Tough Question

By Kit

This is a story about a gay male and may involve sexual activity between males, so if this is likely to offend you, or is illegal where you live then do not read any further.  All the events and characters in this story are fictional and any resemblances to real people are purely coincidental.

The story is copyright of the author and may not be distributed or placed on any web sites without written permission from the author.

I would like to thank my editor, Richard Lyon, for his encouragement and moral support while this story was being written and for his hard work in seeking out errors after it was written.

If you enjoy this story or have any comments about it, please feel free to send me an email .  


Chapter 5

The next day I went home to my parents, arriving after Frank had already gone to the Rugby tournament. While he was away we exchanged phone calls most days and for his sake I was happy to hear that his team was doing well. During the vacation I got very bored and also very horny, though sharing a room with my brother made it difficult to find the privacy to relieve the sexual tensions. Of course I'd grown accustomed to having my own room and I supposed that my brother had too. In any case it seemed that we were more irritable with one another than we had been before I went to university.

Frank returned just a couple of days before our vacation ended and we only managed to have one night of camping at the old quarry before I had to go back to Linchester. Although they didn't win the tournament they came third and Frank got to play in several key games so he was very happy. That night in the tent we didn't get much sleep but we had lots of great sex and for the first time in ages I spent a whole night without fantasising about TDH.

"Mmm," Frank said as we relaxed after our first bout of passion, "I really needed that!"

I was spooned up behind him, nibbling his ear so even if there had been enough light I couldn't have seen his expression. However, I had a very strong impression that he was grinning.

"Me too," I replied softly.

"Did you miss me as much as I missed you?" he asked.

"Of course," I said automatically.

There was a brief silence before he spoke again.

"It wasn't just the sex I missed," he said.

Unable to think of a suitable verbal response I just hugged him more tightly.

"But I was horny most of the time," he added with a chuckle, "Especially when I saw some of the nice-looking guys in the showers."

He went on to describe some of the more attractive men he'd seen naked and how sometimes he'd had to hide his erection behind a towel. At that point I suppose I could have mentioned TDH to him but for some reason I didn't feel comfortable mentioning my visits to Quay Street. Instead I started humping against his buttocks, thereby initiating another session of sex.

The following afternoon I returned to Linchester and my university life. As I lay in bed on my first couple of nights back in Hall my wank fantasies featured Frank and TDH in about equal amounts, but never both at the same time. Indeed, it seemed to me that my interactions with Frank and my life at university were such separate parts of my existence that it was almost like having two different lives.

Although Frank and I spoke on the phone almost every day, as the week wore on thoughts of TDH entered my mind more often than thoughts about Frank. Considering that I'd seen TDH only once and very briefly, it occurred to me that maybe I was becoming unhealthily obsessive. On the Friday, therefore, when Frank drove over to pick me up for the long weekend camping that he'd promised, I was determined to put aside all thought of TDH and concentrate on enjoying my time with Frank.

For the most part my determination proved successful and we both had a great time hiking, visiting a couple of country pubs and having lots of sex. Of course we also talked a lot, mainly about his life at college and mine at university. Heavy rain on the Sunday afternoon forced us to return early to the tent and as we sat inside looking out at the downpour we discussed our plans for Frank to join me in Linchester the following year.

"I suppose if I'm going to get good enough A levels this year I'd better really get into the studying," Frank said thoughtfully, then a little sadly he added, "But I'd hate to give up our weekends together."

"It's only a couple of months to the exams," I replied encouragingly, "Then we can spend a lot more time together."

"Especially if we get to share a room in Hall!" he said with a theatrically lascivious expression on his face.

"I quite like the room I've got," I responded without thinking, then seeing the hurt look on his face I added, "I mean, it would be sad to give up such a nice big private room, but it would definitely be great to share a room with you."

"Maybe," he added after a thoughtful pause, "maybe we can have a second bed put in your room. After all, it's certainly big enough and then we'd have the best of both worlds."

"Yeah," I agreed, "Maybe I can ask Mrs Wilson after you get your exam results."

Although there was some genuine enthusiasm in my initial response, after the idea had a few moments to sink in the enthusiasm faded with a speed that I found both surprising and even a little shocking. In an attempt to hide my feelings I quickly diverted the conversation.

"Let's go to the pub," I suggested.


That night after we'd had sex, instead of drifting off to sleep as usual, Frank seemed restless. Normally we cuddled together until we fell asleep but he was fidgeting so much that I couldn't doze off. I asked him if he was okay and when he didn't immediately respond I disentangled myself from him so that I could get some rest. Eventually, he spoke, his words bringing me quickly back to full wakefulness.

"Do you still think of us as just fuck-buddies?" he asked quietly, his voice sounding slightly hoarse.

"I never thought of you as just a fuck buddy," I said, surprised and stung by his choice of words, "You're my friend... my best friend who I happen to have sex with."

The length of the ensuing silence fed my hopes that my answer had satisfied him and that he wouldn't pursue the matter. He lay motionless on his back and in the darkness I couldn't see the expression on his face so I closed my eyes and began to relax again. However, spoke again, proving that my hopes had been in vain.

"What about the future?" he asked.

The question was so open and unspecific that I wasn't really sure what he meant. After all, when you're eighteen the future is a very large and mostly undefined space. Well, to be honest, I suppose I may have had some idea what he meant but I chose to suppress it.

"As far as I'm concerned we'll always be best friends," I said, hoping that would be enough to satisfy him and put his mind at rest.

He didn't respond and he no longer seemed restless so I presumed the matter was settled and drifted off to sleep.


On the way home from the camping trip Frank and I decided that although we would both have liked him to come and stay me the following weekend, it would be better if we both did some studying instead. In order to take the courses I wanted in my second year I had to do well in the exams at the end of my first year, and it was important that Frank do well in his A levels so he could join me in Linchester. Not wishing to spoil our time together, I didn't mention to Frank my opinion that his rugby trip had deprived him of almost a month of study time.

On Friday night and during most of the day on Saturday I kept to my good intentions to study, but on the Saturday evening I was bored and found myself distracted by mental images of TDH. Against my better judgement and despite my previous lack of success I decided to go down to Quay Street, just in case I could catch a glimpse of him. So, a little before ten o'clock I found myself sitting in an alcove in Barons, drinking Guinness and observing the entrance doorway.

