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The Magic Cap.

By John T. S. Teller.

Part ten.

For a couple of weeks, ever since we got the invitation to the afternoon buffet at the Lord Lieutenant's home at Briddon Castle, I've been plotting and scheming to make things better for Michael and me. I've also been working my wiles on Father and Mother and Mr Bourne, and now we're finally at Briddon Castle, if I get half a chance, I'll be working them on Sir Clarence again.

The marquee is huge, although not many people are in it. It's hot in there, and most of the guests are sitting on the lawn, or inside the castle. Father and Mother and I are sitting on the grass by the lake, which has a number of swans and ducks pedalling around on it. But I'm not looking at them... my eyes are on the car park, and I'm waiting for Mr Bourne's car to appear. I can see a part of the drive, and my heart misses a beat when I see the blue and silver car appear around the rhododendron bushes, and I watch it pull up alongside a Rolls Royce of 1930's vintage.

I get to my feet. "They're here."

Mother and Father get up, and we make our way over to the car. The Bournes and Alex and Michael have seen us, and begin to walk towards us. I'm grinning before we come together. Alex's sleeves are rolled up to the elbows, displaying his well muscled forearms, and he gives me a thumbs-up. He may just be a miner from a poor family, but apart from Michael, he's definitely the most handsome man here today.

We all shake hands, and Mother and Mrs Bourne get the customary pecks on the cheeks. I grin when Alex shakes my hand, and I speak softly out of the side of my mouth. "Behave yourself, you!"

Alex puts his arm on my shoulder, and winks at me, and he whispers, "I'll be the best behaved posh collier in town today, Lover Boy. How's that little pinkler of yours doing? Introduce me to the Lord's daughter as soon as you can. My little pinkler is beginning to think it's neglected."

Michael knows what's going on, and he pulls a wry face at Alex, and then points a finger at him. "I've told you. Behave!"

Alex grins, and holds up his hands. "I'm on my best behaviour, aren't I Stuart?"

Fortunately, we're saved by the butler. Well, one of them. He comes marching across to us. "Ladies and Gentlemen; Sir Clarence has seen you arrive, and he's asked me accompany you to the drawing room. Would you come with me please?"

He doesn't walk slowly, and we try to keep up with him. Not Alex though. When I look back, he's sauntering across the lawns, nodding to everyone, and when we reach the stone steps leading up to the entrance to the castle, we have to wait for him. When he does arrive, Michael looks daggers at him, but I can't stop giggling. God knows what's going to happen when he meets Sir Clarence!

We're escorted through the hall with its suits of armour and paintings of Sir Clarence's ancestors hanging on the walls, and then into the drawing room. Sir Clarence is with other guests, but as soon as he sees us, he excuses himself and comes directly to us.

Introductions are made, and all is polite... until Alex.

"You've got a grand place here, Sir Clarence. I would hold a few balls here if I owned it."

Inside, I'm shuddering with amusement, but outside, I have to keep a straight face. But it's difficult. I needn't have worried.

Sir Clarence roars with laughter. "Indeed! My God! It's a long time since I've heard such wit. Probably back in Burma, with men like your father. I really am honoured to meet the two sons of Johnson."

I look at Michael. His face is like beetroot, but Alex is all grins. We chat for a while, and then Sir Clarence has to go and see to other guests. He parts by saying he'll catch up with us later.

Out in the gardens, we make our way to the marquee, select food and drink from the amazing variety, and then all go down to the same place Mother and father and I were sitting earlier. Its peaceful here, and somewhere far off, the lou lou call of a peacock echoes across the castle grounds. Alex asks what it is.

Father answers him. "It's a peacock, Alex. I don't suppose you hear many of those down the coal mines."

Alex is eating a turkey and stuffing sandwich. He chews for a while, and I can see from the twinkle in his beautiful eyes that an amusing quip is about to come from his mouth when he's finished, and I stifle a giggle before it does. He swallows his mouthful, and I wait.

Alex grins. "No, we don't. I had a peacock once. It was dead, though. I swapped it for two rabbits and a trout off Billy Wooldridge. I was only sixteen at the time. Dada went mad with me because I spent a whole Sunday morning cooking it, and when I served it up with some taters and carrots and Brussels sprouts, it was like a piece of meat the cowboys chew on when they're hungry out on the range. Apparently, because they're a dry bird, they need to be cooked slowly, and wrapped up, and plenty of fat on them." He looks at Michael, and sniggers. "Do you remember that, Kiddo?"

Michael has his chin on his chest, and is laughing fit to burst, and he manages to gurgle a reply. "Yes. Dada was so angry that he scraped all our dinners onto one plate, and then went and threw them down the backyard for the dog. Then he stood there stomping his wooden leg, and cursing while he watched Judy eat just the potatoes and the carrots and the sprouts. Even the dog wouldn't eat it." Michael looks up, and grins at Alex. "Do you remember what happened afterwards?"

