The Observer

by Rafael Henry

Chapter 21

I've just had my fortieth birthday. The great 'Four O' as they say. I don't feel any different. So what's happened in those four intervening years that I have failed to describe to you? Quite a lot.

Mathew left poor James distraught when he dumped him in favour of a girl . That's his choice, and a popular one with most boys. James got over it of course, in time, and with the able assistance of his younger friend Elliot. Both boys are quite highly sexed, which was a bonus for me as most of their physical playfulness was acted out at my house in Watchbell Street, Rye. I never actually saw much of it, but I certainly heard it. I had seen both of them naked a hundred times, and never tired of the sight. As an amateur artist, I had the privilege of having two very attractive young bodies to study whenever I could prevail upon them to be cooperative. They didn't have to stand or sit still, as I prefer to work from the nude figure going about its normal business, within reason. I'm not going to compare myself with Rodin in any shape or form, but he would draw his women 'on the move', and in intimate situations. James and Elliot were often in just such situations, very often on the sofa watching TV, ostensibly, but concentrating on each other rather than on the pathetic diet of pap the networks serve up these days.

As an acute observer of the young male form, it was a delight indeed. Much of it was for my benefit, and some of their performances were positively mouth-watering. When matters reached fever pitch, they usually made their excuses and headed rapidly for the bedroom, but not always. On occasions, when things had gone too far, there was no time or inclination to stop what they had started. I'd cough loudly, and leave the room. There were periods when they found it impossible to leave each other alone. Their appetites for each other's bodies were prodigious.

Erotic play between James and Elliot started as a one-way thing. After helping Elliot with his work up in the bedroom, James would give in to his friend's demands to be gently pleasured. Elliot, lying flat on his back on his bed, would watch, hands behind his head, as James did the business for him. It was the natural conclusion to the hour spent in private together. James neither expected nor needed anything in return. That would come later at Watchbell Street, more often than not. When Mathew gave James his marching orders, Elliot's attitude towards James changed completely. He offered him waves of sympathetic attention. Sex became a reciprocal event for them. In time, Elliot advanced from the novice to the accomplished performer, providing what James had missed from his first proper and older boyfriend, my son Mathew. James is a natural 'receiver', rather than a 'giver'. The more outgoing Elliot was now more than happy to provide what was required to satisfy James' inner needs, their bodies wrapped in the sheer joy and loving of the moment. On occasions I would be in attendance, offering the gentle touches and sensations to the very special places on a boy's body. What bliss. Elliot could give and receive at the same time, if you get my drift.

All good things have to end sadly, and so it was, as the boys' independence from their respective mothers grew. James stayed with me less and less, and as a consequence, I saw less and less of Elliot. Shame.

Intimate relations between myself and Elliot's mother, Ellie, happen just occasionally these days. Generally we have a good rapport, and we do understand each other quite well. With women, I prefer a slightly alternative sexual approach as you may have gathered, and Ellie knew that from the start. We are pragmatic about such things. I know when she needs something, and I'm very comfortable asking her for some attention when I do. It's an arrangement that still works four years after her husband and father of Luke and Elliot left the family home in favour of a woman from the office. The other spin-off from the arrangement with Ellie is my continued contact with Elliot. Gone, sadly, is the gangling boy with the unkempt fair hair and pretty face. Fortunately, puberty has been kind to him. He's the same but older if you see what I mean. I like to think we are friends, but on a different level now. Like so many relationships between boys that involve sex, they don't often last very long, but while their relationship lasted, it was intense and wonderfully loving. Sex between James and Elliot, usually a couple of times a day when time allowed, was a beautiful expression of their genuine love for each other. I wish I had had that at their age.


James is in London now. My little erstwhile beauty in short grey trousers is grown up…….almost. My efforts to get him into the local grammar school had paid off big-time. After his success with exams at sixteen, Sixth Form life offered more freedom for him intellectually, and he thrived on a diet of music and creativity much to credit of the Head of Music there, a very nice man who rejoiced in the name of Sebastian Moon, no less. The upshot of two years with him resulted in a top grade at Advanced Level, followed by a degree course in music composition at S. Mary's in London, and an unpaid post as assistant sub-organist at the Catholic Westminster Cathedral, despite not being a Catholic himself. There, within weeks he had met a boy he found he could love. Lying in bed with James, I heard him say that on many occasions as he turned towards me smiling……..'I just need someone to love'.

