Let us all disclaim one last time, whatever that means. I guess you must do by now.
So this is it, folks, the final chapter. It’s been the longest, and in many ways the most ambitious story I’ve written, taking well over a year to complete. I’d like to say a big thank you to all the guys who’ve written to me while I’ve been posting it; you have definitely made the effort that I’ve put into it seem worthwhile. However, final thoughts would be very welcome; please e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll reply as soon as I can.
We haven’t quite finished with Hartswood Priory though. I am currently working on a little four-parter about the delightful Patrick Naylor and his friends. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be posting it during May. Following on from that, I’ll be posting five short stories, each one focussing on a different character at Hartswood, both boys and masters. These stories will be under the title ‘Snapshots’, though still part of the Hartswood Priory series.
Once they’re finished, that really will be it as far as Hartswood Priory is concerned. I’ll be taking a few weeks to re-charge my batteries before starting on a new project that I hope to begin posting at the beginning of next year, maybe a little earlier if things go well.
Many thanks and big hugs to you all!
CHAPTER FORTY ONE
We’re preparing for our final cricket match of the season. Just like in the rugby we’re on the verge of a perfect season; with one match remaining we’ve won every one we’ve played, that’s five rounds of the South Eastern Counties Prep Schools’ Cup and nine friendlies. After missing out last year, this year we won the Prep Schools’ Cup quite convincingly; none of the teams we played even got close. Mr. Halford was well pleased with that; we’ve never won it before.
In the friendly matches, unlike rugby we only play each team once, at home one season and at their place the next. The highest score any team’s made against us is 103 for eight. That was by Queen Elizabeth’s who are the only team we haven’t bowled out. It was still a pretty easy win; they batted first, we knocked the runs off for the loss of four wickets with six overs to spare.
Now after what happened last year, you might be expecting me to tell you how I’ve made all the runs, taken lots of wickets and all the rest of it, you know, real boys’ own story crap. Well, sorry but it hasn’t happened like that. Oh, I’ve made runs, with one fifty and several other decent scores, but the real batting star has been Craig; he’s been superb. Apart from a couple of low scores when he’s been out before he got settled, his lowest score’s been twenty eight. He’s made three fifties and he’s averaging over forty; absolutely amazing. But even that’s not the real story. Rob and Paz have been unbelievable; they’ve not just been bowling teams out, they’ve been destroying them. Marcus and Darren, who bowls left-arm spin, have picked up a few wickets; I’ve hardly been needed. I’ve fielded as well as ever, of course; I really pride myself on that. I’ve taken some good catches and pulled off a few run-outs, so I can’t complain; I’ve had a good season.
Appointing Dominic to captain the team was a masterstroke; it’s been the making of him. He opens the batting with Craig and he’s worked so hard at it. And he’s such a great student of the game; when we’re fielding he knows instantly where all the fielders should be. The number of times that he’s altered the field and we’ve picked up a wicket almost immediately is uncanny. Mr. Halford knew exactly what he was doing when he picked him.
So all we’ve got left is our annual fixture against Whitestone Hall, and this year it’s our turn to host it. From what we’ve heard, they’ve had a pretty ordinary season; won a few, lost a few. They don’t seem to be a patch on the team they had last year, and there’s no Devon Moseley, of course. They shouldn’t give us too much trouble as long as we play properly.
Dominic wins the toss and elects to bat first. That’s no surprise; it’s a beautiful summer afternoon and the pitch is in great nick, despite all the matches we’ve played. The groundsman’s done an excellent job. Back in the pavilion, we make our final preparations.
“Right lads,” Mr. Halford says quietly. “Before you go out, Dominic wants a word.”
Everybody falls silent.
“We all know what happened last year,” Dominic says. “I didn’t play, but I was there and I saw every ball. Well today is our opportunity to show them how this game should be played. And I don’t just mean performance, although that’s very important; I want our behaviour on the field to be absolutely spot-on. Okay lads; let’s do it.”
We move outside; the Whitestone Hall boys are already on the field, throwing the ball about. We’ve got a big crowd of supporters out there, well over half the school and most of the teachers, including Mr. Chambers again. It is great weather for watching cricket, but the turnout is still pretty impressive.
Craig and Dom stride out to the middle; our opponents give them a polite round of applause. Right from the first few balls it’s pretty obvious why they’ve struggled to win many matches. Their opening bowlers are reasonably accurate, but that’s about the best you can say about them; on a good pitch like ours they pose no threat at all. Like I just said, Craig’s been batting well all season. Today he looks to be in superb form, scoring seventeen off the first two overs. The score races past fifty in what seems like no time. Then Dominic makes a mistake, attempting to drive a ball that’s not really up there for it and spooning an easy catch to mid-off. He’s out for twenty three with the score on fifty eight for one.
He gets a round of applause from our opponents as he leaves the field. Justin goes out to replace him. There’s a polite round of applause for him too; that’s something they didn’t do last year. Things continue in much the same way, the score rattling along at around seven runs an over. Finally Justin slashes at a wide one and edges it to slip. He made twenty; the score is one hundred and twelve for two, with Craig on sixty five not out. Now it’s my turn. As I approach the wicket I get a great round of applause from the fielders, led by their captain, who’s grinning at me. I remember him from the match last year; I guess he must remember me too.
I take guard, look around the field and settle into my stance. Usually, I’m the one trying to play the big shots, but with Craig going so well there’s really no need; I’ll just give him as much of the strike as I can and let him get on with it. I nudge my first ball into a gap and we trot through for a single. Four overs later, Craig’s still blazing away; I’ve scored eleven, seven singles and a four. Well, they bowled me one short and wide outside the off-stump; you’ve got to hit those! Finally Craig’s concentration cracks. He plays a rather lazy-looking pull shot, gets a bottom edge and chops the ball onto his stumps. He’s gone for eighty seven. It’s a shame; he deserved a century today. He’s applauded all the way off the field.
