by Rafael Henry

Chapter 41

A heart to heart

We're two weeks into my summer holiday, well earned I might add. Otta is more or less a free agent, with his farm income derived from his deserved inheritance from Granny Amelia, an enterprise which takes up a minimal amount of his time. The fund raising is often an evening task, and as he has just two institutions to worry about, raising funds for them, he has sufficient time to devote to Wulff's home schooling, and now it's the summer break for all the kids, it seems unreasonable to make the boy do tons of school work when the others are out playing on the beach. The music Wulff does work on, and when Roger, with our blessing, suggests he might try out for the part of Miles in the Broadstairs Operatic and Drama Society's [BODS for short] forthcoming production of The Turning of the Screw, like us, he's thrilled. He has a half decent voice, some way from breaking according to Roger. How he knows that it anyone's guess. He is however, showing certain signs of his body and system maturing; slightly. I'm in no hurry to see that happen.

Roger says we can use Point House, which is not his main residence thankfully, anytime we want to. He seems to specialize in huts, thinking back to the glory days. He's at work in the town mainly half days with BODS, and some evenings with the current production of Peter Pan, not something either Otta or I are very interested in. The auditions for the part of Miles is coming up shortly, so Otta is working on Wulff to get him up to some sort of standard, singing wise. Miles doesn't actually sing much in the opera, it's a sort of hybrid between singing and speaking, so it's more about voice training and projection. A moderate degree of acting too is required, but with Wulff's personality, that will come naturally. He's a talented boy, confirmed by the reports we get from the regular RADA courses he attends in Canterbury.

I can get my aging Merc within a hundred yards of Point Cottage, the rest we have to walk the rough path towards the sea and sand carrying supplies with us. I had always hankered after the three-pointed star on the Merc bonnet, and finally I have it, a lovely old 280 SE convertible, 1972 vintage. With the top down and parked in the school carpark, there's always a couple of motor car mad kids having a peek at it, thinking they wouldn't say no to a ride in it.

'Cor, nice car Sir!' The boys go, smiling broadly.

'Oh thanks Freddie.' I reply to the ginger haired freckly twelve-year-old in my form. He's a sweet boy.

We come here on good weather days only, so Wulff can get on the beach, hunt for interesting shells and so on, dig holes, and get half buried in the sand by us. The sight of a mound of sand, a head at one end, feet at the other and in the middle, a boy's sandy penis amusingly revealed in all it's beauty. Then a rinse off in the water and lunch on the veranda. In the warm sunshine, not to be relied upon, clothes are optional. Nudity for Otta and I is very natural, as it seems for Wulff too. Rather nice. It's also a good time for Otta and I to talk, and today he knows what the main topic of conversation is going to be. With Wulff on the beach just below us, and in our sight, I can broach the tricky subject.

'I think I have a right to know Otta.'

'About what?' He says, pretending not to know.

'What's going on with you and Wulff. I found some pants under the bed this morning. They weren't Wulff's. All neatly folded up. I had a good look inside sweetheart.'

'Oh, he had an accident. You know, a boy's thing.'

'So the tiny stream has become a river then?'

'Seems like it. He's grown up a bit now. A bit older. You know how it gets.'

'Not that much. Was that you Otta?'

Otta and I have been together now for six years, and the sex inevitably has gone off a bit. Frankly you can't keep that up for ever, literally. This morning l really felt like it and asked him if I could provide a service for him. It took him a long time to come which is unusual when I give him that little treat, and there was nothing much at the end of it to assuage my thirst. But the question remains……

'Earlier this morning Otta. When you were in Wulff room. It felt like this was your second time of asking Otta? Just now. Did you leave something in your pants somewhere else peut etre?'


'Well tell me then!'

'I thought I heard him shout out in the night, very early this morning actually, so I went in to him. Like you've done once or twice. He was asleep. The sheet had come off him again and he had what you found in his hand. He must have used them and gone straight back to sleep. I took them out of his grasp. There might have been something there. I'm not sure. I don't know how long ago that was. He looked very beautiful lying there Jon. I just stared at him for ages and then I used them Jon. That's what it was. Honestly, that's what happened. Nothing more than that.'

'But they were yours, not his?'

'I supposed he found them. You know how he roots around our stuff and takes things he likes.'

'Little boys pants that you like. Him too obviously.'

'A bit of a weakness Jon. Not a hanging offence is it? Honestly, that was it.'

