Encounters

by Rafael Henry

Marcus

This tale is a sequel to equel to Kings Blue, though is not a chapter in that tale

I'm not bad at cooking. My mother reckons that scrambled eggs should have no milk added. The mingy portion I've just eaten had milk added because it makes more. I suppose that's to be expected at this place. The toast, like the eggs, was cold, and made from that thin sliced stuff that has no thickness at all when something lands on it. No ketchup by the way……..another black mark! Still, there have been compensations. I get to see young Marcus….the 'boy in the queue'. I see he's still in those shorts. They won't last the year, or even the term. As usual, he's standing there with his hands in his pockets. Very nice too.

I've promised myself that this term, the first of the new year, I'm going to be one hundred per cent focussed on schoolwork, as opposed to Marcus's bottom. I also accept that this is a challenge I may not be fully up to…...not all the time. Yes, I'm going to allow myself some golden glances in Marcus's direction. He knows perfectly well I've noticed him. It's a game we play. He looks round and I'm looking at him. Then I look away sharpish, but it's too late. He's seen me. Then I look again, and he looks round to check once more. I'm caught again as he tries to suppress a smile.

A few days ago I said goodbye to the lovely Per, my next-door neighbour and friend from the Netherlands, with whom I spent the vast majority of the long summer holiday with. I've told you all about him. He's gone home, but never to be forgotten. How could I? Last term I got quite excited about Marcus, but a much older boy, Tim, had warned me about making friends with younger boys. More or less at the same time, Tim told me that he couldn't hang out with me for the same reason. I was very disappointed in Tim for putting his career and prefectship over my needs. How dare he! That's the way it is I suppose.

Marcus is almost at the hatch now. He reaches out to take the plate of food. His shirt rides up his back as he reaches forward with both hands. He's been somewhere nice and hot judging by the colour of his back, lucky boy. Wealthy parents probably. South of France…Florida…….even California to see relatives maybe? With plate in hand, he's walking off to his place now. I'll watch him climb over the bench, plate down first, and then one leg over and then the other. It's like poetry. There's another sight of tanned skin, and the tell-tale little line of white that's different to last term. Yes, definitely different, but exactly how I wonder? My curiosity knows no bounds, but this Leo is resolved to remember Tim's advice……if I can. Don't mess about with a younger boy Leo. They can be very unreliable.

Contact.

I'm reading the local paper mainly because there's nothing else available. There's an article about the restoration of two 'flying' buttresses at Sherborne Abbey. It's not uninteresting. Then I feel a slight pressure of the palm of a hand on the back of my neck. I quickly turn around to see where this intrusion on my concentration is coming from. I'm taken aback somewhat. Bless me if it isn't the boy himself. Marcus. I pretend to be unaffected and disinterested, and go on reading, but I know I need to respond……..

'To what do I owe that gesture Marcus?'

'Nothing. Do you mind?'

'No, if you insist.'

Actually, I love what's he's done, not so much because it's him, but because it's exactly what Per does…..or rather what he used to do. I miss him so much.

But this is a different boy, and I shouldn't take his little gesture of friendship lightly. Be nice Leo. The palm of Marcus's hand moves across my shoulder and now I can feel the weight of his arm on me. It's all good. We don't get a great deal of human warmth in this place, so this feels like comfort indeed. I can't reciprocate because that would upset Per. I feel that he's here now, still with me. He is still with me. He would say, 'life moves on Leo', but I don't want to move on at this moment. The light from my candle of love for him still burns brightly. I only have room for one light in my heart. Then Marcus surprises me…….

'You've done the others Leo……why not me?' he says with a soft tone of indignance.

Done the others? I turn around to face him……

'Done the others? What are you talking about Marcus?'

'Sketches. You've drawn them. I've seen some of them. It's not fair. Why not me? Will you draw me…….please?'

That's true, but just half a dozen dorm mates. Just a bit of fun, that's all…….head and shoulders stuff. If I started making studies of first year boys, it would be noticed……..in certain quarters.