Alex bursts into laughter, and when he's sort of quietened down, he says, "I daren't say, Kiddo. It's probably too rude for the company."

Of course, while Alex is telling us this anecdote, and the manner in which he tells it, has got the rest of us giggling with amusement, and Father prompts him to finish the story.

"Well, ok then. Judy always slept with Dada, and when we got up the next morning, he was in a foul mood, and he was cursing me like nobody's business. I asked him what the problem was. Apparently, the Brussels sprouts had `worked' on Judy during the night, and Dada had to sleep with the window open all night."

Now, even the ladies can't keep a straight face, and Mother is reduced to tears. So am I.

We finish eating, and Alex gets up and gathers all the plates. He grins again. "If you'll excuse me, Ladies and Gentlemen, I'll take these away and have a stroll around and see if I can find myself a pretty young lady to talk to." He looks directly at me. "You did say the Lord's daughter was a good catch, Stuart. Can you see her?"

I look around, and spot her sitting at a table behind the low turreted wall of the veranda. I point to her. "The one with the pretty blue dress and the dark hair."

Alex winks at me. "I knew I could trust you, Stuart. I'll catch you folks later. Don't do anything I wouldn't do."

And he's gone, strolling and nodding his way towards the castle with a load of plates in his arms. A member of the catering staff goes to him and takes the plates off him, and Alex gives him a low bow.

"He's quite a character, your brother, Michael."

Michael looks at Father, and grins. "My apologies for his behaviour, Sir. I can't take him anywhere."

Mother is smiling at Michael. She looks at Mr and Mrs Bourne. "Leslie; Angela; did either of you have the good fortune to have him in one of your classes?"

Mrs Bourne laughs. "Unfortunately, not. I wish I had. He has a wonderful sense of humour. But, I suspect behind that façade there's a lot more to him. Am I right, Michael?"

Michael nods. "Oh yes. He's as brave as a lion, and as hard working as they come. And that's what worries me."

I place my hand on Michael's arm. "Why?"

Michael shrugs his shoulders. "He works in a dangerous environment. Three years ago, he was buried when the roof caved in. He was lucky. He may not always be so lucky."

Father breaks the melancholy that has descended over our group. "Why don't you two chaps go for a walk or something? There are plenty of young ladies to introduce yourselves to. Anne and I will take Leslie and Angela and do the rounds. Go on, off you go, and we'll catch you later.

We separate, and when Michael and I are alone, I look at him and grin. "To the woods?"

He grins back at me. "To the woods, Sexy."

******* ******* *******

Alexander Johnson: Collier, meets Sir Clarence Reeves-Jenkins: Knight Commander The most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George; Military Medal, with Bar; Military Cross, with bar; Lord-Lieutenant of the County.

*******

I've no intentions of wooing the ladies today, although I have been tempted by a few of the skirted ones that have taken my fancy. I have more important business on my agenda, and, very probably, this is going to be the only chance I get.

I wander up the stone steps and into the reception hall with the suits of armour and ancestors hanging on the walls. Because I've not seen him in the grounds, I reckon Sir Clarence will be around somewhere. My reckoning is right... he's in the same room he was before, sitting in a green-leather chair that must be at least three hundred years old, and chatting away to some high-and-mighties, who are sitting around him. A waiter spots that I haven't got a drink, and comes to me.

"Can I get you something, Sir?"

I grin at him. "No thank you. Thanks for asking."

He seems genuinely surprised at my civility, and smiles and wanders off to serve the real Nobility. It doesn't take long for Sir Clarence to spot me, and when he does, he immediately gets up and comes to me.

"Ah, Johnson! I was just thinking about you and Michael. You do realise this lot is in your honour, do you?"

I'm genuinely surprised. "No Sir, I didn't. And why is that, Sir?"

Sir Clarence laughs. "It was that young Begbie boy. He's a scheming little fellow. We were having dinner at the Begbie's, and he brought up your father's name. He was genuinely surprised that I knew about your father. When he knew I did, he didn't miss the opportunity to promote your brother in your father's name."

I laugh. "Yes, I know what you mean. He's been to our home a few times, and I can see his mind working overtime. If he worked down the pit, he'd earn a fortune. But I like him. He's a lovely young man."

"I agree. Anyway, was this a chance meeting, or have you been scheming, too?"

I look surprised. "Certainly not, Sir! I was just wandering... having a look at how the other half live. Dada spoke a lot about you."

Sir Clarence laughs. "Now I know you're scheming. Come on, let's get away from this lot and have a quiet drink together."

Arm on my shoulder, he leads me out of the large room, along the hallway and into a smaller room: an office or a study. There are more easy chairs in here; maroon, leather ones, and he points to one. "What's your fancy, Alex?"

