Love - Existentially

by John Teller

Part 12

Book Six - When Englishmen were boys

Stuart Begbie.

Mother is furious with me when I'm setting off to go to Michael's. I've told them that I'm going to meet a pal from school and we're going train spotting at Alden Station.

"But you'll be soaked, Stuart. And it's freezing!"

"I'm okay Mother. I've got my waterproofs on and we can go in the waiting room to get warm in between trains. And they serve hot lunches in there. I've got some money on me to buy stuff. Stop worrying. I'll be home about four-ish. I might be a bit later, but near enough about four."

Father interrupts. "He'll be ok. Let the boy do his own thing. You worry too much. Besides, it will do him good to get out with his chums. He's never been right since he attended that funeral with Mr Bourne. I'm pleased to see him getting back to normal."

Eastern Road. The road opposite the cinema. About half a mile along the road. The house painted dark green in the middle of the three terraced houses in the middle of the shops. Michael's house.

I stand with my bike and look at it. I'm nervous as hell. The rain has penetrated my waterproofs and I'm soaked to the skin. And I'm cold. Freezing cold now I've stopped pedalling. I lean the bike against the low brick wall that surrounds Michael's house and rap on the door with the elephant's trunk part of the knocker. I can hear a dog barking and a voice telling it to shut up. It's not Michael's voice. My knees are knocking together now. I hear a bolt being drawn, and then the latch goes, and then the door opens.

It's Alex, Michael's brother. "You made it then. You look like a drowned rat. You can't leave your bike there. Somebody will pinch it. You'll have to go round the back." He points up the road. "Turn right at the end. Go down there about thirty yards and turn into the backs to these houses. When you get to the blue and white pigeon cote, I'll be waiting for you. Off you go." The door closes, and I follow the directions. I'm puzzled. Where's Michael? I reach the pigeon cote and wonder which of the two gates either side of it I'm supposed to take. I'm put out of my misery when one of them opens and Alex comes to me, takes hold of my bike with his brawny hands, and wheels it up the narrow, blue-brick path to the back of the house. He leans it against the wall. "It'll have to stay outside. The coalhouse is full and Kiddo has got the shed full of stuff. Come on in lad." Alex leads me through the door, into a small alcove that has a copper boiler over a firestack. I've heard of them, but never seen one before. It's Victorian, and used for boiling the washing. The place smells of carbolic soap. I have to climb two scrubbed steps into the living room, and it's then that the dog, with its hair standing up on its back, starts growling at me. I'm usually okay with dogs, but this one looks as though it will take a chunk out of my leg if I make a wrong move. "In your basket Judy! And stay there!" Alex's commanding voice does the job and the small terrier goes into the basket.

The room is small and warm and cosy, and there's a lovely coal fire blazing away in the ancient cast-iron grate. It reminds me of the films at the cinema; the ones about the olden days with women in curlers and men with long beards smoking clay pipes. It's as if I've walked into the past: about a hundred years into the past. The sideboard is polished, as is the china-cabinet that's set in the alcove on one side of the fire, below the old gas fittings that haven't been removed when electricity was fitted. I notice the medals in the china-cabinet. A lot of them, hanging from a string, which has been threaded through the coloured ribbons above the medals. I look at Alex, who is smiling at me, and I ask, "Is Michael in?"

He shakes his head. "He'll be back soon. Old Mrs Poole has fallen down and broken her hip. Her son came to fetch me, but I sent our kid instead. It's best. I want to talk to you before he gets back. Now then, let's have your wet clothes off and we'll dry them out. How wet are you? Soaked to the skin?"

Reluctantly, I nod.

Alex grins. "And I'll bet you're freezing as well, eh?"

Again I nod. "I haven't brought a change of clothes."

I see a mischievous twinkle in the black pit-eyes. "Have you not, then? Well... let's see what we can do for you. I'll tell you what, get in front of the fire and strip to your underpants and I'll get some towels and then we'll dry you off before Kiddo gets back. How does that sound to you? Don't be shy. I see two hundred naked men every day when we go through the pit baths. You ain't got anything I haven't seen before, I can tell you."

Alex's humour is disarming, and I warm to him. I smile. "My underpants are soaked too."

Alex roars with laughter. "Then we'd better get them off before Kiddo comes back or he'll be embarrassed if he sees your little thingy." He winks at me. "That's if he already hasn't seen it."

