Many thanks to all of you who wrote expressing your enjoyment at part 1 of the story. The response far exceeded my expectations and I hope by now I have replied to all your letters if not my apologies, it's an oversight on my part. And to those of you who didn't write may I coin an old North of England phrase,
"Don't be Fright," just bang out a note on the keyboard however short I don't bite, well as long as there isn't a full moon.
The boy looked at the man quizzically exclaiming, "Huh."
Jeremy smiled, "That's the name of the house, not sure why, but that's what my aunt named it."
"Cool, King Arthur and all that," the boy said smiling, grabbing his bag, and exiting the car.
He stood for a moment to view the large double-fronted house then hurriedly followed Jeremy only to stop in mid stride and cock his head to one side.
He listened, there wasn't a car or bus to be heard no sound of any traffic whatsoever except the sound of birds chirping in the late evening sun and the whisper of the wind as it wafted through the trees rustling the leaves. The boy stood absorbing the tranquillity of his surroundings then seeing Jeremy watching him from the front door he smiled and made his way over to him
Inside Jeremy led the way up the stairs and showed the boy where he could leave his bag saying, "I'll give you a tour of the house later and make the bed after we've had a bite to eat."
"Where are we going to eat?"
"At my local they have a restaurant attached to the pub that has quite a reputation for good food."
"Do I have to change?"
Jeremy looked at the boy who was clad in three-quarter length slate-grey trousers, baggy yellow T shirt, and a pair of open toed sandals with soles thick enough to add an inch-and-a-half to his height, "Do you want to change?"
"Okay then lets freshen up then go get something to eat," and ten minutes later he led the way out of the house.
Outside the boy headed for the car when Jeremy said, "We're walking it's only a few hundred yards down the road."
They walked together down the lane the boy happy to be away from his relations and in surroundings that appealed to his solitary nature. He gazed at the man walking beside him then plucked up the courage to ask him, "Jeremy."
"Will you get married again?"
"I was never married in the first place Kimbal, but if you mean will I set up house again with another woman, at the moment I don't think so but I'll just wait and see what happens, you never can tell what fate has in store for you."
"Well that's good."
"What d'you mean, that's good."
"Well if you had a girlfriend you wouldn't want me around at the weekends cramping your style."
He frowned and looked at the boy, "Does this mean you've invited yourself over for weekends."
Kim grinned, "Yeah why not, it's brilliant out here away from the city and the relations."
"I think your mother might have something to say about that but we'll discuss it later. A couple of minutes of more walking and Jeremy exclaimed, "Here we are at the local," and he led the boy around to the restaurant entrance of The Taverner's Arms, instead of his usual way of straight through the public bar. When seated they looked at the menu and made their orders when the waitress came to attend to them.
Knowing Jeremy as one of their regulars she was quite talkative and enquired who the handsome young man who was accompanying him.
Jeremy quickly said, "He's my nephew," glancing across the table at Kim, who smiled shyly and with the slightest nod of his head showed his approval at what he'd just said.
The time they spent dining was filled by small talk with Jeremy making sure he didn't inundate the boy with questions about his welfare, or aspirations as to what he wanted to do in the future, remembering when he was Kimbal's age he hated the questions continuously thrown at him by well meaning relations as to his do's and don'ts. They spent a leisurely hour dining then together they rose and left the restaurant. As Jeremy turned in the direction of the house Kim stopped him asking,
"Can we take a walk around the village?"
"Sure come on then I'll give you the guided tour." He turned and started walking in the opposite direction that he'd been heading when he felt a hand slip into his and hold on firmly. Startled he looked quickly at the boy who suddenly realising what he'd done exclaimed, "Oops I'm sorry," and quickly pulled his hand free from Jeremy's.
"It's no big deal come on." And grabbing the boy's hand Jeremy continued their walk through the village pointing out various landmarks and buildings of interest at the same time revelling in the contact of the boy's hand in his. The village green was of most interest to the boy, and as they neared it seeing some boys kicking a ball around on the green in the fading light he gently withdrew his hand from Jeremy's.
"Do they have a village cricket team and do they play cricket on the green?"
"Uh yes, but we're not very good to be honest we're pretty bloody hopeless we've lost the last five matches and the one that we drew was only because of the rain stopping play."
