Love - Existentially

by John Teller

Part 32

Book Thirteen – Georges and Alexandre Reborn
(And Rest in Peace.)

Alexander Johnson 3rd aged twenty-one

Thursday February 2nd 1978.

It's not stopped raining for two weeks and the site I'm working on - upgrading the A30 road at Cheriton Bishop in Devon - is shutting down because the site is completely waterlogged and grading and levelling is almost impossible. So, when I've parked my D6 Caterpillar bulldozer on the hard standing and hosed it down and greased it up, I telephone Hamzah to tell him I'm coming home for a while until the site dries out. He's over the moon that I'm coming home; then he starts on me again. "Go and see Archie! It's only fifty miles away, and I really want you to go!"

Again I get angry. This has been a bone of contention between us ever since Archie and that damned Alain d'Evreux split up just over a year ago after I'd told him to 'fuck off' when he propositioned me when they came to see us at Dad's. Nobody really knows why they split up, but I reckon I do. I told him that Archie deserved better than him, so I think the wimp took it to heart. I answer Hamzah. "I'm not going! I've told you... it's none of our business, and I hardly know the bloke anyway! Why should I?!"

Hamzah puts on his best whining voice. "Please, Alex... do it for me. Please. It's only an hour away from you. I like Archie. Your Uncle Michael liked Archie. Do it for him... please! He'd want you to. Just go and see him and tell him that I'm thinking of him. It's been over a year now that he's been alone. Think what I would be like if you left me for that long! I'd want to kill myself! Pleeeease! Do it for me... please!"

I think things over in my mind. I've been away three weeks since I was home for Christmas and the New Year and I'm looking forward to being at home with Hamzah, doing up the terraced house we've taken a mortgage out on, back up north in The Midlands near to Dad's while the weather is so bad. Now he wants me to waste half a day, which means I'll either have to drive home when it's dark, or stay another night in the caravan here and go home in the morning when the roads will be choc-o-bloc. But I know if I don't go and see the bloke then I'm going to get some serious ear bashing from Hamzah, and even worse, he'll be in one of his bad moods with me. He's worse than a woman at times if he doesn't get his own way! I'm caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, or in this case, going to see somebody I hardly know, and Hamzah in one of his bad moods. I decide to choose the former. My blue-eyed Arab mongrel can be a proper arsehole if he doesn't get his own way.

It's just turned two when I pull into the small car park outside Archie's studio. It's a long time since I saw the place. I remember it being all bright and well kept when I was last here, but it now looks as though the place needs a lick of paint and some repairs. In fact it looks as though the place is shut down.

I'm shocked when Archie opens the door after I've been banging on it for five minutes. He looks like the bloody shop... tattered, unshaven, unwashed I think, and he looks pissed up. In fact it takes him half a minute almost before he recognises me. Then he snarls at me, "What are you doing here?"

"Hamzah asked me to call on you. He said he's worried about you. What the hell's up with you?"

He glares at me. "You're what's up with me. You're the reason Alain left me! Just go away and leave me alone!"

It's pissing down here, so I push him back through the door and go inside and close it behind me.

I don't cry. Haven't cried for years, but my eyes are bloody misty and I can't see the road very well when I'm driving home, and that because it's hitting home to me exactly what I've done, and I'm recalling Archie's words to me. You could have just said 'No' and that would have been enough. What on earth possessed you to make a judgement on what's good for me and what isn't? Who do you think you are, telling Alain I deserved better than him? You've destroyed our lives! That was after he'd wheedled out of me what I'd told Alain.

Tuesday February 14th 1978. Paris.

Bloody France! I hate the place and the damned people who live here. Bloody Paris! Crazy bloody place! And on Valentine's Day of all bloody days!

That damned Arab mongrel of mine! He's a crafty sod! Please, Alex... do it for me. Please. It's only an hour away from you. I like Archie. Your Uncle Michael liked Archie. Do it for him... please! He'd want you to. Just go and see him and tell him I'm thinking of him. It's been over a year now that he's been alone. Think what I would be like if you left me for that long! I'd want to kill myself! Pleeeease! Do it for me... please! The bugger had planned everything before he put on his wheedling voice and begged me to go. He'd arranged everything! Well, him and bloody Stuart and goodness knows whoever else who had been involved in the skulduggery behind my back. Even Alain d'Evreux's father had been involved. That's why a big posh car was waiting for me at the airport when I got off the plane and the driver knew exactly where to go without me even asking him. He was another ignorant bugger with his board with my name on it and wearing his peaked cap, and the sod didn't even speak to me when he took my small suitcase and beckoned his finger at me as if I was a bloody serf to do his bidding when he led me to the car. I've only met four French people, and I don't like any of them. There's that bloody whore Alain and that bloody wench who left Stuart in the lurch. Then there's that posh French writer bloke who came to Uncle Michael's funeral. He was okay, I suppose, but even he smoked his fags in a fag-holder like a big girl. Then there's this toe-rag of a chauffeur who's treated me like a piece of shit and not even answered me when I've asked where we're going. I'm not much different than when I set out. I didn't know where I was going then, apart from the fact that I was going to Paris and a car would be waiting for me at the airport. Stuart has arranged everything, Alex, so it won't be no bother even if you've never been on a plane before. Just do whatever it takes to get Alain back. I don't care what you do if it gets Alain back with Archie. Anything! It won't bother me. Pleeease! Do it for me! Pleeease! Me and Hamzah had a massive row, and then I relented.

