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 8

No one who really knew me would ever describe me as being full of joy and no one at all would consider me to be the life and soul of a party. On the other hand it took something seriously bad to make me miserable, and even when I was extremely sad it never lasted very long. The vast majority of my life I've been happy, albeit in a low-key sort of way. You could almost say that equanimity was my middle name. Anyway, during that Easter vacation my spirits were very low, though not low enough to be called depression.

Soon after I got home there were a couple of nights when I lay awake in bed, listening to my brother's quiet breathing in the bunk below and the sound of rain on the window pane. Briefly, I imagined that I was back in Frank's tent, wrapped in his arms. Then I wondered what might have happened if only I could have returned his love. Maybe now he and I would have been cuddled together, safe, warm and comfortable. Of course I knew deep inside that I could never love him in the way he wanted, and if I'd pretended to do so he would have known it and we'd both be unhappy anyway.

There must be something wrong with me, I thought, because it seemed impossible for me to have a successful relationship. Maybe Frank was right to say I was the most selfish and self-centred person he knew. Obviously I already knew that sometimes my inconsiderate behaviour hurt other people, but during those long sleepless nights I came to realise something much more shocking. I recognised just how easy it had always been to convince myself that I wasn't really being selfish and that it wasn't my fault when people got hurt.

By the middle of the vacation, however, I had recovered from those melancholic thoughts and returned to the equanimity of ordinary day-to-day life. By the end of the vacation I was looking forward to the new term and the freedom of my life at the university. I was a little concerned about the approaching end of year exams, which of course would overlap with my twentieth birthday, but I knew that there was enough time for me to do well if I studied hard. Overall, life wasn't so bad.

That vacation was also memorable because my brother and I occasionally had conversations. Of course we had always spoken to one another, but that had always been merely to convey necessary information or pass on messages from parents. However, until that Easter vacation we'd almost never had what might be regarded by most people as an actual conversation. This wasn't because we were antagonistic toward one another and indeed our relationship could best be described as a sort of neutral fondness.

There were several reasons for our previous lack of conversation and probably the most significant of those was that we had very little in common. He was almost four years younger than me so to me he had always been just a little kid, but as well as that our interests and personalities were totally different. Another reason we didn't talk much was that we needed to at have at least the illusion of privacy. Each of us stayed in our own part of the room and did our own things, neither commenting on nor criticising what the other did as long as they didn't impinge on our personal space.

I suppose when two people are forced to share a confined space they can cope either by becoming personally close or by maintaining an emotional distance. Andy and I seemed to have evolved the latter coping mechanism. However, that particular Easter vacation we began to have occasional conversations. They were short. didn't touch on intimate subjects and they were infrequent, but they were real conversations.

There were probably a few reason for this change. For one thing I couldn't think of him as a kid anymore because he was now sixteen and physically almost as big as I was. Another factor was that recently we'd only had to share the room when I was on vacation, about five out of the last eighteen months, so there was less reason to maintain the same coping mechanism. Also, Andy was soon to be sitting his GCSE exams so for a conversation we had at least the topics of school and exams.

One item of information didn't crop up in my conversations with Andy, but it was mentioned in passing by Mum shortly before my return to Linchester. It seemed that Rachel, Frank's younger sister, was among the group of friends that my brother socialised with most often. For a short time after finding that out I had a vague concern that maybe Rachel, who'd often been around when I'd been visiting Frank, might suspect that Frank and I had been more than just friends, and that she might mention those suspicions to my brother. However, I quickly put aside those concerns, reasoning that if she were going to say something to Andy she would have done so already.

After the vacation I went back to Linchester content, refreshed and ready to get on with my the new term at university. As it was the final term of my second year it was very important, because how well I did in my exams and course work would determine which, if any, Honours courses I could get into the following year. Therefore I spent the whole term concentrating hard on my studies, leaving my room only for classes, food, and other necessities.

The hard work paid off and I did well enough to get into my preferred course, Physiology, and went home for the long summer vacation feeling very pleased with myself. Although I hadn't enjoyed the summer job the previous year, the pay was good and I needed the money. Therefore I did it again, deciding that I could tolerate the boring work  and getting up early for a couple of months.

Because I was working during the day and Andy was out with friends most evenings I didn't see much of my brother. I was pleased when we found he'd passed all his GCSEs but I was also a little surprised and slightly discomfited when I found out that in some subjects he'd done better than I had. However, I took great care that I showed only my pleasure.


On my return to Linchester for my final year I quickly got into my studies but found that there was one major distraction. It seemed that I was always thinking about sex, probably because it had been about nine months since my last sexual interaction with another person. Ideally, what I wanted was a sex partner I could get together with relatively easily and frequently but who wouldn't want any emotional involvement.

I briefly considered going down to Quay Street but for several reasons I wanted to find an alternative. Going to Quay Street every time I wanted sex would be expensive and take up a lot of my time. Also, based on previous experience there was no better than a fifty percent chance of succeeding in picking up anyone at all and a much smaller chance of finding someone who would become a regular sex-buddy. Therefore I decided to explore the possibilities of on-line dating and having looked at a few web sites I decided to put up a profile on two of them.

Of course I included a description of my physical appearance and attributes but I didn't include a photo of myself, though I did promise to exchange photos with anyone who contacted me to arrange a meeting. The profile stated my location and that I was looking for no-strings sex and preferably a sex-buddy for regular sessions. There was a section for details of the type of person I was seeking but I didn't put much in there. Obviously the guy had to be attractive but that had to be decided when I saw him as I had no really fixed criteria. So I just gave an age range of eighteen to thirty-five and stipulated that he be a non-smoker.

