The Observer

by Rafael Henry

Chapter 6

I still remember the start of the long summer holiday, and the prospect of it some weeks before the school summer term ended……the prospect of long warm days in the sunshine on the beach. Well, that's the theory. In practice, in England, it's not necessarily quite like that. It is however a myth that it rains all the time here. It very rarely rains for more than a couple of hours at a time, especially in July and August and September during which, or part of which are the school holidays. Amy and I used a local beach which is unusual as it is sandy. Most beaches in the south east of England consist mainly of pebbles that give way to glistening wet sand only at low tide, the little flints nicely rounded off by wave action of which there is plenty, plus big differences between high and low water. We would take the children to the beach by bus. Apart from the occasional irksome passenger that insisted on plonking their bulk right next to you, going by bus is a convenient mode of transport, as there is no need to park a car, or indeed pay for that privilege. Living where we do makes vehicle ownership difficult as Watchbell Street wasn't designed to accommodate the motor car. We have a railway station that links us quite efficiently with the rest of the world, and as I've mentioned, I like travelling by train.

My relationship with James' mother has stumbled on without showing any real signs of significant development. It's not something either of us really want. We have slept together a couple of times since our debut performance in Chichester, but the more recent physical experience doesn't compare. On the last occasion, in Winchelsea, Jane expressed a desire to try straight penetrative vaginal intercourse. I pointed out that a pregnancy was possible in the event that I came inside her. As far as I know, my sperm are numerous and active, and decent swimmers and it was entirely possible that she could conceive. That would be an odd situation……my child would have the very lovely James as a half-brother. Neither of us needed further complications in our lives, so Jane had a suggestion.

'Shall I go onto my tummy? I'd quite like to try if you don't mind?'

Goodness me. I wasn't expecting that question. Jane lay on the bed waiting for my return from the bathroom. I'd gone off to find the tube of gel. The prospect of doing it that way had excited me. It would be a first for me, as a giver or receiver…..obviously a giver in this case. I fully intend to 'give' generously. We are all systems go, as they say. Just the very thought of doing something that naughty had turned me on. When I get back to the bedroom, Jane has turned onto her side and is masturbating gently. That's good, and turns me on even more. By the sound of her, she's getting on nicely. She grabs a pillow and puts it under her, thus presenting her bottom to me. I kneel in between her outspread legs. I part a pair of quite small and neat buttocks, not dissimilar form her son's I have to say. I love what I'm seeing, and interestingly, it's completely smooth. I spend time in preparation.

Jane came before I did. Quite how she or I managed that I'm not quite sure. It took me another couple of minutes before I was overwhelmed and collapsed on top of her resting my face against her neck, breathing heavily. We lay together thinking about what we had done. I had shut my eyes and my mind had wandered to another body lying beneath me. Shameful.

In the shower, she asked me to investigate the result. She was curious to know. What a nice thought to have. A little later still and in bed, I'm on my back as Jane takes what is left in me. She's in a 'I want to please you' mood. I don't think I've ever slept as well as I did that night.

Some good news. I suppose the whole thing was by way of a celebration for us. Two days ago, James had received a letter. Jane had been informed by a separate letter. The school in Ashford had found a place for him. Jane had phoned me to tell me his news. I put the phone down and wandered into my office, slightly bewildered and delighted. The early morning mist hung over the river, reflecting a hazy sun rising over the English Channel. My tears are truly joyful. I thought it a sensitive and kind gesture that the school had written to him personally, as well as to his mother. They have made a decision that they will not regret. Sweet boy……he must be so pleased.

Private, Independent, or fee-paying schools finish earlier for the summer break than the state-funded…….about the second week of July as a rule, or two weeks before the rest. Jane and I brought James back from Chichester. I hired a car as he had all his kit and sundry belongings to clear out of his House. He's a leaver of course, so there were lots of goodbye's to get through. He's thirteen years old, and has a new life ahead of him. It's a milestone not to be underestimated. James is a sensitive soul and his reaction at times to a quite trying situation was predictable. Bless him indeed……parting is such sweet sorrow. With goodbyes all said and done, there's one more thing. Before dispersal to cars, and the sound of crunching gravel, the boys line up in full uniform for presentation and handshakes from the Headmaster and his wife. James is last in the line….beautiful as ever, trying to smile, and just hanging on.

Summer Holidays. All assembled outside Rye railway station, we await the arrival of the bus. We have all the essentials, and between the four of us, the load is distributed evenly. Two folding chairs that fit neatly into long bags with straps for the shoulder, two soft bags with towels and swimming kit, and some food and drink as an alternative to the poor quality beach fare provided by the two cafes, a couple of paperbacks, camera and sun protection.