More about Marcus.

I met my friend Tim that evening in the Reading Room. He had something to tell me……

'Had a chat with your friend this morning after showers. He's a very slow dresser. Kept me waiting ages.'

'My friend?'

'Yes……Marcus. He referred to you as 'my friend Leo'.'

'Oh, really?' I say with an air of diffidence.

'Oh come on Leo.' says Tim with that look on his face……..as if to say 'you ain't fooling me mate'.

'So what else did he say Tim?'

'Nothing. His dorm is on my duty rota. I get to see as well as hear these days.'

'Not abusing your power I hope Tim?'

'Certainly not Leo. As if I would? Anyway, don't tell me you wouldn't take a peek?'

I don't answer, but wait for the next instalment.

'I think he must have been thinking about you Leo.'

'When?'

'The getting up bell?'

'Oh, that.'

'Yes….that. Would you like to know……un peu?'

Tim sees I'm struggling with some French translation due in tomorrow, first effing period, no less. Highly inconvenient.

'Well? Is it a littl'un?' I ask with a nonchalant air.

'Not what I saw Leo. He must have had you in mind, lying there all cosy in bed…….until I made him get out of it.'

'You're cruel Tim.'

'Yes, I know.'

'Well? Est-il coupe?'

'Non…….comme le serpent…….and fits nicely into his Gallic underwear.'

'French?'

'Yes. I found the relevant shelf in the cupboard and took a peek later. Tres elegante I must say……standing there 'as the nail' in his French nix. Fair took my breath away.' says Tim in his favourite cod Cornish.

I imagine it did take his breath away. Do you think Per would really object if I was unfaithful?

Formalities.

We have a thing called Prize Night in November, when all the 'good' kids get rewarded for being boffins, or excelling at various sports and games. There's one for Art too, which incidentally I didn't win because I'm not in an examination group for it. That has its advantages for me, because I can do what I like art wise, without any constraints on style or content. However…….the art bloke whom I like a lot, invited me to go on one of their occasional educational visits to an art gallery. We saw 'Late Picasso' at the Tate Gallery in London. I'm not sure if he got his research quite right, because many of the paintings were full of, and I quote, 'highly charged sexual imagery'. Many of the abstracted images were about two bodies entwined, it appeared to me, making love. My first thought was for my beloved Per. For my personal enjoyment he had willingly adopted very imaginative poses that neither of us would want to show to our parents, but it was massively fun to do, and in a weird way was a substitute for the sex we unconsciously sought with each other……..and couldn't have. More than once I had pushed, very hard, at a closed door, metaphorically speaking, and unable to gain entry, but deeply wishing to. That door was closed to me. I often wondered, had I pushed matters, if Per would have let me in, so to speak.

Prize Night involves parents. My mother couldn't come, and anyway I hadn't won anything. I did however have a few of the sketches I had made of various boys who asked me to do them, up on show on a wallboard in the Assembly Hall where the event took place. Marcus had mentioned that his mother would be there. There's a 'bun fight' after the event, with an opportunity for everyone to look at the artwork on the walls. Feeling rather uninvolved with the whole thing, I wandered aimlessly through the milling crowd of noisily chattering children and adults. Then the woman appeared.

She struck me as exotic…..Marcus's mum, as I find Marcus rather exotic. She approached from my right.

'Your drawings Leo……it is Leo isn't it…….I find interesting. Very interesting indeed.'

Marcus had obviously told his mum that he wanted me to draw his portrait. So mum comes and chats generally, and then puts the idea into my head……not that I hadn't thought about it already. I explained that making drawings of a boy two years younger than me would very likely be a trifle problematic, not to mention Marcus himself. I can just hear the comments now….

'Oh that's nice Marcus. Has he done you nude yet?' with the emphasis on the word 'done'. Disgusting! You really have to watch what you do and say in these places. Meanwhile, mother of Marcus goes on…….

