Berrington Hall

by Rafael Henry

Chapter 8

Ruan's life at school in South Africa……….

'I'd made this friend almost as soon as I'd got there. You had to make friends with someone in that place….you just had to. The whole place was run very strictly…mainly by the prefects. Everybody was scared of them. They were often very sporty types who had no time for weedy kids…they were pretty horrible to them. I was quite sporty so I was ok really. Anyway, we got caught……my friend and I. We found this place right on the edge of the campus and out of sight we thought . There was a little tin hut behind some bushes. It had a small window in it, maybe a foot square….something like that……and a rickety old door that wouldn't shut properly. We used to go there because it was safe and no one would find us. Then one afternoon we got caught by this prefect. We'd been in there about a quarter of an hour. We'd play about with each other for a bit, standing up, sort of getting in the mood and so on, and then when we were both ready, we'd start doing it properly. We'd been going for a bit and it was going to happen for both of us any moment. I could feel mine coming….sort of welling up in my tummy…….and I know that my friend was about to orgasm too. It was because I was…….you know….. like that …..and he knew I was, and so he was too if you can understand that…..sort of in sympathy with me, if that's possible between two really good friends. Then it happened.

A few seconds later the door opened and there he was. He was in athletics kit….you know, those thin running shorts…….his penis was stiff and pushing out the material of his shorts really obviously. He must have been watching us for ages through the little window. He looked at us for a while, sort of up and down with his hands folded in front of him. He told us to get our shorts sorted out, and then he let my friend go. He just told him to get out of the hut…….told him to disappear. That left me in there with him . He asked me if I'd made a mess in my pants and I said I hadn't, and he said 'good' which I thought was a bit of an odd thing to say. I think I know now why he said that.

'Why?'

'Because…….well………I suppose I was the right age for him. Do you see what I'm getting at? He didn't like boys who were into puberty. He liked them fresh, wide eyed and innocent basically.'

'Umm. Look, you needn't say any more. I suspect it's going to be a bit difficult for you.'

'Actually it's more difficult if I don't say it. Is that ok?'

'Of course.'

'He told me that what we had been doing might mean we would both have to leave……if the authorities found out about it, and the only person that knows about it is him. I asked him what he was going to do. I know I started to cry. Then he leaned against the tin wall of the hut and told me to step forwards towards him….he kept saying 'closer……closer' until I was standing right up against him. I had no idea what he was going to do. Then he put his hands on my shoulders and put his head down and started saying things really quietly in my ear.

'Ruan…….listen carefully. You know I have to report what I've seen don't you…….and you know what will happen don't you……and your friend too I'm afraid.'

'I couldn't stop crying because I could imagine what my parents would say. The whole scenario was just unimaginably dreadful. All I wanted to do was not be there….not be anywhere. He was holding me tightly around my shoulders…..'

'But maybe, just maybe, there's a way out of this for both of you.'

'I couldn't speak so I just nodded.'

'Do you want to know what that is?'

'I nodded again.'

'It will be just between us ok? I'm not going to tell anyone….ever…..about what has been going on in here today…….with you and your friend…….provided you do what I say. Do you understand?'

'I nodded again. I would have agreed to anything at that point. He said I had to report to his study room that afternoon at six o'clock exactly. Everybody was free then to socialize wherever they wanted to between six and seven every day. At other times, there was no visiting other boys in their study rooms at all, even for the Prefects. I knocked on his door at exactly six. I heard him say come in. I was absolutely terrified of what he would say……or make me do.

He was sitting at the desk holding a pen which he put down as he turned towards me. He was dressed in his normal school uniform……just a grey sleeveless shirt and trousers….no shoes, just socks. I was in my uniform too of course…….we had no other clothes. The junior boys wore the usual lightweight cotton grey shorts and short sleeved shirts, and short socks and sandals……everything a bit short in fact…..especially those shorts! Everything came from the official school outfitters on the campus supervised by Matron who decided if and when we needed new stuff.