Then I scanned other profiles on the sites and sent contact messages to about a dozen people who seemed compatible. Also, the same day my profiles appeared I was very gratified to receive several contact messages, so it appeared that there would be no problem finding a suitable sex-buddy. Unfortunately, over the next few weeks my early optimism quickly turned to disappointment, mainly because the vast majority of the contacts didn't lead to a meeting. 

Frequently after exchanging photos and having a brief on-line chat or exchange of emails it turned out that we were not mutually attracted or were looking for different things. Sometimes guys had no intention of meeting and just wanted cyber sex, but instead of being honest about that they pretended they were just trying to get to know me better before meeting. Most annoying of all was the guy who arranged to meet but never turned up.

During the first five or six weeks of term I actually met up with seven men, usually in a cafe in the city centre. Two of them made it clear they wanted sex with me but I didn't fancy them. One of those two in real life looked at least ten years older than the photo he'd sent and the age on his profile. Another guy I found attractive but he didn't fancy me. On four occasions I had sex with someone I met from the dating site but three of them were just one-off experiences that neither of us wanted to repeat.

The fourth guy I met, Steve, seemed to have some long-term potential and over a period of about three weeks he certainly provided me with several excellent sexual experiences. He was twenty eight and although his chunky features meant that he wasn't classically good looking, he was very sexually attractive. His muscular build, thick straw-blond hair and pale blue eyes reminded me of the archetypal Saxon warrior. That appearance seemed somehow incongruous with his profession as an accountant.

Steve and I met four or five times per week, usually spending a whole night together and usually having sex two or three times during the course of the night and following morning. Despite his physical appearance he was happy as a bottom and the sex was almost always great and never less than very enjoyable. There was only one problem and at first it seemed very minor. When we weren't actually engaged in sex our time together was filled with long uncomfortable silences because we never seemed able to hold any sort of conversation.

At the beginning of each meeting that didn't matter because we got physical almost immediately, and afterward we quickly just fell asleep. However, in the mornings as we were getting dressed and maybe having breakfast our stilted attempts at polite conversation were just as awkward as a prolonged silence . After a couple of weeks the morning situation got so uncomfortable that when I spent the night in his flat I'd sneak out before he woke up. Eventually, by mutual unspoken agreement, we just stopped making arrangements to meet.

Thus I learned that finding a regular sex-buddy was not going to be as easy as I'd hoped. On a positive note, my sexual adventures with guys from the web sites hadn't been any worse than those obtained from meetings on Quay Street, which had cost me much more in time and money. One thing I realised was that to be able to keep things going not only would the sex have to be good but I also needed to feel comfortable with the other person. Furthermore, I couldn't feel comfortable with someone if I couldn't hold a conversation with him.

After some thought I concluded that although I didn't want any emotional entanglement I did prefer sex with someone whom I liked as a person. Then it occurred to me that in fact I was looking for someone who was like Frank had been before he started talking about love. At that point I became very dispirited as I realised that finding a sex-buddy would be much more difficult than I'd expected.


During the last few weeks of term I visited the dating web sites much less frequently, didn't make any new contacts and didn't meet anyone. Then a couple of days before the start of the Christmas vacation, realising that I wouldn't get much opportunity for private time on-line while I was home, I scanned carefully through all the new profiles on both web sites. One of those profiles appeared to be just what I was looking for, though after my previous experiences I was careful not to allow myself to be too optimistic. Despite my misgivings I decided to make contact, amused by the thought that finding a good sex-buddy would be a great Christmas present.

Even the profile name, MattyG4nsfun, was promising and when I saw that he was in Linchester and looking for lots of no-strings sex but didn't want one night stands, I was even more encouraged. He was 19, had light brown hair, brown eyes, 5' 9", and was a non-smoker. From the three photos on his profile he seemed to be quite average looking and maybe a little bit too plump to be my ideal type. He wasn't gorgeous but he wasn't ugly and I'd already learned that a guy doesn't have to be gorgeous to provide good sex. So I sent him a brief contact message and waited for a response.

A few hours later, as I was having a last check of messages before going to bed, I found one from MattyG4nsfun. Apparently he liked my profile and wanted to chat on MSN and see a face pic of me before maybe arranging to meet. Hoping that he didn't just want cyber sex I added him to my contacts list and waited for him to appear. After over an hour of fruitless waiting I gave up and went to bed.

The next day was the last day of term and after my last class at two o'clock I went back to my room to pack for my trip home the following day. My computer, with MSN running, was left on so that I could hear the alert sound if MattyG4nsfun signed in or sent me a message. However, there was no hoped-for chime until almost eight o'clock that evening.

MattyG4nsfun:  Hi! u there?

Me:  Hi. I've been looking out 4 u since last night

MattyG4nsfun:  Been working all day. Just finished eating

Me:  What work do u do?

MattyG4nsfun:  Trainee manager, electrical store. u?

Me:  Uni student. What u looking for? Just sex?

MattyG4nsfun:  Yeah but not into 1-niters

Me:  Same here

MattyG4nsfun:  u got a face pic to send me?

Me:  Yep, here it is

MattyG4nsfun:  Nice pic. Want to meet 4 chat and see how we get on? Tomorrow nite?

Me:  Would really like to but going home tomorrow. Back in about 3 wks.

MattyG4nsfun:  That's a long time. hope ur not a time waster

Me:  No. I promise. I'm a student and its end of term. but some might say that all students are time wasters

MattyG4nsfun:  lol. but I'm very tolerant. I don't even mind students

Me:  sorry can't meet sooner - would really like to

MattyG4nsfun:  me too. at least we can chat here until we can meet

Me:  yeah. will be on as much as poss but prob not every day

MattyG4nsfun:  if ur trying to put me off, just say so

Me:  NO!!!!  not putting u off. but share a computer with my bro at home so not much privacy.