The boy in question, Oliver, was a new recruit to the choir school peripatetic teaching staff with responsibilities for violin and cello. It wasn't much money, so after some conversation and lunches at a cheap little bistro in Victoria, they agreed to share a flat together. Sex became an issue early in their friendship, almost as soon as they had met at the school. There was an instant attraction. Both boys are naturally submissive, but both learnt quickly that it was important to give as well as to receive.

For James, leaving Elliot in Rye was hard. Elliot, the more outgoing of the two, took the inevitable ending of their relationship with predictable pragmatism, whilst shedding a few tears privately, but maintaining a brave face in public. It had all run its course. James had to move on.

I very rarely see James' mother these days, but as I've suggested, I do see Elliot's mother, Ellie, fairly regularly. She's aware that Elliot likes to spend time with me. The three of us take walks on the beach, and I enjoy taking them to dinner at the George at least once a week. It's a strange situation really. There's Elliot, who has slept in my bed many times in the company of James, and me as an interested bystander, and then there's Ellie who has been there too, with me as an active participant in sharing needs. Add to that, James appears from time to time, which is lovely. Of course James and I share a bed on those occasions. He'll ask me what I would like, if anything, which is so typical of him. I will turn it around and ask him what he would like from me. He smiles coyly…….

'Come on James, what's it to be?'

'Something special? Do you think you could manage that at your age?'

'Cheeky sod! What makes you think I can't?'

'Or won't.'

'That was before, remember?'

'So why wouldn't you?'

'You know why.'

'So will you now?'

The first time was a huge moment for both of us. I could see no reason why not….not now. It would be special.

'What about Oliver?'

'This is different. He'd understand.'

'Will you tell him?'

'He knows already. I told him the whole story. You know I still love you don't you?'

'Yes I do.'

'Tell me then. And tell me how you felt about me….when we first met…….please? I love it when you tell me the story. Don't leave anything out or…….you know what I'll do.'

Not that, please. I go through it all again. I know how he loves to hear the story, just as much as I like to retell it. I keep to the bare essentials, and when I have said enough to arouse us both, I tell him how much I love him. There are tears in our eyes.

I want sex now. I want sex with the boy I've loved all this time. James has offered himself to me many times, but I have never allowed myself that pleasure because of the deep regret that would inevitably follow. For me, he had to remain pure, and his inner beauty left untouched by me. I suppose that's a silly idea? He's a big boy now, and undoubtedly skilled in the art of pleasuring his partner. It's time now, but I still have doubts.

'James……do you realise that we've never done it?'

'Of course I do Otta. I've asked you enough times. Am I in luck this time?'

We kiss. It's deep, and it's what I want and need from James. I can barely let go of him, it's so wonderful, but if I'm to do what I want to do, I'll have to let him go for a few moments. I reach behind me and open the drawer of the bedside table. I find what we need. I show James. He smiles, the tears still evident on his cheek. Seeing them produce more from me.

'I hate those things. Do we have to?'

'I don't know where you've been James…..or Oliver for that matter.'

'He was a virgin when I met him. And I was a virgin when I met you , so there. Mathew was my first.'

'I should hope you were. What about Mr Sendall?'

'I think I knew more about sex than he did. He managed to get it all over my hands and tummy, that's all. All he got up my bottom was his middle finger.'

'And what was that like?'

'Lovely. He was really gentle. I came like a rocket after that.'

'Afterwards?'

'No, silly. While he was doing the other thing.'

'And what was he doing with that may I ask?'

'No, you may not. That's private. That's between him and me.'

'What else was between you and him?'

'What? Before or after?'

'After.'

'A fair amount of you know what .'

'Really? How much?'

'More than you've got…..probably.'

'Are you sure about that?'

'Not entirely. I've just had a better idea.'

