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It was all going in slow motion. All of it. My eyes were wet with tears and blood. Fists had been pounding into me, my hair had been pulled. Just my nose hurt. Well that was the worst. And I couldn't see to find Andy, and I couldn't work out how to be any use. And it fucking hurt.
Inside I mean.
Slow motion. I was being pulled in two directions. I was doing my best to hit back at the person nearest to me. I managed a few hits. Felt them. Felt my fists hurt as they connected. Felt him, her pull back a little, then grab me even harder. Oh shit. "Nigel! HELP ME!"
Oh the noise in my ears. Ringing. All shouting and chanting. "NIGEL! NOW, I NEED YOU!" Oh where was he. I couldn't see through the blood and tears. And my hands had been grabbed, so I couldn't hit. I was scared. I was never a fighter. Not a good one. And this was a mob. My feet came free. I kicked. Hard. I know it connected. There was a grunt.
And then "For Christ's sake stop kicking me!"
The voice got through to me. And no-one was hitting me. Now the tears were real. Only silent. IT was him. It was. It was! It was him. "Oh shit. I couldn't see."
"He's safe. Terry and John got him out."
"My nose hurts."
"So does my eye!"
"They got you, too?"
"Er, you got that, Chris. While I was pulling you out."
"I can't see yet. How bad is it? Oh shit my nose hurts!"
"It'll be OK. My eye, I mean. I think your nose needs to go to Casualty."
"I want to know how Andy is."
"So do I, but we've got another problem."
"What?" Only it came out as 'wod?' coz I couldn't breathe right.
"Well, as I got you out Mrs Wilding arrived and broke the fight up. Didn't you notice anything?"
"Well the only trouble is, I think she's thinking it was you and me and stuff. And she wants to see us. Like now."
"I can't... Oh Nigel I needed you... "
"I was there. I had hold of you while you were screaming for me, my love."
"And I was hitting you and kicking you... "
"I love you, Nigel."
"Shh! That's what got you into a mess, that lot knowing about a boy in love with another boy. Not here. Not yet."
"I do, though, and I've hurt you... "
"It'll pass. Hurts a bit, but it'll pass. Those shoes of yours are damned hard, though."
"Sorry." Oh I was sorry. So sorry. He was mine, he'd come to rescue me and I'd hurt him. "Look, how's Andy?"
"I think you got the worst of it. He's a bit bruised, but he'll live. You did pretty well, you know. Saved him from a lot of harm before we got you both out."
"Where is he?"
"John and Terry are washing him off. Trying to keep him out of any trouble. Hiding him from Mrs Wilding. Er, which reminds me... "
"We have to go to her office. Now."
"I need to get cleaned up, Nigel."
"Better to go bloody. And messy."
"OK. Am I in trouble?"
"I reckon we both are. Come on."
I managed to wipe away enough to see. My nose was awful, and I had a pounding headache just starting. Other bits were starting to hurt too. My left ear was sore. No, not sore, bloody painful. I peered out. My right eye was closing, too. I could still see out of my left one. No group of kids, no chanting, no Andy surrounded. Just a wet schoolyard, and with a bit of blood in the puddles. Mine. And Nigel was leading me towards the school office and Mrs Wilding. And he was in pain, too. I could see his eye looking the worse for wear.
We got there. I was hanging back a bit. I was never in trouble. And certainly never for fighting. I just didn't fight. Not ever. Well perhaps as a little kid, when everyone did. I always lost, too. The door of Mrs Wilding's office looked very large, suddenly. Nigel knocked.
From within, "Wait outside, please."
Heck we weren't going to break the door down. What did she think we were going to do, rush in and annihilate her? "Psychology," said Nigel. "She always makes you wait. Thinks it makes you feel small."
"You've been called in a lot?" I was surprised.
"Enough. She's pretty tough."
"Right," I was suddenly determined. I remembered my mother, how I'd had to stand up to her, and needing to be made of steel. "I am, too." Only my nose hurt so, and my head was reeling and hurting.
The voice from inside again, "Come in!"
We came in.
Nothing special about the room. A desk with a small woman behind it. Neat, tidy, permed hair, hint of a moustache. Odd what you notice, even when you can't see well.
"I want to know exactly what was going on. I came outside when I heard a huge commotion, and found you two. Mr Cropper, you were wrestling with Mr Jenkins. And he was trying to beat the living daylights out of you." She breathed in. No time to answer though. "I simply will not have fighting in this school." A pause. For effect I thought. "So. What have you to say for yourselves, mmm?" Another Pause. "Mr Cropper, you first, please."
"It wasn't like that, Mrs Wilding. Chris and I are friends."
"Fine way of showing it, then. Mr Jenkins?"
I so hated her 'Mr Cropper, Mr Jenkins' attitude. Patronising. "I have to go to the hospital, Mrs Wilding. My nose is broken. I'm sure it is. My head is pounding. Nigel is coming with me. Will you get someone to take us, or do we have to take the bus?" I was looking her square in the eyes from the only one I could see out of
"First I want to know what was going on." She was still doing the discipline bit.
"No, Mrs Wilding. No, you don't." I'm not sure it sounded that impressive. I couldn't breathe through my nose. It sounded more like a comedian talking as though I had a bad cold. She tried to interrupt. But I hadn't handled my mother over something far more important than this without learning something. "No, Mrs Wilding. You can find that out later." This had to go right. My knees were starting to buckle and I was sweating. "I'm going to the hospital. Nigel's my friend and he's going to come with me to look after me. You can organise someone now, please, or we'll take the bus."
"I will not be spoken to like this. You will first tell me what was going on."
"Nigel, we're going to the hospital. Mrs Wilding, are you getting someone to take me?" I turned to leave, Nigel turned with me, and the door went all swimmy and I felt very, very sick. I took a step to leave, and it all went away. Not suddenly, but gently. I sort of felt all soft. Books say 'and then nothing'. Only you can't feel nothing. Books are pretty daft at describing stuff like that.
I was aware of stuff. All fuzzy, and a bit shouty. I sort of remember being moved. I think I tried to co-operate. I remember a sort of whining noise, and being shaken a bit. And some cold air. I just couldn't get my body into focus. Sounds stupid put like that, but it felt like it. I know I was drifting. My nose still hurt. That was the only thing I could focus on. I was trying to protect it. Someone was hurting it.