MattyG4nsfun:  ok. u not out then?

Me:  No. especially not to family. u?

MattyG4nsfun:  I don't hide it. mum's known for years.  BTW whats ur name?

Me:  Ian. presume ur Matty?

MattyG4nsfun:  Matt. only mum calls me Matty now.

Me:  ok. when did u tell ur mum ur gay?

MattyG4nsfun:  didn't actually tell her. she heard me chatting to my bf on the phone when I was 16

Me:  Wow! was she ok with it?

MattyG4nsfun:  was ok with me being gay but didn't like my bf.

Me:  why?

MattyG4nsfun:  she said he was too old for me.

Me:  how old?

MattyG4nsfun:  he was 32 then

Me:  wow!! maybe she was right? presume ur not his bf now?

MattyG4nsfun:  No

Me:  What happened?

MattyG4nsfun:  long story. not for here. maybe if we meet

Me:  hope u mean WHEN we meet!!

MattyG4nsfun:  lol. yeah. you had many bfs?

Me:  no real bfs at all

MattyG4nsfun:  no real? u mean artificial? lol!

Me:  lol! no. real people but not real bfs. long story. maybe when we meet

MattyG4nsfun:  but u been with lots of guys?

Me:  a few. what about u?

MattyG4nsfun:  just 1. my ex bf.

Me:  have u had lots of contacts from ur profile?

MattyG4nsfun:  yep. almost 100.

Me:  wow! maybe u will have met sum1 b4 I get back to Linchester :-(

MattyG4nsfun:  maybe. will have to see. most contacts r not what I'm looking 4. am very fussy so may still be available when u get back.

Me:  hope so!

MattyG4nsfun:  anyway gtg. mum wants me for something. chat later? or tomorrow?

Me:  ok - bye 4 now

MattyG4nsfun:  byeeeeee!!!

With that he signed off, leaving me staring at my monitor and wishing that I didn't have to go home the next day.


Although I managed to get a little private time on the computer during my first two days back home I didn't see Matt on-line. Thinking that he'd already met up with someone else I quickly scanned the web sites for new profiles but didn't see any that looked promising. For the next couple of days after that I didn't get any private time on the computer at all because Andy was always around. He was staying indoors more than usual because of the exceptionally cold, wet and windy weather. Besides that we were both expected to be available to help with Christmas preparations and to socialise with relatives. 

Thus it was five days before I got to chat again with Matt on MSN.

MattyG4nsfun:  Hey! How's u? long time no chat. thought you'd lost interest

Me:  I'm fine. not lost interest, just lack of privacy and busy with family stuff

MattyG4nsfun:  I've been busy with work stuff. busy time of year.

Me:  Still getting lots of contact messages?

MattyG4nsfun:  Some. not so many now, just a couple dozen since our last chat.

Me:  Met ne1 yet?

MattyG4nsfun:  Nah. too busy

Me:  been chatting to many?

MattyG4nsfun:  3 or 4 including u

At that point I was tempted to ask if he wanted to meet any of the others but I didn't want him to think I was too keen or possessive. As we'd never met I didn't even know if we'd get on, so if there was a hint of anxiety in my questions it wasn't because I cared about him as a person. However, if it should turn out that he might be the sex-buddy I'd been seeking for the last few months I didn't want anyone to snatch that prize before I'd had the chance to reject it. The feeling that I might be out of the competition because of unfortunate timing and distance was quite frustrating.

Me:  get much time off 4 Xmas?

MattyG4nsfun:  just Xmas day but will get a few days off for new year.

Me:  spending Xmas day with family?

MattyG4nsfun:  just me & mum. u?

Me:  with mum, dad, bro & other relatives for part of Xmas day & boxing day 

MattyG4nsfun:  u got a car? 

Me:  no

MattyG4nsfun:  I've got a 2002 silver Citroen saxo vts. great condition.

Me:  u sound like a car salesman!

MattyG4nsfun:  lol. no. just love my car

Me:  car should make it easier 4 us to meet!

MattyG4nsfun:  when r u back at uni?

Me: 8th Jan.

MattyG4nsfun:  Pity. my days off are finished by then.

Me: Yeah. pity. but we can meet as soon as I get back?

MattyG4nsfun:  ok. but that's almost 3 wks and I'm horny now!

Me:  lol! so am I. it's weeks since I had a shag

MattyG4nsfun:  about 6 months 4 me

Me:  I know how that feels!

MattyG4nsfun:  lol. did u meet ur last shag online?

Me:  Yep. cheaper than Quay St!

MattyG4nsfun:  don't like quay st

Me:  y not?

MattyG4nsfun:  mostly cos my ex is always there & prob with his new bf

Me:  ur just looking for a shag, right?

MattyG4nsfun:  regular shags, not just one-off, cos I get horny a lot!

Me:  lol. me too. but don't want any lovey-dovey bf stuff, just someone 4 shags when we r both in the mood.

MattyG4nsfun:  good. I'll probly be in the mood a lot, tho!

Me:  ok. me too!

Just then Andy came into our room and started looking for something in his chest of drawers, so I quickly moved the chat window to conceal most of our conversation.

Me:  my bro just came in so can't chat now. sorry!

MattyG4nsfun:  ok. chat again soon?

Me:  hope so

MattyG4nsfun:   u want my mobile no?

Me:  ok. thanx 4 trusting me

Although Andy had by that time apparently found what he was looking for and left the room, I decided not to take the risk that he might come back. Therefore as soon as I'd written down Matt's number I said good-bye and signed out without saving the conversation.