"I'll have a brandy, please, Sir."

"Good. I'll join you."

He pours the drinks, hands one to me, and sits in the chair next to me. We're sort of half facing one another. "Your father was a very special man, Alex. Did you know that he was in my Company?"

"Yes Sir, of course I did. And thank you for arranging the Guard of Honour. As a matter of fact, and this not scheming, or bullshit, Dada had a very high regard for you. He often spoke about you. Actually, he said you were the man who made him realise that not all toffs are arseholes."

Sir Clarence takes a sip of his drink, and smiles. "That's good to know. Did you know that I was the Officer who recommended him for his Victoria Cross?"

"Yes, I knew that. He never forgave you for it."

Now, Sir Clarence is giggling. Then he shrugs his shoulders, and looks around the room, sort of absent-mindedly, and I know his mind is far away. "We all have a burden to bear. Damn! He deserved it. A lot of others did, too, there, but many great acts of heroism went unnoticed. I just happened to be in a forward position on that horrible day, and as we pushed forward, it was Major Jenkinson who told me about it. Of course, I went to see your father. Well, what was left of him that is. I honestly didn't think he'd got a cat in Hell's chance of surviving. But he did, and he raised two fine sons. Perhaps that's his greatest achievement?"

I stare at him. "I think so, considering the shit my mother left him in. I've worked with some good men down the pit: men of steel; hard men; courageous men, but none of them match my Dada for his dedication and courage to drag us up. He did his best, but his best isn't good enough."

"And that's why you're here?"

"Yes, that's why I'm here. I need your help."

He takes another sip of his drink. "For Michael?"

"Yes Sir. I can look after myself. Kiddo can, too, but without help, he won't reach his potential. He's too stubborn and proud."

Sir Clarence is serious now. "Us Toffs are all arseholes?"

"That's pretty much it, Sir. Some of those teachers at school didn't bloody help. He had poor clothes, and they treated him like dirt. Not Mr Bourne though. He's a good guy. You're one of the good guys. I wouldn't be speaking to you if you weren't. I don't bow to any man unless they've earned my respect."

"And I have?"

"If you're good enough to have Dada's respect, then that's good enough for me."

"And how can I help?"

"I haven't got a clue, Sir. I really haven't. I don't live in your world. If you lived in mine, and you needed and deserved a leg-up, then you'd get it. All I'm asking is that you use your influence to help Kiddo reach his full potential, and I'm asking you as the son of a fellow comrade-at-arms. There was a massive gulf in class between you and Dada, but the mortar shell that got Dada could just as easily have got you. Dada understood that. I understand that, but now we need to make Kiddo understand that. He won't get anywhere until he does."

Sir Clarence tips his glass up, and drains it. He looks at me. I tip mine up, and nod. He goes to the decanter and does the business, and then returns, gives me my drink, and sits down again. "I'll do my best, but we might have a small problem."

I grin. "We might have a lot of big problems."

He laughs. "I was referring to the fact that the best university for him will not be in the city. He'll need to move away."

I shake my head. "He won't do that."

Sir Clarence is silent for a while, and he takes a drink from his glass before continuing. "Young Begbie?"

I look him straight in the eyes, and I know he knows. I nod.

"Alex," he takes another, absent-minded, sip of his brandy, "I went to public school. An all-boys public school; and I've seen it all before. It will fizzle out in time. They all do."

I shake my head. "Not this one. This one will last, so it's not just a case of looking after one. In fact, I've just doubled your workload. Where one will go, the other will have to follow."

Sir Clarence grins. "Do we have a bet on it lasting?"

I grin back at him. "I'll bet my house against yours."

Loud guffaws now, from the old soldier. "Done! It's a deal, and I hope I lose. Will you call the debt in if you win?"

I laugh. "No. I couldn't afford the coal bill.  Just one thing though; if anyone, deliberately, tries to come between them, then I'll burn their house down."

Sir Clarence nods, slowly. "Good man. I'll give you my word of honour that it won't be me. Is that good enough?"

I finish my drink, stand up, and look directly into his blue eyes. "Yes Sir. Your word is good enough for me. I reckon you'd better get mixing with your hoity-toity guests. They'll miss drooling over you. Besides, Stuart says you've got a lovely daughter, and that she'll love my black eyes. I need to introduce myself."

Sir Clarence gets up, grins, swallows the remainder of his drink, and then puts an arm on my shoulder. "I doubt your black eyes will win her heart. Do we have a bet on it?"

I grin back at him. "No Sir. I only bet on certainties."

We're walking back together now, and Sir Clarence still has his hand on my shoulder. We reach the big room where all the posh folk are, and he stops. "Would you like me introduce you to some of my guests?"

I shake my head. "No thank you Sir. I like to choose my friends carefully."

