A Boy Named James,

by Jolyon Lewes

Chapter 11

October 1964

Saturday morning, and all day to ourselves. James's parents left before we'd even got out of bed and the housekeeper made us breakfast. Before that, however, Linda came up with our clothes for the day. Yes, our clothes - two pairs of James's grey corduroy prep school shorts.

"James said you'd both be in shorts today, Jolyon, so I've got some for you and some for him. Both exactly the same size so you won't have to fight over them."

She smiled at me kindly, as if it was the most natural thing in the world for a young man of eighteen and a half to want to dress as a boy of thirteen. She was about my age so what she thought of it I could only guess. I had an attack of nerves and my tummy turned a somersault but I thanked her and so did James. When she'd gone I took the shorts and laid them close together, hoping one pair would be slightly longer than the other but both were equally short, incredibly short. James produced two tiny pairs of briefs and passed one to me.

"You'd better wear these today. Don't want your underwear on display, do we?"

The knot in my tummy grew tighter and I wondered how I could get out of this arrangement. While I was faffing about James was getting dressed. I watched him pulling up his shorts and then I broke into a sweat. His shorts were very tight and so short they exposed the crease where his legs met his bottom!

"Christ, they're so short! " I said. "I can't wear anything like that!"

"Just put them on, Jols. You'll look fantastic."

So I got dressed, trembling with nerves. The shorts weren't tight on me. I looked in the full-length mirror. The legs of the shorts reached an inch down my thighs.

"See, like I said, you look fantastic," said James.

I was relaxing a little. "But the shorts are the same size and your bum's showing and mine isn't."

"Jols, my friend, have you never noticed the size of my bum?"

I couldn't think of anything to say. I'd looked at James's legs thousands of times, admiring their firmness and the marble-like smoothness of his skin but I'd never properly studied his bottom. Yes, it was a big one and a mystery was solved, the mystery of why whatever shorts he wore always looked so short. His shorts been shortened so drastically that his bottom was too big for them. I decided to pay more attention to it.

I went down with him for breakfast, to be told by the housekeeper how nice I looked. I didn't feel 'nice' - I felt very embarrassed to have my thighs almost entirely bare but I'd promised to do this for James. No, we didn't have dark green sweaters like Wolf Cubs, we just looked like a couple of ordinary thirteen-year-olds, albeit with deep voices.

We set out to catch the bus to Cambridge for one of the most extraordinary days of my life. There was something about looking like a boy of thirteen that made me want to act like one. When the bus arrived we hurtled up the stairs and took the front seat on the upper deck and laughed like excited schoolboys.

"Never been up here before!" said James. "Look at the view!"

The view outside was pretty impressive, as was the view of our two pairs of legs, side by side, entirely bare and almost touching . James's thighs were significantly broader than mine, despite our having the same waist size and he being two years younger. I suppose if you have a big bottom you'll also have big thighs. But his arms were slender and he was carrying very little fat. I supposed his build had much to do with all the sports he played and all that pumping iron in the gym. And he was an inch or two taller than me.

We alighted from the bus at Drummer Street bus station and strode off towards the market square shops.

I had a bit of a shock when I saw my bare legs reflected in a shop window so decided it would be easier on my nerves if I looked at James instead. His distinct tan-line was a good inch below the hems of his shorts. I didn't have a tan-line in those days.

There wasn't much of interest in the shops so we went down to the river and watched some boating going on. Some loudmouthed yob was trying to be too clever with his punting pole and we laughed when he fell in the water.

James asked me if I'd done any punting and I said I hadn't but quite enjoyed rowing a boat.

"Well, if the weather holds," said James, "we could hire a boat from Scudamores after lunch and you can impress me. Have you noticed hardly anyone else is in shorts?"

"No, hardly any. Have you noticed people looking at us? "

"Yeah but it's something I've had to get used to. At least nobody knows we're much older than we look and it's much easier when there's two of you. Let's go to Parker's Piece."

"What's that?"

"A nice big green area, like a park. We could walk round it and get an appetite for lunch."

You have probably noticed that James liked to call the shots, not just in Cambridge which he knew quite well but just about everywhere else, even in my study-bedroom at school. Perhaps it was his way of countering his home life, where he couldn't even choose the clothes he wore. Despite our age difference, it was my place to follow him and not the other way round. So I followed him to Parker's Piece.

Following James had one enormous benefit; it meant I had the best view in the world directly in front of me, a view made even better if he was in shorts, thrilling glimpses of bare bottom making regular appearances. And what a bottom! By the time we stepped onto the grass of Parker's Piece I was enjoying my first erection of the day.

We'd agreed to speak very little as our voices would give us away to strangers and we hoped to be regarded as boys of thirteen. We found a bench in a deserted area and sat for a chat.

"How does it feel, then, Jols?"

"You mean the shorts? Strangely liberating, to tell the truth. As you say, it's easier when there's two of you."

"You've got smashing legs, you shouldn't hide them away. But remember what I said about sitting with your legs apart? Look what I can see!"

