Finding Nico

by c m

Chapter 14

It's Monday and Josh is on his way. I know this because he texted me half an hour ago to say that he was at Reading and about to catch the connection to Oxford. My mother takes me to the station - and, five minutes later, my joy is unconfined as he comes through the barrier. It's now just before midday.

By half-past twelve we're in my room and naked. By one o'clock we've more than managed to take the edge off our hunger for one another, and by two we've taken care of our physical hunger as well.

'So, what else do I need to know about Zak that I don't already know?' asks Josh.

'He's quite an accomplished sportsman, he plays cricket for the school first XI and, as you know, rugby for the second XV. He's got an older sister – quite a bit older – and he's academically no slouch although his real talent is as an artist. Father's a businessman of some sort, I don't know what exactly, and his mother is a nursing Sister at the local hospital. This means he spends quite a lot of time on his own during the holidays. He doesn't seem to have many close friends – or any in fact - which is kind of odd given that he's a nice guy underneath it all, and pretty good-looking. I think his behaviour must have put a lot of people off. Come to think of it, I have no idea how his family took the fact that he's gay. Maybe his old self was some sort of reaction to being rejected. I'm not close enough to him, or not yet, to ask that sort of question.'

'OK. So when do we need to set off to meet him?'

'It's only about a twenty-minute walk, so…fifteen minutes or so?'


'The Coffee sPot' – and yes, that's what's it's called - is a small but friendly establishment inside Oxford's extensive covered market. It's run by a Lebanese family and the place has a faintly middle- eastern feel to it. It has a number of steel tables and chairs, but also some squashy sofas in the far recesses of the shop.

When Josh and I arrive, Zak is already ensconced on one of the sofas. He stands up when he sees us.

'Hi, Nick…and hello Josh.'

His face is wreathed in smiles as he holds his hand out.

'A guy who's had to spend an evening dancing with Nico deserves a hug, I reckon,' says Josh.

Zak's grin gets even broader as he and Josh embrace.

'It's lovely to meet you for real, Josh. Now, what can I get you?' Zak asks.

'Cappuccino for me,' says Josh.

'Just a filter coffee for me, please.'

'Be right back.'

Zak returns with the coffees a few minutes later.

'First, Josh, can I just say thank you for lending me your gorgeous boyfriend for the night…oh God, that didn't come out quite as I intended…'

'That's OK,' says Josh with a laugh '…I know what you meant. And no problem. I'm pleased things went well.'

'Umm…not completely.'

'No, well, Nico told me all about that. Has the photo resurfaced?'

'No…or not yet. I mean, there's nothing for it to show anyway except Nick giving me a hug.'


'But I still feel guilty about…not being able to control myself….'

'Zak,' says Josh, putting a hand on Zak's knee, 'it's OK. All three of us are teenage boys. We're all gay. Nico is pretty sexy, I suppose we have to admit, and what happened was only natural. Look, you're pretty good-looking yourself; I bet if I had a slow dance with you, I'd probably get hard. It's just…hormones and nature. You didn't try to proposition him – quite the reverse. So it's totally fine, OK?'

Zak puts his hand on top of Josh's and gives it a squeeze.

'Thank you.'

'No prob,'

Josh removes his hand, and we relax with our coffees.

'So, have you guys got any plans for your few days together…other than the obvious, I guess,' asks Zak.

'Apart from the obvious,' I say, 'Josh and I are going up to London tomorrow to meet a guy who was on holiday at the same place as us this summer – although Josh had gone by the time he arrived – and then do a little Christmas shopping.'

'That's extraordinary.'

'What is?'

'The reason I said I wasn't going to be around tomorrow is because I'd planned to go up to London too – for the same reason…well, the shopping bit.'

'What time were you planning on leaving?'

'About 10.'

I look at Josh.

'Why don't we travel up together?'

'Good idea,' he says.

'I'd love that…I mean, I'd leave you to do your own thing once we're up there, but a bit of company on the way up would be great.'

'Then it's a date.'