"Christopher? Wake up Christopher?"
"It's all over. Wake up, Christopher?"
Oh my head still hurt. Sick. I felt sick. How to be sick? I was lying down. Struggled to sit.
"Don't try to move yet." I didn't recognise the voice. A woman's voice. Not Mrs Wilding. "Just try to breathe normally, and relax"
"Uuurgghh!" I managed. "Sick!". And I was. Like for ever. I managed half sitting, and I got my front. Must have. Then something was put under my mouth.
A few words I didn't understand. Then, "You'll feel a sharp scratch."
"OW!" Nothing sharp or scratchy about it. Fucking sharp scratch. It stung like a wasp.
"Sorry, that stings sometimes."
"What's going on?" And I threw up again. It's horrible when there's nothing left to throw.
"Sorry, you're in Hospital, in Casualty. That injection was to help you to stop being sick."
"There's not a lot wrong with you. Broken nose and a bit of concussion."
"Oh. Shit, sick!" I was. But not so bad this time.
"Try to breathe more gently. The vomiting is the anaesthetic, probably. You need to breathe slowly and deeply a few times to get rid of it.
I tried, but I was panting. "Tastes awful. Smells awful. Can't use my nose."
"You aren't doing it right. Listen. Three deep breaths, all the way in and slowly all the way out." I did as I was told. "Good, now breathe normally, and in a few moments do the deep ones again. No. Gently."
It was getting better. "Is Nigel here?"
"My friend. He was going to take me to hospital."
"Ah. With a black eye?"
"He's here. He can see you in a few minutes. Were you fighting?"
"Yes, but not each other. Oh I'm so sleepy." I was drifting.
"You doze for a bit. I'll tell you again later, but your nose is fine. We've set it. That's what the anaesthetic was all about. Otherwise we want to keep you in overnight. Concussion. I'll get your friend to come and sit with you in a few minutes."
I struggled to hear the last words, but I was being forced to sleep. She may have said something after that, but I was out if it. Not a nice sleep. Fitful, but not easy to wake from. Not dreamless. A few soft words got through. I felt something moist on my forehead. I was aware of my hand being held, my cheek being stroked. Every time I got near the surface I dozed deeper again. I was trying to do the breathing bit, too, each time I got nearly conscious again.
Finally. An effort of will. Eyes wide open. Pretty brightly lit place. Ah yes, Casualty. No, several beds around me. A ward. I half remembered being trundled on the bed through corridors, up, or down in a lift, outside on a walkway, inside again. "Chris, are you awake?"
Oh bliss. Nigel! I turned. One blackened eye and one beautiful one looked at me. "Oh Nigel. Did I do that?"
"I know. It doesn't matter. How are you?"
"Well, they say you'll live! I asked them if you'd be able to play the violin. They said yes."
"Miracle, then! You can now. The nurse says so."
The stupid joke got me. I laughed. "Oww!"
"Well, it hurts when I laugh. How long have you been here?"
"All the time. Except when they were putting you right. I tried to be there then, too. They kicked me out."
"How did we get here? I last really remember Mrs Wilding's office and trying to leave it. Oww, my head still hurts."
"You fainted. She rushed over. I made her call an ambulance."
"Did it have its siren on?"
"Yep, blues and twos, the lot! Awesome! I came in it. I was worried about you"
"That was the whining noise and jostling and stuff, then."
"She called your parents, too. They'll be here soon."
"She was some use at last, then. I wish I hadn't hit you."
"Yeah, me too! Bloody hurts. They checked me out, too, while you were asleep. Nothing damaged. I didn't realise you were that brave. You suddenly strode out in front and took charge. Left me standing open mouthed."
"I had to. Just had to. Like when you told John about us, you know?"
"Yeah. I know."
"I wasn't doing any thinking, though. It just happened."
"One moment you were beside me, the next you were trying to control a mob. I thought you'd done it, too. Then that kid with the bit of paper went for you."
"The one with the squeak?"
"Yeah. Little shit. I feel like killing him." He paused. I heard the catch in his voice. "I thought... Never mind what I thought, OK? I was just so scared, so empty. And I waded in, almost dragging John and Terry with me."
"Glad you did. I screwed up."
"Well, you saved Andy, at least. You're a hero."
"Don't feel like one."
"You have no idea how much I want to kiss you. I love you, Chris."
"Well, go for it! I'm not stopping you."
"We're in a public ward!"
"Yeah. So what!" And he did. Wasn't easy. But those lips. Soft, warm, tasting of Nigel. A pretty clumsy clinch. And no-one noticed. Well, if they did, they didn't say. It was too short. But heck, it was a public ward.
"What time is it?"
"Your parents'll be worried about you."
"Would have been. I called them. Mum's on her way around now I think.. Mrs Wilding called your folks. But I got Mum to as well. Wilding would have been all pompous, I reckon. Oh I think she'll drop by this evening, too."
"It'll be OK."
"Yeah, sure." My tone showed I didn't believe him.
"No, it will. She got all flustered after the 999 call. Clucked about like a broody hen. She was good, too, suddenly."
"How so?" I was gazing into his eyes. Well, as well as you can out of one of your own. I was all propped up on pillows and some sort of grid at the bedhead, and he was sitting on the bed twisted round to face me.
In truth I was only half listening as he told me about her checking for pulse and breathing, and turning me gently into the recovery position, and stopping being pompous and starting to be useful. And how she'd stopped talking about the fight and started being kind, and almost like a friend. It was partly that I was still drowsy, and partly because I was just watching him, looking at him.
Even damaged he was beautiful.
I could see he was hurting, though. I felt pretty stupid about that. No I felt awful about that suddenly. Probably delayed shock, too. I reached out my right hand to touch his, and burst into tears. Gently at first, then sobs. I wish I hadn't, but they just came.
"I think Christopher needs some rest, young man. Time for you to leave." Out of my working eye I saw a blue nurse. Well a blue uniform with a nurse inside.
I grabbed Nigel's hand and held it tight. "I don't think Chris wants me to go," he said. "We're good for each other."
"I really think you should, though," she said. It was well and kindly meant.