The posh car stops outside some five storey apartments and the driver points to a door. Then he gets out and takes my small suitcase out of the boot, gives it to me together with a piece of paper with a name on it, and then he buggers off and leaves me standing on the pavement. I'm not best pleased. In fact, I'm bloody fuming! Suppose nobody is at home?! I look at the piece of paper with a name on it and then look at the list of names on the doorbells. Saul Villiers. That's the one that's on the piece of paper, so I'm reckoning this is the place where Alain d'Evreux will be. I press the doorbell by Saul Villiers's name and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do now. Then a voice says something in French, "Qui est là?"

I think the voice is asking me who I am, so I answer, "I'm Alexander Johnson and I've come to see Alain d'Evreux. Let me in."

There's a pause, and then the voice answers me in Pidgin English, "He not want to see you."

That makes me angrier than I already am for having to make this damned trip here and being left standing on the pavement in the middle of nowhere by a bloody driver who's treated me like a piece of shit ever since he met me at the airport, so I yell into the grill where the voice is coming from, "I don't give a shit whether he wants to see me or not! I am going to see him, so open the fucking door and tell me where to go or as sure as hell is fucking hell I'm going to huff and puff and I'll blow this fucking door down and the whole fucking building with it! And then I'll find you, whoever you are, and I'll break your fucking neck! Now open the fucking door and let me in!"

Another pause, and the door clicks and the voice says, "Étage trois. Numéro dix-huit."

"I don't speak French. What does that mean?!"

"Floor three... number eighteen?"

I can hardly recognise him from the smart bloke he was the last time I saw him. His hair is long and straggly and he's got a beard like a dosser. The only way I'm sure it's him is because you can't hide his good looks even though he does look like a tramp, and those damned green eyes are still as beautiful as the last time I looked at him. Then I look at the bloke who let me in and ask him, "What have you done at him?"

The man stares at me. "I should ask the same. You are reason he like this."

I point a finger at him. "Get out. I need to speak to him... alone!"

He shakes his head. "This my place. You not tell me go away."

I've come a long way, and being here was against my better judgement, but now I've seen Alain and I'm fuming inside at what my cruel words have created, I'm not in a good mood and I've no intention of wasting more words. So I go to the bloke, get him around the throat, stare into his eyes, and hiss at him, "You're wasting my precious time! Two choices buddy... you go through the door or through the fucking window!"

Then Alain says something in French that I can't understand, and the bloke goes and gets his coat and stuff and goes out. When he's gone, Alain asks, "Why are you here, Alex?"

For a while I stare at him, and then I say, "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said what I did. I should have just ignored what you wanted and let it go at that. But I opened my big mouth and I was younger then and didn't realise the consequences of my words. I was stupid and ignorant. My only excuse is that you thought I could be like you. I'm not. I'm a Johnson, and we don't betray those we love. Never! Well, not unless I'm on a mission of mercy and I've got permission. Hamzah's not stupid. He said I was to do whatever it takes to get you back with Archie, so that's why I'm here."

"What do you mean?"

I stare into those beautiful green eyes. "Go and get a bath and clean yourself up. I've never fucked a tramp in my life, and I'm not going to start now. And shave that fucking scruffy beard off! You're too young to have a beard like that. Scruffy beards are for old men with banjos... and you're not that!"

Alain d'Evreux.

You and me. But this is not with Archie, this is with Michael, but it's not with Michael. Alex is younger and far stronger and more well-built than Michael, as well as being far more uncouth, and I'm almost like a ragdoll child as he takes me every way he wants to, without questions; without regard for me in any way. I thought it could never be reproduced, but Alex is exactly like his uncle where I am concerned, and his lack of affection makes the experience a case of déjà vu, as, once again those deep dark desires within me are released, and the hidden passions explode when I urge him on to even more brutal loving until both of us are satiated at the fantastic experience.

