by Jolyon Lewes

Chapter 1

My parents were wealthy and we lived in a beautiful house on the North Downs, near Guildford. We were a happy family and my little sister and I had almost all we could possibly want. Despite these advantages, I was quite a shy boy and didn't make friends easily. I went to a boys-only prep school just out of town and by the time I was thirteen, I was one of the oldest and tallest boys in the school. Our school uniform included grey, corduroy shorts that the school demanded be cut very short indeed. My sexual awareness was developing quickly and I was increasingly troubled by the bareness of my thighs, especially when wearing my school uniform in public. I noticed people casting their eyes with obvious interest below my waist and long-trousered boys from other schools were always teasing me about my bare legs. The daily journey to and from school, punctuated with wolf-whistles and rude comments, became the bane of my life.

Luckily, relief was at hand. In September 1990, a month before my fourteenth birthday, I started as a boarder at an independent boys' school in Wiltshire and at last graduated to wearing grey suits with long trousers. I didn't mind boarding, because gone were the daily bus rides and all the associated humiliation. I was a bit homesick at first but got over it and eventually made a few friends.

Unfortunately, I hadn't seen the last of short trousers. My parents had bought me for my thirteenth birthday a new suit for special occasions, like smart dinners or visits to the concert hall. This suit was light grey and made of fine cloth, a mix of ordinary wool and cashmere. It was very comfortable to wear. There was only one problem: it had short trousers. Admittedly, the legs were twice as long as those on my prep school cords but I was growing quickly and by my fourteenth birthday the new shorts couldn't reach even a quarter of the way down my thighs so after I'd left prep school, having to wear what I called my concert suit seemed very much a retrograde step.

What made it worse was that my sister, two years my younger, was allowed to wear skirts that went to her knees, so sitting in the taxi on the way to some posh event or other, her upper legs were covered but mine were almost entirely bare. To make matters worse, we'd arrive at our destination and boys much younger than me would be in long trousers. How they sniggered at me!

The problem didn't arise at my new school, because I wore long trousers, nor at home, where I wore jeans or chinos or whatever other teenage boys wore but several times that winter we visited the theatre and even in cold weather I had to wear the concert suit. While my sister was in tights and knee-length skirts, I presented what seemed like a yard or so of bare leg and spent the evening tingling with embarrassment.

The publishing firm owned by my father was doing very well and my parents developed a taste for even more concert-going, including visits to London and events that lasted for two or three days. I was to be included in the party for a long weekend at Glyndebourne in the early summer of 1991. I was quite musical - I'd reached Grade 4 on the piano while still at prep school - and was looking forward to it, but for the fact that I'd have to wear my concert suit for three whole days.

All my requests to wear my school uniform were turned down so it was with great foreboding that I travelled down to Lewes in Sussex on the Friday. Once at Glyndebourne I was gratified to see a few boys of prep school age in short trousers but for the evening performances they looked like miniature versions of their fathers and wore dinner suits, with long trousers. It's very snobbish, is Glyndebourne. Lacking black tie, I was obliged to wear my concert suit each evening, making me highly conspicuous as the only boy in the entire theatre with bare legs.

Assuming that when I grew out of this suit I'd be given one with long trousers, I'd been trying to eat lots of food to get fat and outgrow the wretched suit more quickly. That didn't work, as I remained sylph-like, as I still am today, at thirty-something. Instead, I was growing taller and my shorts seemed ever shorter. How people stared at me that June weekend in Glyndebourne! How I wanted to go away and hide! My mother insisted on introducing me to her friends and I was tongue-tied and tingling all over with self-consciousness, especially when introduced to other children but I knew better than to make a scene: that wouldn't help at all.

We saw The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute but although I'm sure they were first class performances I did not enjoy the experience because I felt so conspicuous and it was a great relief to get home again and into sensible clothes once more.

In the summer holidays I no longer stood out from other boys. We spent the time in the South of France, at our place in Juan-les-Pins and it was fun. Like most other teenagers, I was in shorts or swimming gear most of the day and shirt and chinos in the evenings, so there was no need to feel the embarrassment I'd suffered at places like Glyndebourne. However, there was embarrassment, and for once it had little to do with what I was wearing.

