Any characters portrayed in this story are fictional and not representative of anyone living or dead.
This is a story about the love between a twelve-year-old boy and a twenty-seven-year-old man and it contains graphic details of sexual contact between them. If you are under age and if this is illegal where you live or where you're accessing this site, then I suggest you leave immediately. For those who wish to stay, then this story is a long one of sixteen parts and an epilogue, which deals with a relationship rather than a brief and sexually stimulating read, although there are parts when the sexuality of the liaison is paramount to the story and I've done my best to leave nothing out.
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Boys can be lovers, too.
It was Christmas Eve; almost a month since Dean and I parted. When Dad picked me up from Dean's at around nine thirty, we had loaded his car up with everything that was mine. Not ours: just mine. The one exception was a single photograph of me that David had taken, sitting on the harbour wall at Padstow. Dean had it framed and kept it on the desk. He loved that photograph. By now, very probably, it had followed Harry's photo up the chimney. Out of sight; out of mind.
Although it was just after one `o clock in the afternoon, I was still in bed. I had nothing to get up for. The world was fucked and my life was fucked and I didn't really care. I heard the doorbell go, and then a short while later dad came into my room with a guy. He was a tall man, well built, about six-two, and around dad's age, with glasses, and he looked official. Dad introduced him.
"Matthew, this is Dr. Stenson. I want you to have a word with him. You can say what you like. He knows everything. He's here to help you." Dad left the room. I lay in bed, staring out of the window, and ignored the intruder. I didn't give a fuck who he was; nobody could help me now.
The man didn't sit on my bed; he got a bedroom chair and sat behind me. It was a while before he spoke. "Matthew, if I could bring Dean back to you now, would you want me to?"
"He wouldn't come within a mile of me, and I don't blame him."
"No. I don't either. You had no right to do what you did. But you didn't answer my question."
I snorted. "Who the fuck do you think you are? You don't have the right to ask me any questions. What are you going to do next, start reciting fucking Freud to me? You're just a fucking two-a-penny doctor."
"No I'm not. I served twelve years with Special Forces...most of them with your dad."
That surprised me. I didn't know dad was in Special Forces. Again, I grunted. "So, you're a two-a-penny Special Forces doctor. Big deal! I'll bet you looked after lots of stupid little boys who didn't know their arses from their elbows, and who fucked up the best thing in their lives because they were fucking jealous. How many of those did you cure, Mr Fucking-Two-a-Penny-Special-Forces-Doctor?"
"None, young Master Filthy Mouth, and if you swear at me again, you'll regret it, so just answer my questions like a good stupid little boy."
I heard him get out of the chair, and I thought he was going. Only when I saw him coming round the bed, did I realise that I was wrong. I glared at him. He grabbed me by the lapels of my pyjamas, lifted me from the bed, and slapped my face a number of times. I still glared at him. Again, he repeatedly slapped my face. I began to cry. He dropped me back on the bed, and then sat beside me.
His voice was quiet and measured. "I'm going to ask the question again. Matthew, if I could bring Dean back to you now, would you want me to?"
Although I was scrunched up like a ball, I still managed a sort of a nod.
"Good. At least now, I know how you feel. Now here's the second question. Do you think Dean still wants you?"
I shook my head.
"You're wrong. I know for a fact that Dean is hurting as much as you are."
Through my tears, I looked at him. "How do you know? Have you seen him? Have you spoken to him?"
Dr Stenson's face mellowed. "I don't need to see him or speak to him. He's not working. He's at home. He's ill, and if you and I don't sort things, I reckon he'll take his life before Christmas is over...probably tonight; Christmas Eve. That's when most of them do it. That's when you were going to do it, wasn't it?"
How the hell could he know that if Dean hadn't come for me by midnight, I was going to throw myself through the window onto the concrete-slab yard below? I'd thought it all through. I knew it would break my parent's hearts, but they would have a new baby in February; something to take their mind off things. As for Dean, well, he wouldn't know about it. I'd already written the note that said that I didn't want Dean to know what I'd done. It was in my special drawer that nobody-went-into-but-they-would-when-I was-dead.
