Juggling the Pieces

by Pink Panther

Chapter 6

August 2010

We're on our way back to England. I can't get the events of the last two afternoons out of my head. I'm not beating myself up over it. It'd be different if I'd gone looking for it, but I didn't. It landed in my lap, and I don't regret it one bit. Anthony was right. As far as anyone at home is concerned, it never happened, and that's how it's going to stay. But let's be honest, it was pretty wild!

But there's something puzzling me. Seeing Anthony with Lucas reminded me that he likes to be a top, as he always was when he was with me. The thing is, he never gets the chance to do that with Jayden. Oh, I've seen them together, and experienced the chemistry between them. I like totally get that. But is it enough?

Jayden will leave school next summer, and I'm guessing he'll go away to university. Anthony will still have another two years at school, so how's that going to work? Of course, it really isn't my concern. Since we spent those few months together as would-be boyfriends, Anthony's moved on and so have I. But I can't help wondering.

It's half past three. We're almost home. I take out my phone and make a call.

"Hi Dad!" I say when he picks up. "We'll be back at Anthony's in ten minutes."

"Excellent!" he says warmly. "Would you like me to pick you up?"

"Yes please!"

"No problem! Are you okay?"

"Yeah; I'm good, thanks!"

"Great! I'll see you in thirty."

When we arrive at Anthony's, we unload our stuff from the taxi and take it inside. James puts on the kettle and makes a pot of tea. After another five-hour journey, we need it. A few minutes later, the doorbell rings. Anthony goes to answer it, returning with Dad in tow.

"Hi, Dad!" I greet, standing up so we can give each other a hug.

"Wow!" he says, holding me away from him. "You are looking well! You've picked up a great tan!"

To put it in perspective, it would pale into insignificance if I stood next to Scott, but for me, it is a good tan.

"Oh, these two have been working like Trojans," Tom says, smiling. "We had to make them take last weekend off. Otherwise, they wouldn't have had a break."

"Anthony introduced me to this guy called Miles who helped him last year," I add excitedly. "He was amazing!"

"Miles is a great guy," Tom adds. "He's an ex-pat artist, and he's superb at passing on the skills to youngsters like these two."

"Right!" Dad says, smiling at me. "Are you ready?"

"Yes, thanks!"

After loading my stuff into the car, we're on our way.

"You had a good time then?" Dad asks as we drive away.

"Oh, yes!" I enthuse. "It was so worth it! I'll show you when we get home. Anthony did his first oil painting. It's brilliant! We couldn't bring it back because the paint hasn't dried properly, so it's still in Justin's studio."

"Excellent! So, are you all set for Sunday?"

"Yes, I think so. Is Claire back yet?"

"Yes, she got back a couple of hours ago."

"Great! I'm going to need her there. So, what about you? How was Florence?"

"Oh, it was wonderful!" Dad says, grinning from ear to ear. "It was everything I hoped it would be. I almost felt like I was twenty-four again. Well, not quite, but you know what I mean."

"What about Mum?"

"Oh, she loved it; I knew she would."

"Everything's set fair for Sunday then?"

"I still can't predict how your mum will react. Don't worry about it. We've got this."

I relax into my seat, looking at him, almost lost in admiration. I'll still have to play my part, of course, but as long as I do, he'll see to it that Scott and I will be able to continue as boyfriends. He really is the best dad I could possibly have.

When we get back home, we take my stuff out of the car and carry it inside. Mum's in the kitchen.

"Welcome home!" she greets, beaming at me. "You are looking well! Did you have a good time, then?"

"Yes, thanks! It was fantastic! You're looking good too!"

"Oh, we had a wonderful holiday, didn't we?" she says, smiling at Dad. "I love Italy. It's so romantic!" She pauses for a moment. "From the texts you sent us, you seemed to be working very hard!"

"We worked every day, apart from the second weekend. We just chilled out in the evenings. It's such a great place. The light's amazing! I'm not surprised that several of the impressionists based themselves there. Anthony introduced me to this guy called Miles who helped him last year. He taught me a lot!"

"Let's see what you've been up to then!" Dad urges.

