by Hamster

"Tell me, Mike, you're a teacher. I don't know how you cope dealing with all those cute boys, especially the ones on your athletics teams wearing those little shorts. Have you ever been tempted by any of the boys you deal with?"

I thought about the question for a while before answering. My partner and I had been together for a couple of months now, and we were just getting to the point of trusting each other and being honest about what we told each other. We'd agreed to do this because we both felt we were in a good relationship that might develop into something long term. Also, with the lockdown, we were trying to find other ways to while away the evenings other than watching Netflix or going to Zoom cocktail parties.

"Well, not really. You see, teachers have to view pupils like their own children. They're off limits for anything to do with sex. We're what they call 'in loco parentis' while we're in school, so we have to act like their parents as long as they're in school. If we were to have sex with our pupils and get caught, the repercussions are pretty severe: you'd be banned from teaching, probably get a prison sentence, and be on the sex offenders register. And mostly they're under age which makes it even worse because that's rape."

"Yes, I can understand all that, those make for a pretty grim outlook for offenders. But I didn't mean to ask if you had ever done anything with your students, I'm sure you wouldn't, and I hope you wouldn't. What I really meant was whether you get distracted by looking at some really good looking kid and thinking about what might happen, all other things being equal."

"No, I've become used to being around my pupils and don't give it a second thought. And now I've got you so why would I want to look around?"

"Because you're gay, we all look around."

"Speak for yourself!"

"Yes, you do, I've seen you!"

"Ok, maybe just a teeny little bit once in a while!"

"But when you first started teaching did you find yourself tempted?"

"Yes, once, but I never did anything improper. It was difficult for me because I was fresh out of teacher training and only a few years older than the boys, and they saw me more like one of them than any of the other teachers."

"So, tell me what happened!" Jack got out of his chair and topped up our wine glasses and settled down to listen.

"Well, as I said, I'd just got out of teacher training and I was starting my first job. It was only temporary but I took it because my former headmaster had offered me a job at my old school when my old maths teacher retired. But that was a year away, so he arranged a temporary position for me at a boarding school down in the West Country. It was my first and only experience with boarding schools and I was not only a maths teacher but also an assistant housemaster.

"The school provided me with a small furnished flat in the boarding house and so I was able to just pack my clothes and books and stuff in the car and drive down there. The housemaster, Paul Carruthers, was very nice and friendly and helpful and spent a lot of time explaining the house rules and customs and what we could allow the boys to do and what they couldn't do. He lived in a house close by the boarding house and said his door was always open if I had any questions or concerns. Despite all his assurances, I was really nervous the day the pupils came back to school after their summer vacation. Paul had taken the responsibility of meeting and greeting the boys as they arrived, and told me to wait until the customary back-to-school house meeting which was held after dinner. And that's when it all started."

….3 years earlier….

I was in my flat arranging the last of my meagre possessions in the assistant housemasters flat when Paul knocked and told me the house meeting was starting. He'd told me earlier that it was all completely informal and there was no need to get dressed up. Jacket and tie were only required from breakfast until the end of classes. After that the boys and the housemasters could wear whatever they wanted as long as it was decent, clean and free of advertising or other improper slogans. So there I was dressed in my khaki shorts and a polo shirt, ready to enter the lion's den.

The common room was full of boys, some sitting in chairs, others on the floor, and a few sitting on the dining tables that had been pushed to the sides of the room. In total there were 80 boys between 13 and 18 and, as you'd expect, they came in all shapes and sizes. The older boys had requisitioned the couches and chairs, the somewhat younger boys were mostly on the dining tables, leaving the youngest boys sitting on the floor.

"Well, welcome back, everyone!" Paul started things off. "I'm sure you're all happy to be back here for yet another year of scintillating education at our fine establishment."

There were the obligatory boos and hisses. It was clear that Paul had a good rapport with the boys and that he was well respected.

"You're probably wondering who this person standing next to me is. This is Mr. Jennings, but you can call him 'Sir'. Mr. Jennings is here as my new assistant housemaster and he'll be living in the flat. I've provided him with all the normal equipment required of a housemaster, including the slippers, the cane, the thumbscrews, and as a special treat, I've bought him a taser."

There was a small chuckle from most of the boys. Paul had already told me that absolutely no corporal punishment was permitted at the school so it was clear he was joking.

""In addition to those types of torture, Mr. Jennings has two other tortures in store for you. First, he's going to teach you Maths."

There was a lot more groaning. I've never understood why people are supposed to hate maths. It annoyed me because it meant you had to overcome that prejudice as well as getting the various concepts and ideas into their brains. Such is the burden of being a maths teacher.

"But even more fun is in store for you! Mr. Jennings likes running, so he's going to be in charge of organizing and training the house team for the Humphrey Cup."

Immediately the boys all started moaning and crying 'no'. The Humphrey Cup was an inter-house cross-country race held just before Christmas when the weather was likely to be cold and wet. Each of the five houses had to field a team, and for some reason lost in the mists of time, it was the single most prized trophy a house could win during the school year. So the race was very competitive and boys were expected to train hard to put up the best showing for their house.