"Get dressed, Matthew. I'm taking you to Dean. If you're going to kill yourselves, you might as well do it together."
I didn't move. Dr Stenson went to my wardrobe, selected some clothes, threw some in a holdall, and threw the rest on the bed. Then he came to me, and pulled me up and sat me on the edge of it. He was gentle as he stripped off my pyjamas and underpants and threw them in a heap. Then he dressed me, and pulled me to my feet.
"Is there anything else you need? Do you need the toilet before we go? I won't be stopping until we get to Hereford because I need to get back to do some Christmas Shopping."
I shook my head, and accompanied him to the door. And then I remembered something. I went back to my special drawer, and got something out and tucked it into my shirt. We went down the stairs and through the hall, where I put on my shoes and duffle coat, and we went through the main door without saying anything to mum and dad. I thought it strange they didn't come to me, but I suppose they were under doctor's orders, too. The doctor's car was another Office Car: a Ford Granada estate.
I woke as the radio crackled into life and a woman's tinny voice called somebody named Alpha Sierra Four Zero. The doctor took the handset off the hook, and the radio went quiet. A few monosyllabic comments later, he put the hand set down, and grinned at me. I turned away and stared out of the side window, watching the world go by. "Why are you doing this, Doctor Two-a-Penny?"
I heard him giggle. "Because I owe your dad big time; and because you belong to me."
I turned, and looked at him. "Explain."
"Your father saved my life, twice. He's a very, very special guy, and if I needed to lay down my life for him at any time, I wouldn't think twice about it. Special Forces are family, and that's why you belong to me." Now he was grinning again. "You're special, too. Nobody has ever given me the shit you have, and nobody, except The Regiment, has ever pissed me about on Christmas Eve before. We're almost there. Are you scared?"
I turned away. My heart was turning like a cream churn. "I'm so scared, I feel sick."
"Don't spew in The Office car. Right, tell me where to go."
I gave him directions and, just as it was getting dark, he swung the Granada into Dean's drive. Then he turned to me.
"Matthew, I'm hoping and praying everything goes ok for you. By this time in the morning, you and Dean will have worked things out, or we'll be dredging the River for you both. Oh, by the way, if you don't top yourself, change your underpants more often. The ones I took off you stunk to high heaven. Right, sod off. I need to get back to Bromsgrove before my wife and kids make life hell for me."
The passenger door opened automatically. That surprised me. I'd never been in an Office Car before. I stepped out, and was about to thank the doctor, when the door closed again, and he reversed back down the drive. I heard his tyres screech, and he was gone.
The lights were on in the house, but the curtains were drawn. I was so scared, that I couldn't move. It was ages before the door opened and I saw Dean standing watching me. I wanted to go to him, but I couldn't move a muscle, and my arms fell to my sides, and my head dropped, and I began to cry.
I heard a car pull up on the gravel drive. A visitor was the last thing I needed just as I was writing my farewell note to Matthew, especially because I looked an absolute mess with tears flooding from my eyes. Everything else had been done. My affairs were all very well detailed. Whatever equity was in the house after it was sold were left to my foster parents, as were the contents of the house. My business share was to be given back to Dominic. My remains, if they found them downriver, were to have no funeral. They were to be cremated and the ashes scattered over the Cornish headland above our morning diving spot. Just this letter to Matthew, and then I could prepare myself to do it at midnight.
I heard the car reverse, and then speed away. Thank goodness for that. I wrote another sentence, and then something told me I should go to the door. Very slowly, I opened it, and peeked out into the gloom of the late afternoon. I began to shake, my legs went like jelly, and I almost collapsed. For a moment, I thought my illness was making me hallucinate. Matthew was stood alone in front of the house. Never in my life had I seen such a forlorn and pathetic creature, and I would have defied anyone not to have pitied him. It would have been bad enough if it was someone I didn't know, but this was the boy I loved with every breath I took. This was the boy for whom I was sacrificing my life, and I went to him and crushed him in my arms. Because I was so emaciated, I wasn't strong enough to pick him up, so I put both arms around him and led him into the house, and to our sofa. Matthew looked at me. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The full face I once knew, was now sallow, and the eyes that were once so bright and sparkling with life, were now sunk deep into his face, and were like dying embers. And I knew exactly why it was. Matthew was feeling as I was.