"Do you play Jeremy?"
"Yep, but I haven't played in the last two matches as I've been busy with work and also finding a room in London, and in any case we all just play for the fun, I'm just as bad as the rest of the players in our team which on a scale of One to Ten is minus One."
"Oh come on Jeremy your team can't be that bad."
"Bad, we're not bad I told you, we're bloody hopeless, but we still enjoy every minute of it."
continued their walk through the village and once out of sight of the boys on
the green Kim slid his hand back into the man's as they slowly meandered their
way back to the house. When they reached home he guided the boy through the
side gate and around to the back of the house to show him the extensive garden
that was in immaculate condition, which he was quick to point out to the boy
was not down to his efforts but to his gardener. The boy walked around the
garden noting how large it was compared to their fifty foot garden in
"If this was my house I wouldn't ever dream of living anywhere else it's awesome, bloody wicked."
Jeremy smiled at the boy's remarks and thought back to the time when he had first come here with his aunt to spend the weekend and how he had fallen in love with the house never dreaming that one day he would be the proud owner of the one abode that he'd always felt comfortable in.
"Come on Kimbal, I'll give you a tour of the inside."
"Uh, okay and the boy followed the man into the house. He was shown all around the downstairs the conservatory being the room that most appealed to him, as it was octagonal in shape and was completely surrounded by glass including the roof. He sat down in one of the recliners looking down to the expansive garden passed the shed at the bottom and out to the fields beyond, and not a vehicle or person to interrupt the panoramic scene set out before him.
"You want to see the rest of the house?"
"Uh Yep," the boy proclaimed jumping to his feet and following Jeremy up the stairs. They did the tour of the rooms upstairs then the two of them on Jeremy's suggestion made the boy's bed. While they were making the bed the boy said, "Thanks."
"Uh, what for Kimbal?"
"Not grossing out when I held your hand."
"That, it was a pleasure, so don't worry about it."
"Well it's just that I was so used to holding my uncle Richard's hand, he was my mum's younger brother, that when we went started walking I just did it automatically."
"So where is Uncle Richard now?"
"In Aussie he went there about three years ago. He met this girl who was from there and when she went back he followed her."
"Oh, I see, do you miss him?"
"Sort of, we used to have some great times together till this bird showed up on the scene then I didn't see so much of him."
"What about your dad didn't you get to go out with him?"
The boy stared at the man then bowing his head he mumbled, "I think if you want to know about that you'd better ask my mum."
"Not in a hundred years Kimbal, your family matters are your mother's and your concern and if you don't wish to reveal them that is your family's business and no one else's."
"Why do you keep using my full name?"
"Sorry just don't like abbreviating peoples names but if you prefer it I'll call you Kim."
"No Kimbal's cool, just sounds strange as I haven't heard it used before not for many years my uncle Richard was the last one to use it."
Changing the subject of the boy's uncle, Jeremy said, "Okay the beds made we can go downstairs and you can do whatever you wish within limits."
They made their way down to the sitting room the man sitting down on the settee with the boy flopping down beside him.
"So Kimbal, what's your choice, or is it past your bed-time."
"Huh says you, you know I don't normally go to bed before eleven. Can we sit out in the conservatory?" He looked at the man enquiringly.
"Yeah sure and Jeremy led the way. Inside they each took a recliner and as they seated themselves Jeremy, switched off the lights inside the conservatory as the daylight had all but disappeared and put the garden lights on.
"Oh man that's awesome," the boy cooed as the garden was washed with lights of various colours that changed every thirty seconds.
"Do you like it?"
"Like it, it's magic."
They sat in silence enjoying the spectacle of changing lights till the boy turned to Jeremy asking, "Will you bring me down again at the weekends."
"That's for your mother to decide Kimbal, she might not want you spending your weekends away from home, but if you do come down here too frequently people might start talking."
"What d'you mean start talking."
"Man, boy, alone in a house, what d'you think they're going to start assuming."
"Oh bollocks what if they do, does it worry you?"
"Me no, but I was worrying about you Kimbal, you're still very young and you don't want labels stuck on you unnecessarily."
"I don't think the people around here will worry about my spending time down here with you, do you?"
