't considered," countered Mr C.... "In that case I wonder if you would take charge of the behind the scenes team. We're doing Hamlet this year, again not the whole play, but an abridged version." Nathan would have done anything for Mr C.... "In that case we're meeting in room 7 at morning break just to finalise arrangements." At assembly he managed to see Tom long enough to say that he had a meeting.
"That's coincidence," said Tom "so have I," but there wasn't time for any further explanations.
A couple of minutes after the bell rang for morning break Nathan turned up at room 7, Mr C...'s teaching room. As he opened the door the was surprised to see the already assembled company - Tom, Martin, Tony, Jack and Eddie.
"What's this?" joked Nathan "a meeting of HomSoc?" Then he noticed Mr C... packing some stuff away in the walk-in cupboard and realised he had opened his mouth without engaging brain. Mr C... cleared his throat rather deliberately and said
"I think that's everybody. Let's get down to business." Nathan racked his brains to work out what the six had in common apart from the obvious fact that he'd had sex with all of them, if giving Eddie a quick grope counted as having sex.
"Do you think he knows, Tom?" asked Nathan as they went off for a slash before the next lesson.
"Knows what?" answered Tom in an annoying manner.
"I don't know." said Tom shrugging his shoulders. Hardly a productive conversation.
The term progressed quickly and it was soon time for the end of term play. School was winding down for the Christmas break and Nathan and his team were only required for one run-through before the dress rehearsal and the three performances. As team leader he was in charge of the clipboard and told everybody else what to do, a rôle he was no way averse to. The team wore a uniform of black trousers and black long-sleeved tee shirts for there were times when props and scenery had to be shifted with the curtains open. He worked willingly for Mr C... and naturally sought no reward, but ironically there was reward enough for him as the drama was played in Elizabethan costume which meant doublet and hose for the male characters and this year's doublets were of particularly short order giving him the added delight and distraction of thirteen and fourteen year old butts and packages in tights and of course he and Tom took full advantage of the situation to get to know these junior boys in a socially acceptable situation.
The performances of Hamlet were as successful as Nathan's own presentation of The Shrew three years earlier. He led his backstage team effectively and quietly and had certainly earnt the gratitude of Mr C.... After the third performance on the Saturday he held the traditional party in the green room for the cast and his helpers which also included the make-up artists and wardrobe ladies. The B... and the H... families had attended the play on the previous evening and so there was no pressure on Nathan and Tom to leave early providing they caught the last train. In the event Martin W... who had passed his driving test was allowed to use his mother's car that evening and he offered to drive Tom and Nathan home. The props were cleared away, the scenery shifted, the players had removed their greasepaint and their costumes and nearly everybody had collected in the green room. Charles was in the background quietly organising the food and refreshments to save Mr C... the worry. He had in any case been delayed by the Headmaster who had wanted to introduce him to some of his guests. Finally Mr C... arrived accompanied by a loud cheer from the pupil body. He started to say what he had to say, wanting to thank the actors when he looked around the room and stopped.
"We are apparently missing Hamlet and Ophelia. Rather like Christmas without Santa Claus." Nathan immediately had a feeling of déjà vu (or was it déjà entendu?). As quick as a flash he piped up and said
"I think they just went to tell their parents the wouldn't be long, sir. I'll go and hurry them up." Before Mr C... could stop him he and Jack were out of the door at the far end of the room. They ran along the corridor back past the green room and through a door that led backstage. As he expected, here were the two leading players, Year 9 Julian P... and Year 8 Alexander W... in a clench against the wall. As soon as they heard Nathan and Jack they quickly moved apart, but the light caught their trousers at a particular angle and highlighted how passionate they were about one another. Nathan looked at Jack and Jack looked at Nathan and smiled. "You two had better cut along. The party can't really begin without you." The two juniors, crimson faced, stuttered something incomprehensible and ran off.
"Do you remember, Natt?" said Jack batting his eyelids.
"How could I forget?"
"Would you like to do it again for the sake of nostalgia?"