For a long time, we stared into each other's eyes, and then, like magnets, our lips came together. At first, they just touched, like a breath of wind caresses an autumn leaf. Too strong, and the leaf would fall to the ground. If there was to be life in them again, first we would have to breathe life into them. Our eyes were the breath of life, and because words were beyond either of us, only through them could we speak. My eyes told Matthew that my love for him was so strong and deep, that without him, life was worth nothing; that every minute since he left, he had been in my thoughts; that I had eaten hardly a thing since he left, and that I had rejected help from everyone who cared for me, and I knew Matthew's eyes were telling me the same. Only when our eyes had spoken did the kiss firm, and only then did we allow our lips to search for what our souls so desperately desired; our shared love. Our lips were the conduit, and from the very depths of us both, we poured our emotions into each other. After what seemed like an eternity, our lips parted, and we both lay back, breathless, and shattered by the experience.
Matthew gave me a silly, sad grin. "What do we do now?"
I wasn't grinning, and I'm sure my face was as sad as Matthew's. "We could throw ourselves in the river and end all this hurt. I was going to do it tonight anyway."
Matthew's hand came up, and he caressed my cheek. "So was I. I was going to throw myself through the window at exactly midnight. Were you going to leave me a note?"
I nodded. "Yes, I was halfway through writing it when you arrived. Did you leave me one?"
"No. I didn't want you to know. I've already hurt you enough. Can I read what you were writing?"
I thought about it for a moment, and then I got up, went to the office, and returned with the almost completed note, and gave it to him. I sat down, and read it with him.
My dearest, dearest Matthew.
Please forgive me for what I've done, but I cannot live without you. Life has no meaning, and I can see no sense on going on. I'm in tears as I'm writing this because I'm remembering our special moments together, especially that night as we lay in each other's arms and we decided that that was the moment we would always treasure above all others. I do, and when the swirling waters are taking my last moment of consciousness, our precious moment together will be the last thought ever to be in my mind.
Please don't blame yourself for what I have done. You were suffering from one of life's natural traits: jealousy. Instead of telling you to leave, I should have put my arms around you and reassured you that you had nothing to be jealous about. But I was human, too. That's why I reacted wrongly. We human beings do so many wrong things.
So, my dearest sweet boy, I go from this life not hating anyone, instead, I go, knowing I have tasted the most beautiful love humanity can know, with the most beautiful creature who ever existed...
Tears were streaming down Matthew's face as he read the note. As were mine. I watched him fold it, carefully, four times, and then he held it to his chest. He looked up at me.
"Dean, I don't want to die now. Please don't kill yourself. Please let me come back, and please let's start again. I promise that I'll never do anything like that to you again. I promise. I'm not jealous any more."
I felt the weight of death lift from my whole being. Now I had Matthew back, and he was with me, close to me, and he wanted me, I wanted to live again. Why shouldn't I? Before all this shit happened, he was my reason for living, and now he was back in my arms again, he was my reason for not dying. I took his head, and kissed it, and then I nodded. "I think we'd better start making each other better, don't you?"
Matthew collapsed in my arms, and sobbed uncontrollably. I broke down, too. This deep hurt needed outing, and the only way we could do it was together. But it was going to be a long road to recovery. After a long while crying, we sat back and looked at each other. Matthew was the first to speak.
"What do we do now?"
"I dunno, but I think I need to make a phone call."
Dean got up, went to the office, sat down, and picked up the phone. "Henry, Dean here. Everything is ok. Do you want to speak to Matthew?"
Dean handed me the phone, and I heard the emotion in dad's voice, "Do you want me to come down to pick you both up?"
"Hold on a minute please dad." I put my hand over the mouthpiece, and looked at Dean. "Dad wants to come and pick us up."
"That's fine with me, but it's up to you."
I thought about it for a moment. "Would you mind if I asked mum and dad to come and spend Christmas down here with us?"