Paul laughed. "I thought you'd all be pleased to hear that! So, Mr. Jennings, would you like to say a few words?"

So I introduced myself and told them a little about what I'd done before coming to this school. And then I addressed the matter of the Humphrey Cup.

"So, who was on the team last year?"

Only one hand went up. It was one of the boys sitting on a dining room table. He had longish rather shaggy light brown hair and shining green eyes, was dressed in a grey tee shirt, grey and red shorts and fancy silver trainers.

"You only had one person in the team?"

The boy laughed."No, sir, the other two are no longer with us. I'm the only survivor!" The room exploded with laughter. The boy was clearly very popular and got a couple of high fives from his neighbours.

"OK, survivor, what's your name?"

"I'm Wilkins, sir."

"OK, Wilkins, it seems you've just volunteered to be the team captain for the Humphrey Cup team. Come and talk to me after we've finished."

"Ok, sir" The boy gave me a big grin, and got elbowed by the neighbors who immediately started calling him 'Captain Survivor'.

After the meeting finished, Wilkins came over to see me. I took him out into the hallway so that we wouldn't be bothered by other boys who were busy getting out their phones, playing games and generally making plenty of noise.

"So, Wilkins, are you OK with being Captain?"

"Oh, yes, sir, I don't mind at all. It gives me a little extra status in the house and, if we do well, that will be even better."

"Well, I'm glad to hear that. I rather forced you into the position, didn't I?". Wilkins nodded and grinned again. He had a really infectious smile.

"I've got a couple of questions. First, do you like running or is it just something you got pushed into?"

"No, sir, I like it. I try to run as often as I can. I like the exercise and the freedom. It's better than rugger or cricket"

"Second, are you any good?"

"I don't know, sir. In the race last year I came in twelfth, but at least I finished. The other two on the team didn't make it to the end. So we came in last out of all the houses and I didn't like that so I want us to do better this year."

"Yes, Mr. Carruthers told me what happened last year. I gather the master in charge of the team wasn't very popular so he didn't get much cooperation from the boys. And he didn't know much about running. But he's left as well, so it's up to you and me to build a team."

"Ok, I'll look forward to that, sir. It was hard last year because Mr. Smithers was a real pain in the arse..ooops, neck, sorry, sir, and he didn't like me much and I didn't like him."

"OK. No problem. Let's hope you and me get on much better."

Wilkins grinned again. "I hope so as well, sir, at least you're still young. He was an old f.. um, fogey who couldn't run if he tried."

"Last question. How old are you?"

"I'm just fifteen, sir, my birthday's in July. I know I'm not too big yet but I sort of feel I'm about to get a giant growth spurt this year."

It was true he was still fairly small, probably 5-4 or 5-5, and hadn't got much hair on his legs.

"We'll work on the strength program for you. That should help you get a growth spurt. Now, before you run off, I'm going to give you an assignment. I want you to try to get together another six boys who will form the core of our team. Do you think you can do that?"

"Maybe. Why seven, sir? We only need three because only the first three from each house score points."

"No, no, no! You need five to actually run in the race. They pace each other, and if someone pulls a muscle you've still got four left to try to score points. And then you need a couple of reserves in case one of the five is sick or breaks a leg or can't run because I've had to use my taser on him."

Wilkins laughed. "Well, I'll try and see what I can do."

"OK, let's give you a few days to try to sort that, and then on Saturday we'll have a first practise run."

"Thanks, sir!" Wilkins grinned again and ran off back to the common room to join his friends.

"So, you've met Wilkins, I see," said Paul, "the ever eager Wilkins. He is one of the most enthusiastic boys I've ever known. You can't get cross with him because he's always trying to help. I call him the Eager Beaver. It doesn't matter if it's school work or games or theatre or whatever, he's always the first to volunteer. You'll like him, and he'll be a really good captain! You've got off to a good start, Mike!"

"That was my first introduction to Brian. During the rest of the year he and I got to be friends, well at least as much as teachers and students can be friends. He was fun to be around, he was always cheerful, he had lots of friends, he was involved in all aspects of school life. He was a teacher's dream in class, always asking questions, and doing his work as carefully as possible. He wasn't the star pupil in my Maths class, but he was the most rewarding to teach."

"And the best looking, no doubt!"

"That too. I'm probably biased but to me he was the best looking boy in the school. He knew it too! Later on he told me that he wasn't just good looking, he was 'goddamn drop dead gorgeous' and everyone should be honoured to be allowed to know a god like him. I admit he was really easy on the eye, and it was easy to get distracted when he was around."

"And it probably didn't help matters when he was dressed in just his running shorts!"

"Long smooth legs all the way up to his arse! And he got even more desirable as he went into his desired growth spurt because his legs got longer, his shoulders broadened out, but he still had a tiny waist and narrow hips. But he never flirted or took advantage of the fact that most of the other boys were pretty envious."

"So how did you get to be close to him?"