The score is one hundred and forty six for three, with just under five overs left. Tim Saunders, who’s in Lower Fourth, usually bats at number five, but Marcus comes in instead. We meet in the middle of the pitch.
“Dominic wants us to go for it,” he says quietly. “He thinks we might be able to break the school record.”
The record highest innings stands at one hundred and ninety two, set two years ago when Russell was captain. To break it we’d need to score forty seven off twenty eight balls. That’s quite some rate of scoring, but it’s not impossible.
“Okay,” I say, “but remember we don’t need a boundary off every ball. Play proper cricket shots, not just slogging.”
“Cool,” he says grinning.
He clips his first ball for a single, giving me the strike. Having spent four overs settling in, I’m seeing it like a soccer ball. I drive the next delivery through extra cover for four, pull the one after that to the boundary at deep mid-wicket, and run the last ball of the over down to third man for a single. We’ve scored ten in four balls; that’ll do. Pretty soon Marcus is joining in the fun, hitting two sixes and four fours in a score of thirty one not out, while at the other end, my score moves onto thirty nine. After twenty five overs, the innings closes with the score on two hundred and five for three. We haven’t just broken the record; we’ve smashed it.
We leave the field to a great round of applause. In the sky away to our left some clouds are starting to appear. As we go back out after the tea interval the clouds have built up quite considerably. The atmosphere has a clammy feel to it; there’ll probably be a storm this evening.
“If I can’t swing the ball in this weather, I never will,” Rob whispers.
We take up our fielding positions as the opening batsmen stride out to the middle. We applaud as they approach, just like they did for us. It’s clear they’re going to be in trouble right from the first ball, a good length delivery, pitching on off-stump. The batsman aims to play a forward defensive push, but the ball darts away sharply. He misses it completely; behind the stumps Tim Saunders has to move a couple of yards to his right to take it. Wow! The batsman manages to get some bat on the next ball; the third one he plays and misses again. Rob’s not express quick but he’s fast enough, a good deal faster than anyone they’ve got. His fourth ball pitches six inches or so outside off stump. Expecting it to move away like the others have done, the batsman leaves it alone. But it doesn’t; it cuts back towards him, flattening middle and leg stumps. They’ve lost their first wicket with no runs on the board.
That’s just the start. Both Rob and Paz are bowling brilliantly, good pace, good rhythm, good technique, not trying too hard, concentrating on line and length and letting the ball do the work. They’re almost unplayable; after bowling four overs each the score is twenty nine for seven with Rob having taken four wickets and Paz three. The match is all but over. Their captain, who came in at number three, is the only one who can cope with the sideways movement they’re getting; he’s batting beautifully.
Rob and Paz usually take a break after four overs, but Dominic calls them together. They want to carry on and finish the job, hardly surprising really. After two more overs from Rob and one and a bit from Paz it is over; they’re all out for forty one with their captain left high and dry on twenty two not out. We applaud him from the field. Quite right too; he batted incredibly well in pretty tough conditions.
As we walk off we’re almost mobbed by our army of supporters. Their teacher comes over to me, extending his hand. Well, a year on I’m happy to shake his hand if that’s what he wants.
“You’ve really given us a lesson in how this game should be played,” he says ruefully.
“Well, you did get the worst of the conditions,” I say. “It might have been different if you’d batted first.”
“Well, it might have been a bit closer,” he concedes. “I don’t think it would have altered the result. We don’t have anyone who can bowl like that whatever the weather’s like. Mr. Halford’s a remarkable coach; there’s no doubt about it.”
“He’s the best,” I say grinning.
“He’s offered to help me over the winter,” he says. “I need it; if I’m going to get a team to play like you boys do, I’ve got a lot to learn.”
I wander back into the changing room. Mr. Halford’s bustling about, congratulating everyone. The atmosphere’s a gas; after playing so well and completing a perfect season we’re all pretty high.
“Sir, why are you helping the Whitestone Hall guy?” I call jokingly. “I thought they were the enemy!”
“Well, first of all, Toby,” he says in mock reproval, “they’re fierce rivals; they are not the enemy. Second, when I started teaching I’d played first class cricket for five years so I knew a lot about the game. I knew very little about developing young players. Whitestone Hall had the best team around. I had the good fortune to have Jack Barnard, Mr. Parsons’ predecessor, take me under his wing. Most of what I know about coaching I learned from him. And finally, and this is the most important reason, every so often Mr. Parsons will have a boy in his team who has the ability to do something in the game, maybe up to first class level. He needs to know how to bring on boys like that.”
“So have you ever coached someone like that, sir?” Marcus asks.
“I’ve coached a couple of boys that made it into the Sussex first team,” he says, smiling. “No England players yet, but I live in hope!”
“Sir, who’s going to be player of the season?” Justin enquires.
“Wait till Monday’s assembly,” he responds, still smiling warmly. “You’ll find out then!”
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
We step out of the car and ring the bell. A minute later Tim opens the door.
“Come in!” he says warmly. “Good to see you again!”
We spend a few minutes having a cup of tea and chatting about this and that.
“So how’s it going?” I ask.
“Pretty good,” he says, smiling. “I’m number two here now. A couple of the older guys left, one to join another company on better money, the other to start his own business, so I’ve had a nice pay rise, which is good.”
“Have you ever thought about starting your own business?” I continue.
“Thought about it,” he says, “but that’s a far as it’s got. Oh, I wouldn’t be short of work; James Pearson and a few others always ask for me to work on their stuff. But I’d have to get a place to work and buy all my own equipment. I don’t have that sort of money and I don’t want to go into debt for it. The boss is pretty good here, keeping the equipment up to date and that, and he’s looked after me okay.”