Dean gave me a half smile. "That's fine with me."
I brushed my hand over Dean's hair and caressed his cheek as I spoke into the phone. "Dad, would you think I was awful if I asked you and mum to come and spend Christmas with us? I really would like you both here. So would Dean."
"Matt, I'll speak to your mum, and then ring you back. Will that be ok?"
"Ok dad. Tell mum I'm sorry, and that I love her very much. And you."
I almost slammed the phone down as I burst into tears. Dean took me in his arms, pulled me onto his knees, and held me close while I sobbed. I was still sobbing when the phone rang. Dean picked it up and handed it to me.
"Matt, we'll be down first thing in the morning."
I sniffled. "Can't you come now? I'm missing you."
I could sense dad's voice breaking up. "Not really. We need to be practical. I know it's not the ideal time to be practical, but, sometimes, we just have to be. Mum and I need to do a bit of packing, and we also need to bring a load of food with us. I don't think there'll be much at your place. We'll set off at eight, and be with you by nine-thirty at the latest. It's better this way. You two can have a good night's rest. You both need one."
I was disappointed, but as always, dad was right. "Ok dad. But don't be late. I love you."
"We love you too, son. You'll be ok now. Trust your old dad. He knows what's best for you. You two get some sleep now, and we'll see you in the morning. Goodnight son."
"Goodnight dad. Give mum a kiss for me." I put the phone down, and looked at Dean. "They're coming down in the morning."
Dean nodded, and hugged me again. I'd been wrong; the photograph of me on the harbour wall at Padstow was still on the office desk, and it hadn't gone up the chimney like Harry's had. It reminded me of the object in my shirt. When dad had sent me the stuff about Harry, in his usual organized way, there had been two copies of everything. I was as organised as dad, and when my mind was twisted and hurt, I'd saved the second copies to hurt Dean if he destroyed the first. The copy of the photo of Harry when he was a boy was nestling in my shirt. I didn't know why I'd done it, but just before Dr Two-a-Penny brought me down to Dean, I felt I needed to take it with me. Now, I knew why. Dean and I could never be right until, once and for all, the matter of Harry was sorted. I was almost frightened to speak, but, eventually, I did.
"Dean, I want to give you something, but I'm afraid you'll be angry with me. I know we'll make up and be like we were before, but until we sort out the matter of Harry, he will always be in the back of our minds. I don't want that. Can we talk about it, please?"
Dean was hesitant, but he stroked my face, and nodded. "Maybe we should."
I couldn't look Dean in the eyes as I was speaking. Instead, I looked at, and stroked his hair, and I began to mumble. "When I saw the picture of Harry, I was so jealous that it twisted my mind. He really was a beautiful boy. The thing that really made me lose it was the thought that if he and I were the same age now, and we had both been on the camp site, you wouldn't have given me a second glance. It was that thought that triggered off everything. It was why I was so cruel to you. I know I shouldn't, but I just couldn't help it. Was I right to think that? I want an honest answer."
Dean sighed. "I'll give you as honest an answer as I can to your hypothetical question. Yes, Harry was beautiful, but not more beautiful than you. Well, not in my eyes he wasn't. I've never denied falling in love with Harry, and the chances of you both being on the same camp site are so ridiculously small, that they're non existent. And then there's another part to the equation. Do you really think there are two boys like you in the whole world? Even if I fell in love with Harry at the camp site, and fell in love with you too, do you honestly believe that he and I would have been as compatible as you and I are? That's the magic of what we are. Don't you understand that? We're like George and Alexander, and not Lucien and the other guy who he fell in love with in the book. I'm not sure if you'll believe this, but since the day you left, William has been completely neglected. Although I've wanted your beautiful body to be in my arms because that's part of the whole, the thing I've missed is your love; your cheeky smiles; the way you tease me; the grunts you give me if you're not in the best of moods, and even the way you leave your toothbrush in the washbasin when you've cleaned your teeth and no matter how many times I tell you about it, you still keep doing it." Dean kissed my forehead as a sign that his answer was done. "So, what is it you want to give to me?"