I don't know where to put my face, and I know its crimson. I don't have time to be more embarrassed because Alex starts to undress me. The waterproofs are discarded, and so is my jacket and pullover and shirt and vest, and then, without ceremony, he undoes my trouser buttons and pulls my trousers down to my ankles. He's kneeling on the floor now. "Shoes off! That's it. Now trousers! Now socks!" I'm almost in shock. "Right! Let's have those underpants off and then you can warm your arse by the fire while I get some towels and something to hide your little thingy." And with that comment, he yanks my underpants off. Immediately, I hold both hands in front of me, hiding my little thingy. Alex is giggling when he goes to the sideboard and takes three towels out of the middle drawer, and then comes back to me. The first one, he wraps around my waist and tucks the ends in so I'm wearing it like a skirt. "There, that will take care of your modesty. Now then, sit in Dada's chair and let me dry the rest of you."

There's no doubt Alex is an expert at drying bodies. In no time, he's dried me all over, and also, roughly, dried my hair. And now I see the gentle side of him. He takes a hairbrush from the shelf above the fire and gently brushes my hair. His face is near to mine and I can smell him. The smell is not unpleasant. He smells of slightly scented, liquid soap. I can also see what's inside the ingrained coal eye-shadow. His eyes are exactly the same as Michael's: a beautiful hazel colour. More than once our eyes meet and he smiles at me. It must be a Johnson thing, because I feel a stirring in my loins. I manage to control it by averting my eyes. When he's sure I'm presentable, he sits back on his haunches and looks at me in the eyes. His hand comes up to my face and his rough fingers stroke my cheek. "Hello Stuart. I'm pleased to meet you. Welcome to the Johnson household. I'm glad you're here. Kiddo's been in a right state. We need to make him better. Are you up for it?"

I'm almost in tears. I can't speak, or I'll cry. I nod.

"Good boy. When Kiddo gets back, I'll make us some breakfast and then I'm going to leave you two lovers alone. It's okay. I know Mike loves you, and I think you love him as well. Am I right?"

Now the tears come, and despite my attempts to stop them, they seep from my eyes. And then I nod.

Alex takes one of the towels, dries my tears, and says in a soft voice, "Best he doesn't see you crying. Are you warm now?"

I smile. "Yes, thank you Alex. You're not angry with me for coming?"

Alex grins. "Hell, no! I might have been angry if you hadn't come. Right, I'll need to mangle your clothes and then we'll hang them by the fire and dry them. I'm going to get a nice woollen blanket to put over you."

While Alex is sorting things, I look at the row of medals in the china-cabinet. One in particular takes my eye. It's a bronze cross under a crimson ribbon. I think I know what it is, but I can't believe it. I'm so curious, I have to ask. "Alex, is that the Victoria Cross in the china-cabinet?"

Alex has found the woollen blanket, and comes to me. I stand up and he removes the towel that's hiding my modesty and wraps me in the blanket, puts a piece of string around my waist, and ties it. He winks at me. "You look like a little boy from the Middle Ages. A serf." And then he grins and pushes me back in the chair.

I grin back at him. "You didn't answer my question."

"Yes it is. Hasn't Kiddo told you?"

"Told me what?"

"It's Dada's. He took out a machine gun nest, single handed, and then another one. All that lot while he was wounded. His actions probably saved lots of his pal's lives. It didn't do him much good, but it got him a medal. He was one of Wingate's Chindits. I don't suppose you've heard of them."

My voice is low when I answer him. "Yes, I have. Everyone has. Well, everyone who knows anything about the war has. They fought the Japanese in Burma."

"They didn't just fight the Japanese; they fought them behind their own lines. Dada was a Paratrooper. He was dropped in, and then he was pulled out on a mule by The Ghurkhas. He got home, eventually, so he was lucky. Many of his pals didn't. But when Dada got home, and when he was better – well, able to go home, that is – he discovered that our mother had buggered off with the lodger and me and Kiddo had been taken into care. He found us, and we came to live in this house; Grandfather's house, after he'd died. We own a third of it. Dada's two brothers own the other two thirds. We pay rent to them."

My mind is in a whirl at all this information. "How will you manage now your father has died?"

Alex's voice is like steel. "We'll manage. Don't you worry your little head about that! You just look after Kiddo, and I'll sort all that out. Okay?"

I nod, enthusiastically. The terrier gets out of the basket and sniffs at me. I'm still wary about her. Gently, I fondle her ears. She likes that and tips her head to one side to allow me better access. I stop fondling her and she, suddenly, jumps onto my lap and does a circle before settling in it. The poor light in the room has made her pupils larger, and she stares at me. Carefully, and slowly, I begin to stroke her wiry hair. Her eyes close and she settles even deeper into my lap.