Well that seems a pretty fair answer. I love coming to this place; I seem to learn loads of stuff every time. We stroll along to the edit suite and settle down to work.
“You’ve really come on,” Tim comments. “There’s hardly any of this that you couldn’t use. It’s up to you what you want to keep, really.”
I’m not sure what he’d think if he knew what I’d been doing to practise my filming skills, but that’s my secret and it’s going to stay that way. Funnily enough, the fact that I could use almost everything I filmed means the edit takes much longer; I’ve just got so many more options. We look at different ways of cutting the film together too; that’s pretty cool. Eventually it’s finished. I’m delighted with it. It’s much the best one I’ve done.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
There’ll be two awards presented at this morning’s assembly. Athlete of the season is a foregone conclusion; Will’s going to get that. Cricketer of the season’s a different matter; I really don’t know who’s going to get it. Paz has been superb, but I’m pretty sure Rob’s taken more wickets than he has, so I don’t think it’ll be him. So it’ll be between Rob and Craig, bowler versus batsman; it’s a hard one to pick.
We’re about to find out. Will’s just received his award from Mr. Chambers, who’s turned up especially for the occasion. This is it. Mr. Halford steps forward to announce the decision.
“As those have you who came to watch on Saturday will know, we’ve had some excellent performances this year,” he says. “Over the season Craig Shackleton has scored six hundred and eleven runs at an average of just over forty three. That would have won the award in most years. Some of you will remember that last year the award went to Ashton Hayes. He took forty six wickets and conceded four hundred and nineteen runs, for an average of just over nine runs per wicket. This year, Pascal Donnelly has taken forty nine wickets while conceding just four hundred and thirteen runs for an average of just under eight point five. That performance would also have won it in most years, but this year, with an unprecedented sixty seven wickets while conceding four hundred and sixty five runs, an average of just under seven runs per wicket, the winner is Robert Shearsby!”
Robert steps up to the platform to receive his trophy; the applause is tremendous. I’m delighted for him; after the way he’s played he deserves everything he gets.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
As usual, the first group to see the film will be Upper Fourth. Twenty two boys, including all my mates, troop into the science lab; the place is packed. Even Teddy’s turned up, and he’s not into sport at all. They sit in rapt attention for just shy of twenty five minutes. I have to say, it’s come out really well; the hurdles, the high jump, the shot putt, they all look great, much better than I’ve managed before, but the part I’m most pleased with is the fifteen hundred metres. We’ve squeezed a race that took almost five minutes into about forty seconds, but because of the way we cut the film together, we’ve included all the important bits. It looks really smooth.
As the screen fades to black there’s a huge round of applause; it’s almost embarrassing. Even Mr. Cooper joins in. A moment later I’ve got my mates all over me.
“That was fantastic, man!” Martin comments, his eyes sparkling. “I’ve never seen myself on film before!”
“It was a great race,” I say, “I really enjoyed filming it. But you’ve got the technician to thank for cutting it together like that; I couldn’t have done it.”
The good humoured chatter continues for fully five minutes before they head off to their next activity. I’m overwhelmed; it seems like everyone enjoyed it.
“You can really see the difference between that and the first one you did,” Mr. Cooper says. “This one is so much more polished, really professional-looking.”
“Thanks, sir,” I say quietly.
I’m glowing inside. I did a good job and everybody seems to appreciate it; I like that. My only regret is that I didn’t get Tim to put his name on the credits. A few minutes later a big group from Lower Fourth come in, far more than I’d expected. I approach Mr. Chandler, who’s rewinding the film.
“Sir,” I say quietly. “Before we start, could I have a word with them please?”
“Yes, if you want,” he says, looking a bit surprised.
He finishes setting everything up then calls everyone to order.
“Right lads,” he says brightly. “Before we start, Toby would like a quick word.”
I take a deep breath; I’ve never done this before.
“Most of you probably don’t know, but over the past three years Mr. Chandler’s given up a great deal of his own time in order to help me process the films I’ve made. That’s meant I could see where I’ve gone wrong and stuff. Without the help he’s given me I wouldn’t have been able to make this film, so I’d like to thank him for that. Second, although I did all the filming, the film was edited at a studio in London by a great technician called Tim Harvey. So this is his film as much as it is mine.”
I step to one side. Mr. Cooper turns off the lights and the film begins. These lads are just as much into it as my mates were. That’s fantastic because there’s a lot of rivalry between Upper and Lower Fourth. At the end, there’s another round of applause and a few calls of “Well done, sir!” which is pretty cool. Eventually they make their way out.
“If I’d known that was what you were going to say, I’d have said no,” Mr. Chandler says, smiling. “But thanks. I’ve enjoyed working with you; it’s been great.”
I’ve enjoyed working with him too. It’s been strange in a way; he’s let me runs things while he’s just helped; he’s never told me what to do, not once. I can’t think of any other teachers who would have done that. But it’s been very important; without his help I just couldn’t have done it. That’s one thing I have learned; I can’t make films on my own.
The film shows continue all morning and into the afternoon. Previously we’ve shown it to the first and second years together, but this time too many of them wanted to see it so we had to put two separate shows on. Finally it’s over and we start to pack everything away.
“We’re really going to miss this next year,” Mr. Cooper says. “It’s become an important part of our end of term activities.”
“Thanks, sir,” I say. “I think I’m going to miss it too.”
“Best of luck, Toby,” he responds as we shake hands. “You’ll do well at Charterhouse; I’m sure of it.”
