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Jimmy the Love-Virus.
By John T. S. Teller.
Breakfast at my mum's house is no different than any other we've shared. We chat and giggle and touch hands and stare into each other's eyes. Our meals together are the nub of our wonderful love. It's while we're eating and facing each other – we never sit next to each other – that we can display our love. And when I tell Jimmy that these meal times are very precious to me, he answers that they also are to him. Slowly, we are becoming one. We clear the dishes (a task we both share without prompting from either of us) and wander into the lounge. Jimmy has his arm around my waist, and I have mine around his shoulders. Mum and Dad have numerous photos of me as a child, and others of me as I'm growing up. Jimmy studies each one in turn, and kisses each one... those at hand, that is. To those on the wall, he blows a kiss. There's one of me when I gained my BA at Uni; Jimmy stares long and hard at it.
"Rob, I want to do that one day."
"You will; you're far too intelligent to fail. We'll do it together."
"I'm looking forward to it. We're going to have a great life together doing stuff, and we can talk to each other about what we're doing."
"Yes, we will. How about we sit down, and you can tell me all about your life since you were a small boy."
Jimmy huffs and puffs. "I'm not doing that; it'll be too much like sit-on-the-couch-and-tell-me-everything psycho stuff."
"So, because those quacks gave you a hard time, I'm to be denied knowing all about my lover."
"Is that how you see me... as your lover?"
We've made it to the sofa now, and Jimmy adopts his normal cuddle position. "That's a good question. `Lover' isn't quite right, because it has too much sexual connotation. `Friend' is too much like a mate from anywhere. `Partner' has a business angle to it. You can't be my wife, and I wouldn't want you as a wife, because that means I would be looking on you as a woman... and I don't. How do you see me?"
"That's not fair. You're the clever one. Come on, work it out. Tell me how you see me."
I think about it for a short while. "As my boyfriend?"
Jimmy squeezes my arm. "That sounds good. Robert Spencer and Jimmy Turner are now boyfriends. I like that. It's got a sexy ring to it. You're a great story-teller. Willy loved your fantasy last night."
"Yes. That's what I call my cock. What do you call Eccles?"
Jimmy's gurgling with laughter now. "Yes. That's my name for yours, because Eccles cakes are my favourites, and I like eating yours, so it's Eccles. (Both of us are giggling now.) Well, what do you call yours?"
"Old-Faithful-Down-There. (More laughter) But from now on, it will be Eccles. So, you like my story-telling fantasies do you?"
"Yes. You can tell me one every night. I might as well make use of being the boyfriend of a great story-teller."
"As long as I get paid like last night, then you can have one whenever you want."
"It's a deal." Jimmy suddenly gets up and pulls my arm. "Shall we go out now, boyfriend?"
I laugh at him. "Have I got any choice, boyfriend?"
He grins his beautiful grin. "Nope, boyfriend. Let's get ready."
We decide to go to Castleton to visit the Blue John Mines, so I have a wash and a shave, and when I come out of the bathroom, Jimmy comes to me and rubs his face on mine.
"I like you clean shaven. Promise me you'll never grow a beard or a moustache."
"I promise I won't. Have you got a cat? (Jimmy looks puzzled.) I was just thinking - you've got a nice tuft down there, but only bum fluff on your face. I wondered if you'd got the cat to lick it off."
"It's my boyish charm. It's why you like me. Are you sure you're not a paedo, Spencer?"
I grin. "Touché."
"What does that mean?"
"It means I've just done a put-down on you, and you've equalled it. I'll have to watch you. By the way, you've got lovely skin. You haven't got a zit on your beautiful face."
"That's because I massage it with Willy's lotion."
I look at him, amazed. He grins. "Got you again!" And he sticks two fingers up at me.
It's just turned midday when I drop the Ferrari down a gear as we descend the steep hill that leads into Castleton village. The deep, throaty roar of the exhaust turns faces, and when we pull into the car park, it seems as though the whole village is watching us.