James sits up. I watch a knee pass over my head as James arranges himself with his back to me, whereby he can sit on my tummy. I place the palms of my hands on the sides of his buttocks……firm and warm. What I would love him to do, he does. He does it by working his body backwards, pinning my arms down in the process. I smell his skin as he presents himself to me. The musky perfume is intoxicating. With his body arched down, he reaches me and holds me upright and hard. I feel his tongue that slips and slides against me. I feel his lips enclose me tightly. My tongue caresses both smooth and textured skin, and the oval forms that gave us life are mine. I hear his sweet music of pleasure.

The pleasure is exquisite. The 'not knowing' turns into 'I will' which soon becomes 'I am', and then moments later 'I have'. It's almost painful in its intensity, not just the physical feeling, but the emotional cascade as I find myself falling into the deep.

James leaves no stone unturned. We kiss once more, his taste tempered by another presence. We part. James lies with me, his hand on my shoulder. He smiles……

'So….did you notice?'

'What darling?'

'Just now…..something different?'

'Yes.'

'And?'

'Wonderful…..and thank you.'

'So……….?'

I get the hint. I kneel between James' legs. He lies with his hands under his head which is raised up on the two pillows. I'm going to do my best, whilst under the scrutiny of James' watchful eyes. Holding his penis between my fingers, I look at him and smile.

'I'll do my best James.'

He smiles broadly, opens his legs, and draws up his knees exposing himself beautifully. I'd come just five minutes ago, but my erection has returned. I reach for the tube of lubricant, place a bead on the tip of the middle finger of my right hand, and gently apply the clear gel around James' anus. Immediately James begins to breathe faster. I apply another generous bead of the gel, this time pressing gently on the very centre of pleasure. Moments later what was closed and tight, now relaxes. I need more now. I penetrate my darling boy as far as I'm able, the tip of my finger resting against the little firm organ inside. James' right hand takes control as he slips his prepuce clear of the pink and reflective glans. Inside my lover, I feel the muscle relax, and then grip me again as I apply the gentlest pressure. James is masturbating with untimely urgency. I want to take control.

'James. Stop please. I want to. Let me now please.'

I'm not an expert at this, but what I do is enough. It's all quite quick. He comes against the tip of my tongue, the spurts warm as his semen forces its way past my tongue. Finally, the real taste of my darling boy. I'm exhilarated. It all seems so new and fresh, as if we were there again on the train.

The boy wants to show me. I smile and nods his sweet head. He's revealed now, the little hard form presses against the soft pristine white material. The boy smiles again, teasing me. I wait for the final revelation. I'm not disappointed. He's perfectly beautiful.

They are such shameful thoughts, but they carry me across the threshold now.

Then I want to draw him. He agrees. We wait fifteen minutes before I choose the pose. He kneels before me. It's not a portrait. It's a study of his body. I pay attention to detail, at least the ones that interest me most. Throughout the sketch, James never completely loses his erection, which pleases me. His new friend Oliver, for whatever reason, dislikes foreskins. I like James' retracted, partially. I think it's very sexy. I don't have one at all. Maybe that's why? I show him the drawing which has taken me half an hour so far. I'll complete it later. The experience has turned us both on again. James always becomes erect when I draw him. We go back to bed and lie there. I hold him in my arms. I want to talk about him…….the past and the present…..the beautiful little boy that he was, and the handsome young man, beautifully developed, that he is now.

James kneeling, our university boy, and all grown up!

James kneeling, our university boy, and all grown up!

Because I have orgasmed in the past hour, we decide to attempt intercourse. There's a far better chance that I will stay in him and stay erect hopefully for far longer as I've already come once. James tells me that it will take at least fifteen minutes, but there's a chance that he'll come without using his hand, provided I can stay hard, and can stimulate him for that long. I know I can.

He carefully rolls the Durex onto my penis. I know he'd prefer that we didn't use one, but the presence of a sheath will further delay my orgasm. We kiss and James lies on his back. We want to see each other. There's a towel under us. I apply what I think is more than enough gel to my penis and inside James' rectum. I can't wait.

It's bliss, that's all I can say. Forty years old, and it's my very first time, and with the boy I love. Right now I have everything.