Having been cooped up in the science lab for most of the day I’m exhausted. I check my watch; I’ll be meeting Ian in just over an hour. I can’t wait.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
Today it’s our trip to London. We don’t have to wear school uniform, which is cool. Most of us are wearing jeans and tee-shirts, but it’s a hot day so some of the lads are in shorts. We start off at the Tower of London, which is quite interesting; I’ve not visited it before. Then we head right across the centre of London to the Science Museum in Kensington. The place is a gas; lots of things there for us to do, not just to look at. Teddy’s in his element; he might not do that well in class, but he’s really into this stuff. He knows far more about it than anyone else.
We stay there most of the day, including having lunch. Afterwards, the coach drops us off in Hyde Park, by the Serpentine. We stroll though the park and on into Mayfair, finishing up on Regent Street. Then we’re allowed an hour to explore on our own. The only restrictions are that we have to stay in groups of not less than three, and under no circumstances are we to be late back. I’m one of only four boys in our year who actually lives in London, and thanks to going round with Uncle Andrew, I’m the only one that knows the West End. So I find myself leading a gang around Soho. I show them the post-production studio on Wardour Street where the sports day film was edited, the Marquee Club just across the road, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and Soho Square, where some of the big film companies have their offices. After that we walk down Berwick Street, past some of the sex shops and strip clubs. We get some pretty strange looks, but I guess we’re safe enough as long as we stay together. Finally we stroll back to Hamley’s Toy Shop on Regent Street to meet the coach for the journey back to school.
We leave London just at the start of the rush hour; the journey seems to take forever. We finally make it, but it’s so late now, once we’ve had supper there won’t be time for me to see Alex or Ian. They had their first get-together today. While we were walking through Soho they’d have been out in the woods, getting to know each other. I’m itching to know how it went, but there’s nothing for it; I’ll have to wait till tomorrow.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
With all the end of term activities going on, I don’t get a chance to meet up with either Alex or Ian until everything’s finished for the day. Finally, it’s half past three and the time’s our own until supper at quarter past six. For those of us in Upper Fourth who have younger friends, today is our last chance to meet up with them. Fortunately, it’s another warm, dry day so we can use the two hiding places in the woods and the one behind the sports pavilion, otherwise things could have got very awkward. Of course, I could have used the trunk store, but now I’ve finished making the films I just don’t want to; it’s like I’ve closed that chapter of my life and I don’t want to go there again.
So right now I’m on my way to meet Alex; I’ll be seeing Ian after supper. The idea of having a threesome with them did cross my mind, but it didn’t seem right, somehow. Ian and Alex have been an important part of my life for the past two years; I want to say goodbye to them properly. I stroll across the playground; Alex is sitting on one of the benches, waiting for me. He gets up as I approach then we walk together across the field towards the woods. We don’t hold hands, but we could if we wanted to; right now nobody cares. A few minutes later we’re snuggled up in our hiding place.
“So how did it go yesterday?” I ask, wrapping my arm round his shoulder. “You know; you and Ian.”
“Great,” he says, smiling. “I’m not surprised you like him so much; he’s a fantastic kid.”
“Cool,” I say quietly. “So you’re happy then?”
“Oh, yeah!” he says, grinning. “He’ll do for me!”
“Well, just make sure you look after him for me,” I say. “He’s pretty special.”
“I will,” he whispers, smiling up at me. “I promise.”
We kiss passionately, something else I’ll never tire of doing. As our lips part we begin undressing each other. In barely half a minute we’re naked apart from our socks. Alex isn’t pretty the way that Patrick is, but he’s got a gorgeous body, lean and athletic, not an ounce of fat on him, and his cock’s perfection. I snake around and take it into my mouth, sucking it hungrily, his slim four and a bit inches touching the back of my throat. Without either of us saying anything we’re into a sixty nine, his lips and tongue performing magic; the sensations are unbelievable. I run my hands down his back and over his bum, firm but silky to the touch. Man! He’s pretty special too. I’m starting to get close.
“Uhhhh! You’d better stop!” I groan. “I don’t want to cum yet.”
We release each other and snuggle up again.
“So did you and Ian go all the way?” I ask.
“Yeah, course we did!” he says, grinning. “I wasn’t sure at first, but he said he wanted me to. I wasn’t going to say no, was I?”
“So how did you have him?”
“On all fours, like you do with me.”
“And did he like it?”
“Yeah, man! He loved it!”
“And what about you?”
“Fantastic! The best ever! Specially when I spunked inside him!”
“Show me,” I whisper. “Show me what you did.”
“You want me to bum you?” he asks, his eyes widening.
“Cool!” he breathes. “I never thought we’d do that. But you’ve got to do me afterwards.”
“Yeah, sure,” I say, smiling and running my fingers through his springy fair hair. “Just don’t touch my cock while you’re doing me, okay?”
He nods. I pass him the KY and get into position. A greasy finger works its way into my bum. After a few seconds he’s got two fingers up there. He works them around then lets them slide out. A moment later, the head of his cock is nuzzling my bum-hole. As he pushes forwards, I relax, letting the whole thing slide into me. Fuck! It feels amazing! He gets straight to it, bumming me with long, powerful thrusts, gradually picking up speed until I hardly know which day of the week it is. If he even barely touches my dick I’ll cum all over the place. Fortunately he doesn’t. Quite suddenly, his breathing gets harsh and raspy.
“Ohhh!” he gasps. “Oh fuck! Nnng!! Nnnng!! Uhhhhhhh!!!!”
His cock swells and jerks inside me, several volleys of spunk spurting into my bum. Wow! I’m not surprised Ian enjoyed it; he was fantastic! He slowly pulls out. We swap places. I quickly lube him up; a moment later I’m inside him, my cock buried deep in his tight little tunnel. I need to take this slow. He’s only just cum; I want to get him hard again before I starting really fucking him. I set to work, thrusting in hard then slowly pulling back, pausing for a second before doing it again.