Jimmy, sitting low in his seat, says, "Rob, everybody is looking at us."
"No, they're not; they're looking at the car. When we get out, they'll be thinking... `look at those pair of rich bastards'. We're just bro's on a day out. It's those nearer home who we'll have to watch out for. Just ignore them, and don't walk too close to me. Believe me, they won't have a clue about us unless you start kissing my arse. When we walk away, wait until we've gone about fifty yards, and then take a look at the car."
Jimmy grins, and we get out. I stretch, and point to an ice cream van. We walk off. Jimmy can't quite make the fifty yards - he turns and looks at the car. "Fucking hell, Rob, they're like bees `round a jam jar."
"I told you. Just listen to your uncle Rob, and you won't go far wrong. Shall we do Speedwell cavern first? We can go through it on a boat, but don't get pissing about and capsize it. Let's get an ice-cream, and then we'll go there." I have a cornet, and Jimmy has an iced lolly, and we wander along to the cave. I pay the entrance fee, and we go down the 105 steps to the boats. I've been here a few times, but this is all new to Jimmy, and his eyes are ablaze as he takes in this new experience ... and he doesn't rock the boat. When we reach a massive, cathedral-like underground cavern, he slips his hand over mine. I know it's because he wants me to share in his enjoyment of all he sees. We return to where we boarded the boat, and walk back up the steps and out into the bright sunlight. We were wearing coats in the cavern, but now, because it's too warm, I don't fancy lugging coats about all day, and I suggest to Jimmy that we put them in the car. Jimmy agrees. When I begin to walk along the High Street, Jimmy gives me a puzzled look, and says that this isn't the way to the car. I grin at him. "We'll go back to the car when I've made you into a Ferrari boy."
He looks puzzled. "Whaddya mean?"
"I mean that I'm going to buy you a load of new clothes, and if you don't let me, I'm going to take you straight back home, now! This is going to be my pleasure. I want everybody to look at my boyfriend, and be jealous. Well?"
"I'd rather sneak off into the woods and take them all off."
I laugh. "Tonight you can do that."
Jimmy thumps me in my ribs. "Shut up. You're giving me a hard-on. Is there a shop that sells dildos? I can buy one and nip in the bogs for a quickie."
Jimmy says this as we walk into a classy clothes shop on the High Street, and neither of us can stop giggling. A young man in his early twenty's attends to us. He's gay. We know that after a few minutes, and he knows we are . . . in less time than that. We have his undivided attention, and, without saying anything, he knows what I'm doing. That's a great help, because he insists Jimmy keeps on the clothes he's selecting, and folds up those he takes off, and slips them into a large bag so that when we leave, nobody will know that Jimmy has made a complete change. The only thing I insist is that Jimmy retains his underpants, even though he wants some Calvin Klein ones. When Jimmy gives me a dirty look, I whisper to him that his Tesco underpants are a turn-on to me. He grins, and doesn't bother me any more. Carl (that's the young man's name) is chatting easily to us, and he even gets me to buy a new pair of Wrangler jeans, because, `You'll look absolutely super in them'. Finally, Carl and I place Jimmy in front of the full-length mirror, and examine him. He's now dressed in blue Merrell Racer trainers, Wranglers, and a blue Calvin Klein t-shirt which, despite both myself and Carl's protestations, as we fall about laughing, Jimmy insists he will wear. Across the front are the words, `Admit it. You know I'm sexy.' There's a young girl in the shop, but she's sitting at the till, ignoring us. I decide to take us to the limit, and, as Jimmy is standing in front of me looking in the mirror, I style his hair slightly, and then kiss the side of his face. He looks up, and brushes my lips with his. Carl looks on, and smiles. And then he surprises us.
"You both look beautiful. I'll be in The Crown with my boyfriend, Charles, tonight. You're welcome to join us."
"Jimmy is a bit too young for pubs; he's not eighteen yet."
"I know, but that's not a problem. My dad owns the place."
I ask, "Does he do meals?"