Dean's words made me giggle with relief. Without a complete answer (and I knew a complete answer would be impossible before I asked it) he'd reassured me completely, and I knew that Harry would never again come between us. I delved into my shirt and took out the photo, looked at it, and handed it to Dean.
He studied it for a while. "Matthew, would you be offended if I tore this up and threw it where the other one went?"
"Yes I would. It would be cruel to do that to him. He really was such a beautiful boy, and since we fell out, he's become my friend."
Dean pulled a strange face. "Have you met him?"
I giggled. "Of course not you silly old man! I mean the photo. That one you're holding. I talk to him, and he talks to me. You see, only he and I know how wonderful you are. Don't reject him now, Dean. It's not fair. Put him in your old tin box and take him out whenever you want to tell him how you're going on."
Dean gave the photo back to me. "I'll think about it." Then he picked up the one of me that was on his desk, and looked lovingly at it. "However angry I am at you, I'll never tear this up. Are you hungry?"
I shrugged my shoulders. "Not really. I haven't eaten anything for ages. Well, not proper food. I think I've eaten three pieces of toast this last week, and I didn't really want them. Are you hungry?"
Dean pulled a face that said food would make him sick. Then, as I'd done, he shrugged his shoulders. "We'd better eat something. How about we share a tin of soup? We can't have toast, because I've got no bread in. In fact, I've got nothing in apart from tinned stuff." He dropped his head. "I wasn't expecting to need it."
"But you need it now?"
He looked me in the eyes. "Oh yes, we both need it now. Come on, and I'll warm some soup up. We can share a tin between us, and then go from there. Ok?"
I grinned. "Ok, but if it makes me sick, I shall blame you."
Dean put some logs on the dying embers of the fire, and then took my hand and led me to the kitchen, sat me at the table, and opened a tin of chicken soup. As he was warming it, I looked at his back. The long hair I loved so much, especially when I was rubbing my face in it, was tangled and matted. Like me, he had obviously not taken care of himself since we'd parted. But that wasn't completely true: he was still clean shaven. That was puzzling, and I had to ask why he'd shaved.
"I hate facial hair, and I couldn't bear the thought of looking like Rip Van Winkle when they found me. I know it sounds daft, but I was going to have a bath before..."
Although Dean's didn't end his sentence, I knew what he meant; and his answer made sense. He was always extraordinarily fussy about his cleanliness, and even when he was going to end his life, he wouldn't have forsaken that trait. It was what he was. "Were you going to wash your hair?"
I saw him nod, and then his shoulders began to shake, and I knew he was crying. "I would have done that for you."
I got out of the chair, and went to him, and hugged his back. He turned, and I saw the tears running from his eyes, so I pulled his head down and kissed the salty lips, and then wiped away his tears. "We'll have a bath when we've both been sick."
That made him grin. "I think I need one; and you by the looks of it. Let's try and eat this soup and not be sick."
Dean poured the soup into a single large bowl, set it on the table with two spoons, and we sat side by side. He filled a spoon and put it to my lips, and I sipped it until it was gone. I did the same for Dean. We began to giggle. Dean picked the bowl up, brought it to his lips, and began to make ravenous animal noises as he sipped at it. Now we were laughing. I took it from him, and did the same. Then it became a contest of who could make the silliest noise. By the time the soup was gone, tears were running from our eyes at our silly game. Dean belched. So did I. More giggles.
Dean cocked his head to one side. "More? Beef Broth or Mulligatawny?"
I giggled. "Mulligatawny."
Dean didn't bother to wash the saucepan he'd used to heat the chicken soup; he just opened the new tin and poured it in, warmed it up and put it in the same large bowl. We giggled that away too. More belching, and more laughing. We were still giggling when we went back into the lounge and sat by the blazing log fire and hugged and kissed. Dean had to break our loving to switch on the emersion heater to make sure we had enough hot water for a bath, and then we continued our making up. An hour later, Dean went upstairs and ran the bath for us, and when it was full, he shouted for me to come to him.