"Judy likes you Stuart. You are blessed. She doesn't take to many people. She's Kiddo's dog. She's a great little rat-catcher, and she keeps the mice down in here. No need for traps."

I smile, and fondle Judy more. She lifts her head and stares at me. I lower mine, and the small tongue licks my nose. I look at Alex, and he grins.

"You shouldn't let her lick you. She was washing her arse with that earlier."

Alex's comment hits a funny spot and I can't stop giggling. I've heard of 'pit humour', and now I'm on the receiving end of it. And I like it. Alex is like the house: earthy, but warm and cosy, and, although the house is small, everything is in its place and neat as granny's sewing. "I like your house, Alex."

Alex pulls a face. "Do you now! I suppose it's different to what you're used to. Do you live in a semi-detached?"

Now, I take my turn to tease Alex. "No. We live in a detached house with five bedrooms, with one room bigger than your house. And we've got a car and a boat and a television, and I've got a Dansette record player that cost twenty-three guineas."

Alex looks at me, and he knows, although I'm telling the truth, that I'm being facetious. He grins. "Ah, but you haven't got a dog. Have you?"

Now I'm belly chuckling because I know he's beaten me. "No."

Alex is chuckling too. "A dog makes a house into a home. Right, I'll make that breakfast." He nods towards the window. "Kiddo is coming up the path."

Michael Johnson.

I see the bike parked by the wall and I know Stuart is here. I'm nervous as hell.

Alex is just putting the frying pan on the gas stove and he turns to me when I close the back door. "Your little serf is in there. He got soaked, so I'm drying his clothes. He didn't bring a change, so he's just wrapped in a blanket. Judy's keeping him warm. How's Mrs Poole?"

"Bill Clancy is with her. They've called an ambulance. She doesn't look very well."

I walk into the living room, and Stuart turns his head to look at me. God, he's beautiful, and his smile tells me that although he's pleased to see me, he's also worried about me. I can't keep the love out of my voice or the mistiness out of my eyes when I speak. "Are you okay?"

Without taking his eyes off mine, he nods. "I'm okay. Alex has sorted me. Are you okay?"

I shrug my shoulders. "Better now you're here. Are you hungry?"

The smile widens into a grin. "Starving. I could eat a horse."

I nod towards the kitchen. "Knowing him, that's what he's cooking."

A voice bellows out of the kitchen. "You can always make your bloody own if you're not satisfied with my cooking, you bloody idle toe-rag."

Both Stuart and I are grinning at the remark. "Ignore him. He's a pit-man. He swears worse than that at times. I see Judy has taken to you. Who brushed your hair?"

Stuart nods towards the kitchen. "Alex."

I shake my head, and giggle. Then I take the hairbrush from the shelf above the fireplace, kneel down in front of Stuart and try to brush it like I know he has it. While I'm doing it, I glance into his beautiful blue eyes, which never leave my own. I, desperately, want to kiss the soft, full lips, but now is not the time. I've noticed his underpants hanging on the line over the fireplace and I know that beneath the woollen blanket that Alex has wrapped around him is the naked boy I love deeply. I want to push Judy off him and bury my face in the softness of his lap. I dismiss the thought, and brush with one hand and smooth his soft hair with the other, and even though his hair is a mass of silky waves, I even manage to get his parting exactly as I know he has it. When I'm done, I stand up and look at him. I nod. "That's better. I've got my boy back."

Stuart is in Dada's chair, between me and Alex, with his back to the fire and facing the wall that divides the stairs from the room. He's tucking in to the sausages and eggs and bacon and black pudding, and, like Alex, he finishes the meal by wiping up every last vestige of the bacon fat with large chunks of newly baked bread. Then he puts his hand to his mouth, and burps.

I shake my head at him. "Pig!"

He laughs, and the twinkle in his eyes tells me he's enjoying being here, and that he's at ease being in our home with us. He looks at my brother, who is wiping his plate. "That was lovely. Thank you Alex."

Alex mumbles through his mouth full of bread. "Put hairs on your chest that will Stuart." He looks at me, and then at the single sausage left on my plate. "Are you eating that?" I shake my head, and he leans across and sticks his fork into it, puts it onto his plate, cuts it into two pieces and gives one half to Stuart. He winks at him. "No waste; no want. Eat that up Stuart!"

I look at both of them. "Pigs!" Mugs this time... for our tea. I look at Alex. "No best china for our guest?"