"Oh, that all started a few days after I first met him, when he assembled the boys he had chosen for the Humphrey Cup race."

Brian was in my Maths class so I saw him every day. I tried not to treat him differently to the other boys, and he didn't want that any way. He'd come into class, sit at his desk laughing and joking with his neighbors until I called the class to attention, and he'd rush out in the middle of the pack of boys as soon as class was dismissed. But on the first Friday I told him to see me after class.

"Did I do anything wrong, sir?"

"No, not all all, Wilkins. I just wanted to remind you that you're supposed to have some boys ready for me tomorrow to try out for the Humphrey Cup team. Have you made progress?"

"Oh, yes, definitely, sir! We'll be ready at 8:00 just as you asked, and we'll have our running stuff with us, and we'll meet you at the track."

"Great, thanks! Were you able to manage to get six other volunteers?"

Brian looked at me with a little twinkle in his eye. "Well, sir, I have had a little trouble with the numbers, but I'm sure we'll be OK tomorrow!"

"OK, thanks. Now run along or you'll be late for your next class!"

"No, it's break, sir, so I'm not late"

"Oh, yes, so it is. See you tomorrow!"

Saturday morning were set aside for sports and team practices. Everyone had to do one sport each term, more if they wanted too. So at 8:00 I put on my track suit, picked up my running shoes, and went down to the track.

There was a gaggle of boys waiting for me, with Brian lining them up. They were dressed in a motley assortment of shorts and tee shirts, some of them in proper running singlets and shorts, others in whatever they had available. It was a sight for sore eyes to look at ten scantily dressed but very healthy looking boys. I was going to enjoy this!

"Good morning, sir, these are the boys who want to be on the team!"

There were ten boys lined up, several older and bigger boys and a scattering of younger ones.

"Wow, thank you, Wilkins! This is fantastic! But I thought you said you had trouble with getting enough boys to join, and here we have ten of you."

Brian's eyes twinkled again. "No, sir, I said I had trouble with the numbers, not with getting enough volunteers. I've managed to get it down to ten but I could have had a few more." All the boys laughed, and I began to feel there was already some degree of team camaraderie developing.

"OK, OK, point taken. Thanks, Wilkins, the more the merrier! Right, now we're going to get down to business. How many of you have done running before?"

Seven hands went up, naturally including Brian. I asked why they had chosen running as their sport "Well, sir," said one of the boys, "some of us hate rugger and hockey in the winter and cricket in the summer,so cross country and athletics are the only options."

"Do you all have running shoes?"

"Yes, sir!"

"Good. I'm told the Humphrey Cup race is eight kilometres. For old folks like me, that's five miles, but as you all know we're all metric these days. Eight kilometres is quite a long way and the course is hilly. Who wants to try running the course right now?"

Brian grinned and his hand shot up. Nobody else seemed very keen but a few hands went up.

"No, that's a really bad idea. I'm going to try to get you all back into shape after your summer vacations. You probably all lay on the sofa playing video games and eating junk food. If we tried to run eight kilometres right now we'd get pulled muscles and maybe other injuries, and I'd probably lose half of you because you'd drop out of the team. So we're going to start nice and slow and gradually build up to a climax."

"Like sex, sir?" All the boys laughed when one of them said that.

"Enough, enough! This is still class time. But actually, yes, that's exactly correct, not that any of you sweet little innocent boys would know anything about that!" There was a lot more laughter.

I know I was probably being a little too familiar with them but the need to build a team spirit where we were all in it together was very important to my plans.

"OK, after we've stretched, we're going to start off by doing some gentle running around the track. I think four laps should be enough. Don't try to race, you'll hurt yourself. I just want you to start getting into some form of rhythm of running so you don't have to think about what you're doing. And I'll keep an eye on all of you and see what your running technique looks like. Then we'll have a team meeting to discuss our plans and strategies."

"Oh, so you're just going to stand there and let us do all the work! That's just like last year!"

"No, I'm running with you, today and every day right up to the day of the race. Maybe by then one or two of you will be able to beat me, but I very much doubt it!"

"What! You think an old man like you can beat us? Get real, sir!"

I stripped off my track suit. I was wearing my Midland Harriers running kit. That got a few raised eyebrows from the kids and some nervous glances. The Harriers were one of the best athletic programs in the country. I heard one boy say "Uh, guys, I think we're in trouble, he really is a runner!"

I led them through a set of basic stretching exercises and when they were all warmed up we lined up and set off for four laps of the track. As expected, most of the boys hared off into the front and set a fast pace. That left me with four who were slower and in less good shape. But I ran with them setting a pace that meant they could keep going and keep up with me. But as we neared the end of the third lap I changed up gears and sprinted off after the leading boys who were all starting to puff and blow a bit. Brian was in the front but I passed him easily with about 100 metres to go, and was waiting for them when they all straggled over the finishing line, doubled up and gasping for breath. I let them fling themselves down on the grass and waited for them to recover.

I waited until they had all stopped wheezing and gasping for breath. I got them to sit in a semicircle facing me.