I open my folder. Dad starts going through my work.

"Hey!" he says, grinning. "I thought you struggled a bit with pastels? These are superb!"

"Miles showed me how to apply them properly; I mean, really showed me. Nobody's ever done that before."

"Oh, right!" He continues leafing through. "Watercolours too!" he remarks. "These have gone up a level as well!" He turns to Mum. "Look at this, darling!" he says, showing her one of my better efforts.

"Yes," Mum responds, smiling. "You've done very well!"

Her slightly blank expression gives her away. She just isn't into art the way that Dad and I are. I don't mind; she does her best.

I head up to my room and begin sorting out my stuff. There's a tap on the door.

"Come in!" I call.

Dad appears, still smiling.

"You know this support group you go to?" he says. "How does your mum get on with the lady who runs it?"

"Oh, from what I've seen, they get on really well!"

"That's what I thought. Do you have a contact number for her?"

"Yes, sure. What's the idea?"

"I was thinking that on Sunday, if you're mum's not happy with the idea of you having a boyfriend, I can suggest that we call her, just your mum and I, you know, to ask for her advice. What d'you think?"

"Yeah, I think that's a great idea. Mrs Goodwin's really nice!"

"Great! I want to call her beforehand, so that she knows the background."

"Cool! You're taking this very seriously!"

"My job here is to keep everybody happy," he says, looking me right in the eye. "You want to be with your boyfriend. I'm fine with that. From what I've seen, he's good for you. But I don't want your mum to think that she's been railroaded into accepting it. A little reassurance from Mrs Goodwin could help a lot."

"Thanks, Dad! That's brilliant!" I pause for a moment. "When you speak to her, please don't tell her that Scott's a professional footballer. After the last meeting, I told Robbie that I'd met someone. I said that he'd just done his A-levels, which he has, and that he was going to study with the Open University, because he wanted to give it a go as a full-time athlete."

"Yeah, that's no problem," he assures me. "Are you planning on seeing Scott this evening?"

"Yeah. I won't be able to stay for long though. They're playing the first match of the season tomorrow. He's supposed to be in bed by ten o'clock."

"Okay, can you give me Mrs Goodwin's number please?"

I write it down for him, and off he goes.

It's nearly eight o'clock when I get to Scott's place. Once again, he's dressed in his white running vest and silky white shorts. With him being so tanned, they suit him perfectly.

"Here you are at last!" he greets, welcoming me inside. "I've missed you so much! You're looking great! You've picked up a wonderful tan."

"I still look pale next to you," I counter, sitting down on the sofa.

"I wouldn't worry about it," he says affectionately, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. "Most people do. With your blue eyes and blond hair, you'd look really odd if you went as dark as I do."

I snuggle into him, basking in the warm glow that comes from knowing that you're valued.

"So, you had a good time, then?" he suggests, gently stroking my hair.

"Yeah, it was amazing! I got lots of work done."

"Are you going to show me at some point?"

"I thought I'd bring my folder with me tomorrow. We'll have more time then."

"Yeah; that'd be great!"

"Are you all set for your first match?" I ask, smiling up at him.

"As much as I'm going to be. This is always a nervy time. But training's been going great. The important thing tomorrow is to get the result. It'd be nice to put in a good performance, but it doesn't really matter too much as long as we win."

I give him my 'bedroom eyes' look.

"Come on then," he says, smiling. "So, when did you last have sex with Anthony?"

"About seven o'clock this morning. We sucked each other off."

"Horn dog!" he quips, grinning.

"It's hardly the same thing, is it?" I argue. "I mean, we agreed not to go all the way. So, now I want you to . . ."

"Don't say it," he instructs, cutting me off. "That's just the physical part. What we do goes much deeper than that. At least it does for me."

"It does for me too!"

"So we're not fucking, we're . . . ?"

"Making love?"

"Precisely! Now let's do it!"

Wow! I've waited almost three weeks for this! Everything I've been missing; it's all here! I'm right on the edge, my orgasm just seconds away. Right on cue, my balls churn into action, my teen-cum coating both Scott's stomach and mine. Within just a few seconds, he's there too, his hot, creamy spunk flooding into me.