I looked down and sure enough, out of the diminutive left leg of the grey shorts was poking a pink, wrinkled lump. It was one of my balls, as you'll have guessed. I swore and stood up and tried to make myself decent. The tiny white briefs weren't able to enclose my whole package so I'd have to be really careful while wearing those ridiculous little grey shorts. What would it be like if I got a hard-on? I sat down and crossed my right thigh over my left knee, in the manner James had to adopt when in the shortest of his shorts.

"That's better," said James, patting my right thigh. "The tighter the shorts the easier it is to stop things popping out but those shorts are a bit loose on you." He patted my thigh again and said "Look, the sun's coming out. Perfect for a bit of boating."

"What about some lunch?" I said.

"There's a snack bar on the way back to the river. It's called Cam Snax. Very popular with the students."

I can't remember what we ate there as I was concentrating on avoiding another indecent exposure and perched on a high stool I felt very vulnerable. I made a point of not looking at James's legs for fear of getting a hard-on. We got a few stares from other diners. Sitting a few feet away was a young man who looked like a student. His eyes were fixed on my legs and I felt myself blushing yet I felt strangely complimented when he got up to leave and let his hand brush my thigh as he passed, smiling at me as he did so.

James had been watching. "See, I'm always saying you've got smashing legs, Jols!"

We went to the river and hired a rowing boat for an hour. I sat on the thwart with the oars and James sat in the stern, facing me.

"You can be the cox, telling me where to go," I said.

"Yes, and I can tell you every time you expose yourself! Let's head downstream, towards King's and Clare."

Of course, it's quite tricky rowing a boat with your legs crossed as you need to brace both feet on the deck so I was expecting quite a few comments from James and I got them, interspersed within his commentary on the colleges we passed and the bridges we glided beneath. At one point James turned to look astern and I noticed his little grey shorts had ridden up far enough to bare at least three inches of his bottom. I hoped it wouldn't get a splinter from the rough wooden thwart he was sitting on. But on the other hand, if he asked me to remove said splinter from his buttock it wouldn't be a task I'd refuse.

My boatmanship was immaculate and we finished back at Scudamores in Mill Lane after an hour with the boat undamaged and our bottoms free of splinters. Our next thing was to walk where we'd just travelled by boat, through the grounds of the various riverside colleges and along The Backs. Once back in the city proper I fancied tea and buns in The Copper Kettle, opposite King's but quickly remembered how we were dressed and chickened out. The afternoon was getting on and we decided to catch a bus home before rush hour and the prospect of sharing our bus with lots of gawping passengers.

James's parents wouldn't be back till midnight so we boys had the evening to ourselves. Cold supper in the kitchen and a bit of TV. On the way to the bus station we passed an off-licence and I said I'd buy some beer.

"Not dressed like that you won't!" said James. "Save it for the train on Monday, when you'll be in long trousers."

We caught the bus and once again went upstairs. I climbed the steep staircase right behind James. Once again the legs of his shorts rode up to reveal nearly three inches of bare bottom, very close to my face. I thought of the teeth marks on his bottom after some rugby matches but managed to resist the temptation to give it a bite myself.

We stayed in our shorts when we got home and enjoyed cosy companionship, watching TV and chatting. We sat side by side at the kitchen table to eat the cold supper the housekeeper had left for us. When we'd finished it I felt James's hand on my bare thigh.

"Wanno do some groping practice?"

His hand ran slowly and softly towards my knee.

"It feels surprisingly nice," I said, "but that's because I know it's you."

"Yeah but when the hand starts to move up again I always wonder if it'll stop short of the shorts, if you see what I mean. Or if it'll go all the way and inside the hem. That's when alarm bells ring. Let me show you."

He moved his hand really slowly and I was getting the inevitable hard-on. It must have been fully thirty seconds before I saw his fingers reach the hem of the shorts he'd lent me, his fingertips now pressing gently on my inner thigh. He put his little finger inside the hem, wriggled it about and touched something.

"Oh, naughty Jols, you've got another hard-on!"

"Can't help it, can I have a go on you?"

"Be my guest but I bet you can't get inside my shorts."

I copied what he'd done, moving my hand first to his knee and then upwards, very slowly. My erection was now truly epic but I knew I mustn't ejaculate - I'd soil his clothes.

My little finger sought to enter his shorts but they were just too tight. I poked about with my thumb but no luck.

"See, I told you, the shorts are too tight. I wish the dark-grey ones were."

"The ones that are beyond belief?"

"Yeah, you could probably get your whole hand inside those bastards!"

I moved my hand onto the front of his shorts. "I see you've reacted to my touch - or are you thinking about those dark-grey shorts?"

"I hate them! But since you ask, I'm not totally immune to your charms, Jols."

Gosh - we were getting very close to talking about having sex!

"Shall we go upstairs and get into our pyjamas, Jols?"

What now - was he suggesting a bit of romping about in bed? I stood up and out of the leg of the shorts shot my white bundle of manhood.