"OK, what did we all learn from this?"

"You're a really good runner, sir!" piped up Brian.

"Yes, I am. I trained throughout the summer so I'm in better shape than any of you shower, but more importantly I know how to pace myself and not exceed my capabilities. You'll need to get into shape if we're going to do well in the big race but equally important, you need to learn some tactics and strategies. OK?"

The boys all nodded. "Yes, sir."

"OK, let me ask you this. How do you think we're going to get a good result in the race?"

Brian's hand shot up. "Well, sir, we're going to train and get fitter, and then you're going to choose the five fastest runners, and then we're going to run as best we can and try to score points."

"Does everyone agree with Wilkins?" The boys looked at each other and eventually there was agreement that Brian was right. I mean, after all, it looked like a no-brainer.

"Sorry, Wilkins, but you're wrong. That's not how we're going to win. That's what happened last year, isn't it, you all just ran off and tried to keep up with the faster guys, and two of you dropped out and you straggled in as the only survivor. Am I right?"

Brian nodded.

"So what we need to do here is to look at our tactics, size up the opposition, and run our own race accordingly. We're not going to try to run their race, we're running our own and we'll ignore everyone else. For us to do well we're going to need runners and rabbits. Anyone know what a rabbit is?"

Some cheeky boy piped up. "Sir, it's a small furry rodent that eats lettuce."

"Very funny. But this is a sports class, not biology. No, a runner is someone who tries to set the pace of the race to benefit the other members of the team. He's not going to win the race, he's going to try to make others lose the race by tempting them to chase after him. Now, we've got eight kilometres and only five team members, so ideally we need two rabbits and three runners. The two rabbits are there to damage the opposition. When the first one drops out because he's set a fast pace and is exhausted, the other rabbit takes over and keeps the pace up. Then, when the other teams have started to tire by keeping up a pace that's too hot for them, our three runners will be ready to move past them and work together to actually score points. Does that make sense?"

"Isn't that cheating, sir?"

"No, it's tactics. Lots of teams do it. Cheating is when you trip people up, or push them, or take a shortcut. We don't cheat, we win by using our brains as well as our legs."

"But if you're a rabbit and you know you're not going to finish, why bother?"

"Because this is a team sport. We all take pride in our team doing the best. Defenders on the football field don't feel disappointed when they don't score goals, they help the other members of the team by stopping the opponents from scoring. Cross country running is a team sport just like football, and rabbits get as much reward and credit as everyone else on the team. If you aren't good enough to be a runner and you don't want to be a rabbit, then there isn't a place for you on the team. Understood?"

The boys nodded agreement. I don't think any of them had had the slightest concept of what was involved in order to do well in the race, and this had certainly given them food for thought.

And so I started to build a team of runners and rabbits who would put in a respectable performance on race day. And that's how Brian and I started getting to know and trust each other. Later in the day I asked him how he thought things had gone.

"Well, sir, you really surprised us. None of us had heard anything like that before and when we were in the changing room we all talked a bit about what it all meant."

"Are we going to lose any of them?"

"Yes, I think at least two will drop out."

"Good. I don't want anyone to be on the team if they're not happy. And it makes it easier to pick the final five."

"Who's going to be runners and rabbits, sir?"

"Oh, it's far too early to tell. You all need to get into shape. Including you, Wilkins!"

He pouted and put on a not very good bodybuilder pose. "You don't like my shape, sir?"

"Don't be cheeky! Your body is fine, it's what you do with it that matters! And be careful, don't flirt with me!"

Brian laughed and his eyes twinkled again. "Sorry, sir!" But I knew he wasn't sorry in the slightest.


"And so we started a brutal three months of training with different regimens for Brian, the other three runners and the four rabbits. They all improved a lot but it was Brian's progress that I enjoyed most. He trained with me several times a week because I was really trying to push him to his limits, he was always by my side when we had team meetings, and he encouraged all the other boys so that they didn't get disheartened. I guess it was clear to everyone, including me, that Brian had a serious case of hero worship for me but I was careful not to turn him into a teacher's pet, and I probably worked him harder than I should have done to make sure he wasn't getting special treatment.

"About a month before the race I asked Brian where he expected to finish. He thought top five would be achievable. I took him to task and told him to be more ambitious. I thought that he could be third, possibly second, but he wouldn't win because Black House had a really good runner who had won last year and who I'd watched train. Brian grimaced at the effort he'd have to make."

"So what happened?"

"Race day was wet. That was to our advantage because we'd trained in the rain and knew how to cope with cold, while some other boys didn't cope so well. The race went just as we'd planned and trained for. Our first rabbit went pretty hard for nearly three kilometres and several boys tried to keep up with him. By the time our first rabbit dropped back, the second took over. He was one of the bigger boys on our team so others couldn't tell whether he was a rabbit or a runner. Brian and the other two runners kept on at the proper pace, ignoring everyone else and were well placed to speed up when the second rabbit dropped back. Slowly Brian eased ahead of his team mates and started reeling in other boys. In the end he ended up third. I was waiting for him at the finish line and he just ran straight into my arms gasping for breath. He was so tired I pretty much had to hold him up. But the hug didn't last long as he turned round and started yelling for his two teammates. They did more or less as expected, eleventh and twelfth, so we ended up with twenty six points and that gave us third place overall."