'That's brilliant. And can I just say that I think the relationship you two have is just amazing. How many people would lend their boyfriend to someone…trust someone…who, frankly, hadn't behaved well towards him in the past?' He sighs. 'You know…changing…from the person I was…well, it hasn't been easy. The fact that Nick has been prepared to become my friend has helped a lot…and seeing you two together just makes me want to have what you have…it encourages me to keep on the road I'm on.'

'Stay on it and I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for, Zak.'

'I sure hope so.'

We all finish our coffees. Zak's the first one to make a move. He stands up.

'See you both at the station tomorrow.'

Josh and I get to our feet, and we all exchange hugs.

'See you tomorrow, Zak – and thanks for the coffee.'

'My pleasure.'

We part company at the entrance to the market, and Josh and I make our way back to my house.

'He's a nice guy, Nico. I think he's more vulnerable than he looks…than he's trying to show. A bit like Alex. And I don't think he's very happy. And I think your friendship means the world to him.'

'I'm pleased you had the chance to meet him. And thanks for saying we'd be happy for him to travel up to London with us. I think it really means something to him.'

The following morning is cold but clear. I lend Josh a scarf and a woolly hat, and we wrap up warm before setting out for the station. We're queuing up at the ticket office when Zak arrives, equally protected against the cold.

The train is on time and the heating in the carriage is working, making the one-hour journey pleasantly comfortable. The trains from Oxford arrive in London at Marylebone station - which is convenient, as Piers lives only about half a mile from there on the edge of St. John's Wood, and the coffee shop where Jarrod works - and where we've agreed to meet - is in Marylebone High St, a very short walk from the station. On the way, I think about what Josh said about Zak valuing my friendship.

'Why don't you come and have coffee with us, Zak, before you head off on your own? I'm sure Piers wouldn't mind - and it would be good to have a hot drink inside you before braving the cold.'

'Are you sure? I don't want to get in your way.'

'You won't be. And I think you'll like Piers.'

'Then great.'

The three of us find our way without any trouble to Workhouse Coffee. It's already quite busy and I search the customers for a sign of Piers. I'm still looking when I feel a tap, on my shoulder.

'Hi, Nick…sorry I'm late.'

'Piers! Good to see you. Can I introduce my boyfriend Josh and our good friend Zak. He's come up to do some shopping as well. I hope it's OK for him to join us for a quick coffee?'

'Of course. The more the merrier. Come on in – it's freezing out here.'

At the counter, the staff recognise Piers – and put the coffees through on their staff discount cards. I can't see anyone who looks like he might be Jarrod.

We take our coffees over to a table near the back.

'So which one's Jarrod?' I ask.

'Ah, he's not working today. Bit of a mix up with the shifts, so I'm sorry but you won't get to meet him.'

'Who's Jarrod?' asks Zak.

'My boyfriend,' says Piers.

'Ah, OK. So you three all have Sunnybanks in common?'

'That's right,' says Piers, 'although strictly speaking what we have in common is Nick. I arrived on the day that Josh went home, but we both overlapped with Nick. If Josh hadn't been there the week before, I think maybe Nick and I would have got closer than we did…so it's good to meet you, Josh.'

'You too, Piers.'

I can sense some tension, and decide to see if I can change the subject.

'So where exactly do you live, Piers?'

'Oh, about two minutes from Lord's cricket ground…maybe ten minutes or so from here.'

'Wow, you're lucky living so close to Lord's,' says Zak. 'Do you get to watch many games there?'

'Yes…quite a few. I love cricket.'

'Me too. But I've never been to Lord's.'

'Really? Well, my father's company has a box there. Maybe you'd like to come up sometime?'

'Are you serious? That would be amazing.'

'Give me your details and I'll see what I can do. You play cricket, then?'

'I play a bit.'

'He's being way too modest,' I say, 'he's a rock of the school first team…opening bat.'

'Then you must definitely come. And you two as well, if you'd like,' he adds, turning to Josh and me.

'I think Rugby is more our game – though Zak plays that pretty well too.'