"Nostalgia's not what it used to be," Nathan rattled off on autopilot. He embraced Jack and leant gently him against the wall. Jack gave himself to him immediately and they kissed longingly. Nathan fumbled, found Jack's zip and slipped his hand inside his trousers. "My, you've grown since we last did this."
"Only in the last minute," giggled Jack. They kissed again.
"We'd better get back or there'll be a search party looking for us." They crept in by the far door of the green room. "Sorry we were such a time, sir," said Nathan.
"We had to go to the loo first," added Jack.
Tom told him in a stage whisper "You ought to remember to do your zip up when you've finished, Jack." The lads cheered. It was Jack's turn to turn crimson now, but it was Nathan's blushing that gave them away.
The formalities over Mr C... and Charles circulated, thanking the cast and helpers in a more personal way. When they came to Nathan and Tom, Nathan said
"Sir, may I ask you a question?"
"You just did without permission." Nathan was annoyed with himself for asking the redundant question.
"How did you come to select the members of the back stage team?"
"My intuition told me that they would work well together." Nathan, wondering whether that intuition might be gaydar, pushed his luck a little further.
"So it wasn't because we all wear our house badges in the right hand lapel?" Tom gave him a nudge.
"You must tell me what that's all about, Nathan," said Mr C... turning the tables. Another nudge from Tom.
"Oh well, it's er... it's..."
"We'd better move on, Mike, or we won't be able to talk to everybody," interrupted Charles, saving the day.
"You don't get it, Natt, do you?" said Tom. "It's so patently obvious to me. Don't you see? My gaydar tells me so clearly that they bat for our side."
"What do you mean, Tom, they're gay?"
"Oh... and do you think they're an item?"
Tom slapped his forehead. "Duh!"
The boys were dutifully sent off home in time for the caretaker to lock up by ten o'clock. Mr C... and Charles looked round the empty green room.
"Come on, Charles. Let's go home. We'll clear this up tomorrow. It'll save the Headman nagging me on Monday. He'll want the scenery down straightaway, but the maintenance men can do that."
"I think you cast your Hamlet and Ophelia rather well, don't you?" said Charles and he kissed him on the cheek.
On the way home Martin first called at his own house where the boys went in for cocoa and biscuits and he could show his mother that her car was still in one piece. Tom and Nathan rang home to say they were safe and finally Martin drove them to Tom's house where Nathan was staying the night. As they were lying in bed Tom said
"You still love him, don't you?"
"I suppose I do," he answered slowly and with thought "but then I also love Tony and Martin, even Eddie now, but you're the only one that I'm in love with. Take me, Tom, as hard as you can. I need you... desperately." And they kissed.
The Christmas holidays came and went. Tony flew straight home to his parents and skiing, but was back a couple of days before term began and so Nathan and Tom had the pleasure of his company. As is usual in that part of the country, the short, dark, dismal days apart, winter didn't really begin until mid-January. Before the return to school both Tom and Nathan managed to pass their driving tests, but that didn't mean automatic access to the family cars. Encouraged by school they had to start thinking about their post A-level future, even though that was still eighteen months away, and while university and what to study were obvious, where to study was the thorny problem for it was clear that whatever happened they wanted to stay together, particularly vexing as their teachers were recommending Oxbridge to Nathan, but not to Tom. Still banned from the hockey pitch Nathan made a determined effort to enjoy the cross-country term and while he knew he would never excel at it he did his best to improve his own personal performances, and this against a background of sixth form privilege permitting him to opt for an indoor sport, but such was the nature of the beast. What he did manage to negotiate with a more enlightened head of games appointed was to be allowed to run the junior course rather than the senior one, such was the respect he had gained. The net result was that he felt physically fitter than ever before in his life and his body took on a leaner appearance. For the first time he noticed that other boys were actually regularly checking him out; it was no longer one-way traffic. One other spin-off was that being so physically fit had a positive knock-on effect on his love life.