"Were they happy with that?"

"Oh, yes, it was the first medal anyone from Red House had won for the past decade or so, and third place for the team was the best for fifteen years. Of course, afterwards, they all felt they could have done better but really they all performed better than I had hoped. Of course, being boys, they soon recovered and had no problem eating vast amounts of pizza at the party that night. They also drank quite a lot of beer which I pretended not to know about. Brian spent the entire party sitting as close to me as possible. He had a grin that just wouldn't go away because he'd lived up to his hero's wishes and hadn't let him down. He even gave me several hugs, but it was all in good fun."

"So did you go on seeing him a lot after the race was over?"

"No. Two days later school broke up for the Christmas holidays so I didn't see or hear from him until we came back in January. And I didn't have any coaching responsibilities the next term because it was mostly rugger and hockey, and you know how I hate team sports. Brian was on a hockey team and that kept him occupied, and I made sure that once a week he and I would go for a run so he'd keep his stamina up in preparation for the summer term athletics. Of course I saw him in class, and he made every effort to be next to me whenever we had activities in the house."

"Did you miss him?"

"A little. He was always fun to have around. But I was busy with teaching, trying to get boys ready for their GCSEs and providing extra tuition for the less gifted. Brian didn't need extra tuition as he was doing well in maths. But things changed in the summer term when I was coaching athletics, not just for Red House but for all of the boys. Brian focussed on the longer distance races, 1500 metres and 3000 metres. He'd really grown during the year and was much stronger than when I first met him, and I expected him to get second place in both races."

"Did he?"

"Yes. We were both delighted with his progress. And then suddenly things changed."

"What happened?"

"Well, I got caught off guard and said something to Brian I shouldn't have done."

"Uh oh, what did you do?"

"It was a beautiful June summer's day. I had nothing better to do than sit outside on the grass vaguely watching a really bad house cricket match. Our team was doing so badly it was like root canal in slow motion. Then I heard footsteps, and Brian arrived and asked if he could join me. He was wearing his running kit, a red shirt and some pretty skimpy white shorts with red trim around the bottom hem. He looked stunning, as usual, and he sat down next to me and stretched his now long legs out, and lay back. It really didn't leave much to the imagination, and it probably would only have taken a millisecond or two to mentally undress him. And that's when I goofed up."

"I didn't think you liked cricket, sir."

"I don't, Brian, but it's better than being indoors on a day like this, and I'm on duty so I can't leave the school, and I do have to show some support for the house team even though they're not very good."

"Not very good? Be real, sir, they're terrible. They really suck!"


"Sorry, sir."

We watched another wicket fall, both of us shaking our heads and laughing.

"So, Brian, are you looking forward to summer holidays."

"Oh, yes, sir, it's going to be great! My parents are taking me and my friend to Barcelona for two weeks. It's going to be fabulous!"

"Oh, I love Barcelona! There's so much to see and do, and the food is wonderful. There's great architecture, and museums, and of course the Sagrada Familia which is unique."

"Well, that's what my parents keep saying, but me and my friend have other plans. We're going to try to go to Sitges as often as possible and have fun there! Have you been there, sir?"

And that's when I goofed. Caught off guard thinking about Barcelona and being affected by Brian's enthusiasm, I gave the wrong answer. I should have just said 'no' but I didn't.

"Yes, I've been there two or three times."

Brian turned and looked at me, and gave me a big grin.

"I knew it! I knew you were gay but I didn't dare ask you. I've always hoped you were, sir, I can't believe it's actually true! Wow, that's fantastic! It's great to know there are other gay people around besides me! And you of all people! Oh, I'm so happy!"

"Brian! Stop. That's not an appropriate topic of conversation to have with a teacher. Enough!"

"But you're not denying it, are you, sir?"

"Haven't you heard of 'don't ask, don't tell', Brian. You don't go round asking people if they're gay or straight or things like that. If they want to tell you, they will. If they don't want to tell you, they won't. You have to respect their choice about what they tell other people. So, end of conversation. OK?"

"OK, I suppose so."

Another wicket fell. Brian stretched out on the grass next to me, and trying to make it look totally accidental, his right leg touched my left leg. I moved away, but very soon his leg was back. I glanced over. Brian had his eyes closed, he had a real dreamy look on his face, but most worrying for me was that his shorts were going a poor job of hiding his growing erection.

"Brian, I have to go right now and you have to stop what you're doing. It's not acceptable!"

I stood up. Brian opened his eyes, pouted, and said very softly "But I don't want you to go, sir, I want you to stay next to me."

"Brian. No."

Brian looked very sad, and for a moment I thought he might start to cry. But he took a deep breath and got himself back together and he stood up and looked me straight in the eye.

