CTU Book two part two:

As ever I would love to say a big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write to me to let me know what they thought of CTU so far. It is people who write to me that keep me wanting to go on with the story. I would particularly like to say a big thank you to Eagle, Richard, Simon and Steve. They have been very helpful to me in more ways then I have time to go into on this page. But let's just say they are special friends.

One other person I would like to single out for a mention is Don, the author of `Working it out'. He has just finished the second book in his fantastic series and has been an inspiration to me as an author and as a friend.

Well just about before I go I would as ever like to remind you that my e-mail address is: dandevdrew@hotmail.com

You can also use this address if you would like me to add your name to my mailing list to be informed when further chapters of CTU are posted.

As ever, enjoy!



I must have been awake for nearly an hour before Tom woke. I'd woken with my head full of questions. No answers, just questions. Why was I feeling like this? At the start of the summer, no make that even last week, I knew what I wanted, I knew that I loved Tom and I knew that we'd be together, no matter what.

Why did I feel like there was a massive problem all of a sudden? This wasn't how it was supposed to be.

I looked down at him sleeping peacefully, and saw the man I loved. So why did I now have a head full of doubts?

I got out of bed and went downstairs to the kitchen, switched on the kettle and sat down waiting for it to boil. On the table were a packet of cigarettes and lighter that probably belonged to my housemate Becky. The other house mates, Errol and Anna didn't smoke and took every opportunity to berate Becky and I for polluting their personal space. I am pointing this out because I really don't want to hear from anyone telling me that smoking is wrong. It's something I do, get over it.

It's not like I smoke a lot anyway. I'd gone virtually a whole month without a fag, (Americans please note: Fag is British slang for a cigarette and when someone says that they seriously want a fag, they are normally referring to a cancer stick and not the need for man on man action. Unless of course the person who is saying it happens to be gay, then all bets are off) but when I saw Becky's on the table I automatically reached for one and sparked up.

Lost in my mind, full of thoughts running round and around I didn't hear the kettle come to the boil, nor did I hear Tom enter the room.

"What's up Andy?" He sat down opposite me, picked up the packet of fags looked at them then put them down again. Okay, all right, so yes we had made a pact with each other to quit. Tom had also given up for a month and I was now expecting to hear from him how disappointed in me he was.

"Nothing, I'm okay." I sighed.

"Don't give me nothing, you've been like this since last night. Have I done something to piss you off?"

"No not really. It's me I guess. I've just got a lot on my mind."

"Well if you want to talk about it I'll listen. If I'm part of the problem I'll try to do something about it. Am I?"

I used to wonder if Tom could read my mind. Last year even before we even got together as a couple, when we were becoming friends we forged some sort of connection where we seemed to know what the other one was thinking. I liked that.

"No, not really. It's me. I'm just feeling a bit like there's just too much going on inside of me at the moment. Do you know what I mean?"

"How so?" He looked at me with concern and waited the few minutes it took me to collect my thoughts in silence.

"A couple of days ago I got an offer to stay with the RSC."

"Oh my god, that's fantastic. Andy, that's bloody fantastic. But..."

"But it means that I'll have to leave uni."

"Ah. I see." He looked down at the table for a minute, and then over at the packet of fags, without looking at me he pulled one out and lit it. After he'd taken a draw and blew out the smoke he spoke again. "Have you decided anything."

"I thought so, but I've been having second thoughts."

"Second thoughts about us?"

"Oh god, this is so hard."

"I take that as a yes then."


"Then what Andy? What? You keep on saying that it's you and that you've got a lot on your mind. But you haven't said what is on your mind. Please tell me, because I don't understand."

I took a deep breath and then said, "Okay. It's like this. If we were just friends, if we never got together, would you still be paying for our house this year? Would you have signed over half of your flat to me?"

"How is this relevant? We did get together Andy, and I love you more than anything."

"I know you do and I love you more than you can know."

"So I don't see what the problem is. If it's something as stupid as money, well that's just..."

"Easy for you to say Tom, you've never had to worry about money. Your parents are loaded; you have a trust fund set up for you that you live on. I don't have a problem that you have more money than I do. But I do have a problem with me sponging off you. I can't do it. I can't live like that."

Tom got up off his chair, took a couple of mugs off the sink drainer then poured us both a cup of tea. I looked at him as he had his back turned to me, his body naked but for a pair of shorts, I thought about the first time I saw that body and how turned on by it I was. Then I thought about how that lust became love and over the months how that love grew for both of us. We'd both changed a lot in the past year, changed as individuals and grew as a couple. I missed him so much over the summer, but now? Now what? I still loved him, I knew that. But was that enough?

After he replaced the milk back in the fridge he set a mug down in front of me then sat down.

"So what do you want me to do? I bought that flat in Edinburgh for both of us, I seem to remember saying to you at the time that I wanted you to know that you had at least one place to come home to. Was that so wrong? You say that you feel like you're sponging off of me, haven't you ever thought that when two people who love each other get together, they share everything they have. Not just materially. But everything. If it's about the house back at uni? Don't forget that it wasn't I who chose it. I'd be happy living anywhere, as long as I am with you. But maybe, just maybe I might think of your happiness as my happiness. Is that so wrong?"

He took a sip of his tea then pulled out another cigarette and lit it.

"I need time Tom, time to work things out."

"Is there anything to work out? You have to go with your feelings. What do you feel Andy?"

I looked Tom straight in the eye and spoke the first word that came into my mind. "Smothered."

He took a long drag of his fag then discarded it in the ashtray and stood up.

"Where you going?" I asked.

"Home, I've got a long drive and I should get started off now."

He opened the kitchen door and went upstairs. I just sat there, knowing that I had just set the wheels in motion for the unravelling of my life. A few minutes later he was standing at the kitchen door again, fully dressed.

"Know this Andy, I love you. That's all." He turned round and started off to the front door.

"Tom, please don't go."

"I'll pack our things away in Edinburgh and bring them down to the house sometime before the weekend, assuming that Lottie has arranged the house in time. The rest is up to you."

Tom closed the door behind him and I heard the familiar sound of his car starting up and driving off. What had I done? I'd just thrown our relationship away, that's what.

I heard someone's footsteps upstairs and knew that I really didn't want to deal with anyone or anything so I hotfooted it up to my bedroom before the rest of the house stirred. I looked down at my bed and saw that Tom had left the pair of shorts that he had just been wearing on it. I fell down on the bed, brought his shorts up to my face and started to cry. I spent the rest of the day laying in the foetal position, ignoring the periodical knocks at my door from my concerned housemates.


I drove away from Andy's as quick as I could, but it wasn't long till I pulled the car over and started to cry. I don't remember the last time I cried as much as I did just then.

The journey back to Edinburgh was long and arduous, stuck in traffic along the way, it just gave me more time to brood over what had just happened between Andy and I. I couldn't believe that we could have come to this place. I've always thought that one should trust their gut instinct and it seemed that Andy's was telling him that he was being smothered by me.

Why? How? Maybe I should have stuck around to find out, but I couldn't. After he said that one word I felt as if I didn't want to hear another word from him, ever.

Did I smother him? I knew that I would have done anything for him. Was it about money? Non of us can help their background. So okay, I don't have to worry about where my next meal is coming from. I'm not loaded as such; my money can't be touched until I'm twenty-one. Although my father did make the exception for buying the flat in Edinburgh as he thought it was a very wise investment, given the greatly reduced price.