"No." I managed to spit the word out. "Please. Let. Him. Stay." Spat them out between sobs. It was important. I wanted Nigel to be with me more than anything. I got a bit more control. "I need him here. Please."
"Well, I don't know," she had a kind voice. "If you get upset again he really will have to leave. You need rest."
"It isn't Nigel that's upsetting me." He was holding my hand, not tightly, just holding it.
"Well, what is?"
"That black eye he's got. It was me."
"Well you were fighting, weren't you?"
"Yes, but not each other. He came to help me, and I hit him. And I've hurt him." I stopped just in time. I nearly added 'and I love him'. Was life always going to be this difficult if you were in love with a boy? Being so careful all the time.
"It doesn't matter," Nigel told me, yet again. "You couldn't see. It'll heal. Getting you out and safe was far more important than a black eye." Then all my previous caution was thrown to the wind. He leant forward, and kissed me on the forehead. "Far more important." He turned to the nurse. "He went into a group of kids who were bullying another one and tried to make them stop. He nearly did. But they set on him, too. Chris took most of the stuff they were aiming at Andy, the other kid. He's a bit of a hero. And he's not a fighter. Bit of a dork when it comes to fists!" And he kissed my forehead again. "And he's wonderful. And I'm not leaving unless he tells me to. He hit me by accident. Hurts, but it doesn't matter. I just went in to get him out. It was a mob. Awful. I thought they were going to kill him. And Andy." And he was holding my hand to his cheek. Just softly. "I thought I was going to lose you, Chris."
"Shh. You haven't. And you'll shock the nurse. And me. And everyone else in this place." But I could see the tears on his face, too. Only all I could do was watch. I still felt pretty weak. And the headache wasn't any better.
"Shock me?" The blue uniform had its mouth hanging open a little. "Er? Oh. Ah. Er? Do you mean?"
"We're not just friends, if that's what you're asking." Nigel wasn't speaking, but I knew he was thinking that way. So I did it. The speaking.
"Kind of. Yes. The way you look at each other." She paused, and looked from one to the other of us, and back again. "It's OK. I won't ask him to leave again."
"You're not shocked?"
"Why should I be? I've an older brother. He's been happy with another man since they were 21, maybe before that. I like them both. They make a great couple. Been together six years now. It's just, you're both so young. I suppose I hadn't thought." She paused, thinking. "Listen is it a secret? Because I'd hate to make a mistake."
Nigel turned to her. "Our parents know. A couple of the kids at school know. Andy, the one they were going to beat up, he knew. Teachers mustn't know. Some stupid law means they seem to need to tell Social Services. And they're scary people."
"Taken into care, children's homes, separated, that sort of stuff."
"That wouldn't happen, surely?"
"Well, we don't dare risk it. We need each other." Nigel was back in control of himself. Proud, and gentle at the same time.
"Well, you're both safe with me. Just be discreet, though." And she was gone.
To be replaced by a posse. What timing. Both sets of parents.
And Mrs Wilding.
To be fair, she was hanging back.
There was a cluster and a kerfuffle. Lots of sympathy. A few tears. Hugs. All sorts of stuff you can't put into words. I spent ages telling Mum and Dad that I was all right. But I couldn't tell them what had been going on. Not with Mrs Wilding there. Nigel's parents were as worried about me as about him. Mrs Wilding was still sort of lurking. "Mum," I said, do you think you and the Croppers can go and talk to a doctor or something?"
"Well, Mrs Wilding is here. From school. I think she needs to talk to us. Me and Nigel. Only she doesn't want to interrupt."
So they moved off and did the 'hello Mrs Wilding' stuff, and melted away. And she walked over. Not in disciplinarian mode, either.
"Hello Nigel." I'd made sure Nigel was with me. He greeted here the same way that I had. "I was wondering if you felt up to telling me what happened this lunchtime."
"Well, it's complicated," I started. "There's stuff I can tell you. But some of it is private. And I won't"
"It wouldn't be right, Mrs Wilding. And it doesn't affect anything anyway."
"I'll trust you, Christopher. For now. But I don't like fighting, and I don't like seeing my pupils hurt. You and Nigel seem to have made things up, though."
"Nigel and I weren't fighting each other."
"We weren't," Nigel helped me out.
"But Nigel, Christopher was hitting you, and you were holding him, wrestling with him, pulling him."
"I think you need as much of the whole story as I can give you. But I won't give you names."
Well, I'd prefer the whole story without censorship. May I sit?" She pointed at and sat on the bedside chair.
"I can't. It wouldn't be fair. I can tell you that a younger boy was being bullied. Badly."
"We don't have bullying. We have a policy against it."
"Well you may have, but I was bullied when I joined the school. Dinner money and stuff. Policies don't work in the yard. Anyway, there was a circle round him of his age group, and they were chanting stuff at him. So I went into the circle and tried to get them to stop."
"That was brave of you. You should have gone for a teacher, though."
"Not brave. It was something I had to do is all. But they attacked us. Badly. I'm not good at fights. I was losing. There were a lot of them. One broke my nose. And someone was pulling me. So I was hitting whoever it was to make them stop. Only it was Nigel. And he's my friend. And he was rescuing me, but I couldn't see out of my eyes. I suppose you arrived just as I was punching him in the eye."
"Who was the other boy?"
"I can't tell you. Won't tell you. It won't help. I might if he's still in trouble."
"Is he hurt?"
"Not much," said Nigel. "Chris kept them off him. Another couple of us looked after him."
"I don't quite like the idea of this, boys." She looked thoughtful. "No-one can protect someone from bullies all the time. It would be better to know who he is."
I sat quiet for a while. The I had an idea. "It's an ethical problem, really. My head hurts too much to handle it today. It's still pounding. I need to talk to someone before I can decide. It's complicated."
"I can make it easier for you." She looked quiet nice when she was being a friend instead of a teacher. "If I ask if this has anything to do with some graffiti that's just gone all over the noticeboards this afternoon. It says 'Andy Giles loves Mike Simpson', and it appeared this afternoon."
"There was quite a lot of it. And Andy didn't write it himself. I fact Andy wasn't in school this afternoon, or if he was we couldn't find him."
"Mrs Wilding, I need to talk to someone before I decide what I can tell you. Only I don't think I'll be in school tomorrow."