Having carefully eased his way out, Scott rolls onto his back, bringing me over on top of him, our mouths meeting in a quite indescribable kiss. It's been the most exhilarating, fulfilling experience imaginable.

I don't even try to compare with what I got up to with Sacha. That was just sex. Trying to compare it with what I've just experienced with Scott makes about as much sense as comparing chalk with cheese. Oh, I like Sacha a lot, but we don't care about each other the way that Scott and I do. That's what makes the difference. After visiting the bathroom, we begin to get dressed.

"Come on," Scott says gently. "I'll drop you back."

It's Saturday afternoon. A year ago, I couldn't have cared less what the football results were. Right now, I'm struggling to think about anything else. I try doing some of the history reading that Mr Anderson gave us, but I can't concentrate.

Finally, at ten to four, I check the half-time scores. Reavington are leading one-nil. Okay, they're in front, but only just. I go back to trying to do other things, but I can't settle. At half past four, I bow to the inevitable and tune into the live scores.

There are around twenty minutes to go. The score is two-one, Scott having scored on 55 minutes, and the opposition having got a goal back just over ten minutes later. Reavington are back to having just a one-goal lead, and that could disappear in an instant.

The minutes drag slowly past. There's a brief report from the ground. The guy covering the match says that Reavington are well on top, but what does that mean? Then, with eight minutes remaining, they score again. It's a huge relief. Even I know that they ought to win from here. And win they do, the summariser saying that in the end, they looked comfortable. Scott's going to be a very happy bunny!

"I see Reavington won," Dad says quietly.

"Yeah, thanks!"

"Will you be seeing him this evening?"


"Tomorrow, I'm going to suggest that we invite him for lunch next Sunday, so that your mum and I can get to know him a bit better. Would you make sure that he'll be available?"

"Sure! I'll check with him."

I arrive at the flat at quarter to eight. I'm not sure why, maybe it's something to do with the way this afternoon went, but I'm even hornier than I usually am.

"So, who's a clever boy then?" I ask as Scott lets me in.

"It went very well," he says quietly. "We couldn't have asked for a better start."

"And you scored!"

"Added to an assist for the first goal, that was the icing on the cake," he says, smiling. "For the first half hour, it was a real battle. We knew it would be. But after that, we began to wear them down. We went two-nil up, and we were bossing the game comfortably, but we gave a silly goal away, which was annoying. Eventually, we got the third goal, but I'd been taken off by then."

"Cool! When I speak to Mum and Dad tomorrow, Dad's going to suggest that we invite you to come to lunch next Sunday, so that they can get to know you. Will that be okay?"

"Sure! It sounds a bit like stepping into the lions' den, but I'm sure I'll manage."

"It won't be that bad!" I say, grinning. "Just be yourself. It'll be fine!"

"I wish I could say the same about tomorrow," he says apprehensively. "I said Dad would go ballistic. That wasn't the right word, but he won't like it one bit. Dad's not very good at dealing with situations that he hasn't been able to plan for. Now he knows that footballers get injured, so a few years ago, when I was out for a while, he was fine. But this is different. Not only will it be a complete surprise, he knows that there's still a great deal of homophobia in football. He's going to think the worst. That's just how he is."

"What about your mum?"

"Oh, she'll be fine! She'll support me, no matter what. Okay, let's see what you've brought to show me."

I open up my art folder, and he starts to go through it. "Oh, this is amazing!" he enthuses. "I've seen some of your earlier stuff, but you've moved on a long way since then. Could I have a couple of these? I'd like to get them framed. I want to put one of them up here, and give the other to your mum and dad."

"Sure, but you don't need them right now, do you?"

"No, what's the problem?"

"I need to talk to Mr Gault. He may want to keep some of them for my A-level folder."

"I hadn't thought about that. Okay, when you go back to school, talk to Fat Man; see if he wants you to keep any of them. I can pick a couple of the others."

"Cool!" I move in close. "Can we go to the bedroom now?" I whisper.