During that month in France, it dawned on me that I wasn't interested in girls. Don't get me wrong - I wasn't crazed with lust about boys , it's just that I found myself looking more at boys than at girls. Some of those French boys, in stripy T-shirts and tiny shorts, looked very appetising indeed. I loved the way their legs were brown right to the top and wondered if they sunbathed nude. I admired their easy manner and their obvious self-assurance; they looked perfectly happy, whatever their age, in those extraordinary little shorts.

It now seemed stupid that at Glyndebourne I'd worried so much about my little grey shorts. Yet I knew I'd never feel comfortable dressed like the French boys and I bought some long, floppy bathing trunks that came almost to my knees, a bit like Bermudas. I hated to admit it to myself but there was another good reason for this purchase. Watching these French boys was giving me frequent erections, always at the wrong time, and I hoped my new trunks would hide my state of arousal better than my Speedos did. To some extent they succeeded, thereby saving me from too much embarrassment.

I met a shy-looking and very attractive French boy who bucked the trend and wore long chinos on even the hottest of days. Dark-haired Frederic was shorter than me but looked about my age and I got to know him because my father knew his parents. They owned a huge yacht, Mistral , which spent most of its time in the marina at Antibes and they entertained us on board for dinner a couple of times. That was when I discovered that although Frederic wore long trousers by day, he changed every evening into a suit with short trousers!

The suit was charcoal-grey with shorts as brief as my prep school cords, making Frederic's thighs almost entirely bare! It was a surprise to learn he was fifteen, exactly a year older than me. His voice had broken but his clear complexion and pale, hairless legs were those of a boy yet to face the ravages of adolescence. When he was looking elsewhere, I studied his face. He had a sweet little way of knitting his brow as if in deep concentration even when he was just standing around sipping a drink. After dinner one evening his father asked him to play the grand piano in the saloon of Mistral . Frederic was a superb pianist and, perched cutely on the piano stool, brow tightly knitted, he looked utterly divine. He hardly acknowledged me but I guessed he was either too aloof to mix with a mere English boy or, just possibly, embarrassed about his bare legs. From that night, unwittingly, he inspired many of my most glorious wet dreams.

By the end of the holiday I'd yielded absolutely to my inclinations and was wanking every night over Frederic or some other French boy whose appearance I'd found particularly delightful or whose manner was especially beguiling. Back in England, nicely suntanned, I tried to persuade myself these feelings were just a passing phase that would vaporise in the autumn mists. I didn't feel any differently towards my friends, which was a relief but I did find myself eyeing some of the other boys and the wanking sessions continued, now with English boys joining the objects of my lust. It seemed that the holiday fling was developing into a permanent state of affairs. I was gay.

I told nobody, of course, and carried on at home just as I always had, with the obvious exception of what I thought about in bed. There was something else different: my voice had broken. I assumed that this, coupled with my new interest in boys and insatiable appetite for wanking over the nicest of them, was a sure sign that I was becoming a man and it was disconcerting, to say the least.

My fifteenth birthday came and went and there were more concerts to which I had to wear the dreaded concert suit, despite my fervent complaints that I was far too old for short trousers and that my legs got cold. I lived in fear of being spotted by my school friends. I was still growing taller and the shorts had become very tight and very, very short. At last, at Christmas, my mother gave way and hinted at a new concert suit for the summer. Until then, to my immense relief, I'd be permitted to wear one of my long-trousered school suits for concerts.

Frederic's family's Christmas card had no robins or crib scene on the front but a colour photograph of his extended family. Prominent among the formally dressed adults and children was Frederic, the only boy in the picture with bare legs. He was perched sweetly on the arm of a chair beside his mother, who looked positively regal. Looking characteristically shy, Frederic wore a mid-grey suit with scandalously brief short trousers. His dark knee-socks emphasised the bareness of his long, pale thighs. He'd be sixteen now! I couldn't help but study that picture closely every time I passed it and it generated ample fuel – both physical and mental - for some really juicy Yuletide wanks. After Twelfth Night the card found its way into my bedside locker; I could now study Frederic in the privacy of my bed. He was beautiful! I couldn't wait to meet him again, in the flesh.