"Well, after what you've told me, I thought you ought to know. We wont let anyone bully Andy Giles, even if some silly people think he loves Mike Simpson. Even if he does love him, come to that. Can you tell me whom you need to talk to?"
"Well, my parents first. And then if they think I should, I'd like some time with Miss Campbell, please."
"Why Miss Campbell?"
"Because I think I trust her."
"You can trust me, you know. Both of you can."
"Well, maybe. But I'd just as soon talk to her first, please. Er, Mrs Wilding?"
"Well, two things. Call me Chris, please, and thank you."
"Well, you're really nice!"
"Silly boy! Now I must go. Let your families have you."
"Nigel won't be at school tomorrow, Mrs Wilding."
"I don't think either of you need to be. Goodbye, Chris. Nigel. I'll see you both in school when you're ready to come back. Soon, please. These things need to be faced."
Do you know I swear she looked as though she was going to kiss me goodnight! But she left. We had to go through the whole thing again for our parents when they came back. Nigel did it. I was too tired. Mum clucked a bit about my nose. The doctor reckoned it was going to set by itself, and set as straight as before, so he hadn't put a splint thing on it. But I had to avoid touching it. And they were going to keep me in hospital overnight because I'd passed out. I think Mum organised a sleeping tablet for me, but I'd dozed off a couple of times while they were there.
What we did do before the family left for the night, was organised the next day. Mum was going to pick me up after breakfast. "That'll be at 5am," Nigel joked. "Hospital breakfast is always early! It'll be lunchtime if it's after 9!" Then Nigel was going to join me for the day. If I was up to it, Mum was going to leave us quietly alone for the rest of the day.
They were sweet. No-one minded as Nigel kissed me goodnight, too. I so wondered what was going through his mind as I was there in the hospital bed. "I love you. I'll see you tomorrow, Nigel. I'll be fine. I'll sleep I think."
"Goodnight my love. I'm so proud of you."
And they all went. I still adored those soppy words. His love. Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. I must have drifted off very quickly, and I just remember feeling so loved.
I won't say it was a blissful night's sleep. Almost at once someone came and woke me to take my blood pressure, pulse and temperature. I'd lost count of how many times they'd done that. Seemed to be an obsession. You could probably be dying and they'd still record it on a chart. It wasn't exactly quiet in the ward, either. I supposed it must be what a boarding school was like, but with old men in it. And down the other end were women.
I got up for a pee, and noticed I was wearing one of those gown things. The ones you put on back to front. Must have been given it when I threw up all over my clothes. It's so embarrassing walking across the ward to the loo with your bum hanging out. Hadn't done it before. They'd given me a pee bottle in the bed. Looked like a wine carafe with attitude.
The mirror in the loo was a shock. I looked into it, and a thing looked back at me. Swollen nose, one puffy eye, and the other turning black. I was glad I'd finished my pee first. I started to shiver and feel very weak. Almost ran back to the bed, feeling very stupid. A nurse noticed me, and came over. "Shock," she said, and talked to me about delayed shock for a bit, until I felt better. At least I knew it was a normal thing to feel like that. Apparently I was just in time for my 'night sedation'. If I wanted it. To help me sleep. Mild stuff. I checked. Just enough to send you to sleep, not strong enough to stop you waking. I'm not into tablets and stuff. I try not to take headache tablets even. She was really sweet, got me a cup of hot chocolate, too. And a hug, which probably wasn't on the treatment schedule. I liked the hug. It was sort of special, somehow. Not motherly, not a lover's hug, but lots of good feelings came with it. Sort of relaxing. No demands.
Then she made sure I was as comfy as you can get on a hard hospital bed, and left me to it, listening to the grunts and snores and farts from the beds nearby. As I got sleepy I let my brain run over the day. It hurt, sure. But it felt good. I hadn't known it at the time, but I'd saved Andy from being hurt. And Nigel was proud of me. It felt strange, being in hospital. I knew I wasn't ill, just in for observation. But it made me feel a bit of a hero, too.
Odd thoughts. Comfy thoughts.
Which were disturbed by an inordinately cheerful "Good morning! Cup of tea?"
And, as I struggled to the surface, one arrived. Ah. Hospital. Eww, 6am! Good grief!
Hospital routine was, I discovered later, much of a muchness. Bustle, drugs trolley. "Nothing for you unless you still have a bad headache." I didn't, mercifully.
"Nose hurts though." But, since it was bearable, I chose nothing.
More bustle. Breakfast. Congealed. But I was hungry. So congealed or not, it went in. Fast. And I felt better. After breakfast was cleared away I tried to find out when I could go home. We apparently had to wait for 'Doctor to come round', which was just as well, I supposed. He was due at around 11, and my mother was coming at noon, with some clean clothes. So I waited. Hospital radio sucks. Radio 2 and Terry Wogan followed by the banal Scot Ken Bruce was not what I wanted. And horrors, Jimmy Young after that. More blood pressure and temperature. And that wonderful question, 'have you moved your bowels today?'. Was nothing sacred? What else, were they going to ask if I'd had a wank yet? The chap in the next bed was chatty. Asked me if I'd been in a fight. He seemed all right, so I decided against sarcasm, and told him a bit about it. Cheered him up. He was ancient. And all hung about with drips at one end and collecting bags at the other. Prostate, apparently. Eww. I didn't want anything to go wrong with mine. Too much fun!
The doctor was pleasant. Checked me over, gave me instructions about gently massaging the nose when I felt like it, and not worrying about small nosebleeds. She checked my eyes. The puffy one was only open a bit, and she needed to see in, so that hurt a bit, too. But she declared me to be ready to leave. "Call your family doctor at once if you feel at all dizzy or worried," she said as she left. And that was it. Fifteen minutes to wait until Mum was to arrive. Couldn't get ready, so I lay back and dozed. Stuff Jimmy Young!
The kiss on the lips was nice. So was seeing that hair out of my good eye when I opened it. That scent. Just pure Nigel. What a wonderful way to wake up. "Your Mum brought me," he said, simply. She's been really worried about you. Asked me lots of stuff. I told her all about it. She's pretty proud of you, too. But she let me come in to see you first. And to bring your clothes." And he pulled the curtains round the bed. "Come on, let's get out of here. Oh nice gown!" I'd got out of bed, and was bending towards the clothes bag.