It's tricky to start with, but two or three minutes later, it's easy. I watch his face. His eyes are shut, and his mouth open. I could devour him completely as I support myself on my elbows. My movements are deep and regular.

I'm waiting, as I would with a woman, for signs of urgency in James. It must be ten minutes now.

I look down to see that James is now hard. He wasn't when we started. He is now. He begins to masturbate using his whole fist, forcing his hand between our tummies. I lift up as far as I can to give him more room. Suddenly he stops. I recognize the noises that are coming from him. I've heard them before. I'm excited beyond anything I have ever experienced. I'm afraid I will come too soon.

James raises his hips. I know that sign. I think it's happening. He's noisy and I love it. I love him more at this exact moment than I thought I could ever love anyone. Surely it won't be much longer?

James' body has gone rigid. He's in the throes of orgasm. I can't believe how long it's lasting. I'm about to let go………..

Later, on Camber beach…………..

The tide is out as we make our way to the water's edge, a hundred yards away. I have my arm around my boy's shoulder. There are few people about to see the tenderness that exists between us. I'm still glowing from sharing body and soul with James. Neither of us have talked about it, but I think both of us know that it was a mountain peak that we have finally conquered. We can relax now into a long period, I hope, of an even deeper friendship unencumbered by sexual expectation. The light is fading into a beautiful late May evening. We stand near the edge of the retreating tide, disturbing a gathering of oyster catchers who are working the tide line. James turns towards me…..

'Kiss?'

Of course I respond. It's deep and enduring, and I can feel myself hardening. James notices me look down as I break the kiss.

'You're not bad for forty, old man.'

'Thanks very much.'

'That's twice this afternoon. Are you ok?'

'Yes of course. All I can say is 'thank you'.'

'No need. It took long enough…..I mean I was yours years ago, but you were sitting on some sort of high moral plateau weren't you?'

'No, not really. You were just too beautiful to spoil, but don't worry, I had plenty of thoughts that were thoroughly reprehensible. I'm not the innocent party. I'm a guilty man.'

'Then I forgive you. I'm not going to stop loving you. Are you prepared for that?

'Yes of course……and likewise. You have Oliver now.'

'Yes.'

It was rather an unconvincing 'Yes'.'

I saw James onto the train later that evening after a light dinner at the George. I wandered home towards Watchbell Street in an emotional daze. I'm coming to terms with letting James go, finally. It's making me cry. I'm deeply, deeply upset at losing him, but lose him I must. I know he needs his independence from me emotionally, and to continue to strike out into the world of new opportunities of many kinds. I'm sad, but happy for him at the same time. Safe journey, my dear sweet boy.

I detoured to Ellie's house. I thought eight thirty not too late to call on her. She answered the door with her usual smile and invited me in. Elliot was upstairs revising. His 'A' level examinations start next week. At six foot one, he's a big lad these days and given to partying. At this moment in his life, he doesn't need any distractions. I had an idea……

'Fancy a wander to the Gun Garden Ellie?'

You get a great view from there. If you know Rye at all, you'll have been to the Gun Garden at some time, with the view over the Rother as it makes its way towards the sea. It's now a mile further away than it was, as it emerges adjacent to the glorious expanse of Camber beach. We find a bench next to a cannon object painted in black gloss paint…….anti-rust paint I suppose. Ellie senses my preoccupation. The evening is cool. I put an arm around my friend.

'Elliot said James stayed with you last night. Is that right?'

'Yes. He asked if he could come down for the night. I knew what he was trying to say. He's met this boy called Oliver. They're sharing a very small flat. One bedroom. I don't know how much he likes this Oliver bloke. Well, enough to share with him I suppose. Oliver has just started at the school next to the Cathedral where James plays. Oliver teaches violin and cello I think. He sounds rather high maintenance to me, and I don't think James is too sure. Anyway, he needs to draw a line under his past in Rye. I don't blame him.'

'So did you have a good night with him?'

'Very nice thanks. We ended up walking on the beach.'

'After?'

'After a lie down in the afternoon.'

'That's nice. Just a lie down?'

Ellie knows all about it. She's a good straightforward and honest person from whom I'm inclined not to hide some personal details of my life.