In February came news that we'd been invited for a short cruise in Mistral at Easter. The prospect of seeing Frederic again so soon excited me greatly and the Christmas card was consulted more earnestly than ever. Even better was the news that I was to be given a dinner suit and shiny, patent leather shoes to go with it. I saw myself on the yacht, sipping a Martini – whatever that might be - carnation in my buttonhole, looking every bit the young James Bond, with bare-legged Frederic looking on, admiringly. The very thought provoked a massive erection.

The Easter holidays arrived and we set off for France. We flew to Nice and Dad grumbled about the extra he'd had to pay for all our extra baggage, which had to include formal clothing for evenings in Mistral . We spent a few days relaxing in Juan-les-Pins, with me in my long swimming trunks by day. I'd dispensed with Speedos for good.

Then we travelled the short distance to Antibes to board Mistral . It was huge! I was in blazer and chinos and immensely excited about seeing Frederic again but there was a rather large fly in the ointment, which I will shortly describe. It being daytime, Frederic was also in chinos and he greeted me politely but without enthusiasm. He still looked dreadfully shy and had grown only a little taller; in fact I now towered over him by four inches. Deckhands were bringing the luggage on board and Frederic showed me coldly to my cabin, or stateroom. It had a huge double bed and its own bathroom. I was vastly impressed. Then Frederic beckoned me next door, into his stateroom. I saw a large TV and a shelf of videos. Also there, on a chair, was the mid-grey suit he'd worn in the Christmas card photo. I knew it well enough to recognise it anywhere!

" My father suggested we might watch some movies in here," he said, in his perfect English, waving his hand elegantly towards the TV.

My heart jumped. Was there a hint of mischief in his look or was it wishful thinking on my part? Probably the latter, for as I looked around his sumptuous stateroom he must have seen my eyes fixing on his suit lying on its chair and, casting his eyes down and knitting his brow, he showed me quickly to the door. It was clear that our conversation was over before it had begun.

Back in my stateroom, I saw a tiny glass of sherry on the desk and a printed programme for the cruise. We'd be leaving Antibes in the morning and on this first evening there'd be a cocktail party, followed by dinner. 'Oh good,' I thought, sipping the sherry and feeling very grown up. 'Frederic will see me in in my fine dinner suit. Oh, but I suppose he's got one too.' I felt a momentary disappointment that I might not see his beautiful bare legs. Then I remembered I'd seen in his stateroom the suit from the Christmas card and my cock instantly went erect.

The programme stated that for the following two nights we'd take 'informal dinner at sea' but on the fourth night there'd be a 'black tie banquet' on board Mistral in Monte Carlo. I could see we wouldn't starve and I looked forward to gracing the assembled company each evening with my black-clad presence, my wit and repartee resplendent and at my side a doting Frederic, his smooth, pale thighs glistening alluringly. Or was I fooling myself?

When I came down after tea to bathe and change, a young steward was preparing my clothes for the evening. He wore a short, heavily starched white tunic and black, skin-tight, extremely hairy trousers which emphasised every delicious contour of his thighs. The trousers could only just accommodate his prominent buttocks and cut deeply into the cleft between them. The rough material clung so closely it even followed the dimples each side of his bottom. He can't have been much older than me – seventeen at most. If Frederic didn't want to be my friend maybe the steward would like to be. Oh, he had such a sweet face! When I tore my gaze from his ravishing body I realised with thudding chest that he was brushing not my dinner suit but my old concert suit! How did that ridiculous thing get here?

And here is the fat bluebottle in the ointment. What I hadn't bargained for was that my dinner suit was to be reserved for the last night and I'd be compelled to wear the concert suit for the first three nights. There was no option. Giving me a winsome smile, the steward departed and I took a shower. I dressed nervously, first putting on the high-sided briefs the steward had laid out in place of the boxers I wore under my chinos. The boxers were considerably longer than the grey shorts so he'd correctly judged that I couldn't wear those! I put on the linen shirt and then, gritting my teeth, the shorts, which were now really tight – but not as tight as the steward's trousers. It was nerve-racking and I nearly had a fit when I looked in the mirror and saw my tan-line, nearly six inches below the hems of the shorts. However, having no alternative and not being the sort to sulk, I put on the ankle socks, then the black brogues, tied my tie, put on my jacket and went next door, hoping against hope that Frederic would not be in long trousers.

