By Mickey S.
This is a fictional story. Most of the characters and events are figments of the author's imagination. However, some of the fictional characters take part in real events and some real characters take part in fictional events. In spite of that, this is a fictional story. My thanks to Tim and Drew for all of their help. The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at NJMcMick@yahoo.com.
A car and driver were waiting for us after we'd passed through customs. Most of our luggage was being shipped directly to the hotel in London so we were able to fit what we needed for our trip to Coventry into the large car with the four of us and the driver. The trip took over four hours through winding country roads, small villages and cities, giving us a rather complete view of non-urban England. At least by the time we got to Coventry I was used to being on the left side of the road. For the first hour or so I cringed every time another car approached us though.
Coventry was every bit as wonderful as I remembered from my earlier visit. While there were a lot of modern factories and other buildings scattered throughout the city, the downtown area around the cathedral was hundreds of years old. My grandparents lived in a much newer area just northeast of the city centre. They ran a small grocery store around the corner from their house. My mother's older brother Dan and his wife Marion lived near the Rolls Royce airplane engine plant where he worked.
The car pulled up in front of my grandparent's house and we hadn't even begun to get out when my grandmother ran out the front door of the house to greet us. She was followed quickly by my grandfather and for ten minutes or so it was mass confusion with hugging, kissing and crying. It was such a different scene than any I'd experienced with my paternal grandparents back in New York. Before we even unpacked Gran insisted we have tea as it was already past time. The six of us filled every seat in the small parlour as Gran poured and we nibbled on scones.
Two conversations were going on at once. Mother and Gran were catching up on the two years since they'd seen each other while Granddad talked quietly with Dad about the political situation on the continent. I caught the words 'Chamberlain' and 'appeasement' and could tell Granddad had strong opinions on what was happening. I preferred to focus on the family matters the women were discussing so TR and I just sat back on the comfortable couch, enjoying the sense of being at home with family.
The house was small, just a parlour, dining room and kitchen downstairs and three bedrooms and a bath upstairs. It didn't take us long to get settled in. Mother and Dad would stay in her old room and TR and I got Uncle Dan's room.
When it was time to go to bed, TR and I had to squeeze into a bed that didn't look as big as my own back home. We'd stayed there on our last trip but we were both a lot smaller then. Lying on our sides near the edges of the bed, our backs were so close that I could feel TR's body heat, even with our pajamas on. If he had been anyone else I wouldn't have slept a wink, but I fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. When I awoke very early in the morning, TR and I were wrapped around each other and I was humping my aroused penis against his thigh. With horror I realized what I was doing and eased away and turned my back to him, hoping I wouldn't wake him up. Somehow I fell asleep again and when I woke up a little later TR was walking into the room. He must have just taken bath as he had one towel wrapped around his waist and was drying his hair with another.
"Morning, TR," I mumbled.
"Good morning, Woody! I guess I don't have to ask how you slept. You seemed to be having a pretty good dream a while back."
I gasped and felt the heat rise in my face as the memory of humping TR came back to me. I was blushing terribly, horrified that he'd been awake.
"Calm down, kid," TR laughed. "It's no big deal. Perfectly normal."
"Normal?" I squeaked. I couldn't imagine what he was thinking.
"I know Dad had his little talk with you a while back, but if it was anything like mine, he didn't cover everything. Like, it's perfectly normal, especially at our ages, to wake up aroused most every morning. When that started happening to me I asked Dad about it."
"Yeah, he told me about that."
"I guess he learned what he left out by the questions I asked him afterwards. Anyway, we both know that when you're aroused, nothing in the world feels better than rubbing it against something. It's almost instinctual. And then that gets your mind to dreaming up a situation to go with the feeling. Or maybe it's the other way around. Whichever it is, some pretty amazing dreams can come out of it, so don't be embarrassed. Like I said, it's perfectly normal."
"Except when it's your brother you're rubbing up against."