"Yes. I can reserve a table for four if you like, and we'll have dinner together? It will be fine. Others like us meet there."
The `Others like us' was unambiguous. We would be amongst like-minded folk. I look at Jimmy. He nods enthusiastically. He doesn't need me to spell out the situation. I turn to Carl. "Ok. Seven-thirty? I don't want to be too late getting back home."
Carl smiles again. "I don't blame you. You can stay the night, if you want a drink. Dad will sort you out a room."
Room. Singular. Again I look at Jimmy, and I see that devilish look in his eyes. Although he doesn't comment, I know what he's thinking: this is an adventure. "Shall we, Jimmy?"
"Yes. I'd like that. Thank you, Carl."
Carl places a hand on Jimmy's shoulder, and smiles. "You're a lucky lad."
Jimmy smiles at Carl. "I know. What's Charles like?"
"He's thirty. We love each other very much. You can check in any time after four. I'll ring dad now, and sort out a room for you." Carl takes out his mobile, chats to his dad, and, in no time, we're all sorted.
I blow out a long sigh. "We're going to have to start again, Carl. There's no way I'm taking him to dinner wearing that t-shirt."
Jimmy's back is up immediately. "Then you can take me back home. I'm wearing this, and you've got no say in the matter. Carl, can you find me something else to wear for now, so I can save this for tonight?"
We laugh, and Carl starts again. This time, Carl and Jimmy choose a mid-blue dress shirt. Carl puts three folds in the sleeves, and stands back. He nods. "That's nice, and blue suits you. It goes with your lovely eyes. Anything else?"
Jimmy looks absolutely stunning, and an idea comes into my head. I take off my thick gold belcher, and fasten it around Jimmy's neck. "Just this, to finish off my Ferrari Boy."
Jimmy's eyes are wide. "Rob, I can't wear this; it cost two thousand quid!"
"Three, actually. Don't worry. There's a jewellery shop up the road. You can buy me something from there to replace it."
Carl butts in. "We've got some jewellery here. Nothing of that value, of course, but you can have a look, with pleasure."
Jimmy says he'll have a look. When I make a move to go with him, he tells me firmly that it's nothing to do with me, and that he and Carl are going to have a look. So I stand back and watch them both pouring over the stock, and I can tell that Jimmy and Carl are becoming friends. They would; they have something in common; they're both in love with older men. I'm happy with that. Jimmy will have a confidante - someone who understands. And I reflect how strange life is. A few hours ago, things were so very different. If I have a slight reservation, it's that foursomes can become complicated... even terminal... and I resolve to keep an eye on things. They're coming back now, and both are wearing a grin.
Jimmy's got his hands behind his back, as he and Carl come to me. "Close your eyes. (I smile, and do as I'm told, and feel Jimmy fitting something.) Now open them."
I open my eyes, and around my neck is a black plaited leather chain. Attached to it is a Celtic disc. I laugh. Jimmy looks hurt. Carl isn't too pleased, either. I have to explain about the Celtic paper knife, and what I use it for. Now they laugh.
"It's a Ben Sherman!" That comment is from Jimmy.
"I don't care what it is, Jimmy. It's wonderful. I'll treasure it all my life." Jimmy is beaming now. So is Carl. Jimmy says he needs to take a pee, so Carl tells him to use the staff toilet. He goes off to use it.
Carl's finger softly strokes my shoulder. "You do love him, don't you Rob? (I nod.) But you're worried because he's young, aren't you? (Again I nod. Carl is perceptive.) You shouldn't. As long as you're careful, you'll be ok. I met Charles when I was thirteen, and we've been together ever since."
I nod at Carl, and he knows my head movement is my way of saying `thank you'.