Our bath was large: an old, restored, Victorian cast-iron one with claw feet, and it was steaming and full of my favourite bubble bath; lavender, because lavender was Alexander's favourite. It brought back many memories of the times Dean and I had shared a bath and made love while we were in it, and for the first time in a long time, I felt Willie stir. Then we both undressed and looked at each other. William was aroused, too.
After we'd both cleaned our teeth, Dean got in the bath and lay back in the hot water, and I followed him and lay between his legs with the back of my head resting on his chest, and he gently washed away the layers of weeks of neglect. Willie had special attention, but not so much as to try and bring him to bear fruit. And then it was my turn. I kneeled between Dean's legs and scrubbed away his sorrow. Dean pulled the plug, and the filthy water gurgled away down the drain and out of our lives forever. Just our hair to do; and we used the wall shower at the side of the bath to do that. Dean washed and conditioned my hair three times before he was satisfied it was clean, and then I did the same to his. It was done: we'd washed away most of the visible hurt we'd both suffered.
Back in our bedroom, that the crackling radiators had now warmed, Dean sat me in a chair and dried my hair with the hairdryer, and then styled it exactly as he liked it best. Then it was my turn to do Dean's, and it was then that I realised how weak I was. My arms were aching like mad as I tried to get the brush through the tangles of Dean's long hair, so he took the brush from me, and did it himself as I directed the dryer. Even Dean was exhausted when it was finally done, and then he took me to the bed, sat me on the edge, went to his knees, and kissed Willie. I lay back thinking he was going to suck me, but he got up, went to his half of the wardrobe and took out a pair of my underpants and the khaki shorts I wore on the holiday at Cornwall, and came back to me.
I laughed. "You kinky old man you! I've been searching for them for ages."
He grinned, kissed the shorts and underpants, and then very slowly slid them up my legs and adjusted them until he was satisfied I was comfortable, and then he placed his hands on my hips and rested the side of his face on the front of my shorts. There were tears in his eyes when he lifted his head and looked into mine. "I've got my boy back."
I beckoned him to come and lie beside me, and when he did, I rubbed my face in his fragrant hair. "And I've got my man back, Harry."
Dean took my head, pushed it away so he could see into my eyes, and gave me a puzzled look. "Harry?"
I stroked his face and nodded. "Yes, Harry. Harry and I are the best of friends now. He's inside me. I talk to him all the time. He said everything would be ok. I didn't believe him, but he was right." I pulled Dean's head to me and crushed his lips with mine. I broke the kiss. "Harry and I want you to make love to us now, and we won't take no for an answer."
Dean stared into my eyes. I could see he was thinking things over, and I could also see the doubt: and anger. But this was not just something I'd plucked out of the air. My weeks away from Dean may have blunted my sexual urges and taken a few pounds of fat from my body, but they had not dulled my senses. Even in the deepest depths of despair when Dean and I were apart, and even though I doubted we would get back together again, I was not entirely without hope. Maybe towards the end I was, but not all the time, and it was during that time that my brain was at it's most able to decipher the code of love. Despite all Dean said to me in the past in our discussions about Harry, I knew he wasn't telling me the complete truth. Harry was still deep inside him. I didn't blame him for that; Harry was just too beautiful, and the circumstances of their fleeting love, was deep, and not something which could be dismissed easily: if ever. To work that out, I'd done what dad said many times that I should do - `If you want to know how somebody is thinking, stand in their shoes'. I had stood in Harry's shoes, and I knew he wouldn't have dared write the note to Dean had his love not been deep and spontaneous. I should know...it happened to me, but I was lucky, I'd been able to chase after Dean and seal the deal. The more I thought about things, the more I knew that Harry could never be a hidden part of what Dean and I were. For us to truly function as lovers, Dean had to have no hidden agenda in the back of his mind. It was the certainty of that hidden agenda that had made me so intensely jealous of Harry, and which had led to the breakdown in our relationship, and I was determined it would never happen again, and that's why, from now on in, rather than banish Harry from what we were, he would become part of us. Well, I would soon know if I was right. Dean's eyes were flickering, and his eyelids were blinking as electrical connections pulsated in the analytical part of his brain.
To be continued...