"When you're in dreamland you have no idea who it really is. Your mind creates its own story. You want to share that story with me?"
"Um, no, I don't really remember." I did remember it was something vaguely to do with Terrence, but there was no way I was sharing that with TR. "Dreams usually leave my mind as soon as I wake up."
"Same here, unless I make an effort to remember as soon as I wake up."
"So you're not mad at me, then? "
"Not at all. It's not as though it was on purpose."
There was a light knock on the door.
"Woody, are you awake in there?" Mother asked. "You'd better get up now if you want a bath with hot water."
"Yes, ma'am. Be right out."
For much of the next week TR and I were on our own during the day. Mother and Dad spent their time looking up her old friends and my grandparents had the store to run. TR and I spent a couple of hours helping out in the store each day, more to visit than work, but we did get some work done. We also wandered around the medieval streets of City Centre a lot too. St. Michael's Cathedral with its tall spire, one of three visible from all over the city, was over 500 years old. It made everything in New York look brand new by comparison.
There was plenty of family time though. Mother and Dad spent some time showing us around the city. And most evenings Granddad took Dad and TR to the Black Boar, his neighborhood pub, while Mother and Gran fixed supper. Because of my age I stayed behind and helped the women in the kitchen. A week after we arrived it was my birthday and that called for a big family party. As big as our family, anyway. Uncle Dan and Aunt Marion came to the house. So did their only daughter, my cousin Pamela, who was four years older than TR. She brought along her husband Bill and their three-month old son, known as Little Bill.
Except for the two Bills, I remembered them all from our last trip, although not very clearly. I liked Uncle Dan a lot. He was five years older than Mother but the two had very similar personalities. Neither of them took life too seriously. He rolled his eyes the same as Mother when he thought someone was being too serious, and conversations with him were often broken up with his roaring laughter. He was the one who insisted that now that I was sixteen I should be allowed to have beer with my meal.
I had no trouble falling asleep that night. Though I'd only had the one large glass of beer, it made me feel a bit dizzy at first and then drowsy. TR had had a few glasses but he didn't seem to feel any affect at all. I thought I'd probably sleep in and have a headache when I finally did wake up but when I awoke it was still dark. I was on my side facing away from TR; after that first night I think I had it burned into my brain to try to stay away from him in my sleep. But this time, it was TR who was all over me. He had his arms around me and I could feel that he was aroused as he humped against my butt. I tried to gently peel his arms away from me but he just tightened his grip. He was mumbling and didn't seem to be awake, so I whispered to him over my shoulder, hoping to wake him up calmly, but he didn't notice. All of a sudden he humped harder, gasped and froze in place against my back. I could feel a pulsing at my backside and then he relaxed, loosening his grip on me and slowly turning over.
The back of my pajamas felt wet and I reached back and touched them. They were wet and slippery and I knew what had happened. I brought my hand around and sniffed it, smelling that all too familiar, yet somehow slightly different smell. I fell asleep again, inhaling my brother's scent.
When I woke up to daylight, TR wasn't in the room. I waited a few minutes in case he was in the bathroom but then I got up, went out into the hall and saw the bathroom door was open. That was more than fine with me because I had to pee like never before in my life. After I'd relieved myself and taken a quick bath, I dressed for church and went downstairs. TR was having breakfast with the rest of the family. I was ravenous and stuffed myself on Grandmother's usual large breakfast.
I noticed TR kept avoiding my glances throughout the meal. On the walk to and from church, he talked to whichever family member I wasn't with. Back at the house, he stayed in the living room talking to Granddad while I went up to our room to change, then he went up after I had come down. I decided it was time for me to try to play the reassuring big brother role he had done so well the week before. I gave him a few minutes to change before I followed him to the room, knocked lightly on the door and slipped in.
"You know, a very wise brother once told me not to worry about doing things when I'm dreaming."
TR gasped, much as I had a week earlier. "You were awake? Gosh, I'm so sorry, Woody. That was really nasty of me."