We're wandering around the shop now, and I stop at the watches. I notice that there are Ben Sherman watches on display. I point at them. "Get Jimmy to choose one, please, Carl, while I take a pee. By the way, is there a chemist about? (Carl grins.) No, Carl! You've got a mind like Jimmy! We need toothbrushes and stuff." (Carl giggles, and tells me where to go.) Jimmy comes back, and I go to the lavatory, and deliberately take my time. When I come out, Jimmy is sporting a large, Ben Sherman timepiece on his wrist. He shoves it in my face. I laugh, and settle the bill, and Carl escorts us out. I know he's pleased. Not only has he had a good day at the till, he's made a new friend in Jimmy. I can see these two becoming close; and that pleases me.
We say little as we walk back towards the car, and, after we've thrown the stuff in the boot, we get a burger and sit on the car-park wall, watching the kids and envious car enthusiasts looking at our Ferrari. (Yes, it's become `our Ferrari' now.) The sun is really hot, so we find a bit of grass and shade under a large Chestnut tree, and lie side by side, with our hands under our heads. "You like Carl, don't you, Jimmy?"
"Yes. He's the only person I've met who's really like me."
"He's not like you. He's effeminate. He wishes he was a girl."
"Yes, I know. He thinks you're beautiful. (I throw him a questioning glance.) He said so when you went to the bogs. You're in there, Spencer; you have his attention. Just give me the nod if you fancy a quick one with him."
I stifle a giggle. "Would you mind?"
"I'll cut it off, if you so much as look at him that way. (Now, I giggle.) I wonder what Charles is like."
"I don't think you're going to fancy him."
"He prefers gentile males."
"You're pretty good, Spencer. I'm glad I wasn't lying on your couch."
"Don't tell lies to me. You would have loved to lie on my couch. You'd have been desperate to tell me everything. There'd have been none of this `it's my dad's fault' bullshit. You have had your arse in my face begging for it. (Jimmy is in hysterics again, and he grabs Willy to stop wetting himself.) I'm right aren't I?"
When he stops laughing, he turns his face towards me, and I can see the devilment in his eyes. "Are we going to have sex before, or after dinner?"
"After. Look on this as a sort of honeymoon."
A big smirk comes on his face. "That's ok. You'll be half drunk then, so I can do what I like to you. Don't be surprised when you wake up in the morning and find that I've eaten Eccles. (Now we're both in a fit of giggles, and then Jimmy goes off on one of his lateral thoughts.) Rob, don't be offended, but I feel like the underdog when you're buying me stuff. Let me use my card next time."
"Ok. But you have to start differentiating between gifts I want to buy you, and stuff you want for yourself. Buying each other gifts is part of what we are. The pleasure is in the giving. I've been thinking, Jimmy. Will you be living with me now? It's strange, but it's the one thing we haven't talked about."
"Yes, if you'll have me. I didn't mention it, because I didn't know how you felt about it. I think of your place as our home now."
"It's not my place now; it's our place. Welcome to Willow Row, James. I'll carry you across the threshold when we get back. That'll give the old bitch across the road, who keeps peeping through the curtains, something to think about."
"Brill! I've always wanted to be posh. The only problem is that I can't talk in a posh voice like you."
"That's ok. You're my bit of rough, but nobody will know that when they see that gold chain around your neck."
"Have you given it to me?"
"Of course I have. With every bit of love I have for you. The look on your face when I gave it to you was my reward. You can keep it safely locked away at home... with your dildo."
Another fit of giggles from Jimmy, and then he asks, "What shall we do now, moneybags?"
"Are you getting bored?"
He grins. "No, but I've got a hard-on thinking about tonight, and I'll need to go and knock one off unless we find something to do other than lie next to each other."
I laugh. "What time does Big-Ben-Sherman say it is?"
Jimmy looks at his new watch. "Half past two."
"We'll go and get some toothbrushes and stuff from the chemists. You stay outside, because I need to get some KY. (Jimmy laughs, and tells me to get six tubes.) And then we'll do Peak Cavern." We get up, and wander into the town, and I buy a travel bag at a sports shop, and then we go to the chemists. The sales assistant doesn't bat an eyelid when I place six tubes of KY on the counter, together with two of everything we need. Neither do I. I've got to the stage where I couldn't give a damn. And then, after we've chucked our stuff in the boot of the car, we go to the Peak Cavern. Another enjoyable hour goes by. It's now four thirty by Big-Ben-Sherman, and we go back to the car. "Ok, sexy, are you ready to spend the first night of your honeymoon in a seedy hotel with your new boyfriend?"