"Are you horny again?" he quips, ruffling my hair.

"I'm always horny, especially when I'm with you!"

Taking out the old towel that I put into my art folder, I follow him to the bedroom.

"What have you got that for?" he asks.

"You'll see!" I say, grinning.

For twenty minutes or so, we do pretty much what we always do. We could finish like we usually do too. I'd be quite happy for Scott to make love to me like he usually does, except that right now, what I really want is for him to give me a bloody good seeing-to.

Now this is weird. Since Jimmy took my cherry with me lying face-down, I've shied away from doing it in that position. But right at this moment, that's exactly what I want.

With us both lubed-up and ready to go, instead of turning onto my back as I normally would, I put one of the pillows in the middle of the bed, spread the towel on top, and lie down, the pillow beneath my hips, my legs spread apart.

"Come on, Scott!" I urge. "You know what I want!"

"Are you sure?" he asks, sounding concerned.

"Totally!" I assure him.

A moment later, he's down on top of me, his cock probing at my anal ring. It spears into me, stinging, just as I expected it to.

"Ohhh!" I gasp. "Oh, yes! Do it!"

He does. It has an intensity all of its own, his heart thumping against my spine, his musky breath flooding my nostrils, his dick thrusting repeatedly over my prostate. Involuntarily, I turn my head to one side. Within a second, he's nuzzling my left ear. I want more.

"Do it harder!" I urge.

He does it harder, making my prick rub backwards and forwards against the towel. Holy shit! This is amazing! The end result is much the same as it was when Jimmy fucked me like this, just five times more explosive. Almost before I know it, my balls churn into action. My cum spurts over and over onto the towel, my sphincter muscle going into spasm around Scott's thrusting cock. In an instant, he's pumping his teen spunk into me like it's never going to stop. Oh fuck!

After a few seconds, he carefully pulls out. Pushing myself up on my left elbow, I look up at him. He's disappointed; I can see it in his eyes. Doing it like that just wasn't him.

"Didn't you enjoy it?" I ask.

"Oh, yes!" he says. "It was fantastic sex! It's just that . . . I like to express the way I feel about you, and I just couldn't."

"Sorry!" I say, smiling. "Just occasionally, I really need some of that."

"If you need it," he whispers, "I'm happy to do it for you. Any reason why you felt like that tonight?"

"I'm not sure. This afternoon, when I was trying to follow the football, I got really tense. I think that may have had something to do with it."

"Don't worry!" he says, smiling again. "You'll get used to it."

I get off the bed and head to the bathroom. My arse is sore. I can't remember the last time that happened. I guess I really ought to be careful what I ask for.

Finally, it's Sunday lunchtime. We sit down to eat. I have Mum on my left, Claire on my right, Dad sitting opposite me.

"Right, Ian," Dad says. "I believe you have something to tell us."

I take a deep breath. "Yes," I say firmly. "I've got a boyfriend."

"Really, Ian!" Mum says dismissively. "You're far too young to think about having a boyfriend."

"That's strange," Claire intervenes. "I've had a boyfriend on and off since I was fourteen."

"That was different!" Mum asserts.

"Can you explain that?" Claire persists. "Are you sure that it's not just because Ian's gay? It's more that eighteen months since he told you. All you've done since is to attend a few meetings of the parents' support group, and you only did that because we pushed you into it. After the last one, you told me that they've really helped you to understand, but I'm not sure they have. When it comes to the crunch, you still don't want to deal with it. I think it's about time you woke up and smelt the coffee!"

"Ian is my responsibility, not yours," Mum retorts.

"Actually," Dad says quietly, turning to Mum. "He's our responsibility, yours and mine, and I'm with Claire on this one. One of the positives of working away from home is that when I come back, I notice things that I wouldn't if I was here all the time. Just after Easter, I noticed that when I came back from work, Ian was always in a good mood, he'd got a spring in his step, and a sort of self-confidence that I hadn't seen before. On top of that, he was totally focused on preparing for his exams. Nobody needed to tell him; he just got on with it. Surely, those are all things that any responsible parent would want to see. And I was pretty sure I knew the reason, so one weekend, I asked him straight out. He confirmed my suspicions that he'd met someone special."

