A Boy Named James,

by Jolyon Lewes

Chapter 5

February 1964

Four days later and James and I were on the train. Away from the hard boys, he was a delightful companion, chatting about people at school and laughing at the things that happened there. But as the journey progressed he grew withdrawn and warned me of certain rituals I'd have to face.

"You'll probably find life at home's a bit strange. You're the first boy from our school to visit me at home and I trust you to keep a secret. We dress for dinner every night, even if there's no other guests and it's only stew and dumplings. I'm afraid you'll be expected to wear your school uniform. But at least you'll sleep in my room and we can talk about our kind of thing there. Tomorrow we could go for a walk and be all by ourselves."

This little speech made me nervous. What did he mean by 'our kind of thing?' Did he know I was besotted with him? Did he know the sight of his bare thighs drove me crazy with desire? Had he noticed my raging hard-on when I was attending to that scratch on his bottom? What topics was he saving for when we were 'all by ourselves?'

In the late afternoon the train drew into a little country station and I had flutters of butterflies in my tummy. A tall, imposing woman met us on the platform. She had a piercing voice and spoke with a cut-glass accent. She greeted James with a peck on the cheek and the briefest pat on the shoulder.

James introduced me. "Mama, this is Jolyon."

"How charming! Hello, Jolyon."

I didn't get a peck on the cheek, for which I was rather glad. James's mother led the way to the car park. We sped along narrow lanes for a few miles before reaching the Ellis home, a large, whitewashed house on the edge of a village. As we hurtled up the gravel drive I saw the two tennis courts. I felt a bit like I did when being delivered to my first boarding school, nearly five years earlier.

"Tea at five, boys," said James's mother, making it sound like an order.

James took me up to his bedroom. It was huge and on the walls were framed team photographs. I assumed James featured on each one but I didn't get a chance to look at them till next day. There were two single beds, very close together with not even a chair separating them. Each was covered with a pale green candlewick bedspread. James showed me where to put my suitcase and we went downstairs. We had time before tea to go into the garden. It was too dark to see much but he showed me the tennis courts.

"We don't usually start using them till about Easter but one of them's a hard court so we can use it in winter if it's dry."

Still in our school uniforms we went into the house at exactly five o'clock, for tea. This was brought into the drawing room by the housekeeper, who gave me a friendly smile.

"Papa will be home soon," said James's mother. "When you've introduced Jolyon to him you can both go up and change for supper. You can stay in your suit, Jolyon, as it's dark grey. We'll meet here at seven prompt."

I was beginning to think James's mother was a bit like a sergeant major but his father was a total contrast. He had a military air about him but he was warm and informal and unlike his wife, did not bark out orders. That I was over two years older than James didn't seem to concern him and when I told him of the different countries I'd lived in he said he looked forward to a good chat.

James led me up to his bedroom and on entering he looked at one of the beds and said a very naughty swear word. On the bed lay a neat pile of clothes, all grey except for the skimpiest pair of white underpants I'd ever seen. There was a grey shirt, grey pullover, grey corduroy shorts and long grey socks.

Taking off his school uniform jacket he held it towards me. "Mama doesn't consider light-grey suits to be appropriate for dinner. You're lucky, being in the Sixth Form and having dark- grey suits. I've got to wear this. " He pointed disdainfully at the pile on the bed.

"But they're light-grey," I said.

"Yeah, my old prep school uniform. She likes to make out I'm still only a little boy. Honestly, it's so undignified! For God's sake don't tell anyone at school!"

"I won't," I said, watching as James picked up the grey shorts.

"These bastards are what I wore in my last year at prep school. They're the newest of the lot and far too bloody short."

"I thought you liked your shorts to be very short," I said. "Freedom of movement and all that."

"Yeah but that's for sporty things. All I have to do in these is sit and stand and behave myself. I'll look like a kid of twelve!"

I wanted to ask him why he consented to wearing his old prep school uniform but from what I'd seen of his mother since she met us off the train I felt she wouldn't have her orders questioned.

I remained in my school uniform but James took off all his clothes and put on the tiny white underpants and then his prep school uniform. Finally he put on the black shoes he'd been wearing all day. He didn't look happy. His grey cord shorts weren't much longer than the PE shorts he'd worn in my room on Sunday evening but a lot tighter, thereby emphasising the delicious contours of his delightful bottom. My willy had responded to certain stimuli and was wondering if it would have to be permanently erect for days on end. Aside from pyjamas, the next time I saw James in long trousers was when we got ready to go back to school four days later.