"How far is it?"
"About a mile."
"Do we have to go through the town? (I nod.) Ok. Start the car, and then wait a minute."
I start the car, and Jimmy gets my Aviators out of the glove compartment, puts them on, makes sure he looks ok in the interior mirror, sorts through my CD's, selects a J Zee one, and slips it into the player. I drive off the car park, and, just as I do, Jimmy selects track three, and turns up both the bass and volume. If the Ferrari doesn't turn heads, the sound of J Zee blasting out a thumping `Hard Knock Life', does. The drive to The Crown is a blast, with Jimmy showing off his new status by imitating Rap movements, and miming to the song. He couldn't have done a better job of drawing attention to us if he'd blasted it out on a megaphone, but I'm well aware that all people will see is a pair of rich bastard lunatics, and not a couple of gayers on their way to a sexy night out. I make Jimmy turn off the player before we get to the hotel.
Carl's dad (Andrew) is a nice guy. He doesn't even ask me to sign in... just takes us up to our room. Singular. Even the bed is singular - a large double. Andrew leaves, and Jimmy dives on the bed, puts his hand on the bulge in his jeans, and gives me a sexy look.
I give him a dirty one. "If you so much as touch that before tonight, I'll book another room, and sleep in it! I'm going to have a crap now, so leave it alone!"
Jimmy pulls a hurt face. "I'm bursting, Rob." He whines. "I haven't gone this long for ages. Just a quickie? I'll be ok tonight. Honest!"
I shake a stern finger at him. "I've warned you. We're taking a shower together after I've been to the toilet, because I don't trust you."
Jimmy grins evilly, jumps up, and runs past me to the toilet. I have to wait a while before I can go, and I know he hasn't knocked one off, by the smell of the perfumed aerosol that greets me when I use it. He's had a crap. That's good. Sex between men has to be well-planned, clean.
The shower is fun, but there's no sex. It's seven, and we're dressed now. Jimmy is wearing his `Admit it. You know I'm sexy T-shirt. I fasten his Belcher chain, and stand back. "You're beautiful, Jimmy, and I love you." We come together in a long, passionate embrace.
In the bar, I order a small beer and a Coke, (Andrew looks relieved that we won't be breaking the under-age drinking law), and take a seat at a table. At seven-fifteen, Carl walks in with, I presume, Charles, and they come directly to us. Introductions are made, and we begin the small talk - nothing special - like, have we had a good day, etc., and then Andrew tells us that our table is ready.
We're seated in a corner of the room. I deliberately arrange the seating so that Jimmy is next to me, and opposite Carl. Also, Jimmy and I have seats that look out into the room. That's good; I need to see everything that's going on, so that I can make an assessment of the clientele. We order, and I have the house special - steak pie.
Carl places his hand on Jimmy's. "James, Dad does a beautiful sirloin steak. That's what I'm having."
Jimmy puts his menu down. "I'll have that as well, then. Sounds good. Does he do chips with it?"
Carl smiles at Jimmy. "Yes. Dad's fries are super. We'll both have sirloin and fries and salad then?" (Jimmy nods.)
I'm grinning inwardly now. Jimmy's first lesson in posh cuisine is that its fries, and not chips. At least he didn't order the sausage, egg, beans, and fries, which was what I thought he'd plump for. Carl is having a good influence on him. This sharing of identical meals will strengthen any bond between them, and it's becoming obvious to me that Carl is seeing Jimmy as his younger sister. He also calls him `James'. I'll bet he'd run a mile if he heard Jimmy swearing like a truck driver. Swearing is ok, only if it's done productively, and as a matter of course, and not coarse. There is a difference. Now I know that the `girls' are ok, I observe Charles - a gentile man, and quite handsome, and the goatee suits him. Charles orders liver and onions, and then we look at the wine list.
