A Boy Named James,

by Jolyon Lewes

Chapter 12

October 1964 (continued)

I could hardly believe what I was seeing. Obviously, I was looking at James's dark-grey suit instead of trying to imagine it so it was real and not beyond belief but it still took about a minute to take it all in. The material was of wool, woven in a herringbone pattern and looked a little like tweed but not quite as coarse. The jacket, fastened at the front by three buttons, was slightly waisted, by which I mean it was cinched in at the waist and at the back was a sort of pretend belt, about six inches long and made of the same material. I'd seen something similar in Germany, on boys of about ten in their Sunday best.

Below the jacket could be seen no more than about two inches of the shorts, the very broad legs of which left James's sumptuous thighs entirely bare. Unlike his prep school shorts, which hugged his contours very closely, these shorts were quite baggy, so there was plenty of room for any mischievous youngster to insert his hand.

It was when I managed a side view that I saw the rear hems of the shorts stopped just above the crease where bottom meets leg. Yes, these shorts were not beyond belief but extraordinary on a boy of sixteen, a boy of supreme beauty and with whom I was hopelessly in love. My willy responded in the only way it knows.

For those of you who like details, I should add that James was wearing gunmetal grey knee socks and shiny black brogue shoes.

At first I thought James was red-faced, probably with anger at having to dress like a ten-year-old but once I'd managed to drag my eyes above his waist I saw he was in fact red-eyed. The poor boy had been crying. This was confirmed by what his mother said next.

"James was being such a baby upstairs, Jolyon but just look at him. Doesn't he look lovely?"

"Yes, Mrs Ellis," I said, blushing, "he looks very elegant." James darted me a look of pure venom.

"Why so grumpy, James?" said his father. "I've just told Jolyon you like your shorts to be extremely short."

"Well, these are far too short and they itch like crazy. It's just too embarrassing for words!"

"If you'd taken more care of your other suit," said Mrs Ellis, "you'd have been able to wear it today but the trousers have to go to the cleaners."

I wondered how the shorts could 'itch like crazy' when there was so little material to do the itching. Nonetheless, I felt very sorry for James and thankfully, my hard-on began to subside.

Mr Ellis addressed his son. "You might like to wash your face before we go to church, James. We're leaving in five minutes. And we won't need overcoats today."

James went to wash the tear stains from his lovely cheeks and I realised from the last remark of his father's that the poor boy was even told whether or not he was permitted to wear an overcoat. I had no doubt he'd be desperate to hide those tiny shorts inside a long raincoat or something. As if in support of Mr Ellis the sun came out to make it a most pleasant morning for late October. James wouldn't need a rug to protect his bare legs from a cold car seat.

On the way to the car James came close to me and muttered "Why on earth did you say I looked very elegant?"

"Had to think of something - I could hardly say you look lovely, could I?"

"Well, please sit next to me in church - and no naughty thoughts, Jols, not in the House of God."

Sitting beside James in the car, I found it impossible not to have naughty thoughts. How could I possibly sustain an hour in church, just inches from such magnificent, bare thighs, without gorging on their beauty?

There was more ignominy waiting for James at the church. He spotted a car parked by the lych-gate.

"Oh hell, that's the Rashleigh's Bentley!" he said, his face reddening.

"Oh good," said Mrs Ellis, "I expect they'll invite us to sit with them."

I knew what James was thinking. Piers, the Rashleigh Runt, would have a field day teasing James about his shorts. And to make things even worse, once we were out of the car James was told to take off his jacket so that his mother could give his braces an extra tighten. James winced and went up on tiptoe as the shorts forced themselves hard into his crotch. Once his jacket was on again I could see the shorts were higher than before, making his prominent tan-line over two inches below the hems and at the rear, the area of bare bottom had grown significantly in size. James looked utterly miserable and I wanted to give him a big hug.

Sure enough, Sarah and Piers Rashleigh were with their parents and we had to sit with them in the front pew. Piers was chortling with pleasure as he made to sit beside James but I gave him my best withering look and pushed him aside, so that I could sit next to James. Sarah had chosen to sit on James's other side. We were of necessity crammed close together so my clothed left thigh was in contact with James's right thigh, which was bare to the top and even beyond.

The parents were seated either side of us young ones so we had to behave. To avoid inadvertent indecent exposure James sat with legs crossed and each time we stood he pulled down on the hems of his shorts but it was in vain because the braces held the shorts as high as they could go. He kept scratching inside the hems, presumably because the material was so itchy. To distract me from the sight of James's bare legs I looked to my right, at Piers's legs. He was, of course, in long trousers but I could make out that he had quite shapely thighs. If he wasn't such an obnoxious little runt he could have been quite attractive.

