The Observer

by Rafael Henry

Chapter 20

Sunday night was uneventful. James was preoccupied with his guilt over the row he had had with his mother, Jane. In the end I took him home. Jane was surprised to see him, and tearful as her son folded into her arms. I was moved too, just witnessing the depth of the bond between mother and son. Added to that, on my return home, there were two messages on my phone. One told me that I was required at a short notice meeting in London the next day. The other was from James. He would be over the following morning. I worked out the timing. It was a morning meeting in Town, so I could be back in reasonable time for James, who would have Elliot with him by then. James has his own key, so that won't be a problem.

The meeting lasted most of the morning, and by two thirty, I was on the train back to Ashford, and in time for the connection to Rye. The Romney Marsh had that late August parched look about it, with that famous off-white breed of sheep standing or sitting under bushes for shade, uninterested in the dried grass that was on offer in the brightly lit fields, divided every so often by dried up drainage ditches. At four, we rolled into Rye. Eight minutes later I was at my front door. I wondered if the boys were in residence. I found them in my sitting room where we watch television……the room with the comfortably large sofa much favoured by Mathew and James, in what is now a past life for both of them. There is now a new occupant…….Elliot. James sits nearby, sketchbook in hand. He has posed his model on the sofa. I look at Elliot first, who returns my smile with one of his own. Folded into the corner, he looks suitably relaxed, clad just in a white slip. It looks like one of James', and on the large size for Elliot. James is wearing a pair of shorts, and is shirtless. There is an air of concentration. I need some tea, so I retire to the kitchen.

Ten minutes pass before I wander back into the makeshift studio. The book that James has been working on is now closed and on the arm of the chair. James has joined Elliot on the sofa. Both boys look tired. Despite the open window, the room is uncomfortably warm. I have an idea…..

'Beach? Cool off in the water?'

We get there in the Merc….top down. The cooling sea water revives the boys. It's low water and miles to wade out to swim properly, so we just laze about in a couple of feet of the stuff, mostly on our backs with our arms stretched out wide, staring up at the sky. It's fun. We've carried the minimum from the car, so one beach towel is enough for the three of us, as we strip off wet trunks and slip our shorts onto damp skin. Elliot is last, and makes a meal of it. Typically, he's seeking our attention. We walk back to the car, bare feet in the warm sand, with Elliot one side of me and James the other. The boys have put their arms around my middle. That's a nice gesture. I love the feel of their hands on my skin. I respond by putting my arms around them. We walk on like that.

At home, the boys are out of their shorts and James runs the shower. Elliot and I sit on the bed waiting our turn. I'm conscious of being observed by Elliot. I've no idea if he has seen his father naked, but he's looking at me as if it's the first time he's seen an adult penis. I look at him and smile. He continues to stare into my groin.

'Well?' I ask.

'How big does it get?'

Elliot likes to get to the point.

'The usual size probably.'

'How big is that?'

'Like James's.'

'Have you seen his like that?'

'Yes I have. Have you?'

Elliot smiles coyly, and looks down. He places two fingers under his penis with his thumb resting on the ridge of the glans. He begins a slow squeezing motion. I watch as the pleasant sensation he's experiencing takes hold. He stops suddenly, and looks at me. He senses my disapproval. I reassure him with a broad smile.

I know James takes ages in the shower. I'm sure Elliot would have been in there with him if I had suggested it. It will accommodate two smaller bodies easily. I guess that I have ten minutes with Elliot to sort out one or two things out with him…….

'I get the idea that you're trying to be a bit more generous towards James…….a little less selfish maybe?'

'Yes.'

'Well do you mind if I give you some advice?'

Elliot shakes his head. Good. Here's lesson one on how to get the best out of James.

'James likes you very much Elliot. You need to find ways of telling him you like him. That's what James needs. He wants little gestures of your approval , like a little touch on his arm, or saying something nice to him when he least expects it.

'Like what?'

'Just say he looks nice……tell him he has nice interesting eyes. That sort of thing.'

