by and © N Fourbois
Kieran and William soon printed off the photographs they wanted and stored some others that they'd scanned or taken on a memory stick. The important photo, the one of William with Ashley Pennington, needed a little trimming before they could position it in the frame and place the mount on top of it so that the important parts of the photo were visible. William was very pleased with the result and he wrapped it up carefully for transporting home. Kieran printed the one of William and Toby for his pinboard. They talked about what they would do on Saturday and the first priority was to have a lie in and get up late. Once up Kieran would cook a full English breakfast and finally they would emerge into the world and walk to the supermarket to make sure that they had all the ingredients they needed for William's pièce de résistance, cooking the roast for Sunday, whether it was lunch or dinner. After lunch on Saturday Kieran would finish off William's crash course. His test piece would take place when they returned from Eric's and he would be given until breakfast time to complete it, whatever that might be. Kieran was working on it and wouldn't be giving him any advance warning anyway.
Finally they went downstairs into the sitting room. They just wanted to chill out and get into the mood for what was going to follow when they went to bed. Kieran switched the television on, but it was an irrelevance. They weren't watching it. William was leafing through the new edition of GY mag. They had already drooled over the centrefold of Oliver. There was very little information about him, except that he had modelled for another site under the name of Toby, but to them he would ever remain Oliver. One Toby in William's life was quite sufficient. They would take a look at his website, but not tonight. They had other things on their minds.
"This is interesting," said William.
"Well, you know the government's going to convert civil unions into full marriages? This article is exploring the changes in etiquette that will be needed."
"What sort of changes?"
"Like what do they do with their surnames when they're married?"
"They take double barrelled names."
"Okay, but which way round and what happens if they already have a double barrelled name? How do you address letters, envelopes and invitations? Whose name comes first? And so it goes on."
"Why are you so interested, William?"
"I do hope to get married one day."
"I haven't even thought that far," replied Kieran.
"Just think of your Uncle Eric. He comes home to an empty house after work and then has to find companions for the weekend. It might be quite exciting now at his age, but then this weekend for instance, he's got no one and he's been forced to invite us over."
"That's a bit harsh," protested Kieran.
"Is it? Or is it simply pragmatic?"
"You've certainly got an old head on those young shoulders."
"Maybe. Perhaps I've thought about it more because I come from a single parent family and see, or thought I saw until I found out about 'Uncle' Simon, how lonely my mother could be after I'd left home. Your parents do leave you on your own rather a lot, but at least they come back, and they are together."
"That's true. Dad couldn't manage without Mum. Even though he's the big boss at work, he needs her to organise him."
"Would it worry you if your mother married Simon?" William thought for a moment.
"It would depend when. I'd be against it now. Mum and I have had to do quite a bit of readjustment because Dad left and we have become closer. But one day I am going to fly the nest, and that would be the time, if Mum wanted to remarry. We've got this arrangement now, and it might sound selfish, but I don't think it is. Mum has a boyfriend, but it means I can have one too. I know, you're going to call me manipulative again."
"Not really. That's a given. It's part of your character, whether you like it or not, and I'm not going to kick you out of bed because of it." William burst out laughing. "Yes, I could've chosen my words better. What did you think of your father walking out on you?"
"Again that's a difficult one to answer. By the time it happened, I knew I was homosexual. I was in the middle of my crush on Ashley and we were both slutting it with other boys. Nothing dishonest. We were quite open about it to one another, enjoyed the experiences and used to tell each other about them. I've always been lucky. Being gay has never been a problem and I enjoy it. So my father's coming out was never a difficulty for me. In fact, it explained a lot of things, made me feel better about myself and made it easier to come out. It devastated Mum and I had to help her a lot, especially getting through the divorce. Things settled down. I can't remember when Dad found out I was queer. Again it was no big deal, which probably explains why I have no vivid memories of it. The fact he had a boyfriend didn't worry me - I suppose I did as well, and with what I know now, so did Mum. No, the kick in the nuts was when Dad dropped me like hot shit because I was excess to the requirements of his relationship." The unusually strong language emphasised the depth of feeling. "Let's change the subject. Do you know what I'd really like?" Kieran shook his head. "I'd like to snuggle up to you on the sofa and see where that leads us."
"William, your wish is my command."
The short answer to the question was that it got them into bed together, they passed a rather sleepless night and eventually slept in until gone nine.
"Uh, I've got that throbbing feeling in my acorn," said William.
"Overuse," said Kieran. "The only cure for that is practice, so that it gets used to overuse."