"Sir, can I ask you something personal because I think me and my friend need some advice. We're both really excited about going to Sitges, but we're a little scared because we don't know what to expect and what we should and shouldn't do. So seeing you've been there, would you be willing to give me some advice? Please, sir?"

I thought about it for a moment. There were definitely do's and dont's for boys that age in a place like Sitges, especially if they weren't very experienced in gay culture and behaviour.

"OK, I'll do that, Brian. There's another house cricket match tomorrow, and there won't be hardly anyone watching, so let's meet here tomorrow at about the same time and I'll give you what advice I can. But it's on one condition."

"What's that?"

"Today's conversation never happened. OK? Keep it to yourself, please."

"Absolutely, sir!" And he made the gesture of zipping his mouth shut.

"Good! I'll see you tomorrow! And one last thing! Stay here until you're decent!"

I glanced down at his still quite considerable bulge in his shorts. Brian blushed, then he giggled, and then he sat down and pretended to watch the game while I retreated to the safety of my flat.

I was more than a little nervous when I went back to the cricket ground the next afternoon because I knew that this was not a conversation teachers and pupils were supposed to have. But I felt that it was worth taking that risk in order to try to prevent Brian and his friend from having a bad experience in Sitges.

When he arrived, I was pleased to see Brian had on khaki shorts and a tee shirt with sleeves so he looked a little less semi-naked than when he was in his running kit.

"Hi, sir, I'm ready to hear all about Sitges!"

"And good afternoon to you as well, Brian!"

"Ooops, sorry, sir."

"That's OK. But before I talk about Sitges I have several questions for you. Some of them may be embarrassing but please try to be as honest as you can. Understand?"

"I guess so. What sort of questions?"

"You'll find out. But first I need to tell you something else. We're going to have a conversation that we shouldn't be having. The rules are very clear. Teachers and students aren't allowed to have sex together and we're not even supposed to talk about our sex lives together. That's because while you're in school, teachers are 'in loco parentis', meaning we have to treat you just like your parents want us to. Further, you're not sixteen yet, so that's below the age of consent so that makes it worse. Do you understand all that? If not, that's the end of this conversation."

"Yes, sir, I understand." And again he gestured zipping his mouth shut.

"Good. Thanks. Now for some questions. First, are you going to Spain with Stevens?"

"Stevens? Good God no! Whatever made you ask that?"

"Well, you seem to spend quite a bit of time in his room after lights out several times a week."

Brian went bright red. "Um, you know about that?" I nodded. "Shit, am I going to get into trouble?"

"Trouble? No. Why do you ask?"

"Well, we're told that if we're caught in bed with another boy we'll be expelled."

"Well, first, I didn't catch you in bed, I just said you were in his room so I happily assume you're both doing extra homework or something. Second, think about this. If we expelled every boy who had had a wank with another boy, there wouldn't be many pupils left in the school!"

Brian laughed. "That's true. Most of us are pretty horny all of the time so it's nice to have someone to do it with rather than just doing it by oneself all the time." He turned and looked at me. "Why have a rule like that if you're not going to enforce it?"

"We need a rule like that for a couple of reasons. First, it reassures parents that we're running a nice clean school for their sweet little innocent boys who would never dream of doing anything with another boy." Brian burst out laughing. "Second, if we needed to, we could use that rule if something bad happened. But I bet it hasn't been used very often."

" I've never heard of anyone expelled for doing that. Stealing and bullying, yes, but not for sex."

"Mr. Carruthers and I have a pretty good idea of who's messing around with whom, and we just like to make sure it's all by mutual consent so weaker boys aren't being taken advantage of by older, bigger boys. If that happened, we'd do something about it."

"That makes sense, I guess."

"So, are you hoping to share a room with Stevens next term?"

"With Stevens? I hope not. I mean, we like messing around with each other, but we're not really good friends. So I'd prefer not. Can you tell Mr. Carruthers that?"

"I'll see what I can do. We're meeting this weekend to discuss next year's rooming arrangements. Is there anyone you'd like to room with?"

Brian blushed again. "Well, um, I'd really like to room with McDonald, sir, we're good friends and we've done some stuff together. Not as much as we'd like but enough to know that we'd like to do more."

"I'll see what I can do. OK?"

"Thanks, sir!"

"So, if you're not going to Spain with Stevens, who are you going with?"

"Oh, friend of mine from home, sir. His name's Colin. We've known each other forever. We're neighbors so we spend all our holidays together. He's gay as well."

"Are you boyfriends?"

"No. That may seem a little weird, really, because we're very close friends. But somehow it's like we're brothers and we both don't feel it's right."

"That's quite understandable. Tell me, is he as good looking as you?"

"So you think I'm good looking, do you, sir?"

"Um, yes, I do, Brian. Very good looking!"

"I'm not just good looking! I'm drop dead gorgeous and everyone on the beach at Sitges is going to be ogling me! They'll be lining up to be with me! Simon's not so shabby himself, but he's only a mortal while I'm a god."