I have gone in there myself and given Wulff a cuddle several times when he's been unsettled. He clings onto you like a lost teddy bear, wrapping his arms and legs around you, just aching for love. We are trying to provide that love, but the right kind, just like Ben Britten did no doubt with David Hemmings and all the others. But there was a sexual attraction involved up there in Aldeburgh, next to the noisy waves, in bed with a boy the whole night, and the next morning, and there is a certain adoration here too. Both of us. I can't claim the moral high ground. But how do you deal with those feelings? Like Otta did? Like I have? The little trickle becomes a stream, and the stream becomes a river, and the river becomes a flood. It would be so easy. I know that Wulff has made incredible strides in the last months, but the fact remains that the boy needs special care, and will do for some time as he forges a future for himself.

'It was so strong Jon. So strong.'

There was a boy on the beach, changing for his swim. I'm sitting nearby and I can see him very clearly. He's not bothering to hide behind a towel so his body is in full view. He's facing me, looking right at me. He smiles. He's lovely. Shall I look away like I ought to? I smile back.

'So Wulff didn't wake then?'

'No, he didn't.'

'So what are we going to do?' I ask after a long pause.

'Is there a need to know?'

'No. What about your nights at Holland House? I've been worrying about that.'

'Don't worry about that either. There's nothing to know. I promise.'

'So we can, we are making a difference to this boy's life. That matters more surely? We can't give him up now. We've gone too far. I love him just like you do. I love him for what he is.'

'And for his image?'

'Yes, just like you do. His mind, his difficulties, his funny ways, his talent…….'

'And his body?'

'Yes his body. Every part of it. He's our very own little Apollo.'

And now with tiny arrows in his quiver it would appear, that have begun to emerge from his cute little boy penis, Greek god style, and wasted into a conveniently absorbent and perfumed white cloud.

I've decided to tell Otta about the audio and video tapes Roger made of us during our sojourns in the hut in his garden. I made that decision as the three of us sat on the veranda at Point Cottage. Wulff's sitting in one of the wicker armchairs with his feet up on the front edge showing us his bottom in all it's glory, eating a banana. Otta and I are sitting opposite him which is what the boy wants. He's playing games with us. He sees us looking and knows perfectly well what he doing. He peels back the skin of the banana slowly and inserts the end of the bare fruit into his mouth, sucks the tip briefly and in a very suggestive way. The boy looks up directly at Otta. I notice and look sideways at Otta. He looks down at his paperback. I look back at the boy who has bitten off a quarter of the banana and looks like butter wouldn't melt. I take a deep breath, exhale as quietly as I can, look at the retreating tide, then look back at our Apollo. The change is slight but there's no doubting it. How the mind, a train of thought, can manifest itself physically in a boy's sex. When Wulff emerges from the sea, you can barely see the thing. When he's dry, warmed by the sun [if there is any], it's there, perhaps half an inch, but now the scar has lengthened to more than an inch. More than that now. The boy discards the banana skin onto the wooden boards beside the chair and relaxes his pose, his feet on the ground now, knees wide apart, his bottom slipped forward, the boy sex lying quietly on his tummy, upwards pointing, underside towards us. The boy stares forwards, unblinking, his eyes meeting ours, mouth open. We just look back. He draws his legs up again, but this time his knees together, held back by slender hands, the fascinating little wrinkly line that runs from the anus to the scrotum etched in a deeper tone of pink.

My mind wanders back to Lael, and how he would exploit that little track of pleasure with the very tip of his tongue, teasing me like he does . How clever he was, how generous with his natural skills to make me feel right, good, and loving…..and wanting. How clever he is, tracing the line with his tongue, all the way along from the darkness of my bottom to the tip of my pleasure dome. What bliss!

Every so often it all comes back, the joy and then the sadness of my loss. Our loss. Their loss. The world's loss. It doesn't happen often, perhaps less now as time heals, if it ever can. I try not to cry in public.

I left the two boys on the veranda, made my way to the bedroom, lay on my side on the bed naked, and wept for my lost love, Lael. On and on it went. But it can never last too long. Lael would have hated that. Life is for living, he'd say. Live life to the full, Roger would say.

I've stopped now, but I'm not alone. I can feel the warmth of another body against my back as I lie here. I can feel the warm breath, the sweet breath of life against my neck. Soft breathing that calms the mind. Then a hand on my thigh. Sex has been on my mind. Sex is in my mind now as I feel my swelling, the rising of the tide. Dear sweet Otta, my lover is here with me in my distress.

There's a hand on my thigh now, a soothing hand that says the boy has come to me. I look down to watch the soothing hand of my lover. But it's a different hand, a smaller slimmer hand. Everything freezes.

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