'He has.'

'I know he has, and so do you……so tell him he does. Get it? By the way, so do you as it happens.'

'Do I?'

'There you are. You liked that didn't you?'

'Umm.'

'Touch his hair….run your fingers through it…….gently blow into his ear.'

'That'll tickle won't it?'

'Maybe it will, but he'll like it. Like this.'

I lean towards him and gently expel a short breath into Elliot's ear.

'That did tickle!'

'Yes, but what did you think?'

'Nice.'

'There you are then. Try tracing a line with your finger down his back….from the back of his neck all the way down to his….'

'Bottom?'

'No, not that far. Don't go anywhere near those places. That's naughty……..especially in the street.'

'Can I do it anywhere?'

'Yes, and at any time. Surprise him. What you do at four o'clock will make a big difference to what happens at eight o'clock when you're on the sofa watching telly. You see if it doesn't. Just keep touching him gently on his arm, the side of his face, his back. If he wants to do it back to you, just let him.'

'Can I touch his willy?'

Typical. Boys tend to be willy centred. Why is it always the willy. It won't work with James. He wants romance, and rightly so. He needs love.

'So are you getting what I'm saying to you Elliot?'

'Umm. I think so. Will you show me now…what you were talking about?'

Oh dear.

James was sexually aware before I met him on that train. You know when a boy is. James was. Aged eleven, as he was then, he was quite capable of giving out signals. He may not have been fully aware that he was. By the age of twelve, he knew perfectly well what to do if the mood took him. By the age of thirteen, he had seen a man ejaculate his semen, and liked it, and wanted to know more. Shortly after that, he had accepted a penis into his body….Mathew's to be precise, with the express purpose of giving his partner pleasure. In the process, he had learnt that it was possible even, just possible that he might achieve orgasm that way. He'd found out by accident. If he could keep his partner going long enough, it could happen, especially if their foreplay had centred on him.

Elliot is undoubtedly sexually aware, but very inexperienced, inept even, in how to interest a boy of James' age and personality. James wants much more than sex. Sex happens of course, but ideally as a result of loving and caring. The sex becomes an expression of that loving and caring, and a far deeper experience as a result, surely?

As I demonstrate a few little moves that Elliot might try out on James, he responds. He's enjoying what I'm doing to him. Elliot opens his legs to observe his reaction to my touching him in a non-sexual way. His mind and body have interpreted those sensations as the beginning of the sexual act.

'There. Do you see now? That's all it takes. Just little gestures, little light touches and some nice words. I'll be well worth the effort Elliot, believe me.'

Elliot smiles. Anyway, I think I've made my point.

Moments later, James emerges from the shower. Elliot stands up, holding his towel in front of him. He looks at James who is drying his hair. He moves forward so the two bodies are just touching. It's such a sweet moment. Tonight the boys may love each in their own way. Perhaps they won't wait until bedtime. Perhaps Elliot's little gesture has already begun the process.

'Can I help dry you please?' he says, looking sweetly at James.

'Yes, if you want to. What's going on?'

'Nothing'.

Elliot starts to stroke James' arm with the towel. James looks a little non-plussed. Then Elliot asks….

'Can I tell you something James? I want to whisper it into your ear.'

James lowers his head. Elliot puts his mouth to James' ear, and I hear a little puff of his breath go into it. It makes James smile. Then Elliot touches a nipple, making little circles with the tip of his finger. He's definitely learning. He finishes with a little playful bite on James' arm. Elliot stands back a foot or so, the towel no longer covering him. James looks down for a moment.

'Thanks Elliot. That was nice.'

The two boys look at each other. Elliot moves forward and touches his friend's arm with the tip of a finger. James lowers his head and kisses the top of Elliot's mop of hair. This is very nice. James will love this sort of treatment. James smiles at me. He's curious. Then it's Elliot's turn for the shower.

'Otta? What on earth did you say to Elliot?'