'So would you consider it then Leo? I just love the style you use……..so expressive.'

I look at Marcus. With those dark eyes, he's looking as pretty as I've ever seen him. What would Per say right now? I'm sure he wouldn't mind.

I told her I would love to draw the image of Marcus in charcoal on paper……but not here. Maybe I could go to his house in the holidays or something. Then…….

'Then you must come with us to Le Touquet….after Easter. It would be perfect there.'

I don't do a great deal of travelling. My mother has to work, and I'm here for the simple reason that a relative is paying my school fees, apart from the minor award the school awarded me, out of sympathy no doubt. They are quite good like that.

There is something very likeable about Marcus's mother, and I've taken to her…….just like that. It has nothing to do with getting closer to Marcus of course.

France.

They met me at the ferry terminal at Folkestone. After getting the car safely parked on the car deck, we had a very pleasant crossing to Boulogne, and thence down the D940 towards Wimereaux, and on to Le Touquet, or Paris- Plage as the locals call it. Their house, on the Rue D'Etaple, looked very French with a small front garden and shutters and a slightly gothic feel to it. It had four bedrooms, but we only needed two……one for mum, and another for Marcus and my good self. Our room had twin beds with about a foot between them. I'd brought all my sketching kit and a drawing board, plus a small fold-up easel which I might or might not need depending on the situation. My relatively small case left little room for spare clothing.

Marcus's mother insisted I called her Bella, and Bella left Marcus and I to do what ever took our fancy each day. The beach here is huge by English standards, with consequently plenty of scope for wandering. The weather at Easter can be very variable in these parts, but we appear to be lucky this week. The second day, a Monday, was perfect for exploring……and I already had three sketches under my belt from the previous evening…..a head and shoulders, and another of Marcus in just his shorts. Marcus's wardrobe looked very French. When it comes to children's clothes, the French have great style to my mind. This afternoon, Bella is taking Marcus to get his hair trimmed, with an additional threat to buy him some new clothes. Bella wants me to come along to 'advise'. We had quite an interesting conversation this morning over a breakfast of coffee, and chunks of bread and strawberry jam in a sunlit kitchen. Lovely.

Marcus is in good form after a sound night's sleep, sitting next to me on a stool in just in his shorts……no top or socks. Twenty minutes ago I saw him naked for the first time. As I looked at him standing by his bed, I had the image of Per's face smiling at me, as if to say….'I don't mind Leo. He's really nice.' Umm, yes he is, and just as Tim described him.

I've just caught sight of him on his stool as I look sideways. He's put one leg up on the bar of the stool and I can see right down his thigh as he takes another bite from the chunk of bread he's holding. He knows what he's doing. I smile at him as he wrinkles his nose, with those sparkling dark eyes teasing me. Naughty boy. Now he goes further by moving his knee to his left, giving me the perfect view. He's watching me. He holds the pose for a half minute or so, before snapping his knees together. The little show is over. I look at his face which is now expressionless. I think my resistance is utterly futile.

I like Bella. She has a lovely relaxed way with her, and Marcus clearly adores his mum. She comes back into the kitchen with an armful of clothes she's picked up from our bedroom.

'You don't seem to brought many clothes with you Leo?'

'There wasn't much room in my case Bella. Anyway, I don't need much.'

Frankly, there's very little money for extras. My uniform for school is expensive beyond belief. I have to make do with the minimum for holidays.

'We haven't discussed payment for your work Leo.' remarks Bella, as she loads the washing machine in the corner.

'No……please can we not Bella. I'm doing them for…….because I want to. I don't want any payment. You've brought me here. It's a holiday for me. It's lovely.'

'That's not enough Leo. Will you let me buy something for you? Something small?'

I didn't answer. The elegant Bella stands to face me across the room.

'We are going shopping this afternoon…….after your walk with Marcus. No arguments please…..Bella knows best.'

Bella knows what? Probably more than I know myself.

