Towards the Decent Inn


By Michael Arram

'Aa... aah!'

'Matty, are you alright'

'Yes mum, just spilt some coffee on my trousers.' A golden head was moving between his legs as Matt was talking to his mother on his mobile. 'Hang on a sec.'

Matt hit the secrecy button. 'Will you cut it out.'

The golden head looked up with a grin, 'Nope.'

Matt sighed, 'Still there mum? I've got the details, I'll ring you again on Saturday. Yes I will soak the trousers. Bye. Love you.' He lay back on the sofa and let Andy have his way.

They had been lovers for a fortnight now, and there was no lessening in the excitement and passion of being together; if anything it was more intense as their knowledge of each other's bodies became more and more intimate and assured. Matt found astonishing Andy's almost telepathic ability to stimulate and excite him, which he was demonstrating to the full at this point. Andy could set him trembling with a simple touch of his hand. Even being close to him brought him to the edge sexually. They were very noisy in bed together.

He heaved, grunted and relaxed, and Andy came off him, wiping his mouth. He sat next to Matt, clinging to him round his waist, while Matt held him around his shoulder. Their heads rested together. This was a new sort of happiness for them both.

Andy said in a small and mock-penitent voice, 'That was very naughty of me wasn't it, doing that to you while you were talking to your mum.' He began tidying Matt's dishevelled hair with his fingers.

'And you loved every second of it too, my own little pervert.' Matt smiled easily, he caught at Andy's hand playing with his hair and started kissing it. Then he got off the sofa, separated Andy's legs and began reciprocating the attention with enthusiasm. It had taken a while, but he had come to terms with oral sex. He did not have Andy's natural talent and obvious delight in worshipping and stimulating his lover's genitals, but he was able to take his erection far into his mouth, and he no longer gagged when Andy spurted deep in his throat. He swallowed the salty and slimy fluid without a second thought. It was part of Andy and he loved every part of Andy.

Andy in his turn arched, gasped and relaxed. Matt swallowed his ejaculation and continued kissing and sucking at his testicles and licking behind them as they slowly descended from powering it. Andy's balls were so different from his own heavy, dark ones, they were pink and lightly feathered with pale golden hairs. They fascinated him, especially as attending to them was one sure way of getting Andy squirming with abandon, which in turn excited Matt.

Eventually Andy panted, 'Oh God. How natural our unnatural practices seem. Still, I was just about ready to be corrupted I guess, so I can't blame you. Corruption with you is such fun too.' He leaned against Matt as he sat back down next to him, taking and hugging his arm. After a while he commented, 'They'll have to know one day.'

Matt guessed what he meant, as it wasn't far from his mind. 'The parents?'

'Yes. But somehow, much though I love you, I'm in no hurry to proclaim it to them. Why is that?'

'Because,' said Matt, glancing away, 'we love them too. It'll disappoint them. There will be no grandchildren, no daughter-in-law to look forward to feuding with, just the uncomfortable realisation that their little lad is having sex with another man. They'll blame themselves.'

There was a long reflective pause, until Andy said, 'Now don't you think we'd better get some washing done. The bedclothes are almost crackling.'

'Yeah, let's do some tidying. It's been ages. You get the hoover and I'll rearrange the stacks of clothes and rubbish.'

Housekeeping was not a strong point with either of them. But they struggled to keep some order in the chaos. After two valiant hours of scraping at the surface of the problem, they headed down to the launderette with four black sacks full of washing. The bottom line for both of them was that clothes had to be clean, and Matt would even iron them if he had to.

Andy had told his landlord he'd found a flat that suited him, much closer to the university. They agreed he'd move out at the end of the month. But Andy had privately promised Matt that he'd sleep back there as little as possible, never mind what suspicions got back to his mother. Almost all his possessions were now at Matt's. His excellent sound system fitted nicely into the lounge, but there was a crisis as to where to store clothes. So mostly they got piled on the bedroom floor, in amongst the wall-to-wall litter of CDs, used plates and cups, files and books. They resolved daily to do something about the problem, but never got around to it. Part of Matt's nineteen-year-old brain was convinced that his mother would appear one day and sort it all out. Andy had told him that his mother was as much of a lost cause on the tidying front as he was, which he seemed to think was a sort of excuse for his own ineptitude.

They sat watching their clothes revolving in two adjacent machines, reading quietly. Theirs was not a busy launderette, except on weekends, when they avoided it. It was a good place to sit and talk, and it was warmer than home.