'Just a few home truths, and a bit of advice. He's been taking you for granted James. He needed to be told, and……..it's a matter of getting the most out your friendship isn't it? You don't know how long it will last. I think Elliot has now realized what he has to do. Are you going to let him?'

'Yes, if he wants to. Shall I let it come from him?'

'I think it will now.'

It was my turn, at last, for the shower. I passed Elliot as he emerged, still in thoughtful mode. I'm sure James is on his mind.

I'm feeling very horny after my little talk with Elliot. What a super little boy he is. He's twelve and absolutely full of it…..quite beautiful. I know James thinks so too. I think it's about time.

I resisted a strong urge in the shower. I should not have done really.

The two boys have decided to take up residence in my bed. That was James' idea no doubt, the little minx. They look at me, all smiles, to see how I will react to this outrage. I manage a little pretence at indignation of course.

'There's room for you Otta.' says Elliot.

I don't think so……no.

The boys are under the duvet on their sides facing me, both with mischievous grins on their faces.

'Elliot's getting his own way again I see.'

'No I'm not! It's James.'

James' face is buried in Elliot's hair. Elliot has stopped smiling.

He turns away now, to face James.

They look like lovers now. There are tears in James' eyes. Sweet boy. Elliot strokes his friend's face, like a boy might stroke his dog. I think if I stayed, they wouldn't notice……or mind. I know I can't. It's time to go.


When I return to my bedroom, the boys are in the shower for the second time, but this time they are together. I opened the bedroom door just as James followed Elliot into the cubicle, holding his hand against his tummy. Elliot turns and sees me, waves that silly little wave that he does with a floppy wrist, smiles, and turns away from me again. This time, James closes the shower door.

It's strange how the boys have reacted, or perhaps not. James is overwhelmed by Elliot's new-found generosity and sensitivity. Elliot has found a new and liberating joy in the art of giving. The result could be the foundation of a relationship. Mathew is the past, and now Elliot is the present. There are riches to be had.


I met Ellie, Elliot's mother, in the High Street this morning. James and Elliot have taken themselves off for a walk along the river towards Camber beach, via the Harbourmaster's office. Ellie wants to talk.

'Can we go somewhere please? I need to have a word.'

I don't like the sound of her voice. There's a problem which cannot be discussed in the street. We find a table at the Apothecary. The girl asks us what we want. I order two lattes for us. I'm surprised. I thought she would be a cappuccino girl. I'm also nervous. Last night a boy four years older than her son, made love to him.

'So…….is there something wrong Ellie?'

'Yes, in a word.'

I need to get my nerves settled quickly.

'Is it me?'

'No. It's my husband. He's leaving.'

David is Ellie's husband, and Elliot's father. Shocked, it takes me a few moments to get a handle on the situation. I find the usual things to say that one first thinks of…….oh no…I'm so sorry…..those sorts of things. She went on………

'I knew it was coming. I found something in a jacket pocket weeks ago. I couldn't be sure, but I knew something was going on. A woman's intuition I suppose. It's someone in the office. It's a familiar story. No doubt you've heard it before. I challenged him with it, and he didn't deny it. He said he was relieved in a way that I'd found out. The decorating of Elliot's room was just an excuse I made up for your benefit. We needed Elliot out of the way, to put it crudely, because we needed the house to ourselves to get the whole thing out into the open. There would probably be a lot of shouting. It would have been upsetting for the boys to hear us.'

And so on, and so on. Another woman in the office, and another failed marriage. Need we say more? He'd spent weekends away, ostensibly on business trips. In fact he and this woman had spent the weekend in an hotel on the Yorkshire coast, and elsewhere on the other weekends too.

'So is your husband at home now?'

'Yes. He's getting his things sorted out. As soon as that's done, he's leaving.'

Ellie is upset, clearly. I think she wants to tell me more, so I suggest we leave the Apothecary. She had much to get off her chest, and we've already occupied a table for half an hour.

'I think we should leave here now Ellie. Would you like me to walk you home?'