'OK. Well, if I can arrange things, the offer will be open.'

'That's brilliant. Thanks, Piers.' says Zak.

'You're more than welcome.'

We all chat for maybe another ten minutes. Then Zak stands up.

'Thanks for the coffee, and great to meet you, Piers, but I really ought to get on. I'll leave you three to it.'

'OK. Nice to meet you, Zak…but put your details in my phone before you go.'

Zak does so, and Piers messages him back so that Zak has his details too.

'Great. And I mean it. Hope to see you again soon…or at least in the summer at Lord's!'

'That would be amazing. And thanks. See you guys.'

He and Zak give each other a hug before Zak heads out of the door.

'What a nice guy,' says Piers.

'Yes, he is,' I say.

'Is he gay…if you don't mind my asking?'

'Yes, yes he is.'


'Not right now. He's...well…he has been a little…predatory in the past. Not any more. But it was very much about 'hunt, have, then leave' for a while. Got a bit of a rep. It's taking time for people to…start trusting him.'

'Ah, OK.'

'And is Jarrod OK?'


'And things still good between you?

'Yes. Kind of.'


'No, no…just some things we're sorting out. It'll all be fine.'

We get a refill of coffee, and talk for maybe another half an hour. But I sense that Josh and Piers are slightly uneasy with each other. It's my fault. Why did I think it was a good idea to bring my boyfriend to meet the boy who'd tried to seduce me? But it's time for us to leave anyway.

'It's been great to see you again, Piers, but I think Josh and I need to go and get on with our shopping. Thanks so much for arranging the coffee.'

'No problem. Lovely to see you again. And good to meet you, Josh.'

'Good to meet you too, Piers.'

'Stay in touch, Nick.'

'Will do.'

We have a brief hug, and then make our way out of the door and head towards Baker Street tube station.

Covent Garden Market is full of all sorts of small, interesting shops that sell a variety of unusual things. I'm looking for something for Josh, and I hope that this is where I'll find it. But Covent Garden is also home to all sorts of street and performance artists who entertain the crowds, as well as a variety of interesting places to eat. Some are a bit pricey, but there's always a selection of street food vendors here as well.

'Have you ever been here, Josh?'

'No…I've only ever been to London once and that was a school trip to the Tower of London.'

'I like it here. My parents brought me here for the first time several years ago, and we've been here most Christmases since. It has a sort of community feel all of its own. It's almost like a self-contained village in the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world.'

We pass a statue of Charlie Chaplin – except it isn't…it's a street entertainer, dressed and made up to look like Chaplin, standing on a plinth, completely motionless. Until he slowly rotates to a new position. Josh takes a photo and we throw a £1 coin into the bowler hat at the foot of the plinth.

The covered market is a delight for the senses. There's a live orchestra playing at one end; the smell of food mixes with that of a beauty and cosmetics shop, we are offered tastes of foods both familiar and exotic. The Christmas decorations are impressive, with chains of lights that twinkle and form ever-changing patterns.

'This is amazing,' says Josh, 'I've never been anywhere like this…I never knew a place like this even existed…'

'I know. That's why I love to come here. Now, I need to go off on my own for a bit…will you be OK?'

'I'll be fine. Where shall we meet?'

'Why not by the Korean street food stall? May as well have something different.'

'OK. Thirty minutes?'

'Thirty minutes. Or ping me if you need more time - or if you're done sooner.'

I make my way out of the market itself to a little shop in a side-street that I've looked up online before we came. It has all sorts of interesting things, mostly handmade craft items of one sort or another. I want something a bit different, but personal, for Josh. The shop extends over two floors and is a treasure trove of the unusual. Most of it isn't suitable for Josh, but a number of things catch my eye. And then I see it. A little set of silver dice, each one roughly a centimetre cube. Each side of each dice has a single, different word on. You can arrange them to form little three-word sentences. 'I love you', 'You're so beautiful', and even 'How about sex' are all possible combinations that I find within a minute or so – and there are obviously many more. The price is £49. At the desk, the assistant says,

'Fun aren't they? Or the silversmith can make them to order, and you can choose the words.'