"Idiot! It's so embarrassing walking round with your bum hanging out!"
"Come on, slowcoach," he said as I dressed. "I want you out of here."
"Not as much as I want to be out of here! I have plans for today. You're a big part of them."
"What, after you walk in and kiss me on the lips!" I was whispering, though. I had been before. "Seems a bit late to say 'Shh', to me."
The curtains parted, and Mum came through the gap. I know she tried not to look at though I had an arm hanging off, but she didn't manage that well. It was the moist eyes that gave it away. "Oh Chris! I don't know whether to be cross with you or proud of you.""
"Neither, Mum. Anyone would have done it. Wasn't anything special. Nigel told you about it?"
"Yes. Yes, he did. I am proud of you. But I feel cross, too. Not with you, but with that silly, silly boy who started it."
"Not Andy?" I was half worried.
"No, the one who was bullying him. The one who started it out in the yard."
"Well, that's done with, now. I'm not even going to think of him. It's Wednesday, we've got at least one day off school, and I want to get home, Mum. This place isn't very nice, you know."
So we did. Mum and Nigel clucking around me. His eye was just a horrid shade of bruise, now. I wondered if it was too bruised to kiss. Decided it probably was. My nose was, so his eye must have been. And we got to the car.
"I even bought a ticket. I hate this pay and display system. It's our hospital, why should we have to pay to collect a patient? I'd have parked on the road, normally." I'd often heard Mum go on about the hospital car park. Nothing new there, then. "Pile in. We're going home. Via the chippy, if you like?"
"I've only got the morning off," Mum said as we finished lunch, and tidied the remains of fish and chips away. "I could get the afternoon off if you need me to, Chris? But I don't suppose you'll come to any harm."
Mum was getting to be pretty good about us. She hadn't had long, really, to get used to it. She wasn't ever going to approve one hundred percent. But she was awesome at trying hard. And she was managing better and better to seem as though it was normal for her. I went and hugged her. "I love you, Mum. It looks worse than it is. Really. It does. I mean it hurts and stuff, yes, and I can hardly see past my nose with my good eye, but it'll be OK."
"I forgot," she said suddenly. "Nigel, your mother gave you some Arnica ointment for Chris, didn't she?"
"What's Arnica ointment?"
"This is, Chris," Nigel said, handing me a small tube like a mini tube of toothpaste. "And she gave us some Arnica tablets, too."
"Not sure I like tablets."
"These are OK. Tasteless, almost. Look, put one under your tongue." And he shook one into the cap of the bottle. "Open wide." I opened wide. He flicked it in. "Close and suck gently." I did. Oddly grittily sweet and nothing else. "It's for pain and bruising," he said. "Homoeopathy. Mum's teaching me. You can put your own ointment on, though. Don't need much." So I did. It was greasy.
"I have to learn about this stuff," Mum said. "I know about witch hazel for bruises, but I've never heard of Arnica."
"You'd better ask Mum," Nigel said.
"It was pretty amazing when Claire gave Nigel something the other day," I added. "She seems to know what she's doing. Come to that this does feel a bit easier, and I sort of feel better."
"Sorry, Chris. Should have remembered it before," Nigel was looking as though he'd been stupid.
"Idiot! Anyway, you've remembered it now!"
Mum tidied stuff away, and then rushed out of the front door. "I'm late, sorry, got to rush!" And she was gone.
You know those moments that you look forward to for so long that you can't believe they've actually arrived?
It was one of those. I watched the car reverse off the drive. I waved goodbye. I watched her drive down the road and out of sight. And then I waited in case she came back. A full five minutes, it seemed. Well two anyway. And then I turned to Nigel.
And moved to him, and took him so gently into my arms.
Just held him so close, but without squeezing.
A real hug. A full body hug. I felt it transfer between us. Something magical. Energy? Electricity? No idea. But transfer it did. Almost filling me from the soles of my feet to the top of my head.
And then I kissed him. Very, very carefully. Nigel or not, I was not going to hurt my nose. Savoured the touch of lips against his lips. Just lips to start with. Then he parted his lips and I felt the tip of his tongue brush its way into my mouth.
And then force its way between my lips and behind my teeth. Searching, fighting with mine. The scent of his skin, his cheek. The touch of his hands, running so gently, no firmly, no gently down my back. Indescribable quivery feelings, urgent feelings.
I couldn't breathe.
Because my nose wasn't working.
I gasped for breath and pulled back. "Can't breathe." I was panting. "Nose is blocked."
"Shit, Sorry. Didn't realise." He kissed my cheek softly. "Can't you breathe through your ears?"
"No, you idiot!"
"Damn, that's one idea down the toilet then!" He giggled at me. "But I've plenty more."
"Oh good. Good. Oh good." I was looking at him as lovingly as anyone could with one half closed eye. Even with the damage I'd caused his face he was till beautiful. "I can't believe I punched you in the eye. I'm sorry."
"It'll pass. I told you. Anyway I hardly noticed at the time."
"Liar. I heard you grunt. Only I didn't know it was you, so I felt good about it then."
"Yeah, OK. But not now, eh? It's over."
"Yes, my love" That still sounded so nice. And still soppy. And I still, somehow, hadn't quite plucked up the courage to call him something similar.
"I want two things right now."
"Well, one is a bath."
"We can do that!" He smiled. "What's the other?"
"I was rather hoping you'd make love to me afterwards."
"I was rather hoping that, too. Mind you, waiting until after the bath'll be a bit difficult"
"Yeah." I was struggling with the same thing, I reckoned. "But I feel so dirty, and I can still smell hospitals, and I like being really clean for you. For me, too."
"Aww." He was smiling at me
"Odd. I never bothered much before."
"Before you, you idiot!"
"Ah." Nonplussed. He was actually looking nonplussed. For once I'd done it. "I'll go and run the bath."
It was odd. I meant to go straight upstairs after him. Instead I went round downstairs, just looking at the house. Sort of touching everything, making sure it was in the right place. Reassuring myself that everything was fine. Almost sleepwalking. Looking back I can see that I must still have been a bit dazed from the awful stuff the previous day. Sort of grateful to be alive. I'd probably been in quite serious danger, even from a mob of juniors. What would have happened had I fallen over didn't bear thinking about. And Andy. A good bit smaller than me. He would have been pulverised.