But what I am getting at is that although I don't have a lot to worry about in a material fashion, I don't throw it about either. Money really isn't an issue to me and I'm not given to blatant shows of wealth that perhaps people in my position might be.

And before you remind me, yes my one major indulgence is my car. But that was traded up from a gift to me by my parents.

So the way I see a relationship is that you want the best for your beloved, is that so wrong? I do not just mean materially, I mean in every sense.

If I could afford to rent a nice house for the next year of university, so what? But like I said, I was not the one who chose that place. Yes I like the thought of living there, especially given that our other options were so limited. But I would live anywhere, just so long as I was with Andy. And while we're there, the point that Andy said about if we were still just friends and not together, would I have put his name on the deeds or would I be paying for the rent for our digs?

No, I probably wouldn't. But then I don't think it was an issue as I might well have dropped out of university around Christmas time anyway. I stayed because of us. It was because of us that I found a new drive to change my course from business to sociology and politics. It's because of us that I have found a focus in life that I had never experienced before. It's because of us that I get out of bed in the morning.

And now? What?

I spent the next couple of days packing up our things from the flat in Edinburgh, whether I was going back to university or not I had signed a letting contract and had to be out by the end of the week. I had decided that I would go back to uni for the time being at least. I rented a van, which I drove to my parent's house to collect the rest of mine and Andy's stuff, then dropped in on Jamie's mother to collect all the things he wanted. My father drove my car down to the new house and he helped me unpack then drove the van back to Edinburgh. I did all this trying not to think about the future. I had all of Andy's stuff boxed up at the new house as promised and waited for him to decide what he wanted to do. Of course I didn't sleep for pretty much the rest of the week. Lottie and Jamie, who both moved in just before I did, were trying their best to be there for me, but they didn't really have a grasp at how bad things were. All they knew was that I'd told them that Andy and I had a bit of a fight and I wasn't sure if he was coming back. I didn't want to concern them about details.


No dreams with guiding messages. No words of wisdom from close friends or mentors. Not even a handy hint from Lorraine Kelly's morning television show. Nothing that could point me in the right direction. Life is full of choices, actions and reactions.

The day after Tom left I was called along to Dudley's office again and he wanted an answer to his offer to join the RSC full time. I told him that I was still thinking about it. He was kind enough to give me till the end of the week to decide.

I still had a place to stay in Stratford as my contract wasn't up till the end of the month so even if I decided not to go back to university I wouldn't have to find new digs straight away.

The stark reality for me was that I had probably lost Tom. If I went back to uni, seeing him around would be hell for me. You don't know what you've had until you've lost it. Isn't that what they say?

In Tom I had everything. A best friend, a loving partner, someone who genuinely cares about me. We had our ups and downs, much like any couple I guess. But we were always there for each other, to help each other though whatever the problem might be. And now I have thrown it all away. And for what? Why did I feel this problem about money between us? Was it really about the money? or was it something more?

I remembered back to the time before Tom and I got together, I had a chat with Dan, he pointed out that maybe I was afraid of commitment. I think that at the time he was right. Maybe that old ghost had returned to haunt me and I was using the money issue as a get out?

The truth be known I have never had so much money in my life. I earned a good wage from the RSC over the summer and because of our hectic schedule I had very little time of my own, I didn't have much opportunity to spend it.

The following day I woke up feeling a lot more positive. About? Well, just about everything.

I'd had enough of the indecision, enough of the feeling that I was in someway smothered by Tom's love. I'd had enough of my commitment issues. And more than anything, enough of the feeling that my life was turning into a bad episode of Dawson's Creek. You know, one of the episodes where they spend the whole time talking and you're sat screaming at the screen `For god's sake Dawson, just kiss her!'

I was not going to be that person who runs away when faced with an old demon. Now was the time for decision and I needed to get my head together to deal with it. I was not afraid of commitment. I would do anything to get Tom back.

The first decision I made was that I was somehow going to make it up with Tom. Or at least try. There was no way I was going to give up on us. I started this mess I was going to finish it. I just hoped that I wasn't too late and that Tom would hear me out.

The next decision was that I was going to buy a car. I mentioned it earlier and despite the reactions from my so-called friends, I had passed my test a couple of years ago and I thought that I was a fairly good driver. One of my friends, a cast member in the RSC was selling her car, she offered it to me a week or so before and I told her that I would think about it. Luckily when I went round there she hadn't sold it, we went out for a test drive and after a bit of haggling I was the proud owner of a G reg, Nordic blue with white roof Mini Cooper.

My third decision was one of the hardest to carry out. I went to Dudley's office and declined his offer. He was, of course not surprised, but said that should I change my mind at any time the offer would still be there. He wished me well in all that I do and said that he'd be keeping an eye on me for the future.

Now it was time for me to sort out that future, the only future that I want. To be with Tom.


I could carry on with telling you what I was thinking and feeling, my fears and foreboding, but to be honest I have grown tired of my inner monologue. I had no idea if Andy was going to join us or not. I hadn't heard from him all week, but then I at the same time made not attempt to contact him.

I think we're a lot alike in many ways, being stubborn and letting our pride get in the way are two traits that we shared in what seems like abundance.

It was early Saturday afternoon, just over a week before university started, and just a couple of days before Jamie started his new school. We, Jamie and I, were lounging around in the garden on the patio, catching some of the late summer sunshine, and he was attempting a last ditched attempt at escaping sixth form collage, to no avail.

"Just because you're miserable, Mr. Moody Broody, doesn't mean you should take it out on me." Jamie whined.

"You're not getting out of it Jamie. And I'm not miserable, I'm perfectly happy."

"Aye and that's why you've been moping about here for the past few days like a, a, I don't know, a moping thing."

I heard the French windows slide open and Lottie stepping out onto the patio just in time to hear Jamie's next statement.

"If Andy's not coming back get used to it and move on."

"Oh but he is coming back." She replied.

I looked round over my sun lounger and saw her standing there. The sun was in my eyes but I could make out that she had a smile on her face.

"Jamie, I think you should come inside." She said.

"But I'm happy here thanks all the same." He replied raising his glass and taking a sip of his Reef.

"No, you're not. Besides with you're fair complexion you'll go lobster red without more sun cream."

Jamie huffed but did as he was told. Actually he had no choice as Lottie had taken it upon herself to come over and drag him up by the ear and in to the house. The next thing I heard was Jamie excitedly screaming "Oh my god, Andy!"

I sat up and looked round to see the silhouette of a man standing just inside of the house stepping out into the bright sunshine. Slowly he walked up to me with a weak smile on his face. I think he was doing the same thing I was, trying to work out what the other was thinking.

As he approached me he pulled out a bunch of red roses from behind his back and said, "I'm sorry."

"What for?" I asked.

"For being a stupid git for starters."

"How did we get here Andy?" I asked cautiously, knowing that his answer would be the pivotal point if our relationship had any chance to move on. He sat at the bottom of my lounger and laid the flowers down on the patio tiles.

"I freaked out. That's how we got here. I had let some things that were on my mind build and build until they spiralled out of control. I should have said something before. But it really wasn't something that I was consciously aware of until it was sort of too late. Do you know what I mean?"

