Kings Blue

by Rafael Henry

Chapter 5

One week later.

I met Ties in our shared driveway. He had no college that day. I hadn't seen Per in the morning as his mother had taken him to town……some sort of shopping expedition probably. I had just parked the mower in the corrugated iron garage which has survived since these houses were built in the nineteen thirties. I picked up my tee shirt which I had abandoned earlier and left hanging on the gate. It was warm work that morning. I felt hot and sweaty. I smile at him and do my usual visual assessment when I see him. He knows of course. It's a game we play. It doesn't mean anything but it's quite fun. He's just wearing a pair of shorts……..loose ones. It's deliberate. He knows I'm looking at him. He smiles….

'You need the shower Leo.' It was a statement rather than a question, as in 'You need my shower Leo.' Maybe I do.

'Probably.' Was my uninterested reply.

'You can use mine if you want.'

'No thanks. I have my own.'

I walk back into the house, but Ties is on my mind.

As I stepped into the shower in our family bathroom, I thought about what Ties had said to me the other day. It sounded to me like an ongoing invitation. I love Per with all my heart, but Ties is interesting……and highly amusing, amongst other things. He's seventeen and I'm thirteen and can do things Per can't do. There's a world of difference. Ties is more or less Tim's age. There's an element of danger about Ties, which makes him all the more attractive.

I go back to my room. I don't know why I did, but I walked over to the window……the one directly opposite Per's bedroom.

Ties is there in the window of Per's bedroom, and looking straight back at me. He points a finger at me, and then at his chest. It's an obvious signal. Then he puts his hand to his ear, and disappears. Moments later the telephone rings downstairs.

'How was the shower?' Ties asks.

'Wet but fine thank you.'

'Very funny. I have something to show you Leo.'

'Oh. What?'

'Wait and see.'

'Is it something nice? Not like the last time then?' I joked.

'No, not like the last time……not really.'

Not really? Umm. Despite my reservations about another visit to Ties's bedroom, I enjoy his company, and if I'm honest, I find him fatally attractive. Of course I'm worrying about my loyalty to Per. Nothing that happens when I'm with Ties is anything to do with me and Per. We are different…separate……in our own world. Ties is fun, and I'm feeling excited. Like most boys, I never wear anything other than shorts in the summer. I have a good selection. Most are the lightweight variety that require one to wear something underneath for obvious reasons, [Ties take note] but on this occasion I'm not going to. By the time I'm ready to leave the house, I realise that I should have. Too bad.

I let myself into the Ties's house and made my way through the kitchen. Ties wasn't visible so I guessed where he would be. I was right. He's lying on his bed reading a magazine. The front cover is folded behind the part he's looking at. I can see it's mostly pictures. Ties has heard me come up the stairs and is aware of my presence but he doesn't look at me. He just pats the side of the bed next to him, where he's left enough space to accommodate one body. Mine. I sit on the edge of the bed, and now I get a clear view of what he's looking at, and it's not 'Health and Efficiency'. The only similarity is that every person in the thing are stark naked. There, any similarity ends. Ties pats the bed again, and this time I do what he wants. He closes the magazine, and hands it to me. I've never seen one of these before. I knew they existed, but I've never seen one. I have now.

I think it was more interesting than erotic. I found it all rather cold and staged, but there were things in it, or rather things the boys were doing that left nothing to my imagination. My first question……

'Where did you get this Ties?'

'I live in Amsterdam.'

Of course. Silly question.

'So……do you find it interesting Leo?'

I beat about the bush for a couple of minutes, but the answer to Ties's question is quite simply….…'yes I do', but I don't answer. Then he points to two boys lying down facing each other, one on top of the other. The underneath boy has his knees bent and legs wide apart, and his hands on the other boy's bottom.

'What about that Leo? Do you know what they're doing….or supposed to be doing?'

'No, not really.' I lied.

'Shall I tell you…..to further your education?'

He did. I lay on my side with his body behind mine. Ties is touching me in two places…..one with his hand, which is gently stroking my thigh. I listen slightly breathless to what he is saying to me. He had just explained the correct and necessary use of a prophylactic device.

'Have you ever seen one of these Leo? Want to try it?'

He showed me a little pink box with the lid open. There were three of them, the ends visible.

'You will need to know how to do this one day.'

When he'd finished, there appeared to be quite a bit left to unroll.

'Why is there so much left Ties?'

'Don't worry Leo, there's nothing wrong with you.'

We both laughed, nervously in my case. I'm not convinced.

'Are you sure Ties?'

'I'm sure sweetheart. Shall we go on?'

I nod enthusiastically. It's a different sensation, slightly blunted if I'm honest, but rather nice. Ties turns me on my back. I try to concentrate on the swirling patterns of the artexed ceiling, but Ties is far too good for that to be an effective distraction. He has an irresistible way with him, and in due course I succumb. He gives me two or three minutes to recover my equilibrium.

'Not bad Leo?'

'No, not bad.'

'Do you know what I referring to Leo, when I say that?'

I had seen one lying on the grass in the park once, checked that no one was looking, and made a discreet examination of it. I had picked it up with a small stick to get a better look at the end bit. I had never seen it contained like that. This was different. It was mine. I felt strangely proud. You live and learn.