"Are you ever coming upstairs? Or do I have to come and get you?"
I hadn't realised I was still downstairs. "Eh? Oh. Sorry! Was daydreaming."
There was a sweet scent to the air as I climbed the stairs. Nigel was in the doorway to my room. "Come here, Chris. I'm going to undress you. Gently."
"Not the shirt you aren't. I'm going to be the one to get that over my nose!"
"Wise. You do that first, then." And he bent to undo my trainers. It wasn't as hard as I'd feared to get the shirt over my head. Nigel gently undressed the rest of me. "Oh."
"You've got a few bruises. I suppose I should have expected it."
"The bath'll take care of that, I should think. They don't hurt. Oww! OK, I was wrong, that one hurts! Now you get undressed. It isn't just me having this bath. You're having it, too."
"Will you undress me?"
"I want to watch as you strip. Please. I like watching you strip off."
"Pervert!" But he was smiling. The oddest words from Nigel were love tokens. He took his trainers off first. Then his trousers. Then his socks. He was standing in front of me in his tee-shirt and boxers. I looked up and down his legs. Long, fit, with subtly defined muscles, a hint of slightly coarser hair, I noticed, just beginning below his knees. Blond and just a little wiry. Almost imperceptible. I ran my eyes up his legs to his clothes, and his face. He was smiling. Then he lowered his boxers, somehow managing to keep his shirt decorously covering all else. And, when he straightened, his shirt covered all. Except, just peeping below the curtain it made, was the hint of a pair of sweet balls. And the top of his leg had that hint of out-turn of buttocks. I don't know how he'd managed to, but he was still soft. Must have been an awesome effort of will, for, just by his balls was the tip, the pen nib shape of his foreskin, just in view.
Then, slowly, he put his hands on the hem of his shirt, and raised it, wriggling sinuously as it raised, tensing his stomach muscles, gently waving his wonderful cock towards, then away from me. And it hardened as I watched it. First getting dominantly larger, swelling and lengthening, then starting to rise, pulsing up a little, down a little less, with his heartbeat, rising and lengthening until his foreskin was gleaming and taut and his cock reached the sky. Rising in time with his shirt's removal. "Wow. That was so beautiful. You are so beautiful, Nigel. My beautiful boy."
He didn't speak, just smiled at me, the he took his two index fingers, and pressed them each side of the base of his wonderful boyhood, and pulled the shaft skin tight and down.
At the tip I watched as his foreskin tightened even more, and the released his head to the light, pinkish purple, looking glossy, almost liquid, All the colours were amazing, the lighter inner skin, the almost translucent little arrow that came up into the head underneath, the pink contrast of the head, the darkness of the slit, the different colour of the rim, of under the rim, of the shaft skin. It took my breath away.
"You're so beautiful," I breathed. "So very beautiful. No, perfect."
"Silly boy, I'm not."
"Oh you are." I was as rock hard as he was. Mine had reacted before his shirt came off. "You're body's beautiful, but it's you, Nigel. All of you. I feel so lucky... "
"I'm so glad I risked it, back in France," he said, simply and softly. "Seeing you was one thing, my love. Knowing you is quite another. And I want to make love to you. But first I'm going to wash you."
There weren't any words to reply with. I suppose anyone looking on would have seen two naked boys, both with damaged faces, standing with hard cocks pointing at each other, not touching each other, about a yard apart, and looking deep into each other's eyes. Or in Nigel's case into my eye. It was a warm autumn day, and the light in the room was strong, shining through the windows. And Nigel looked so beautiful, illuminated by a shaft of dazzling sunlight.
A wordless exchange alter we headed for the bathroom. A huge pile of bubbles was on top of the bath. "Wow, did you use all Mum's bubble bath?"
He looked a little sheepish. "No. I was going to say I bought some specially for you, er, but... "
"But what?" I was facing him, smiling, no almost grinning. Teasing him was fun!
"Well, it's my Mum's. I grabbed it from home. I wanted to buy some, but my money's run out, and there wasn't any time and... "
"Shh." He shushed. "It's lovely." And I kissed his nose tip, ever so carefully.
"Oh good. I don't think I'm very good at little romantic things yet."
"Silly boy, why should you be. Only you are, you know. Good at them." I turned and dipped a toe in. "Hot!"
"I'm hot? Wow!"
"The bath water!"
"Oh." He was looking impish. "Not me then?"
"All right, you too! You're hot! Now put some cold in. Er, please," I added as he started to look dangerous. Well, as dangerous as you can with a rather gorgeous erection out in front of you.
"You are, too." he said into my ear.
"I'm not, you know. Not really. I'm just really glad you think I am."
"You gonna get into that bath before I go all soppy?"
I did. But not before giving his right cheek a gentle squeeze. It felt lovely. All tight and rounded and warm and soft, too. And then I slid down into the bath, into the bubbles. It felt good, too. Almost stinging hot, yet cool enough to be in with comfort. And Nigel had opened the bathroom window so there was a delicious coolish breeze just filtering into the room, too. He'd moved closer to the bath, and I looked up at him as he stood there. I ran my eyes up his legs from the knees above the bath rim.
No hint there, on his thighs of that slightly coarser blond hair. Here still was the soft down, short soft hairs, almost invisible. His thigh muscles were gentle, well defined, yet not imposing. I could sense, rather than see, the power they contained. The inside of his thighs looked so soft as he stood there, legs a little apart, and less tanned than the fronts and outsides. And as the curve of the thigh turned inwards again, there, pulled tight up against his body, like mine on the verge of becoming a man's body, no longer a boy's, his tightly wrinkled, darkish skinned sack, too tight to see its contents. Under the sack was the ridge, like a closed zip fastener, leading back between his thighs into the darkness, and leading the other way along the underside of that beautiful, wonderful exciting, excited, awesome pole. It took my gaze. The tracery of blue veins inside the skin, the transparency of the skin, the subtle colour changes where the outside of the foreskin changed to the inside, the whiteness, pinkness of the inner skin, and the whole glorious head, which he'd allowed to stay exposed.