Term moved on inexorably as it does and the Easter holidays were approaching fast. It was one of those rare warm March days when the shining sun heralds an apparently imminent Spring, Spring when 'a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love'. School lunch over Tom and Nathan were walking down over the school fields with every intention of joining the all-the-year-round cricketers. As they approached the fives court they could hear talking interspersed with giggles. Nathan held Tom back and put his forefinger on his lips.
"Natt, you're not going to, are you?" whispered Tom.
Nathan nodded. "I've got a certain feeling about this and I think I recognise the voices." The boys tiptoed round the corner and peered into the court. Nathan's sixth sense had paid off for inside the court with their backs towards the entrance, were Julian P... and Alexander W..., Hamlet and Ophelia from the previous term's school play. "So it wasn't the short term pash that school plays are well known for bringing on," whispered Natt. The juniors were obviously having fun for the younger Alexander was standing behind the older Julian with his hands in his trouser pockets obviously in the midst of an intense game of pocket billiards.
"That's something we haven't done in ages," said Tom.
"Perhaps we don't need to any more," said Nathan smiling as he fondled Tom's bottom. At that moment the young pair turned round in their ecstasy and to their horror spotted Nathan and Tom. In panic Alexander tried to pull his hands out of Julian's trousers, but they were firmly stuck. The bulge in his own collapsed like a punctured bicycle tyre. Finally he pulled himself free. Meanwhile Nathan and Tom went into the court to reassure the pair.
"You're not going to report us, are you?" begged Julian, his eyes wide open in fear.
"It's all right," said Nathan. "We understand. Now I didn't report you after the play, did I?" A visible look of relief crossed the youngsters' faces. "But you're going to have to pay a forfeit." Tom gave Nathan a puzzled look.
"Stand with your backs to the wall legs apart and your hands on your head." The boys took up the position and Nathan gently felt first Julian, then Alexander, between the legs. Horrified Tom looked towards the entrance in case someone should come in, and missed the looks of obvious pleasure on the boys' faces. Nathan then took the boys' blue house badges off the left lapel of their jackets and pinned them on the right one. "There you are. You are now officially admitted members of the gay community along with us. Wear your badges with pride," and he formally shook their hands, teaching them the gay recognition signal at the same time. "Off you go and don't make so much noise next time."
"Thank you," said the two juniors gratefully and still in awe to think that they had met a real gay person, and ran off. When they were gone, Tom went up to his boyfriend, put his hands on his shoulders, looked him straight in the eye and said
"Nathan B..., are you off your head? That's sexual assault and blackmail with menaces. That could get you into far deeper trouble than them for what they were doing." Nathan was silent for seconds on end. Finally he said
"I'm sorry, Tom. You're right. I am sorry," and he took his boyfriend into a tight clench. As they left the fives court Tom looked over his shoulder and noticed with pride that three of the four condoms jammed into the mortar were still in situ, albeit a little faded, another sign that the school authorities paid little attention to the fives court.
Natt smiled at Tom and said "Mind you, it was worth it. I shall certainly be checking them both out next term. Hey ho, and so ends another meeting of HomSoc."
"Natt, you're incorrigible."
The Easter holidays came and went. Tony returned on the Friday before school started and so they could not only enjoy his company, but also received a visit from Eddie over the weekend. Mrs H... was really beginning to feel that she had gained a second son, Tony had fitted in so well with the family, and in addition to that two son-in-laws, although she kept that thought to herself. She certainly believed his regular arrival before the last weekend of the holidays had little to do with coincidence or the difficulty of booking flights, but she was flattered by the fact that he must enjoy being part of her family. Once the thought did strike her whether she would be so happy with the household arrangements if Tom and Tony had been having sleepovers and such a relationship with girlfriends and decided that she wouldn't, but that would be a sufficiently different situation for her not to allow it. After all society had conventions for such a instance, but there was nothing laid down for gay sons. Anyway there was no danger of their 'breeding' and also Tom had been such a good son, never causing difficulties or getting into serious trouble, she felt that alone justified her indulgence. Furthermore she had discussed much, if not all of this with her husband and they were of like mind. Brian was the sort of father who was proud of his family and their achievements. In Tom's case he firmly held the belief that had they not been so tolerant towards his 'lifestyle' they would have had a very discontent son on their hands with all the trouble that might cause, maybe even driving him to be an out and out flamboyant queen, and that 'lifestyle' apart his partnership with Nathan had made both boys achieve things in life they might otherwise never have done, Tom in the academic sphere and Nathan in the practical. They had both turned out to be caring individuals who had helped a lot of others and so he was prepared to ignore the fact that they probably enjoyed a sex life toget her.