"Can you have too much sex?"
"I'm told no. If you do, your body just refuses to get a stiffie and problem solved.
The boys got up, used separate bathrooms and afterwards enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. William rang his mother to make sure things were okay and that she knew he and Kieran were preparing a proper meal for when she arrived and so it was important for her to let them know when she would be arriving.
«Olwen gets back this evening. She'll phone me and I'll fetch her from the airport. Auntie Josie is well enough to come in the car. So if the flight is on time, I can hand over this evening and leave after breakfast tomorrow. But I'll phone you with a time so that you can get the oven on. Everything else all right, my love?» William told her that he was having a most enjoyable week and left it at that.
After the phone call the boys sat at the kitchen table and worked out a plan. First of all the shopping list, then Kieran checked that William knew how to roast the joint and made him write down the timings. They decided on the vegetables and altered the shopping list accordingly. They wouldn't make stuffing. That just complicated the matter and while they both decided that though they ate it if was put in front of them, they weren't really that keen. They'd buy ready made apple sauce and for pudding a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. There was a can of squirty cream in the fridge. And so they wandered off to the supermarket.
"Sainsbury's or Waitrose?" asked William.
"Sainsbury's," answered Kieran. "I know where everything is, unless they've had another fit of changing everything around again to annoy and confuse the customers."
"Have you got enough money?"
"Sure, I pay for it on a card and as long as I keep the receipt, it goes against Mum's housekeeping and I get re-imbursed. I don't actually need the receipt, but Mum says it's good practice for later in life."
"I haven't spent any of that housekeeping money Mum gave me."
"I shouldn't worry. That must be worth a few brownie points."
"Oh, I think I'm well in credit there at the moment," said William. "I need a few because I'm going to talk to Mum about joining the gym, and I want to talk to Eric about it too, because I'd like to come along with you on a Monday. If I get ahead with prep over the weekend, it shouldn't be difficult."
"You could come home with me and get your mother to pick you up at the gym afterwards."
"That's what I need the brownie points for. Manipulative or not?" laughed William.
William pushed the trolley round while Kieran directed operations. They also needed to stock up with eggs, sausages and bacon as they had hit those pretty hard during the week and he didn't want his parents coming home to a bare cupboard.
"Don't forget bread and butter and something to put in it for lunchtime," William reminded.
William was getting quite excited about going out to supper with Eric Blanchflower. It seemed quite a grown up thing to do and William did feel rather grown up since he lost his virginity. At five o'clock Kieran got William to make tea by the correct method. They took it into the sitting room.
"Okay, William, life is about to get a little more serious." He looked at Kieran with those big doe-like brown eyes, but the older boy was in working mode and not to be sidetracked. "This is what your test piece is. Complete this and cook a decent meal tomorrow and you can consider yourself as having passed your trade test. You'll be a craftsman in homosexuality and then you'll need to take on an apprentice in order to become a master craftsman."
"I already know who that will be. So what's the test?"
"The test is that between half an hour after the time we get home tonight and when we have breakfast tomorrow morning you have to make me have an orgasm, a proper one shooting spunk."
"And by which method?"
"That's entirely up to you. And your orgasm is optional."
"That's rather easy, isn't it?"
"Well, apart from downgrading and underestimating me, the test is a test of the possible, not the impossible, and is meant for you to show and employ the skills you have already developed."
"Sorry, Kieran." William looked up at him with the large brown doe-like eyes.
They cleared away the tea things and went off to get showered and changed and then to wait for Uncle Eric to arrive. At one minute past six they heard the hoot of a car. Eric had arrived.
"I wish he wouldn't do that," exclaimed Kieran. "It's so common. Are you ready?"
The two boys got into the back Eric's car. Kieran rested his sports bag with his camera in it on his knees.
"So what have you two boys been up to since Monday? Or shouldn't I ask?"
"You shouldn't ask," said Kieran unequivocally.
"But it's been fun," added William as a tease.
"William, do you eat fish?"
"Yes," he replied.
"That's a relief," said Eric "or we'd have to call in at Sainsbury's on the way home."
"Fish and chips is it?" said Kieran cheekily.
"You can have chips if you want, but I wasn't planning on them. "You have a choice of mashed or boiled."
"Mashed," came from the back of the car.
"Okay, mashed it is. Don't expect any culinary wonders. I'm keeping it simple tonight. And I gather you want some photos taken. Have you got your camera, Kieran?"
"In my bag here along with some kit."
The three arrived at Eric's, got out of the car and went up to the flat. Once inside William looked around.