And he wasn't! He was in his Christmas card suit! The shorts finished only just below his crotch and without prompting, my cock responded enthusiastically. Frederic looked absolutely stunning but seemed shyer than ever. Then he saw what I was wearing; his eyes brightened and I saw for the first time a sweet little smile.

" Ah, Richard," he said, looking me up and down. "We could be like brothers. Let us go up to join the party." It was the first time he'd used my Christian name.

Whereas my voice hadn't yet quite decided whether it wanted to be deep, medium or high, Frederic's was a well-modulated, light tenor. I loved it, just as I loved the thought of us being like brothers. He led me to the steep companionway which climbed to the sundeck, where the cocktail party was to take place. Aware as ever of my frighteningly short trousers, I took comfort from Frederic's company and hoped I wouldn't be too conspicuous.

As he started up the steps I noticed that his jacket was cinched in by a sort of belt in the same mid-grey cloth, reaching across his back at waist level and finishing before it got round to his sides. It was plainly ornamental but it meant his jacket splayed out slightly over his bottom, as if designed to draw attention to that delightful part of his anatomy. Frederic was now almost vertically above me and I looked up. His trousers were not only shorter than mine but much wider in the leg and I realised I was looking up at the graceful curves of his bare bottom. There was no sign of underwear so his briefs must have been even tinier than mine. I resisted an urge to reach up and touch his buttocks.

About thirty guests came to the cocktail party, some English, some French and all were adults. Frederic assisted his parents to greet the guests and to introduce them to my parents. I hung around with my sister, all of thirteen and of course in a long dress. I hadn't worn the concert suit for months and the shorts felt tighter than ever. I was painfully aware of my self-consciousness kicking in as I saw people looking at me and taking in my long, bare legs. Frederic wore knee-socks so it was only his thighs that were bare. I wanted to stay close to him but he was doing his duty and mingling with the guests, despite his obvious shyness. For me, it was like being at Glyndebourne again: I felt the object of everyone's gaze and got tongue-tied whenever anyone spoke to me.

At last the party was over and after the last guest had stumbled down the gangway we went into the saloon, thankful for its air-conditioning after the sultry air out on deck. Even the grown-ups looked relieved. We two families were now served a delicious dinner and I had my first glass of wine of the evening. Even better, I was able to sit next to Frederic and actually get him talking, only a little, as I politely asked him to explain what part the various guests played in the social whirl of Antibes. I had to resist the temptation to let my bare knee touch his.

After dinner my sister went to bed and I wanted to follow, keen for the privacy of my stateroom and to shed that wretched concert suit. I hoped Frederic would take the lead and indeed he did but it was to invite me out on deck. It was nearly midnight and the sky was dark but a dazzling sight was presented by the lights of the town and from the myriad boats of all sizes. We leaned on the stern rail, looking in companionable silence at the harbour. The temperature had plunged and a chilly breeze was blowing. As my eyes adjusted to the conditions, I began to spot people walking about on the waterfront and on the jetties and pontoons between the vast array of boats. Laughter carried across the water and everyone seemed to be having fun. Some were doing it quietly and I saw loving couples schmoozing their way along, seemingly oblivious to other pedestrians.

" Look!" whispered Frederic. He pointed down to the jetty twenty metres or so from Mistral . Two young men were walking slowly along, locked in embrace. They were scruffily-dressed, in jeans and sweaters. They stopped just below us and embarked on even deeper intimacy. I saw hands sliding inside the back of jeans, mouth in contact with mouth, groin pressed against groin. Frederic and I watched in silence and I felt the breeze chilling my legs. After about five minutes, the boys separated and moved off again, hand in hand. Frederic must have moved imperceptibly closer to me for I became aware with a tingle that our bodies were touching.