The walkies with Bruce continued with regularity although what was once a totally black dog was beginning to show his age with grey hair round the muzzle and a gradual slowing up as he, his master and friends beat the well known tracks.
The summer term started with Nathan and Tom learning more about what being a sixth former meant as duties and responsibilities were one by one lifted from the shoulders of the upper sixth pupils who were preparing for their A-level examinations. Both boys became acting prefects, Nathan took on being the secretary of the Tennis Club which involved a lot in the organisation of court bookings and matches. Tom was promoted to a senior NCO in the cadet corps. The Summer term, examinations apart always the best of the three, was passing, as it always does, far too quickly with less than three weeks left until school broke up for the long summer holidays. Preparations for university applications were increasing with year group visits to open days, visiting speakers and mass and individual advice sessions which both Nathan and Tom took seriously. Applications would start the following September and despite the official line staff tried to impress on the boys that early applicants really did receive better offers. Along with all this came one of Nathan's favourite activities of the year, the mass athletics and swimming practices. The sixth formers were expected to help with the organisation of this and Tom and Nathan were teamed up and put in charge of a group of House juniors and to Natt's obvious joy and Tom's less obvious contentment their group included Julian P... and Alexander W.... One particular afternoon stood out in their memories.
It was the best of English summer days, cloudless skies and a warm, but not hot sun at a temperature where the young athletes could wear the minimum and feel comfortable. For the first session of the afternoon the juniors were assigned to do high jump. Basically the system was that a member of staff gave instruction and coaching in a particular activity while the sixth formers in charge marshalled the boys, gave assistance where required and made sure the groups knew where they were supposed to be and when. When Tom and Nathan turned up and discovered that Julian and Alexander were in their group the four boys made eye contact, lingering a little longer than is usual. It was obvious that they were still friends from their time in the school play for they kept together throughout the afternoon despite being in different years. Both boys looked immaculate in their PE / athletics kit, white that is apart from the blue bar sinister across their singlets which indicated their house. Nathan could not keep his eyes off Alexander. There was something about him, a beauty which was not confined to his face. He had poise, was petite, his body neat and well proportioned. Whether he was moving, sat there or simply standing he exuded grace. Nathan understood why Mr C... had selected him to take the female lead in Hamlet, but let's make it clear. His selection in no way implied that he was effeminate; he was all boy, but one who was obviously able to take on a rôle and act. Apart from their meeting the previous term in the fives court and the occasional smile in the corridor their paths rarely crossed. Now Nathan could not take his eyes off the boy.
"Stunning, isn't he?" said Tom.
"Who?" said Nathan.
"I wouldn't go a far as to say that."
"You haven't taken your eyes off him all afternoon. Not that I blame you. If I didn't have the hottest boyfriend on this planet, I would be interested as well." Nathan blushed deep red, not because he had been caught again eying up a boy, not even for eying up a junior boy, but because he felt it might be considered that he was acting unfaithfully towards his boyfriend, but Tom knew him and loved him despite. He would never change in that respect and Tom was well aware of the adage that if you loved somebody you loved them for or despite their faults.
"Just look at him, Tom. The way he moves and how smart he looks in his kit and... Oh my god, did you see that?" The young Adonis had just run up to the high jump bar and floated over. "I'd swear he's freeballing." Alexander W... got up from the mattress and jogged back to the back of the queue. Everything inside his pristine shorts was jogging up and down too. "The Fosbury flop has nothing on the W... flop. It brings a new meaning to the Dick Fosbury flop."