Having been there for almost an hour I'd given up what little hope I'd had of seeing TDH and was deciding whether to go home or move on to Sparkles. Then the sight of him coming through the doorway gave me a jolt of pleasant surprise which was quickly followed by a breathless nervousness. His entourage as he entered the room was made up of just two young men, one of whom was the stocky red-head whom I'd seen with him on the previous occasion. However, by the time TDH had reached the bar a handful of others, who had already been there, had gravitated toward him and joined his little group.

By this time the place had become quite busy and a couple of men, probably in their mid thirties, came and sat opposite to me in the alcove. They appeared to be lovers, totally absorbed with one another, and although they paid no attention to me at all I felt uncomfortable that the semi-privacy of my alcove had been breached. I quickly emptied my glass, went to the bar to get another drink and then found a relatively quiet part of the room where I could lean against the wall and keep my eye on TDH, who was now ensconced on a bar stool.

He was certainly attractive and perhaps because of that he exuded an air of self confidence that I envied. I wished that I could be as comfortable as he was in that environment, and indeed I wished I could be as comfortable as that in any environment.. Many times I looked away and tried to pay attention to other people in the room, but each time within a few seconds my eyes were drawn back to him.

As before, his red haired companion appeared to be trying to get as much attention as possible from TDH, but the latter bestowed his attentions more or less equally on all his retinue, almost like a monarch who deliberately tries not to show favouritism to any of his subjects. When TDH finished his drink he put his glass down, stood up and with a brief word to his companions then headed toward the door. About half of those he'd been talking to followed his lead and went outside with him.

Immediately he went out of my sight a mild panic swept over me and without giving it any thought I gulped down the remains of my drink and went out into the street just n time to see the group going into a doorway opposite Sparkles. For what seemed like a long time, during which I felt exposed just standing there in the street, I wondered what I should do next. Although returning to Hall was clearly the most reasonable option I felt an irresistible urge to follow TDH. Of course I told myself that my main motive was really to explore one of the bars I had not yet visited.

As I approached the doorway I saw from the sign above it that it was called 'Angels' and as I entered the long narrow room I was a little surprised at how small it was compared to the other bars I'd been in. The light was dimmer than the other places and the decor, though modern in style, was a little dilapidated and with much less chrome and glass than Sparkles. Overall Angels seemed more cosy and a little less intimidating.

A long bar ran along most of the right hand side of the room and there were tables and chairs placed apparently randomly along the wall opposite the bar. On the right, just inside the entrance, a narrow stairway ran down to what I later found out to be another bar. At the far end of the room from where I'd entered was a doorway with signs indicating that it led to the toilets. As I began to get my bearings I saw TDH and about half a dozen companions sitting at a table about two thirds of the way down the length of the room.

After getting myself a drink I went to an empty table close to the exit and sat so that I could see TDH but without directly facing him. He was sitting with his back toward the bar and at a slight angle toward me so that I could see his face in about three-quarter view but he couldn't see me without turning his head. For the most part he and his group were talking relatively quietly, with occasional; bursts of animated discussion or maybe even arguments. However, although the background music was quiet I couldn't hear what they were talking about.

Thus we sat for the time it took me to drink about half of my Guinness, then the red haired guy, who'd been sitting on the left of TDH with his back to me, went to the bar to get more drinks. While he was waiting to be served he looked over in my direction and frowned slightly. Immediately I stared down at my drink, wondering if he might be frowning at me for some reason. When I eventually looked up again the red-head was again sitting down but this time on the right of TDH and facing me so it was only a couple of seconds before he looked directly at me and I quickly averted my gaze.

The next time I looked up TDH was talking to the red-head and it seemed that the latter was reluctant to respond. Then they both looked directly at me and in a bit of a panic I returned to studying my drink, wondering if I should quickly finish it off and flee the premises. Before I reached any decision I became aware of someone standing by my table and when I looked up my eyes met the piercing gaze of TDH. Immediately both my mind and body froze with shock.

"Are you a stalker?" he asked.

His quiet voice, just audible over the background noise, was calm with an accent that wasn't local and although not by any means an expert on such matters I guessed he was from somewhere south of London. Even if I'd been able to think of an answer, in my frozen state I would have been physically incapable of responding. The only movement I could make was to break eye contact and fix my gaze on the middle of his chest, which still left my head tilted upward at an uncomfortable angle.

"My friend Pat says you've been staring at me for ages and that you even followed us from Barons," he continued.

Desperately, I tried to think of a response and as I did so my subconscious must have been analysing his voice and body language because I suddenly realised that instead of being annoyed or irritated he seemed to be mildly amused. This enabled me to partially overcome my dumbness.

"N-not stalking." I stuttered.

At first I wasn't sure if my voice had been loud enough for him to hear and when he neither moved nor responded I looked up again, though at first I still tried to avoid meeting his gaze directly. The corners of his mouth were curved into a hint of a smile and as I lifted my head a little higher I saw that he was looking at me with an overall expression of amused interest.

"So why were you staring?" he asked.

He was clearly in no doubt that I had been staring so there was no point in me making a specific denial. However, I wasn't prepared to make any definite admissions either, and as my mind rapidly unfroze I managed to babble a reply.

"I-I was just watching," I said, my words quickly tumbling out, "I don't know my way around here so I was just looking, following to see what bars people were going to."

Then, taking me by surprise, he sat down facing me across the table.

"So you're not from around here then?" he asked, probably picking up on my own slight accent.

"N-no," I said, still stuttering slightly, even though I was beginning to relax a little, "I've just been here since September... at the university."

"Ah," he said, smiling, "I came here to the uni as well and decided to stay after I graduated... by the way, my name's Derek, what's your's?"


A feeling of light-headedness, almost dizziness, swept over me and I doubted that it could have been caused by the Guinness. This encounter, which had begun so terrifyingly badly was now tending toward the starting points of some of my fantasies and I was beginning to wonder if all this was really happening.

"What courses are you doing?" he asked.

Then, in what seemed to me to be a rather surreal situation, we talked about what I was studying and what he had studied. As it turned out he had graduated five years earlier and was now working as a pharmacist in the city centre. At the start of our conversation I had been nervous and stuttering, but in just a few minutes his friendly attitude and easy charm had made me feel much more comfortable. It wasn't difficult to see why he was so popular. Just as I was beginning to feel relaxed, the red haired guy whom I assumed to be Pat came and stood by our table.