Alex grins. "Nope. I'll bet Stuart will enjoy a mug of tea. He lives in a big posh house with one room bigger than our house, and I'll bet they drink out of best china all the time there. And he's got a Dansette record player you know. It cost twenty-three guineas!" Stuart can't help it. He bursts out laughing, and I know it's an 'in joke' between them. And that makes me wonder what else they've been talking about while I was at Mrs Poole's. I don't ask, because I'm happy that Alex and Stuart seem to be getting on so well. Alex gets up from the table. "I'll clear and wash up. I reckon you two have got a lot to talk about."

I hear the kettle whistling and then the water splashing into the Belfast sink, and then the cold tap running to get the temperature right, and then the clinking of dishes as Alex washes them and whistles a tuneless ditty as he's doing it. I know why he's making so much noise: he's giving us some privacy.

Stuart looks at me and smiles. I return the smile. Our two hands come together. Silently, I mouth the words. "I love you."

Stuart lifts my hand to his lips and kisses it. He lowers it back to the table. His eyes are locked with my own. The sound from the kitchen decreases. Our hands part. Alex comes back into the room.

"Right, you two, it's almost eleven. I've got to meet Frank Belcher at The King's Head at the Pigeon Club Meeting at eleven. I'll get me fags and me snuff and I'll be off." He puts his overcoat and his Trilby Hat on, and stuffs a few things into the pockets of his navy-blue overcoat, wraps a scarf around his neck, and then points a finger at Stuart. "What time have you got to be home Stuart?"

"Half past four at the latest."

"Great stuff. I won't be back before two, but I will see you before you go." He looks at me. "Are you okay?"

I nod. "I'm fine. Sod off."

Alex grins at me, goes out of the house, and I watch him walk down the long path to the gate and disappear through it.

I turn to Stuart. His face is serious now. I hold out a hand. He takes it. I get off my chair and go to Dada's chair in front of the fire, leading Stuart behind me. I sit down and pat my lap. He sits in it and I wrap my arms around him and hug him close. He puts his arms around me and snuggles his head into the crook of my neck. Then he whispers to me, "I'm so sorry about your Dada, Michael. I'm so sorry."

The mention of Dada brings it all back to me and I can't help it when I break down and begin to sob. Stuart's arms tighten around me and he sobs as much as I'm doing; and it goes on for ages until the grief is outed. Then Stuart lifts his head and we kiss away each other's tears and stroke each other's faces. I have to stretch to the table to pick up a tea cloth that was left on it and we clean up each other's snot and tears with it. And then Stuart looks into my eyes and says he's sorry for upsetting me. I smile at him and caress the waves in his beautiful, soft, blonde hair. Our eyes are doing the talking now. We've moved on from grief to our shared love; and to something else that is driving us both crazy... our need for each other and which, up to yet has been denied to us.

The woollen blanket slips off his left leg, revealing the complete beauty of it, right up to the creaminess of his upper thigh. Stuart doesn't pull the blanket back over his leg, so I place my hand on the top of his thigh, and stroke it. Stuart moves his head to kiss my neck. I push my head down. He raises his. We're staring into each other's eyes. I lower my head, his lips open slightly. My own lips are no more than two inches from his. I can feel his warm breath on my face, which is coming in short gasps; as is mine. Our eyes are still locked. Very slowly, we come together. Our lips meet, and we play gently with each other's. And then we come together in a long, passionate kiss, and his arms lock around my neck and he crushes my face to his. I close my eyes, enjoin in the passionate kiss, and begin to explore his body with my free hand.

I caress his thigh and follow the contours of it around to the softness of his small buttocks. The kiss is becoming even more passionate... and lustful. I move my hand up his back and the blanket slips even further from his body. I stroke his upper back and then run my hand down his spine, feeling every vertebra down to the coccyx, and then again I caress the softness of the part of him that excites me enormously.

I'm so worked up that I can hardly breathe. I'd noticed that Alex had tied the string in a bow, and I reach around to find it and pull on the string to undo it. It opens easily, and I push the blanket away from the front of his body. Stuart's kissing becomes more urgent. He forces my mouth open and I feel his tongue enter mine. I suck it. Now, his naked body is mine. I slip my hand down his front, to the lustful hardness that is waiting just for me; for my needs and my desires, and for Stuart's too, and my firm caresses make Stuart shudder and he whimpers like a dog as I provide for him his joys, which are also mine because this is something I've desperately wanted to do to him. The supreme moment arrives and he almost crushes me with passion as he shivers and shakes to his wet, beautiful conclusion.

The kiss becomes gentler, and we break it. Stuart pulls his head back and stares into my eyes. I stare back into his, and smile. He smiles, and swallows hard. And then he looks down and back up at me, and grins when he says, "At least I haven't got the Lady with the Torch to contend with this time."