I don't know how long I was looking. Long enough to start aching to feel him, to touch him. I needed that part of him so badly. And in two places at once. One was my mouth, for it so needed to be kissed.
"What are you looking at?" He was smiling down to me.
"Everything." I was dreamy. "Everything I never knew I ever wanted. Everything from your legs to your beautiful cock. I was going to look at your body and face, but I got distracted. It's just so beautiful." I sighed. "And I want you so badly. I need you to make love to me. Long and slow. And I need this bath as well. It's part of it, somehow. Washing yesterday away. I love being really clean for you."
He knelt down. "Do you want me to wash your hair, too?"
"Anything, my love, anything." Wow, I'd called him 'my love'. It sounded so good. Suddenly not soppy. I'd been half afraid it would sound all girly, but it was so natural when I said it just then.
"Lean back then, and wet it." And when I had he rubbed shampoo so gently into my hair, and massaged my scalp with his fingertips. It was so erotic being touched so carefully, in such a controlled way. So perfect. When I'd rinsed he made me stand up so he could wash the rest of me. The cool breeze was just right with the heat of the bath, too. And he started at my shoulders and worked so gently with the soap down my chest and back. We were both still iron bar hard. And his fingers and palms massaged my body and massaged my thighs and legs, and the fronts and the ticklish backs of my knees. And then he moved to spread my thighs slightly, and with soft lather took my sack in his hands, and soaped it, then back between my legs to my most secret place which he soaped so carefully, tracing the outline with his finger. Then he moved and soaped my shaft, and he pulled my foreskin back, too, the same way he had pulled his back.
The touch of his soaped hands on the newly released head made me gasp, and he just carefully, lightly, made me so clean all over.
And when it was done, in silence, he bade me sit and rinse. And the hot water made me tingle all over again, especially where the skin was still withdrawn. And he helped me to rinse off, then helped me out and surrounded me with a towel, and dried me all over. Carefully. Meticulously. Lovingly.
"I just need to get clean," he said. I want to be clean for you, too. And he slipped into the bath, washed and arrived out again almost in one smooth movement. I'd never seen a bath taken so fast! And he was beside me, towelling himself dry almost before he stepped into the water. The hot bath had wilted a little of his enthusiasm, and his head had retreated again. Mine, too, I noticed.
Then he took me by the had and led me to my room, to my bed, pulled the duvet out of the way, and sat me down. "I want this to be so special for you, Chris."
"No need. It is special, will be special. You've already done it. Stand in front of me. Please. Because I want to kiss your cock, and then I so want you inside me. I want that so badly." He was at full attention, and I eased his skin back just as he had done. And there, again was the pinkish, liquid, almost damp head, looking at me out of its one eye. It was so very beautiful. So awesomely beautiful. And I put my lips to it, just surrounding the eye, and kissed it, darting my tongue out between my lips to dab the droplet that was forming there.
I heard his sharp intake of breath. "I won't last long of you do that much more," he said. "Oh that's awesome, but I won't last!"
I pulled away. I wanted to be entered, opened. Long and slow and for ever. "I want you, Nigel. I need to feel you in me. I want you to make love to me as long and as slow as you can. I want you inside me. I want you to fill me, to be in my soul... " and he motioned me to turn onto my front, positioning the pillows under my chest.
Wordlessly he got me to tuck my knees up into a sort of lying crouch, legs wide apart, bum up in the air. And then I felt his soft breath on my back as he positioned himself behind me, and then what I thought was a drop of K-Y on the very opening, but what turned into a very hot tongue tip licking and probing me, persuading me to open for him, licking round and then pushing inside me, like an eel, I imagined. And then something cool, and a harder, slim pressure, as a finger eased into me, just teasing, in a little then out, then in a little more, and then suddenly out, then in, so softly, a knuckle joint, perhaps another, and then he drew it out so fast it seemed bigger by the emptiness it left behind. In, probing, twisting, massaging, opening, and always sudden withdrawal, complete sudden withdrawal. Then a second finger. I knew it was a second, not just larger inside me, but because he added it in after the first was there. And he was wriggling them inside me and touching that pea sized lump of ecstasy, and knowing he was making me squeal, hearing my squeals, pulling out so suddenly there was almost a huge inrush of air to fill the vacuum.
I think he used two hands, maybe the index finger on each, because sometimes when his fingers were inside me it seemed as though I was being pulled apart. Not painful, never painful, not even a twinge, but enough to make me know he was doing it. And then after another sudden, emptying withdrawal I felt him get close to me, and the different pressure as he replaced his fingers with his body was incredible. How he held himself in check I don't know. "Now, please, now, I need you, now oh now, now, now," I was saying over and over again. "Inside me, please, I need you!"
But he held back, even moved back as I tried to press myself against him, just keeping the same, even, easy pressure there, enough to slide in millimetre by millimetre, but not to rush things. And I felt him edge so slowly inside, felt myself opening to receive him, felt myself willing him to push, once, hard, and slide home inside me, with that light down of fuzzy hair against me. I wanted to feel the impulse as he hit the curve inside, bottoming out on that curve as he rushed past my prostate.
But he held back, and opened me so gradually, so slowly. And I couldn't believe the feelings it gave me, that my lover gave me. Nigel, beautiful, a blond god, so gently easing his beautiful boyhood into my very soul. It took for ever. The same pressure, moving back as I pressed back, moving forward as I moved forward to try to jerk back on him and force him all the way in. Torture, perfect torture. No hands anywhere except one each side, holding my hips, locking himself firmly to me, no words, no caress, just firm pressure. "Harder, Nigel, harder. I need all of you. Push, please push, oh God I must have you, now, please oh push into me! Please!" Heck I couldn't stand it, it was pure teasing, pure unadulterated, teasingly, awesomely awful, wonderful withholding of pleasure. Oh God if this was the first instroke, how long would the second take?
And then I felt him, deep in me, felt that full feeling as he found the turn of the rectum with the tip of his cock, felt him press so hard, hard enough to rearrange my intestines, and felt his thighs press onto mine, felt him grind his way so deep and hard that there was no space between us, felt him arch and push even more inside me. "Yes, Nigel, Oh I love you, yes, now screw me, oh screw me so hard, please!" I wanted to feel him pistoning into me and out, and in again.