Sitting in the chair by the desk, he gestured towards me with his hand……

'Come over here Ruan……just stand here…….yes, just like that.'

'I stood in front of him almost touching his knees.'

'So…….you'll be relieved to know that I haven't said anything about what happened, and of course I won't.'

'Thank you Sir.'

'In fact I can quite see why you did what you did Ruan. Your friend was a lucky boy. Did he start things off or did you? How did it start Ruan? I want you to tell me how it all started……..and what happened. I want you to tell me all about it……. everything Ruan.'

'I knew I had to tell him, and make it convincing too. He kept asking me questions about little details and accusing me of not telling him everything. At the same time he had his hands on my thighs…..sort of sliding them up and down……inside the legs of my shorts….with his fingers right up them. I could feel him going inside my pants. I couldn't help it…..it felt…..well, you know how that feels don't you? I just couldn't help it. It felt good…..what he was doing. I couldn't control it. When he saw it, he undid the front of my shorts and put his hand inside. It just got worse then. He pulled me closer to him so that I was sort of jammed between his legs. He kept tickling me between my legs…….you know….right there .'

'You're a good boy Ruan…….you are a very good boy. '

'He told me to turn round and undo my shorts properly. I did. He started to feel me everywhere……through my pants to begin with.'

'Take them down now Ruan……just a little……yes, like that. Now turn round……..'

'I couldn't help it. He played with me for a while with his hands….and then with his mouth. He told me to kneel down in front of him.'

' Would you like to play with me Ruan?'

'He didn't make me do it……not that time. He did later. I had to go there three times a week at the same time and each time he went a bit further than the last time. I'd never seen a boy produce sperm before and it was a shock the first time. He said I was very good at it. I think I was…….I must have been because I wanted it to work as fast as possible. I learnt exactly what he liked. I would kneel beside him while he sat in the chair…..sometimes between his legs so I could…you know…….do him that way…..at least for a bit…….until I could finish him off the other way. I always had to be nude when I did it for him…….then I would stand in front of him while he did me. He noticed that I was always had an erection as soon as we started.'

'You like it don't you Ruan…….you like what we do don't you. Is that right?'

'I didn't answer that but he knew anyway. He was always nice to me…..never rough or anything like that. Afterwards he would hold me to him and stroke my hair. Once I saw tears on his face. He would undress me and I him. I really enjoyed him doing that. It was a complete turn on for both of us. By the time he had got me naked I was a very excited little boy. Soon after that we started getting into his bed. Before that we had always done it on the chair in one way or another. A favourite thing with him was to do himself while I did it standing between his legs with him tickling me at the same time, or…….touching my bottom. It was after that……that's when the other stuff started.'

'Other stuff?'

'Umm. He asked me if I minded him touching my behind. He had felt me there several times before and I found it very exciting. He noticed that my feeling came very quickly if he did that and asked me if I liked him doing that to me. I said I did…….very much. After that…..well, you can imagine can't you? He said that it would take time to get me used to it. It was about a week before I left…….that's when it first happened. His penis was about the same size as mine….pretty much….even though he must have been four years older than me. Gradually he would get it further each time. He had stuff to make it easier. Then one afternoon we did it. He'd taught me to kiss him properly which I really liked, and knew he was going to, and that was the best kiss we ever had…..just as he came in me. We both cried. I thought I was going to die……right there and then. It was a wonderful feeling. At that moment we I realized I couldn't do without him. I wanted him.

Two days later we were on a plane to England. We stayed at my grandmother's house in Exeter. I sat an entrance exam for Exeter School a few days later and passed it. They were very good to us at the school because they arranged the test just for me. I sat in this small office area and wrote for two hours. They had been in touch with my old school for reports and so on, and by the time I had my interview they had all my details. To our amazement they offered me a scholarship for eighty percent of the fees, mainly because of my swimming I think. A week later I was there, near the end of year eight. Year nine wasn't too difficult, and neither were the GCSE's. In the meantime, Dad bought the campsite up on the hill there. So that's me basically, although there's a lot more I could have said. I'm sorry………do you find all that stuff disgusting?'