Now that appeals to me.

'How long to do that, and how much?'

'The price is the same, and it takes about a week.'

I do a quick calculation; there isn't time before Christmas. So it's these ones or nothing.

'I'd love to have a custom set, but there isn't time. I'll take these.'

'Very good. Are they a gift?'


'Would you like me to gift wrap them?'

'Thank you.'

He does so with practised ease.

'There we are, I'm sure she'll love them…or he will.'

I smile.

'Yes, I hope he will.'

I get my tatty old wallet out of my pocket – I really must get a new one - and pay for them with some of the cash that I've drawn out especially for the purpose. I then slip the bag into my pocket, and make my way back to the central arcade, where I buy a lovely hand-painted scarf for Jules.

Josh is waiting where we agreed, holding a carrier bag.

'Successful shop, I see,' I say.

'And you? Did you find what you were looking for?'

'Yes,' I say, 'I'm delighted to say that I did. Right. How about some food?'

'Yes please.'

We order something called Bulgogi from the Korean foodstall along with some noodles, and sit at one of the little tables to eat it. There's a couple of gas-burners that take the edge off the cold. The food's delicious, a sort of barbecued beef. I think back to our meet-up with Piers.

'I'm sorry you and Piers didn't really get along, Josh. It was a stupid idea.'

'No it wasn't…it was just that he kicked things off in a rather unfortunate way. And I think he's got problems with Jarrod. That was probably affecting him too.'

'Yes...I kind of got that impression too.'

'He's probably the nice guy you said he is. Maybe we should try again sometime.'

'Maybe. I just thought it would be nice to catch up with him. I'm not terribly fussed about doing it again.'

'Kind of him to offer Zak a potential trip to Lord's, though.'

'Yes…that's much more in keeping with the boy I met at Sunnybanks; a really kind thought. Be interesting to see if it actually happens.'

'Doubtless Zak will tell you if it does. And it would be interesting to know how things really stand between Piers and Jarrod, too. I said I didn't like the sound of Jarrod when you first told me about him…maybe Piers would be better off without him…and maybe he'd be a bit of a different person without him.'


We finish our food.

'I've bought everything I wanted, how about you?' Josh asks.

'Yep. I'm done. Want to head home? It's not really a day for sightseeing.'

'Let's get back. I fancy some time with you somewhere warm.'

'Do you, now?'


'Then let's go.'

On the way back on the train, my phone pings. It's a message from Piers.

'Hi, Nick. I just want to apologise for how I went about things with Josh. There's two reasons. First, when I saw you, I was, quite simply, jealous of him. It brought back such happy memories – apart from the way I behaved for which I apologise again. The second reason is that I wasn't truthful with you about Jarrod. Things are pretty much over between us. He told me two days ago that he didn't think we were going anywhere. This may be true, but I think the real reason is that he's found a new toy to play with. A sixteen-year-old. I know I said I didn't want commitment, but I actually feel a bit used. And yes, that's my fault. Seeing you with Josh just made things worse, but that's no excuse. I think Josh is a really nice guy – not to say hot as hell - and I'm happy for both of you. Please ask him to forgive me – and I hope you and I can still be friends. I need some right now. Yours, Piers.'

I show the message to Josh. 'Looks like you were right.'

'And it looks as though you're right about him being a nice guy. I feel sorry for him, actually. And tell him I forgive him…no, tell him there's nothing to forgive, and I hope things work out for him – and that I'd like to be his friend too.'

I message Piers, saying just that. And I get a message back.

'Thanks – both of you. A ray of sunshine in a pretty shitty world right now.'

Back home we feel in need of a shower – both to get rid of the grime of London and to warm up from our walk back from the station. And showering together leads to getting aroused together, and getting aroused together leads to…well, you can guess the rest.