"Oh c'mon, it was a bit of a sticky situation, so to speak, but it's not like you knew what you were doing. I'm guessing your dream was a bit more vivid than mine, though."
"Um, yeah." I'd never seen my brother look so embarrassed. "I was dreaming about Joan Fuller, but then I woke up when it was over and was horrified."
"Yuk! I hope you're not saying I remind you of her."
"Of course not. But you were the body next to me. I still can't believe I did that."
"Like you said to me, there's nothing to be upset about. Neither of us is used to sharing a bed with someone so when those dreams pop up, I guess it's only natural to grab onto the body nearby."
"I suppose. But if it ever happens again I want you to promise you'll wake me up as soon as it starts. And I'll do the same for you. Just because it's not deliberate doesn't mean we have to put up with each other's debauchery."
"It's a deal." I was relieved that we'd managed to clear the air, but not surprised. TR and I had always had a good, open relationship with each other. I was eager to put the uncomfortable physical encounter behind us. In spite of what I'd said to him, I was a bit disturbed by it. Not by what he'd done so much as by how a part of me had enjoyed it. Being 'humped' by another boy, especially my brother, should have horrified me, but it didn't. And that realization in itself horrified me a little bit.
Dad left for London the next day. The rest of us spent another week with my grandparents. I wrote to Terrence as soon as I knew we were about to leave for London. My grandparents went to the train station with us on Saturday and there was lots of hugging and kissing and a few tears before we boarded the train. It wasn't really good-bye, though. They were going to come down to London to visit for a few days before we sailed for home at the end of August.
Our arrival in London was perfectly timed to spend time with Terrence. On the ship he'd explained that his school's summer term ended in early July. His uncle had managed to get him out of school for the few weeks of their trip on the condition that he maintain his studies while abroad and write a detailed report on his travels once he returned to school for the last two weeks of the term.
The summer just flew by. It was the great vacation I'd anticipated and even more. Dad worked quite a bit but still managed to make plenty of time for sightseeing around the city with the family. Sometimes it was just Mother, TR and me going to museums, galleries, shows and historic landmarks, but usually it was all four of us. Often Mother and Dad were off on their own visiting friends from the early days of their marriage, but for the most part it really was a family vacation. And Terrence almost seemed to be a part of the family. Everyone took to him nearly as much as I did and he fit in quite nicely. He had a part-time job at a shop in his neighborhood but when he was free he joined us in whatever we were doing. Often it was just TR, Terrence and myself, on our own with Terrence acting the tour guide. We all got to know Hyde Park quite well. It was just a short walk from the hotel and was a massive piece of the country in the heart of the city, somewhat like Central Park back home. On one of our early excursions in the park when Terrence and I were on our own because TR was out with Joan, we were near the northeast corner and Terrence pointed out Marble Arch.
"Be careful if you're in this area alone in the evening, Woody. Stay away from the arch."
"What's wrong with it?"
"Lots of perverts frequent the area, or so I've heard."
"You know, queers."
"I can take care of myself, Terrence. I'm not as weak as I look."
"I didn't mean to imply you were weak. But when it's just one against who knows how many, even the strong can have trouble. "
Over the next few days I thought about that quite a bit. I wondered what Terrence would think if he knew I was queer. From the way he talked about the 'perverts' at Marble Arch, he probably wouldn't want to be my friend anymore. I knew I'd have to be more careful than ever about staring at him.
Not that my attraction to Terrence was all physical. Sure, it was hard to ignore how attractive he was, but the more I got to know him the more I liked everything about him - his personality, his wry sense of humor, his intelligence, his gentle, caring nature and yes, even his interest in current events - as much as I tried to feign disinterest in world affairs, Dad had indoctrinated me too well. And then there was that great smile. Okay, maybe that was getting back to his appearance, but his smile said so much more about him than just how white or straight his teeth were, or how perfect his lips were.