Mathew has been home three days. I let one day pass before I muted the idea of inviting Jane and James to come with us to the beach. Jane had given me a photo of James. She had taken it at Whitstable at half term. James is seen dangling a crab line from a breakwater. He's just wearing a pair of yellow swimming trunks. It's the way he's standing. He has this talent for looking good whatever he's doing.

I mention James to Mathew. He's not very receptive.

'Can't we just go on our own Dad? Who is this kid anyway? Am I expected to entertain him or something?'

'No. He's been away at school and doesn't know many people around here. They live in Winchelsea.'

'Oh. I'm not surprised. There's no one under sixty there.'

'Exactly. They are both really nice people. I met her at a concert. You'll like them.'

'Why should I?'

'You could make an effort couldn't you?'

'Why? How old is he anyway?'

'A few months younger than you. He's going to start school in Ashford in September. He'll go on the train with the girls. We need to make him feel at home. It would be a kindness Mathew.'

I showed Mathew the photograph. He looked at it for a good half minute before handing it back to me. Then…….

'Ok then.'

We found a good spot to sit about half way down one of the higher sand dunes, in a hollow surrounded by the tall and spikey marram grass that thrives in that rather inhospitable environment. I had hired a long windbreak which consists of a patterned sheet of material held up by a series of poles you have to drive hard into the sand. The wind was light and from the west, and the windbreak gives us a degree of privacy as well as some protection from the elements. Mathew and I arranged the makeshift wall around three sides of a square, with the open side giving us a good view of the beach below. Being a weekday, and relatively early, there was no one to observe us as we prepared for our day at the beach. Of course the first thing the boys want to do is to get on the sand, which is ideal for digging and building. At thirteen, they are not too old to want to do that. I watch James get into his trunks, as I think Jane watches Mathew do likewise. As they do so, Jane gathers up the boys' discarded clothes……tee shirts and shorts, and their respective underpants neatly folded and placed on top of the pile. I note that James's figure looks as it did when I last saw him. He remains a boy in every respect, not the youthful form that Mathew shows us now. I note with a degree of sadness how his body is changing. The sole pubic hair has now been joined by several more above and either side of his gradually maturing penis. His balls hang nicely now, one slightly lower than the other. He's looking just as he should, and aware, I suspect, of James' presence. He's showing off………definitely.

It's a father's duty to notice developmental changes in his child. I'm rather pleased to see that there don't appear to be any in James' case… least not visible ones. Jane is topless, and lightly tanned. Her chest is minimal, which I like for some reason, but her nipples are quite pronounced which also appeals to me. The boys run down to the flat sands to survey the scene. Jane lies on her back on the large red towel. I change into shorts with nothing underneath. She watches me and smiles. I know there's usually a possibility of sex with Jane, one way or preferably another, which turns me on. It would be easy up here. No one would see us. The boys are wandering towards the water. The tide is low, and getting lower. I doubt if they'll be back for a while at least. I lie down next to Jane. I look at her, and she knows what I thinking. She smiles……

'How are you feeling Otta?'

'Ok thanks. So far so good with the boys don't you think?'

'Yes. I think James is quite keen on making a friend. What do you think about Mathew?'

'He was always a slow starter with his friendships, but if he decides he wants it, then he'll be loyal. He'll work at it.'

'What about you Otta? Do you want to work at it?'

'If you mean us, then yes, up to point Jane, as we discussed. But I think the level we are on right now suits both of us, and the boys too….both of them. Can we not think beyond that please?'

'Of course, but you know what women are like. They're always looking for commitment.'

'I know. It's the difference between boys and girls isn't it?'

'Yes, probably….regrettably.'

'So there's the rub then, as they say.'

Jane turned onto her side, away from me. I hope I haven't hurt her with my comments, but that's how I feel. I don't want a long term thing here. Despite fucking her brains out with her new lover, Amy is still part of me….and Mathew of course. At the same time, I don't want to lose James. I've got to know him quite well now, and I'm fond of him…….perhaps a bit more than that if I'm honest. I'm desperate for Mathew to like him, for fairly obvious reasons that no doubt you can fathom out, and at the same time I need my relationship with Jane, if that's what it is, not to wither. I need to keep it going, but in check……not let it run away out of control towards a place where I'm not comfortable.