'No, not just a lie down. For the very first time we went the whole hog, so to speak. Believe me, it was the first time. Afterwards I was regretting it slightly, but now I'm not. He was so sweet about it. He wanted it to happen, just to dot the 'i's and cross the 't's, although that sounds rather calculating. Anyway, we did it. We've travelled the whole road now from the boy in the pink blazer on a train, to young undergraduate with a career as a musician in front of him.'

'Are you satisfied now……I mean…..is that it ?'

I'm not sure quite what she meant by that question. She has a nice sense of humour. I thought for a moment……..

'Oh yes, that is it . It's been a wonderful journey.'

'You'll still see him won't you? I'm sure he and Elliot will keep in touch.'

'I hope so, but I'll see him in a different way now. He's fully fledged and independent, just as he should be. I daresay he can stay at yours when he's down this way?'

'Yes, if he wants to avoid his mother……or you would have him wouldn't you?'

'Of course.'

Another cryptic question dealt with. Of course he could stay at Watchbell Street, and sleep in my bed if he wanted to, provided Mathew wasn't in residence. As for anything else, as far as I'm concerned, that's over now. Ellie mentioned James' mother, Jane. I haven't seen her for some time, and although we had 'relations' now and again, I'm not about to repeat it. She's quite a highly strung woman, and I wouldn't want to get too involved. Having said that, 'relations' were more than satisfactory with her.

I walked Ellie home about nine. The phone was ringing as I opened the door. By the time I had run upstairs whoever it was had rung off. There was a message from my son Mathew on the answering machine. I recognized the hollow sound of his voice. It was the public telephone in the corridor at his hall of residence at Loughborough.

'Hi Dad…….ring me back in five minutes if you're there.'

If I was 'there' I'd have answered wouldn't I? Typical Mathew. The number is sellotaped to the phone. The phone rang once before he answered.

'Great news Dad…….I passed! I bloody well passed! Can you believe it? I got a second Dad!'

Bless him. He was so pleased with himself, the proud possessor of a second class degree in Physical Education. He had done well to get a place at Loughborough. His A level grades were just below what the University required from him, but they gave him a place despite that, much to his parents relief. Mathew has pushed the boundaries all his life academically and socially. I'm amazed that he hasn't got some girl pregnant. Maybe he did. One nice thing though…….he always asks after James………

'How is he Dad? Are you still looking after him ok? You will won't you?'

I always told him not to worry on that score. I think Mathew still harbours a small portion of guilt when it comes to James, and the manner of their parting company, having fucked the pants off him until such time as he could find a girl who was prepared to service him. James is a forgiving soul, and I'm very protective of him. I don't know anything about this Oliver character, but James is old enough now to know how to cope with all and sundry, I hope. I will always worry of course, just as I do for the girls and Amy, my erstwhile wife. They seem fine, all together as one happy family of women. Good luck to them all. If Amy wants a divorce, that would be ok by me, but in five years or so she hasn't broached the subject. Sufficient unto the day.

Meanwhile I go short on sex. As I say, Jane is a 'no-go' really, and Ellie hasn't found a replacement for her erring husband, but is now divorced from him, as she keeps telling me. I know what I am sexually, which worries me, and I know what still excites my interest. Ellie is good for the occasional cuddle on the sofa, and she's always sympathetic to my more urgent stirrings in my tummy, but there's been no discussion on how we might takes things further. Basically, we are both happy, at the moment, to treat our sexual lives quite casually, ever mindful of the needs of the other person.

'Otta?'

'What Ellie?'

'What are you up to this afternoon?'

'Nothing. Why?'

'I just thought…….well, maybe you might be in the mood?'

'Umm, could be. How are you feeling sweetheart?'

'I don't really feel like waiting really.'

'Oh. Ok then. Shall we?'

I'm hard well before we've undressed each other, and when I feel her inside her pants, she's wet for me. If she's lucky, I've come that morning with the aid of memories of James and Elliot, and will last long enough to give her a decent time. Failing sufficient stamina or interest on my part, she'll finish herself while I stroke her chest and thighs. That always works. We often walk afterwards, usually at Camber, and if the weather is decent there will be some pleasing sights to satisfy, in a small way, my curiosity. We will wander the beach with our towels to protect us from the sand when we sit or lie, Ellie to read the latest paperback, and me to knock out a couple of sketches if there's anything to look at. We never swim at Camber. That's for the kids to splash about and sit in the shallow water. It's shorts and tee shirts for us, and nothing on our feet. Ellie will choose the place.