Afterwards, I cry my eyes out, and young Alex's strong arms around me and his gentle voice are like balm to my soul while he comforts me and tells me that: Somebody who can fuck like you needs to be back with somebody who appreciates what you are. And that's why I don't put up much of a fight when, after it's all over and he's fussing over me, he tells me to get my passport because he's taking me Home to be with Archie. At first I protest and tell him that Archie won't want me now after what I've done to him. Then he tells me about his visit to Archie. When I've digested his words, I don't hesitate to find my passport and pack the few things I need.

I don't leave Saul a letter. He already knows that I don't love him, and he also knows that my salvation can only come one way... by returning to the man who I love more than life itself. He's told me often enough to do it.

Wednesday February 15th 1978. Port Gaverne. Cornwall. England.

The taxi pulls up outside the studio. Alex gets out with me and goes to the back of the car and takes my bag from the boot. Then he gives it to me and looks into my eyes. I stare back into the eyes of the man who is two distinct souls: one brutal if the need arises, and as I've discovered since we left Saul's apartment, despite being as rough around the edges as his father, is really a beautiful person when you get to know him. He winks at me and says, "Good luck... and I'm so sorry. I never want to see you again. Do we understand each other?"

I stare back into his eyes. "Yes. You take care of yourself... and Hamzah."

He nods and then gets into the taxi. It drives away and he doesn't look back.

I look at the studio. It looks like I was feeling less than forty-eight hours ago.

Music for this part.

Archie is in the studio. He's got his back to me and is no doubt thinking I'm a customer. I know he won't look at me yet... not until he's finished turning the pot. His hair is long and straggly and his back seems to be more bent than it usually is. I look around the place. It's February and the shelves should be stacked ready for the holiday season in a couple of months. But there's just the odd pot and plaque dotted about haphazardly.

For a full five minutes I watch him and tears are streaming from my eyes every second of those five minutes. Then he finishes the pot and I watch him wash his hands in the bowl of water by his side, and then dry them. And it's only then that I say, "Hello Archie."

His head jerks around and he stares at me. And now more tears because I can see how his eyes are sunken and how frail his face is. I can stand it no longer and rush off into the cottage part of the studio and throw myself onto the sofa and wail like a banshee. Then I feel him sit on the sofa and his hand clutching my shoulder, and then he asks, "Is this a visit?"

I turn my head to look at him, and tell him, "No. I've come home... if you'll have me."

He kisses my hair. "Je t'aime Alain. Je t'aime."

Alexander Begbie-Johnson

Saturday October 19th 1985.

George Rhodes is coming out of the changing rooms after the school football team has lost three-nil. He doesn't look in a very good mood. He wasn't in a good mood during the game... cursing his team mates because they didn't play very well. George is a big strapping lad... six feet tall and built like a brick outhouse, and he plays centre-half for the team. I pretend I'm having trouble with my bike chain as he gets nearer. (I'd taken it off when I arrived here.) Then he stops and asks, "Problems, Froggy?"

I glare up at him. "Yes, my chain has come off, and don't call me that, please! My name is Alexander."

I see his face soften, and he says, "I know what your name is. Sorry. Everybody else calls you that, so what's the difference between them and me?"

What's the difference between them and me? I want to scream at him that the difference is because I've been crazy about him for six months and more, but I can't tell him that, so I concentrate on trying to get the chain back on. Then I feel him beside me and he pushes me to one side, and after a bit of fiddling, he gets the chain back on. I look into his beautiful eyes and smile at him. "Thank you George."

He grins at me. "No problem Alexander. You didn't answer my question."

"What question was that?"

"What's the difference between them and me?"

I grin at him. "It's my birthday today. I'm fourteen today."

He chuckles. "Happy birthday Alexander. I hope you get a new bike. This one looks just about knackered. And you still haven't answered my question."

I get on my bike and pedal away, and then I call back, "See you Monday."

George Rhodes.

I watch Alexander riding away, and grin to myself. That had gone well! At last we've got to speak. And the little bugger didn't answer my question. I saw him go red in the face the second time I asked him.

It doesn't take long to catch him up. I know where he lives, and just a bit of hard pedalling after I've stuffed my footy boots and kit in the saddle-bag sees me alongside him. He grins when he sees me, and I grin back at him. Then he asks, "Are you following me?"

"I might be. Does that bother you?"

"Not really. You live the other way, so why are you going this way?"

"Just thought I'd keep Alexander company. I know where you live, so I thought I'd come along for the ride to make sure you get home safe and sound."

He grins. "I don't need a chaperone."

"I'm not a chaperone. Anyway, you still didn't answer my question. Fancy a McDonalds? I'll buy being as it's your birthday."