Right now she's playing a game with me. She's presented her bare back to me. I'm happy to maintain the physical side as much as she wants it to happen, and as often. She's been without sex for quite a long time and she wants to catch up while she can. I don't blame her. I'm bobbing along in a similar boat. I begin to stroke her back, and then her neck, and around her shoulders. Her skin is warm and inviting, and as soon as I feel her, my penis reacts. I can feel it slowly enlarging. What clever things they are. Brain to penis coordination. She takes my hand and guides it onto one breast. I feel the nipple harden between my fingers. She needs some comfort. She turns towards me, just enough. I leave the stiffened nipple and find her inner thigh, and she makes more room for me there…….her signal to me that it's all ok……..ok to go on with what I have in mind. Inside her pants now, I slip one finger in between the outer folds of flesh and find the small sensitive bump buried in between. I move lower to the entrance of her vagina and gather up a little of her natural lubricant, and transfer it back to her clitoris. With three fingers now I begin the familiar circular movement that I know works well for her. I watch her face to read my progress. She's far away now, eyes closed. Amy always said I did it like a woman would, and like a woman would want. Perhaps that's true. I know I have a strong feminine side. That may be why women tend to like me.

I keep one eye on the beach lest we have an unexpected visitor. She's on her back now, and I'm propped up on my elbow. She's feeling her breasts with both hands as I continue, varying the speed of my rotating fingers. I'm completely hard now, and as I look down my body, I notice the tell-tale dark area on my shorts about the size of a small coin. That stuff can be a curse sometimes. I daresay no one will notice.

It's twenty minutes before the boys return to our base camp just up in the dunes. Jane and I have taken to the folding chairs. I'm in my shorts and Jane is wearing a navy blue bikini bottom, having discarded her pale yellow one. The boys are wet from their bathe in the briny, their skin glistening in the strong light. They both look happy. So far, so good. Needless to say they both require food and drink. It's eleven thirty, and too early for the lunch Jane has prepared, augmented by a few extras I have bought from the Deli in Rye. Both boys change their wet trunks for dry underpants…….one pale blue, the other white. Jane holds the garment open for James to step into while he steadies himself using his mother's shoulders. Mathew manages on his own. He's beyond the age when I would provide that service for him. Jane arranged the two wet pairs of trunks on the wind brake to dry in the sun. A drink of plain water and half a sandwich later, Mathew asks………

'Can I go and buy two spades please Dad?'

It's been a while since we all dug holes or built castles in the sand. Jane and I watch as the two boys some twenty or so yards in front of us on the flat sandy beach industriously use the spoil from the large round hole to build ramparts and watch towers. A small boy wanders up, attracted by this feat of engineering, and offers his castellated plastic bucket. The boys take stock for a moment to assess the suitability and usefulness of the newcomer. He's an acceptable addition to the team, willing to take instructions and being careful not to take the initiative from the older boys. We watch as the project progresses. Jane has been observing too.

'It's strange how two boys roughly the same age can be so different isn't it?'

'Umm. James is still very much the little boy isn't he?'

'Absolutely……in every way.'

'What do you mean by that Jane?'

'Well, mentally and physically. Mathew is obviously into the next phase. I haven't seen that Otta. I just have James remember. I mean…Mathew is so much bigger isn't he?'

'Oh that .'

'Like father, like son then?'

'Very amusing Jane. Actually I think he's more or less caught me up. What do you think?'

'I really wouldn't like to say Otta. Don't forget that my experience is a little bit limited. He doesn't appear self-conscious at all. He didn't seem to mind my seeing him like that.'

'He boards. No one hides anything in that situation. No one can be bothered. Everyone's differences are accepted. That's life isn't it? '

'So, what can I expect then? What are the signs?'

'There are the obvious physical ones you just saw. They get bigger and…… other things start happening. You just have to prepare them for it.'

'You mean sex?'

'Yes, but not just the mechanics. The psycho stuff is far more important…relationships……..friendships that develop and so on.'

'So has sex reared its ugly head yet?'

'I think so.'

'How do you know that?'

'Letters in the holidays……quiet conversations on the phone he doesn't want you to overhear. That sort of thing……and visitors of course. Mathew has had friends to stay in the holidays. That's quite revealing. It's the way they interact with each other. There are just little signs. Boys give things away about themselves. They are not sophisticated enough socially to hide their feelings long term.'

'Where do these friends sleep then?'

'He's had two to stay so far. They used the spare room for sleeping, but the rest of the time they play in Mathew's bedroom.'

'With the door shut?'

'With the door shut. I think he fell out with a boy right at the end of last term. He was due to come and stay in Rye, but it was all off at the last minute. We had a bit of upset for a couple of days. Mathew actually let me talk to him about it.'

'So was it an emotional attachment do you think?'

'Yes, and of course that often means sex. It's quite likely that boys that age will want to express their feeling towards another in a sexual way as well as other ways.'

'That's difficult isn't it….for you?'

'No, not at all. I exist to help him, as you do for James, whatever happens. I don't believe there's a right or wrong answer, or good or bad ones. They need to find answers, and people who can help them find them. There are practicalities of course that mothers should understand and be aware of, and not ask awkward questions about.'

'How mysterious. Like what exactly Otta?'

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