"So why didn't you tell me?" Mum demands.

"This was just before he and Claire were about to begin their exams. It wasn't the time. It was my suggestion that we should deal with it now."

"So who is he, anyway?" Mum questions, turning to me.

"His name's Scott," I say evenly. "Claire probably knows him better than I do. They were in the same form at school. After his GCSEs, he left to become a professional footballer."

"Well, that's not much of a recommendation!" Mum responds. "Surely he should have finished his education?"

"He's been doing his A-levels at college," I explain. "He's just waiting for his results. He's planning to start an Open University degree in October."

"He came here once, when I was going out with David," Claire adds. "Scott and David have been best friends for as long as I've known them. At the time, you said what a nice, polite young man he was."

I glance at Mum, who's looking increasingly uncomfortable.

"Ian," Dad asks gently. "Would you like to tell us how you and Scott met?"

"Well, I met him a few times while he was still at school, because we were both in the choir, so I knew who he was. Then during the February half-term, he turned up here. I thought he'd come looking for Claire, but he hadn't. He'd just bought a flat near the town centre, but it needed a complete refurb. He wanted to know if I'd design it for him. Things just developed from there."

"Right!" Dad says. "I'm now going to make a couple of suggestions. First, I think we should invite Scott to come for lunch next Sunday so that Mum and I can get to know him. I know that you've spoken very highly of him, Claire, but I think that's a judgement that Mum and I need to make for ourselves."

"Oh, definitely!" Claire responds, smiling. "Not a problem!"

"Second," he says gently, turning to Mum. "I know you've told me about Beth, the lady who runs the parents' support group. I suggest that after we've finished eating, you and I should give her a call, and see what she advises. Okay?"

"Yes," she concedes, having nowhere else to go. "We can do that."

I am completely made up. Claire did what I knew she'd do, but Dad was brilliant! He couldn't have done it better! I owe him, like, big time! My only concern now is how Scott's got on.

The arrangement is that Scott will call me as soon as his parents leave. Meanwhile, I have to wait. I'm pottering around in my bedroom when there's a tap in the door. It's Dad.

"Hi!" he says brightly. "Your mum and I chatted with Mrs Goodwin. She was very supportive, said we were doing the right things and told Mum what a sensible lad you are and to stop worrying, so it was all good. Afterwards, I told your mum what had made me suspect that you'd met someone special."

"You told her what you told me, you know, about when you felt like that?"

"Absolutely! She laughed and called me an old flatterer, so I guess I must have done something right."

"Thanks for doing this for me, Dad," I say, trying not to start crying. "I, like, totally owe you one."

"Well, I didn't do it just for you," he says gently. "I did it for all of us. There are times when people need to be pushed into doing something that they'd rather put off, and this was one of them. And as for owing me one, you know how to pay me back."

"Work hard at school, keep up my running and don't do anything stupid."

"Yeah, that about covers it." He pauses for a moment. "I'd prefer it if you didn't say anything, but when Scott comes next week, I will be asking him some fairly tough questions. It won't be hostile, but I do need to know how well he's thought this through, and if he knows how much he's expecting of you. As well as that, I don't want your mum saying that I gave him an easy ride. D'you understand?"

"Yes, Dad. Thanks!"

"Right!" he announces. "It's time I wasn't here. Your mum's going to drop me at the station. Be good, won't you?"

"Of course!" I say, as we give each other a hug.

With lunch over, Scott directs his parents, Linda and Geoff, to sit on the sofa, while he takes the armchair.

"That was wonderful!" Linda enthuses. "I couldn't have done better myself."

"Well, I had a good teacher, didn't I?" Scott responds, beaming at his mum.

"You really seem to have settled in here," Linda continues.

"So, what was it you wanted to talk to us about?" Geoff asks.

Scott takes a deep breath. "I need to tell you that I'm gay," he says evenly. "I've known since I was fourteen, but I never mentioned it because I hadn't actually done anything about it. Well, now I've met someone."