" It's funny, is it not?" said Frederic. "Our parents are so rich compared to those boys and yet they give us nothing to wear on our legs." As I murmured my agreement I caught the scent of his cologne.

It was quite cold now and I felt Frederic shivering. He moved away and I looked to see him rubbing each thigh in turn, vigorously.

" We should go in now," he said. I could see his point. I followed him indoors and we said goodnight to our parents. Then he led the way down the companionway. If he'd looked up, hoping to see my bare bottom, he'd have been disappointed, my shorts - unlike his - being far too tight to give him a view inside them.

Outside my door, he gently pulled me to face him. "I like you, Richard." Then he went up on tiptoe and gave me a sweet little kiss on my cheek. A second later it was over and he stood looking at me with shining eyes. I was frozen to the spot. Had he really kissed me? I was speechless and confused. Before I could properly register what had happened he cast his eyes down, whispered ' Bonne nuit' and vanished into his stateroom. I went into mine and tore off the concert suit, taking care not to bash my very rigid cock. Suddenly, I knew this was going to be a cruise to remember, for most of the right reasons.

It won't surprise you to read that I had a restless night, fantasising about Frederic, just as I'd done at home so many times. And now he was only in the next-door room! He was even more beautiful than I'd remembered and, being quite a bit shorter than me and still blessed with the complexion of a baby, he seemed younger than me, not one year older. Having taken precautions to protect the luxurious bed linen, I had a glorious wank in Frederic's honour before falling into a dream-filled sleep.

I was awoken by the pretty young steward, who came in at eight with a little pot of coffee and a glass of orange juice. I thought the hand gently jogging my shoulder was Frederic's but of course I was still half-dreaming and Frederic wouldn't address me as ' Monsieur ,' would he?

The steward said we'd be leaving port in thirty minutes. Would I like to watch? I was sitting up in bed now, with an erection that stiffened further when I looked at Serge, for that was the steward's name. How on earth did he get in and out of those tight and horribly hairy trousers? There wasn't a bit of slack anywhere – not even in his crotch. Where did his balls fit and what happened when he had a hard-on? He leaned across me to reach the light switch and as his hip brushed against the back of my hand I thought my skin was about to be rasped off! How could he wear such material next to his skin? I felt sorry for Serge and that made my cock even harder. It was quite a relief when he left my stateroom. Self control, Richard!

I chose a pair of loose-fitting chinos, partly to match what I assumed Frederic would be wearing and partly to accommodate the inevitable erections I was sure to experience during the day, what with Frederic and Serge being around. I went up on deck and prepared to spend the day having my senses delighted at almost every turn.

Frederic was indeed in chinos, and long-sleeved shirt and whenever out on deck, a wide-brimmed Tilley hat. It was obvious the Mediterranean sun didn't suit his skin. But it seemed that I didn't suit him either. Instead of the shy charm he'd shown me the night before, he seemed cold and aloof, not catching my eye and speaking only when good manners so dictated. What had I done? At lunch we sat far apart but I often caught him looking in my direction. He had his head down and was looking at me through his eyelashes but if he saw me looking he'd quickly look away and I could swear he blushed, every time. His brow spent a lot of time furrowed.

The day progressed. Frederic's father showed me round the bridge and indicated on the charts where we were heading. My parents lazed on the sundeck and my sister lapped up the sun in her swimsuit. For long periods of time there was no sign of Frederic. I presumed he was down in his stateroom, maybe watching videos. He didn't even emerge to watch us anchoring for the night off San Remo. Racking my brain to work out what I'd done to annoy him, I lay uneasily on my bed before bathing and changing for dinner.

Serge had pressed my concert suit and came in to drape it on the chair. It can't have taken him long to iron what little there was of my shorts. I knew I'd have to wear them again but at least tonight there'd be no strangers, just my family and Frederic's. Serge kept smiling at me and I smiled back. If Frederic wasn't going to be my friend perhaps I could have Serge. I was sure he liked me but I knew it wasn't done to fraternise with servants. Never mind, I could dream.