"Well if we're communicating properly now, do you mind answering one question for me? Am I smothering you? Do you really feel like that?"

"No, not really. But that was how I was feeling that moment when I said it the other day. It's like a whole bunch of decisions were being made at the time and I felt like I was being dragged all over the place."

He went on to tell me first about his offer for RADA, then the one I knew about for The RSC. He then said that he knew that he'd over reacted about the whole money thing, but he felt worried that I might start to think that he was only with me because of money.

When he said that I felt a surge of blood coming to the boil, but managed to contain an angry outburst. I think that Andy sensed it though. He held up his hand, gesturing for me to wait before saying anything, which I did. Then he brought his hand down to mine and took hold of it.

"Tom, I love you beyond all things. I never meant to hurt you and I am sorry that I let all this get to me. I'm so sorry that I hurt you. It's so stupid, I know, but I let my pride get the better of me. Above all I was feeling out of control of my life. Do you understand that?"

"I do. But you have to understand that I got the flat in Edinburgh for us and not for some sort control thing, I bought it for us, I wanted a place that we could both call home."

"I know, and you did that for the best of reasons and I love you for it, but I would be happier if my name wasn't on the deeds and that I paid my fair share for this place. It's not that I don't think we have a future together, the opposite in fact. It's just that when we buy a place together, and we will buy a place one day, I want to be able to contribute equally."

"Okay, I get you. I'll have your name taken off the deeds on Monday. The flat may be mine, but I would still like you to think of it as your home."

"I already do. I love it up there. I love Edinburgh and I love the flat. Hopefully we will get to spend some proper time there someday soon."

I raised myself up and our lips met for a long passionate kiss. All was going to be well. When we came up for air I pulled Andy down towards me and we lay together on the lounger. One of the good things about the house that we were renting was that it had very high fences, keeping prying eyes out, we could practically do what we wanted without the fear of upsetting the neighbours.

After some time of silence I asked him if he was planing on staying then?

"Are you kidding? Of course I'm staying. I've already told Dudley that I wasn't going to take him up on his offer and declined RADA as well. You're stuck with me now."

"Okay, I can just about deal with that. Actually I feel rather privileged, you turning those two offers of a life time down to be with me."

"You'd have done the same." He replied kissing my cheek.

"I already did."


"You're not the only one who got asked to stay at their summer job. Turns out that the SNP couldn't do without me. Medium sized story short, I turned them down to come back here. To be with you." This time I kissed Andy on the cheek.

"I've been a complete idiot haven't I?"

"Yep!" I replied.

"Hey, you're not supposed to agree. I'll forgive you. Just as long as you let me get my way in future arguments."

"Okay. One thing though?"


"Look, I totally get where you're coming from about wanting to pay your share for thins place, so what I have to say now I really hope that you don't take the wrong way."

"What?" He asked again.

"Well the flat in Edinburgh is paying for this place and that's that. There's no way that you, Jamie or Lottie could afford to pay even half of this place between the three of you. I'm cool with that and don't have a problem. So the way I see it is we either try to get out of our contract here and find a cheaper place or we stay and you let me pay the rent and you guys pay for the other stuff."

"I've been thinking about that and I know you're right. There's no way I could afford to live in this place. But for once I won't let my stubborn pride get in the way."

"I'm glad to hear it."

"Well, if I did have a problem I would soon become public enemy number one with Jamie and Lottie if we had to move out."

"True and you know how evil Lottie can get."

"Exactly. So here's the deal. You carry on paying for the house; Lottie and Jamie between them can afford the utilities and their food. I will pay for our food and with the money I have left from working this summer I will pay for our holiday."

"We're going on holiday?"

"Yep. Christmas break we've been invited to stay with Dan and John in Spain for a couple of weeks. I meant to mention it the other day but I had other things running round my head at the time. I figure that if I pay for our flights and spending money then it goes some way to equal this all out. That's if you want to. I mean we could go someplace else if you like."

"No, I think staying with Dan and John would be great. Okay, we're going on holiday then. I'll not be complaining. Well that's two bits of good news in one afternoon. Can you handle some bad?"

"I don't know. How about you tell me what the bad is and I'll let you know if I can handle it."

"Well it's not really bad news as such, more a situation that I seemed to have got myself into and I am not sure if I've done the right thing."

"Go on." Said Andy sounding quite concerned.

"Jamie. I think I might have bitten of more that I can chew with that one. I promised his mother I would look out for him, make sure he goes to school and all that. But with the grief he's been giving me the last day or so, I've found myself thinking that it was a bad idea to have brought him down here with us."

"For what it's worth I think you did the right thing. His parents are clearly happy to be rid of him and are only sending him money to ease the guilt trip. You know that if he was sent back there he would probably run away again and end up who knows where. Don't worry, he'll come round."

"You mean realise that we only want what's best for him and that school is the best place for him?"

"Are you mad? No I was thinking that bribery would be the best way forward. He does the school thing, we take him to Spain with us."

"I like your thinking Mr. Harris. When did we both grow up?"

"Fucked if I know." Andy replied with a grin. "So are you going to lie here all day or are you going to give me a hand to unpack?"

"How about you stripping off and lie down here with me and we'll worry about unpacking later?"

"Good plan."

Andy quickly stripped out of his clothes and down to a pair of boxer shorts. What? I hear you screaming. Andy in boxer shorts?

"I recognise those." I said to him with a wry smile.

"Yep, they're the ones you left in my room the other day. I wanted to keep a piece of you near me."

"Aw, that's so sweet." I said shooting him one of my killer smiles that I knew left him all gooey inside. We both knew then that things would be all right between us and we'd chalk this one up for experience.

I pulled him down onto the lounger with me and we spent the rest of the afternoon kissing and cuddling. Jamie and Lottie gave us some space, which was more thoughtful of them then I would have ever given them credit for.

It's funny really; we both see each other as the stronger in the relationship. I have always seen Andy as someone who is really together, knows what he wants and pretty much how to get it. Whereas some of the freak outs of mine that he's had to put up with, I don't know how he had the patience.

Don't forget that before I met Andy I had never been with a guy before. Okay, so I did sort of, with my friend Alex, but that doesn't count. In my head that is. When Andy and I got together it did take me a time to adjust as it were. But he was there for me and together we got over whatever was doing my head in at the time.

So, okay, Andy had a bit of a freak out about our relationship. I felt a bit lousy that I walked out on him as thinking about it, I know that he wouldn't have. But in my defence, it was all I could do right there and then. Non of us are perfect, and in some strange way it was reassuring to know that Andy's not always as sorted as he would like us all to believe.


My first day in school was a bit scary, I mean, new school, new kids, new teachers, new lessons. HELP!

I think what really got me was that this place was so much bigger than the school that I went to back home. There were only three hundred kids in my old school; my new one has over 1700. It's the biggest comprehensive in the area and just the size of the buildings was almost enough to make me turn back and run away.

Okay and the fact that I really didn't want to go back to school didn't help. I'd spent the whole summer working, earning money and having fun. I really didn't see why I couldn't get a job down here and forget the whole school thing. I mean, once you've been out in the big wide world you really don't want to go back. But then I was up against my mother and just about everyone else who thought they knew better. Okay, I caved. But up against that lot I didn't have much choice and now I'm the new kid in school, in the sixth form college studying my A' levels and they're still making us wear the school uniform. This sucks!