"It's about a mile away, in the wrong direction."

"Then let's change direction. And you still haven't answered my question, Alexander!"

Again he grins at me. "Are you sure you're paying? I haven't got enough money on me."

I grin back at him. "Birthday treat on me... Alexander."

Blonde hair and blue eyes. Alexander is a stunner. Far and away the best looking lad at school. But it's not just his good looks that attracted me to him in the first place. I began to have a crush on him ages ago, but it was when he was picking up a load of prizes at the end of the last school year that I really studied him and knew my feelings were more than a crush. He's a proper clever bugger, and there's something else about him... he's got class. It's something you can't define, but he's definitely got it. He's a Johnson, and they're well known for being tough buggers. His uncle or brother or whoever he is, Mick Johnson, is British Middleweight Champion boxer, but Alexander is a gentle boy... almost feminine in his ways. And he's soft spoken. He's one of those kids who just gets on with things and doesn't bother about anything. Normally, everybody calls him Froggy, but he didn't want me to call him that. Why? But why do they call him Froggy? I watch him nibbling on his fries, and then I ask him, "Why do they call you Froggy?"

He shrugs his shoulders. "My mother was French."


His face becomes serious. "She left me when I was five. My name was Begbie before she did."

"And then?"

He looks into my eyes and studies me, and his eyes are sort of sad when he says, "It's a long story. I don't want to bother you with it."

I've eaten my burger and fries, so I lean over the table and take one of his. He grins at me and pushes the fries between us so we can share. "You want another milkshake?" I ask him.

He shakes his head. "No thanks. Don't want to eat too much. I'm having a party tonight at home."

"Am I invited?"

He giggles. "All you've done is put my bike chain back on."

I grin at him. "And I've chaperoned you... and I've bought you burger and fries and a milkshake. That should be enough to get an invite."

He grins, and then he looks into my eyes with a puzzled look. "Why would you want to come to my birthday party?"

"I might get to find out why you insist I call you Alexander when everybody else doesn't."

He smiles at his fries. "Because I don't like people I like calling me Froggy."

"So you like me then. That's good, because I also like you... Alexander."

His eyes flit backwards and forwards from the fries to mine. "You're eighteen, so why should you like someone who's only fourteen?"

I shrug my shoulders. "Age doesn't bother me. If I like somebody, then I like them... and I like you. Actually, I've liked you for quite a while."

"Quite a while?"

I grin at him. "Yes, quite a while, but even more since I saw you picking up all those prizes last year. You're a clever bugger! What are you going to do when you leave school?"

He grins. "Be a bus driver."

I chuckle at his quip, and then I ask him, "What's that gold chain around your neck?"

He leans back in his chair and lifts it up and kisses it. "It was my Dad's, and then my Uncle Michael's, and when he got killed, it was my Dad's again."

"Got killed?"

"Yes. Uncle Michael was killed in Iraq. He went to our school. My Dad did as well. And my Granddad did, but it was when it was the old school. That plaque in the main hall is dedicated to my Uncle Michael."

I stare at him. "So, your Uncle Michael was that Michael Johnson!"

He nods. "Yes... and his dad won the Victoria Cross."

"I know he did! Blimey... you come from good stock... Alexander! But I'm a bit puzzled. If your father was named Begbie, then how is it that Michael Johnson was your uncle? Are they cousins or something? And what relationship is Mick Johnson the boxer to you?"

Alexander sets me with his eyes; and I can see they're misted over. "He's my brother... sort of! I want to go now!"

He's about to get up when I reach across the table and put an arm on his shoulder and stop him. "Alexander, I'm sorry if I upset you. That's the last thing I'd want to do."

Now his eyes are searching mine and he's looking right into me when he asks, "Why would upsetting me be the last thing you'd want to do?"

I decide this stuff has gone on long enough, so I stare back into his eyes and tell him outright, "Because I've been crazy about you for ages. So now you can tell me to fuck off and never bother you again."

His voice is soft again and there's no edge to it when he says, "No, I won't tell you that. Can we go outside please?"

When we're outside, he gets on his bike and looks at me. "How do you know where I live?"

I get on my bike and look at him. "If I didn't know where the boy I was crazy about lived, then I'd be an idiot."

He grins. "I know where you live."

I grin back at him. "And how do you know that?"

"If I didn't know where the boy I was crazy about lived, then I'd be an idiot." Then he grins. "I didn't come to the game today because I like football. And you're a useless player anyway. Those three goals you conceded were your fault."

I burst out laughing. "You cheeky sod! I was the best player in our team! Those other players of ours were useless fuckers."

He stares at me. "Don't use bad language, please. Well, not that sort of bad language."