Somewhere out on the fields a boy was ringing a hand bell. Time for changeover. Our boys' group of juniors were due for relay changes. Tom and Nathan gathered their flock together. Walking just behind P... and W.... Nathan's eyes were glued to Alexander's butt (metaphorically, not literally, you must understand) as they walked across to the corner of Big Field and the athletics track. Mr G... greeted the group. As he organised the juniors he quietly said to Nathan and Tom
"I'll manage if you two have got anything you want to do."
"Thank you, sir," said Tom. "We'll be just over here sunbathing." Big Field had at some time been levelled while the field next to it hadn't and so just outside the fives court they were on the same level, but at the other end there was a three foot difference, thus forming a grassy bank. It was here that the all-the-year-round cricketers played as the embankment provided them with an automatic wicket keeper. A few yards away a group of silver birches formed a small copse. Nathan and Tom lay down and stretched out on this bank in the full sun. They closed their eyes and enjoyed the heat of the rays warming up their bodies. They opened them again as two new bodies plonked themselves down one each side.
"What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be handing over batons?"
"I don't think they'll miss us somehow," smiled Julian. "You can get away with murder provided you're there for roll call at the end of the afternoon." Nathan thought back to his time in the Year 7 when he too would slip away with Mike R..., usually to the corps hut.
"We were going to have a little mutual stimulation until we discovered you two here," said Alexander snuggling up to Nathan "but then thought what better company could we be in?" His neat little body just made Natt feel extremely horny.
"My friends call me Sandy," said Alexander with an extremely seductive look on his face.
"That's Scottish, isn't it?"
"My grandparents were Scottish, mother's side, Natt... Oops! May I call you Natt?" The question made a peal of bells ring inside Nathan's head and he was floating on air.
"If you wish, er... Sandy," answered Nathan swept away by such attention. The two juniors pulled their singlets over their heads to give their bodies more exposure to the sun.
"I hope this doesn't give me a tan line," said Sandy tartily. As he cast off his upper garment Nathan could see the top of his crevice peeping above the waistline of his shorts. Julian's revealed the unmistakable belt of a jockstrap. "You know last term," said Sandy "when you came across us in the fives court..." Nathan was suddenly fearful about what he was going to say. "...and you pinned our house badges on the right side of our jackets?" His voice was no longer the clear treble of Ophelia, but the grating huskiness of a burgeoning adolescent. It gave Nathan a peculiar feeling of longing in the pit of his stomach.
"Mmm," said Tom. Nathan couldn't bring out a single sound.
"It's true," said Sandy "and it works. We've made a lot of friends since you did that and we've formed a sort of unofficial club."
Tom and Nathan turned to one another and said "HomSoc." "And what do you do in this 'sort of unofficial club'?" asked Tom.
"We just go around together and chat really."
"Who's gay and what experiences we've had and if anyone's getting a hard time whether at school or at home, we try to help them and sort it out."
"Is that all you do?" asked Tom giving them a knowing look and tapping the side of his nose with his forefinger.
"No, we don't do that," answered Julian "well, not at school anyway. After all someone who's not sympathetic might walk in on us or we might get a queer-bashing, but we do talk about it rather a lot..."
"...and we award gold stars for various things like getting your first boyfriend or getting sucked for the first time."
"Thank you," said Tom "I don't think we want to know any more."
"The great thing is," said Julian "if there is any queer-bashing, there are now enough of us to go and make sure it stops."
"What we were wondering," and at that instant Sandy was at his tartiest as he batted his eyelids at both seniors "was whether you would become our honorary co-presidents because everyone thinks you're the tops in the gay community."
"We're flattered," said Tom and Nathan nodded in agreement "but I think not. We're not the folk hero types, we'd much rather be just in the background But..." He paused. "...if you need any help or advice we're here for you."
"Why don't you try Phil E...," suggested Nathan rather tongue in cheek, his own this time.
"Hey," said Julian "that's an idea. Quite a few of our members know him."