"Where are the doors?" he asked.
"In the storage room. I don't believe in them apart from the bathroom and guest room. Now, Kieran knows the score. He helps out and you can if you want to, William, or go and sit in the sitting room. You can watch TV or read GY. I think Dad's Army is on BBC2."
"Read it and seen it," William replied. "I'll come and help."
"We've got it at home," said Kieran. "Which reminds me, Eric. What happened about my birthday present?"
"I didn't forget it, did I?"
"No, but you forgot that you were going to give me a year's subscription to GY."
"Ooh, that was it. I knew I'd promised you something, but I couldn't remember what it was. Okay, Christmas, and give me a reminder."
The boys laid the table in the dining room while Eric got on with the cooking. Finally they were ready to sit down. He brought in three plates on which were a fillet of fish and a large dollop of mashed potato. What the boys didn't know was that he had melted some grated cheese into it and used lots of butter.
"I'll fetch the veggies."
"Any ketchup?" shouted out Kieran while Eric was in the kitchen.
"Of course. I should have known better than to leave that off the table with you around. That's what I should have got you for your birthday."
"A year's subscription to tomato ketchup," said William drily.
"No," said Eric, taking William seriously. "I saw a picture of a boy and written across his tee shirt was 'I put ketchup on my ketchup.' That would suit you."
"So, is this breaded plaice?" asked Kieran.
"No, something far superior. It certainly looks like breaded plaice, but it is marketed as basa, more familiarly known as river cobbler, comes from south east Asia, is a relative of the catfish, which makes it sound pretty cheap and nasty, but in fact has a beautiful, sweet flavour of its own." After tasting it, the boys had to agree.
The three of them tucked in to their meal. William piped up apropos of nothing.
"Eric, I haven't spoken to my mother about it yet, but I'd like to join the gym and come along on Monday evening with you. I could go home with Kieran and then we go together and I'd get my mother to pick me up afterwards."
"I've no objection. You'd get a junior subscription until you're sixteen. How old are you now?" said Eric. "No, I don't want to know the answer to that," he said, quickly cutting William off.
"I met Olaf and he took quite an interest in me, especially when he learnt that I was one of Mr Bridgeman's pupils."
"He said Mr Bridgeman is a friend of his," said Kieran.
"So I believe," said Eric. "The word friend covers a multitude of sins."
"Are you saying he's Mr Bridgeman's boyfriend?" asked William in his innocent voice.
"They may even be partners by now for all I know." An attitude was thinly disguised in Eric's tone of voice.
"Wow!" exclaimed William. "They're both lucky men. I'll tell Mr Bridgeman on Monday that Olaf was my personal trainer." Eric and Kieran looked at one another.
"Eric," said Kieran. "Didn't you have Olaf as a weekend guest once?"
"Oh, more than once. He's good fun." Kieran didn't realise that metaphorically he had not only slipped a dagger between Eric's ribs, but was now twisting it. "And what goes on the emergency room at the gym is nobody's business - and I'm not talking about emergencies, either. Been there, done it, got the ball cap."
They continued with their meal, finishing off with a selection of cheeses. The boys helped Eric to clear away and William was set the task of making tea with tealeaves under Kieran's supervision. They went and drank it in the sitting room and carried on chatting. William was still feeling ever so grown up.
"You'd better tell me about these photos you want taking," said Eric.
"We've been taking snaps of each other this week," explained William, "but we've got nothing of us together."
"And we want some naked ones too," added Kieran.
"Okay," said Eric slowly, "but no erections or it becomes porn." Kieran and William giggled.
"We'll do our best," said Kieran, but sometimes we just can't help it." William just giggled even more.
They went into the guest room and Eric took some photos of them as they were. Then Kieran and William stripped their clothes off.
"I think I'll join you," said Eric and went into his bedroom and took his off. "Ah, I feel much better now."
"I did warn you," said Kieran. William couldn't take his eyes off Eric. Eventually they could get on with the photo shoot and inevitably they did get hard, including the photographer. Then the boys slipped into their gym kit and that was the final set. They got dressed again and reluctantly so did Eric, but then he did have to drive the boys home.
They chatted for a bit longer until Kieran reminded Eric that they'd agreed to stay no later than ten o'clock as they had things to do, without saying what. They thanked Eric profusely for an evening they'd enjoyed very much.
[For those who use webmail: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, etc). Each browser is subtly different or we'd give fuller instructions here. If it pastes with %40 in the middle, replace that with an @ sign.]