Needless to say, we got wet on our walk. We played chase on the huge sandy beach which inevitably involved running through the shallows at low tide. It was the most exquisite pleasure to chase and catch my quarry……the lithe and wriggly Marcus.

We stand on the shining sand, the water flowing over our feet.

'Lift me up Leo……please.'

He's lighter than me, and I'm quite strong. It's easy. His arms are around my back, and my hands support his weight under his thighs. I feel his warm breath against my neck. He squeezes me tighter. It's heaven on Paris-Plage.

Shopping.

The shop is just off the town centre. It's called Petit Bateau. Bella is kitting out Marcus for the summer to come. It's new shorts, tee shirts, a couple of cashmere jumpers, and of course a pile of plain white and stripy briefs for the growing boy. He chooses everything under mummy's watchful eye. Then, as I feared, it was my turn.

She must have spent a fortune. There was no point in arguing with Bella. She is going to do what she is going to do. I came away with a bit of everything……a beautiful pair of pink shorts that fitted like a glove…..half way up the thigh and not too tight around my bits, but enough to show what I have nicely, such as it is. What went underneath was Bella's choice.

'These are nice Leo. Do you like them? Marcus has the same…..don't you Marcus. Let me get these for you Leo.'

Six pairs…….plus the shorts, three tee shirts, and one beautiful green cashmere round necked jumper. Marcus and I used the changing cubicle, hidden by a curtain from public gaze, to don our brand-new ensembles. I felt like a million dollars as we made our way to seafront for a light lunch at Le Petit Grill. Perfect!

I spent the late afternoon drawing Marcus. Bella suggested the small drawing room that overlooks the front garden, as it had the best light. I posed him standing partly reflected in a large mirror, dressed in quite brief pale beige shorts……. very 'habit de paysan'…….and an old white tee shirt that left a few inches of tummy showing. With his dark hair and eyes, and hands in pockets, he looked a treat. I went about the task with some enthusiasm.

'That's great Marcus. Look sideways just a little…….yes, exactly like that……that's perfect.'

And it was. The light picked out his profile…….the beautiful curve of his chest down to his tummy…..and the nicely rounded form of the buttocks, going down the thighs and calf muscles to bare feet. Pity about the clothing.

It was his suggestion.

'Can I take it all off now Leo?'

I posed him differently for this one…….in profile, and again, partly reflected in the mirror.

It took me a good half an hour to get the piece to where I wanted it. There was broken charcoal everywhere, not to mention rips and scratches in the paper I was working on. The result had an urgency about it that excited me, and was a reflection of my involvement with such a beautiful subject. It sounds ridiculous, but the experience brought me to tears. But I couldn't get Per out of my head as I worked. I could feel his unseen hands around my back…along my shoulders and on my neck. I felt his lips as they pressed against my mouth, warm and longing. His message is clear. He is giving me Marcus…..the boy in the queue.

An hour of that intensity takes its toll. Marcus looks at the result, his hand on my shoulder. I'm elated but I feel like a wrung-out piece of rag.

'Where's my willy?'

'That's not the point Marcus…..if you see what I mean.'

'You mean there's no point? What do you mean Leo?'

I tried to explain. The drawing was about the complete entity, not about a detail.

'It's an impression Marcus…..it's not intended to be an illustration…..a perfect copy.'

'Can't you put it in? I'm a boy, not a girl.'

'I know you're a boy Marcus. Do you want me to? I can…….now if you want?'

'Yes.' was the firm reply. I had obviously insulted him by the omission.

Marcus adopts the same pose, but this time just in front of me, not ten feet away. It gives me an opportunity to study him at close range. In a couple of minutes he becomes a complete boy in that perfect way that makes him different to a girl.

Marcus smiles as he inspects the result.

'Do you like it Leo?'

'Yes I do, very much as it happens.'

About nine thirty that night……..us, in twin beds.

'Are you asleep Leo?' whispers Marcus.

'Well, I nearly was.' I reply.