I looked at Sarah. She still had blonde hairs on her upper lip. She kept patting James's thighs and I could tell he didn't like it. When the service was over, we filed out, the vicar speaking briefly to each member of the congregation but spending longer with the richest ones.

Piers nudged me and said "Now I know for certain you're James's boyfriend. You couldn't take your eyes of those lovely legs of his. Have you tried getting your fingers in his shorts? It's easy as pie but he hates it!"

I gave Piers another withering look and before I could say anything I could hear the vicar speaking to James.

"Well, James, it's very nice to see you again. What form are you in at school now?"

James looked down and muttered something inaudible but his mother came to his rescue, saying in her piercing voice "James is in the Sixth Form now, vicar, he's sixteen. "

There were gasps from other people, gasps of disbelief. James blushed very redly and Piers chortled very loudly.

"Gracious," I could hear one woman saying, "I wouldn't put him over thirteen."

"Eleven, more like," said another, "My Paul's eleven and he'd look very nice in a suit like that."

James couldn't fail to hear all this and as soon as he could he ran off and stood hiding behind the car. I caught up with him and we waited while his parents chatted to the senior Rashleighs.

"See what I mean?" said James, close to tears. "It's like this every time I have to wear this bloody suit."

"I think you're coping very well, " I said. "I'd be a whimpering mess. But I've seen suits like yours in Germany and the boys don't seem to mind." I thought it best not to say that the boys in question were only about ten.

"But this is England, Jols and boys my age just aren't dressed like this. Can't wait for tomorrow, and going back to school."

"Something I've been meaning to ask: Sixth Formers are allowed dark-grey suits like mine so why are you still in light-grey?"

"Simple, Jols, the light-grey ones have lots of life left in 'em and still fit me, worse luck."

"So you can't win?" I said. "I really feel for you."

"I'd rather have you feeling for me than that little bastard Piers. Thanks for not letting him sit beside me."

"It was the least I could do."

"Oh well, that ordeal's over till Christmas. Now I've just got to cope with lunch at the pub. Please make sure you sit beside me again but no feeling for me under the table, right?"

"Oh James, there are times when I want to give you a big hug!"

"It's not the time or place for that," he said, with a little chuckle. Then he looked me in the eyes and smiled. "But later, maybe, in my bedroom."

Lunch at The Plough was substantial but not much to write home about, it being 1964, when people in England still liked their vegetables boiled for hours and pudding to be nothing more exotic than sherry trifle. James inevitably attracted some curious looks from other diners and at least one of the waiters but once sat at the table, beside me and with the table cloth draped over his lap to keep his bare thighs out of sight, he cheered up and displayed his usual healthy appetite, consuming all his food and the pint of shandy he was bought.

After the meal was over James nipped to the loo. His parents said they'd like it if I came to them for the next half term holiday, which would be in February, just after my nineteenth birthday. I thanked them very much. James rejoined us and did what he often did - he hooked his fingers inside the hems of his shorts to tug them down at the rear. It made little difference other than to draw attention to the extreme brevity of his shorts. However hard he tugged, you could still see a bit of bare bottom but not as much as when we'd walked into church. I suspected he'd loosened his braces while in the loo. I had another urge to give him a hug.

Back at home he and I took off our suits and donned corduroy (longs for me, shorts for James) and sweaters. It was still British Summer Time so was light enough for a stroll in the garden. We were told to be in at five, for tea.

"I'll show you the summer house," said James. At the far end of the garden, with a commanding view of both tennis courts, was a wooden structure in the form of a tiny chalet, with a veranda at the front on which was a teak bench. We sat down beside each other

"So what d'you think of that bloody suit?" said James.

"It's pretty well beyond belief," I said, "and it looked painful when your mother tightened the braces. I assume in the pub you loosened them a bit."

"Yeah, I do that whenever I get the chance because the pain between my legs can be awful. I don't suppose my mother even thinks about it. Was my bum showing?"

"Yes, a bit." There seemed no point in telling him at times in church I could see three inches of beautiful, pale bottom. "I think we should call it your Continental suit, to avoid confusion with your nice long-trousered one."

"Good idea, Jols. Now I want to forget about it till next time. It's nice here, isn't it? And even better when there's tennis to watch."

"You play tennis with Sarah, don't you?"

"I've done it for years. She seems to be getting bigger and bigger. She likes horses, too."

"Didn't you mind her patting your legs in church?"