“Oh, Tobee!!” he moans. “Oh, that’s good, man!”
I reach down and fondle his cock. It’s not fully hard, but definitely getting there. I give him three hard thrusts in quick succession before slowing down again. In less than a minute his cock’s as hard as iron and throbbing like crazy.
“Oh, do it man!” he pleads. “I want your spunk!”
This is it; our last time together. Sheer animal instinct takes over; within a few seconds I’m fucking him senseless, pounding his arse as hard as I can. Alex moans and gurgles, almost begging for more. The tingling starts right down by my toes. A moment later it sweeps right through my body, everything dissolving in a blur of flashing lights, the ground shaking beneath us. My balls draw up tight in their sac, spunk barrelling through my cock and flooding over and over into his tight little bum. I collapse over his back, gasping like an old steam engine, heart hammering, totally and utterly drained. It’s several seconds before I realise my hand’s wet; Alex has cum too.
After what seems like forever I gently pull out. We flop down next to each other and kiss. Man! I never want this to end. But end it must. I check my watch. It’s nearly quarter past four; Tigger and Patrick have booked this place for half past.
“Sorry, kid,” I whisper. “We’ve got to go.”
Reluctantly we get ourselves dressed. We walk back through the woods with my arm around Alex’s shoulder.
“So are you going to play scrum-half next season?” I ask.
“Yeah, I hope so.” he says, smiling.
“Oh, you’ll get it, no question,” I tell him.
“I just hope I can do half as well as you did,” he says.
It’s a great compliment. I know I’ve been something of a role-model for him, especially where rugby’s concerned, but hearing him say it like that is very special.
As we emerge from the trees, Justin and Patrick are sitting on the grass twenty yards away. We stroll across and join them.
“It’s all yours,” I say quietly.
“You look happy,” Justin comments.
“Yeah,” I say, giving Alex’s shoulder a squeeze. “This bit was never going to be easy; I think we did it as well as we could.”
“I guess we’d better go then,” Justin responds.
We watch in silence as Patrick and Justin disappear into the bushes.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
Supper’s over. I make my way outside. It’s a beautiful summer evening. Ian’s sitting on the grass by the edge of the field waiting for me. I can’t say I’m looking forward to this. We head off into the woods. Two minutes later we’re manoeuvring our way into the same hiding place Alex and I used this afternoon. We hold each other round the waist.
“Our last time together,” Ian says, smiling up at me.
“Yeah,” I respond, almost choking.
“Well, I don’t know about you,” he says brightly. “But I’ve enjoyed every single one of them.”
“Me too,” I agree.
We kick our shoes off. I help him off with his polo shirt; he returns the favour. Shorts and underpants follow soon after. So here we are again, dressed only in our socks. I wrap my arms round him, his head resting on my shoulder. I stroke his smooth silky hair. I’ve been incredibly lucky, finding a younger friend like him. Nobody could have been more loyal, more reliable. Nobody else would always know the right thing to say the way that he does. Nobody else would always be able to bring a smile to my face, even when I’ve had a really hard day. How can I replace that? I’m going to miss him terribly.
We lie down on the grass. Without any prompting he’s all over me, his tongue pushing right into my mouth. Man! That is something else! I roll onto my back, pulling him over on top of me, my hands running down his back, over his bum and on down his silky-smooth thighs. He is gorgeous!
“So how did you get on with Alex?” I ask.
“Great!” he says, his eyes sparkling. “He seemed very nervous at first, but once he’d got over that he was really nice, a lot like you actually.”
“That’s good,” I say. “So you like him, then?”
“Yeah,” he says. “He’s cool. I like him a lot.”
“So you’re quite happy about being his friend next year?”
“Yes, definitely,” he says.
“That’s great,” I say, smiling at him. “I’m pleased it’s worked out. So what would you like me to do for you now?”
“Well, first I want to suck your cock,” he says, giving me a mischievous grin. “Then I want you to give me the best bumming ever!”
“It’ll be a pleasure!” I assure him.
He moves around, resting his head on my tummy. He licks the head of my cock, then takes it into his mouth, sliding his lips down till his got the whole thing, his tongue flicking out to lick my balls. I can’t believe how good he is at this; his technique is unbelievable. Within a few seconds I’m moaning and gasping; I don’t want this to stop, not ever! As I start to get close he pulls off, grinning up at me. He licks his lips.
“So how was that?” he asks. “You taste great!”
“Amazing!” I tell him, still breathing quite hard.
“So are you going to bum me now?” he continues.
“Yeah, babe; anything you want.”
“How d’you want me?” he asks.
“How would you like it?”
“Can we do it with me on my back so I can watch you?”
“Any way you want,” I assure him, grinning.
I retrieve the KY and gently work some into him. We move into position. Ian lifts his legs, holding them back so his knees are close to his shoulders. His bum-hole winks invitingly. I crawl in close. One hard thrust and I’m inside him. He grins at me. I keep pushing till it slides all the way in.
“Go on Toby!” he says. “You know what I want!”
I start off nice and slow, almost pulling right out before slamming it back in again. He look of ecstasy on his face says everything I need to know. I build it up, fucking him harder, faster, deeper, the perspiration running off me. I push down between his legs. He pulls me in, our lips meeting in a wild, passionate kiss, his legs wrapped round my back; we’re kissing and fucking and fucking and kissing like nothing else matters. I reach down, fondling his hard little bullet. He shudders violently, his legs flailing, his cock jerking between my fingers. A couple more thrusts and everything explodes; my cock jerks into action, my spunk spurting into his bum like it’s never going to stop. Finally it does. I’m so light-headed I tip over sideways, taking Ian with me, my dick still buried balls-deep inside him. Man! I don’t know if he thought it was the best bumming ever, but I certainly did.