Does he disgust me? Well, you know the answer to that. I didn't answer his question with words…….I put my arms around him and held him close to me. After about two minutes I found some words………

'Does that answer your question Ruan?'

We must have walked the entire length of Sidmouth beach four times by the time Ruan had got everything off his chest. For him it had been a necessary unburdening, and for me it had been my privilege to have heard his story. By my calculation David would be another two hours at the ground so……

'Look Ruan…….do you have to get back now?'

'No…….no I don't.'

There was a look on his face, and on mine no doubt, that told us both where we were going. When we were safely inside the hotel room I stopped just inside the door. There was just room for Ruan to close it, which he carefully did. As he turned round towards me, I held his shoulders. They felt firm. He raised his arms and placed them around me, palms open so I could feel their pressure on my back. We were both breathing faster than normal. He raised his head towards me, his mouth slightly open. Very quietly I asked him…….

'May I?'

He looked at me for a few seconds…….

'Umm…….yes please.'

In the next hour, we made love to each other. It was a gentle affair that befitted the moment, full of tenderness and caring. I never intended it to be consummated, but it was of course, and it was lovely for both of us. We laughed at the thought that I'd picked up a boy, taken him to a hotel room, and we'd had sex. I'd never in a million years imagined I would ever do that, but I just had. I suppose it was quite funny in a way, but I still rather shocked at the reality of it all. I was also very taken with Ruan's skills in bed. I suppose skill isn't the right word….. capabilities might be a better word. Whatever it was, it was very good. Ruan wanted to know more about David.

'What about David?'

'You know he's going next term don't you…..to Exeter School?'

'No……..no I didn't!'

'Well he is.'

'Oh wow! I had no idea…….he never said?'

'Well he wouldn't would he? He'd have no reason to mention it. You could be friends couldn't you? At least he would know someone. Most of them will already have mates because they started in year seven, and he'll be in year nine so……….that's ok isn't it? Why don't you stay and wait for him?'

'I don't want to……you know…….get in between you two.'

'You won't. I'm off in two days' time and he knows that. Now is the perfect time for you two to make friends properly…..right here and now. Why not?'

'Because he hardly knows me……and anyway he might not want to be friends.'

I laughed at that thought! Oh my goodness……Ruan is very wrong there.

'You are joking aren't you? You should have heard him last night…..talking about you. He only has a passing interest in me now. I'm very fond of him as it happens, and I think he is of me too…….I hope he is anyway, but he is on his way now……Berrington……and me…….that will all be history very soon. Do you like him? Does the fact that he's younger put you off?'

'Oh no……no, he's great……yes, he's really a great kid…….and no, it doesn't put me off at all. So what did he say about me?'

I had a little chuckle at his question, and the decision I will have to make…….whether to tell him what he actually said, or give him a watered down version.

'Do you really want to know Ruan?'

'Yes I do as a matter of fact!'

'Well……..he liked having his hair washed by you , and………he likes how you look……..after all that swimming training? You look good don't you…….and…….do I have to say more?'

'Yes you do! Say as much as you can……everything…….please?'

'And…….he thinks you are a kind person…..thoughtful……and to sum up…….he agrees with me……..extremely nice in every way. How's that?'

'Ok, that'll do I suppose.'


I had asked David last night in bed what he thought of Ruan. I was fairly sure of his answer.

'So what did you think of the South African boy then? Did you like him?'

He just hid his face under the covers. I gently stroked the fingers that were visible.

'Come on……tell me what you think.'

Slowly his face began to appear from under the covers until his eyes were visible……blue….like calm water in Cornwall……then a hand appeared which took hold of mine. Slowly my hand, controlled by his, began its journey southwards……hard nipple and on to soft and silky tummy……..and on……and then I had my answer. Just as I thought. Oh, David is a most fortunate boy.