He and I were in the drawing room at five to seven. His father joined us and offered me a glass of sherry. Naturally, I accepted and he poured three large glasses. I assumed one would be for James but it was for his mother, who entered the room in what looked to me like a ball gown, all long and shimmering. James wasn't offered anything to drink and he stood, fingering the hems of his little grey shorts, saying little and looking embarrassed. I could see all four of us in a huge mirror on the wall: two men in dark grey suits and ties, one elegantly dressed lady and one little boy in his prep school uniform. James's pale thighs were shining brightly. And they really were legs to die for, neither skinny nor chubby but just right: firm, free of blemish and entirely hair-free. I wondered what the hard boys would think if they saw this scene.

The housekeeper entered the room to say supper was served and we all walked sedately into the dining room. I quickly learned that in this house the evening meal was called supper, not dinner. The table could easily seat twelve. James's father sat at the head, his mother opposite him and we two boys together, halfway down the left side. James's mother fired questions at him about his achievements at school and he responded in monosyllables. His father asked me about my hobbies but as I had few of those there wasn't much I could say.

We grown-ups had wine to drink but the 'boy' was given just water. The housekeeper brought in the food and served it in order of precedence so James was last. I forget what the meal comprised other than it was meat and two veg and a stodgy pudding to follow. Then there were cheese and biscuits, something we had at home but never as a formal course at table. Sticks of celery came with the cheese, something I thought extremely sophisticated. Afterwards we returned to the drawing room and I thanked James's mother for a delicious meal. She looked bemused.

Once in the drawing room the housekeeper served coffee in tiny cups then excused herself with a 'Bye now, see you tomorrow.' I was shown to an armchair left of James's father's and James sat on my left, on a little occasional chair. His mother sat opposite him in another armchair.

"Legs crossed, James!" barked James's mother.

Was this some sort of parlour game we were about to play? Apparently not, because James crossed his right leg over his left and no more was said. I looked at him and he looked steadfastly at the carpet. I was wrong when I said his legs were blemish-free because the leg of his shorts had ridden so far up his right thigh that I could see part of the gash made by the brambles, now a narrow, pink scar. I couldn't help staring.

"James's legs are rather fine, aren't they, Jolyon?" said James's mother. "It's all the sport he does."

I felt myself blushing. I found myself saying "Yes, Mrs Ellis"

James's father was busying himself with his pipe. I saw James giving his mother not quite a sneer but a bit of a glare. Then, as if to corroborate what she'd just said he ran his hand slowly along the front of his right thigh to his knee and then back again. Did he have any idea how beguiling he looked?

Shortly afterwards he put down his coffee cup, stood up, tugged down on the hems of his shorts and said he was off to do the washing up. I immediately offered to help him but his mother told me it was his job and I was to stay to talk to Mr Ellis.

Mrs Ellis retired to her bedroom and Mr Ellis seemed to relax and invited me to chat about my family, my travels and my sporting interests.

"I expect you play squash, Jolyon."

"No, sir, I don't. I've never even watched it."

"Well, James has a game or two on Saturday so you and I can stand upstairs and watch him."

I didn't know what this meant so said nothing. He was kind and asked me about things I did know about, like cricket. Then he looked at his watch.

"Time for bed, I think. James might have gone up already so why don't you join him? Oh, by the way, Jolyon, you don't need to thank my wife for the meal. She didn't make it."

He led me into the hall, turning out lights as he went. He stopped at a framed photograph on the wall.

"This is James at the end of his time at prep school. He was fourteen. I'm very proud of him, you know."

I instantly recognised James. In a group of about twenty boys, he was seated in the front row, the only boy not in long trousers. In fact he didn't seem to have any trousers on at all.

James was sitting on his bed when I entered his bedroom. "Did you have a nice chat with my father?"

"Yes, he's very nice. He showed me a photo of you at the end of prep school. Why didn't you have any trousers on?"

"Most of the others had long trousers by then but I only had these, " he said, pointing at his cord shorts. "I got teased rotten."

"Poor you," I said. "I was in little grey shorts till I was almost fifteen so I know the feeling."