'Is that how it should be Ties?'

'Yes, exactly like that. Just like mine, and every other boy's. What about Per?'

'What about him?'

'Aren't you going to tell me? He's my little brother. I need to know he's alright.'

I smiled.

'He's fine Ties.'

'Getting there?'

'Yes, but not there yet Ties.'

Later that afternoon, the phone rang again. It was Ties again. He asked me if I wanted to come over immediately. This time, I said I couldn't. I had things to do. I had been thinking about what had happened earlier at our 'educational' session. I had decided that it was no different from one of those casual events that I had experienced a few times at school. We thought nothing of it then. This was no different, but I can't help what I keep seeing……..images of a boy. Per.

It's very odd seeing him in a Kings School jumper. He loves it, and I have to say he looks lovely in it.

The boy in the queue. He looks over to me and smiles. How beautiful he looks…all washed and fresh, dark hair charmingly unkempt. He looks down, perhaps embarrassed. Then his head turns towards me again. I smile. He looks down again.

I tell Per so every day, if he has my Kings Blue jumper on. I'm sure he's different since we first met. It's hard to know exactly how he is, but I'm convinced he has grown…not just physically but in other ways too…….good ways. I wonder if I have been a bad influence on him. I desperately hope not. I must make our last few days good ones……good for him…….good for us both.

I don't get early morning visits from Per at weekends. He's always busy with some family activity, which has involved me once or twice, I'm glad to say. Last Sunday we went to Canterbury. Per's family are occasional churchgoers. I know that because they wanted to know why I was never about on a Sunday morning. My mother didn't insist on much, but I know she would be upset if I didn't go with her. Fair enough, it's not that much to ask.

The trip to that small city in north east Kent naturally involved a visit to the cathedral, which all the tourists rightly feel the need to see. We arrived at an awkward time apparently, and we were refused admission unless we wanted to attend a service which was starting in ten minutes time. In the end we all agreed that we had arrived at a rather good time, and thoroughly enjoyed a musical treat. I counted sixteen boys and ten men providing the music, in addition to the thundering organ overhead. I had to smile as one small and very beautiful looking boy during the prayers, couldn't resist investigating his nose with the tip of one finger, then studiously examining what he had extracted on the end of it. It was obviously a matter of priorities, a loving God being of secondary importance, or at least his need for intercession. I enjoy looking at old buildings, so my Sunday morning obligation at Hythe Parish church has its compensations. Besides the architecture there's a small human element, well worth a second look……or even a third.

Will he look again? Has he noticed? Take care….take care Leo.

On our way home in the car, Alea asked me if I would like to join them for supper on their last night in England. That would be next Sunday evening. My mother would also be invited. I said I would love to, and at the same time, my stomach flips over. That's the reality. Per is leaving in a matter of days. We're sitting in the back of the car and Per's head is resting on my shoulder. Not the driver, Mathias turns around as I accept their kind invitation, and he smiles when he sees Per's gesture of affection……and mine. I have my arm around my sweet friend, and his hands are together on his lap. I know why. We haven't had our time together since last Thursday. Feeling Per against my body like he is now has been difficult……awkward even. He's wonderful when he's in my bed. I think about it all the time, and the intensity of it all is almost unbearable, as is the thought that it will all be gone……all over…….just a memory in a short few days.

It's Monday morning and at last Per is with me. Our fifteen minute rule is abandoned. Everything is fast and urgent. Everything is over quickly……too quickly, and the consequences not thought about. Per thinks it's funny. He touches the little rivulets……the little pool of cooling streams, soon to be joined by more, and pressed between us……forced out by a gripping fist and body spasms that come form who knows where. But come they do. What physical joy that moves so perfectly into caring hands that hold and sooth.

'Why do you do that Leo?'

'What……exactly?'

'What you're doing.'

'Sorry. I didn't realise.'

'I don't mind.'

'Are you sure Per?'

'Yes, I'm sure. Have you been talking to Ties?'

'A little……maybe.'

'He said you had.'

'Oh. Has he……or anyone else…….ever?'

'No……just you…..just now. Is this right?'

'Umm……just right Per.'

His heads rests on my shoulder, arms on my pillow, either side of my shoulders. The palms of my hands sooth his shoulders, and then his back, and then beyond there. He has made my way clear. Such soft skin….such perfect skin where the taut hillsides meet in the valley.

There's a pathway there to follow, to wander around, a place to find as if by accident, and sooth in gentle circles of delight.

I turn my head and breathe words gently into his ear. There is no reply…….just a boy's breathing in return.

Per's hands are on my shoulders now, gaining purchase to enable him to move a little forward. I turn my face sideways and feel the warm skin of his chest. He smells of leanness. From where my hands are, I can help. It's an instinctively reaction on my part, but suddenly and unexpectedly I'm frightened for both of us. As the boy slowly lowers himself, just enough, I'm touching him now. Earlier my hands gave the hint. His response has made my heart beat faster.