After I went to the office to register I was shown to my form room and introduced to my tutor, he pointed me to a vacant seat and I sat down to hear all the boring crap that he thought we all should know. Rules, regulations, don't do this and don't do that. Bloody hell, it's like being back at school.

I was given my timetable and then it was time for morning break. That's when it really dawned on me that I was lost. According to my time table I didn't have any classes for a couple of hours, so I could have left the site and wondered about town or try to find the common room that Mr Edwards, our form tutor, told us that we were allowed to use.

The thing is do you ask someone for directions and look a dork? Or just wonder about looking for it while trying not to look a dork? My question was answered almost as soon as I left the classroom when I felt a tap on my shoulder.

"New here?"

I turned round to see who was asking me. She was really pretty, that was the first thing that came into my mind. She was quite tall, maybe five seven or eight and she had long blonde hair that was tied back with a clip, but what I noticed first about here was that she had a really likeable smile.

"Aye." I replied.

"I thought so. Hi I'm Amy, we're just off to the common room, come with if you want."

Sorted, as Andy would say. She turned round to her mates, three guys and three girls and introduced them to me.

"Sorry, I didn't ask your name." She blushed slightly.

"Jamie, Jamie Clarke."

We made our way up to the common room, which was in the same building that we were in and up five flights of stairs and plonked ourselves down on the sofas and easy chairs and started chatting. Most of the conversation at first seemed to revolve around me; they wanted to know where I was from. One of the girls, Paula, commented how much she loved my accent. I couldn't help notice how the three guys in the group all kept their arms around their girls; it seemed to me that they were saying `hands off she's mine'. Like I'd be interested!

In fact the guy who had his arm round Paula and drew it in tighter as she spoke to me, caught my eye as soon as I walked into class. He was a bit of a hottie. Dirty blond hair the same shade as Andy's, he kind of looked like Devon Sawa in Final Destination.

I knew that they were all sizing me up as we chatted, I mean it's natural isn't it? I think that the guys were thinking that I was new competition, after all not blowing my own trumpet I was as good looking than they were. I think for those reasons the girls were also sizing me up. I was flattered. I guess.

"So" Said the guy with his arm round Paula whose name was Adam "What team do you support?"

I laughed to myself as I suddenly remembered something that Andy said the other night when we all went to our local straight pub to see what it was like. There was a match playing on the telly and everyone was into it, then when it was over they spent the rest of the night taking about it. Andy said that it was lucky that football was invented as if it hadn't pubs would be quieter than libraries. I asked him what he meant and he replied that if straight guys didn't have football to talk about, straight guys wouldn't know what to say to each other.

"Queen of the South." I replied. They all stared at me with blank faces so I went on. "They're in Scottish division two, they're okay. I guess I support them because they're one of my local teams."

Actually they're not that local, they're way over in Dumfries but I do support them, mainly because of the name. It has ironic overtures, if you get my drift.

The rest of the conversation revolved round football and their various teams, much to the displeasure of the girls, who had broken off and formed their own group on another sofa. I couldn't help notice that Amy glanced back at me and smiled a few times, I smiled back, it seemed the polite thing to do and besides she did seem nice.

One of the lads looked at his watch and announced that it was about time to move on to his first class. Everyone else dug their timetables out and all but two of us had a class starting in a few minutes.

"Which class have you got?" Amy asked.

"Erm," I looked again at my timetable. "English room 117."

"Yeah, same here mate." Adam looked up from his timetable and smiled. "That's strange, I'd have thought you'd be studying English as a second language. You being a Scot and all."

There was a silence from the rest of the group and I noticed Amy shooting Adam a hard look. I laughed and the sudden tension was lifted, then I answered the dis back with, "Typical bloody English, you're all as dumb as they told me you were."

"Bloody foreigners. Come on, I'll show you a short cut there. All the signs are in English and we wouldn't want you getting lost on your first day just because you can't read them."

"Jamie," Said Amy "If you're about at lunch, meet us on the top field. Adam will show you the way. That's if he can remember where it is."

Adam stuck his tongue out at her like a five-year-old kid and she gave him a light slap around the face. I said I would, then she smiled back at me. Looks as if I was making friends with a bunch of cool people.

We said our goodbyes as we all went down to our various classes, it was just myself and Adam who had English so we headed off in a different direction and were soon walking alone together.

"Reckon you might be in there." Adam said starting up a conversation. "She's nice is Amy."

"Aye she seems really nice." I answered. There was no way I was going to tell him that not only was I gay, I was more interested in him. I mean what a great way to make friends, come out on my first day at school? No I don't think so.

"Yeah, she's just broken up with her boyfriend as well. He went off to Bristol University, I don't know the whole story but I think it had something to do with them realising that long distance relationships don't work. He was a prat anyway, thought just because he was older he was better than the rest of her friends."

"Oh." I replied, not really knowing what to say.

"Anyways, here we are, room 117. Mrs Stevens is alright, you'll like her."

We entered the classroom and Adam sat down near the back of the class, then motioned me to sit next to him. Slight warm tingly feeling inside as I sat down, looks as if I was making a new friend. We carried on chatting and joking, I don't know why but I felt really at ease with this guy. We seemed to break down the walls of unfamiliarity really easily. It was like we'd known each other for ages. The class started and the teacher went over the syllabus and what was going to be expected of us to get through English at A 'Level.

"WHICH!!! Mr Woods will be impossible if you and the new boy don't stop talking!"

The class started laughing. "Sorry Miss." We both replied.

"Mr Clarke, isn't it? Well I see I'm going to have to keep my eyes on you two. Or perhaps you already know what I am here to teach you and would prefer to study something more useful, in say an hours detention tonight. No? Well be warned."

The class went on and Adam and I escaped a detention on our first day. When the bell rang for lunch we filed out of the room. Adam was collared by a few guys who were obviously friends; he didn't introduce me to them so I just hung about hoping that he hadn't forgotten that we were going to the top field for lunch. Eventually they broke up with all but Adam and a couple of other guys left. He turned round to me and said to follow him then introduced me to David and Joe, who were heading up to the top field as well.

We stopped along the way to grab some lunch from the canteen and a few times along the way as we bumped into people who Adam knew. This guy was popular; everyone seemed to want a piece of him.

Adam, David and Joe made small talk with me as we headed to meet up with the others, again mostly about football and that the team tryouts were in a couple of days, which was an event not to be missed, apparently.

We got to the top field and found the others who I met earlier. Amy, Paula, Kim, Mary, Gary and Steve. Adam went up to Paula and they kissed hello then sat down together. Amy said `Hi' to me and motioned me to sit with her. We all chatted about our first class and general stuff, a lot of which went over my head as they were talking about people that I didn't know.

They were then talking about a pub that they often went to that they could get served in, and Amy asked me if I knew where it was? I replied that I didn't and added that I've only been in town for a couple of weeks. She then asked me where I lived and I replied The Ravenswood estate.

"Ooh," Said Adam "Parents must be rich to live there."

"No, and I'm not there with my parents." This brought curious looks to their faces so I went on, "I ran away from home and I'm sharing with some friends who go to university here."

"Ran away?" Asked Amy looking slightly puzzled.

