Time May Change Me

by William King

Chapter 14

The Party

Gareth and Aled left to go into town the next morning after breakfast. P resumably to sell some dope, I didn't ask about it. The place had got to be a real mess so Matty and I spent the morning cleaning. I don't mind untidiness, but you need to clean up and take the rubbish out.

It was dark b y the time Gareth arrived back. W e'd prepared a nother meal, so we sat down to eat it together. "I love your stew." Gareth smiled. H e was in a good mood, maybe a little stoned. H e must have smoked a bit with his customers.

"It's about all I k now how to cook. T hat and fried eggs."

"Well it's fine, Alex." He continued eating and nothing much more was said until we were clearing up.

"Oh yeah, nearly forgot, there's a party at Linda's tomorrow. Aled's coming here and we can all go into town together."

"Who's Linda?" Matty asked.

"She lives in town. S he's great, got two young kids... A nyway, you'll meet her tomorrow."

Gareth got up and went over to sit by the fire, Matty and I joined him after we'd done the dishes. He was just finishing rolling a joint.

"Don't you get lonely up here all on your own?" Matty asked.

He licked the cigarette paper, passed his tongue along one edge and sealed the joint, rolling it gently between his fingers. "Sometimes... but now you're here," he grinned.

"Yeah, but before?" Matty was digging. I just sat next to him on the sofa playing with his hair and touching the back of his neck.

"Well before, my grand da was living here."

"He's in hospital?" Matty was good at getting people to open up and talk.

"A nursing home. He won't be coming back. I just hope the old bastard's left me the place." Gareth had hatred in his voice when he mentioned his grand da.

"When did he get sick?" I pulled Matty's hair. Enough was enough. Gareth had lit the joint, taken a few big tokes and passed it to me. He laid back in the armchair and didn't reply to Matty.

The joint went round a few times and the effects were quite strong, so silence reigned, with the only sound the cracking of the logs on the fire. It definitely made me feel sexy. M y hand was still playing with Matty's hair and my cock was hard. I thought Matty was maybe feeling the same, Gareth, if he noticed any of this, paid no attention.

I wanted to get Matty up to bed. I wanted to do more than just touch his neck, nice as that was. As I thought about it, my cock grew even harder. "I think we'll get some sleep," I said to no one in particular. Gareth just looked at me and smiled. Matty stood up, we went upstairs.

Aled arrived around seven in the evening, we were ready to go, wasn't as if we had a whole load of clothes to choose from. Which reminded me, we needed to do some washing. Matty went with Aled and I was on the back of Gareth's motorbike. I t was something new for both of us, neither Matty nor me had ridden on a bike before. I tried looking over Gareth's shoulder, but it was dark so all I could see were glimpses of the lane and hedge rows, accompanied by a blast of cold air which made my eyes water. He said just to lean with the bike, so that's what I did, but I also gripped him tightly around the waist.

We entered the town in no time at all. I saw the station and after that there were street lights. We crossed the town and turned off into a residential estate which had a lot of almost identical semi-detached houses, each with tiny front gardens. There were people going into one house that had lights on outside and you could see was lit up inside the front room.

W e pulled up outside behind Aled and Matty. After I removed my helmet I could hear music escaping from inside, I could also hear Gareth next to me. "I thought you w as gonna squeeze the life out of me," he was grinning.

"Yeah well you said to hold on."

"That felt like more than just holding on," he replied, "we're you that scared?"

I was a bit embarrassed and didn't know what to say.

"Come on let's join the party!"

Aled had joined us, so I said nothing as we went up to the front door.

A small, well rounded, blond haired lady, I guess twenty something greeted us. "Aled," she kissed him. "Gareth," she hugged and kissed him too. Standing back she looked at us smiling.

"This is Matty and his friend Alex," Aled introduced us, "They're staying with Gareth."

"Really Gareth?" She looked at him with mock surprise. "And there's me thinking you never had a soul up there with you in the hills." She chuckled, "I thought it was just you and the sheep."

"Ha ha," Gareth replied.

Turning back to us she kissed me then Matty, "Croeso!" she exclaimed, "fy nhuw... they're gorgeous."

I was embarrassed again, that's twice in one minute. I learned later that 'croeso' mean t welcome. She was an ebullient lady.

"This is Linda," Aled told us.

We went in and the first thing I noticed was a little boy and his younger sister sitting together on the stairs. H e must have been maybe seven and the little girl, who had exactly the same hair as her mum, a couple of years younger, that's a guess, I'm not great with people's ages. As we dumped our stuff in the cupboard under the stairs, the little girl looked at Matty and me.

"I don't know you!" She exclaimed.

Her brother looked at her, nudging his sister with his elbow. She whispered something in his ear, covering her mouth with one hand. He repeated the gesture, whispering back.

"What's your name mister?" She said, which just cracked me up and had me smiling a broad grin. She started to giggle then and her brother chuckled.