"Well, I can't claim to have seen it coming," Linda says. "But it's not exactly a surprise."

Geoff looks at her as though she's just grown a second head.

"You realise that if this gets into the public domain," he says, turning back to Scott, "you can kiss goodbye to everything you've worked for?"

"I don't see why it would get out," Scott counters. "I'm telling you in confidence."

"You're not going to tell people at the club then?"

"No, I don't see any reason to. When I'm at the club, I'm one of the lads, but I don't really socialise with them. Nobody expects me to. Why d'you think I didn't buy a flat closer to the club? What you have to remember is that most of the guys in the first team squad are married with kids, so when they're not playing, or training, or being daddy, they socialise with each other. There are only two that are 'young, free and single'. Femi's Nigerian and mainly hangs out with people from his own community. Devon's into hip-hop music, and spends most of his free time doing that. It's just not an issue."

"So why are you telling us now?" Geoff enquires, still clearly unhappy.

"At some point, Ian and I will want to live together," Scott tells him. "If I waited till then, you'd want to know why I hadn't trusted you enough to tell you sooner. And the current situation's bad for Ian. If he's coming here, he wants to be able to tell his parents where he's going."

"What made you decide you were gay?" Geoff demands.

"I didn't decide I was gay," Scott corrects. "When I was about twelve or thirteen, I started to realise that I was attracted to other boys. It scared me. I was paranoid that someone would find out. I tried to tell myself that I'd grow out of it, but I didn't. I even went out with girls a few times. It didn't work; nothing did. I still never did anything though."

"But why are you gay?" Geoff insists. "There has to be a reason."

"I don't know," Scott says quietly. "I don't think there's a simple explanation. I think there are probably several factors involved, but I can't say what they are. What I do know is that I didn't get a choice."

"So how old is Ian?" Linda enquires, sounding concerned.

"He's sixteen. He's just done his GCSEs. Don't worry; it's all perfectly legal."

"So is he anyone we know?" Linda probes

"Probably some gold-digger," Geoff says sourly.

"Geoff, that's a terrible thing to say," Linda reprimands, "especially when we've never even met the lad." She turns back to Scott. "How did you meet him?"

"Well, I met him a few times at school, because he was in the choir. His sister Claire was in my form. She used to go out with David. He brought her around to the house a few times."

"Oh, I remember Claire," Linda says, smiling. "She seemed really nice!"

"Well, a few years ago," Scott continues, "she had her bedroom refurbished. Ian designed it for her. So when I saw the state that this place was in, I asked him if he'd like to design the refurb for me. He said yes." He looks pointedly at his dad. "And just so you know, I didn't pay him a penny for doing it."

"I thought Bill Gardner did the work here?" Geoff queries.

"Oh, he did the work, but it was Ian's design. Bill had to tweak it a bit because we needed to put some more power points in, but that was it."

"Did you know Ian was gay?" Linda asks, getting back to the subject.

"Yes," Scott explains. "A few years ago, he had some trouble with a kid in his form called Stanford, a very unpleasant character. One lunchtime, David and I were walking across the playground when we saw Stanford and another kid hassling him. Stanford was calling him names like 'gay boy' and bum-boy' and threatening to hit him. Anyway, David and I put a stop to it. When we got back to class, we told Claire about it. Well, she got her mates organised and the next day, at morning break, they went looking for Stanford to see what he was up to. They caught him doing it again. He got into a pile of trouble!"

"I'm surprised that you've gone for someone who can't stand up for himself," Geoff comments.

"When Stanford was bullying, he always had another kid with him. Both of them were bigger than Ian. And having been through that experience, Ian seems to have become a great deal tougher. He's in the cross-country team. He's not all that good, but David reckons he always gives his absolute best."

"Is he into football?"

"He wasn't, but he's learning!"

"How can he support you if he doesn't understand the game?"

"What he does understand is what it takes to be the best you can be at what you do, because he's the same way. He's the only guy I've ever met who thinks about that the same way I do. He wants to be an architect. The fact that we do completely different things seems to make it easier for us to support each other."