When Matt gave me his phone number I was pleasantly surprised and briefly thought about  giving him mine before signing off, but I quickly decided against it. After all, letting an almost stranger have my mobile number was something that required some consideration. In the past I'd never given out my number to an internet contact until we'd made definite arrangements to meet. Now I had Matt's number I could decide if and when to call him, but I was nervous because I wasn't sure what to say.

Eventually I decided to just send him a text message confirming that the number was correct and thanking him for trusting me with it. By sending him the message I'd also given him my number. Within minutes of sending the text to Matt I received a response saying that he would phone me after work the following day.

Just after seven o'clock the next evening my phone rang and I answered with a mixture of excited anticipation and nervousness. Andy wasn't in the room but even if he came in while I was talking I could take my phone and find a more private part of the house to continue the conversation.

"Hey, Ian?" Matt greeted me when I answered his call.

His light baritone voice had a definite Linchester accent and I also noted that he didn't sound at all nervous or hesitant.

"Hi, Matt, yes it's me," I said, responding to his somewhat superfluous question with an equally superfluous answer.

Then all the things I'd been planning to say disappeared from my mind and rather than remain silent I said the first thing that came into my head.

"Had a good day at work?" I asked, realising instantly how banal that was.

"Yes, very busy, but at least that's good for my Christmas bonus," he said brightly, then with a hint of mischief in his voice he added, "Have you had a good day not doing any work?"

Because my nervousness had impaired my brain function it took me a couple of seconds to realise that it was a mildly disparaging reference to the fact that I was a student on vacation.

"Depends if you think being a house slave means not doing any work," I replied, trying to match his humour, "When Mum went to work this morning she left a long list of Christmas preparation jobs for me and Andy to do. Sometimes I wonder if Christmas is worth all the effort!"

"Depends on what you get for your presents," he quipped 

Having thus broken the ice I found that Matt was in fact very easy to talk to, though sometimes I didn't quite understand his humour and occasionally wondered if he were making fun of me. Also, I found that the direct way in which he often expressed himself was sometimes disconcerting and occasionally almost shocking.

"So," Matt said as we were winding up our first phone conversation, "I guess it's your turn to phone me next time."

"Well maybe it would be best if you phone me," I replied, "because you know I'm more likely to be available and I won't know exactly when you'll be finishing work or eating dinner."

"Ah!," he said as if he'd seen through some cunning ploy, "What you really mean is that I'm a working man with a salary and you're just a poor student so I should pay for the phone calls."

"No!" I protested indignantly, "I didn't mean that at all."

"Don't get your knickers in a twist," he said , obviously much amused, "I was only pulling your leg."

"Oh, okay then," I said, feeling a little foolish and slightly resentful.

"And anyway, you're right," he said placatingly, "With my Christmas schedule it probably will be better for me to call you."

Over the next few days, both before and after Christmas, Matt and I spoke on the phone almost every day, though sometimes it was only for a couple of minutes. Although we exchanged some basic background information and made a few risque sexual references we didn't discuss anything too intimate or personal. For example, although he told me he lived alone with his mum, who was a primary school teacher, he didn't say what happened to his dad and I didn't ask.

During our phone chats I discovered that with Matt there was little or no chance of having uncomfortable silences. He seemed to have opinions on almost every subject that came up and he wasn't shy about expressing those opinions. Indeed, sometimes I wished he'd shut up long enough for me to get a word in. Often he took the opposite position to mine, so at first I thought he was just being argumentative but after awhile I realised that he was merely saying what he really believed.

A few times, when I knew he must be at work, I received text message saying simply that he was feeling horny. That always brought a smile to my face and I'd send a message back to him saying 'me too'. Frequently, especially when I received his 'horny' messages, I would wish that we could have met up before the end of term. Somewhat less frequently, however, I wondered if it might have been a good thing that we hadn't jumped into bed together immediately the day after our first contact. The delay, though sexually frustrating, at least gave me the opportunity to get more comfortable with his forthright speech and quirky humour.


The new term started on a Monday and I arranged to go back to Linchester earlier than usual on the Sunday so that I could meet up with Matt in the afternoon. All during the holidays I'd been feeling incredibly horny and I knew that I wanted to have sex with him. Obviously, I fervently hoped that he felt the same about me. We'd arranged to meet in a cafe in the city centre, and as I'd arrived a few minutes before the appointed time I sat in a quiet corner facing the entrance. For what seemed like an eternity I held on to a mug of coffee that went from hot to lukewarm to cold as I waited for him to arrive.

Eventually, about ten minutes late, he entered the cafe, quickly spotted the tentative waving of my hand, grinned and came directly to my table. In his smart brown leather jacket and with his cheeks reddened by the cold outside, he looked more attractive in real life than he did in his profile photos. His attractiveness was no doubt further enhanced by the level of my libido.

"Hey, Ian," he said as he sat down facing me across the table, "Sorry I'm a bit late. It took me awhile to find a parking space."

"Hey," I replied, "Do you want a coffee? I've nearly finished this."

I nodded down at my mug and wondered if he'd get the hint that I'd been there for some time.

"Are you offering to by me one?" he asked and grinned mischievously.

"Yes, if you want one," I said, remembering his jibe about me expecting him to phone me.

"No, thanks," he said, "I'm not a great fan of coffee and anyway I'm hoping we won't be staying here much longer."

>From the expression on his face it was obvious what he meant and I blushed slightly as I smiled and nodded my understanding.

"That's fine with me," I said.

"In such situations," he said, leaning forward conspiratorially, "it might be usual to say 'your place or mine', but in this case I think yours would be better."

"Sounds good to me," I agreed and stood up.

So within an hour of our meeting in the cafe we were in my bed.

We were both so horny that we achieved our first orgasms very quickly, but we started again after a break that lasted just long enough for me to drink a glass of water. The sex was great, though perhaps there wasn't quite as much animal passion as I'd experienced with Derek. However, that was probably an advantage because the slightly more leisurely pace meant that I could savour the experience and enjoy it more.