'I can't sleep.'

'Why not Marcus?'

'I'm too excited.'

'What about?'

'You…..being here.'

'Really?'

'Yes.'

'Well there's not much I can do about that…apart from disappearing.'

'Don't do that. I want you.'

'Want me….what?'

'With me…..now.'

'I am with you…….now.'

'No you're not. You're in there, not in here with me.'

'You know I can't do that Marcus…….even if I wanted to.'

Mistake…saying the 'even if I wanted to' bit.

'Do you then? Do you want to?'

You might imagine the next few minutes of me trying to extricate myself from that. Of course I did want to, but there would have been consequences. There is no way that I wouldn't touch this little jewel of a boy. He's be all over me with his hands, and I'd have a humdinger of an erection in seconds most likely. I would give in no doubt, and we would have mutual hand sex, or more possibly. I've no idea if Marcus has ever had a cock in his mouth before, or tasted a boy in that way. In the end, I told him…….

'Just shut up now Marcus….please! Maybe tomorrow morning. I'm tired. Go to sleep. I'm turning over now and I'm not going to talk to you. Ok….got it?'

Maybe in the morning? Another error of judgement. Sometimes I just can't help myself. I always leave the door slightly ajar it seems.

Morning has broken.

I've had the pleasure, now and again, of experiencing what the nurse at school called a nocturnal emission, or in plain language, a wet dream. I have to say they were pretty intense experiences. Every time I woke up just after they had happened, and wondered what on earth it was all about. To say it is a good feeling is something of an understatement. This morning I had two surprises. Firstly, I had Marcus in bed with me. Secondly, I had just had another wet dream…….or so I thought. I was on my back, with wet all over my tummy and tee shirt, and still rampantly hard. I had obviously just come big time. I was aware of warmth next to me, and turned onto my right side, carefully, to see Marcus's bare back, and further down under the duvet was his bare bottom. His breathing was faster than one would expect from a sleeping boy. I tried to recall the last few minutes as I clumsily dealt with an unruly puddle of my own wetness, mopping it up with the already very damp tee shirt. I just remember the intensity of the feeling, but not how it had come about. I know on the other occasions, I came 'to' as it were, on my stomach, having rubbed myself into the mattress presumably. So why on my back this time? It didn't take me long to suspect a bit of hanky panky on Marcus's part. I do believe my little 'queue boy' has just successfully brought me off in my sleep, the cheeky little monkey. This is indeed going to cost him!

Marcus is not asleep, although he's pretending to be. I've hardly moved at all, so for all he knows, I am still sleeping. We'll see shall we?

I've turned over and my nose is almost touching the back of Marcus's neck. He smells divine. I'm keeping my hands well out of the way, but I'm aware that the protrusion half way down my body is making a slight contact with Marcus's bottom. I'm just going to wait and see what he does.

I don't have to wait long. I know he's conscious, but he goes through a pretend waking up routine. When that's over, he turns to face me. I need a few words with him.

'Hello Marcus. I wasn't expecting to wake up next to you. By the way, I've had a bit of an accident.'

His brown eyes looked glazed and curiously expressionless. I imagine he's a bit worried about what I'm going to say next. I find his spare hand and put it on the cold bit of my tee shirt.

'What do think that is Marcus? It's certainly isn't wee.'

'Isn't it?'

'No. It's something else. What else could it be Marcus? Anything to do with you?'

I'm looking hard at him, and I'm not smiling. The boy's glazed expression becomes more glazed, and a small tear begins to form in the corner of his eye.

'That was a bit naughty wasn't it Marcus?'

He doesn't answer, as the tear drop enlarges and gently rolls onto the side of his nose, and drops onto the pillow. Another tear forms.

'Well boy………what do you have to say for yourself?' I ask, mimicking a teacher's voice.

'Sorry Leo. Are you cross with me?'