Even though I tried to be careful he occasionally caught me staring but he didn't seem to mind. He just flashed that smile and we continued with whatever we were doing or talking about. I had no idea what he saw in me but it was clear he found something appealing as well. We'd bonded quite quickly in those few days on the ship and over the summer our relationship grew much stronger. It was hard to believe I hadn't known him my whole life.
TR and I didn't have any more problems with disturbing one another with our dreams since although we were sharing a room in the hotel, we had separate beds. Twice, though, Terrence spent the night with us at the hotel when we had early plans the next day. The first time Mother suggested it I panicked, thinking that either I would have to give Terrence my bed and sleep with TR, or Terrence would sleep with me. Either way I knew I would have a sleepless night. Fortunately, the hotel brought in a rollaway bed for Terrence, so I needn't have worried.
I wasn't quite so lucky when Terrence reciprocated by inviting me to spend a weekend at his home in Finchley. His parents had a small house with only two bedrooms. Terrence's room was small with only one bed and no room for a cot even if they had one so we had to share. The first night I was awake for hours, trying to lie still so I wouldn't disturb him. I finally drifted off toward morning. When I awoke Terrence was already up and getting dressed.
"Good morning, Woody. How'd you sleep?"
"Fine," I lied.
"Are you sure? You seemed pretty restless."
"I don't sleep very well sharing a bed, I guess. TR and I slept together in Coventry and he said I toss and turn a lot. I was all over him in my sleep. I was afraid I'd bother you."
"No need to worry about that. I sleep like a log. I haven't any experience sharing a bed but you didn't bother me. Tonight just relax and sleep. Don't mind me."
I took him at his word and that night I slept wonderfully. I woke up once early in the morning lying against him, my head on his shoulder. I tried to pull away but he had his arm around me holding me in to him. Neither of us was doing anything unseemly and it just felt good lying with him, almost cuddling. I immediately fell asleep again.
About a week before we were to sail for New York, Dad and Mother surprised me by ordering dinner in our suite. While we often went out to restaurants in Mayfair or Soho, usually we ate in one of the hotel's restaurants. We hadn't had room service once the entire summer but it was nice with just the four of us having dinner alone. Not quite like being at home, but not public either.
Dad had an ulterior motive for the change, more than just making the meal more personal.
"Now that the summer is nearly over, your mother and I want to talk to you boys about our plans. Maybe we should have said something earlier, but we wanted you boys to have a carefree vacation here."
"That sounds pretty ominous, Dad," TR said a bit nervously.
"Not ominous, but you're probably not going to like it. Of course you and Woody are aware of the political situation here in Europe. They're teetering on the edge of war and it could start any time. My personal opinion is that England and France are going to have a tough go of it with Germany this time around and they'll probably need help from America. Except right now the isolationists are in charge back home. So I've decided to stay here for a while and cover the story as it develops. If I can help the folks back home understand the situation here, maybe if the time comes when help is needed, Uncle Sam will be agreeable to providing whatever aid is required."
"But if war breaks out won't you be trapped here?"
"Possibly, Woody, although trapped isn't a word I'd use to describe spending time in this wonderful city. But yes, there's a chance that I wouldn't be able to get back across the ocean until the war ended."
"And that's okay with you, Mother?" Dad's work had frequently taken him away from home for short periods of time over the years, but I couldn't believe Mother would be willing to be away from him for an indefinite extended period of time.
"Actually Woody, I'm going to stay here with your father. To a certain extent because I don't want to be apart from him, of course. But also because my family is here, and with war coming to Britain, I want to be near them as well."
"You're both going to stay? What are Woody and I supposed to do?" I was glad TR was able to ask that because I was speechless.
"You'll go back home and go to school. We don't see you all that much during the school year as it is. We'll all miss each other at the holidays, but you can spend them with your grandparents at Gramercy Park. And we'll write, of course."
The idea of spending most of the year at DeWitt without TR and the rest of my time in that stuffy old mansion with those stuffy old grandparents horrified me.