Unfortunately, there was no opportunity to see if we could have managed a third session because Matt was expected home for his evening meal and in any case our exertions had made us both very hungry. As we were getting dressed we looked at one another a little nervously and began to speak virtually simultaneously.

"When...", we both said, just slightly out of synch.

We both laughed, relieved that the same word being used by both of us indicated that we were thinking the same thing.

"You go first," Matt said as he resumed fastening the belt on his trousers.

"When do you want to meet up again?" I asked.

"Tuesday night or Wednesday is good for me," he replied, "I'm off all day Wednesday because I'm working Saturday and Sunday next weekend."

"Let's make it Tuesday night then," I said, trying not to sound too eager.

"As I've got transport," he said, referring to the car he was so proud of, "if you want I can come straight here after dinner, say between seven thirty and eight. Save you having to go into town to meet me."

"Yeah, great!" I agreed enthusiastically, "Just park round the back here, tap on my window and I'll let you in."

He smiled and nodded his agreement, then after a brief pause he spoke again.

"Ya know," he said, just a little hesitantly, "as I don't need to be up for work on Wednesday... if you want I can stay overnight, so we can, erm, take our time."

"Yeah, okay," I replied, then laughed and added, "but bring a toothbrush cos I hate stinky morning breath!"

During the following month or so we got together three or four times per week and about half of those times he stayed overnight. The sex remained good and he turned out to be quite adventurous in that regard. Somehow he managed to persuade me to experiment with things I'd never done before, such as mild bondage. At first I was a little doubtful about engaging in what I thought of as  kinky activities, but Matt's playful attitude quickly won me around and I found I enjoyed an occasional bit of variety in our sex life.

While we recovered in between bouts of sexual activity there was plenty of conversation. Matt was never short of things to talk about and he had opinions on everything from abortion to xenophobia. Our views were often divergent and sometimes discussions became almost heated enough to be classed as arguments. However, no ill feeling was generated and we quickly laughed off our differences and went back to our most important activity, sex.

In those first few weeks we grew comfortable talking about even the most intimate sexual acts but we rarely mentioned anything that was personally intimate. However, one thing that Matt mentioned as an aside in the course of one discussion was that his father had deserted his mother before he was born. The resentment I heard in his voice as he mentioned that was very unusual for him because he rarely showed such negative feelings.

Matt was generally very positive about everything and seemed to be able to find humour in almost any situation. Above all he didn't take himself too seriously and if something bad happened to him he seemed to just shrug it off and get on with his life. Overall he was an easy person to like and, somewhat grudgingly, I admitted to myself that in many ways I admired him even when I disagreed with him.

Toward the end of one of our discussions, the overall topic of which I've now forgotten, an exchange occurred which perhaps illustrated Matt's attitude to life.

"The past may have been bad and the future may be even worse," he said, "but the present is fun, so enjoy it."

While I had some sympathy with that outlook on life, I didn't entirely agree with it, so I felt that I had to challenge him.

"You can't just think about the present," I said, "you've got to plan for the future."

"Yes, obviously you need to take a bit of care about what you do now," he said as if he pitied me for being unable to see beyond the obvious, "but it's possible to take that caution too far. Some people worry so much about what will happen and what other people might think that they spoil their enjoyment of the present."

"But you shouldn't let your enjoyment of the present ruin your future," I pointed out.

"Of course not," said, again with that slightly pitying tone, "but you can never accurately predict the future and you can't even guarantee that you'll have a future, so you shouldn't let worries about what might possibly happen ruin what you actually have now."

Similar exchanges cropped up again in subsequent conversations but neither of us managed to persuade the other to change his attitude on the matter. As with many of our discussions, we ended up agreeing to disagree. However, sometimes our viewpoints converged a little as we talked things out and always my respect for him increased.


The first exchange of really personal information took place about half way through the term, while we were resting after a particularly energetic sex session. As it was a Saturday night and neither of us had to get up early the next morning, we knew we didn't need to rush things and that we had plenty of time to relax and chat.

"I'm just curious," Matt said, "and won't be offended if you don't want to answer... but why did you make such a big point in your profile and MSN chats that you wanted just no-strings sex?"

"You said the same thing," I pointed out, frowning, "You've not changed your mind have you?"

"No, of course not," he replied reassuringly, "I know what my reasons are but I can't help wondering why a nice, attractive, clever guy like you doesn't have a real boyfriend and why you're so anxious to avoid any emotional involvements."

"Ha!" I laughed, "Are you on drugs or are you just trying to get your wicked way with my body by flattering me?"

"It's not flattery," he said, then grabbing my dick he grinned wickedly and added, "And I don't need flattery to have my wicked way with your body."

"That's true," I said, feeling my dick begin to swell.

"So do you want to tell me your reasons?" he asked, playing with my foreskin, "If you do I'll tell you mine."

Succumbing to his powers of persuasion, I gave him a brief summary of my experiences with Simon, Frank, Derek and Debbie. I pointed out to him that when I fell in love with Simon and Derek it ended up with me getting badly hurt and that when Frank fell in love with me it strained our relationship and hurt him. Also I told him how the spectre of love ruined my friendship with Debbie. Although I talked about those major personal relationships I didn't mention the guys I'd picked up for sex in Quay Street or on the internet. That wasn't relevant to the subject at hand, and in any case I didn't want him to think I was a slut.

"So you see," I said, concluding my exposition, "Love just gets people hurt, it makes people behave stupidly and generally screws everything up."

"Yes," he said thoughtfully when I'd finished, "I see how love messed things up for you and I can understand why you're keen to avoid it happening again."