James looked and giggled. "You look as though you need a short spell in the bathroom and I could do with one too but your need's greater than mine and we mustn't do it together. That would be too naughty for words."

James led the way upstairs. I'd been too polite to look pointedly at the considerable bulge in the front of his shorts but I did notice that his buttocks were being cupped even more tightly than before. I urgently needed that wank and for the first time, he would be my wank fodder. How could he not be?

"Take as long as you like," said a smiling James as he opened the bathroom door for me. "I won't peep."

You don't need to know the details of my delirious masturbation other than to note that I'd broken a taboo - now that I'd used the gorgeousness of his body and the gentleness of his fingers on my thigh as fuel for my lustful thoughts I knew I could do it again without feeling I was doing something dirty, sacrilegious even. After all, had he not specifically ordered me into the bathroom to spill seed in his honour?

When I went back into the bedroom, James was lying sweetly on his bed in his pyjamas. Whether he'd needed to have a wank I never knew.

"Sorry, Jols," he said. "I don't have sex with other boys and certainly not with girls, I just can't do it. Nothing against you, 'cos you're my best friend but after certain experiences at school, well, I just can't do it. I mean, handling other people's bits and so on."

"I'm the same," I said. "I get certain thoughts about people but it doesn't mean I want to climb into bed with them and suck them off, whatever that means."

"Me too," said James, "that boy Martin, the one with unbelievably short shorts, I wanted to coil myself around him and kiss him to death but I never even dared to try."

"I think you'd have a lot of competition," I said, "I know lots of boys who'd have liked to do more than kiss him. What were these experiences you had at school?"

"I'll tell you about them some day. In the meantime I say to anyone: don't touch what you can't afford."

Feeling put in my place I went to clean my teeth and when I returned ro the bedroom said "So, no more groping, then?"

"That's different, Jols, it's nice and sexy, at least it is when you're doing it, so long as we don't get too carried away."

On Sunday morning I wore my long cords and James wore his short cords, the ones he'd worn in Cambridge on Saturday. After breakfast we sat in the drawing room reading the Sunday papers but not for long because we boys had to go up to change into dark suits for church.

"There were greasy stains on your long trousers, James," said his mother. "So they'll be going to the cleaners and you'll wear your short trousers instead."

James looked devastated. "Oh, please, Mama, not them again, please, I beg you!"

"It will teach you to look after your clothes."

James looked at me in desperation but what could I say? I was about to get my first look at the shorts that were 'beyond belief' and the inevitable erection began to form.

In his bedroom James asked me how his long trousers could possibly have greasy stains and I suggested our washing up session at the Rashleighs on Friday evening.

"I suppose so," said James, "but sometimes I wonder if Linda says they've got to go to the cleaners just so's I'll have to wear the bloody little shorts. Oh and we'll go straight to The Plough from church so I'll be humiliated all bloody afternoon."

"Well, let's look at them," I said, as I changed into my school uniform. "I'm sure they're not really beyond belief."

James undressed to the miniscule briefs he wore with the very briefest of his of his grey shorts and picked up a clean shirt, showing me its tails had been removed.

"Or else the shirt would poke out the legs of the stupid shorts."

He lifted a charcoal-grey jacket off the chair and under it was a pair of matching shorts, with red braces attached.

"Those shorts don't look any shorter than the ones you've just taken off," I said, trying not to sound disappointed.

"Look, I'll be a few minutes because my mother insists on supervising so why don't you go downstairs and wait for me?"

I went downstairs and found James's father alone in the drawing room. He looked as though he was expecting me. He poured us each a sherry and sat facing me, smiling.

"James seems very happy in your company, Jolyon. He's much more outgoing these days. It's good of you to devote so much time to guiding him."

"Along the paths of righteousness, sir?" I asked

"Indeed, Jolyon but these things work both ways, you know. I hear he managed to get you wearing shorts yesterday."

I found myself blushing.

"I wish when I was your age I'd enjoyed the freedom of wearing shorts and letting the air get to my legs but what with the army, the war, then the time of austerity, by the time I was free to choose my clothes I was almost thirty so far too old to dress like you boys. My wife and I are so pleased James loves his shorts and the shorter they are the more he seems to like them. My wife says it keeps him looking young and I think it keeps him looking healthy. And there's something else I want to say, Jolyon."

I felt that tightening in my chest again. Was he going to ask me if I had a girlfriend?

"Your parents will be in Germany for at least another year but you'll be leaving school in eight months and no doubt preparing to go to university or some form of gainful employment. It's a big moment and I'd like you to think of this as your second home, a place to stay in times of uncertainty and indeed in times of great happiness when James is here too. You never know - he might entice you onto a tennis court! Ah, I can hear his mother in the hall, she'll have got him dressed properly for church."

I had time to thank Mr Ellis for his extremely kind offer before the door opened and in came a smiling Mrs Ellis and a very grumpy-looking, red-faced James. He hadn't been exaggerating - his shorts really were extraordinary but were they beyond belief?

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