'Ever been abroad much, Matt?' Andy shut his book, yet another Pratchett.

'Ireland quite a lot, to see mum's family in Cork, but I don't suppose that counts. We went to the Costa del Sol with two of my uncles and their families when I was twelve. We had a villa with a pool, it was brilliant, especially the cockroaches.'

'You what?'

'The cockroaches. Me and my cousins were disgusting, we hunted and skewered them for a fortnight. We were an ecological disaster so far as the local cockroach population was concerned. We invented cockroach traps and cockroach runs. If we'd been any longer there we'd have invented biological warfare. They were a threatened species by the time we left. I often worry that we pushed them so hard they may have evolved intelligence in order to survive. In which case they may be after me one day to deliver payback.'

'Is that all you remember about abroad, the cockroaches?'

'Pretty much. I wasn't that keen on the pool, after my cousins nearly drowned me in it. And my dad and his brothers spent most of the time drinking beers, although we did play a lot of soccer too, now I think about it.'

'I was just thinking that it'd be cool to go off somewhere together next summer, if we could raise the cash. Otherwise we'd have the entire long vacation apart, and I can't bear the thought of that.'

'Christ, I hadn't thought of that. Where do you fancy?'

'Amsterdam would be a bit obvious for a pair of new gays starting out on their careers of gayness, so why not Prague or Berlin? I've got a fair amount of German, I stayed with a family in Kiel when I was fourteen, and I took it as an advanced language option last year.'

'Money permitting, I'm up for it.' Matt did a mental inventory of his financial state, which didn't take long, 'If you don't mind me asking, what sort of cash are we thinking about, and can you find it.'

'I think we could probably cope for three weeks on, say, £1200 each.'

'Oh. It's a lot, but my dad will pay me to work around the yard, I've done it since I was fifteen.'

'Yes, I love the upper body development, Arnie.' Matt smiled a little shyly. He was a bit proud of his muscular frame, although his dad had told him it was more to do with genes than stacking sacks of sand and cement.

'So I'll be able to raise the money and a bit more in four weeks. So I'd be ready to go mid July. What about you?'

'I think my mum'll put it up, just to get rid of me for a month. She's not short, what with one thing and another, and there's inherited money somewhere in the background which she doesn't talk about.'

'What about your dad...' Matt bit his lip as soon as he had said it. Andy's face set in lines he did not like to see.

'My dad isn't part of the equation, Matt. You know that.'

'Yeah. Uh... sorry'

Andy shook his head, as if clearing it, and then looked at Matt with a softened glance. 'Sorry Matt, it's not a subject I'm comfortable with, even now. It's not your fault. Forgive me.'

Matt could only reply, 'Nothing to forgive, Andy. Nothing.'

They struggled back with the clothes sacks and, in despair, made new piles of clothes on the bedroom floor.

'We could get a wardrobe? A flatpack or something like that,' Andy suggested hopefully.

'What with?' Matt replied, 'I've got enough to eat with till the end of the week, a few drinks on Friday, and that's about it. I can't even top up my mobile. I'll talk to my dad, he's got to do something about it. The place is uninhabitable. It didn't matter so much when I was on my own, but now there's two of us. I'll tell him there's a new housemate moved in... that's you, Andy. He'll have to do something. Mum'll make him. What's more I'll make the call tonight.'

'Yay Matt. Go for it.'

The door bell rang. Their eyes met.

'I'll... er... disappear out the back, shall I?'

Matt swore. 'No you won't. Not unless you're ashamed to be seen living with me.'

'God. It's the moment of truth isn't it? This is coming out.' Andy was shifting from foot to foot with sudden anxiety.

'Could be.'

'I love you my Matt, and I refuse to be ashamed of that.'

'I love you, too; let's meet the world head on and tell it to go get fucked.'

'I think we should have a word soon about your colourful way of expressing yourself.'

The bell rang again, insistently. There was a looming figure through the glass.

'Oh God,' said Andy. 'It's not that Steve come for a rematch is it?'

'If it is, we can take him down between the two of us: I'll go high, and you, titch, you go low. You're good with testicles.'

Andy was chortling as Matt opened the door.

'Hey lads.' It was Leo, blinking cheerfully at them.

'Hi Leo, come on in.' Leo shambled past and dropped his bag in the hall. Matt and Andy shrugged and raised their eyebrows at each other.