"Aye." They were now hanging on my every word. "I'd had enough of the crap they were giving me at home, so I ran away to stay with a friend in Edinburgh."

"So how did you end up here?" Asked Adam.

"Well long story short. Tom, my friend, let me stay at his place in the city but only until he came back here to uni. My parents knew where I was and were glad to be rid of me. I wanted to stay in Edinburgh when Tom went back to university, but I didn't have anywhere to stay, there was no way that I could go back home, so Tom suggested that I moved down here with him and a couple of friends. I liked the idea until he said that if I did I'd have to come here to school. But, it's better than being at home, so here I am."

"Wow." They chorused all looking suitably impressed.

"They must be rich, your friends then, I mean Ravenswood is pretty exclusive. Big houses, each with a pool. My parents went to take a look after they were built last year and said how great it was, but way expensive." Said Amy then went on to say. "Adam lives in the next road to Ravenswood, not as posh, but you wouldn't expect that from Adam."

"Oh hey, yeah. You're funny. You made a funny." Said Adam trying to look annoyed.

"Tom's the rich one." I went on. "We kind of bullied him into it really, he pays the rent and the rest of us pay the other bills. So no ones really rich when it comes down to it, but it is cool living there just now."

"I bet." Said Adam. "I mean, big house, pool, no parents. Party time! I think Jamie's going to become our best friend." He looked round at the rest of the group smiling.

"Yeah," Said Amy. "But I think he's wise enough to work out who his real friends are Adam, and not just the hangers on like you."

They went on to ask me about my friends who I lived with and how I knew them. I told them about my mother working for Tom's parents and that I'd known him all my life. About Charlotte who was one of the craziest people I've ever met. Then about Andy who was an actor who had spent the summer doing Shakespeare plays for some important theatre company and was going to be in a film with a guy called Daniel Stern who was a famous actor. Of course I didn't mention that Tom and Andy were going out, I mean I didn't know how cool these people were with gay stuff, which is why I also didn't say anything about me being gay either.

"I've heard of Daniel Stern. I've seen him in a couple of TV programmes." Said Amy, "He was living here for a while, did you know that?" She asked the group. A couple of them nodded that they did and all of them seemed impressed.

"Aye, he was Andy's teacher last year in uni, he's really nice, for a famous person that is. I've met him once up in Edinburgh, and I think we've been invited to stay with him and his, erm, partner in Spain for a couple of weeks at Christmas time."

I nearly ran away with myself there. I suddenly realised that I was about to out a famous actor to a bunch of people I'd only just met. I don't think anyone noticed though.

"Bullshit." Said Gary to the group. "Can't you see he's winding us."

"Why would he?" replied Amy.

"To make us impressed or something. I don't know. I mean come on, the new kid in school, tells us about running away and living with rich friends in a posh house and knowing famous people? Smells a lot like bull to me."

They all looked to me for an answer back. I started to get up, I felt that maybe if you didn't know me that it might all sound like crap. But I didn't want any trouble so I figured that maybe I should just walk away. I shrugged and said "Believe what you want. Makes no odds to me just now."

"Well I believe you." Said Amy pulling on my arm to get me to sit back down.

"Ease up Gary," Adam laughed then looked at me and went on "Don't mind Gary, he's not much judge of character, mainly because he doesn't have one of his own."

"Fuck you Woods!"

Adam just stuck his two fingers up at Gary, then went back to snogging with Paula. Amy carried on asking me questions, but it was more of a one to one thing, the rest of the group chatting about other stuff as my time in the lime light faded. She was asking me more questions about what I was doing when I ran away to Edinburgh. I told her about working in a café and clubbing most nights, of course I didn't tell her that the café I worked in was a gay café or that the clubs I went to were also gay. She then asked if I had a girlfriend back home, or here? I replied that I didn't. I kind of knew where she was heading but she then seemed to change the subject again by asking what music I was into.

We carried on chatting for a while and despite that outburst from Gary I was feeling more and more like I was making friends with a good bunch of people. Amy was really nice, very perky and easy to talk to. That's probably why I liked her, we both liked to talk.

But it was Adam that I really wanted to get to know. He was hot, my eyes kept on straying over to him, he was laying on the grass with his head on Paula's lap looking up at her. Meanwhile she was rubbing his stomach underneath his shirt and every now and then it would ride up a bit to show off his six pack and treasure trail sneaking off under the waistband of his boxers that were about an inch over his trousers waistband.

The bell rang and we all headed back to classes. I only had two more that day, that's the good thing about sixth form college they don't overload you with classes. Most days I only have three and on Fridays I don't have any, it's supposed to be study day, either at home or in the schools library. Cool huh?

The only person I knew in my first class after lunch was Paula, she was keen for me to sit next to her and a couple of her friends. It was social studies and mostly discussion stuff. But most of the time it was Paula and her mates chatting with me while we ignored what was going on. They were asking me if I was seeing any one and other stuff, while I found out from Paula more about Adam. They'd been going out for just under a year, she confided in me that while she did love him, they kept on arguing and she wasn't sure how much longer she was going to put up with it. Just as soon as she said that, she put her hand over her mouth as if to say that she'd said too much.

"Jamie, please don't say anything. I've not really made my mind up about it yet. It's just that right now everything's great, but then I'm kinda waiting for the next bust up."

I replied that I wouldn't say anything and that she could trust me.

"Thanks. I like you Jamie, it's like Amy said, you're easy to talk to."

My next class was geography and I had that with Adam. Paula pointed me in the right direction of the room and as soon as I got there Adam pulled out a seat next to him and motioned for me to sit down.

The class seemed to drag on forever as the teacher droned on about what we were going to study that year and what was expected of us. I guess Adam and I learned our lesson from English and didn't really chat much during class as we spent most of the time making notes.

When the bell finally rang we left the class and were joined by some of the other guys including Gary, who I couldn't help notice sneered at me when he acknowledged my presence.

"Andy, we're off to Oakwood Park to get some footy in, fancy coming. It's not far from you're place."

"Why Oakwood?" interrupted Gary. "Place is full of fucking queers when it gets dark."

"Because it's got the new pitches laid out. Besides I thought you'd feel at home there Mason, once it gets dark I mean."

"Fuck you Woods."

"As you keep saying. You don't seem to be doing anything about it though." Adam turned back to me and asked "How about it? Fancy a bit of a kick around for the afternoon?"

"Nah, think I'll give it a miss. Football's not really my thing."

"Okay, suit yourself. See you tomorrow."

"Aye, see you."

We parted ways at the gate when I realised I had to go back into school because I'd forgotten to get some books from my locker. I bumped into Amy on the way and while we walked to the lockers I asked her about what had happened, Gary being an arsehole and all that.

"Don't mind Gary. He's a bit of a prat that we can't seem to shake off. He used to be Adam's best friend a few years back but they fell out. They're sort of friends now, but that's only because..."

"What?" I asked.

"Well last year Adam asked me out and we dated for a while. Turned out that Gary was jealous because he wanted to go out with me. Totally crap though because I wouldn't have gone out with him in a million years. Anyway, there was a big bust up between them and even after Adam and I split up, they never really patched up their differences. But we've all got the same group of friends, so Gary still hangs out with us because he's seeing Kim."

"So you and Adam went out?"