Ruan and I lay there naked with our hands behind our heads. I was contemplating the weeks to come and my preparations for Loughborough…….and I imagined that Ruan might well be thinking about the more immediate future. I looked sideways at the stretched out figure…..at the stomach that fell inwards so dramatically below his ribcage, and at the sculpted head of the penis I had brought to life and loved just a few minutes earlier……at the developing muscle of his legs……even the delicate structure of his feet…….and then back over the gently rising chest, the youthful rather than boyish arms, to the gentle face that had touched mine so warmly.

'I should have asked you before…….are you ok?'

He turned his head towards me and smiled……

'Umm……yes, thanks……I'm ok. You?'

'I am very much ok as it happens. I just wanted to make sure you were, that's all. David should be back soon.'

'Will you tell him?'

'Oh yes, I shall tell him…….that I think you will be a very suitable friend for him……in every way, although I rather think he's already come to that conclusion.'

We laughed.

'Shall we go and meet him?'

I thought it would be best if David didn't find us in the room together. He's going to know at some stage because I would never keep something like that from him, but that's not a priority at this moment.

I asked Ruan if there was any possibility of him staying with us tonight. I'm sure we could slip him through the Duke of Clarence's security cordon! Basically they would never know he was there. He would just have to go without breakfast, although we could save a roll or two for him if we were feeling generous. Anyway, he said he could. He often stayed out late in Sidmouth and basically his people wouldn't know if he was in his caravan or not, however…….

'Maybe it would be best to tell them? Why don't you canter up there later, get something to eat and come back down again?'

Agreed.

Meanwhile, back at Sidmouth Cricket Club…….

They still hadn't finished their game by the time we reached the ground. Fifteen minutes later, about five, they were packing kit away, and all in urgent need of the showers by the look of them. David, looking rather pink, ran up to us…..

'Hi Ruan…….I got a fifty!'

Ruan gave him a pat on the shoulder, took his arm away, and then put it back for a few seconds. David responded by giving him a nice smile. I deliberately hung back and watched their body language. I'd told Ruan to be generous towards David physically. David is one of those boys who will respond very positively to touch……..something lights up deep inside him. I could see it working between them…….another touch on his shoulder, and then on his back. Ruan was sending signals to David, and I'm sure that David would be receptive. Just then the course leader saw Ruan and called him over. The two of them disappeared into the pavilion. I saw that as an opportunity to talk to David. There was a bench nearby used by spectators on match days.

'So how was the match then? It sounds like you had a good knock?'

'Yea, I did thanks. I had to retire when I got to fifty.'

'Well that's only fair isn't it?'

'Yes I suppose so. Have you been with Ruan all this time then?'

'Yes. We went for a long walk up and down the beach……several times. He was telling me about his life in Africa. I don't think it was all good, but I think he's happy now. He likes Exeter.'

'Exeter?'

'Yes, Exeter!'

There was a long silence while he absorbed the news that they would be at the same school, albeit three years apart. In those few moments, everything was changing as of course it had to as far as he and I were concerned. I have loved being with David…..every single minute of it has been a rich experience for me, and I hope to some extent for him too. But now he had to move on. Ruan is a talented boy who needs love in his life……and not just from his parents. I think Ruan will be a gay man in time, but I don't think David will be somehow. How strange it all is. Then, out of the blue…….

'Do you think Ruan is ok Simon? He seems quiet, sort of too quiet sometimes, like he's sad or something?'

'I think he's fine David, but like everyone he needs someone a bit special…….lucky people find someone like that……someone they can relate too in…….'

'In………..what Simon?'

'In whatever ways they can David…..with love even…..using that word in the broadest sense.'

'Like you gave me Simon? I think you gave me love.'

It took a few moments before I could reply to that……….

'That's then nicest thing you've ever said to me David. I hope I have…….and you have returned it in beautiful ways. Right now, I think Ruan would benefit from a bit of tender loving care. I think he needs it right now. Do you think you're up to that?'

Another pause.

'Does he have to go back now? Maybe he'd like to stay with us tonight?'