'No. I don't want to be there….not for a while.'

She looks up at me. It's a strange expression on her face…half questioning, half upset. Strange. I guessed correctly.

'Look. If you need somewhere to go and be quiet and out of the way, there's always Watchbell Street. I'll even give you a key if you want? The other thing is Elliot. Do you want him to stay where he is…….until his father has left?'

'He needs to see his father at some time. David wants to tell him what's happened…to explain things to him.'

'Good. That's quite courageous.'

'Yes. David is not a bad man. He loves his children. It's just one of those things.'

'A permanent thing? I mean, how do you feel about him now?'

'I don't know. We'll have to see. I'm angry, but not vindictive. I have to think what's best for the boys. When Elliot comes back from his walk with James, he needs to come home. When it's all over, he may want to stay at home or….. '

'He's welcome to come back to us Ellie……until David's gone maybe?'

'That's kind. At least he'll have James with him.'

I made her another coffee at Watchbell. We sat in the kitchen. Very little was said. I'm worried.

'Are you ok Ellie?'

Cliché I know. Of course she's not ok.

'It's just a shock. There's no one there any more. No one to talk to properly . No hand to hold. No arm around my shoulder. No one to share with.'

She stood up and walked over to the window. I looked at her. I thought back to when Amy and I agreed to part. I knew how that felt. I stood up and walked over to her.

'Look. If there's anything I can do, let me know eh? And Elliot can come up here anytime he wants to, if that helps you at all…….even when term starts. It's no problem. We have a spare room. That's available as well.'

'Doesn't Elliot use that when he's here?'

'James is in Mathew's room. They've always shared. He's not around much now as you know. Elliot wanted to be with James one night. You may not have quite taken that on board. Don't panic about it Ellie. Boys often want to be together.'

'Yes of course. I suppose I hadn't considered it. Can I see?'

I took her into Mathew's room. The bed was made, but not that well. It's a wide single. Two bodies in there are bound to be close. Two boys sharing are likely to be there for a reason. They want to be together……..next to each other so they can touch….feel…….to give and receive in return for their consideration for each other. Friendship in other words. It's obvious to me, and the significance is not lost on Ellie.

'Are we talking sex here Otta? What sort of sex are they having? Do you know?'

'No. But I can say that James is a loving soul, and would never push a situation. What happens would be up to Elliot I'm sure. It would be his choice. Perhaps Elliot just wants to be with James. They're just boys. They do that. Don't read anything too serious into this. Situations just come……and go usually. Don't worry. Sex isn't the right word. They just play together.'

'No. You're right. Why shouldn't they if they want to. Life is too short don't you think? It's too short not to take one's chances when they come along?'

'James and Elliot are not taking a chance. They are just being …….learning about themselves. Anyway, I have spoken to both of them about behaving responsibly. I have spoken to them individually.'

'First the father of my children leaves, and now this. What about you Otta?'

'I'm just here, observing life I suppose. Now you are too.'

We stood close, perhaps one foot apart. Ellie's eyes looked watery and far away as she looked at me. Then……

'Can I ask you something Otta? Would you hold me for a few moments?'

I put one arm around her neck, and the other around her back. She did the same to me, pulling me gently into her, my face against the side of hers. I found her vulnerability arousing.

I'm imagining what sex would be like with Ellie. Good probably. The contact with Ellie had had some effect on me. She may well have been aware as we held each other. I'm going to apologize.

'Sorry Ellie.'

'Is something bothering you Otta?' she asks, recovered a little, and smiling up at me.

It seemed right at that moment.