"Yeah, for a while but with all the friction that was going around at the time it didn't last long. The good thing was that we parted still friends. That's how I can stand to be in the same room with him, most of the time. He's a good guy, funny and gorgeous to look at, but I don't know why, he's never really had much luck with girls. Seems to date for a while then split up with them for no real reason. I think him and Paula..."

"Are going to split? Paula mentioned it to me, but said not to say anything."

"Same here. I guess it's okay if we both know though. You know Jamie, I've only known you a day, but I feel like we've been friends for ages."

"I guess I'm just easy to talk to."

"I guess. Look, I'm heading into town, do you fancy coming along, we could grab a bite to eat in a café?"

"Thanks, but I should get back home. The guys will be wanting their tea soon and it's my turn in the kitchen tonight."

"And he cooks too. It just gets better and better. Okay, see you tomorrow."


Over the next couple days I went to school without the fears that I had on my first day. I was so pleased that I'd started making friends already and the rest of the crap that I was feeling about going to school just melted away. I hung out with Adam, Amy, Paula and the rest of the gang most of the time. I had a couple of classes with Adam and we had a laugh through most of them. This was not without consequences though, during English, Mrs Stevens said that she's had enough of our chatting away and rather than waste her time by giving us detention she made us sit apart for her lessons. I felt like we were in juniors again.

On Thursday morning in the form room the main topic of conversation was the football trials later that afternoon. The guys were really psyched about it, trying to second guess who would be picked for the sixth form college first team. Adam seemed the most insightful as he named what most of the others agreed was the most likely squad. Starting off with himself and Gary as strikers he went on to name nine more likely candidates and what positions they would have. The year had two squads, the first team and the reserves, and it seemed anyone's guess who would be picked for the reserves. Of course no one would want to be picked for the second team, not many people give a damn about how well they do, the only good thing about it was that every now and then you might get picked for a first team match.

Of course none of this really mattered to me as I had no intention of trying out, sure I could play, but I didn't really enjoy it and I don't do after school activities. They're so passé and I've got better things to do with my time.

As it happened, my first class of the day was P.E. I couldn't believe that they still made sixth formers do it, surely we've got more important things to worry about what with A' levels and stuff.

When the bell rang we headed off to the changing rooms and got ready for a double period of games, which happened to be five a side football. I guess the one thing that P.E has going for it is the changing rooms, yep you know where I'm going with this. Thirty, sixteen and seventeen year old guys in various states of undress, it's more than a gay boy can take. God is good.

I'd taken a locker next to Adam and made sure I was discreet as I watched him change out of his uniform and into his kit. At six foot, he was a couple of inches shorter than me, and had a body that would have sent most of the guys I knew back in Edinburgh wild. I mean he was sending me wild, and using all the will power that I could summon up was all I could do to stop myself from sprouting a stiff.

He undid his trousers and pulled them off along with his shorts and that's when I found out that he was an inch or so longer then me soft. Come on, I know you were dying to know if I caught sight of his dick nestling on a ample set of balls covered in his dark blond pubic hair. The guy was really fit, not an ounce of fat on him, much like me I guess. By the time he'd finished changing I was just pulling my shirt off, okay, so I took my time. Sue me. As Andy would say.

As I turned round to get my kit from my bag Adam caught sight of my nipple ring. The one I had done in the summer, the one you might remember that Andy hated. Well I decided to keep it, after all it hurt so bloody much when I had it done it seemed a waste not to.

"Bloody hell mate, you're full of surprises." Adam commented, pointing at it. "That's cool." He looked impressed.

"Cheers, had it done in the summer."

"Did it hurt?"

"Oh yes, but it was worth it, feels really good now."

"Yeah? Fuck, I don't know if I'd have the guts to. I was going to pierce my ear a few years ago, but bottled it."

Our conversation was stopped when the teacher bellowed out for us girls to get a move on. How fucking predictable, sadistic P.E teacher.

I rushed to put the rest of my kit on and ran out to the top field where we spent the next hour and a half in various teams playing five a side. I held my own and even scored a couple of goals.

At the end of the class as we headed back to the changing rooms the teacher called out to me.

"Clarke, get over here."

I ran up to him and asked what was up?

"You're new here right?"

"Yes sir."

"Well, I hope you'll be trying out for the teams this afternoon, we could do with someone of your skill."

"Erm, no, I wasn't going to, not really into football. Sir."

"WHAT! Don't be ridiculous, of course you'll try out."

"Sir, you can't make me."

"Can't I? Detention one hour, tonight."

"What? Why?"

He pointed at my nipple under my football shirt and said "That. The wearing of jewellery is forbidden during games and nipple piercings are against school rules period. Now maybe someone should have told you that, but that's not my problem. All I know is that one of my students has broken the rules by wearing a nipple ring and has just earned himself a detention so he'll remember to remove it during games in future. Now, you'll report to me on top field after school in full kit tonight and we'll see if you've got what it takes to join the team. Got that? And don't think about playing anything but your best out there, if I get the merest hint that you're not playing at 110% you'll be doing detention every night until Christmas. Now get out of my sight."

This was so unfair; I didn't want to play their fucking games. I trudged into the locker room; pulled open my locker grabbed my bag, slammed the door shut, threw my bag down and kicked it.

"Naughty bag, bad bag. Well I guess it's dead now."

"Fuck off Adam."

"Sorry mate, what's got to you? Did Gherkin give you a hard time? Gherkin was what they all called him because his name was Gurkman.

"The fucking bastard's given me detention for wearing my ring and guess what? I've got to do the try outs."

"And that's bad because?"

"Because I don't want to. I've got better things to do with my time after school than kick a sodding ball about."

"Come on, it can't be that bad, just don't play well and you'll not get picked. Gherkin might be an idiot, but he's not stupid enough to pick someone for his team who doesn't want to be there."

I wasn't convinced. I got dressed and just wanted to get the fuck out of there.

Suddenly I heard a raised voice "Hey queer boy."

I looked round, as did everyone else, the voice was Gary's from the other side of the changing room and he was shoving some guy who was standing next to him.

"Fucking try and touch me up and I'll fuck you up for good."

"S-sorry. I-I-I..." The guy was stammering out an apology that was obviously falling on deaf ears.

"You, you, you what? Fucking poof."

Gary didn't give him a chance. He slugged him one in the gut. The boy went down, clutching his stomach and it looked like he was about to get a kick as well.

I could feel my blood coming to the boil. I had no idea if this guy was gay or not, so it wasn't some sort of solidarity thing. I had to put up with a load of bullying from my dad and brothers, especially after I came out to them and I just hated seeing anyone going through that. On the other hand I was very conscious that I didn't want to step in and be labelled by people who hardly knew me.

"That's enough Mason." Adam shouted at him. He forgot about kicking the lad and turned round to Adam.

"What's up Woods? You sticking up for queers now?"

"No, I'm just stopping you making a prick of yourself. Oops, too late, you already are a prick."

A couple of the lads in the changing room let out a nervous laugh. I knew that there had been a lot of tension between Adam and his former best mate over the past year or so, and now it seemed that it was coming to a head. But before anyone could make a move Gherkin came in and shouted at us to finish changing and get out. Then he looked round to me and said "Don't forget your detention tonight."