'Well, why don't you ask him then?'

I watched as Ruan rinsed the shampoo out of David's hair. I couldn't see David's smaller figure as Ruan's larger and broader frame obscured him. I studied the line of the boy's vertebrae….from his neck down to its base…..and then the shadowy line that separated the cheeks of his buttocks….then the deeper shadow that my eye could follow that took my eye under and through. The two boys were closer now……..something now understood between them.

It was not just hair washing this time.

David was first, as he presented himself proudly for cleansing, and tender was Ruan's touch as the lather diminished under the flowing warm water from the beautiful browned body.

Not used to such a task on another body, David tended to Ruan like a sculptor feels the polished texture of his bronze.

Intimate hands now, palms no longer needed for soap……palms that absorbed their forms……..just for precious moments that cannot be resisted…….unspoken promises perhaps……….whispered words in ears barely heard…….yes I will……….I will .

Messages understood………messages deep inside our bodies that tell us of things to come. David's body has understood well, responding to Ruan's touch. Ruan has let go too, restraint unecessary. Ruan, taller of course, and bigger against the boyish tummy….David straining into shadowy space, searching for contact. Four encircling arms are holding now, no space between, and as one……….but this is not the time or place for consummation. This is a time for asking for help and giving it. This is a time for wanting and hoping. This is the time for planting the seed. This is the time for carving the future.


David was quiet as we ate our meal in the Dining Room……thirty odd tables, most empty at seven. I was slightly worried.

'Are you ok David? You seem very quiet.'

'I'm ok………it's just you .'

'What about me ?'

'Are you upset?'

'No….of course I'm not! It's what should happen…..it's time now.'

We had discussed it, and it was time.


Ruan came back about eight. None of the hotel staff had noticed, or if they did they said nothing. I think David was a little nervous, and if I am honest, so was I. We needn't have been. There was a gentle knock at the door and David, in shorts and tee shirt, ran over and opened it.

We sat on the balcony which was just big enough to accommodate the three of us. By ten, David was visibly flagging, and not really contributing to our occasional conversation as we watched the late evening strollers amble along the seafront…….the colour of the water deepening. It was time.

'Ruan, do you mind putting David to bed? I think you're ready for bed, don't you David?'

Neither boy spoke as they stood up. David went through first followed by Ruan who had a hand on his friend's shoulder.

Five minutes later as I gazed out to sea, I felt David's face next to mine.

'Thanks Simon.'


Their clothes were neatly folded in a pile, but sans underwear. David was still wearing his as he said goodnight in that delightful way. I didn't see them get into the bed….comfortably big enough for the two of them……as I stayed out for another hour enjoying the warm night air watching the stars gradually appear. They were both asleep when I slipped into my sheets, David facing me, face half covered, and Ruan, the larger figure behind, enclosing the slighter form. Ruan knew that it was up to David. It was always going to be David's choice.


Friday is our last day, and will be dominated by informal games….a fun time, as opposed to some serious training and practicing skills, culminating in a presentation of awards and some encouraging comments from the course leaders to send us happily on our way at three thirty. It had been a good week from several points of view, and not just from the cricket perspective. This morning I had risen early at six and walked the beach for an hour before breakfast. It was one of those glorious high summer mornings that make you want to sing, but I couldn't keep Ruan and David out of my thoughts. I intended to be out of their way should they awake and want their privacy. With breakfast at eight thirty sharp, I decided that the boys couldn't complain if I got back to the room by seven thirty.

It was quiet, and as dark as the quite thick curtains would allow, as I carefully opened the heavy and rather typical flush fire door to the room, the heavy spring resisting. After the cool freshness of my walk, the warmth of bodies in the room was very evident. I looked at the boys' bed…….the blanket had gone and the two figures lay under the white linen sheet, their hips separated by bended knees and their heads close, and arms mutually over respective shoulders. Between the beds now I stopped to look at the apparently sleeping boys. As I did so, Ruan's eyes opened and he looked at me as if through liquid glass and he smiled. I knew these were not tears of regret, but small tears made from an inner peace.