I stare at him. "Why not?"

He shakes his head. "It doesn't suit you. So promise me you won't use any at my birthday party."

I grin at him. "So I'm invited?"

He grins. "No bad language?"

I put a flat hand up. "Scouts honour. No bad language. Now I'll chaperone you home."

He shakes his head. "No thanks. I'll go home on my own. You know where I live. I'll see you at seven."

Alexander Begbie-Johnson.

I'm in my bedroom sitting on my bed and Dad has got his arm around me. He's hugging me tight because I've just told him I'm gay like he is and my boyfriend is coming to the birthday party in an hour's time. I've told him all about George and that he's eighteen. He smiles at me and tells me that he was only thirteen when he met Uncle Michael. Then he says, "I'm gay, your mother's gay, so it must be genetic. Either that or it's something in the water. Anyway... it won't come as a surprise to anyone. We all know you're gay. Have done for a while, but we decided to let it lie until you were ready to tell us."

I giggle. "I think it is the water... especially the water around here. It must be. Uncle Alex and Michael are the odd ones out. Michael's bringing his girlfriend tonight. Goodness knows what she'll think of her champion boxer when she comes into the house and finds that it's full of gay folk."

Dad chuckles. "As Uncle Alex would say... she can bloody like it or lump it. And you'd better be prepared to take some stick off him. You know what he's like. I'm going to have to tell him, and your grandfather and grandmother. As a matter of fact, there's no time like the present. Shall we do it together?"

"What... just go downstairs and proclaim to the world that I'm gay?"

Dad grins and kisses my hair. "Nothing to be ashamed of nowadays. It my day it was illegal, but it's not like that now. Anyway, being gay has become the new craze on the block these days. Everybody seems to be outing themselves. We could even hold our own Gay Pride March from here. Another twenty years and there'll be more of us than them."

I giggle. "There is in this house... and Hamzah's."

It's difficult, but Dad is beside me holding my hand when I go into the lounge where everybody is and he says, "Alexander has got something to tell you all. Or maybe I'll do it for him. It will be easier. He's got a boyfriend named George who will be coming to the party later. George is eighteen. That's pretty much it. Any questions?"

I don't know whether Uncle Alex is serious or he's fooling around when he sits with his head in his hands and says while he's staring down at the table, "You'll be tellin' me next he's goin' to bloody university when he leaves bloody school!"

I look at Dad, who's grinning. So I shrug my shoulders and tell Uncle Alex, "I am going to university."

Uncle Alex bangs his head on the table, and then he looks at me and shakes his head. "Dayjar blood voo or whatever! Don't you dare tell me you're going to bloody Oxford!"

I grin at him. "I wouldn't think so. I'll probably go to the City Uni."

Uncle Alex lifts his head and looks at old Mr Bourne, who has attended my party with his wife. (Grandmother and Grandfather are sitting beside them on the long sofa.) "What do you think, Mr Bourne? Do you fancy doin' some more plottin' and skulduggery?"

Mr Bourne grins. "Done my bit for Queen and country. I think this one is down to you and yours... and Cameron and Ann here. Angela and I have retired to spend time with Michael's ghost."

Uncle Alex sighs. "You and your bloody ghosts. The next time you see that daft sod, tell him he's gettin' it big style when I get up there. I'll kick his arse from here to bloody Timbuktu!"

Then Uncle Alex gets up from the table, points a crooked finger at me and signals that I have to go to him. When I get to him, he wraps me in his strong arms and gives me a massive hug, and when he breaks the hug and looks into my eyes, he says, "Your Uncle Alex loves you no matter what you are. You've got your Dad's eyes. Fetch ducks off water they will. What's this George fella like?"

I grin at him. "He swears worse than you. I've told him not to swear in front of me."

Uncle Alex pulls a funny face. "Posh boy! You're as bad as your Dad. Leave that George fella to me. I'll sort him out for you."

I giggle. "That's what I'm worried about. Leave him alone!"

Uncle Alex winks at me, and I grin.

"What does your dad do for a living, George?" asks Uncle Alex.

"He's a Plumber. He's got his own business."

"And what are you going to be?"

"I'm hoping to take a degree in Architecture and Design and then get a job somewhere that pays well."

Uncle Alex points at Granddad. "He'll give you a job. He employs most of the Johnson family. Best day's work our Michael ever did was getting involved with Stuart." Then he squints his eyes. "But I don't suppose young Posh Boy has got that far with you yet. He'll explain... if you stick around long enough that is. More hokey-pokey stuff going on in this family than you can shake a stick at."

Dad laughs and points a finger at Uncle Alex. "Enough... Alex!"