For an informal dinner at sea, the evening was surprisingly formal. I guessed that was how Frederic's family lived, even at home, in Paris. The yacht's captain joined us so it was eight of us round the table, to be impeccably served a meal of great distinction. Well, that's how my parents described it – at fifteen my palate wasn't sophisticated enough to judge. In any case, my concentration was directed, as subtly as possible, towards Frederic, once again in his mid-grey suit. He'd hardly spoken to me but I tried to smile whenever he looked in my direction, which was very often. He didn't invite me out on deck after dinner but said he had a headache and quietly excused himself to go to his stateroom.

Instead, it was my father who asked me to join him outside. "Let's take a look at San Remo by night, Richard!"

It was warmer than the night before and we stood watching the dancing lights in the harbour but we were too far from shore to see any people.

" I bet you're looking forward to wearing your DJ on Friday, in Monte Carlo," he said, stating the obvious.

" I certainly am, Dad. You know how I hate this concert suit. It's so embarrassing!"

" Your mother's keen for you to fit in, Richard. When in Rome and all that. She wants you to dress like Frederic. It's a mark of respect to your host."

I muttered something in reply but he ignored me.

" You see, we're keen that you get on with Frederic. I've got a big business deal coming off with his father – our companies might merge, you know - and it would look good if our sons and heirs get on well. Could you try to make a bit more effort?"

How could I tell him I was driving myself insane with lust for Frederic? I said nothing but in bed that night I decided that here was a paternal request that I'd be most happy to comply with – if Frederic would let me.

Next morning I awoke early and lay in bed, awaiting Serge's wake-up call and thinking hard. How could I get close to Frederic? I needed to show him I liked him. Ah - sympathy - that was it! I hatched a plan. Oh, do hurry, Serge!

When Serge came in I asked him, in my best French, if he'd kindly convey my greetings to Frederic and ask whether his headache had gone. At this, Serge looked at me pityingly. Was my French that bad? He must have thought it was I who had the headache for he came and put his cool hand gently on my forehead. To reach me he had to put a knee on my bed and I saw the bristles on his trousers, like fierce little thorns sticking out of the material. What must that stuff feel like next to your skin? And why did all the other stewards have trousers of thin, smooth material?

I wanted to repeat my request to Serge but it was so good just lying there, feeling his fingers on my forehead, that I just moaned softly, which seemed to make him even more keen to soothe my brow. When he at last stood up and walked around my bed to pour me some juice I could swear an erection was trying to force a bulge in those fearsomely tight trousers. I wanted to get up but dared not, because my own erection was almost out of control. So I stayed in bed and Serge smiled and left my stateroom. I wondered if he fancied me as much as I fancied him!

Two minutes later there was a gentle knock on my door and in walked Frederic, dressed for the day in shirt and chinos.

" Richard – Serge tells me you are sick. May I be of assistance?" His English was perfect.

The look of compassion on his beautiful face, his brow knitted in concern, would have melted the heart of a barbarian. I reached out of bed to meet his outstretched right hand and clasped it, instinctively drawing it to my face as if to kiss his fingers. Then my left hand joined my right and held his hand just over my chest. He still looked concerned.

" I'm sorry, Frederic," I said. "I think Serge misunderstood me. I meant him to ask if your headache had gone."

" And you worry about me as you lie sick?" interjected Frederic. "My headache was nothing. It was an excuse, nothing more. But what about you? Where is the pain?"

" No pain," I said, "it's you I was worried about. I am perfectly well!" I was still clasping his hand.

" But I am also perfectly well!" Frederic smiled for the first time. "I thought you didn't like me and I was sad."

"Why wouldn't I like you?" I asked, suddenly desperate to tell Frederic that 'like' was far too weak a word to describe my feelings for him.

"Well, the first night, when we said goodnight, you looked shocked when I gave you a little kiss."

My heart was pounding. "And you thought I should kiss you back? And I didn't. And is that why you wouldn't speak to me yesterday?"

Frederic looked down at the floor. "I thought you despised me for it," he said, sadly.

" Oh, Frederic, no - I wasn't shocked, just surprised. When you said we could be like brothers I was really happy!"