I grin at him. "I know now why you took so long in the toilet at the cinema. You might be small in stature, but that doesn't apply to every part of you... and you've surprised me!"

He gives me a puzzled grin. "Why have I surprised you?"

I look down at his boy essence on his body and my hand, and then run my finger through part of it that's settling by his belly button, and I create small circles on his tender skin. "This."

Stuart's gaze into my eyes is a serious one when he asks, "Don't you like it?"

I look back into his eyes for longer than I normally would, and then I open myself to him when I say, "I adore it. Does that make me perverted in your mind?"

Tears are filling Stuart's eyes when he screws up his face and shakes his head. "No! I was worried that you wouldn't like it, but now you've told me that you adore it, you can't imagine how pleased I am that you do."

I smile into his tearful eyes and then kiss the saltiness of his worries away, and then I do something to let him know how much he really means to me when I bring up the finger that was massaging his essence and put it into my mouth and drink of the boy who is filling me with so much love that I think I am in Paradise. And because my hand is part covered with the juices of his boyhood, I stare into his eyes as I lick my hand clean. Now, his eyes are not tearful... they are filled with gratitude that I have overcome my shyness to prove to him how much I really love and desire him. But I'm not finished now I know he's comfortable with my desires, and I lift him out of my lap and place him on Dada's chair and kneel in front of him and do what I've been dreaming of for some time now. But before I do, I clean his beautiful body with my tongue, savouring the wonderful part of his natural production.

He parts his legs and allows me access to worship that part of him that I've desired and longed for. His hands behind my head are gentle with me because I cannot accommodate all he is in my mouth, and he is patient while I make love to his boyishness. And this time there is no need to clean him when, with a few desperate jerks of his abdomen, he willingly feeds me the remainder of his own desires.

Stuart Begbie.

My heart is almost breaking as I cling to Michael after he has taken me orally and then, afterwards, wrapped me in his strong arms and locked our mouths together in a passionate kiss. This is raw emotion; a double dose of our first sexual contact, and an expression of the power of love we share. We are together; Michael and I, for the very first time, and nothing could have been more wonderful. I'm even more emotional now, because Michael has just given me all the answers to the many questions I've been asking myself since the day I first laid eyes on him. Does he want me? Yes. Does he love me? Yes. Does he want me sexually? Yes. Are we in love with each other? Yes. And because I now have all the answers, my heart cannot keep my emotions in any longer, and that's why I'm sobbing my heart out in his wonderful arms. Finally, after all this time, I have won the heart of the young man I love.

But our loving is unfulfilled. I now need to prove to Michael just how much I love and desire him, and whilst doing so, fulfil my own desires to feed on the creature before me who I have come to love with a passion that is almost hurtful. And so I get up out of the chair and take his hands in mine, and with pleading eyes, I ask him, "Can we go to bed, Michael... please?!"

'The Bed'... Johnson style, is cold and damp when Michael and I – who has stripped naked before we got in it, which surprised me, because he's now lost all the shyness I associate with him, probably because he's in his own environment – huddle together to try and keep warm. We giggle as we shiver and kiss. To make it easier for our bodies to be close together, because I'm at the right level to kiss him, I raise my top leg and allow his manhood to slip between my thighs, and then I lower my leg again to clamp it firmly between my soft flesh. I am not disappointed. My guestimate when we were in the swimming baths had been quite accurate. Perhaps a little conservative. No, I'm certainly not disappointed! But now the shy moments have gone, I feel able to have fun with him, and while we're giggling and kissing, I manipulate my thighs to give him pleasure.

His hands that are tightly clamped on my bum stop me from doing it, and then he bites my lip and says, "You'd best stop doing that."

I make googly eyes at him. "Why should I? Is this just a one-way thing?"

He grins. "I hope not, but I've changed the sheets once today!"

I giggle. "Does that mean I've brought you to bed for nothing?"

Michael narrows his eyes. "Not for nothing. I haven't finished with you yet!"

Before I have time to reply, Michael has pushed me onto my back and gone down the bed, and again I feel the warmth of his mouth and wetness of his lips and tongue. The white room becomes a blur, and when I feel the moment of supreme pleasure approaching, rather than thrusting into him, I lie back and allow it to flow out of me in a series of pulsating bursts, and I give myself willingly to my beautiful lover, with all the love I have for him.

His face is above mine now, and he's staring into my eyes. "Was that nice?"

I can't speak, so I just nod. He kisses me softly, and I can taste myself on his lips. We're like that for quite a while, just kissing and looking into each other's eyes, until I'm recovered enough to speak. "Now it's your turn."

"What do you want to do?"