The rest of our few days together pass all too quickly, and when the time comes for Josh to leave, it feels as though he's barely arrived. He's invited me down to stay for New Year which is great, albeit that it will be a bit of a flying visit, just two nights, given that term starts again on January 5th. But two nights is two nights. I pop my present to him inside his bag when he isn't looking, and we say our farewells. This time it seems a little easier – but that's probably because we'll be seeing each other again in only a few days.

My grandparents come to stay over Christmas, arriving on Christmas Eve and leaving on the 27th. I like them, and they're pleased to see me - and Mum is happy because my Gran, in particular, mucks in with all the preparations.

On Christmas morning we all open our presents together – and Mum produces a package which she hands to me.

'Josh asked me to give you this,' she says.

I open it, and inside it is a beautiful leather wallet. And inside the wallet is a small piece of copper, maybe two inches long by one wide. It's stamped with a 'J', a smiley face, and an 'N'. Along with a piece of paper on which is written 'You make me so happy'. I wrap my fingers tight around the little piece of metal. I feel tears in my eyes.

'May I see?' asks my mother.

I hand her the wallet.

'How lovely – and you needed a new one, didn't you?'

I nod; I can't trust myself to speak.

Jules takes hold of my hand.

'May I?' she asks.

I let her open my fingers to reveal the piece of copper and the note. She smiles and gives me a kiss.

'You love each other very much, don't you?' she whispers in my ear.

I nod. And I see my grandparents exchange smiles.

And a few minutes later my phone rings. It's Josh.

'Would you excuse me,' I say, taking my phone out into the hallway.

'Happy Christmas, sexy,' says the smiling face that greets me as I answer.

'Happy Christmas beautiful...and thank you so much for your present…presents. Where did you find the copper thing?'

'Oh, a stall I think you missed. They did the engraving with a punch while you wait. I hope you like it.'

'It's…perfect – and so's the wallet. And not only did I need a new one, it means when it's in my breast pocket it will be a little piece of you next to my heart.'

'And thank you for the dice…I just love them…did you know you can make 'how about sex' with them?'

I laugh.

'I'm ashamed to say that that's one of the first combinations I saw…'

He laughs.

'I might have known…but they're truly lovely. I've got them beside my bed with 'I love you' showing on top.'

'And I do, Josh. I love you so much. I wish we were together today – but not long to wait.'

'Not long at all. Enjoy the rest of the day – and give my love to Jules and your parents.'

'Will do – and likewise to your parents.'

'Love you.'

'Love you too.'

I go back into the lounge with a big smile on my face.

'No need to ask who THAT was, then,' says Jules.

'We're looking forward to meeting him some time,' says my grandmother, 'he obviously means a lot to you.'

'Pretty much everything, Gran.'

My New Year's stay with Josh goes well, too. His parents have organised quite a grand dinner party for New Year's Eve itself. Fortunately, Josh has warned me and told me that it's a black-tie do, so I take my DJ* with me.

Alex and his parents are there, along with half a dozen of his parents' friends. There is champagne before the meal, and the meal itself is outstanding. The wine flows copiously. At midnight, more champagne is opened.

Alex and his parents are staying the night, but the other couples make their way home – by taxi – at about 1 in the morning. And soon after that, Josh's and Alex's parents also call it a night.

Josh, Alex and I discover an unfinished bottle of champagne and have another glass each. By now I'm distinctly tipsy, Josh is worse – and Alex is completely trashed.

With the last of the champagne disposed of, we make our way unsteadily upstairs, and all pile into Josh's room.

Alex starts to giggle helplessly.

I …I cant member whish roomamin...'

'Thass 'K,' says Josh, 'sleep withus. Thass 'k isstit Nico?'

Alex nods and collapses on the bed.

'Have to gerrim undreshed…' says Josh.

This seems perfectly logical to me in my present state, and Josh and I start to take Alex's clothes off. Josh is also now giggling. Alex ends up naked, and then Josh slowly takes his own clothes off. He lifts one foot up to remove his trousers from around his ankles – and promptly falls onto the bed. He lies there laughing.