We lay down on the bed, on our sides facing each other. She moves closer and takes my head in both hands and begins to kiss me. I've never been an ardent kisser of women, and I'm including my wife in that. I do it because it's a necessary stage that leads to more. I know that a woman's sexual interest will be immediately aroused by being kissed. That's how it works. I give it two minutes. She lets my head go, rests on her back, and I'm up on one elbow. I'm to her left so my 'clever' hand is available for her. She undoes the drawstring of her linen shorts so the waistband is now loose. The material is slightly transparent, so I already know she's wearing white pants underneath. Nice. I'm a sucker, so to speak, for anything in white knickers. It's something I would have noticed. In turn, I undo the top of my shorts, and lower them slightly. I notice a large darker circle where the head of my penis rests against the thin materiaI that constrains it. That stuff again. It can have its uses in certain circumstances, but generally I wish I didn't produce it quite like I do.

I slip my hand down and on top of her clitoral area, or where I think it should be. She'll move my hand if I'm in the wrong place. She does better than that. With one hand she lowers the front of her knickers. They're white cotton, unfeminine and simple…….nice, and quite similar to what a boy might hopefully choose. That thought turns me on even more. With her other hand, she guides me to her mound of pleasure which is partially buried between her inner labia. I glance at it. It's nicely swollen and quite large. That's another turn on. I begin to play around it. She lifts her tee shirt clear of her breasts. They're small, but with very pronounced nipples, now hard and prominent. I know what she wants. This I don't mind doing. The other I find distasteful, and something I would never do unless I really had to. I play with her nipples with my tongue. This I know she will enjoy, and probably not what she's expecting. She grips my penis. I could take her now and fuck her, but that's not a good idea. If I go on doing what I'm doing, she'll come, eventually.

She did. She feels vulnerable at this moment caused by family upset. That will perversely make her want sex more. It's how women work. It's a form of protection. Her cumming was not a disappointment to neither her nor me. I watched her face as those feelings, deep inside her, took hold. Mouth open, and whimpering in that way that girls do when they come, culminating in several long moans of pleasure and fulfilment. At its height, she grips my hand to stop any further movement. When Amy came, that was it……over…..don't touch me anymore.

It's several minutes before she's completely recovered. Then……

'Oh dear, sorry. I think I had rather a lot bottled up there. I'm so sorry.'

'Don't be. It was lovely.'

There were beads of sweat on her brow. Amy would never let me touch her sexually after orgasm. I place my hand back on Ellie's labia.

'Do you mind?'

'No. That's nice.'

I find her clitoris once more, and apply the gentlest pressure along its length, and either side with two fingers. This is unusual.

'Is that ok?'

'Umm. That's nice. Do have a condom?'

I'm going to lie.

'No.'

I don't want that kind of sex with her. She's disappointed. She looks down my body. I've lost my erection, but there's a trickle of fluid around the head of my penis.

'Have you come?'

'No. That's different stuff.'

'Oh.'

There's a pause for a few moments, then……

'Can I ask you something a bit personal Otta?'

It was the way she looked at me. I knew exactly what was coming………

'Are you…….as the pendulum……possibly?'

I had a feeling this question would be raised sooner or later. I'm going to be honest.

'Do you mean, do I swing both ways? The answer is yes, but not in equal proportions.'

'Ok. So which way then……mostly?'

'Your way.'

'But not this way?'

She touches my hand which has slipped much lower. She moves my hand again. She presses my middle finger quite hard into her bottom.I realise that she's offering herself to me. I'm excited by the prospect.

'Shall I lie on my tummy? It's ok Otta……if you'd rather do it this way. It's not the first time by any means. I'm at a fertile time of the month. I'd rather not risk it.'

Ellie turns onto her tummy, legs wide apart. I can't believe what I'm seeing.

'May I have a look?'

She laughs.

'Yes, if you really want to. Why?'

'I don't know really. Just interested I suppose.'

I part her buttocks. She has narrow hips, and the two muscles feel toned and firm. It could have been a boy lying there.