What do I want to do?

Holidays with Mother and Father. Naples... last year. The Castel dell'Ovo. That special day when they allowed me to be myself and join many other tourists watching The boys of Castel dell'Ovo.

Beautiful boys... beautiful young men... bronzed and agile and gorgeous, diving into the bay and being the beautiful exhibitionists they are. I missed nothing. Especially I didn't miss the curly haired boy who was about my age and his obvious beau... a young man of about seventeen who, I was in no doubt loved the boy. I was so jealous. They were what I wanted to be, and they were doing it without inhibitions. I kept a special eye on those two, and I didn't miss what they did. In fact, because I kept myself away from most of the tourists and had taken up a spot on the sea wall that was some distance from the beautiful exhibitionists, I think, perhaps, I had taken up a place which they thought was their own private property.

They left the other boys and came to almost where I was sitting. I was absolutely self-conscious. They both studied me for a while, and then probably decided I was no danger to them. And that's why I saw everything.

I saw the embrace. I saw the kiss, and then I saw the younger boy lean over the sea wall pretending to watch what was going on. But he had taken up this position for other reasons. I saw his young man stand behind him, shielding him from view, and I watched him slide the boys flimsy swimming trunks onto his thighs and I watched them couple. It was beautiful. The boy loved it. And when it was over, they ran, laughing, to again join the other exhibitionists.

Michael has asked me, What do you want to do?

I want to be the boy exhibitionist. All the time I have known Michael I have wanted to be that beautiful boy who had loved what his lover had done to him. In fact, I have been preparing for this moment since the day I saw the beautiful person who has now come into my life. The broom handle I found in Father's garage and have cut to size has been well polished through constant use.

So, when Michael asks me What do you want to do?, I don't answer him with words. Instead, I roll over onto my front and rest my head on my folded arms, smile into his eyes, and nod. I'm hoping I won't have to tell Michael what I want and have been wanting since I fell in love with him. Don't make me ask you do to it, please, Michael.

Michael, thank God, knows exactly what I want, and I know that what I want is also what he wants, because he gets out of the bed, opens a small drawer in the tall chest of drawers, and takes out a flat tin of Vaseline, and comes back to me. Now I can relax and let him have his way... and mine.

Michael isn't lying on me; he's towering over me, supporting himself with his arms when he begins. After a short while it becomes obvious to me that I will need to help him, so I do, and the first thing I do is draw my knees under me so he can access me. He needs more help. I pull my buttocks apart. He needs no more help.

I can imagine the feelings he's getting as I tense my tummy muscles and push back and we become coupled as were the Exhibitionists. His fullness is wonderful... not like the hard broom handle, but a malleable presence that makes contact with every part of me in there.

Michael has stopped. He kisses the side of my neck. "Is it hurting?"

For an answer, I push back to try and get more of him in me. It is hurting, but the thought of what he's doing takes me beyond pain. Michael and I are coupled, and I am in heaven. But there does come a point where the pain is not attractive and I whisper to him, "Just there, Michael. Just there. Do it softly. I'll help you. Don't go in any further. I'm not ready for that yet."

I feel Michael place his hand on himself to stop deeper penetration, and he continues to pleasure himself within me. I forget the pain now, and bask in the overwhelming sensuality of what I'm feeling. Every nerve in my body seems to be tingling, and I'm having difficulty breathing, so immense is the power of feeling. And then I bask in the moment of Michaels' release, and I feel a great joy knowing I have given him so much pleasure.

Michael kisses my cheek. He whispers in my ear. "Are you okay?"

My voice is croaky when I reply with a half-smile on my face. "Yes. Are you?"

"Shall I take it out?"

I nod, and a few moments later I feel empty. I don't like the feeling. I felt better when I was full. Psychologically, I'm depressed. My very first time is over. But my depression doesn't last long after Michael has rolled me onto my back and he's staring down into my eyes and he tells me, "You're the most beautiful person I have ever met. I love you Stuart."

Never before in my whole life have I felt so loved; so wanted; so important, and I nod through tearful eyes and tell him, "I love you Michael. Thank you for what you've just done. I needed that from you. You don't think any less of me that I did, do you?"

He smiles at me. "No, just as long as you don't think any less of me because I've wanted to do that to you since I set eyes on your beautiful bottom in the swimming baths."

I giggle. "Do you really think I've got a beautiful bottom?"

Michael grins and shows his teeth, and then he says, "See you later, Alligator!" And before I have time to react, he rolls me onto my front and buries his teeth into the softness of my buttocks.

Michael Johnson.