"I bet they weren't as short as these," he said, sitting on a chair.

"No, not quite," I said. "What did your mother mean when she said 'legs crossed'?"

James told me to look at him and he moved his legs apart. What I saw was his little white underpants poking out of his shorts, making a small bulge containing his private parts.

"Oh," I said.

"Yeah, these shorts are so bloody short I have to wear really tiny underpants or you'd be able to see them but if I sit with legs apart sometimes the whole lot pokes out, like this. So if I'm wearing the shortest shorts I have to remember to cross my legs."

He crossed his right thigh over his left knee.

"But now I can see that scratch made by the brambles last Sunday," I said.

"Oh hell," said James, "I hope it doesn't look like I've been caned again."

"I doubt it," I said. "Why do you wear the shortest shorts if they're so embarrassing? Don't you have any longer ones?"

"Yes but I wear what I'm told to. Clothes are put out for me and I have to wear 'em whether I like it or not. It's always been like this."

I could hardly believe what I was hearing but having met his mother, I knew James was telling the truth. I felt very sorry for him. Standing up, he gave me a sad little smile. His prep school uniform made him look not fifteen but twelve. He looked in all respects like a little boy, an extremely desirable little boy.

"Friday tomorrow," he said. "Let's go to bed."

The beds in James's bedroom were so close together I could have put out my arm and touched him without even stretching. But of course I didn't do anything of the sort. I didn't sleep well because I knew the half term holiday wasn't going to be very relaxing. I'd have James's company but everything he did seemed to be ordered by his parents, whether it be what he wore or what he did and with whom he did it. I assumed there would be formal meals every night and his father had said there'd be a visit to the squash club on Saturday. I hoped there'd be a chance for us boys to go off alone for a few hours.

James slept very peacefully but I kept waking up. I wondered if he'd be in his prep school uniform next day. I didn't have to wonder for long, because at eight o'clock there was a knock on the door and in came a young woman in a pinafore. She took James's school uniform and his prep school uniform, replacing them with a cream shirt, a dark green pullover and a different pair of grey corduroy shorts. It looked like a Wolf Cub's uniform.

For a boy approaching his sixteenth birthday it was demeaning enough to dress in prep school uniform but to be made to look like a Wolf Cub - that was going too far!

"Who was that woman?" I asked. "A second housekeeper?"

"No, she's LInda, she comes to do the washing and ironing. I'd better see which shorts she's brought." He picked up the shorts and held them up to me. "A tiny bit longer than last night's so with luck my balls shouldn't poke out."

"How many pairs have you got?"

"Dunno, about a dozen, all slightly different and not all are grey. The ones I wore last night are the shortest so are the trickiest to wear. Trouble is, they're the newest so I have to wear 'em most evenings. Mama won't let 'em go till I've worn them out. It could take years!" He rolled his eyes to heaven.

"Crikey! Don't you have any long trousers?"

"Yeah, the school uniform ones, of course but Linda's taken 'em away till we go back to school. And I've got a dinner suit but that's only for really posh things."

"No jeans?"

"Good Lord, no! Can you imagine my mother allowing me jeans? I do have some dungaree things for dirty work in the garden but they aren't allowed indoors."

"But don't you mind having to wear what you're told to?"

"Yeah, of course I mind but that's how it's always been. Have you got any jeans?"

"No, actually," I replied, "but I do have a few pairs of long trousers." I pointed at the wardrobe. "Do your clothes live in there, or somewhere else?"

"My shirts and socks and things live in there, and all my sports kit. My suits and all my cord shorts live in Linda's cupboard."

"So you do have other suits, then?"

"Yeah but apart from boarding school uniform the only one with long trousers is the dinner suit. There's even a tweed suit with shorts. It's really horrible , that one. "

"I think it's incredible , James!"

He looked at me, a sad expression on his lovely face. "Yeah, I know. And there's one dark grey suit I was given for my fourteenth birthday but it has shorts even briefer than these ones; they're beyond belief!"

He pointed at his grey corduroy shorts. I tried to think of something else but failed completely. Predictably, I was experiencing a massive hard-on.

"For God's sake keep it to yourself," he said, "the boys at school must never know ."

He glanced at front of my pyjama trousers then looked out of the window . Had he spotted my erection?

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