He paused for a few seconds, obviously still absorbing what I'd told him, then he spoke again.

"You really didn't love Frank?" he asked, "it sounds like he would have been an easy person to love."

For reasons I couldn't explain that question irritated me so much that I barely managed to suppress a sharp response. Instead I took a deep breath and tried to give a meaningful answer.

"Love is a word that people throw around as if it had some fixed meaning," I said, unable to hide my irritation, "People have lots of different feelings that they call love but they always expect you to know what they mean when they use the word. They love music, they love their boyfriend, they love their mum, they love pizza."

I took a deep breath as I paused to consider how best to express what I wanted to say.

"Have you ever tried saying the same word aloud to yourself over and over again?" I continued a little more calmly, "Eventually it just becomes a meaningless noise. Well that's what people have done to the word love. Then when they realise that the word has lost its meaning they try to give it nice tidy labels like 'platonic love', as if real emotions can be fitted into nice tidy compartments."

When I finished my little rant I realised Matt was still looking at me expectantly, probably because he was still waiting for an answer to his actual question.

"Frank was my best friend," I continued in a subdued tone, "and I loved him in the way I'd love a best friend... no, to be more accurate I loved him in a best-friend way that was unique to Frank."

A small frown of concentration creased Matt's forehead as he tried to digest what I'd said.

"That doesn't make much sense, does it?" I said, feeling somewhat frustrated.

"Yes, I think it makes some sense. I'm just not sure that I understand it yet," he said, then after a short pause for thought he added, "It seems to me that you criticise others for trying to put labels on types of love, but you also want to put your feelings for Frank and Simon into different boxes. You think about things too much. You should just accept your feelings, whatever they are, and go along with them." 

Although I felt a little offended by his remark I couldn't think of a ready response and in any case I wasn't in the mood for an argument. There was a brief silence during which he appeared to be studying my face so, a little embarrassed by his gaze, I looked away from him and at the bedside clock.

"Almost midnight," I said for no particular reason.

"Want me to tell you my reasons now?" he asked.

Although I was still curious about Matt's previous experiences with his ex boyfriend I'd had enough of all the talk about emotional baggage. In any case, I was ready for more sex which, after all, was the reason we were there together.

"No, not now" I said, "You can tell me about it some other time. There's something more important to do now."

I wrapped my arms around him and rolled on top of him then kissed him as our crotches ground together.


As it turned out Matt didn't bring up the subject again and it was almost a week before my curiosity about Matt's history overcame my reluctance to discuss matters relating to emotions. So one night, the night Matt first persuaded me to spank him before fucking him, while we were lying in bed recovering from our sex play I reminded him of his promise.

"Remember when I told you why I wanted no-strings sex?" I said, "You said you'd tell me why you are also keen to avoid emotional stuff."

"Yeah, I remember," he replied, then he grinned and added, "I also remember that just as I was about to reveal all you insisted on having your wicked way with my body."

"True," I admitted, unable to suppress a smile, "But now I've just had my wicked way with you  and it's going to be a few minutes before I can do it again, so you can tell me now."

"Well," he began, "as you know, apart from you I've only had sex with one other guy... unlike you, who's picked up dozens of men on Quay Street."

Just two days earlier we'd been discussing the local gay venues and I'd mentioned some of my experiences there. Now I was beginning to wonder if I wasn't going to regret being so open with him.

"Not dozens," I protested, "Just a few, and they were more than a year ago."

"But the guys you shagged from the internet site weren't so long ago were they?" He said, shaking his head in mock disapproval.

"Oh, fuck off!" I retorted, irritated even though I knew he was only teasing me, "And anyway, I may have experienced more men  but you seem to be more experienced with kinky stuff!"

"Oh, Ian, don't be so uptight," he said barely controlling his laughter, "I'm only joking and you must admit you do make an easy target of yourself."

Then he became serious and looked directly into my eyes.

"I really meant what I told you before," he said, "I don't care how many people you've shagged, just as long as you were safe."

"Okay, then," I replied, somewhat mollified, "So tell be about you and your ex. What was his name, by the way?"

"His name's Harry," Matt replied, then continued, "For over two years I was completely and absolutely in love with him and would have done anything for him. Then he betrayed me and dumped me and hurt me so much that I don't want to risk it ever happening again."

At that point he stopped speaking and looked as if he'd finished. Despite the twinkle in his eye which signalled that he was teasing me again, I couldn't help rising to the bait.

"Well?" I protested, "Is that it? I gave you much more details about my past relationships!"

His triumphant smile proved that he had indeed been toying with me and that he was enjoying himself immensely..

"Ian, Ian," he said, shaking his head, "You make yourself such a tempting target. How can you expect me to resist."

I glared at him, but my ire was mostly pretence because I knew he was right and that there must be something perverse in me that deliberately walked into his little traps. Maybe deep down I enjoyed him making fun of me, or maybe I just enjoyed getting the attention.

"Anyway," Matt said and sighed, "what details do you want to know?"

"For a start," I said, "How did you meet? Why did you go for someone so much older? What did your mum do about it? How did he betray you?"

"That's just a start?" he said, then grinned and shook his head before continuing, "Maybe I should just start at the beginning and you can ask questions as I go along."

I nodded my agreement to that and he began telling me about himself and his ex boyfriend.

"I've known I was gay ever since I can remember," he said, "and when I was sixteen I decided to do something about it. So I looked through the gay dating web sites and met Harry."

"Wow!" I said, impressed but slightly shocked, "That was pretty bold considering you were only sixteen."

"I'm sure you've noticed I can be very bold, especially when I'm horny," he said with a smirk.

"But wait a minute," I said, "You have to be eighteen to register on those dating sites."