"Okay I'm not too sure, but your mother has yet to give her approval, and if she says no, there isn't going to be any arguments understand."
The boy gave a slight smile then nodded his head in agreement, then settled back in his recliner to absorb the display of garden lights.
Five minutes later Jeremy stood and the boy looked at him enquiringly, "I'm going to my study to do some work you hang on here or if you want to and if you wish later you can watch the box."
"Do you have to go?"
"Umm no, it's not all that important, but I thought you'd like to be left alone to your own devices."
I don't want to be alone Jeremy I'd prefer it if you were here instead being off in your study working."
"Okay whatever you say, I have to bow down to my guests wishes"
"Can we go into the sitting room and talk?"
"Alright," He turned of the garden lights then led the way into the sitting room he dropped down onto the settee and the boy followed suit a few seconds later right beside him.
He sat looking at the boy for a few seconds absorbing his beauty, and at the same time curbing the impulse to take the boy into his arms and envelope him in a loving embrace. His emotions under control Jeremy spoke,
"So what do you want to talk about?"
"Nothing in particular it's nice just to have you around instead of being on my own."
"Are you on your own a lot, because since I've been staying at your mother's house I haven't noticed any of your friends coming around?"
"I've got a few friends but they're away on holiday at the moment they won't be back for another couple of weeks, and in any case they don't come around to often even when they're not on holiday."
"What's the problem?"
"You heard Kimbal, why the loner?"
"I don't know; I seem to find it hard to talk to other boys, and the ones I do talk to only do so I think to be polite, and when they do come to my house it's only to borrow a CD or something."
"Well what about girlfriends then?"
The boy didn't answer he just shrugged his shoulders in a non committal way and remained silent.
"Come on Kimbal you've got to try and be a bit more outgoing with boys and girls in your age group."
"I have, but every time I don't know why, they seem to find someone else they like better and I don't see them so often."
The man looked at the downcast expression on the boy's face and wanted to take him into his arms and say, "I'll be your friend and there's not a hope in Hell that I'll find anyone better than you."
Instead he reached his hand out to the boy and stroked his head saying, "Don't fret Kimbal, soon you'll find that special someone and then you'll be flying on high."
"You know when you're in love you feel that you can walk on air."
"Yeah, if you say so."
"Christ you're a real bundle of joy aren't you?"
The boy smiled, okay I'll put on my happy face," and he split his face with an infected grin from cheek to cheek, "See I'm happy," and started laughing at the same time leaning over till his body rested against that of the man's.
They sat together content in each others company till the boy stirred and facing Jeremy said, "This is one of the best days I've had for a long time."
"I'm glad to think that my company has given you so much enjoyment but we still have tomorrow and Sunday to go and by that time you might be bored to tears."
"Yeah and pigs might fly."
The man grinned ruffled the boy's hair then stood saying, "I'm going to hit the showers then bed if you want to stay up do so and help yourself to anything from the fridge if you want."
"No I think I'll go to bed as well."
They both climbed the stairs to their bedrooms and after saying goodnight and attending to their necessary ablutions they retired to their respective beds.
At 8.00am Jeremy was in the kitchen fixing himself a cup of tea, which when he had done took it into the sitting room and sat down to drink it and get himself ready for the day ahead. By Jeremy went back upstairs showered and dressed. He went returned to the kitchen and left a note by the kettle saying that he'd gone out to pay his gardener and housekeeper and to get the paper, and some bread and milk.
At Kim rubbed his eyes stretched yawned scratched his testicles and rubbed his erection, then jumped out of the bed, went to the bathroom showered and changed and made his way downstairs. In the kitchen he went to the kettle to make a cup of tea and saw the note leaning against it, he read it crumpled it up put it in the bin and made his tea.
Half an hour later found Kim seated watching television in the sitting room waiting for Jeremy to return from the shops. By eleven when Jeremy hadn't returned he was getting a bit anxious and at the same time annoyed knowing that the shops were at the most a ten minute walk away so what was taking him so long. Just as his anxiety and frustration was reaching its pinnacle and he'd switched off the telly as he could no longer take an interest in any of the programmes, he heard the front door opening and dashed out into the hallway.