"Well, I think you're making a big mistake," Geoff snaps. "But it's your life. You'll have to live with the consequences."

It's quarter to three when Scott calls.

"Mum and Dad have just left," he says. "Be at the end of your road in ten minutes. I'll pick you up."

"Sure!" I tell him. "See you then!"

After ending the call, I put on my trainers. Having stashed my phone and my keys, I make my way downstairs. With Mum and Dad already on their way to the station, and Claire having gone to Damian's, I let myself out, locking the door behind me. I stroll to the end of the road. A few minutes later, Scott's Mini draws up alongside me. I get into the front passenger seat. Scott swings the car around and we're on our way.

"Well, how did it go?" I ask.

He gives me a quick rundown. It wasn't a total disaster, but he clearly got a much rougher ride than I did.

"What about you?" he concludes.

"I'm so lucky. Mum tried to dismiss the idea of me having a boyfriend, but Dad and Claire ganged up on her."

"Ouch!" he says, giving me another grin. "I wouldn't want Claire and anyone ganging up on me! I remember when she decided to sort out that arsehole Stanford. She got all her mates organised, and she had me and David on standby, just in case. He never stood a chance!"

I grin back, signalling that I know exactly what he means. I don't mention the 'reminder' incident. I'm not sure if Scott knows about that, and if he doesn't, it's probably better to leave it that way.

"So, you're invited to lunch next Sunday," I say, smiling. "Meanwhile, we carry on as we were. The only difference is that if I'm going to be with you, I'll be able to tell them."

"I expect your mum will want to give me the third degree," he suggests, still grinning.

"Actually, I expect Dad will ask most of the questions," I tell him, taking care not to give anything away. "I mean, it's not like I'm going out with one of my classmates. There are things they'll want to ask."

"Yes, sure," he says, still sounding relaxed.

We arrive at the flat. Scott parks the car and we stroll inside.

"Actually, I was wondering," he says casually. "The following Sunday, why don't we invite both sets of parents to come here, so that they can meet each other? If you like, we could invite Claire and Damian as a bit of moral support."

"Cool!" I agree. "That sounds a great idea! It'll have to be lunchtime though. Dad's working in Germany at the moment. He'll have to leave about three."

"That'll work! Will you be able to come over in the morning to help me prepare the food?"

"Sure," I say, somewhat taken aback. "Won't you be buying it all in?"

"Oh, I'll buy in some of it, but I'd like us to do most of it ourselves."


"Mum and Dad have just been here for lunch," he points out. "What d'you think I fed them on?"

"I don't know," I admit. "I never thought about it."

"I did a full Sunday lunch," he says, smiling. "It's what Mum would have done if I'd gone there, so that was what I gave them. I started cooking when I was ten. I wanted to learn, and Mum was more than happy to teach me. That was why I wanted a really nice kitchen."

"Oh, right!" I say, feeling a bit stupid. When I was designing the place, it was one of the things he emphasised. Well, he didn't get the granite worktops he asked for, but everything else is superb. I'd never thought about why he wanted it.

"Can't you cook, then?" he asks.

"I can do simple things. And I've cooked dinner for myself and mum when we've been going to these parents' group meetings. She leaves me a list of instructions, and I just do what it says. It was okay!"

"Well, that's a start! I think everyone should learn to cook before they leave home."

"Sure! Are you going to teach me then?"

"Yeah, as time allows. The important thing is practice. That's how you learn."

In the bedroom, we revert to what we usually do. It's fantastic! In fact, it's so amazing, I can't begin to describe it. This is real love-making, a unique combination of the intensely physical and the wonderfully affectionate. When I say unique, I mean unique to Scott. I haven't met anyone else who comes close to achieving what he does.

And unlike yesterday, it's working for both of us. Scott's making love to me in exactly the way he chooses to, and I'm lapping it up. The only downside is that it doesn't last a bit longer. When you're both close to your sexual peak and totally into each other, I guess that's what happens. It was still fantastic.

In the aftermath, Scott's glowing like he could light up the entire room. I'm just lying on his bed, basking in the realisation that he's my boyfriend. I am the luckiest guy on the planet.

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