"No," he said, looking at me as if I were a little child, "You just have to say you're eighteen. They can't check your age and you can get a basic membership without a credit card."

"Did you tell Harry your real age before you met him?"

"Well he guessed as soon as I sent him a face pic, but he didn't mind," Matt replied, "In fact I think he was pleasantly surprised and a couple of days after our first contact we met up and went to his flat."

"Bloody Hell, you were a fast worker!" I commented.

"Yep," Matt said with a smile, "And so was he. On our second meeting he took my virginity."

"And then you became boyfriends?" I asked.

"Well at first it was just sex," Matt said, "We both had fun and so we arranged to meet again... and again... and again. You know what a sex addict I can be sometimes!"

His laughter was no doubt mostly a response to his own humour but the bemused expression on my face probably also contributed to his amusement.

"Anyway," he continued, "we also got on well, partly because we were both interested in cars. He taught me a lot, mainly about sex but also about cars, and even about sex in cars! I admired him a lot. It didn't take long before I realised I was in love with him and he became my boyfriend."

"Wasn't it weird, him being so much older?" I asked.

"Didn't matter to me," he replied, "and Harry found it a great turn-on."

"I bet he did," I said rather disapprovingly.

Matt, who appeared to be quite amused, just shrugged his shoulders and smiled. I wasn't sure whether his amusement was caused by the situation he'd just described or by my reaction to that description.

"How did your mum find out you were gay?" I asked, "And how did she react when she found out you were being shagged by someone so much older?"

"Finding out I was gay and finding out about Harry were two different things," he said.

"You mentioned your mum overheard a phone call?" I asked, eager to find out more about Matt's background..

"Yeah," he said, "that happened a few weeks after I met Harry. He called me while I was sitting in the back garden reading some car mags. When I answered I didn't go to my room because I thought it would be private enough in the garden. But I didn't realise that the kitchen window was open and that Mum was in the kitchen. She heard some intimate stuff and later she asked me about it."

"You didn't try to convince her you were chatting to a girlfriend?"

"Nah, I thought it was about time she knew I was gay," he replied, then he smirked and added, "Anyway, a girlfriend wouldn't have the equipment required for me to do some of the intimate things she heard me talking about."

"Bloody Hell!" I gasped.

I was made breathless by the horrific thought of what might have happened if my mother had overheard me engaged in such a conversation. Presuming that I hadn't immediately died of embarrassment I'd have had to run away and never return.

Matt was again amused and in fact laughing quietly to himself. No doubt compared to him I was a bit of a prude, but compared to him everyone I knew was a bit of a prude. I wondered if he wasn't deliberately trying to shock me, just so he could be entertained by my reaction. Still, even if that were true, I was being entertained by his revelations so it would only be fair if he received some entertainment in return.

"Bloody Hell!" I said again, "So how did she react?"

"Quite well, really. She just gave me a lecture on STDs, made me promise to be safe and stuff like that."

"Good for her," I said.

"Yeah," he replied with a grin, "she's a tough old bird and she's not so easy to shock as you are."

"This isn't all a wind-up, is it?" I asked, suddenly becoming a little suspicious, "You're not making all this up are you?"

"No, of course not!" he said, genuinely offended, "It's the complete truth. I'd never lie to you about something like that... though I do particularly enjoy telling you some of the juicier stuff because it's so much fun watching your face when you hear it."

"Bastard!" I said, then added, "How did your mum find out about Harry?"

"That was a few months later. It was just a bit of bad luck really," he said and sighed, obviously a little saddened by the memory.

"But she would've been bound to find out sooner or later," I said, hoping to make him feel better.

"Later would have been better. In fact the later the better," he replied, "After she overheard me on the phone I couldn't really deny I had a boyfriend and for awhile she'd hint that she wanted to meet him. But I said that he didn't want anyone to find out he was gay and I let her believe it was a boy at my school."

>From the expression on his face I got the impression that he hadn't enjoyed lying to his mum.

"I thought that I'd got things sorted so she wouldn't find out, at least not for a couple of years," he continued, "I'd either go to Harry's or he'd pick me up in his car somewhere discreet, away from my house. He'd make sure I was back at a reasonable time and I never stayed out overnight."

"So what happened?"

"One morning I'd told her I was going to meet a friend after school and eat at his place. She knew I meant my boyfriend and just told me that as it was a school night I should be home by nine."

"But something went wrong?" I guessed.

"Afraid so," he said, nodding his head, "I arranged to meet Harry in a local supermarket car park and Mum decided to go to a supermarket she hardly ever used."

He looked at me, knowing that I could probably guess the rest.

"She saw him picking you up?"

"Yep," he admitted, "Although I didn't see her she managed to get a good look at Harry before we drove off. We'd only gone a short distance from the car park when my phone rang. It was Mum. When I answered I had no idea she'd seen me and Harry so when she asked if I was with my 'special friend' I said yes."

"Bloody Hell!" I said.

"You swear a lot, don't you?" Matt commented, raising an eyebrow.

"Only when I'm with you," I retorted, "anyway, what happened then?"

"Then she asked if it was my boyfriend's car that I'd just got into. Of course I was completely gobsmacked and said the first thing that came into me head, that it was my boyfriend's dad's car."

"I guess she didn't believe you?"

"No such luck," he replied ruefully, "She said if I was with my boyfriend's dad then my boyfriend must be much too young for me and if it was with my boyfriend then my boyfriend was too old for me."

"Well, you've got to admire her logic," I said, attempting to be humorous, "but then she is a school teacher."

The smile that Matt bestowed upon my efforts was, I thought, a little sour.

"Anyway," he continued, "she demanded that I go home immediately, but I told her I couldn't get home right away but would definitely be home before nine. Then I said good-bye and hung up. I really needed time to think before I could talk to her and I wanted to give her time to cool down."