It's 1.30 and we're still giggling after our fight in bed when I bit his bottom, and he giggles even more when I bite more of him as I help dress him in front of the fire in the living room. His underpants and shirt and trousers are dry because Alex had put them nearest the fire, but the pullover and jacket and woollen socks are still steaming. So after I've pushed Stuart into Dada's chair, I rearrange the jacket and pullover so they will dry better. And then I kneel between his legs and begin to brush his hair, and just as I do that, Judy flies out of her basket and dashes across the room and disappears under the sideboard. There's a loud scuffling, a few tiny squeaks, and then she emerges, wagging her tail, with a mouse in her jaws. I click my fingers and she comes to me and drops the dead mouse. "Good girl, Judy. Well done." I pat her head and give her a fuss, and then throw the mouse on the fire.

Stuart's face is twisted and aghast as he watches the mouse sizzle on the coals. "Ugh! I've never seen anything like that before. Is it dead?"

I laugh. "Probably. If it isn't now, it will be in a second or two. If Alex was here, he'd have put it in the pot and we'd have had it for supper." Then I pick up the hairbrush and begin to brush his hair again.

Stuart's eyes are narrowed and he's looking at me, wondering if I'm fooling him. When he sees the amusement in my eyes, he thumps me in the chest and grins. Then his face becomes serious when he says, "Michael, spending time here with you and Alex has opened my eyes. It's a different world to my own, but I love being here with you. It's nothing like I thought it would be."

I stop brushing his hair and look into his beautiful eyes. "What did you think it would be like; a concentration camp? We might be poor, but we are human. We laugh and we cry and we joke and we make love to beautiful boys who we're madly in love with. Well, some of us do. All the money in the world couldn't have made me happier than I was with you when we were in bed. My biggest worry now isn't how we'll survive; it's how long it will be before we're together again. I don't want you to have to keep telling lies to your parents. We have to find a way we can be together, without you having to do that."

Stuart nods. "You're right. I hate telling lies to my parents, but I had no option this time, and I was desperate to see you because I was so worried about you. I'll put my mind to it and see if I can think of another way. You do the same, and we'll see what we can come up with that won't get either of us in trouble."

I continue brushing Stuart's hair. "We could always elope."

Again Stuart's eyes narrow, and then he grins when he sees me grin. We don't have time to talk more, because the sound of Alex's loud whistling as he's walking up the path is our signal to become 'normal', and by the time he comes through the back door and enters the living room, Stuart and I are seated, separately, and chatting as if we've been there since he left.

Judy flies out of her basket and leaps up into his arms. He gives her a massive fuss, and then, gently, throws her back onto the floor. His voice is slightly slurred. "Hey up boys. Have you had any dinner yet?"

I look up at him, and grin. "Judy caught a mouse but Stuart wouldn't eat any of it, so I threw it on the fire."

Alex's face is aghast. "He wouldn't eat a mouse?! God, lad, all that protein gone to waste! I could have put it in the pot for supper." (Stuart is giggling like a lunatic now.) Alex continues. "Never mind, I'll get the pig's trotters out that I got from the chip shop last night. I'm starving."

Stuart thinks Alex is fooling again, but, after he's taken off his hat and coat and scarf, and when he goes into the kitchen and I hear him fiddling around in the cold-cupboard and he returns with a large plate covered in a fly cover and puts it on the table, Stuart knows he's not. Alex goes back into the kitchen and returns with three plates and three sets of knives and forks, and sets three places. Stuart looks at me. I grin. "You said you liked being here with us. Welcome to snack-time in the Johnson household."

Again, Stuart is sitting in Dada's dining chair, between Alex and me. Alex and I are both squinting at him as he studies the jellied pig's trotter on his plate. He doesn't know where to start. Alex is already well into his, and I've started on my own. So Alex, with jelly running down his face, puts his knife and fork down and when he's finished what's in his mouth, he wipes his face on a tea-cloth and looks at Stuart. "Have you never had pig's trotters before, Stuart?"

Stuart looks at Alex, and shakes his head. "No."

"Here then, let me cut it up for you." Alex pulls Stuart's plate to him and begins to separate the meat from the bones. It takes him a while, but when he's separated most of it, he passes the plate back to Stuart, who puts his fork into a lean piece and puts it into his mouth. He chews on it, and then smiles. Alex smiles, and then nods towards the rest of the pile. Stuart takes another piece, and puts that in his mouth. Still, Alex is watching him.

"Leave him alone Alex!"