Tom looked at his watch. "I think you two had better get back to the others before you're missed. It's nearly time for changeover." The younger boys put their singlets back on, both of them making a particular fuss over tucking them into their shorts, to the extent that Sandy dropped his completely. At least Nathan had found out what he wanted to find out and he was by no means disappointed.
"Obviously a show-er," he said to Tom as they made their way back to report to Mr G....
The hand bell was rung. Nathan and Tom directed their group over to the swimming-pool. They couldn't help but notice that Julian and Sandy were getting some stick from their mates about where they had sloped off to during the session. The various hand gestures made that clear.
"I think you were right, Tom, to turn that down. We're obviously famous..."
"and I think we ought to keep a low profile, but I don't mind taking an interest."
"So there is a HomSoc after all. Interesting." During the swimming session Nathan was next to useless as an assistant for his attention was distracted by - and he could have sworn they did it deliberately - two boys in particular. On the way home he thanked Tom for covering for him. Tom just replied that he preferred to cover him and Natt answered that he would have his wish granted at the earliest opportunity.
During the long light evenings Nathan and Tom would often ride off somewhere on their bikes, sometimes even pop into a pub for half a pint of beer before cycling back, despite still being underage. Other times they would take Bruce walkies, but he had slowed down noticeably and kept with them rather than running off and sniffing here, there and everywhere. Sometimes he didn't appear all that keen to go. The boys could always go off and play tennis in the local park. It was the only sport where Nathan had a real chance of beating Tom, but then he usually had the upper hand at Scrabble or Trivial Pursuits. Strangely the summer holidays arrived all too soon for them. Once exams were over school was always great fun and they were enjoying getting close to the top of the tree. They enjoyed too the company of their friends, str8 and gay, most of whom they had known for six years and growing up with them formed a firm bond. The whole atmosphere was relaxed and while class work presented no serious challenges at that time of the school year, there were others. Another thing that slowly and subtly became obvious was that they were looked up to with respect by members of gay community and oddly this respect largely rubbed off on many of the ninety plus percent of the str8 guys. They rarely had any difficulty with their prefectorial duties and seldom had to hand out a punishment.
The summer holidays passed in a manner similar to the previous year's with one exception. The boys were welcomed back by the city council to collect money from deckchair users on the seafront. They had obviously made a good impression the season before. The exception, however, needed some tactful negotiation. They wanted to do something special together for their eighteenth birthdays. Although the age of majority was still twenty-one in those days the eighteenth birthday did confer certain rights. They wanted to go off on holiday together and luckily for them the way the calendar fell that year it gave them almost three weeks before they had to return to school. With help and advice from Mr S..., Nathan's modern languages master, they had learnt that if they booked a holiday to Switzerland they could buy a 'go anywhere' ticket which covered them for almost all public transport with a reduction on cable cars and the high mountain railways which the ticket didn't cover. Because it was end of season they managed to book a bargain for eight days at a local travel agency, paid for out of their earnings. There was also one other item they were keen to purchase before they went away and they both left the shop clutching a plain paper bag which contained a small box, one in blue, the other in red.
Mrs B... took Nathan and Tom to the airport and some time later they landed in Geneva. It was straight from the airport onto the train, change at Berne and on to a small town called Spiez, a railway junction on the shore of Lake Thun. They were surprised at how quiet Geneva airport was after the crowds at London Gatwick and amazed to find that the Hotel Krone where they were due to stay really was just a hundred yards from the station. Although this immediately conjured up visions of Brussels-Midi and sleepless nights in Nathan's mind he needn't have worried for the noise didn't carry and they were billeted on the side of the hotel facing the lake far below them. The first day they they spent orientating themselves and taking it easy with a trip to Berne and on return they cut their journey at Thun and finished it along the lake on one of the steamers. The days were still warm and the sun reflecting off the lake served to top up the suntan gained from working the deckchairs along the Promenade at home. The second, Nathan's birthday was spent hiking in the mountains on well marked paths under the gaze of the Jungfrau. Nathan appreciated the difference between these high peaks of the real Alps and those he had hiked along in the Jura three or so years earlier with Raoul, his brother Lucien and friend Dominique. The celebrations were kept to a minimum for they were being reserved for Saturday when Tom too would turn eighteen. The boys took the train to Lauterbrunnen and from there the funicular up the steep mountainside to Grütschalp. However, they were not at their destination yet for they needed to catch another train to the village of Mürren. It looked across the valley and was entirely car free. Any heavy transportation was carried out by electric vehicles. They had to walk through the village to reach the next destination, the bottom station of the cable car. Now this was not just any cable car, but the one that took them up to the summit of the Schilthorn, otherwise known as Piz Gloria, made famous as Blofeld's lair in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. It also claimed to be the longest cable car in the Alps although that claim had also been made by the one up to the Kitzsteinhorn in Austria. After their visit the boys determined they would watch the film again at the earliest opportunity.