Gary Mason was one of the first to leave, clearly having second thoughts about a confrontation with Adam.

After Adam and I left the gym I said that I was off and that I'd see him later. I just had to get out of this place and sort my head out. I was pissed off about my detention and I was pissed off about that episode just then in the changing room. Adam said that he'd come with me if I wanted, but I said that I'd rather be on my own.

I didn't bother hanging about for lunch or going back to my next class, I just went off home and bunked off the rest of the day until it was time to show up for my detention. I entered the locker room and Adam came up to me.

"How you doing now?"

"No bad. I'll just get this over with and fuck off home."

"I still don't know what the big deal is? It'll be great to have you on the team."

"Thanks Adam, but..."

"I know, you don't like playing football. I don't know, what we gonna do with you?"

The tryouts done, we were back in the changing room waiting the results. Odds on I was the only guy there praying that he wouldn't get picked.

Gurkman came out of his office with a sheet of paper in his hand, everyone but me cheered. Then he started reading out names and positions of the reserve, then first team. I could tell by the reaction from everyone that it was a bit of a shock when Gary Mason's name was read out for the second team. I remembered earlier that Adam was sure he would be in the first. This got a bad reaction from Gary and Gurkman replied that if he didn't play as shite as he did last year he may earn his first team place back. The second shock was for me; I got picked for the first team in what was Gary Mason's old position. The rest of the first team was just as Adam had predicted.

After the list was read out Gurkman called Adam and me into his office. We looked puzzled at each other, shrugged then followed Gurkman in.

"Right Woods, you're captain this year. Well done you've earned it. You're main job is to see the team comes together in time for our first game on Saturday week. You're second job is to get this one," Pointing at me. "into the idea of team spirit. I think he needs a bit of TLC, if I'm right we've found ourselves a striker who along with you will get us the county cup this year. Now get out of here and tell that bunch of girls that first practice is tomorrow at four."

"Yes sir." Adam replied.

We left the office and back in the locker room things suddenly got worse for me. Gary came right up to me and virtually spitting in my face said "You've nicked my place you wanker."


"Leave it Gary." Adam stepped in.

"Fuck off Woods or do you have to fight for him? Like you do for all the queers."

"I don't want you're fucking place on the team, have it." I shouted back at him.

"Ah shut up." He sneered. "You'll get yours Clarke." He stormed off.

Adam seemed really embarrassed and kept on apologising for his former friend. On our way home he told me the story of how he and Gary fell out over Amy and they've never been proper mates since.

"I can't believe what he said. He's turning into a complete arsehole. The only reason he hangs out with us is that he's going out with Kim and she's our mate. Don't let him get to you, he ain't worth it."

"Cheers Adam, I'm sorry as well. I've been acting like a brat all day. It's just that I don't see me as someone who can get too fired up about playing football. I mean, I kinda watch it from time to time, my brothers used to take me to games and all. But, I don't know it's like I've grown up and I don't enjoy playing anymore. Do you know what I mean?"

"Erm no, can't say that I do mate. It's the best game in the world, hey here's a thought, maybe it's because you're Scottish?"

"What's that got to do with anything."

"Well everyone knows that Scotland can't play for their lives."

"Fuck you. At least we don't cave as soon as we know we're playing Argentina or Germany."

"Only because you're never good enough to get that far."

I was just about to answer that back when I caught myself and started laughing.


"Nothing, it's just that here I am arguing about a game that I don't care about. I must be more fucked in the head than I thought."

"No argument from here. Look I'm off in that direction, I'll see you tomorrow. Don't fret, it'll be okay, besides once you start playing you'll soon get into it. And when we start winning the girls will be throwing themselves at you. In the name of team spirit of course."

"Great." Don't think I sounded too enthusiastic there. Hey ho.

We parted ways when we got to my house. Andy and Tom were out, but Lottie was sitting in the living room reading a book.

"Hey gorgeous, good day at school?"

"The worst." I replied.

She put her book down and patted the seat next to her asking me to join her. I sat down and she put her arms round me.

"Do you want to talk about it?" She asked sounding very sympathetic.

I told her about being forced into the football tryouts and then getting picked for a place on the team.

"So what am I missing here? Why's that so bad?"

"This is going to sound silly, I know, but it's just that I've got a lot of bad memories with football. My dad and brothers were crazy about it, but I couldn't really care less. I only went along with it to make him happy. My dad used to take us over to the park every week to play and he'd go mad at me if I missed a ball or didn't score a goal. He did the same with my brothers as well, but he always seemed to pick on me more. Every weekend I'd be playing my heart out and every weekend I'd end up with a beating for any mistakes I made, or even for not showing enough enthusiasm on the pitch. Even when I played my best he'd find something." I started crying and Lottie pulled me into a hug.

"See, the truth is I love the game, watching it. But playing brings back memories of that bastard having a go at me for not being good enough. I tried, I really tried. But I was never good enough. He hated me, I know it, he told me loads of times that I was crap and a pathetic excuse of a boy. I couldn't do anything right for him."

"Look, if you don't want to be on this team you don't have to. I'll go up to the school myself and read the riot act to this teacher. There's no way they can make you."

"Thanks Lottie, I'll think on that. I just don't know what to do."

"Maybe you should play."

I looked at her curiously then asked "Why?"

"Well, I mean your dad's not here to criticise you. It might be just what you need to get a bit of that self respect back that your dad beat out of you. Maybe it'll be fun. But like I said, I'll sort this teacher out for you if he gives you any grief. There's no way you're going to do anything you don't want to."

I went for a swim in the pool after chatting with Lottie, I hoped that it would help clear my head, but it didn't. I swam laps and laps of the pool but things just kept on going round and round in my head.

I swore to myself every week when I was younger that I'd never play football again as soon as I got the chance to get away from my dad, and now here I was again, getting bullied into doing something I didn't want to.

And to cap that, the only reason I was even thinking about it was that I liked the idea of spending more time with Adam. I'd only known this guy for a couple of days and he was already treating me like a good friend he'd known for ages. I liked the idea of spending more time hanging round with him. Even though he was blatantly straight, after all he was dating Paula and went on about girls most of the time, when he wasn't talking about football that is. But there was something about him, something that I couldn't quite get in my head. Maybe it was wishful thinking. But I didn't care. So what if he wasn't gay? Being his friend was enough for me.

I went back inside when Tom called out that dinner was ready, Lottie had told Tom and Andy what had happened and they were really great. They said the same thing that Lottie did that they'd go freak out on the teacher if I was getting any grief and that it was up to me to decide what I wanted to do. Andy finished up by saying,

"Jamie, in the end you do what you want. You're dad isn't around to do anything, if you don't want to play, don't. If you do then go for it. Either way, you'll get our backing. We'll be at your matches cheering you on and we won't have a go at you if you miss a goal." He leaned over the table and kissed me.

"Cheers guys. I really appreciate that."

"Well guys." Lottie announced. "Lovely meal Tom, I'm off out for a drink with Alan."

Alan was a guy who Lottie knew from hers and Andy's course. They had hooked up a couple of days ago when they bumped into each other in town. Lottie was wrapped that she'd finally met a worthwhile fit guy who wasn't gay and couldn't work out why she didn't notice him last year.

Andy reminded her that last year Alan was a complete idiot and she wouldn't even be thinking about dating him if it weren't for the fact that she'd not had a shag in ages.