"That's exactly why I wanted to talk to you. You've got to be careful. You two are definitely likely to attract a lot of attention if you walk down the beach in your Speedos."

"Or naked. There's a beach for that."

"Yes, I know."

Brian just giggled. "Ooo, I'd like to see you on that beach!"

"Brian, enough! Let's get back to business. Tell me, have you ever fucked another boy?"

"Um, that's pretty personal, sir, isn't it?"

"I warned you some of it might be embarrassing. Well, have you?"

Very quietly Brian said "No, sir, I haven't. I'd like to try but Stevens doesn't want to."

"Good. I'm glad you haven't tried to force him into doing it. You both have to want to do it. That's true for every time you have sex with someone else. Have you ever been fucked?"

There was a long pause. Brian looked down at the ground. "Yes, once", he whispered.

"Did you like it?"

"No, it hurt like hell."

"Do you want to tell me what happened?"

Brian thought for a while. "It's really embarrassing, sir. But I'll try." He took a deep breath. "It was just after I came here, so I was still only thirteen, and this senior boy ordered me to his room and he made me drop my pants and then he stuck his dick in me. I cried, it was so painful."

"Did you tell anyone about it?"

"No. I think he did it to one or two other boys as well because everyone was really scared of him."

"Did he try to do it again."

"No, but I think he would have done. But a couple of days later we were told that he'd been diagnosed with some rare illness and he had to go home for treatment. He never came back."

"Rare illness, my arse. I bet somebody told on him and he got expelled!"

"Then why wouldn't they tell us that instead of lying to us?"

"Brian, you've got a lot to learn about reality. If the school announced that a senior was expelled for raping small boys I bet that lots of parents would withdraw their children just like that. It would be a major scandal. So instead the school makes up a story that satisfies everybody. The school doesn't have a scandal, the parents can go on pretending their sweet, innocent little angels don't do anything like have sex together, and boys can just go on being boys without fear of being expelled every time they have a wank with their friends."

Brian nodded. "I guess you're right, sir."

"OK, let's recap. You and your fairly good looking friend are going to go to Sitges, and you're hoping to find other people who you'd like to have sex with. Right?"

Brian blushed again, and then gave his trademark grin. "Um, yes, that's about it, sir!"

"OK, here's some advice for you and it applies all the time, not just to Sitges. Now listen very carefully. The two of you need to stick with boys about your age. Avoid older men, there are too many who'd like to take advantage of younger boys like you, and some of them may turn out to be really nasty people who want to hurt you. You've already experienced bad sex, and you don't want that to happen again. Stick close together. Don't get fooled into getting separated because you'll be defenseless. If somebody tries to hassle one or both of you, don't be afraid to shout for help. As long as there are other people around you'll find someone to come help you out. Don't go into isolated places where there aren't many people because you may not get someone to help you. Don't go into strangers' hotel rooms. Avoid the raunchy bars and clubs. Go to clubs where there's an age limit of 18, there's several of those in Sitges, they don't sell booze and they keep a close eye out for older people trying to muscle in on younger boys. Don't drink, or at least very little, because you'll lose your judgement if you get drunk and then you'll be vulnerable. If you do have anal sex make sure that you or your partner use a condom. Did you get all that?"

"Yes. Um, you're making it sound a bit scary."

"If you are careful and don't do anything stupid you will have a great time. But if you're careless you can get hurt. Badly hurt, physically and mentally. I'd much prefer you have a great time!"

"I wish you could come with us, sir, you could show us the ropes!"

"Sorry, that's not going to happen! I've got other plans for the summer. Any questions?"

"Wow, you've given me a lot to think about, sir! Could I get back to you, sir, when I've had a chance to digest what you've said?"

"Of course! There's the final house cricket match tomorrow so I'll be here if you're ready! Now, run along, you'll miss tea!"

"Thanks, sir! I'll see you tomorrow." Brian picked himself off, gave me a huge grin, and ran off towards the house to get his tea.

I knew when Brian and I met the next afternoon that it was going to be a difficult moment for both of us, but I think I greatly underestimated how difficult.

Brian sat down next to me.

"Hi, sir!"

"Hi, Brian. Everything OK?"

"Yes, sir, thanks. I talked to Simon last night about everything you said and he thinks that it's good advice that we need to try to follow. You've been very helpful and he says to say 'thank you'."

"Good. I'm glad you talked it over with him. Did you or he have any questions?"

"Not really. But you said there are some clubs in Sitges geared towards younger kids. Do you have any information on them, names, something like that?"

"Not off the top of my head. But I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll get you a copy of the 'Gay Guide to Barcelona'. It includes Sitges. Give me a few days and I'll get a copy sent to me. Of course, you can check online as well, but don't get caught doing that on school computers, you'll get into trouble for that!"

"Thanks, sir! You're really kind!"

"That's what friends do, Brian!"

"I still wish you'd come to Spain when we're there! That would be great!"

"Sorry, Brian, I told you I've got other plans for the summer."

"What are you going to do?"