Tom and Nathan could not wait for Saturday. They began the celebrations by waking early and making love slowly with Nathan driving passionately into his boyfriend, before showering and dressing, and going down to breakfast. Afterwards they collected their things making sure they had some warm clothes in their rucksack, and of course careful not to forget the little boxes in paper bags. They caught the train to Interlaken where they changed to the metre-guage line that took them up to Lauterbrunnen. By now the sun was beginning to shine warmly in a cloudless sky. The good Lord was looking after them. Another train through Wengen and on to the junction at Kleine Scheidegg. Now the real ascent began. This journey had cost an arm and a leg despite the reduction with the boys' Swiss Pass, but had been generously subsidised by their parents, although they didn't at the time understand the importance of the journey to their sons. Breathtaking views as they climbed remorselessly higher up the side of the mountain when suddenly they plunged into a tunnel cut through rock and the mountain. Eventually they arrived at the summit station of the Jungfrau inside the mountain, the highest station in Europe. As soon as they stepped onto the platform they felt the cold and had to unpack the winter kit from their rucksacks. They started to run up the steps towards the exit, but were soon stopped in their tracks for, fit as they were, at 11332 feet altitude the air was too rarified for unadapted Flachländer to take more than a few steps without quickly getting out of breath. They slowly made their way out into the world of eternal winter. The view as well as the altitude was truly breathtaking. They were lucky to have chosen one of those rare days when a gale wasn't blowing. They soon found an abandoned sheltered spot. They took the little boxes out of the paper bags and gingerly opened them for fear of spilling their valuable contents.
First Nathan: "Thomas Brian H..., with this ring I plight thee my troth," and he slipped the plain gold ring over the third finger of Tom's right hand.
Then Tom: "Jonathan Peter B..., with this ring I plight thee my troth," and he slipped a matching gold ring onto the third finger of Nathan's right hand. They held one another and kissed, but even the heat of their passion could do little against the cold of the mountain top and they soon broke it to make their way to the restaurant for some hot soup. For them the rings were a halfway house and they intended to change them to their left hands, should they eventually become husband and husband. Warmed by the soup they ventured outside again and found someone willing to take a celebratory photograph of them, their arms round each other's waist.
Finally Nathan and Tom had to make the descent to the valley floor. This time when they reached Kleine Scheidegg where the change in temperature hit them they boarded the train for Grindelwald where they could sit and study the infamous north face of the Eiger. They finally returned to their hotel in Spiez. Before the continuing celebration in the evening they wanted to make love again after which they fell asleep for an hour. After the years together they had almost perfected the control of their actions so that they could take things slowly, making a kiss take minutes and the whole act last until finally the natural urge to implant seed took over in the inevitable climax. When they awoke they climbed out of bed naked and looked at each other, not sexually, but critically.
"You know, Natt," said Tom "I think we both need a shave."
"I know," said Natt naïvely. "I was going to have one while you were in the shower."