Jeremy closed the door behind him and turned to see Kim standing in the hallway before he had a chance to speak the boy shouted, "Jeez you took your time to get some bread and milk. I was getting worried something had happened to you."
"Sorry Kimbal, I met a friend and we got to talking and I didn't realize how late it was till I heard the church clock striking and when I looked at my watch saw it was eleven and came back home."
"So who was the friend, another woman you fancy?"
"No, if you have to know it was the secretary of the local cricket club. We were going over who was available to play next Saturday, because it's the holiday season quite a few of our players are away so it's look like we'll have to forfeit the game as we'll be a player short."
"I'll play for your team if you want me to."
The man looked at the boy's face that had that look of eagerness and expectancy and not wanting to discourage him said, "Tell you what if your mum agrees to it I'll phone the secretary and nominate you to become a member of the cricket team."
Before he could say another word the boy dashed forward yelling, "Yeah," and jumped at Jeremy who had to drop the bread and milk to grab the boy as he landed with a thump against his body at the same time swivelling to lessen the impact of their bodies.
As the moment passed there they were the two of them, suddenly very still, the boy with his arms and legs wrapped around the man who in turn stood clutching the boy and crushing him into his body. They stared at each other till the man suddenly lowered the boy to the ground saying, "Don't get your hopes up too soon just wait till we've spoken to your mother."
"Christ you're such a spoil sport, can't you look on the bright side for a change."
"Okay you'll be playing for the Taverner's Cricket Club next Saturday, does that make you happy."
"Only if you're happy as well, it don't count for nothing unless you want it as well."
"I'm happy, I'm happy see I'm laughing for happy," and Jeremy grabbed the boy and swung him around before placing him down on his feet again.
When he was placed back on his feet, the boy stood gazing at the man before him looking at his tall slim figure, he walked closer to the man, then looking up into the face that had stirred feelings within him that he couldn't yet understand, he wrapped his arms around the mans waist and rested his head on the Jeremy's chest saying, "Its great to be here with you and have you as a friend, I'm really glad we got to know each other."
The man felt currents of electricity coursing throughout his body as the boy embraced him and laid his head on his chest. He didn't want the moment to end, but knowing the weaknesses within himself he prised the boy's arms from around his waist, and still holding his hands he said, "Yeah, well don't get too comfortable we still have some cleaning and shopping to do, and I have to inform the club secretary that I've found are missing player, so we had better get moving."
up at the man and wished that the contact between them had not been broken so
soon. He still craved for the times before his uncle had left to go to
"Well I prefer the shopping to cleaning so put your sandals on and let's go, we're going into Newbury which is about a fifteen minute drive depending on the traffic."
The boy stood there in his bare feet looking at the man not moving till the Jeremy getting anxious with the boy just standing staring at him asked, "What's wrong?"
"Nothing, I've changed my mind I don't want to go."
"Come on what does that mean."
"I want to stay at home with you and not go anywhere."
Jeremy paused and gathered his thoughts before answering the boy, "I think we have a bit of talking to do Kimbal so lets go into the sitting room and talk."
He took the boy by the hand and led him into the sitting room seating himself on the settee with the boy beside him. Leaning back against the backrest he took the boy into his arms saying, "What's on your mind Kimbal?"
"I've only known you for a short time Jeremy but I relate to you like I did with my Uncle Richard and I'm worried that you might do the same as he did."
"What do you want from me Kimbal?"
"I don't know, but I don't want you to be left on my own again."
"And what happens when you find a girl for yourself, you going to dump me."
The boy smiled shyly and said, "I'm not into girls."
"Okay then, when you find another companion to your liking and the same age as yourself then what."
"Then I don't know, and I'm not sure if it will ever happen."
Jeremy was silent for a moment deciding whether to reveal his true feelings to the boy. Before he could speak Kim asked, "Why the silence?"
"I was collecting my thoughts, and I suppose I had better be truthful with you.
You don't have to worry about my finding another woman Kimbal. My first attempt at trying to set up home with the opposite sex was a big lie and I think my last. Yes I was very fond of Rochelle my partner but it was never love, so although she found someone else and was expecting my child when we separated it wasn't the end of the world for me, on the contrary it was a blessing in disguise."