"Andrew does a nice Sancerre, Rob."
"Yes, Charles, I'll have some of that with you. What about you, Carl?"
"James is having a Coke, so I'll have the same."
My opinion of Carl clicks up another notch. He knew exactly what he was doing. If we three had wine, Jimmy would be the odd man out, and Carl wasn't having any of that. The drinks arrive, and we begin to chat. Now that I know that Jimmy and Carl are ok, I can turn my attention to Charles. Well, Charles turns his attention to me.
"Rob, your face is very familiar. I'm trying to think where I know you from."
Jimmy pipes up. "Rob's a writer."
Charles' eyes narrow. "Not THE Robert Spencer!"
I give Charles a quizzical look. "THE Robert Spencer?"
Our conversation is interrupted as the meals arrive, and we begin to eat.
Charles continues the conversation. "Yes, the author of B** S******, amongst others?"
I nod, and continue eating.
Carl is looking closely at me now, almost fawning over me. (Jimmy puts his hand under the table, and squeezes my leg. He's enjoying this.) "Charles gave me B** S****** last Christmas. It was the most beautiful book I've ever read. It made me cry, and I love the cover. Oh, Charles, we're sitting with THE Robert Spencer. (Jimmy is squeezing my leg really hard now.) Will you sign my copy for me? Please, Rob?"
I laugh. "Of course I will. It will be my pleasure. So, you really liked the book?"
Carl is holding Charles's hand now, and Charles places his other hand over Carl's. They look at each other, and their love is obvious. This action is telling me that there are no more inhibitions between us, so I take Jimmy's hand off my leg, and, holding it, place it on the table. These actions have said more than an hour of ferreting; let's get on with things.
Carl answers my question. "I made Charles read it to me. It was Boxing Day, and we spent the whole evening reading it. I wanted to hug little Timothy like a brother, and after we'd finished, Charles said he'd never known me to be so soppy. Neither of us was sure what we thought of the other main character, Gareth."
"Gareth was a paradox. But that was the secret of the book. He was brutal, but also possessively loving towards young Timothy. It's printed in seven languages, and selling all over the world now. I loved the book myself, but I didn't realise there would be such a market for it. The only country that won't push it is the USA. The puritans there make sure of that. But what can you expect of a country, that, in parts, still insist that fig leaves cover male genital parts in public? They'd have a fit if they lived in Italy or Greece. Michelangelo would turn in his grave." I look at Charles. "What do you do for a living, Charles?"
Charles looks at Carl, and grins. "Shall I tell them?"
Carl is giggling now. "I think you'd better."
"I think you'd better have a sip of that wine, Robert. I'm a Police Inspector."
I look at Charles, and shake my head. "I'm flabbergasted. And I'm impressed. How on earth did you manage to evade capture?"
Charles laughs. "It was difficult in the beginning. How we managed to get through those early years, was a miracle. But we did it, and now it's pretty easy. It took some ducking and diving; some good friends; scheming; a few lies, when it was necessary; and a lot of luck. Maybe one day, if we get to know each other better, I'll tell you all. What I can tell you is that it was all worth it. We're partners now, and we're both very happy."
It's Jimmy who speaks first. "I want to give you both a medal. You're brilliant!"
They laugh, and then Charles looks at us both. "Do either of you want to tell us how you met?"
I grin. "I don't have a problem with that. Shall we order a pudding first?"
I have apple pie and cream. Charles has an ice cream sundae, and Carl and Jimmy have death-by-chocolate. Charles and I look at each other when the `girls' make their selection, and we grin. He and I are becoming closer, but I know he's clever enough to know there's a difference between us. I know he doesn't fancy my boyfriend, because I've been keeping an eye on him, and not once has he looked at Jimmy with anything that resembles sex. I'm sure he's noticed the same in me towards Carl. If we're to have a friendship, it has to be based on mutual understanding that none of us will stray into the other's territory. The sisterly affection Carl has for Jimmy, and Jimmy's acceptance of it, also adds a positive to the structure of our group.