Some things are possible and some things are not. Somethings are right and some things are not. We are tempted, and we do those things. If we thought about it, we almost certainly would not do those things. The wise person might say……

'You are not old enough. Better wait until you're sure.' Or……

'That's a very dangerous way to behave. You don't know what the consequences might be.'

Sound advice? Yes of course it is, but in the heat of the moment, things can be different. It's not something that Per, and me for that matter, should give away lightly. There is a short conversation between us, and then we kiss as tenderly as ever we have. Per has a suggestion, not exactly a compromise, by way of an enjoyable and new sensation for him, and me. It is a complete delight, thus……we are saved from ourselves.

My small present for Alea and Mathias, the A5 sketchbook, is almost complete. I'm going to have some difficulty parting with it. I've struggled over it, and once or twice wept over it. I hope they like it. I've poured out my soul making it, and with one more page to go, it will finally be done. It's going to be a pose in his garden…the one Per adopted that first morning, deliberately as he later admitted, near the little pear tree……or Per tree even! That day we sat having our first and rather tentative conversation. One minute into it, I knew that this was the person who would take centre stage in my life for as long or as short a time as we had together. And so it has been. The halcyon days of summer continue, but nearing their end sadly.

I wanted him in the blue shorts he had on that morning, but he insisted that he wore one of the pairs of white ones he had purloined, with my permission, from the school trunk, the naughty boy…….in addition to my gorgeous, but 'too small now' jumper, and a couple of everyday items of little consequence. He said they didn't have anything like it in Holland. Really? Maybe not, especially the sports kit. It's the fashion, at least at our place. You wear them, not until they are almost obscene, but they actually are . It must be a manhood thing with pubescent and older boys. The pre's, well most of them, flit about in much more seemly gear, needing nothing underneath, not that it would have made any difference in their case. I remember my first Sports Day. I can't imagine what the mums were thinking, but I certainly know what I was. I thought I had died and gone upstairs. Are you familiar with the terms, roundheads and cavaliers? My dorm mate, a very nice but rather unattractive boy who was my 'after lights out' next bed partner, was a 'cavalier'. I was on 'the other team', in more ways than one, not that he knew it at the time. We both reckoned we could spot who was, and who wasn't by close examination of the older boys' shorts. My erstwhile friend Tim was a good athlete, very queer, and wore shorts that would get noticed. Bobby, my next-bed-friend, announced that Tim was, like him, a cavalier. I put him right on that one. I had seen it in the cinema. We fell about laughing.

The last little sketch with Per under the 'Per' tree, went tolerably well, with me trying a bit too hard to be completely objective. I much prefer my looser drawing style. I've found that most people prefer drawings that look like photographs, but that's not my style at all. Splash the paint…..that's what I say. My art teacher thinks the same as me. Photorealism is for the craftsperson, not the artist. Discuss.

I closed the book after Per had offered his opinion on the sketch. He liked it, but I suppose he had to say that. He was so sweet. He put his arm around my shoulder and gave me one of his warm blowy type kisses on my neck. Utterly delicious. Any gesture, particularly one like that, arouses me, so ten minutes later we were upstairs in my bed. Twenty minutes after that, we were back in the garden to make my last drawing of my beautiful boy. This one is for me, and it's filled with all the love and passion I have for my dear Per. He's in his white shorts….the ones I prefer to see him in. The way I've posed him gives me a tantalizing view. We had a nice time upstairs a few minutes ago, but it's as if we hadn't been there. We can't keep on going upstairs! I think, as much as anything, it's because I won't have him much longer. Per loves to be looked at, and he knows what interests me about him. I draw him how he is now, and when he gets up to see what I achieved thus far, his shorts give away his state of mind…….and body. It's too much for me. No one can see us. Per lies on his side on the grass and I'm behind him with my hand up the leg of his shorts and trying to chew his neck while I attempt to reach what I want. There's an urgency now, and Per gives me unfettered access. It's not three minutes this time but five. If anything it's even stronger the second time….longer but stronger. Another two or three minutes pass, and he's posing again. That's thirteen year old boys for you, or almost thirteen in Per's case, and when sex is never far from our minds……if ever.

I use my eraser and I make my drawing decent. The larger than usual sheet of paper I'm working on has become a battle ground, with some tears of love and frustration, rubbings out, scratchings with the point of a penknife, and broad areas of black and grey all over the place. Suddenly I'm excited by what's happening on the paper. There's commitment and a passion about it…and a strong feeling that I'm breaking new ground. In minutes I've learn more about how to draw than I have learnt in all my life so far. I go on for ten more minutes with Per getting tetchy. He's bored now, but I don't care. I'm irritated by his distractions so I'm sharp with him, and he looks hurt.

When I'm done with the thing, I hardly know what to make of it. In the back of my mind, I like it for its honesty. Per inspects the result, but doesn't understand. I try to explain, stroke his back, and he pretends to understand. He looks up at me. I tell him he is the most beautiful thing in the world, and that I love him. He tries to smile, but he's upset. Later that day we walk into a warm August landscape. It's a ten minute walk. The grass is dry and scratchy, but we can be alone here. Per asks me why I love him. My explanation sounds ridiculous and funny, but it makes him cry. It's all quite painful now.

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