"The others are wondering if we're going to the club now or shall we get some more drinks?"  he said, addressing Derek directly and not even glancing at me.

I had the feeling that the impetus behind the question was due more to Pat than to 'the others'. Derek looked up at Pat with a slight frown of irritation then looked at his watch before replying.

"Well I suppose we should be going," he said.

Pat nodded and, still ignoring my existence, went to rejoin the others.

Derek's smile returned as he turned his attention back to me.

"Have you been to the club yet?" he asked

"You mean Storm?" I asked, "No, not yet."

"Why don't you come with us then?"

Although I was strongly tempted by this pleasantly surprising invitation I had very little money with me and even if I'd had enough to get into the club I certainly wouldn't have enough to buy drinks. Also, the last bus from the town centre to Hall would be leaving in less than an hour and I certainly didn't have enough money for taxi fare. For a brief moment I toyed with the idea of taking on the long walk back to Hall, but didn't really like the idea of walking for over an hour on a dark night in a city which was still relatively new to me.

"Sorry," I said, having reluctantly made my decision, "I have to catch the last bus back to Hall in a few minutes."

Right at the very back of my mind was the thought that maybe Derek had a car and that he might offer me a lift home if I went to the club. That tiny hope, which I hardly acknowledged to myself, was too close to my fantasies to ever become reality so Derek's response wasn't really a disappointment for me.

"That's a pity. Maybe some other time, then," he said without much emotion, though his smile faded a little.

"Yes, that'd be great!" I replied, trying not to sound too enthusiastic.

"Well, I'd better be getting back to my friends," he said as he began to get up from his chair.

As he reached his full height, towering over me, he paused briefly as if a thought had just occurred to him.

"Ya know," he said, "On Wednesdays it's free to get into Storm if you get there before ten. So if you're here around nine thirty this Wednesday we can go to the club together."

"Yes, I'll be here," I replied quickly, trying to suppress my grin of delight and totally ignoring the fact that I had lectures starting at nine on the Thursday morning.

He smiled, nodded, and went to rejoin his friends.


That night and every night until Wednesday sleeping was made difficult by my increasing state of nervous excitement. Even during the daytime I found it difficult to concentrate on my studies. The fact that I had no real expectations about what might happen on Wednesday night made this emotional agitation even more ridiculous because it was unjustified. However, although I expected nothing, I couldn't deny that I hoped for a great deal.

When Frank and I spoke on the phone on the Tuesday night something, possibly a nervous edge in my voice, made him ask if anything was the matter. I said I was fine and that everything was okay. This was not untrue and my response on the phone was automatic, with no deliberate intention to deceive  After we hung up it wasn't too hard to justify to myself not mentioning Derek or the proposed trip to Storm.

After all, Derek was just a guy I'd chatted to once in a bar and who may not even turn up to meet me again. If he didn't turn up I wouldn't be going to Storm, so there was no point in mentioning it. Frank had no doubt talked to lots of people in lots of bars , especially on his rugby trip, without mentioning them to me. So there was no reason to say anything to Frank unless Derek and I became friends and unless I actually went to the club.

Of course my emotional state was not what might be expected in someone merely anticipating a meeting with a new acquaintance or even a first visit to a gay club. At the time I deliberately avoided a close examination of my emotions because, I told myself, whatever they were they had no foundation in reality. There was no way that an amazing, charming person like Derek would really want to be friends with an ordinary, boring person like me. However, in retrospect there is no doubt that the emotions I was experiencing at that time were not unlike the initial feelings I'd had for Simon.


On Wednesday evening, freshly showered and shaved, I dressed and looked at myself in the mirror. Being unsatisfied with what I saw, I undressed, chose different clothes and redressed. This cycle of undressing and redressing took place at least two more times before I left my room to go to Quay Street. Even then I wasn't exactly satisfied with how I looked but as I was running out of time I decided that turning up late would be worse than not looking my best.

The nervousness and excitement which had removed my appetite and made me skip dinner in Hall also made my stomach churn and my head buzz as I rode the bus into the city centre. I had no realistic expectations for the evening and wasn't even totally confident that Derek would turn up. On the other hand, that lack of expectations didn't successfully suppress the frequent upsurge of hope in my breast that something good might happen. However, I didn't allow myself to speculate on what exactly that 'something good' might be.

Arriving at the almost-deserted Angels shortly after nine o'clock, I ordered a Guinness and sat at a table to wait for Derek. By nine thirty I'd finished my drink and was beginning to regret missing dinner. This was not because I was hungry but because the combination of nerves and drinking on an empty stomach was making me feel a little light-headed. About ten minutes later, just as I had decided that Derek wasn't coming, he swept into the bar, quickly glanced around, and as soon as he saw me he smiled and came toward me.

"Hi," he greeted me as soon as he reached my table, "No time for a drink here. We'd better hurry if we want to avoid paying the entrance fee. I told the others I'd meet them in the club."

As soon as I'd returned his greeting and before I could stand up he turned and headed for the door. By moving quickly I managed to catch up with him before he exited the bar and only then did it occur to me that this was the first time I'd ever seen him alone without his usual entourage. He didn't speak as I closely followed him down the street but as we approached the entrance to Storm he turned to me.

"It's members only," he said, "so I'll sign you in tonight. Don't worry if you don't want to become a member, though, cos a cute kid like you will always be able to find someone to sign him in."

Although I was somewhat pleased at being described as 'cute', I wasn't so pleased at the word 'kid', especially as it was getting close to my nineteenth birthday. Derek then nodded a greeting to the two hunky men, whom I presumed to be bouncers, in the wide doorway and went into the club with me close behind.

A couple of yards inside the doorway was a counter where Derek signed me in and where we would have paid our entrance fee if we hadn't arrived before ten. Beyond that was a wide, dimly lit hallway with a cloakroom on the left and a small shop on the right. The cloakroom charged fifty pence for looking after coats and bags but at least there on the counter was a basket containing free condoms. The shop sold gay magazines, a few books, some sex toys and of course lubricants and 'specialised' condoms.

I followed Derek along the hallway and into a large area which, judging by the loud music and flashing multicoloured lights, was the dance floor. There was a lot of wood and chrome, all of which seemed reasonably clean and relatively new. At that time on a Wednesday night there were not many people in the club and only a handful of them were dancing. I was later to discover that the rest of the club was spread over two floors. On the ground floor was the large dance floor, a couple of bars and some toilets and upstairs were a couple of quieter bars, a lounge, a games room, a snack bar and more toilets.