"Course I did but what could I do? She's only a bit older than me but like my family, she treats me as if I was a little kid. And she's quite hairy, too, on her arms and legs."

"I'm glad you're not hairy," I said, another hard-on swiftly forming. "And I won't treat you as the baby of the family."

"So why did you say outside the church you wanted to give me a hug?"

"Because I felt sorry for you and because..."

"Because what?"

"Because you're my best friend." I'd so nearly said it was because I loved him.

"That's nice," said James. "Shall we have a look inside?" He took a key from his pocket and unlocked the summer house door.

It was a bit musty inside but pleasant enough.

"Wanna give me that hug, Jols? Nobody can see us."

"Oh - um - yes, OK. I need to be in the right frame of mind. Can I have that grope I didn't manage to have at The Plough?"

James sat on a wooden bench and patted a space to his left so I sat where he was indicating.

"Is my left leg good enough for you?"

"You bet it is!" said I, with glee.

My right hand had hardly touched his left thigh before my willy became ramrod-hard. After my hand had slid all the way up his thigh I was certainly in the right frame of mind so I turned to him and put both arms around him and squeezed. Instinctively we both stood up and facing each other began a mutual hug, our cheeks touching. It was wonderful.

"I can feel how happy you are," said James, "or is that an iron bar in your trousers?"

I pulled away, saying "Sorry, that's disgusting. You weren't meant to feel my bloody willy!"

"It's OK, I'm just as bad. Look."

I looked down and saw James's tiny shorts straining to confine his considerable bulge. I was somewhat relieved to see it.

"I don't know what it is about you, Jols but every time you grope me I get a hard-on."

"It's because we're best friends," I said, rather lamely.

"Or it could be something else," said James, enigmatically. "Look, it's nearly five. We mustn't be late for tea. And no yearning looks in front of my parents!"

When it was time for bed James and I sat on our beds in our pyjamas, facing each other and knees touching.

"Look, Jols," he said, looking not at me but at the bedclothes. "That business in the summer house, it was fun but I don't do sex so we mustn't get too, um, tactile. I had far too much of that before I met you. You don't mind, do you?"

"No, I don't mind. You're too precious to me for a silly burst of adolescent fumbling to ruin everything."

"Am I really precious to you? Nobody's ever said that to me before."

"More precious than I can say," I said, with feeling. "So let's not ruin things."

"Now you're looking sad, Jols. Can we carry on being friends and having the occasional grope but no kissing or anything?"

"That's fine by me," I said. "Now let's go to sleep."

Needless to say, I didn't go to sleep for ages. I pondered on the moments when James had shown emotion, like when he'd been in tears when made to wear his Continental suit, when he'd engaged in the mutual hug just as enthusiastically as me and when he'd hinted that our fondness for each other was due to more than just being best friends. I loved James, would it be too much for him to love me in return?

In the dark, he'd turned towards me in his sleep so his lovely face was only a foot from mine. He was breathing steadily. Was he dreaming, and if so was it about me?

On Monday we took the train back to school. James was so glad to be back in long trousers again, especially as the day was decidedly chilly. I bought some beers on the journey and a few cans for us to enjoy in my room at school.

The rest of the year progressed. We continued to meet in my room and for occasional bike rides and tried to behave in public as if we were just mates. In private we were less restrained but apart from the inevitable grope when he was in shorts we didn't repeat the hugging and there was certainly no kissing. I wanted to find out what had happened to James before we'd met that had put him so firmly off having sex of any kind. And I'd like to have know whether he'd ever been intimate with Sarah or any other girl.

Having for over a year regarded James as a sort of deity I didn't want to sully our friendship by making uninvited advances but one thing had changed - I no longer felt guilty if I thought about him when having a wank. After all, following our day in Cambridge he'd virtually ordered me to go to the bathroom and pleasure myself thinking about him. So, every night, I settled into a nice session of James-think, which usually ended with a hearty spilling of seed onto a usefully positioned towel.

Sometimes I thought of his beautiful body and sweet face, sometimes of the funny, enigmatic things he said and sometimes the old Schadenfreude reared its hideous head and I thought of all the embarrassments he suffered thanks to his indecently brief shorts. I wondered what it was like for James to have boys like Piers poking their hands inside his Continental shorts. Or to have old men groping his thighs under the dining table. It was extremely flattering to know that if I was doing the groping, instead of feeling repulsed he got a hard-on. So he must have had tender feelings for me that he couldn't yet articulate.

Christmas holidays came, giving me three weeks in Germany, where they do Christmas very well. but I couldn't wait to get back to school and to the wonderful, utterly scrumptious James.

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