As we're waiting for the wine and puddings, we relax, and it's almost as if a signal goes out into the room, which, by now, is quite full with sexualities of all kinds, including a couple of cross-dressers. Two men approach us. The older man is about forty, and the younger one about thirty-five. Introductions are made.
The older one (Nigel) remarks on Jimmy's t-shirt. "That t-shirt doesn't tell a lie, James. `Admit it. You know I'm sexy.' Dead right, I know it. Apart from my Raymond, you and Carl are the sexiest things in here tonight. You should have worn one, too, Carl."
(Jimmy blushes. Serves him right for wearing it.)
Carl flips a girly hand. "Shut up, Nigel, and leave my James alone. (`My James'; I like that.) Just go away. We don't need your smutty talk spoiling our meal."
Nigel laughs. Raymond (the younger one) puts his head by Jimmy's. "Just ignore him, James. You'll get used to these dirty old men in time. (He turns to me.) Was it you two in that Ferrari I saw in town today? (I nod.) Playing that rap music? (I laugh and point to Jimmy.) Niiiiice!" He looks at Nigel in disgust. "Robert knows how to look after his partner. That's more than I can say about you and your Mantovani!"
Now everyone laughs. The puddings and drinks arrive, and Nigel and Raymond sidle off.
"Well? (That from Charles as he looks at Jimmy.) Are you going to tell us how you two met?"
I laugh. "This is going to be short and sweet. Perhaps I'd better tell you. It's simple - I fell in love with the paper boy, and now we're here."
"You liar, Spencer! (This from Jimmy, and I recoil, laughing.) I was the one who did everything! You were a complete waste of space! It took me three months planning to catch you, and then I had to walk all over your posh garden before you even noticed me!"
I've got my hands up in surrender now, and we're all laughing, except Jimmy. He's in pretend miffed mode.
Charles grins. "Bravo, James. I'm awarding you a medal, too. As for you, Robert, you should be ashamed of yourself for not telling us the whole truth. I think you have some making up to do to James."
"I bought him a watch today. That will do."
"Not what I was thinking, Robert." There's a wicked twinkle in Charles's eyes now.
I'm grinning. "Fuck off, Charles. Don't make him worse than he is. I'm having a job to keep his hands off me now."
That simple, coarse - but part of the course of getting to know one another – expletive is the final hurdle that takes us over any inhibitions that are left between us. Only friends together would use such language, and we all laugh. I cross the final hurdle by taking Jimmy's head in one hand, and I kiss him gently on the lips, and a smiling, uninhibited Jimmy, returns my affection. That kiss is also a signal that our evening is over. Despite our new friends' protestations, I insist that I'll settle the bill for the meal when I check out.
Charles and Carl decide to have another drink at the bar before they go home to the house they share. Charles shakes my hand. "Do me a favour, Rob. If you chat about our meal to other people, just say I'm `in security'. It will save you a lot of hassle, and I don't like to advertise what I do. Shall we see you again?"
I look at Jimmy. He nods. I turn back to Charles. "Sure. Do you want my mobile number?" Charles and I swap numbers.
Carl won't be left out. "Give me your mobile number, James, and you can have mine. You and I can sort out when we're meeting again. These men are hopeless."
Jimmy gets his phone out. "Ok. I'll text you when we get back home."
I interrupt them as they're exchanging numbers. "Expect a lot of smiley faces and kisses. He can't help himself. Oh, and he can't spell C.O.M.E."
Jimmy thumps me, and then turns back to Carl. They hug. Charles and I exchange looks that say we're delighted. We say `goodnight' to our meal companions and host, and make our way to our room.
As we walk up the stairs, Jimmy is grasping my hand very tightly. That worries me a bit. He usually only does that when he's got something on his mind. I wonder what it is this time?
To be continued...
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