A couple of young men near the bar on the opposite side of the dance floor waved in our direction and Derek went to join them. When we reached them I saw that they were part of a group of about half a dozen men, all apparently in their twenties, who all greeted him warmly. Derek introduced me to them, though I quickly forgot their names, which wasn't surprising as I've never been good at remembering in such situations. One thing that I noticed in passing was that there was no sign of Pat.

What I also noticed were the expressions on the faces of those who nodded their greetings to me as I was introduced. The majority of them just smiled briefly in a disinterested way but a couple of them had predatory grins that me feel very uncomfortable, and one gave me a sad smile, almost as if he felt sorry for me. Then Derek offered to buy me a  drink, and so began my first ever night in a gay club. Well, in truth it was my first ever visit to any sort of night-club, gay or otherwise.

With all the excitement of the occasion and all the alcohol on an empty stomach, much of my time in the club went by in a in a happy haze. I enjoyed all the attention Derek paid to me and felt very proud that such a popular and attractive guy should want to socialise with me. He even took me upstairs for a quiet chat in the snack bar, where he bought me a sandwich, and during our conversation there I discovered that he was very knowledgeable on a whole host of topics. Several times I pinched myself, just to make sure that it wasn't all a dream.

Derek and his friends spent a good part of the evening dancing, but despite several invitations I just watched from the sidelines. Having never done any sort of dancing before I knew that I'd make a complete fool of myself, especially if my clumsy attempts were compared to Derek's smooth and supple movements. On one occasion when the rest of the group was on the dance floor I went to get myself another drink.

By that time the place had filled up a little and I squeezed into an empty space at the bar next to a tall, well-dressed blond guy who appeared to be in his early twenties. When he spoke to me I was startled, not just by the surprise that he should talk to me at all but also because of the closeness of his mouth to my ear. Such proximity disturbed me a little even though I realised that it was just due to his need to be heard above the loud music.

"You should keep away from him," he said, sounding mildly inebriated but not actually drunk.

Deciding that it was best to ignore him, I kept my gaze fixed on the barman whose attention I was trying to attract.

"Derek," he persisted, bitterness in his voice, "He'll hurt you if you get too close. I've seen it before... like moths to a flame. Happened to me as well... and the flame doesn't care."

Again I ignored him, guessing that he was just jealous, either of Derek or of me being with Derek. Maybe he was someone Derek had rejected in the past. Maybe he was even a bitter ex-boyfriend. Whatever his motivation I knew he was wrong about Derek, who I was sure would never deliberately hurt anyone. Realising that I was ignoring him, the man turned back to the bar and drank from what may have been a gin and tonic.

As I turned away from the bar after getting served, the man spoke again, this time loud enough to be heard over the music even though he was no longer close to my ear.

"If you don't believe me," he said, sounding more drunk than before, "just ask Pat,"

Although his mention of Pat intrigued me a little, my curiosity was diminished by the happy feelings produced by the night's experiences and the amount of alcohol I'd imbibed. By the time I rejoined Derek and the group I'd dismissed the whole incident as the ravings of a jealous drunk.


In response to my question soon after we entered Storm, Derek had informed me that it closed at two o'clock in the morning. Soon after one o'clock I noticed that the club, never more than half full on that week night, was getting less busy and in fact a couple of Derek's friends had already gone home by then. At the start of the evening I'd had no expectation of what that night might bring and my experiences so far had already been better than whatever vague and unformed hopes I might have had. Despite that I was reluctant to leave before Derek. After all, the last bus back to Hall had gone long ago and I was already condemned to paying for a taxi, so I had no reason to hurry away.

Shortly before two, for the last dance of the night, the DJ played a slow, romantic song and many of remaining dancers formed couples, holding one another and swaying together in time with the music.

"Come on," Derek said, taking my arm and gently pulling me onto the dance floor.

I didn't put up any resistance, not only because my inhibitions were reduced by alcohol but also because even I could perform such a slow dance without making a fool of myself. Once on the dance floor Derek pulled me against him and because he was so tall his chin rested gently against my forehead. As he held me quite tightly in his arms this difference in our heights made me feel a little like a child with an adult, protected but also vulnerable. As we swayed together my stomach was pressed against his crotch and the hardness there gave me an erection, making me grateful for the dim lighting.

"Shall we share a taxi home?" he asked, gently rubbing his nose in my hair, "We can split the cost."

Although I had no idea where he lived or how his home was located relative to Hall, I had told him which residence I was in and so I presumed he considered his suggestion to be reasonable.

"Yeah, that would be great," I said.

When the last song ended we left the club together and Derek led me to a taxi rank just around the corner. When we got into the back of the taxi he gave the driver the address of my Hall and as we set off he put his arm over my shoulders. At first I panicked a little and almost pulled away lest the driver noticed us being so intimate. However, Derek's hold tightened and he whispered in my ear.

"Relax. Most of the customers these drivers get are from Quay Street so I'm sure he's seen guys cuddling on his back seat before."

By the time we'd got about half way back to Hall, I had indeed managed to relax a little and had even started to rest my head against Derek's shoulder, but I still felt somewhat self-conscious. At that point Derek spoke again, so quietly that I just made out the words.

"Are you going to invite me in?" he asked.

My previous assumption that he would drop me off first and then continue on home was only partly due to my naivety. The major reason for me making that assumption was because I hadn't allowed myself to hope that someone like Derek would find me attractive. There was the fear that if I hoped for something too much then the very depth of that hope would curse me to disappointment. Also, even if he did find me attractive, I hadn't expected him to act on it so soon.

"Y-Yeah," I stuttered, "Of course."

For the rest of that journey one of Frank's favourite Pet Shop Boys songs kept going around and around in my head.

"This anticipation is a stimulation
No need for conversation as we're driving home
Put your arms around me, it doesn't mean you love me
Just that you want me and you need my company
Driving through the night, it's so exciting
Turning off the light without another thought tonight

I don't want another drink or fight
I want a lover
I don't care whether it's wrong or right
I want a lover tonight"


As we approached our destination I directed the driver to the rear of the building, where Derek paid the fare and refused my offer of a contribution. He was clearly impressed when he saw that my room was so close to what was effectively my own private entrance and he was even more impressed when he saw the size of my room.