Alex grins at me, and then begins to tuck into his own food. Stuart looks at me and starts to chuckle. I can't help it; I begin to chuckle. And then Alex chuckles. Soon, all three of us are chuckling like old women, and every time one of us puts a piece of the meat in our mouths, the chuckling gets worse. Eventually, we can't eat for laughing, and tears are running down our faces. We never do stop laughing, but, finally, the meal is over and Stuart has eaten all that Alex cut up for him.

Alex gets up from the table and slaps Stuart on the back. "We'll make you into a Johnson yet Kiddo. None of this foydee grass here."

Stuart looks at me, puzzled.

"Foie de Gras. And you've just had Pied de Cochon – Johnson style, with the Johnson cochon slurping it all around his greasy chops."

Alex, grinning, ignores me and clears up the plates.

Thankfully, the rain has stopped and a there are a few breaks in the clouds as I pedal alongside Stuart.

He'd protested when I said I'd accompany him back to Brooklands, but I was having none of it. The boy I'm in love with had pedalled all on his own to my house, and for me to just wave goodbye to him and allow him to pedal alone all the way back, was unthinkable. So I got Alex's racing bike out of the shed and went with him.

As we were about to leave, Alex had called to Stuart. "Oi Kiddo! Gizza hug before you go." Then, after they'd hugged, Alex said to him, "It's been great having you. Don't leave it too long before you come again."

We're a couple of streets from Stuart's house when he pulls to a halt. I pull up alongside him.

"This is far enough Michael. I'll go the rest of the way on my own. Thanks for coming with me."

I shrug my shoulders. "It's not a problem. I'll see you tomorrow."

Stuart nods. "I'm going to write you a note tonight. I'll put it in the lining of my Magic Cap, and when I walk past you, I'll drop the cap. You pick it up, take the note out and give the cap back to me. Okay?"

"Okay, but be careful."

"I will."

Stuart is about to turn and go when I put my hand on his saddle and stop him. "Is it what you wanted?"

Stuart's eyes never leave mine. "Yes. It's what I've wanted ever since I first saw you. Is it what you wanted?"

I nod. "Yes. I love you Stuart. I really do. Play that song for me tonight."

Before Stuart has a chance to reply, I press hard on my pedals and sprint off down the street.

The ride through the city takes no time as I put every ounce of my strength into pedalling, and all the while I'm thinking what has happened today. Never in a million years would I have thought how fantastic it would be to do what we've done today. And Stuart loved it even though it had hurt him a bit. But he wanted it! He told me so after we had calmed down and before I took him downstairs to dress him. It was a difficult moment for both of us.

After the Alligator Fight, we came together and kissed. Stuart was below me and he broke the kiss and stared into my eyes, and said, "Michael, can we talk?"

I nodded. "Yes. What do you want to talk about?"

"What we've just done. It's changed things."

"In what way has it changed things other than we've done what we both wanted to do?"

Stuart shrugged his shoulders. "I know we both wanted to do that, but we've also put ourselves in our proper places. It has made little difference to you because you were the man in our relationship, but I don't want you to think of me as a girl because I was the subservient one. I'm still your boy and not a girl. Can you understand that?"

I stroked his hair back from his forehead and looked into his beautiful eyes. "I know quite a few girly boys and I have absolutely nothing against them. They can't help being like that just as I can't help being someone who falls in love with a thirteen year old boy. But I'm not attracted to girly boys. I don't want or need you to be a girly boy. Can you understand that?"

He nodded. "Yes, but you still don't get what I'm getting at." And then he told me about his holidays in Naples and his thoughts and what had turned him on... being like the small boy... the taker and not the giver. And then he said, "That makes me the girly one. That's the part I want to be in our relationship. I do think like a girl in that way, and there's something I'm desperate to do when we're together and that will make me even more girlish. We haven't got time today, but I want and need to do to you what you did to me when we were in Dada's chair before we went to bed. Promise me you won't stop me doing it, or anything else that I want that might seem as if I'm being feminine. I wouldn't wear girly clothes even if you asked me to."

I smiled at him. "Do girls wear Magic Caps? I made that special kind of love to a boy who wears one. Does that make me girlish?"

He grinned. "No. But I just wanted us to know one another better. It was important to me."

I smiled at him. "I understand. Now shall we get dressed before we're discovered in bed together? We don't want Alex losing sleep because he can't work out which is the girly one of us, can we?"

Stuart giggled and wrapped his arms around my neck and hugged me so tight that I was amazed at his strength, and then he said, "I feel much better now. Let's get dressed before Alex gets home. I won't know where to put my face if he catches us in bed."

I reach the house and put the bike in the shed. I can't wait for tomorrow and seeing what Stuart is going to write in his letter.

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