We lie there for maybe a minute before I can even think about moving. We carefully untangle ourselves. My cock’s the most sensitive it’s ever been; I’d jump in the air if anyone so much as laid a finger on it.
“Thanks Toby,” Ian whispers, a serene smile on his face. “That was wonderful! Perfect!”
“I wish I didn’t have to leave you behind,” I say, my voice breaking up.
“You mustn’t be sad,” he says, smiling and licking my nose. “We’ve had a great two years; well, I know I have. Now we’ve got to move on. You’re off on a big new adventure. Next term you’ll be away at Charterhouse making lots of new friends and you’ll forget all about me.”
“Uh, huh,” I say, rubbing noses with him. I look him right in the eyes. “Wherever I go, whatever I do, however long I live, I will never, ever forget you.”
“Thanks,” he whispers. “And when you’re a famous film director, and I know you will be, I’ll think back to these two years and the wonderful times we shared.”
I love this kid; he’s just amazing. He’s handling this far better than I am. I pull him towards me, locking our lips together in one final kiss.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
At first it’s like a bad dream. Then I realise; someone’s tugging at my shoulder.
“Toby! Are you awake?!”
Rob’s voice; muffled, but definitely him. I shake myself and open my eyes.
“What the fuck’s the time?” I demand.
“Twenty five past five.”
Uhh! Not that early then; in the summer I’m usually awake by this time. After saying goodbye to Alex and Ian, I’ve slept like a log.
“Will wants to know if you’d like to join us,” Rob hisses.
It takes me a second or two to process this information. Oh yeah; Rob and Will have been sleeping together. Now they fancy a threesome, right? Well, I can’t really say no, can I? It’d be rude!
“Have to go for a piss first,” I whisper, “unless Will wants me to pee on him!”
“Nah!” Rob says grinning. “Go on; we’ll see you in a couple of minutes.”
I head off to the boys’ room. I’ve got a raging hard-on, the same as I always have when I wake up. I have to stand there for ages before it goes down enough for me to pee through it. Finally the job’s done; that feels better. I splash some water on my face; better still, I’m properly awake now. I pad back to the dorm. It’s fully light outside, but the dorm curtains are quite heavy so it’s still pretty dark in here. I take a moment for my eyes to re-adjust. Justin and Martin are snuggled up in bed together. I giggle to myself. Good old Tigger! If his parents knew what he’s been getting up to they’d have fifty fits.
The other three are still fast asleep as far as I can tell. I’m not worried about Paul who’d probably sleep through a nuclear explosion; Gareth and Adrian I’m not sure about. I make my way to Will’s bed as quietly as I can so as not to disturb them.
“Morning, Toby!” Will whispers.
“Morning to you too!” I say, stifling a giggle. “So what’t the plan?”
“You fuck me while I suck Rob’s cock, then he fucks me while you and I snog.”
“His idea!” Rob interjects.
Fuck! I don’t care who’s idea it is; if that’s what’s on the cards, I’m not objecting! I slip off my underpants as Will gets onto all-fours, right in the middle of the bed. Rob sits in front of him, legs apart, his back against the wall, the pillow behind his head. I move round behind. Will passes me the KY. I lube him up, not that he needs much, then shuffle forwards and stuff my cock right up him. He goes wild, sucking and slurping on Rob’s dick while I pound his arse. I think about fondling his cock; it’s what I usually do when I fuck like this. I decide against it; he’ll probably cum if I do that. I’ll leave it to Rob, or maybe I’ll get to do it while Rob’s fucking him.
I’ve had a good night’s sleep, make that a great night’s sleep, and I’m ready for this, but making it last just isn’t an option. In no more than a couple of minutes I’m hit by the wildest muscle spasms ever. I slam my cock right in and hang on as best I can as my spunk floods into Will’s arse. Man! That was hot! I slowly pull out and get off the bed. On the other side of the room Justin and Martin are fucking too, Martin lying on his tummy with Tigger on top of him. Oh yeah!
We change places. I lie on my back, legs wide apart, knees pulled up so my feet are flat on the bed. Will kneels over me, pressing his lips onto mine, our tongues meshing together. A moment later I’m aware of Rob thrusting into him. For a couple of minutes I just lie there and let them get on with it. Now I’m rock-hard again. I wonder if Rob’s playing with Will’s cock while he fucks him. I can’t see; in fact I can’t really see anything. I reach out and touch it. He isn’t. Right, I’m going to do it then, only gently though; I know it won’t take much. Well, I’m right about that; after barely a minute it comes to life in my hand, little jets of watery cum squirting onto my tummy. Within seconds Rob’s cumming too, gasping and moaning as he deposits his thick creamy load up Will’s bum. Man! What a gas!!
We slowly pull ourselves apart. I guess that was a pretty good way to celebrate our last night in this place; I certainly can’t think of a better one.
“I’d better go to the boys’ room before I make a mess,” Will whispers.
He pads off down the corridor.
“That was quite a show you put on there,” Paul comments. “Most impressive!”
Shit! I thought he was asleep!
“You should have filmed it,” he continues. “You’d make a fortune.”
Rob looks like he’s seen a ghost.
“Nah!” I say, recovering my presence of mind. “We wouldn’t have had anywhere to do it. Besides, that was just between us, right?”
Paul doesn’t respond; end of conversation.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
We spend most of the morning just pottering around. Once we’ve got our things together ready to go home there isn’t much to do. It’s part of the tradition here that the parents of the boys who are leaving come to a reception on the final Thursday afternoon then take the boys home with them. So while the rest of the school finishes tomorrow; we finish today. There will be a few Upper Fourth whose parents can’t make it so they have to stay here tonight. I’m glad I won’t; mum’s coming to collect me. I bet dad was pretty awkward about her driving the car, but if he doesn’t like it he should come himself. He won’t though.