"You're a lucky sod," he said as glanced around the room. "I wish I'd had a room like this when I was in university residences."

I blushed slightly and basked in his approval but couldn't think of an appropriate response so I said the first thing that came into my head.

"Do you want tea or coffee?" I asked.

"I'm not really thirsty," he replied, grabbing my hand and pulling me close to him.

Then he kissed me deeply and almost before I knew it we were naked in bed together. My memory of the transition to the bed and the removal of clothing is just a blur, perhaps caused the mix of excitement, alcohol and sky-high hormone levels. What I do remember, though, is noticing that size of his penis was proportionate to his height and that it produced lots of leakage. It was also the second circumcised dick I'd ever seen in real life.

It didn't take long for us to progress to oral sex but much to my embarrassment I ejaculated within a couple of minutes of his lips touching my dick. However, he didn't show any sign of disappointment or displeasure so I rewarded him with the very best blow-job I could give. After just a few minutes of kissing and cuddling together we were both ready to go again.

"Shall we fuck?" he asked as he began fingering my anal sphincter.

The directness of his question shocked me and I didn't know how to answer him. After all, Frank and I had taken months to get as far as anal sex and I'd only known Derek for a few days. On the other hand, Derek was obviously much more experienced, knowledgeable and sophisticated in these matters so maybe I was just naive in expecting a slower sexual progression. Another consideration was that I hadn't wanted to be on the receiving end with Frank and I certainly didn't want to try it with Derek's considerably larger equipment. Then a thought occurred to me.

"I don't have any condoms," I said, trying not to sound relieved.

"Don't worry," he replied, "I grabbed a handful as we left the club. They're in my trouser pocket."

"Erm," I said hesitantly, "Well I don't, erm, like to get fucked."

"If you didn't like it the other guy probably wasn't doing it right. You'll like it when I do it," Derek replied confidently.

"There wasn't any other guy," I admitted, feeling embarrassed, "I've never been fucked."

"You've never even tried it?" Derek said, sounding a little surprised, "You're a virgin?"

"Only a virgin being on the receiving end," I said, and then quickly added, "But I've had lots of practice giving."

"If you've not tried it how do you know you don't like it?"

"I just know," I replied, feeling somewhat foolish.

He was quiet for awhile and I could tell from the slight frown that I'd disappointed him. I was just beginning to wonder if I'd ruined everything when his expression brightened and he let me off the hook.

"Never mind," he said, "Tonight you can do me."

The rest of the night was the most exciting and enjoyable time of my life up to that point and when he phoned for a taxi home at around seven o'clock in the morning I was tired but elated. My euphoria was increased greatly when, just before leaving, he asked if I wanted to go out with him again on the Friday night. Without any thought or hesitation I told him that of course I did.

After I'd seen him out I lay down on my bed and dozed off. Although I ended up missing not only breakfast but also my first lecture of the day, I wasn't concerned because I was too happy with the idea that someone as wonderful as Derek should want to see me again. While I was rushing to get to my second lecture, however, I remembered that Frank was planning to be coming to visit for the weekend and would probably be arriving on Friday night. Only then was my happiness tainted by uneasiness and a twinge of guilt.


The choice that lay before me was either to cancel Frank's visit or not to keep to my arrangement to meet with Derek. Whichever option I choose I would be letting someone down. I knew that Frank would be disappointed if he couldn't visit but at least I could cancel in advance, whereas I didn't have Derek's phone number and so had no way to let him know that I couldn't turn up. However, that was just one source of my growing feelings of guilt.

Although neither Frank nor I had specifically discussed sexual exclusivity there was no doubt that both of us assumed it to be the case. So despite all my internal rationalisations and protestations I had to admit to myself that I had cheated on him. In order to avoid doing so again I would have to stop having sex either with Frank or with Derek. Unfortunately it probably doesn't reflect well on me when I admit that it wasn't a difficult choice.

Being with Frank was like wearing a pair comfortable old shoes, but being with Derek was like wearing a pair of new running shoes and not knowing where you were running or how fast you'd get there. Sex with Frank was enjoyable, pleasurable and relaxed like taking a scenic tour in a comfortable car. Sex with Derek was passionate and like an exciting ride on a roller coaster. I cared for Frank as my friend but I felt that I was rapidly falling in love with Derek.

Therefore, as a sop to my conscience and a partial salve to my guilt, I decided that I had to end my sexual interactions with Frank before I saw Derek again. My naivety and self-delusion enabled me to convince myself that I would thereby be doing the right thing and could no longer be accused of cheating on anyone. So, when Frank phoned that evening to make arrangements for the weekend I knew what I had to do.

"Erm, I won't be able to see you this weekend," I said nervously when he announced that he would be arriving around seven o'clock on the Friday evening.

"What?" he asked, his voice showing his surprise, then after a brief pause to gather his thought he continued, "I know we both need to study for exams but we'll have time for study as well as fun this weekend."

"It's not that," I replied, wondering if he could detect the guilt in my voice, "I've met someone."

"Met someone?" he said, sounding puzzled.

"Yes," I replied, hoping that he'd know what I meant without me having to go into any details.

There was a period of silence which seemed very long to me at the time but which was in fact probably just a few seconds. When he eventually spoke again there was a note of dread and a hint of accusation in his voice, so I knew he was beginning to understand.

"You mean you've met a guy... and have you had sex with him?" he said.

"Only once," I admitted, then as if in mitigation I added, "Just last night."

"So it was just a one night stand?" he asked, the tone of relief in his voice surprising me.

"Well, I'm hoping not," I said, then after pausing to take a deep breath I added, "I'm meeting him again tomorrow night."

"You're dropping me because you want to spend more time with a guy you just met?" he asked incredulously.

"I'm not dropping you," I said, trying to ignore my feelings of guilt, "I just can't have sex with you if I'm starting a relationship with someone else."

"Do you know how crazy you sound?" he asked, anger creeping into his voice, "You want to break up with me because you think there might be a chance for a possible relationship with a guy you just had a one night stand with?"

"I've seen him a couple of times," I mumbled, trying feebly to justify myself, "but we didn't have sex till last night."

There was a brief silence while he absorbed that information.

"And now you think you love him?" he asked, sadness combining with the now obvious anger in his voice, "You think you love him more than me?"