How could I be. I'm just teasing him, poor boy, but he knows he's done wrong. Or has he? I've made him think he has, which isn't very nice of me. The one thing I actually regret is not being fully conscious of his actions, which were obviously very effective. But what to do now? I'm sure if I roll him onto his back, he'd be only too pleased for me to return the favour…..if he hasn't already come. I'm not going to ask him if he has. In the meantime, he's getting upset and I can't allow that. Time for me to lighten up, but stop short of letting him think that we are starting a relationship which involves sex. We already have a relationship going, at least I think so, but it's on 'friends' basis. That's ok. I'm sure at this point he needs a cuddle.

We lay together, both of us hard against each other's hardness, but hands elsewhere. I had the chance to look at what I could feel against me, and I'm sure he hasn't climaxed this morning. We haven't kissed. The temptation to cover him with my mouth is overwhelming, including his utterly delicious little 'bits'. That would send him the 'all clear for takeoff' message. But there's a compromise. Marcus's tears have turned to smiles now. He's such a sweet boy….my 'boy in the queue'.

He's admitted it now.

'Whatever it was Marcus…….it was very nice. Didn't you realise…..when it happened? Did it scare you? Have you ever seen it happen before?'

No answer, just another beautiful smile. I wonder?

'What about you now Marcus? Have you already?'

'No.'

'Do you want to?'

'Umm. Will you?'

I'm left handed, which has always had its advantages I've found, especially when your willing partner lies on one's right hand side, and happens to be right handed.

'No Marcus, but I'll help you if you want.'

'Have you got a friend Leo? Is that why you don't want to?'

'Yes, I have a friend, but he's not around now. He went home to Holland, but he's still there in my head, if you can understand that.'

'Did you really like him….even now……very much?'

'Yes, very much.'

'Did he like you in the same way Leo?'

'Yes, I think so. Yes I'm sure he did. In fact I know he did.'

'How did you know?'

'Because you know when it happens to you. Everything seems right.'

'Did you love him?'

'Yes.'

'Will you tell me about him please? Will it make you cry?'

Of course it will, but that's no reason not to talk about Per.

I was careful to keep to the emotional side of my friendship with a beautiful Dutch boy with whom I fell in love with almost at first sight, and avoid any detail that involved physical intimacy, of which there was plenty. While I told my story to Marcus, I stroked his face and hair as if it were Per himself lying there. Soon, Marcus turns onto his back and begins his journey to his own fulfilment. I hold him tight around his shoulders and drink in the delicate perfume of boyness……his own perfume unlike any other…..just his. I have my mouth against his ear, and during the final moments, my tongue is in his ear, as my hand holds his head tight against my face.

I see Per's face, smiling. He is telling me I'm free to choose…to go where I want to go. Nothing will change between us…..not ever, but he has set me free. I know the choice is mine.

It was lovely…….for me as well as sweet Marcus. There are beads of perspiration on his forehead.

'Are you ok Marcus. You were on a bit of a journey there. Are you back with us now?'

He smiles as I gently wipe the watery beads from his skin. He seems alright now. I don't know where he was a couple of minutes ago, but it was certainly a good place. Pity I couldn't share it with him….or perhaps I did? I wait a little while until I'm sure he's over it.

'Was that nice Marcus?'

'Don't Leo……..it's embarrassing.'

'Why? You can share it with me, can you not?'

'Nice then.'

'Thank you. I'm glad.'

'Can I lie on you Leo? Will you tell me again please………about Per?'

I told him our story again, with a just a little more detail this time…….just a little more.

'Can I be him now? Can I be Per?' Marcus pleads.

'No, you can never be him because you are you. You are special in your own way…..different to Per. And we are here, and when we are back at school, that is not here……..is it Marcus? Do you understand what I'm saying?'

'Yes. I understand.'

'You are the boy in the queue, Marcus.'

'The boy who looks over his shoulder and sees a boy looking at him?'

'Yes. I'm sure he will still look at you….and still love what he sees.'

'Always?'

'Yes…….always.'

The End.

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