"I'm Alex and this is Matty," I replied, resting my hand on Matty's shoulder. He was right next to me watching the two children. Gareth and Aled had disappeared into the front room where it seemed all the guests were, and where the music was coming from.

The little boy whispered something else to his sister, using the same gesture, leaning over and covering his mouth with one hand whilst looking at us out of the corner of his eyes.

"Are you two boyfriends?" he said.

The little girl giggled along with her brother, but before I could reply, Linda was back inside ushering in two more new arrivals.

"I thought I told you two to get ready for bed," Linda l ooked from one to the other.

"Aw mam... do we have to?" The little boy squirmed about on the stairs and his sister put her little hands together in front of her like she was praying.

"Well you will have to if you keep bothering people and you can't stay up all night."

"Just a bit longer, pleeea...se. We weren't bothering anyone," the boy replied. "No, no one," his little sister added.

"This is Luc and Maria," Linda said looking from the kids to us, "and they should both be getting ready for bed." Then looking back to her children, "You can stay up a little bit longer, but only because it's a special occasion, and... only if you're good."

"Yes mam," they both replied together, looking like butter wouldn't melt in their mouths.

"Come on through," Linda said to us, "you can meet my husband, if I can find him."

"I didn't know it was a special occasion," I told her.

" No, well how would you," she smiled back. "You're not local, that accent is a southerner ' s if I'm not mistaken, and Gareth wouldn't have told you, he hardly speaks more than two words."

"Yeah, he doesn't speak a lot, and you're spot on with the accent."

Linda put one arm around each of us, "So..." she began, "w er e the kids right, are you two boyfriends?"

She was such I likeable person and her kids were adorable, I had no problem being completely open, even if I wasn't totally sure what the reaction would be. "Yes we are," I replied.

"What a shame for me, you're both such cuties," she had the same giggle as her children. "Come on, let's charge through the throng!" The three of us entered the crowded living room leaving one little boy and his younger sister giggling on the staircase.

"There he is!" Linda pushed a path through the crowd. "John this is Alex and his friend Matty." As she introduced us she gave first me, then Matty a little squeeze on the shoulder. "John will look after you, there are a few people I need to see." With that she disappeared across the room leaving the two of us standing in front of a slim, quite tall young man, with brown hair and glasses. He was rather the complete physical opposite of his wife.

"It's nice to see two new faces," he smiled at us. It seemed he was just as nice as Linda. "Are you here on holiday?" He asked.

"Not really," I didn't want to lie, but neither did I want to blurt out the truth about things.

"I see, well never mind, just enjoy yourselves, that's the main thing."

"Linda... your wife," Matty spoke now, in his oh so typical fashion, it just always made me smile inside, and sometimes it was difficult not to laugh, of course he knows Linda is his wife. I said nothing. John simply smiled.

"Well... she told us the party was for a special occasion," Matty continued.

"Yes it is, that's right," John replied, without saying what Matty obviously wanted to know. This was just like the repartee with Jake.

"So... what's the special occasion then?" Matty waited expectantly.

"Well... it's..." John was mimicking Matty, "it's my birthday!"

He grabbed hold of Matty, pulled him into a hug and ruffled up his hair. How weird was that. I mean weird in a nice way. I t was the exact ly the same way with Jake. I guess Matty was just so cute and lovable people had to touch him.

"Oh we didn't know!" I told him.

"Yeah, we'd have brought you something... a present," Matty said.

"Hey, never mind, you brought yourselves, that's absolutely all you had to bring."

John really was nice and we chatted together for a bit. He told us he had his own small manufacturing business he was trying to get off the ground with his brother. He told us he was not originally from here, but Linda was born and bred in the area. He also said that it was difficult getting accepted into the local community, although it helped a lot being married to a local girl. He was sort of surprised that we were living at Gareth's place when we only just met him, but he thought it could only be good for him not to be alone. However, John also hinted that Gareth was a troubled person who had difficulties with people, but he liked him a lot. I had the impression that John and Linda would just about like anybody and everybody, that's how they were.

I saw Steve was at the party, but we never spoke much with him, just said hello, that's all. We met Richard, John's brother, he was nice enough, but didn't have the same warmth about him as John, maybe he was one of those people it took longer to get to know. The other interesting couple we met were the two boys who had arrived just after us, Idris and Gwilym. Difficult to remember exactly how and what happened when we got talking to them, I just suppose it was sort of obvious we were a couple and they were a couple, and we hit it off. We were nearly the same age, Idris was s ixteen and Gwilym just one week into s eventeen, he'd had a party last week he told us, and it was a shame we hadn't met before. We exchanged numbers and they asked how long we would be here. I didn't know how much to say, but we told them a bit more than we had told anyone else. T hough we never said that we'd runaway, just that we were each supposed to be on holiday somewhere else. That seemed to work.

I really enjoyed the party, plus the people we met were nice, very nice, it was a whole other life. Matty and I couldn't stop talking about it when we finally got back to the farmhouse. It was so late, about 3AM, Aled stayed over on the sofa again and Matty and I went straight to bed, but not to sleep.

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