At half past eleven we go through to the main hall; Mr. Chambers wants to talk to us before we leave. That’s pretty weird. Apart from teaching one English class, he has very little to do with most of the kids here; he leaves everything to Mr. Halford. I really can’t imagine what he’s going to say. As he breezes in we fall into a respectful silence. I’m going to sit here and say nothing even if he talks complete crap. I’ve fought my battles; there’s no point in rocking the boat at this stage.
“Well, boys,” he begins. “I’m pleased to have the opportunity to talk to you like this before you finally leave us. First, I’d like to comment on how well you’ve done. Our Common Entrance results have been the best ever, with more boys being accepted into top schools than ever before. We’ve had more scholarships than ever before too, which is most encouraging, so let me say well done for that.”
Well, so far so good; he hasn’t talked any crap yet.
“The second thing I want to do is to wish you every success in your future careers. I’m pleased to say that most of you seem to have understood that if you want to achieve anything you have to be prepared to work for it. From the reports I’ve had, I know that our three scholarship winners all worked extremely hard. So for those of you that haven’t learned that lesson yet, let me encourage you to learn it now; it’s not too late. But let me also warn those who have done well not to get complacent. Some of you may think that now you’ve got into the school of your choice, you can relax. The truth is the exact opposite. All you have done is move another rung up the ladder. You will have to work even harder if you want to move on to the next level. Moving on to your senior school will present each of you with a new set of challenges and opportunities. Be prepared to accept the challenges and make the most of the opportunities.”
Hmmm! I can’t disagree with any of that either.
“For some of you, there may be situations that you have not had to face before,” he says. “And I’d like to finish by saying something about that. Some of you may receive ‘advances’ from older boys.”
Right! Here comes the crap, “thou shalt not” and all that bollocks.
“Now you may be expecting me to tell you to reject such advances out of hand,” he continues. “That’s certainly what I was told. I’m not going to do that, because as far as I’m concerned you aren’t children, you’re young adults, and perfectly able to make your own decisions about such things, even if the law says otherwise. While many people would deny you the right to say yes, I would like to emphasise that you do have the right to say no. You should not allow yourself to be pressured into a relationship or liaison that you’re not comfortable with. And if you do find yourself being pressured in that way, you should use whatever means necessary to resist, including reporting it to your housemaster. It is their job to look after you, so let them deal with the situation.”
Very interesting! He didn’t exactly say it’s okay to do it if you want, but I guess he can’t say that in his position. And saying that kids shouldn’t have to do it if they don’t want to is fair enough. It suits me; I wouldn’t want to have sex with a boy who wasn’t into it, no matter how cute he was. Mr. Chambers is a lot more switched on than I thought he’d be.
0 o 0 o 0 o 0
The bell sounds for the end of the lunch break. A few parents have already arrived, standing around waiting to be shown in. We file back into the main hall. There’s a buffet laid out for the parents; we’ve already had lunch so we’re not allowed to have anything, well, not unless there’s stuff left at the end. The parents who were already here are shown in, including Dominic’s mum and dad. His dad’s very good looking; it’s obviously where Dom gets it from. More parents start to drift in. I’ve no idea what time mum will get here; she’s never early for anything. Rob’s parents arrive. They’ve invited me to stay with them again; I’m going down by train; his dad will pick me up from the station.
Then I get a shock. Mum’s arrived but not on her own; the whole bloody family’s shown up! Liz and Kate have really dressed up for it too. They stroll across to us.
“Hello dear!” mum says, giving me a peck on the cheek.
Rob’s mum spots her immediately and introduces herself. Before you can blink, the two of them are rattling away nineteen to the dozen like they’ve known each other for years. A moment later I’ve got Liz giving me a big hug.
“Well done!” she says warmly. “You’ve done fantastic. You deserve it; you worked so hard.”
“Thanks for coming,” I say. “I was expecting mum to be on her own.”
“Oh, I wasn’t going to let that happen,” he says, smiling. “We got a day off from the boring place we go to for one thing!”
I have a hug with Kate too; I’m really pleased that she wanted to come.
“All my friends think you’re really cool,” she tells me.
I’m not quite sure what to make of that, but I’m not complaining.
“Well done, Toby,” Dad says finally, putting his hand out.
I swallow hard and accept the handshake. It’s the nearest we’ve come to calling a truce for as long as I can remember.
“Thanks, dad.” I say. “I know I hated it when you made me come here, but you were right. I’ve done far better than I would if I’d have stayed where I was.”
“Oh, you shouldn’t thank me for that,” he says. “It was me that insisted you went to boarding school, but your mum picked this place. If it had been left to me, you’d have gone somewhere much more traditional. But your mum’s instinct was obviously right; it hurts to say this, but it usually is.”
Mr. Halford bustles across. “Sir David!” he gushes. “I’m John Halford, deputy head; delighted you’ve come. We don’t often get to see you at these gatherings.”
“I’m usually too busy,” Dad says. “And I have to say that they’re not really my cup of tea. I like to get stuck in, doing things; I’m not much good at standing around making small talk. On this occasion, however, I was under orders.”
He jerks his head in Liz’s direction. Liz smirks at me. Right! So this was her doing. I know we’ve been getting on better much these past few months; even so I didn’t think she’d have persuaded dad to give up almost a whole day to come here.
“I have to say you’ve done a remarkable job,” dad continues. “Toby’s done far better than I thought he was going to.”
“We provide the environment, but the boys have to do the work,” Mr. Halford responds. “Toby’s worked tremendously hard, particularly over the past twelve months or so.”
“There’s been some talk of new teachers coming in,” dad comments.