"I love you as a friend," I said, "But I think I'm falling in love with Derek."

I realised that there was no point in trying to explain my feelings any further, especially as I didn't really understand them myself.

"So that's his name is it?" he said, now clearly making no attempt to hide his anger, "You're dropping my for a guy called Derek?"

"I'm not dropping you," I protested, trying to remain calm, "I want to keep on being friends but just stop having sex. After all, we never made any commitments did we?"

"Well you certainly didn't!" he retorted.

I took a deep breath before replying.

"Look, you're a great person and I like you a lot," I said placatingly, "I really want us to stay friends."

"That's typical of you, Ian, isn't it?" he replied bitterly, "It's all about what you want. You never think about what other people want or what they might need. You don't really care about anyone else. You treat people as if they are just there for your convenience and they're no more important to you than pieces on a chess board. In fact you're the most selfish person I know!"

For a moment I was stunned by has words and taken aback by the vitriol of his attack.

"That's not fair!" I said eventually, that feeble protest being the only words I could find with which to defend myself from his accusations.

"Well I'm not going to talk about it anymore now," he said with less anger and more sadness.

Then he immediately hung up, leaving me emotionally drained as well as mentally and physically exhausted. I decided to go to bed early and assumed that Frank would get back in touch when he'd calmed down and wanted to talk again.


On the Friday evening I met Derek at Angels as we'd arranged. Although I'd no particular reason for doing so, I'd assumed that he would be alone when he met me. Thus I was a little surprised to see that not only was he with four friends but also that one of those friends was Pat. Based on my previous observations of his behaviour, I half expected Pat to be hostile toward be, but at least on the surface his initial attitude appeared to be one of indifference. Later during the night I wondered if Pat's apparent indifference was just an act because a few times I caught him looking at me with an expression that seemed to be a mixture of resignation and pity.

By the time we arrived at Storm Derek's group of friends had grown to number about ten people, most of whom treated me with a combination of mild interest and casual politeness. Some of those who'd seen me with Derek on the Wednesday night seemed a little surprised to see me again, and when Derek whispered something to a couple of them they grinned at me in a way that made me feel very uncomfortable. However, after drinking a few pints of Guinness and basking in Derek's attention for a couple of hours I easily set aside my negative impressions of his friends.

As on the previous Wednesday night, Derek and I swayed our way through the final slow dance together before we took a taxi back to Hall. The main difference this time was that Derek engaged in a heated but whispered discussion with Pat before we left the club. As soon as we got into my room we rapidly undressed one another and fell onto my bed. Despite the late hour and the alcohol, our intensely passionate lovemaking made me feel more alive, vibrant and excited than I'd ever felt in my life before.

Later, when his finger started playing around my anus I playfully reminded him that his finger was okay but that nothing else would be allowed to enter. He just smiled as he slowly inserted his finger. I winced a little with the initial discomfort before I relaxed. For the rest of our night of fun I was relieved that he accepted my reminder and didn't even suggest using anything more than his single digit.

During the following couple of weeks Derek and I met six more times. On one such occasion we went to see a movie and had dinner in good restaurant, with Derek paying for all the food and wine. Needless to say each meeting eventually ended up with us in bed together. His charm and intelligent conversation captivated me and during our time together I was often amazed by his broad knowledge on so many topics.

He was also a very good listener, apparently genuinely interested in my past and my hopes for the future. Although I learned a lot from being with him I found out very little about his personal life and didn't even know exactly where he lived. At the time I never gave that much thought, thinking only that he was a very private person and that eventually he would grow to trust me and open himself up to me. There was no doubt that I was falling in love with him and I desperately hoped he was feeling the same about me.


After Frank had abruptly ended our phone conversation I assumed that eventually he'd calm down and when he was ready he would get back in touch. So, partly out of a desire to avoid making things worse and partly out of cowardice, I waited for him  to contact me. However, after almost two weeks I still hadn't heard from him and so I bit the bullet and phoned him.

Over a period of a couple of days I phoned him four or five times but he didn't pick up and so I left brief messages on his voice mail, asking him to phone me. When after two days he didn't return my calls I grew concerned that maybe something had happened to him or even that he might be ignoring my calls. My last message was that I was worried about him and that I might phone his family's land line just to check that he was okay. Less than an hour after that message he phoned me.

"What do you want?" he asked in a voice so cold that it sent shivers down my spine.

"I just wanted to check you're okay. It seems like ages since we last spoke".

"I think we've already said everything that we need to say," he said with a complete lack of emotion.

Before I'd called him I'd given some thought to how he might react, but the dull monotone of his voice took me by surprise and upset me more than the anger and disappointment that I'd half expected him to show.

"C'mon, Frank, you're my best friend," I pleaded, "We really need to sort this out."

"Why?" he asked.

That caught me totally off guard and I couldn't immediately formulate an answer.

"Well?" he said, making it sound like an accusation rather than a question.

"We shouldn't let what happened spoil our friendship."

"What happened!" he responded with a hint of bitterness emerging from the earlier flat and uncaring tone, "You mean the fact you cheated on me and dumped me in favour of a guy you hardly know?"

"It's not like that," I protested feebly, "You and I were friends having fun together. It's not like we were boyfriends."

"Yeah, it's all just fun and great times to you, isn't it? You think I'd give myself to any of my friends just for a bit of fun?"

>From the anger now in his voice I guessed that the previous dead monotone had been a facade behind which to hide his true feelings, and I wondered whether he'd been hiding them from me or from himself.

"Of course I don't think that!" I said, trying to hide my exasperation, "Our friendship is very special... you're the best friend I ever had."

"But no matter how much I did to show I love you," he said harshly, "you still don't love me."

For a moment I was confused, wondering what exactly he was referring to. Then I realised that all the things I'd perceived just as part of a close friendship had been of much greater significance to Frank. All he things that had been just affectionate fun for me had been much more meaningful to him. This sudden shift in perspective made me feel a little dizzy and almost nauseous.

"I told you, I love you as a friend," I said weakly.

"But you're not in love with me... not like you were with Simon and maybe now are with this... Derek," he said, spitting out that second name as if it were some bitter poison on his tongue.

"Simon was never really my friend," I said as if explaining something to a child, "and I'm not sure yet what Derek is."

"Derek is the guy you cheated on me with," he said, coldness beginning to return to his voice.