'Help me Nico…can't seem to shtand up…'

I help him out of his trousers and try to get him under the covers.

'No,……got to take pansoff,' he says pulling ineffectually at his underwear.

'They're fine,' I say.

'No, no,no…gotto beoff…'

I help him remove them and then cover them both up. I'm just sober enough to get myself undressed before crawling in beside them. Josh is on the right of the bed, with me on the left and Alex in between us. It's just as well Josh's bed is the size it is, but I'm still pressed up against Alex – not that I'm properly aware of that.

I wake up with a thumping headache. A glance at the clock tells me it's just after seven. I'm incredibly thirsty – and very much in need of a pee. A quick glance tells me that the other two are still out for the count. I throw back the covers and make my way into the bathroom. Two big glasses of water and a lengthy pee later, I'm feeling a little better - but still distinctly the worse for wear. I make my way back into the bedroom. In my absence, Alex has rolled onto his back into the space I was occupying, and is lying there gently snoring. He is fully erect – which is quite a sight. My respect for my sister grows. And no wonder she found it a mouthful. I cover him over and then get in between him and Josh. Josh stirs and rolls onto his side – which gives me a bit more space. I spoon into his back, and fall asleep.

I wake up to find Josh getting himself out of bed. He looks at me.

'God…do you feel as bad as I do? And what's Alex doing in bed with us?'

'He passed out on the bed. I think we were all a bit pissed. Too much champagne.'

'Too much of everything…I need water…and coffee.'

He staggers off into the bathroom, and Alex opens one eye.

'Fuck. I feel terrible. And why am I in bed in here?'

He throws the covers off.

'Shit! How come I'm naked?'

'Long story.'

He pulls the covers back over him. At least he's lost his stiffy.

'I need the bathroom,' he says, 'is Josh in there?'

'Yes…I don't think he'll be long.'

'God, I hope not.'

Josh emerges. He's clearly stuck his head under the shower as his hair is dripping wet. He's wearing a towelling robe.

'I'll go down and make us coffee,' he says.

'Great. I'm just going to use the bathroom….' says Alex, shuffling out of bed and disappearing into the bathroom.

'Why's Alex naked?' asks Josh.

'You insisted on undressing him last night.'

'I did? Why?'

'Don't ask me, I wasn't sober enough to argue. Then you insisted on taking all your clothes off too.'

'I don't remember.'

'No, well…the memory is slightly surreal for me too.'

'Oh well, just as well we don't have anything to hide from one another, I suppose.'

'Quite…although when I woke up earlier, Alex had a stiffy…and I can tell you, I'm bloody pleased he didn't wake up in the middle of the night and mistake me for my sister….'

Josh starts to laugh, then stops,

'God…laughing makes my head hurt. Big boy then?'

'Let's just say that I'm pleased I've only got to work my way towards accommodating you and not him. He makes the dildos we're using look like pencils.'

'Don't make me laugh…it's too painful.'

'Not as painful as taking THAT would be.'

He can't help but start laughing.

'Oh, man…enough…OK…coffee time.'

He heads downstairs as Alex comes out of the bathroom.

'About a pint of it for me please,' he calls after Josh's retreating form.

Alex flops back down into bed beside me.

'Did the three of us really sleep in the same bed together naked?'

'Pretty much.'

'I must have been so drunk.'

'You were pretty much out of it.'

'Did I undress myself?'


'Then why….?'

'I don't know. It just struck us both as very funny at the time. Sorry.'

'Don't worry. Worse things happen at the Rugby club. And it's not as though we haven't been naked together before.'


'God, my head hurts. And I'm sorry if I stopped you and Josh from…celebrating New Year…together…as it were.'

'You mean sex?'

'Yes. Sorry.'

'Don't apologise, it didn't stop us.'

'You mean you two…with me in the bed….you…?'

'No of course we didn't! We were almost as pissed as you. I don't suppose we could have done, even if we'd wanted to...not that the thought even crossed our minds. We just went out like lights – same as you.'

'That's a relief.'