'Fancy a tea, Leo?'

'Love one, Matt. Hi Andy, not seen you round for a bit.'

'No, I'm living here now.'

'Chalky finally got a housemate then. I would have taken up his offer, but I was already sorted before his dad bought the place. Where do you sleep?'

Andy replied coolly, 'With Matt.'

'Oh right. You're sharing a room. Well the place is only half habitable. Smells a bit too dunnit? I'll have two sugars, Chalky.'

'No sugar, sorry Leo.'

'And that's another reason not to live with Chalky... he don't have sugar in his tea like proper civilised people. I couldn't put up with him.'

'Oh, I'm up him quite a bit.' Andy began giggling, and there was a corresponding muffled explosion from the kitchen.

Leo's face momentarily creased with puzzlement, but after an invisible internal shrug, it cleared. 'Well, you're very tolerant, Andy bach,' said Leo, 'Myself, I gotta keep up my strength.'

Matt appeared with the tea mugs, doing his trick of balancing the third on the top of the two he was carrying by the handles. 'You're getting a bit tubby round the middle, Leo. It's beer and bad food... and sugar in your drinks.'

'You're not suggesting that great abomination, e-x-e-r-c-i-s-e, I very much hope Matthew. Wash your mouth... you know what the idea of push ups and suchlike does to me, I go all faint.'

Andy was getting remorseless. 'Me and Matt do lots of push ups together. I must have done a hundred last night before I finally collapsed.'

'Sounds exhausting.'

'Then Matt did another hundred while I had a lie down.'

Matt started biting his hand; the boy was truly wicked. He got up, 'Andy, can you come and help me with this... box.'

'Box, eh?' Andy looked appallingly innocent.

'Yes, in the kitchen.'

'Only be a sec, Leo. Then maybe we can talk about what Matt and I are planning to do about his back passage.'

Matt grabbed Andy as they reached the kitchen, put a hand over his grinning mouth and shook him by the scruff of his neck.

'I'm not going to let you go, you little fiend, until you promise to behave. Now are you going to behave?' Andy's blue eyes rolled and he nodded. His breath was warm and wet on Matt's hand, and he began sucking and slurping at his palm noisily. Matt had to let him go, and Andy straightened his sweater.

'If that was coming out, it was pretty painless I thought,' he said.

Leo stayed for an hour, with no further misbehaviour from Andy. As they waved him off, Andy gave him a dig in the ribs, 'Cheer up and smile, Matt. It's egg and chips tonight.'

'Really? I'd lost track. Fantastic.'

Andy was a reasonably decent cook, and could do quite a lot of things with meat, sauces and pasta, as well as make a fair Sunday lunch. He said it was the fact that his mother could never remember meal times that got him to take charge of food at home. Matt was not bad at cooking himself, although terrible at washing up. Andy liked cooking for him, and he soon found that Matt lusted after egg and chips more than any other form of food.

Sitting at the table as Andy was emptying the frier, Matt put on his serious face. 'You see Andy, it's got everything necessary for human life. What's more, it's vegetarian and therefore superior to other forms of food because animals don't have to scream and suffer to provide it.'

Andy nodded wisely as he stacked the plates, 'I feel for those poor animals. But remember what your mum said about spots, the revenge of the chip. It would be horrible if your perfect skin started pustulating, I'd have to close my eyes and turn the lights out when we make love.'

'D'y know, Andy, maybe I'm attracted to you so much because you have the spots I've missed out on in life. You've been sent to be my personal spot farm. Hey look! There's a great one on the back of your neck which is just about ready for a squeeze...'

'No, geroff! Hot fat! Danger! No don't, it'll leave a scar. Lemme go. Urrgh, you actually did it. You're revolting. You should listen to your parents; you don't squeeze them.'

'Which is why we have chips only once a week, because we are good lads who listen to our elders. And we don't use animal fat. Aah!... the purity of the crisp brown chip, the golden consistency of the liquid egg. It's magnificent when done right, and you do a good fry up... and will you stop fouling that plate of chips with vinegar and tomato ketchup while I'm talking to you. Purity. It means no vinegar.'

'I like vinegar.'

'We have a long way to go with your culinary education. I'll put the radio on.'

For all the squalor and the exigencies, from the perspective of the future, these weeks of new love were later to seem a very terrestrial paradise. But to be a paradise, it must, for mortals, necessarily be lost.

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