'Over there Otta? They look quite interesting.'

She's right, they do. Two mothers are preparing several children for the water. Three boys and one girl. They are not your average Camber people, refugees from the city, with children taken out of school in term time, to a cheaper holiday in a static caravan, one of two hundred, with entertainment laid on in the evening. Sorry, that sounds so snobbish, but it's true, and good luck to them.

We sit some ten yards away from the group. The boys hold themselves nicely, one of them clad just in a loose white slip, waiting for swimming things to be found in large and chaotic beach bags, their mothers' floral dresses blown about in the breeze. Another boy is naked now, clearly impatient at the delay whilst mother's hands anoint their pale flesh with a white cream. One of them who looks about ten and still young enough not be bothered by his public nudity, is facing me now as his mother attends to his back. The boy sees me looking directly at him, and returns my gaze. I turn to Ellie, who has noticed the boy.

'Who's your friend over there Otta?'

'Whoever he is, he's not bothered is he?'

'No. Apparently not. Don't you think that's rather nice?'

Indeed I do. A minute later, mum has anointed the boy's back to her satisfaction. The boy turns away from us and walks over to one of the older boys who is aimlessly moving sand about with one foot. There is a brief conversation, during which the older boy, maybe his brother, turns to look in our direction. The younger boy goes down on his knees to fiddle with the sand with his fingers, scratching random lines. The older boy moves towards us and slightly away from the two mothers, pulls off his tee shirt, and drops it onto the sand. He says something to the younger boy who stands up and brings a towel and a pair of bright red swimming trunks to the older boy. Our new subject appears to be about thirteen. While the younger boy holds the towel up behind him, the boy pulls down his beige shorts to reveal his peach coloured pants, complete with a nice impression at the front. Neither boy looks at us. Moments later, off come the boy's pants to reveal a chubby uncircumcised penis. He adjusts, while standing nicely, the swimming briefs so he can easily step into them, and then does so, as the less than flaccid object disappears behind the vermilion fabric. It was all a rather exciting cameo. My enjoyment of the beach and all that goes with a visit to the seaside is indeed an enduring pleasure. I remark to Ellie…….

'Isn't it odd how interested boys get if they think someone's admiring their body?'

'Umm. Isn't it. Did you notice the younger one?'

'No. I was concentrating on the bigger of the two.' I reply.

'Oh.'

'What about him?'

'Nothing. Did Mathew ever get an erection in public?'

'Yes, occasionally. Usually on the beach, lying on his tummy. That'll do it. What about your two?'

'In the bath. When they were quite young I'd bath them together. I'd leave them to play for a few minutes. When I came back they'd both be admiring their little peckers sticking up out of the bubbles. The fun started when they bathed separately. I'd leave them to it. Elliot was the worst. They were never allowed to lock or even shut the door to the bathroom. I'd come back and peek through the little gap to make sure I wasn't interrupting something. There would be this sound of water splashing, like in a regular rhythm. I could see him doing it.'

'And you didn't disturb the poor boy?'

'No of course not! They're boys. That's what they do.'

'And you kept watching?'

'Sometimes, just to make sure everything was ok.'

'And was it?'

'Oh yes. Elliot wasn't getting anything at that time but his brother was.'

'And?'

'And….yes, I can say that things were quite satisfactory. One day there will be children.'

'Possibly.'

'Yes, possibly .'

What a sweet little story. I found the image of a boy masturbating in the bath to a very satisfactory conclusion with his mother looking on incognito, rather interesting.

Boys on the beach at Camber

Boys on the beach at Camber

We left the beach before the entertaining group that was the object of our observations. Ellie was 'in the mood' as they say, but I wasn't…..not really. I'd amused myself with three or four little sketches in my Moleskine, as you can see above. What perfectly charming people they were too.

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