'And although you're a good friend, I don't think sucking each other off is something we're quite ready to do in front of you yet.'

I grin at him – and he laughs.

'I just love the relationship you two have, Nick. It's open, honest, you can talk about anything – and you clearly just love each other to bits.'

'Thanks, Alex. I do. We do. And all because we happened to cross over by just one week on a summer holiday at Sunnybanks. What are the chances? But my life has been…transformed. I'm just so, so lucky. And I like the relationship you have with Jules, too. I'm sorry it didn't work out like maybe you both thought it would, but it seems to me that you've both ended up in a great place…friends…respect for each other…sex….'

I smile at him. He smiles back.

'I really like your sister, Nick. And she's a bit like you – says what she wants, is open about how she feels…and is just a nice person. Funny too. There's just…a spark…missing between us. And we don't really know why. There just is. But I love that we're still good friends.'

'She feels the same, I know.'

At this point, Josh arrives with three mugs of coffee.

'I made them double-strength; if you two feel anything like I do, we need it.'

'I knew there was a reason I liked you,' I say.

'Total hero,' says Alex.

We enjoy the mugs of coffee – and I start to feel a bit more human.

'Right,' says, Alex, finishing his mug, 'I'm going to go back to my room, have a shower and then probably have a doze. I'll leave you two to…well, I'll leave the two of you together.'

'See you in a bit,' Josh says.

Once he's gone, Josh sheds his robe and hops back into bed with me.

'I'm not sure I'm up to anything very strenuous, but I definitely need a cuddle,' he says.

We hold each other close, flesh to flesh. And however rough we may be feeling, our bodies respond to one another's touch. We take hold of one another and enjoy slowly masturbating each other to a thoroughly satisfying climax.

'Happy New Year, Nico.'

'Happy new year, Josh.'

'I think a deep, hot bath is in order.'

'Sounds lovely.'

'I'll go and run it.'

And it is, indeed, just what we need. Thirty minutes of soaking gives the coffee time to kick in, as well as leaving us both feeling relaxed. And as I look at the beautiful boy sitting opposite me in the bath, I'm suddenly hard as a rock. I move my leg between his and press my foot into his groin. He's as hard as I am.

'I'm so pleased it's not just me,' I say.

'I was just thinking the same thing,' he says, as he runs his toes down the length of my erection.

'Let's go back to bed.'

We do, and we pleasure each other the way we like most, our seed flowing into each other in a mutual, simultaneous eruption. And then we doze, spent, in each other's arms.

It's well after midday before we wake, but when we do, I'm feeling much more like myself. I could do with some more coffee, but otherwise I reckon I'm functioning pretty much like normal. Josh seems to be more himself too. We get dressed and make our way downstairs. Josh and Alex's parents are sitting in the kitchen, and give us an ironic round of applause as we appear.

'Alex is in the family room; why don't you make yourself some coffee and go and join him,' Josh's father says.

'Thanks – and happy new year all.'

'Happy new year to you too,' they chorus.

'Even if it is almost halfway through January,' adds Josh's father.

'Very funny, Dad.'

We take the coffee through to the family room.

'Oh, hi guys…feeling better?' says Alex.

'Pretty much…you?' says Josh.

'About 90%, I reckon.'

'Same here.'

'I did look in on you about an hour ago but…you were still asleep.'

'You looked in?'

'Uh huh…and it was cute, you lying there in each other's arms. Although maybe you need to lock the door if you're going to…you know…'

'At least we weren't in the middle of it,' I say.

There's a moment's silence and then we all explode with laughter.

Saying our goodbyes the next day is more painful than the last time; the next time we see each other for any length of time will be around Easter, some three months away. We discuss the possibility of maybe meeting up for a weekend some time before that, although both sets of parents are keen that we put all our focus and energy into our upcoming exams. On the upside is that we both have our eighteenth birthdays within a week of each other in April – when we should both be on holiday.

Note: DJ = Dinner Jacket = Tuxedo. Conventionally worn with a black bow tie, hence 'Black tie event'.

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