And here came the moment I'd be dreading for weeks. But at some point Brian had to learn the truth, and better it came from me than someone else.

"I'm going to spend my holiday in Leicester."

"Oh, of course, gay capital of the UK! How stupid of me not to work that out! But, really, sir, why Leicester?"

"I have a house there. My parents bought it for me when I was at uni so I didn't have to stay in a hall of residence, and when I came here I rented it out for the year. Now I'm going to redecorate it so I can move back in before the end of August."

Brian was silent while he digested this. Then he looked at me in panic. "But if you're living in Leicester you can't commute here!"

"No, I'm afraid not. I'm sorry, Brian, but I'm leaving here at the end of term. I was only ever going to be here one year, because I've got a new job in a school at home."

There was silence. Then I heard Brian sobbing, so I turned towards him and tried to give him a comforting hug. He sprang up, tears streaming down his face, screamed "I HATE YOU!!!" and ran off into the woods at the back of the cricket ground.


"Ouch, that must have been painful."

"Yes, it was. Brian was heartbroken. For most of the rest of term he hardly ever looked at me or spoke to me. I did give him the book I'd promised and he had the good grace to thank me for that, and I did convince Mr. Carruthers to put him and McDonald into a room together and he thanked me for that, but otherwise he was very remote."

"That must have been tough for both of you."

"Yes, it was. But in the last week of school before we broke up, we managed to talk a bit to each other. I think he'd got over the shock and disappointment of me leaving, and begun to face the reality that teachers and pupils don't have sex together. I gave him my private email and told him to contact me at any time if he wanted to talk to me. And on the day before school broke up I gave him a little gift for his birthday."

"What did you get him?"

"A large box of condoms. I told him not to open it until his birthday which was just about a week after school was over, and told him not to open it in front of his parents but maybe Simon could help him open it."

"You dirty old man!"

"Well, I saved him the embarrassment of buying them himself! It was just a random act of kindness. And that was about that."

"Did you say goodbye to him properly?"

"Yes. I told him to come to my room to get his present and he did. When he knocked on my door I told him to come in but leave the door open, as per school rules. He came in, stood just inside and then said he wanted to say he was sorry. He said he'd talked to Simon about us and Simon had told him he was a 'fucking idiot' to think he could have sex with his teacher. That made him realise he's been pretty dumb about everything. I told him I'd already forgiven him and that I should have said something much earlier to him about us but didn't so it was as much my fault as his. He gave me a big smile and I felt we would be parting on good terms.

"Then I gave him his present and he suddenly gave me a huge hug and kissed me. And it wasn't just a little peck on the cheeks either. He said he was sorry for being such a fool by fantasizing we could get together, and I told him it was OK, and asked him to keep in touch. He kissed me again and then he left. I haven't met him since."

"That's too bad. Do you miss him?"

"No, not really. I was a little sad but I guess we both moved on and got on with the rest of our lives."

"Did he ever contact you?"

"A couple of times. He thanked me for the condoms and said he hoped there would be enough for the both of them when they left for Spain in a few weeks time. Later he texted and said he and Simon had had a great time and there weren't many condoms left. And just before Christmas he sent a picture of him wearing his winner's medal from the Humphrey Cup and getting a big hug from McDonald. And that's it."

"I think there's more! Tell me!"

Now I'm the one who was blushing. "Well, your question for the evening was whether I'd ever been tempted by one of the boys I teach. Well, I was. A day after his birthday he FaceTimed me. I wasn't expecting that, but there he was dressed only in his white running shorts with the red trim. He looked as gorgeous as ever. He told me he'd been thinking about us, and he said he had a proposition for me."

"What was it?"

"He said he was now sixteen so he'd reached the age of consent. And he realised that I wasn't his teacher anymore so that the 'in loco parentis' thing didn't apply any more, so there was nothing to stop us getting together if I was interested, and what he'd like to do was come to Leicester for a week or so and help me redecorate my house because he was quite good at painting. He left the rest unsaid but it was quite clear to both of us."

"He was certainly persistent! Do you think he meant it?"

"Oh yes, he was absolutely serious. And for a moment I really was tempted. I mean, if I had met him at a club or somewhere it would have been completely legal. But I decided that even though technically I wasn't his teacher any more, morally I still was. I was afraid I'd be accused of having spent my time at school grooming him. And I didn't want to set a precedent of getting involved with a pupil because that might make it harder for me to resist should I meet someone like him again. So I just laughed and said no, sorry, but that still wasn't a good idea."

"Good thing, really, you made the right choice!"

"Yes, I know I did. But it was a tough decision. And it wasn't made any easier a couple of days later when I got a small package in the mail."

"What was it?"

"His white running shorts and a note saying he'd always be there for me if I changed my mind!"

"Dirty minded brat! Enough! Let's go to bed!"



This story is part of the 2020 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: Pick Me!". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 4 September to 25 September is when the voting is open. This story may be rated, below, against a set of criteria, and may be rated against other stories on the challenge home page.

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2020 Inspired by a Picture Challenge - Pick Me!

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