Uncle Alex holds his hands up. "Only sayin'! Best let the lad know what he's getting himself into. Sort of a dry run before he gets soaked to the skin with you mad lot. I think I'm the only sane bloke here. Well, me and young Mick. Anyway, shall we all tuck in? Mum's been at it all day and we don't want to waste anything or I'll get it in the neck later. Tuck in everybody!"

Stuart Begbie.

I've been watching Alexander and George almost all the time since the big lad arrived. He's certainly a handsome lad with his dark brown hair and brown eyes, and he has a really pleasant disposition. He certainly likes Alexander a lot. I don't miss anything. How could I? I've been through everything they're going through now. The only difference is that the tables are turned in this relationship. Michael was the shy one and I was the gregarious one. George is almost a match for Alex. Well, he's holding his own when they exchange friendly, verbal insults. Almost. But Georges has got a long way to go to get the better of Alex. But at least he laughs when Alex beats him in that department. They're getting on great... those two, and I can see that Alexandre is pleased about it. I know why that is. I'm his father and he loves me, but Alex is his rock and comforter. Has been ever since we made the arrangements for him to live here nine years ago. He's a Begbie, but he's grown up to be a gentle Johnson. Much like I had to do.

The cake has been cut and we've all sung Happy Birthday to my beautiful son, and after a reasonable time has passed, no doubt because my boy has worked it all out that to do it any earlier would be impolite, he comes to me and asks, "Dad, do you mind if George and I go for a walk for a bit of fresh air?"

I kiss his forehead. "Your grandfather and grandmother and Mr and Mrs Bourne will be going in a short while. Why don't you wait until they've gone and then go for a walk? Don't want them seeing the sexy side of what you are, do we?"

He nods and giggles. "I will. You think of everything."

Alexander Begbie-Johnson.

It's chilly and we've both got our winter coats on when I ask George as we're walking side by side along the pavement, "Why do you like me?"

He looks down at me. "That's a daft question to ask."

"Why is it?"

"Because it is! Why does anybody like anybody? You meet somebody... they do something inside you and the next thing is you've fallen for them big style. Well, that's how it's been for me with you. I was beginning to think I would be gone from school and then I wouldn't get to see you almost every day. Then I would have to have done some real sneaky stuff to get to see you."

I giggle. "What sort of sneaky stuff?"

He giggles. "Dunno, but I would have thought of something to get to see you. And what would you have done if I'd left before we met proper?"

I grin up at him. "I wouldn't have left it so late. You don't think the bike chain came off on its own... do you?"

George laughs. "You sneaky sod! Hook, line and sinker, and you gone and trapped me. I'll have to watch you!"

I giggle. "You will. I'll be watching you."

"And why's that?"

"Because you're a hunk. I couldn't take my eyes off you when you were playing footy."

George laughs. "Fancy me do you?"

I chuckle. "Well you haven't got a pretty face, so what else was there to look at? Not your football. You're useless at that. You lost three-nil."

George grins down at me. "You told me not to swear, so I would leave that alone if I was you. Anyway, where are we going?"

"Nowhere in particular. I just wanted to get to know you properly. We couldn't say or do much when we were with the others. And you haven't told me yet what sort of liking me you like me."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, is it just a walking around talking sort of liking me, or is it another sort?"

George puts his hand on my shoulder and we stop. Then he looks into my eyes and says, "It's two sorts. One sort is like now, just being with you and seeing you as often as I can. Then there's another sort. You know... that sort of liking when I think about you when I'm in bed. Does that sort bother you?"

I shrug my shoulders. "Not at all. That's the sort of liking me I hoped you would like me. You're in my bed every night. But the bed sort is only important to me providing you like me the other way too."

George grins at me. "Sounds good. I think I wouldn't be pleased if you only wanted the bed sort of liking. We're coming to the park in a minute. Shall we pop in there?"

"The gates are locked."

"We can get over the wall. It's only half the size of you... and you're a pigmy."

I laugh. "I am not a pigmy!"

"Well, you're not very big are you?! I'll lift you over if you can't make it on your own."

I snort at him. "I can get over the wall on my own!"

George grins at me. "Then what are we waiting for?"

George Rhodes.

We're in the middle of a load of rhododendron bushes and Alexander has got his arms around my waist and I've got mine around his shoulders when we have our very first kiss. It's a really nice soft one, and then he lifts his arms up and wraps them around my neck and we begin again, but this time his beautiful lips open and he allows me to get a tongue inside his mouth. Then his tongue begins to answer mine. Then I break the kiss and look down into his beautiful blue eyes and ask him, "What's that stuff you've got on?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that lovely stuff I can smell on you."

He grins at me. "Why do you want to know?"