" Oh, you English, you're so cold!" said Frederic, giving a sardonic little smile. "Time you got out of bed!"

He pulled both my arms and dragged me out of bed and bang went all my British reserve as I found myself standing with poking out of my pyjama trousers the biggest, stonkiest hard-on you can imagine.

" Ah, I believe you are thinking about Serge! He is very pretty, is he not?"

' You're not kidding!' I thought – but in my panic said something like "Oh God, I'm sorry!" as I sought my dressing gown. Frederic laughed good-naturedly at my pathetic attempts to cover up.

At that moment our problems began to resolve. I knew Frederic wasn't ill and he knew I wasn't ill. It was true that I hadn't been quite ready for the Gallic kiss but I knew I'd like more of that sort of thing if it was on offer. Frederic for once looked relaxed and said he was happy that we could be friends again. I privately blessed Serge for unwittingly engineering our rapprochement , as Frederic called it, before leaving me alone to shower and dress. I found myself singing in the shower – something I rarely did. I was so looking forward to spending time with Frederic, not as mere fellow travellers but as friends.

At breakfast, what a contrast from the day before! My father nodded approvingly as he watched Frederic and me in animated conversation over our fruit, yogurt and croissants. We were all on deck as Mistral weighed anchor and proceeded. Then Frederic asked me if I'd like to see the engine room. Heavens, I'd have accepted an offer to scrub out the bilges if it meant spending time in close company with him! There was no part of the yacht I didn't want to see.

We needed to wear protective clothing in the machinery spaces, apparently, so Frederic asked Serge to get us each some overalls and so clad, we descended into the engine room, which was immaculately clean. It housed two diesel engines, quietly thrumming away as they propelled Mistral at about fifteen knots on a southerly course. The value of wearing overalls became clear once we started to inspect hotter and dirtier parts of the yacht, like the cable locker, the place that housed the massive, grease-coated, iron anchor cables. Frederic knew every nook and cranny of the ship and explained what everything was for, flashing me the occasional smile and making me tingle every time our hands made glancing contact.

When our tour was over he led me to his stateroom and offered me a cool drink from his fridge. We took off our overalls and that was when I realised why I'd been so hot. Unlike Frederic, I'd worn my clothes under the overalls whereas he'd worn nothing but a tiny pair of briefs that left his buttocks almost entirely bare! No wonder I hadn't seen any underwear when on the first night I'd peeped up his shorts.

Frederic reclined on his bed and his beautiful, pale body looked utterly irresistible as he sipped his Orangina. Was he inviting me to touch him? I wanted to leap onto his bed and caress his lovely face, his arms, his legs, his bottom…. But I held my ground, not daring to make a fool of myself. How I managed to control my hard-on I'll never know.

" Ah, Richard," he said, looking at his watch. "We must go up on deck. Soon we have a ride on the launch. And then we'll return for dinner. After all that is done, shall we watch a video here?"

At two o'clock Mistral anchored off Corsica and we all went for a ride on the launch to investigate the north coast of the island. It wasn't any old ride, of course. All the grown-ups were dressed smartly and we boys were in chinos. Serge served drinks. The temperature soared. The launch dropped anchor in a quiet bay and we were served a lobster salad with chilled white wine. Frederic spent his time under the canopy erected by Serge to keep the sun off his delicate skin and I sat beside him, chatting. It was like a scene from a Merchant-Ivory film.

Frederic and I couldn't have a deep conversation because the others could hear us so we talked about sports, schools, music, etc but not about ourselves. I was itching to get him to myself and I was sure the feeling was mutual. Oh, how I wanted the time to fly until I could be in his stateroom watching a video. Then Frederic's father said he was sure everyone wanted to get back to the comfort of Mistral . The two seamen, immaculate in white shirt and shorts, made the launch ready to weigh anchor and started the engine. Serge brought round freshly-made coffee. He was perspiring in the heat and his white tunic was limp and damp. Once, when he had to squeeze past me, his trousers brushed my face and the material not only harshly scratched my cheek but felt incredibly hot. What must his poor legs feel like, imprisoned all day in that stuff?