"You're not only my friend but my best friend ever," I said, thinking it best to ignore his last remark.

"Not any more," he said sadly.

"Ya know," I said, trying to stay calm and be reasonable, "you'll be coming to Linchester soon. You'll be in a strange city  surrounded by strangers so it will make it much easier if we can stay friends." 

"That's where you're wrong," he replied with a hint of triumph, "I changed my first choice a couple of days ago. I won't be going to Linchester."

"But... but..." I stuttered, shocked at what I perceived as his complete over reaction to the situation.

"Now don't phone me again," he said firmly, "I don't want to talk to you and I won't let you use me anymore."

He hung up and for a long time I remained sitting on my bed, staring blindly into space. As the initial stunned numbness faded it was replaced by a breathless sickly-dull pain in my gut, as if I'd been kicked in the stomach. I couldn't believe that Frank would throw away our friendship so easily, just because I didn't want sex with him anymore and merely because I'd fallen for someone else. Eventually I recovered a little and told myself that at least I now had Derek who was a more exciting lover than Frank and maybe Derek would also become an even better friend.


A couple of days after that last phone call with Frank I went out with Derek again. He took me out to a restaurant for dinner then we went to Barons and from there on to Storm. During dinner Derek commented that I seemed to be a little distracted and, embarrassed, I told him I was sad about my lost friendship with Frank. Derek was very understanding and for the rest of the night he was very considerate and even more charming than usual. When we ended the night in my bed he didn't get passionate immediately but instead held me gently in his arms and whispered in my ear.

"Do you love me?" he asked.

For the third time in my life that question was put to me and, as if by some conditioned reflex, I began to feel very apprehensive. My thoughts began to spin as I tried to consider how I should respond. Not only was I unsure of what answer would be accurate, I was also trying to work out what Derek wanted to hear. For at least a couple of minutes I remained silent while I wondered what to say.

"Well?" he prompted.

"I... I think so," I replied truthfully.

"You only think so?" he asked, sounding very disappointed.

Obviously that had not been the reply he'd been hoping for, though at least his response indicated what answer he would have preferred. Again my brain went into overdrive. I honestly thought I was in love with Derek but my experience of such things was limited and I wasn't really sure, especially as I'd known him only for such a short time. Although the truth was important it wasn't the only thing on my mind. Another consideration was that now my friendship with Frank was over I couldn't bear the thought of alienating Derek as well. Derek was not only my lover he was now my closest friend and my only gay friend.

"Yes," I said as decisively as I could, "Yes, of course I love you."

"You're sure?" he asked in a teasing tone, sounding much happier.

"Yes, I'm sure," I responded and kissed him.

This began our usual passionate love making which continued until Derek , who was licking my scrotum and fingering my anus suddenly stopped and spoke.

"Ya know..." he said, and paused briefly before continuing, "Ya know, if you really love me there's a good way to show it."

"There is?" I asked, a little confused as my mind was pulled away from the distraction of my physical pleasure.

"Yes, if you really loved me you'd let me make love to you properly, make yourself mine completely by letting me put my cock inside you."

Immediately and involuntarily my whole body tensed as I considered his words. It really wasn't something I wanted to do but I didn't want to hurt him or make him think I'd lied about loving him. He clearly sensed my reluctance because he spoke again, this time sounding a little hurt and almost pleading.

"After all," he said, "you've done it to me lots of times, so isn't it only fair?"

"Yeah, I guess it is," I eventually agreed, "Okay, then."

Despite the fact that he spent considerable time and effort getting me ready and although he penetrated me very slowly, it was still a painful experience for me.

"This feels good," he whispered into my ear when he was completely inside me, "Don't worry, you'll soon start to enjoy it."

Actually, though I let him do it several times over the next few days I never learned to enjoy it ,but at least it became less painful.

During the week following that momentous event in my life I saw Derek three times, but instead of meeting him in the city he came directly round to my place. Instead of going out he brought a bottle of wine which we drank before making love. The week after that I saw him only once, when he came around late at night, without wine but already apparently mildly inebriated.

After that I didn't see him for over a week. He either didn't answer his phone, in which case I left a message on his voice mail, or he answered very briefly just to say he was very busy and would phone me back. However, he never returned my calls. Once when he answered my call I heard music and other sounds in the background that convinced me he was in a bar. I didn't need to be a genius to conclude that I'd almost certainly been dumped.

For several days after I reached that conclusion my emotions were in turmoil and I went over and over in my mind things Derek and I had said and done together. I'd thought of my times with Derek as nights of passionate love but now I gradually began to realise that they were probably just nights of intense animal lust. On the other hand, despite the evidence, there were times when I convinced myself that if I were patient then Derek would start seeing me again.

My moods swung rapidly and repeatedly from one emotion to another. One moment I was so depressed that I could hardly get out of bed, the next moment I was angry with Derek for the way he'd treated me. I was also furious at myself for falling for his charms but most of all I bitterly regretted losing Frank's friendship over what in retrospect was just a sort of temporary insanity that I'd interpreted as love.

Many times I toyed with the idea of calling Frank and trying to mend our friendship but I never actually did it. The reasons for my failure to act were many and complex, and not least among those reasons was my pride. The thought of begging his forgiveness was embarrassing enough but if, as he had every right to do, he refused to forgive then the embarrassment would have been unbearable. Also, even if we became friends again, I realised that our relationship had been irreparable damaged and that he'd never trust me again.

It occurred to me that perhaps no interaction at all was better than a crippled relationship. Furthermore, now that he'd withdrawn his application to come to Linchester University he probably couldn't change his mind even if he wanted to, so we would at best only manage a long-distance friendship. After much thought I reached the sad conclusion that it would be better for both of us if the situation was left as it was and if we both got on with our separate lives.

During the subsequent days of melancholic introspection and self-indulgent misery, my studies suffered badly. Not only was I falling behind in my course work but my exams were less than a month away. Although those exams wouldn't count toward my final degree I had to pass them all in order to get onto the second year courses I wanted. Therefore I decided that I needed to do something to get myself functioning normally again.

The eventual decision about what I should do was not based on logic but on a visceral need. I had no illusion that any direct practical benefit would be derived from my chosen course of action. However, I hoped that by making me feel better it would enable me to move on with my life and to concentrate on my studies. My decision was that I should confront Derek face to face.