"I love you, Nathan B..., for the way you will always think of the simplest interpretation. I was talking about our bushes." Tom spread out a newspaper on the floor. "Stand on that." He fetched a pair of scissors and set about severely trimming Nathan's pubes. He then spread a towel over the bed and told him to lie on it. Trustingly Nathan did as he was asked while Tom fetched one of his throwaway razors and some shave gel and set about his task. "Go and take a look at that in the mirror." Tom had been a true artist. He had shaved the hair off Nathan's balls, the underside of his dick, from between his legs and on his lower abdomen leaving a sexy treasure trail. The tuft left over his cock he had cleverly shaved into a heart shape. "Take a look at that." Nathan was impressed. "That lets me see what you've got there. Now do the same to me and you won't get so many loose hairs in your mouth." Nathan repeated the process on Tom and was surprised at how well he performed his task. They showered and got ready to go out. In memory of the formal way the Bannerman-Carters (or was it Carter-Bannermans) had dressed for dinner at Midi-Parcs the boys put on a long-sleeved shirt, tie and suit. They went out into the residual warmth of the evening to search for a restaurant. They found one they hadn't yet visited and were soon seated at a large window that looked over the lake towards Interlaken. The dusk soon gave way to darkness. They thoroughly enjoyed their meal, eating it slowly and reminiscing about what they had done together over the years. Except that halfway through the dessert Nathan stopped and appeared to go into a world of his own. "A penny for your thoughts, Natt" said Tom.
"Sorry, Tom. It's odd. I just had a funny feeling something was going on at home, something I should know about. Doesn't matter. It's gone now. I'm certainly looking forward to tomorrow." The boys drained the last drop of coffee from their cups, paid the bill and went back to the hotel. They quickly got ready for bed where they made passionate love for the third time that day before falling into a deep slumber in each other's arms that lasted through to morning.
Sunday was to be another treat. Tom and Nathan caught the train up the Simmental, changing at Zweisimmen onto another metre-guage railway which would take them through some most beautiful Alpine scenery until they arrived at Montreux on the shore of Lake Geneva. Then it would be but a short journey on the mainline along the shore. They arrived at a station that Nathan knew well from a few years back and there on the platform waiting to meet them were Raoul, his father, his little, or rather younger brother Lucien and Raoul's friend Dominique. After great hugs, bouts of handshaking and introducing Tom the six climbed into two cars and made their way to Raoul's house. This was all familiar territory to Nathan and brought back many happy memories. It exercised his mind to change from thinking in German to thinking in French, but much of the conversation was after all in English. Remembering the happy moments he had experienced with Nathan Lucien spent a lot of time with him although Natt did notice just a possible hint of resentment on his face at the closeness he shared with Tom. Raoul, Lucien and Dominique had all grown into mature, handsome young men and although nothing was said Dominique had obviously been accepted into the family and he and Raoul were an item. In the evening Tom and Nathan were driven into Lausanne, where the railway connections were faster, to catch the train back to Spiez. Since it was late when they arrived back at the hotel and our boys were tired, it was straight to bed and they immediately fell asleep in each other's arms. The holiday passed all too quickly and on the eighth day they had to pack their things and catch the train back to Geneva airport for the flight back home.
Mrs B..., accompanied by Mrs H..., picked up the boys from the airport on their return. Nathan and Tom were full of what they had been up to in Switzerland and almost bounced with excitement in the back of the car while retelling it. The new rings had not been missed by the eagle-eyed mothers, but they knew the boys would mention them in their own good time, and if they didn't they could easily bring up the topic in casual conversation. They still had their belated birthday treat to look forward to, the two families going out together to a local restaurant for dinner. The boys loved it when their families combined in that way. They viewed it not only as an acceptance of their partnership, but more importantly, based the way it was, as a recognition of their love for one another. About ten minutes before arriving home Mrs B... changed the topic of conversation. Despite the heat of the sun beating through the windows the atmosphere in the car immediately froze.
"Nathan, just before we get home I'm afraid I have some unfortunate news to tell you." Natt wondered what that could be. "Last Saturday Bruce died. It was old age. The vet couldn't have done anything for him." Ashen faced he thought of his father's words from all those years ago. 'Nathan, whatever you do, you don't cry.' Tom took him in a hug. A tear rolled down Nathan's cheek and landed on the shoulder of Tom's tee shirt.
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