"So does that mean you're going to be alone for the rest of your life?"
"No, hopefully sometime in the future I'll find someone who I can share my life with."
"Oh, so have you anyone in mind yet?"
The man gazed at the boy wanting to tell him the person that he most desired to share his life with was at present sitting next to him and leaning against his body, instead he hesitated then stuttered, "Uh, um, I Um, I'm not quite sure yet."
The boy moved his position from leaning against the man, and turning to look into his face asked, "What d'you mean you're not sure, doesn't the other person know yet."
"Umm no, can we drop this subject Kimbal and talk about something else."
"Because I feel uncomfortable talking about it."
"Who is the person?"
He looked at the boy's questioning face and realized now he had to make a decision whether to tell the truth or lie. Taking the bit between his teeth he knew the moment of truth was at hand, holding the boy's hands he said, "It's you Kimbal."
"Me," the boy said, totally surprised, "Why me, you're so much older than I am. I thought it would be someone the same age as you."
"Well why do you think I came back to my room on Friday evening only to see you again. I was supposed to pack my bags and leave for home straight from work, but I didn't I left for work without packing my bags to make it an excuse to come back to my room only to see you once again before leaving for the weekend. And you're coming to spend the weekend was the icing on the cake. Now if you feel a bit put off with what I've just said I can't blame you, and don't be scared I won't try anything. I just thought that you deserved to hear the truth rather than me make up a fictitious character that didn't exist. "
"I really like you Jeremy but I don't think I want to be like what you just said, is that okay."
The man's heart sank but it was what he'd expected. The boy wanted companionship not an intimate relationship and if so certainly not with a person 14 years his senior. "It's okay Kimbal no problem just thought it was better you knew the truth, but I promise I'll be a good friend to you."
"Great, I suppose we had better take that shopping trip to Newbury that you had planned."
The man rose from the settee happy that the boy had not freaked out at his revelations about his feelings and that they could continue to be comfortable in their friendship. He led the way out of the house followed by Kim; they made their way to the car and shortly were headed for Newbury eleven miles away.
They drove in silence, as they both went over in their minds the conversation than had taken place earlier. Eventually Jeremy broke the silence asking.
"Do you want to eat out in Newbury or would you prefer to eat in The Taverner's Arms?"
"At your local I like it, and we can stroll around the village again but this time in the daytime."
The rest of
the day they spent together making small talk till it was once again time to
have their evening meal at the Taverner's Arms then later departing to their
separate bedrooms to sleep. Sunday they went for a drive around the
countryside, then after an early evening meal they packed their bags and made
their way out to the car, Jeremy locked the house behind them, and then they
were on their way back to
"Hello darling," and grabbing her son she kissed him on the cheek, then turning to Jeremy greeted him as well and thanking him for keeping the boy for the weekend."
"It was my pleasure, now while you two catch up on each others news I'll go up to my room and unpack."
He made his way to his room, and once inside just dumped his bag on the floor and collapsed on the bed. Closing his eyes he brought his mind to focus on his revelations about his feelings towards the boy and what his next step should be. Yes he had promised to be a good friend to Kimbal but as long as he was in the boy's presence there would always be the knowledge that their fondness for each other in reality was based on a longing for something much more intimate than just friendship in his eyes and the longer he stayed in the house the more the possibility there was of him making advances to Kimbal. He had to make a decision and he knew what it had to be, no matter how painful it would be for the two of them and in reality more for him than the boy.
Monday morning before going to work he knocked on June Walter's door. Shortly it opened and she enquired.
"Yes Jeremy what is it."
The man looked down at the woman who so much resembled the boy he had fallen in love with.
"Uh June, I have to talk to you, and Jeremy explained to her what had transpired over the weekend at his home, and his feelings for the boy and that it would be better if he vacated his room. Also if she could please explain to Kimbal why it was better that he left and if the boy was not satisfied with her explanation he gave her his mobile number where she could reach him and he would talk to Kimbal.
She thanked Jeremy and asked if he would reconsider his vacating the room, but he was adamant, and although painful he felt that it was for the best.
Asking her to make his apologies to Kimbal, he bade her, "Goodbye," then left the house.
To Be Continued
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