"No!" I burst out. "I don't want to go! Can't I stay here with you?"
"Don't be silly, Woodrow," Mother said calmly. "You have to go back to school. And it won't be any different than before for the most part. You'll be with your friends, just like you are when we're in New York."
"Friends? What friends? They all hate me at DeWitt. The only friend I had there was TR and now that he's graduated I'll be all alone. I've been dreading going back all summer."
Both Mother and Dad looked shocked. I'd never said anything before about not being happy at school, mostly because I was embarrassed by my situation there. While the episode near the end of the past school year had been extreme, I'd been the subject of lots of taunting and teasing as long as I'd been at DeWitt.
"What are you talking about? We always thought you and TR loved DeWitt."
"I did love it, Dad, but Woody's always had problems with the other kids. Or they've had problems with him. I don't know why, maybe it's because he's smaller, but the other boys pick on him quite a bit."
I caught TR's eye and shook my head furiously at him, trying to communicate that I didn't want him to tell them about the locker room incident. He seemed to understand and smiled reassuringly at me.
"Nothing major, you understand, but a lot of minor teasing from the other boys. Enough to wear him down over time and prevent him from being able to make friends."
Dad ran his hand over his forehead. "Well, I wish we'd known this before. DeWitt is a good school but we want you to be happy. It's a little late but maybe your grandfather can get you into a school in Manhattan. Then you could stay with your grandparents."
"That wouldn't be much better, Dad! You know how I feel about that mausoleum."
"I know my folks are more than a bit stuffy and boring, but they are your grandparents and they do love you, son."
"And I love them, Dad, but the idea of living with them ... Why can't I stay with you and Mother and go to school here?"
"School starts in less than two weeks and we wouldn't even know where to start looking, Woody." While Mother was often spontaneous, she could also be practical. "And there is the war, you know. Many London families are sending their children to the countryside and yet here you are asking us to allow you to stay."
"If London is safe enough for you and Dad it's safe enough for me. England hasn't been invaded in hundreds of years. And as far as school is concerned, maybe I could go to Bancroft's with Terrence." My mouth was only a half-second behind my brain and I was just spewing out whatever came to mind. Now that there might be an alternative, I was desperate not to be sent back to DeWitt alone. "We could call the Colonel. He helped Terrence get into the school. And then I'd already have one friend at school which would put me ahead of where I was back home. I don't want to leave you and Dad. And I don't really want to leave Terrence, either. He's the best friend I've ever had. "
"Aha! Is that what this is all about? Not wanting to leave your new friend?"
"I'm sure that's a little part of it, Dad, but I was resigned to that right from the start. I knew it was just a summer friendship, although Terrence and I have talked about keeping up a correspondence once I got home. But it's really about school, and being with you two. While I know I'm not a little kid, I still feel like I should be where you and Mother are."
"I'll admit that's been the one thing most on our mind, too, leaving you for a long time at your age, but your father and I decided you were old enough to make it without us, especially with your grandparents nearby. But now you've given us a lot more to think about."
"Yes, son, your mother and I will have to talk about this. This has all come as quite a surprise to us."
As soon as we finished eating TR and I excused ourselves and went out, leaving Mother and Dad alone to talk. As we walked along Upper Brook Street towards Hyde Park, TR questioned me.
"Are you sure you want to do this, Woody? After all, war could break out any day."
"I know, but that will be on the continent. I hadn't even thought there was a chance of not going back to DeWitt, but now that there is I know I have to grab it. And going to school with Terrence could be almost as good as going to school with you."
"Almost?" TR snorted. "I've seen the way you look at him. You've got a serious case of hero worship going on there, little brother."
"Yeah, maybe I do." I was glad that since he'd noticed my special feelings toward Terrence he'd interpreted them that way.
"Well, I'll miss you like crazy, Woody, but if you really want to stay, I understand. I'll talk to Dad and you work on Mother."