Therefore, that Friday night, filled with determination but so nervous that my body was traversed by occasional shaking, I went down to Quay Street. Having spent an hour and drunk two pints of Guinness in Angels without seeing Derek, I went over to Barons. There he was, sitting in one of the alcoves with four friends, including Pat. One of the friends saw me enter the bar, nodded in my direction and said something to Derek. Then the whole group turned to stare at me.

Derek frowned in annoyance and the expression on Pat's face gave me the impression that I was the last person he'd ever want to see. The other three looked amused and one of them gave me the sort of smile that I might expect to see on a boy who was enjoying pulling the wings off a fly. With a pounding heart I took my courage in both hands and walked toward the group. As I approached their table Derek said something and they all finished off their drinks and stood up.

"Hey," I said directly to Derek and ignoring the others.

Immediately I felt ashamed of myself that all I could manage was a feeble greeting, despite all the little speeches I'd been rehearsing since I'd decided to confront him.

"What are you doing here?" Derek asked, making no attempt to suppress his irritation.

"I came to talk to you," I replied, forgetting everything I'd planned to say.

"You're too late, then," he said, "We're just leaving."

They all started to move past me, heading toward the door. However, amazing myself with my own audacity, I stood at the entrance to the alcove directly in front of Derek, thereby blocking his way. No doubt he could easily have pushed past me but he didn't, possible because he was reluctant to cause a scene. Pat, looking very uncomfortable, hovered close to Derek but the other three had got about half way to the exit before they noticed that Derek wasn't with them.

"You were just using me, weren't you?" I said, staring directly into Derek's eyes.

"We used each other," he said unconvincingly, "It was just a bit of fun and now it's over."

"I thought you loved me," I said and immediately realised how pathetic that sounded.

"I never said I loved you, did I?" he said, smirking as if scoring a point in a debate.

"But you asked me if I loved you," I countered.

"That's not the same thing, is it?" he replied, smirking even more, "Anyway, how could I ever love you when I've already got a boyfriend?"

With that he put his arm possessively around Pat's shoulders and they both brushed past me and headed toward the door. Stunned, I just stood there and watched them leave. Just before he disappeared through the doorway Pat turned to look at me and in that brief moment I thought I saw a mixture of pity and guilt on his face. Then, still shocked, I sat down in the empty alcove. I'm not sure how long I was there staring blankly at the table top when I heard a voice close by.

"Would you like a drink?"

At first I ignored it, assuming that whoever it was must be talking to someone else, but then I noticed the shadow of someone standing close to the table. I looked up into the face of a young man but at first I didn't recognise him until he spoke again.

"Can I buy you a drink?" asked the man who, seemingly aeons ago at one of Storm's bars, had warned me to stay away from Derek.

"N-No thanks," I said, frowning to make it clear I wasn't in the mood for socialising.

"Don't worry, I'm not trying to chat you up," he said with a friendly smile, "In fact I'm just waiting for my boyfriend to arrive."

I didn't reply but I did allow my frown to fade.

"I saw what happened," he said, "and thought you might like a drink and maybe even someone to talk to."

"Oh, okay then," I said, not very graciously, "I'll have a brandy."

Actually, I'd hardly ever had brandy before except at home diluted in warm water for 'medicinal purposes', and I didn't particularly like it. However, the idea of brandy had just popped into my head as the sort of thing someone might drink in such traumatic  situations. The young man, obviously more sober than the last time he'd spoken to me, went to the bar and returned a few minutes later with a brandy and what appeared to be a gin and tonic for himself.

"Thanks," I said as he put my drink in front of me then sat down opposite me.

"You're welcome," he responded with a smile, "My name's Mike, by the way."

"Mine's Ian," I said, then took a drink from my glass.

Being unused to drinking spirits, the fiery liquid nearly made me choke, which made me even more embarrassed than I already was. Fortunately Mike made no comment but instead just gave a tiny smile then drank from his own glass. As I took a more tentative sip of my brandy I thought to myself that if he said 'I told you so' or any variation thereof then I'd leave immediately.

"You don't have to say anything if you don't want to," Mike said, "but it may or may not be comforting to hear that you're not the only one to be taken in by Derek."

I didn't say anything but he could obviously tell from the way that I looked at him that I was at least a little interested in what he was saying.

"Derek likes the thrill of the chase and the triumph of the conquest. Maybe he even puts notches on his bed post," he said, then gave a wry smile "But if it's any consolation you lasted longer than most."

I remained silent but looked at him quizzically, raising my eyebrows.

"Ah," he continued as if he'd suddenly thought of something, "Maybe you were a virgin and played  hard to get... Derek is particularly fond of virgins. He can be very charming and can be quite patient and skilled in getting what he wants."

I was amazed that Mike seemed to know exactly what had happened between me and Derek.

"How do I know all this?" he asked, apparently reading my expression, "Because I was once in your position. I was eighteen, a total virgin, and Derek swept me off my feet. Fortunately I eventually met someone who restored my faith in human nature."

Something had been niggling at the back of my mind and as Mike seemed so knowledgeable I decided to ask him.

"But what about Pat?" I asked, "Surely he's not really Derek's boyfriend?"

"Depends how you define 'boyfriend' and whether you think Derek is capable of loving anyone apart from himself. They live together and I guess when Derek isn't with anyone else they sleep together. Of course Derek keeps that secret from his potential conquests because it would probably spoil his chances if they knew."

"And Pat's okay with all that?" I asked incredulously.

"Well, as you can guess, Pat and I never talk," he responded wryly, "In fact I don't associate with any of their crowd. Those who hang around with Derek tend not to be very nice people. Anyway, I guess if Pat didn't agree with what might be called their 'open relationship' then Derek would probably dump him, so it's a choice Pat has to make."

We didn't say much more because shortly after that Mike's boyfriend, Paul, turned up and they both went off to Storm. They invited me to go with them but I definitely wasn't in the mood for socialising, and went straight back to Hall.


Author's Note:

If you enjoy this story you might like to take a look at my other stories,
 "Tapping" (nifty/gay/highschool/tapping/)
 "Not Always Easy" (nifty/gay/highschool/not-always-easy/)
 "Just Visiting"  (nifty/gay/college/just-visiting.html)
 "The Road Not Taken" (nifty/gay/highschool/the-road-not-taken.html)
 "Timing" (nifty/gay/college/timing.html) .