'Are you ok?'

Ruan nodded, and then moments later he drew across the sheet that covered David to leave him exposed as he lay on his side perfectly naked.

'Look……..isn't he beautiful?'

Not so much a question…………..

I took the sheet and recovered David, and whispered…..

'Yes……….yes he is.'


We smuggled out, with some amusement I might say, a marmalade sandwich for Ruan, who had showered and was ready for the day. Breakfast had been a question and answer session for David as I attempted to find out how 'things' had gone, but he was having none of it…….just the tongue in cheek treatment and some enigmatic smiles, and looks that spoke 'that's for me to know and you to find out'………..irritating boy!

I'd let Ruan know that I wanted David to myself at the lunch break. The Club provided sandwiches and a drink for everybody, and we took ours to eat on the beach. We found a good place between two large rocks on some dry sand down at Jacob's Ladder. The tide was half way out, and the usual small groups of youngsters were busy with their nets generally scooping up water and examining the contents for a possible interesting new discovery.

'So I'm nosey…….there's no harm in that is there?'

'No.'

'Well then……..I just wanted to know that things are……ok?'

David always knows exactly how to…….not annoy me as such……. unsettle me might be a better way of putting it. He parked himself against the rock opposite me. I know exactly why he sat there, and in the way he did.

'I should think you've just about run out of those now haven't you?'

'No……still one pair left. We calculated perfectly.'

He took another bite from his sandwich, and mid chew…….

'Go on then…….you may ask me if you must know.'

'So, last night you seemed very tired. Did you go straight to sleep then?'

'Uhuh…..I got in first and by the time he came in, I'd gone, but I woke up first this morning.'

'Did you indeed. I hope you didn't wake him up?'

'Not really. I just cuddled into him, that's all…..into his back.'

'And….were you?'

'What do you think…….of course I was. You would have been too wouldn't you?'

A rhetorical question………one that definitely didn't require an answer.

'And then what?'

'He woke up soon after that.'

Laughter.

'Well I should think he did. I hope you were nice to him. Were you?'

'Oh yes……..and he was very nice to me too as a matter of fact. He's my friend now. A proper friend.'

'So you're not going to tell me?'

'I've told you. That's all you need to know isn't it?'

Disappointing, but true I suppose.


There's always a tea break around two thirty. I went and sat on a bench. There are about a ten of them around the ground between the chalk boundary line and the stone perimeter wall. Ruan spotted me and walked over.

'Hi Simon……..you ok?'

'Fine thanks….you?'

After the initial pleasantries, Ruan obviously wanted to tell me what David did not want to tell me.

'That boy of yours…….he's a bit forward isn't he?'

'Well, he can be quite forthright when he feels the need I suppose. I hope he wasn't a nuisance?'

'Feels the need? Goodness me.'

'Seriously, I hope he behaved himself?'

'Oh yes he did, but I had to rein him in a bit…….you know…….tell him that we can start being friends the proper way and all that stuff.'

'Oh dear. That doesn't sound too clever. So did it all end well, or did you fight?'

'It all ended well, and in a nice way.'

'In a nice way for both of you?'

'Perhaps a little more for him than me, but that's the way it should have been. I think he's a bit annoyed with me actually, but there are a few things he needs to learn.'

I agree…….and that explains David's evasiveness on the beach. The little so and so has to learn that some good things are worth waiting for. I have a feeling that Ruan will be a very good friend for David, in lots of ways.

My mind turned to arrangements for tonight.

'Can you stay again tonight Ruan? David's father will collect us tomorrow morning, so this is our last night here. Do you think you can?'

'No unfortunately. It's the changeover tomorrow so we have loads to do for that on the Friday night. I really wish I could. David has already asked me. I told him I couldn't. Anyway, don't you think he should be with you…..your last night and all that?'

Considerate Ruan……a genuinely nice person.

'Hmm……that's too bad. Let's hope I can keep him in a good mood then.'

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