"You're just jealous that I'm spending time with someone other than you."

"Yep that'll be it Lottie. I'm green with envy every time a guy gets anywhere near you."

"I know you are Andy. But and I'm sorry to have to say this, you're just not good enough for me."

"I wish you two would just shag and get it over." Tom laughed.

Lottie got up from her chair and sat on Andy's lap facing him. She lowered her head until her lips met his and the started kissing passionately, and I mean passionately. My mouth fell open and I looked at Tom, who surprisingly enough didn't look at all pissed off. He just shook his head at me as if to say "Don't worry, just watch."

A couple of minutes later they both came up for air, Lottie grinning away until she got the answer to her question "Anything?"

"Nope, still nothing. Sorry."

She climbed off of him and hit him across the head crying out, "It's not right! It's not natural! What's wrong with you people? It's just supposed to be a phase."

"Sorry Lottie, I guess you're just not good enough for me."

"Well it's lucky that I'm going out to see a real man then isn't it. Anyway, not that I'm in the remotest bit interested, but what do you guys have planned for the night? Please keep your reply clean as I don't need the mental image of the two of you fucking all night running about in my head, spoiling my evening out."

Tom and Andy said that because they had been out for the past three nights catching up with people from uni they didn't have plans apart from an evening in. She looked at me and I said that I wanted to go out but was totally skint. And even if I did have some cash there's no where in this town to go other than a few crap pubs.

It's funny how you get used to the city very quickly. For years I lived in a small town with nothing and I mean nothing to do. Then I go to Edinburgh and every night is party night, it was great all those gay pubs and clubs, like I'd died and gone to heaven. Well that's how it feels when you come from a small town and hit the city for the first time. I've been told that Manchester and London are even better.

Now don't get me wrong, I love living here with Tom, Andy and Charlotte, but I just wish that we were living in a city with stuff to do and not some stupid town in middle England.

Andy told me that there was a pub in a town about ten miles away that had a gay night once a week, but that he had no idea if it was any good as he and Tom hadn't been there.

Tom, who was one of those people who seemed to know just about everyone who could do him a favour, had also said that he would try to get me a student card so I could go to the union bar with them. I guess that was probably the best offer of nightlife round here.

I asked Adam at school what they did for clubbing and stuff. He told me of a couple of places in town that sounded to me like they were full of kids trying to pluck up enough courage to ask someone of the opposite sex for a dance or a snog. We're talking big league stuff there. Even Adam admitted it was pants. He also said that there was a pub that didn't worry about underage drinking that the gang went to, but the most prized position anyone in the sixth form could have was a university student union id card. That was the only place in town according to Adam that was worth going to. Unfortunately they were really hard to get hold of.

"Tom, I thought you were sorting Jamie out with a knocked off student card?" Andy reminded him.

"Aye, sorry mate, I've not been able to get my hands on one yet. I've been a bit caught up with stuff this week. I'll get on the case next week when we start back at uni proper, and you're social life will reach new heights. Well, they'll let you into the union bar at least."

When Lottie had gone, Tom and Andy stuck a video on and were curled up with each other. I was feeling a bit like a third wheel. I went up to my room and switched on my Playstation to get lost in a world of zombies all trying to kill me. It was about ten o'clock when I finished up, I was thinking about going to bed but I wasn't tired, then I heard from the room next door Tom and Andy at it. Shagging away like there was no tomorrow. I don't know, maybe it was all that went on earlier in the day but I just kind of snapped. I was feeling really fed up and alone, even though I was with people who I loved, I was still feeling alone.

There was a part of me that wished that I could just go next door and join in on the fun. I loved Andy and Tom and even though I was very careful to keep those feelings to myself, I was sure that they knew it too. But I also knew that if I did act on my feelings I could open up something that would probably turn out really bad for all of us. As much as I loved them and would love to be with them in every sense of the word I knew that they were very much in love with each other and weren't just into each other for the shags. If they were it would have been okay for me to join them. As it is I would probably just end up coming between them. I don't get why you can't love more than one person at a time? Fucked isn't it?

I opened my dressing table draw and took out my gear box and rolled a joint. I Lit it, took a few drags, and then switched on my midi system and stuck in Tom's old Prodigy CD that I forgot to give back, whopped up the volume to the max, and switched the bass booster on. I went straight to track seven and let the mad sounds of `Outer Space' rush through my body and my mind.

I'll take your brain to another dimension

I'll take your brain to another dimension

I'll take your brain to another dimension

Pay close attention.

I was dancing wild, blocking out all the thoughts running through my brain. I was clubbing, I was out, I was free. Sweat pouring down my face and body and I danced and danced, it was one of the only ways I deal with things that I don't want to deal with.

"Why Oakwood?" Asked Gary "Place is full of fucking queers when it gets dark"

My mind was feeling good, for the first time in that day I really felt free. That's the thing about spliff, it sets you free from all your worries and inhibitions. The other effect that it has on me is that it makes me super horny. I took a couple more tokes on my spliff, pulled my trainers on and headed out the door.

I knew that Oakwood Park was behind my estate, I'd just never been there in the two weeks that I've lived here. The place was full of fucking queers was what Mason had said. On reaching the gates to the park I instinctively headed to a clump of trees on the far side of the playing fields. It was dark and what little light there was from the park lamps barely penetrated the woods. But fairly nearby I heard the unmistakable sound of men having sex. I stopped and leaned against one of the trees and re-lit my spliff, it wasn't long before what I was looking for had found me.

"Alright mate?" He asked.

"Yeah." I replied.

There were no more words to say, I took another toke and offered the guy some. He took a drag then blew it back out. The next thing we were kissing. Hands all over each other, my body still drenched in sweat from dancing let out a light shiver as the cool night air hit my skin as he pulled my t-shirt off.

He started kissing down my neck and on to my chest. He reached my nipple with the ring in it and started licking around it. Shivers of pure pleasure run up and down my spine as he carried on playing with it with his tongue.

I'll take your brain to another dimension

I'll take your brain to another dimension

I'll take your brain to another dimension

Pay close attention.

The next thing I knew was that he had my jeans down and my hard dick was in his mouth. I fucked his face hard, hard as if it were the only way to free my mind. I didn't care, I just didn't care. He pulled away, off me completely. I felt his tongue play with my pre-cum and saliva covered helmet. I didn't want that. I didn't want play, I was sick of playing. But that's all this guy wanted to do. He played with my dick in his hand until I shot my load. I slumped down on the tree and closed my eyes, when I had reopened them he was gone.


Well there you go. I hope you all enjoyed that chapter. If you did, you know the address: dandevdrew@hotmail.com

The next is about half done right now and we'll see more of Jamie and his new friends. Also there is trouble brewing for Andy. Clue? It's all about an innocent kiss.

Just before I go I would like to wish Sven's men the best of luck for Saturday. As I am putting the finishing touches to this chapter England have qualified for the next round of the World cup. Ironically, if you were paying attention, you would have read Jamie taking the mick out of Adam saying that England cave every time they meet up with Argentina. Of course I wrote that before we beat them one nil and helped send them crashing out of the tournament. I thought that I'd leave that line in though, as it doesn't do to gloat.

Also good luck to Ireland and The USA.