An hour later I was back in my stateroom and the ubiquitous Serge, in a crisp, freshly-starched tunic, was laying out my evening clothes. He winked at me as he pulled little bits of fluff off my tiny grey shorts. I felt myself blushing. In one more night, thankfully, I'd be in my dinner jacket and long trousers.

The evening went well. There were no strangers and I could cope in my grey shorts so long as Frederic was there as well, in shorts considerably more revealing than mine. He was persuaded to play the piano and I watched and listened in rapture, confident that tonight I'd be returning the goodnight kiss. At close of play it was raining so nobody went out on deck but instead to bed. Frederic indicated that we should go down but as I was following him out of the saloon my father called me back.

Dad lit another cigar and we sat alone, and I thought I was going to get a lecture about something. Surely he hadn't noticed the way I'd been gazing at Frederic?

" It grieves me to say this, Richard," he began, sending shafts of fear through my body, "but we'll be leaving Mistral in a couple of days. It's been fun, hasn't it?"

I nodded, wondering what was coming next. "Well, we'll obviously have to invite Frederic's family over for a return match and I thought Glyndebourne, in August. Now, it's most important to me that you're hitting it off with Frederic. I can see you're making a big effort and I'm most grateful. If you two genuinely like each other it will make life so much easier."

"Oh, yes, Dad, we're getting on really well," I said, adding quickly "thanks to his perfect English."

A few minutes later I knocked on Frederic's door. "Oh," he said, brow tightly knitted. "I thought you might have cold feet, again. Come in."

A Eurythmics CD was playing. He'd taken his jacket off and I saw for the first time that he wore braces, which probably explained why his shorts rode so high, stopping just below his crotch. As if reading my mind, he pulled the braces off his shoulders and his shorts dropped a couple of inches.

" It's late now," said Frederic, "but you can look at my videos and choose one we can watch tomorrow. It will rain so you will not wish to be on deck. Much nicer here." His shorts were slipping further down so he grabbed the waistband and tugged them right up again before sitting on his bed to remove his shoes and socks. Then he lay back on his bed with his hands behind his head.

I tried to concentrate on his shelves of videos but my desire was to join him on his bed.

"Have you been to Venice, Richard?"

" No," I said, looking at Frederic. He drew his knees up, which gave me a glimpse of his bare bottom and I felt my cock expanding again. "No, I've never been to Venice."

" Well, there's a movie called Death in Venice and I think you might like it. It's about a pretty boy and the man who falls in love with him."

I felt myself blushing. "But why would I want to see a film like that?"

" Because I have seen the way you look at Serge and I think you want him to seduce you. We could watch the movie together and pretend that Serge is the man in the story. You would like that, would you not?"

I didn't know where to put myself. I hadn't realised I'd been looking at Serge like that but Frederic must have noticed. How embarrassing! But then – how could I say I liked Serge but had been totally infatuated with Frederic for almost a year? I just stood there, opening and closing my mouth like a goldfish.

Well, I can see you're thinking about him now! " said Frederic, his brow crinkling.

Instinctively I looked down and saw the growing bulge in my stupid little shorts. I felt myself blushing. "P-poor Serge has nothing to do with this," I stammered. "But I've seen you looking at me ."

" Of course I do! Why shouldn't I? You are moderately good-looking - for an Englishman." He snorted with laughter.

As I approached his bed he drew his knees up higher, as if in self-defence. His dark eyes followed mine. I stopped beside him and very tentatively put a hand on his right knee. It was the first time I'd deliberately touched any part of him, except for his hands. I rocked his knee from side to side, looking down into his glittering eyes.

It was a moment of pure magic; Frederic's knee felt warm and solid but I could rock it to and fro without any resistance. Consciously or not, he was submitting to me. With my free hand I tried to press flat the tent in my shorts but it wasn't going to work and it made Frederic giggle.

" You can't hide your feelings, you know! Look, Richard, if we have to dress like little boys we may speak like little boys. Do you like me more than Serge?"

I felt the tears welling in my eyes as I replied "I only met Serge two days ago but you, Frederic, I have thought about for nine months , night and day!"

"Come here!" He grabbed my hand and pulled me down on top of him.

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