“Well, as some members of staff have retired or moved on, we’ve been able to bring in some outstanding teachers; that’s certainly made a difference.”
“It seems to have worked for this scallywag anyway,” dad says, smiling.
“Well, I really must circulate,” Mr Halford says, extending a hand. “Great to have met you.”
They shake hands and he strides away. The reception continues. I get to meet some of the other parents, Paz’s dad, a big guy with a broad Irish accent, Justin’s parents, who are really nice, and several more; it’s all very enjoyable. Kate has made a bee-line for Rob and he doesn’t seem to mind one bit. I know I’m not into girls, but Kate is very pretty; I can understand why he likes her. Of course sex with girls isn’t on offer just yet, but it will be in a few years time. That’s definitely the way he’s going to go; I just know it is. After an hour or so, things begin to wind down. We’d have probably left already if Rob’s mum and my mum hadn’t hit it off so well. Mr. Halford returns, calling me to one side.
“I just want to wish you all the best,” he says warmly. “I know we’ve had our ups and downs, but over the past couple of years you’ve done superbly. If there’s any way I can help in the future, please come and ask.”
“Thanks sir,” I say quietly.
“I just want you to promise me one thing,” he continues.
Okay, this is the bit where he gets me to promise to work hard, get my head down and keep out of trouble. Well, okay; I know he means well.
“I want you to promise that you’ll never lose that rebellious streak,” he says. “The willingness to stand up for what you believe in; the willingness to speak out on behalf of people who find it hard to get their voice heard. We need people who are prepared to do that, and you can be one of them.”
He extends his hand. I’m totally shocked; of all the things he might have said, never for one moment did I expect him to say that. I take a deep breath and grasp his hand.
“Oh I’ll never lose that sir,” I say, smiling back at him. “That’s a promise.”
So here we are at the beginning of 2009, the credit crunch and all of that, and at the age of forty eight I’m well established as both a director and a screen writer.
So how did I get from there to here? Well, after Charterhouse I got a scholarship to read English at Oxford where I got a first. My first job was in television, working for BBC Drama. Making my way up the ladder so that I could finally do what I really wanted to do, which is to make my own films, was every bit as tough as I thought it would be. James Pearson and some of Uncle Andrew’s friends helped me a lot, but it was still up to me to prove to people that I could deliver. I made my first feature film back in 1988 and it’s gone on from there. Since then I’ve divided my time between working on my own projects and doing stuff for other people; I still do stuff for television, the BBC mainly, and I’ve even done a few things for Hollywood. That’s made me financially secure, which is an achievement in itself in this business.
I’m not famous, but very well known within the industry and well enough known to the movie-going public, I’d guess. I’ve maintained my reputation as an enfant terrible, making films that ask awkward questions and lift the lid on some of the less pleasant aspects of our society. They’ve done okay too; no major box-office hits, but we’ve won several awards and lots of nominations and we’ve kept the investors happy. I haven’t been able to do everything I’ve wanted, but who ever can?
I’m openly gay, of course. Greg, my partner, is twenty nine. If I tell you we’ve been together for fifteen years, well, I’ll let you do the arithmetic. He was a wonderful actor then and is an even better one now, but the important thing is that I’m as much in love with him today as I was when I first fell for him all those years ago.
Dad and I got on much better right from the time I started at Charterhouse. He used his knighthood and the status that went with it to speak out about the way the health service is run. I’d known for a while that he’d been the first surgeon in the UK to perform a heart transplant; I hadn’t known about all the crap he’d had to cut through to make it happen. He was a passionate believer in the NHS and in people being able to get the medical care they needed without having to pay for it, but he hated the bureaucracy. When he appeared on telly talking about it all, I actually found myself agreeing with him! I was really proud of him then; it all made sense in a way it never had before. I guess I’d been too young to understand. I know he was pretty hard on me when I was younger, but I was an obnoxious, disobedient little brat, wasn’t I? I must have driven him to distraction.
When I was a bit older, I met some of the younger guys that worked with him. They almost worshipped the ground he walked on. He worked them very hard, but he was an inspirational leader and totally dedicated to improving patient care. The work he did gave hope to patients who’d been living with a death sentence; what I do pales into insignificance when you think about that. He was disappointed when he found I was gay, but he came to terms with it. Oh, we still had our disagreements, but basically we were on the same side. That’s a remarkable transformation when you think about it. He died in 2001; he was seventy five. Mum’s still alive; she’s over eighty now and still as bright as a button. I hope I’m doing as well as she is if I live to be that age.
Almost inevitably, I’ve lost contact with most of the people I knew from my time at Hartswood. Rob and I still exchange Christmas cards, but I haven’t seen him for years. He went into the army, of course, doing even better than his dad; these days he’s Lieutenant General Shearsby, married with two children, one still at school, the other at university, not that that’s a surprise. I’ve kept in contact with John Halford, who’s been one of my most enthusiastic supporters. He’s nearly eighty now, but as sharp as ever, currently bemoaning the state of the England cricket team. I played both rugby and cricket right through school and university. I never played for the university; I made my college team and that was as far as I got. Once I started work I just didn’t have the time. I’m still interested though.
The one person I do see quite a bit is Patrick. During his time at Hartswood he really blossomed as a musician and that’s the direction he followed. As well as being a top session keyboard player and working on the London jazz scene he’s highly sought after as a film composer; we’ve worked together several times. He’s gay too, which definitely helps.
Regrets? Only one really, making those porn films. Back then, I don’t think any of us saw the Internet coming. Well, a couple of my films are out there; you can find them on some of these file-sharing networks. It hasn’t affected me at all; but I do worry about the impact it might have had on the boys that appeared in them. Those guys were good friends; I just hope that they haven’t been hurt by it.
So that’s it really, my story up to date. I hope that you think it was worth reading.