I never made it….not properly. With hindsight, I'm rather glad I didn't. The prospect of sex that way with Ellie had turned me on big time, but it seemed a step too far under the circumstances. I don't want this woman suddenly relying on me for all her emotional needs and support. I gathered up some natural lubricant from her and from me, but it was clearly insufficient for what we had in mind. As a pleasant alternative, and lying more or less on her back, I managed to masturbate to a lively and rather hasty conclusion, letting go in between her buttocks and consequently 'oiling the works' so to speak. Afterwards, and on my knees between her wide spread legs I massaged her inside. I thought she might take exception to that, but she appeared to thoroughly enjoy the sensation. I know I did. She's a good girl.

Showers over, I made a pot of tea, as one would just after feeling the inside of a person's bottom. And very welcome it was too….both things. I think I've made my point. Sex is fine, whatever sort really, as and when one wants it…..and the other person wants it.

We hadn't considered the return of Elliot and James from their walk. Ellie and I had had a pleasant play together, but neither of us considered it a serious matter. To have penetrated her and come inside her…….that would have been a very different matter. To a woman, that's a form of commitment. A finger meandering between a pair of buttocks.…..that's different.

As it happened, the two boys rolled up soon after we had finished our tea. Everything would have looked normal to them. Ellie immediately took Elliot into the sitting room. Elliot needed to be told about his father leaving. They were in there alone for twenty minutes. In the meantime, I had explained the situation to James. When Elliot emerged, he looked sad, and had been crying, poor boy. He and his mother sat at the kitchen table with me and James. He had the choice of going home or staying here.

'I don't want to go home!'

'Your father has to see you Elliot. Just for a few minutes, that's all. You need to see him. It's important that you do…..for both of you. Tomorrow morning he'll be gone. It'll be too late then.'

Elliot did go home, but he was back with us by six that evening, looking sad, tired, and very quiet. The two boys, ready for bed in their oversize tee shirts, bare feet and bottoms, watched television in silence from seven until nine. Elliot was in James' arms the entire time. From my chair I occasionally glanced in their direction. It's a sad time for Elliot, but observing him with James, his beauty continues to lighten our little world despite his plight. James is so good with him. He's naturally caring and kind. Not for the first time, the sight of them together like this brings tears to my eyes.

The boys insisted that we all sleep together tonight. That's what it will be….sleep hopefully. Intimate and private desires shall be put away this night. I have my unexpected time with Ellie to ponder upon. I wouldn't mind doing that again, but I rather regret that it happened with unseemly haste whilst Elliot's father was busy packing his things in preparation for his departure tomorrow morning. I suppose things can happen that way. Anyway, at least he had the decency and the guts to say goodbye to his son.

Elliot, emotionally exhausted understandably, went off to sleep almost as soon as his untidy head hit the pillow, held of course in James' arms. James took a while longer before he followed suit, soon after spending some time in the lavatory. He's got out of bed with an erection, so he probably stood over the bowl for a while waiting for his sixteen year old penis to lose interest before he could pee. I can remember that taking some time. Counting from a hundred backwards can work well.

Elliot is facing me now, with James spooned into him. I lift the covers because I love the sight of this boy. His arms are folded against his chest which rises and falls in a slow rhythm. One leg is slightly bent, the other straight. How lovely he looks. I fail to understand how his father could abandon him, and his older brother Luke……and Ellie. I like her. I picture her open buttocks and the neat little opening between them.

I'm awake by six. The boys have moved. Elliot is facing James. There are no arms or hands visible. I can feel the warmth of Elliot's skin against my chest. I'm careful to leave a little distance between our two bodies. The new school year begins next week. I know this has to end soon. I have behaved honourably……more or less, and there is a short time left to avoid disaster….to resist the almost unbearably temptation to touch that which cannot be touched.

It's exactly twelve hours since I ejaculated between Ellie's soft flesh. I reach under my pillow and find what I will need. I lower the covers to reveal Elliot's back. The room is warm. I'll stop if the boys stir. My eyes drink in the boy's skin, as my eyes move lower and down to the paler flesh where the shadow deepens. The boy sleeps on. When it happens, I'm ready. Everything is neatly contained and secure . A disaster has been averted once more, exchanged for guilt…..a mindset altered……and equilibrium restored.

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