He holds out a hand for me to shake, and I take it. Then he asks, "Am I one of your friends?"

I squeeze his hand. "Oh yes. I can see what Dada saw in you now. Right, I'll be off. I'll see you later before we leave?"

"You most certainly will. I'll need to catch up with Michael too. And that young rogue, Begbie." Then he winks at me. "If I was as old as Michael, I think I might have become smitten with him, too. He's a gorgeous young man!"

We laugh as we part, and I wander out into the warmth of the day. My task is over, and now I can do nothing but wait, but I have a feeling in my bones that some life-changing events are in the offing.

End of meeting.

**********

We're walking along the edge of the lake, idly throwing food scraps at the ducks that are paddling along beside us, and Stuart asks, "Did you bring any Vaseline?"

I shake my head. "No. Did you?"

Stuart pulls a wry face. "No. Damn and blast! I thought you would bring some." He looks at me with a scowl on his face. "You're a waste of space, Johnson! You know very well that I would want to. Are you going off me?"

I grin at him. "No. I thought it was a garden party, not a sex party. I didn't think we'd get the chance. You'll just have to settle for my love, and then do it yourself tonight."

Stuart snorts. "I would, but I've run out of bloody candles."

His comment makes me laugh, and my reward is a snarling, glaring stare. Then I see his face change, and he changes direction, and pulls me with him, and I have to ask. "Where are we going?"

I receive a mischievous grin. "I'm hungry."

"But we've just eaten. You can't be hungry!"

Stuart doesn't answer me, and like a lapdog, I follow him to the marquee. He fills a paper plate with turkey, and ham-and-pickle bread rolls, and four pats of butter that have been kept cool in a crystal glass bowl of water, picks up a handful of paper serviettes, and leads us out of the marquee. Now I know what he's up to.

As we're walking towards the side of the castle, away from the people sitting on the lawn, I can't stop giggling. "You're not serious, are you?!"

He gives me his naughtiest smile. "Of course I am. You can have me with a bit of pickle if you like. All we need to do is find one of our secluded places, and you're all mine."

By the time we've found a secluded spot, well away from the castle, in some woodland behind a mock temple, the butter is almost melted. Stuart strips and folds his clothes carefully, and orders me to do the same, and when he's lying on his back with his legs to his shoulders and my cock slips easily into his buttered up anus and his jaw quivers when I reach his magic spot, I kiss him and tell him that he's a genius.

He ignores me, and concentrates on the matter at hand. I bring him to his first climax, and when he reaches it, and I watch his spunk spurt up his belly, he stares into my eyes and whispers the words: "I love you Michael. I love you. I love you."

He relaxes, and tips his head back so I can get at his lips, and he locks his hands around my head and crushes our mouths together. We kiss for long, tender moments, and then he slips his hand down my body and grabs my bum, and pulls me right into him until my pelvis is nestling against his soft buttocks. He locks his legs around my waist; his arms around my neck, sucks my tongue right into his hot mouth, and his small body is hanging from me as I bang away at him until my spunk spurts deep inside him as I experience a fantastic, choking climax .

I'm lying, exhausted on the grass, and Stuart, sitting beside me is giggling as I clean my cock thoroughly. Then he gets up, moves a short way away, stoops as if he's having a crap, and pushes as much of my semen out of his bum as he can, and cleans himself. Then we dress and continue our walk around the castle. As we do, we catch sight of the peacock we heard earlier. He sees us, and scuttles off into the bushes.

Stuart looks at me and grins. "Two rabbits and a trout. Alex is so funny. I wonder if he's managed to woo Eileen? I was half expecting them to join us in our secluded place."

I laugh. "He likes his comforts, does Alex. He'll have taken her to the master bedroom."

We're still chuckling as we meet up with Stuart's parents and Mr and Mrs Bourne. They tell us that Sir Clarence wants to meet us, and we all go into the castle.

An hour later, after Alex has joined us, boasting that he's had numerous advances, but he's had to turn them down because he's on the noon shift next week; and after an interesting time with Sir Clarence, we take our leave. I shake hands with Stuart's father, give his Mother a peck on the cheek, and then shake Stuart's hand. His eyes speak what I know he wants to say, and mine do the same. Just one glance is enough to say how much we love each other.

On the journey home, rather than joining in the conversation, I sit back in the comfortable leather seats and watch the world go by. My thoughts are on my wonderful lover who has been beneath me today, and his whispered words: "I love you Michael. I love you. I love you."

I love you too, Stuart, and I wish I was travelling home with you now, and we could be together like a proper couple. It will happen one day, of that I'm certain. It's gone well today, Alex told me in a quiet moment that it had gone very well indeed. I'm still puzzled by his words, because there was air of mystery in the way he said it.

To be continued...

Other stories on Nifty by John Teller/The Storyteller can be found here.