I grin back at him. "Because it's doing things to me you little bugger"

He giggles. "It's lavender. And what sort of things is it doing to you?"

"You know... sort of disturbing me in the downstairs department."

"You mean the basement?"

I giggle. "You know very well what I mean, Posh Boy! And I can't really tell you where because you don't want me to swear."

"So you're lacking in vocabulary skills, are you? Now try not to think like a troglodyte and tell me."

"I'm not going to do that, am I?! This is our first date and I don't want to cock things up. Ooppssss! That sort of slipped out. Sorry."

Alexander gurgles with laughter, and then he says, "That was a sort of Shakespearian slip of the tongue. Sort of Shall I compare thee to a summer's day."

"And what's that got to do with the price of bread?"

He's grinning now. "Some scholars say that was intended as a homosexual sonnet. In your case it would be Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Again he starts to giggle. "Well, you are a bit of rough... or so Uncle Alex says. And you've sort of disturbed the darling buds of May in the downstairs department."

I tweak Alexander's nose. "And I suppose you're the darling buds of May?"

"Something like that. I can be your Darling Bud of May."

"It's bloody October! And it's cold... my Darling Bud of May."

He giggles. "You're doing well. You haven't swore yet."

I lean down and press my nose against his cute one. "No, but I will now! I know I can't, but I would like to fuck you my Darling Bud of May!"

Alexander chuckles. "And why can't you? Is your basement department on strike?"

I screw my face up and tell him, "No it is not! And why haven't you told me off for swearing?"

He grins and shrugs his shoulders. "Because the word was not gratuitous. Contextually, it was correct. There is a difference."

I look into his eyes. "So let me get this right... if I say that I want to fuck you... that's okay, but if I tell you to eff off, that's wrong."

"Exactly. So it would not be wrong for me to tell you that I would like you to fuck me, but I would have to refuse you."

"Why is that?"

"Because I've never done it before and it would probably hurt a lot and I don't want to spoil what we're doing now."

"And what are we doing now?"

Alexander looks right into my eyes and he's serious when he says, "We're having fun and I like it. So instead of doing that, you can give me another one of your special kisses and we'll see where we go from there. But definitely no fucking... yet!"

Alexander Begbie-Johnson.

As I lie in bed, I can't get the grin off my face no matter how I try. I expected a long and juicy kiss from George, but because I didn't spell out exactly where he should kiss me, he decided to do it his way. Within a minute my jeans and underpants were around my ankles and he kissed me his way! When he came back up after he'd pulled my jeans and underpants back up and fastened them, he grinned into my face and said, ""You need to specify where you want your kisses with me in future if you don't want me to do that."

I grinned at him. "What happened to my stuff?"

He opened his mouth and pointed a finger at it. "It went down lovely with those strawberries I had at the party."

I gave him my best naughty grin and told him, "I had some strawberries as well, you know!"

He chuckled and said, "Then help yourself, but I would be careful if I was you. I'm not a little Posh Boy like you. Mine comes in large tubs and not a teaspoon."

He was right. In fact it came in a gallon tub and I had to let most of it fall onto the autumn leaves.

Then, afterwards, he became serious. That's when I discovered the big hunk's loving and serious side of him. That's when he told me that he loved me and that he wanted to see me as often as he could, and when I asked him if was just about sex, he was quite angry with me. His words were beautiful ones when he stared into my eyes and told me, "I want sex with you. Why shouldn't I? I'm gay and in love with the most beautiful young man I've ever met, and I think he feels the same way about me. Sex? Yes, of course! It's what two people who are in love do together. But I don't want sex with your beautiful eyes or your beautiful posh voice or that special smile you give me that makes me go all funny inside. So what do you think about that... Posh Boy... Alexander?"

That's when I put my arms around his neck and made sure I could put as much love into my kiss as I could before I told him, "I think that's what I want more than anything in the world. I love you Mr Hunk. Can we meet tomorrow?"

He grinned at me and pecked at my lips, and said, "I was hoping you'd ask that. I was hoping this would be more than a one night stand." Then he giggled. "Ooopppsss! There I go again! Me and my Shakespearean slips."

Then we both laughed and he walked me home. When we got to the bottom of the drive, he stopped and held my hands, and then he said, "I'm going home now. I don't think I could face your Uncle Alex's taunts tonight. Not because I don't like them, but because I won't know where to put my face when he starts on me. So you don't mind if I leave you to take his flak, do you?"

I grinned at him. "Not at all. I can handle him. What time tomorrow?"

"Two o'clock? I'll meet you at the skating rink at two. That okay?"

"Perfect. I can spend the morning with my grandparents and Dad, and then get Dad to drop me off there. Then we'll go for a McDonalds afterwards and we can go from there."