"Bad mistake," I said, "In my experience of mothers it's more likely that they'll heat up rather than cool down."

"Alright smart arse," Matt said, giving me another sour look, "As it turned out you're right, but what would you have done in my position?"

"Probably emigrated to some distant part of the globe," I quipped, not entirely facetiously.

"That wasn't really one of my options," he replied, "So I just went with Harry to his flat and then I told him what Mum had said."

"Didn't Harry already know?"

"No, he was busy driving and didn't overhear enough of my side of the conversation to be able to work out what was going on. When I told him, though, he got even more panicked than I was. We managed to talk things through and we both calmed down. After all, I was sixteen and so perfectly legal. Then I assured him that I loved him and that I'd sort things out with my Mum."

"What happened then?"

"He gave me a ride to our usual drop-off point, just round the corner from my house, and I was home before seven. Of course Mum demanded to know who my boyfriend was and how old he was, so I just told her his first name and his age and that I loved him. Anyway, then she told me that I must never see him again. I'm afraid I lost my temper and told her that as I was sixteen I could see anyone I wanted. And then I stormed off to my room."

"Phew! That's horrible!" I commented, completely caught up in the drama of the scene he described. I didn't mention that from what I'd heard so far my sympathies were split about equally between Matt and his mum,

"Yes, it was," he said sadly, "Especially when she came up to my room and told me that while I was living under her roof I had to obey her rules and that I was grounded at least until after my GCSE exams. She even took away my phone."

To show my sympathy I shook my head and put my hand on his arm.

"But it didn't stop me sneaking out when she wasn't around," he continued as his face brightened with a mischievous grin, " I managed to get to see Harry at least once a week. Mum wasn't stupid, so of course she guessed, but short of locking me up there wasn't much she could do except use psychological warfare."

"Psychological warfare?"

"Yes, surely you know that mothers are especially good at that. She kept going on about how bad it was for me to be under the influence of an evil older man, what diseases he could give me, how it would ruin my studies, how it was upsetting her, and so on and on and on. And of course the trump card, guilt. How could I hurt her like this after she, a single mum, had struggled and sacrificed so much to bring me up and care for me."

"And, erm," I said hesitantly, "You couldn't see her point of view?"

"I was sixteen, madly in love and addicted to sex," he said, raising an eyebrow, "What do you think?"

My only response was a weak shrug of my shoulders.

"Then things got even worse," he said, "when I told her I was going to leave school after my GCSEs and get a job. I think she found that harder to deal with than when she found out about Harry, especially as I was expected to get good grades. But I was determined to be independent and take control of my own life."

Personally I thought that giving up the long term prospects afforded by further education was far too high a price to pay just to become independent a couple of years early. However, I didn't express that opinion to Matt as I didn't feel like starting any heated arguments.

"Eventually," Matt continued, "after a couple of months of all that hassle I decided I couldn't take any more of her nagging. I asked Harry if I could move in with him as soon as I'd done my GCSE exams . Then my plan was to get a job and live happily ever after."

"What did Harry think of your plan?" I asked.

"To be honest, at first he was very unenthusiastic, but then I pointed out to him that not only would I be available for sex every day but that when I got a job I'd be helping with the rent and bills. Eventually I persuaded him it was a good idea."

"And that's how things worked out?" I asked.

"Yep. My GCSEs were pretty good and I easily got a job," he said proudly and perhaps a little smugly, "My teachers agreed with my mum and said I should do A levels. But if I'd done that I wouldn't be earning what I am now and I certainly wouldn't have my car."

"And I guess you went to live with Harry?"

"Yeah, we shared his flat and his bed for about two years and the first eighteen months or so were very happy. He took me to the bars and clubs on Quay Street and I learned a lot from him."

"You mean you learned lots of kinky sex stuff," I said with a grin.

"Of course," he said and laughed, "But I also learned lots of other stuff, like how to look after household finances and how to take care of myself. When I was seventeen he taught me how to drive and when I was eighteen he helped me buy my car."

"He helped pay for it?"

"Nah, he couldn't afford that, but he helped me shop around for a good car then helped me negotiate a good price."

"What about your mum?" I asked, "Did she get used to you living with Harry?"

"No way!" Matt said, shaking his head, "When I first left home she was really upset and when I phoned or called round she would hardly speak to me. Then when I went round on my seventeenth birthday we began to make up and we eventually got back to being almost normal. She never has acknowledged the fact that I lived with Harry. She refused even to acknowledge that he exists."

"And now you're back living with her so I guess things are good now?"

"Yeah, she likes having me there to look after and appreciates the fact that I pay half the bills and help her out around the house."

"So what went wrong between you and Harry?" I asked.

"To cut a long story short," he said bitterly, "he was cheating on me. I got home early from a weekend management training course and caught him in bed with a kid who looked as if he couldn't be over sixteen. What made me feel even worse was that I later found out that he'd been cheating on me for months before that."

The memory of all that was obviously still upsetting for him, so I automatically pulled him into my arms and cuddled him, hoping to make him feel better. We lay together like that for awhile until I lifted my chin from his shoulder so that I could speak.

"Well, I'm glad you told me all that," I said sympathetically, "At least now we know why we both want to avoid any more emotional entanglements. Falling in love is a sure way to get hurt. Anyway from now on why don't we agree not to mention the L-word."

"Yeah, okay," he said as if the subject were of no importance.

There was a long silence, during which I began to wonder if Matt would be interested in more sex that night or whether we should just settle down to sleep. Just before I could put that question to him, Matt took hold of my dick and started massaging it, so I knew we were in for some more fun before we went to sleep.


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) .