A massive pull, a rush and he was suddenly all the way out, outside, I was empty, vacant, bereft, nothing there, a void, aching to be filled. "Aaaarrgghhh!" Yet he was still silent and I felt that slow pressure building again, his cock tip pressing against me, the same pressure, opening me, easier this time, but doing it so slowly, so firmly, no chance to wriggle, yet I tried to push back onto him, to impale myself on his steel boyhood, to feel him inside me to skewer my prostate on his as he pushed through it. Again millimetre slow he pushed into me, and bottomed out as before, and then pushed so hard into me, so deep I thought he would pop out of my mouth if I dared to open it.
And again the sudden, aching, instant withdrawal, the rush of cock out of me, out of my soul, vacuuming my prostate on the way out as it had pressed it so slowly on the way in. And again the pressure. And the long, slow inward transit, and again the huge, sucking withdrawal, like waves crashing on a beach in slow motion and running back at triple speed. I tried to count the times he did it, tried to keep a tally of his slow, achingly slow inbound cock, savouring each sensation as I felt every last part of his wonderful weapon move inside me, trying so hard by drawing myself in to keep him there each time he got so deep inside he could go no further, trying to grip him, to prevent his almighty pull out of me, and failing, each time failing, and feeling more and more his complete and total slave, and loving him for it. Nine times, ten, eleven. I was turning into a melting, yielding needing thing, not even a person, but a wave of pure pleasure as he teased me with his cock, as he never let me quite know what was coming next. Was it to be this time he would stay inside me? Twelve. No.
Thirteen, so slow, so much slower it seemed than all the rest, so much slipperier, it was easier, less pressure to feel him inbound thrust. Out! Fourteen. I was past caring, past counting, past anything except the need to feel his cock hard and hot inside me, and knowing that as soon as it was fully there he would deprive me of it. It must have been at least ten minutes of this, no longer, when he finally changed his speed, changed the balance of what he was doing. And I felt not a gentle pressure, this time but a sudden rush forwards as he impaled me violently on him, rushing in, forcing me open fast, forcing my muscles to yield to him at a different, a faster pace, forcing his cock right in suddenly and hard, and withdrawing it even faster. Not an overall fast rhythm, but an amazing feeling, with all of my muscles involved.
So good that I drew my knees further up the bed, trying to make more of me available to his driving, pounding cock, needing to feel him inside me, almost needing him to wrench his way inside. "It's heaven. Oh Nigel, how? Where? This is amazing, oh God, I'm, I've uuuunnnnnnnghhhhhhhhh!" I had, suddenly and unexpectedly, and all over the sheet, heck who cared? "Oh, wow, I've..."
"Shh, I'm busy."
"I'm busy. Doing what you wanted. And I'm not stopping until I'm finished."
"You wanted me to make love to you for ages. And I'm way away from finishing, so you have to grin and bear it!"
"Oh." I wondered if I could. Being fucked after a blistering orgasm wasn't easy. I tried to relax, and he kept his rhythm going inside me. He was still forcing me open and drawing back so suddenly, and I was squeaking on the thrusts and yelling on the outstroke. He was driving me where I'd never been before. It was so slippery, so intense, so right, and almost awful, but wonderful in its relentless pressure. I lost count of anything I was counting, lost track of time, lived only in the squeaks and squeals of his pure, iron hard sex, lived only for his cock inside me, lived for the aching in my balls he was creating, the ecstasy, the pure sensations. I was lost in the feelings of him inside me. Lost completely.
And he carried on the same strokes for ever. An athlete's lovemaking, a long distance athlete's lovemaking. So controlled, yet so powerful. Comfortable and agonising. I had to have him finish, had to, and I gripped hard with my muscles each time he forced in and pulled out, learnt his rhythm and matched it, tried to milk him with my body as he tried to enter and escape from me. "Oh Chris!" I'd made him speak, a reward. "Oh Chris, I can't keep going, I'm cumming aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrghhhhhh! Ooooohhhhhhhhhh! Unnnnnnnghhhhhhhhh! Oooh! Ooooooorrgggghhhh! Oh my love! I love you so much!" And he dropped exhausted, drained onto my back, panting his heart out, breathing like a steam engine, sweating rivers onto me, with his seed hot inside me, and his once hard boyhood slipping damply out of me.
And the minute it was out I wanted it back. Badly. But couldn't take it back under any circumstances.
We wriggled round, so he and I were on our right sides, like spoons, me cupped inside his embrace, in intimate contact, yet no longer impaled on him. And I heard those wonderful little snores as that doze overtook him, just before it overtook me. Not sleeping, but dozing, dreaming, fulfilled, and relaxed. Complete, in the arms of my lover.
Nothing mattered just then.
Not one thing.
Even if Mum had walked in on us then I would have been as peaceful.
I don't know how long we dozed. It was just beautiful, warm and sticky, yet full of love, and glowing inside, and being with my lover. I think we'd have stayed there until morning if the phone hadn't been ringing.
If you liked this chapter, If you like the story, find more at my website http://www.iomfats.org, and from there also link to the Teenage Gay Boy Love Stories Webring where we have gathered authors who write fact and fiction about teenage male romance. And if you are an author yourself, please don't hesitate to go to the Webring Signup page at http://www.iomfats.org/ringmaster.htm and submit your own website for consideration for membership. Our Webring gets in excess of 3,000 hits a week. We must be doing something right! Click here for the list of TGBL Webring Sites [if your browser does not show this link, simply visit my website's links page].
Section 28 of the United Kingdom Local Government Act 1988 MUST go. Those who want it kept say that it stops our kids being "taught to be homosexual". Well I have a son, a teenage son. If you read my life story on the website you'll see and understand. My son knows I am gay. It hasn't made him want to try being gay out. You don't try it out, however well informed you are, you just don't. And he's well informed, because I answer any questions he asks me. Being unstr8 is one thing; choosing to be unstr8 is quite another. Of course it must happen, but it is so rare as to be statistically irrelevant. Section 28 is about scaring good teachers away from helping the kids who need their help. This is a bad UK law. If you want to join the campaign against it, there is a page on my website, accessible from the home page. Please join this campaign. Whatever country you live in, please join the campaign.