It was fantastic what we did in the park, but once isn't enough for a growing boy like me. As a matter of fact, just thinking about what George did to me is sending me a bit crazy, especially because he had hold of my bum when he was doing it. No, I'm not ready for that yet, but that doesn't mean that I don't want it. That will take time... quite a long time now I know how well built he is in the basement department. He was everything, and more, that I could wish for that way. The basement department is not out of keeping with the rest of my Hunk.

Time to go to bed with you, Hunk! And tonight you will get to fuck me! It will have to do until we do the real thing. And once we do get to know one another, I will show you a side of me that you don't yet know, and my Shakespearean quote to you will be: You are like a candle, the better burnt out. Oh yes, George, you may think I am a pigmy, but when I lock you in my basement department, you will more than meet your match... Hunk! LOL.

George Rhodes.

I can hardly believe what's happened today. I saw Alexander watching us from the side of the pitch and I really wanted to do well to impress him, but I was playing with a bunch of useless arseholes. That's why I was so angry. And I was still angry after I'd showered and got changed. I expected Alexander to be long gone, but there he was... the crafty sod!

For almost six months I've been thinking he was a tease. He's often smiled at me, but then he's always kept himself to himself. Why? I think I know now why he did it. Nobody really spelled it out at his party, but I've pretty much worked it out for myself. His dad is as gay as they come, and it seems, so was Michael Johnson who got killed in Iraq. There were photographs in the house of Alexander's dad and Michael Johnson together. Lots of them, and some of them were taken ages ago and are in black and white. They must have met at Denbridge, just like me and Alexander have done. I don't know what happened, but they must have split up and then Alexander's dad married his mother. Then she buggered off and left Alexander with his dad. Either that or his dad got custody of him in court. That must have hurt my poor little Alexander, and that's why he was backwards at coming forwards. He didn't want to get hurt. Can't say I blame him. I wouldn't either if I'd had that much shit in my life.

But now he's really opened up. But it was me that had to do the running after the crafty sod set his trap for me. I really did think his bike chain had come off. But when I was putting it on, I thought it was a bit strange that it had come off. It took me ages to get it on because it was tensioned just right. So my special Alexander is a crafty sod! I like that. He might only be fourteen, but he's as sharp as a razor. He doesn't miss a trick. He's sussed me out that I'm not the type of person that will just use him for what I can get out of him sexwise, and then he's laid a trap to get to know me a bit better, and then, when he's snared me, he's made me do all the running.

It was fun in the park. Again he made me do all the work. Well, he set a few more traps for me, but I think I took him by surprise when I went down on him. I had to! I was bloody aching inside to get at his gorgeous body. He was as warm as toast when I got his jeans down, and he wasn't kidding when he said I'd upset his darling buds of May. It was aching for me as much as I was aching for him. And he's got a real cuddly bottom... lovely round bum cheeks that fitted perfectly in my hands. Hot bum cheeks... a really aroused cock to suck on, and I was in heaven, especially because I'd been doing it to him in my own bed for months. But the real thing was far better than dirty thoughts, but he didn't last as long as he does in my bed. It was all done and dusted in a couple of minutes, and he had his hands behind my head when he went crackers because he was enjoying it so much. But I didn't expect what he did to me to happen.

I was surprised as hell when he hinted with the strawberry thing that he wanted to do it to me. He didn't take my jeans down, but he couldn't wait for me to get it out, and when I had, he was on his knees and was at it like a dog with a bone. My beautiful, shy, backwards at coming forwards Alexander Begbie-Johnson is most certainly as gay as me, and he wanted from me what I wanted from him. I nearly pushed his head away when I knew what was going to happen, but the lovely little bugger was having none of it. But, as I thought, it would be too much for him, and he let most of it hit his tongue and go onto the leaves. But he got some down him to go with his strawberries. The little bugger! And there was me thinking he was a shy little sod. LOL.

And tomorrow we're going skating together. Brilliant! I can't wait to see him, and I'm not thinking this way because of the sex stuff we did. I want that, but more than that, I want what we had before that. That first tongue kiss we had was almost breaking my heart. I've loved him for so long that I almost cried when I knew how much he loved me. It was in the kiss. It was almost cruel because both our pent up emotions spilled out during that kiss.

So, Alexander, when we're at the skating rink, I'm going to have fun with you and kick your arse. Then, if I'm extremely lucky, later on I'm going to kiss your beautiful little arse. And that will just be the start of it. Well, I hope so. I love you Alexander, and more than anything I hope you love your George, because I really do want you to be with me for a long time. In fact, right now, I can't think of life without you because I'm so happy how things have turned out.

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